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Sponsoring a YouTuber: Tips From a Top Buyer

Sponsoring a YouTuber is a Partnership

Sponsoring a YouTuber involves so much more than just financial transactions – it's a strategic partnership. While there's no exact science to guarantee success, paying a creator a flat rate for a spotlight on their channel is a brand investment and needs a solid foundation in facts and figures. In this article on of the world's top YouTube buyers, Elsie Bernaiche highlights what direct response brands should look for when sponsoring a Youtuber to help scale success.

First Up: Sponsorship Track Record

What to look for: Identify past brand collaborations, their frequency, and assess their success to gauge potential outcomes for your brand.

How to find it: Visit the creator's channel and use the search bar to look for the term "sponsor." You can also search for specific brands that align with your preferences.

Why it matters: Look for diverse brands that resonate with your target audience. Repetition indicates success, and assessing posting frequency helps tailor the partnership to your needs.

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View Consistency

What to look for:

Examine the consistency of views over time to ensure your investment delivers the expected audience engagement. Unlike podcasts that guarantee impressions in many cases, YouTube and its algorithm can make it harder to find an audience. It’s a challenge creator constantly battle. You want to make sure your investment delivers.

How to find it:

The best way is to observe a channel at least 30 days before working with them (I know, it takes some data to build up the big picture)! Start with a plan, observe the channel for at least 30 days before collaboration, tracking views on specific days i.e. Day 1, Day 7, Day 15, and Day 30 record the views and evaluate growth trends.

Why it matters:

Consistent views indicate sustained audience interest. Analyzing growth patterns helps determine if content is evergreen, maximizing the long-term impact of your investment.

Weekly performance checks on how many views a video has at any given time tells you how quickly a channel’s views grow, and whether the content is evergreen or not. Brands see amazing success when a piece of content hits 100K views in the first 40-60 days but goes on to reach 1M views 6 months to a year out - that’s an investment that keeps on giving.

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Understand how often they publish.

Being inconsistent means the creator likely won’t get YouTube Algorithm’s attention, and even subscribed audiences can miss notifications that the creator has posted new content.

Tarrget Demographics & Creator Audience

What to look for: Prioritize your target demographics by understanding the creator's audience. Consider factors like location, age range, and gender distribution. You’re not going to find a single YouTube channel whose entire audience is YOUR potential customer because YouTube is one of the most globalized content platforms in the world. Identify the bare minimum commonality among your current customers and go from there.

How to find it: 👉 The talent agent or creator should provide screenshots of the creator dashboard 👈

It is important to request screenshots of the creator's dashboard or consult with the talent agents. You will want to pay attention to geographic location, age demographics, and female viewership percentages.

If your product can only be sold in the US (like many food and supplement products), then you will want to prioritize the US%. If you can ship internationally and just PREFER US audiences, I recommend you  take a closer look at the age range of the audience. Younger audiences generally have less spending power, whereas older audiences (45+) are harder to come by.

So, how much does it all cost? 

At this point you might be wondering how much does it cost to sponsor a YouTuber? The answer – it depends on many factors, including some you may not expect, like gender. Yup! 

In general, female audiences on YouTube are going to be EXPENSIVE. Anything with 60%+ female viewership is likely going to be a female creator behind the camera - and the “day in my life” or “make-up tutorial” content that has helped them create a name for themselves takes a ton of work. 

Production value plus authenticity is an important element of every YouTuber’s channel, but (and this is a topic for another article, TBH) generally female creators are held to higher standards, and therefore assess their value at a higher CPM than male audiences. 

Why it matters: Tailoring your approach to the audience can improve ROI. Lower CPMs for certain demographics can lead to cost-effective reach, allowing you to test hypotheses and expand your customer base.

If you think YouTube can really work for your brand, but you’ve traditionally felt that your customer base was geared towards women, consider testing against that hypothesis. Create male-leaning talking points, heck, even create a male-friendly product for your YouTube launch. In almost ALL cases, you’ll see better ROI if you can get a lower CPM and reach more people, whether they’re young, old, male, or female! 

Make everyone a customer and leverage creators to do the convincing. 

Data, Data, Data Driven Results 

Much of the advice and insight provided in this article requires a lot of time and data collection efforts. Effective, reliable data collection ensures a higher level of accuracy and efficiency for your sponsorship decisions.

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Benefit from our experience in navigating unfamiliar territories, negotiating rates, and rewriting talking points to optimize on-camera performance.

If you are a high growth brand interested in scalable performance based marketing across YouTube we have the expertise you need.  We specialize in data acquisition and review. We invest the time needed to ensure a higher level of accuracy that most brands simply cannot provide in-house because you are busy working on well, your brand! We provide YOU real time measurements that you can access anytime.

We've assisted brands in venturing into uncharted territory and connecting with entirely new audiences. Notably, we've pleasantly surprised every client by demonstrating the potential for success with male audiences on YouTube.

For brands targeting female audiences, we've successfully negotiated rates, reducing costs by up to 60% to safeguard your financial interests. This ensures that even if a video doesn't meet expectations, it minimizes the expense for obtaining valuable data and correctly interpreting the results.

In every instance, we've played a pivotal role in refining brands' messaging, emphasizing what resonates on-camera and understanding the elements that attract specific audiences. Our extensive analysis involves scrutinizing brands' strategies on particular channels, examining the evolution of their promotions and offerings over time. By doing so, we eliminate the need for you to undergo trial and error, providing a streamlined and effective approach to maximize your impact on YouTube.

I LOVE YouTube 

Personally, I’ve logged approximately 1800 hours of watch time on YouTube in 2023, entirely NOT work-related! Does that mean I’m watching 5 hours of YouTube per day? Maybe. Does it mean I watch YouTube more than cable TV or Netflix combined? Absolutely. 

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Sponsoring a YouTuber is more than a transaction – it's an investment in partnerships that are as passionate about your brand as you! If you are ready to scale your brand across YouTube send me a DM and let's get started today! 

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Elsie Bernaiche

Elsie Bernaiche is the VP of Partnerships for ADOPTER Media. One of the top YouTube buyers in the world, she also has additional expertise in branding, DTC growth & performance-based strategies.

Fun fact: Elsie holds hold the career defensive plays (digs) for her university team (Brandeis University). She is still 200+ digs from the next person with records going back to 1989.

Podcast Ads. YouTube Sponsorships. Real Results.

Our agency represents advertisers to plan, manage, and optimize their host-read ad campaigns at scale.
"ADOPTER Media has been a fantastic partner for us since the earliest days of Magic Spoon."

- Gabi Lewis, Co-Founder, Magic Spoon

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