6 things brand sponsors are looking for

It seems like it was only yesterday that brand sponsors were throwing money at any YouTube creator they came across. But as the market has developed, brands—and top creators—have started choosing their sponsorship partners carefully to ensure a good fit.

When we recently rolled out Influencer Plus, our new service that links creators with brands, many creators have asked us how they could qualify for brand deals. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Brands are getting savvy and selective

Generally, if you want brand sponsors to come knocking at your door, you’ll get more love if you create original, high-quality, family-friendly content for a large, engaged audience on a regular schedule.

So what does that mean for you as a creator?

  • Upload regularly. Churn out quality content consistently, and stick to a schedule.
  • Focus on video quality. Soak up knowledge here on our blog—and if you’re part of the Fullscreen Network, take advantage of our deals with Video Blocks, WeVideo, AudioMicro, and Jingle Punks.
  • Think beyond YouTube. Talk with your audience on Vine, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat too. Our partnerships with Gleam and Epoxy help you engage your fans across all those platforms.
  • Be brand safe. Brands love it when you share their stories in your own voice. Since most brands want to be family-friendly, think PG-13—not R-rated.
  • Show your face. If brands can’t see who you are, it’s generally harder to pitch you for sponsorships.
  • Post in English. Most brands we work with focus on English-language campaigns. That doesn’t mean you need to live in the United States, but a track record of English does help. As the world of influencer marketing develops internationally, more non-English opportunities will likely arise.

Not every brand looks for all of these qualifications. (For example, an edgy energy drink company might have more flexible requirements than a more buttoned-up financial services firm.) But if you’re serious about boosting your income through sponsorships, keep these points in mind.

Originality matters more than size

Our best advice: be original. Brands will often choose a smaller creator who produces truly original content over a larger creator who uploads content that looks like everyone else’s.

A great example of branded content from a smaller creator: WTFLOL and Bud Light

It helps if your channel has a distinct format, but you need to be original and break through within that format. So for very popular formats—like Minecraft let’s plays or daily vlogs, which have thousands of similar channels—realistically it can be harder to get noticed.

Focus on your content first

If you’re a smaller creator or just starting out, your best bet is to focus on your content first. Use the tips and resources above to hone your content quality, develop an original voice, and build up the size and engagement of your audience. Then, brand deals are more likely to follow naturally when the time comes.

And we’re always here to help, so follow this blog and our Fullscreen Network Twitter feed for more tips. Good luck with your videos!