Okay, we’ve taken you through several different aspects of merging corporate brands with your personal brand over our special Money Issue edition. But how do you actually integrate the corporate sponsor so their product meshes with your channel in a seamless integration? We’re glad you asked, because we’re going to help you do it. And better than that, we’re going to do it in seven steps, so the whole list is easily digestible.
Most of the major creators, from beauty and lifestyle gurus to vloggers to storytellers with scripted series, have found ways to off-put the costs involved with creating content by utilizing corporate branding in some manner. In fact, corporate branding is almost a necessity these days as production values spike upward and videos become more intricate. You’ll see we’ve gleaned some of the most salient ideas from some of the biggest creators for these tips. If they’ve worked for the likes of Phil DeFranco, Sam Macaroni and Zoella, they can work for you.
7. Haul Video
Practically every creator has done one of these at some point. The haul video is one of the easiest and most basic means of introducing a brand onto your channel. Also, if it’s done right, it doesn’t have to look like a paid sponsorship at all. For reference, check out the incredible array of Lootcrate videos. Creators are constantly mentioning how they “just happened to sign up for Lootcrate — let’s see what we got.” And considering how awesome free swag is (on top of getting paid), the haul video is one of the most fun and engaging corporate branding vids to make.
6. The Product Review
Remember when there was a run of Google Glass videos making the rounds? Remember how glowing the endorsements were? Yeah, those upper echelon creators didn’t have to buy their tech. Sure this gets into awkward territory where you become a shill sometimes, but per disclosure rules you have to let your audience know you are being paid to endorse a product. You see, this sort of “tech test” a lot on gaming videos too. Creators get the content for free with the expectation that they will review it for better or worse, emphasis on “better” if they want to continue the partnership. Some even get paid to offer an opinion on the game, which is great work if you can get it.
5. Corporate Product As Prop In A Prank Video
This is a common tactic with the prank channels, but occasionally the other genres will dabble with a prank video because it gives them a harmless opportunity to showcase the corporate brand in a fun manner. Take for instance the videos that came out where people pulled all manner of pranks involving a brand new iPhone. How can they afford to pull a prank that could potentially break their iPhone? It’s a lot easier when they don’t have to pay for it.
4. The Background Product
You ever notice that can of Pepsi or, hell, an entire vending machine just chilling in the background of a movie? Yeah, it’s not there by accident. The same goes for YouTube videos these days. Product placement is a major method of revenue for all walks of media. And depending on what the contract calls for, some of it has to be in your face (like several of the other techniques on this list) and some of it can just be a nice quiet prop in the background of a shot. Sure, there are rules governing that you must disclose it if you are paid to endorse a product, but if that can of Pepsi just happens to end up in the frame of your camera … hey, accidents happen.
3. The Song Lyrics
Did you think that because you run a music channel that you don’t get to participate in the fun? Good for you: sponsorships come in a bunch of different forms — including winding up in song lyrics. Sometimes it’s just a quick little mention, but then sometimes it’s a friggin’ ode to a product … Jon Lajoie gets it.
2. The Product As A Game/Challenge
Remember when the Cinnamon Challenge came out and it was generic? There isn’t a brand attached to cinnamon that was paying for endorsements, so it was all harmless fun. Now we have the “Oreo Challenge.” YouTubers get a dozen or so packs of different kinds of Oreos, slap on a blindfold and see if they can pick the flavor. The company also once had a viral campaign to have some YouTubers devise creative new ways to eat their cookies. Yeah, Oreo knows how to play the new media game pretty well.
1. The “Honesty Route”
You know what’s refreshing? When some YouTuber comes out and says “here’s the deal — they gave me a bunch of money to tell you about these new corn chips/razors/makeup/batteries/jetpacks/whatever. I like ‘em, I use ‘em, make up your own mind if they are something that works for you.” When that happens, we usually end up running out and buying the product. Or at least considering it more heavily than we would have if we thought the creator was trying to sell us subliminally.