These companies have hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of followers, and you can sponsor their shows to gain access to their audience. Almost all successful Youtubers accept sponsors, not just Youtube reviewers.
So how do you become a successful Youtube sponsor? Follow this six step process:
1) Research some Youtube channels
You want to make sure that you're sponsoring a channel that a) has a lot of followers who will actually be interested in your products and b) has an owner or showrunner who also likes your product. Unlike conventional forms of advertising, you don't necessarily get to pick how your sponsorship ad is run--the Youtuber says whatever they want, and if they're not honestly being nice about your product, fans of the show will be able to tell.
It's also important to make sure that the channel you're sponsoring is one you actually want associated with their brand. This means you have to be prepared to watch a large chunk of their videos. Most successful Youtubers get that way by uploading hundreds of hours of content, and you need to be familiar with a significant percentage of that content before you agree to have somebody represent your brand.
2) Pick your finalists
When you're starting your research, you want to cast a wide net and remain open to possibilities, but the truth is unless you have a massive advertising budget you're not going to be able to afford more than a couple sponsorships. Besides, when it comes to Youtube sponsorships, quality far outweighs quantity.
Choose two or three successful Youtubers or shows to start with. It can be beneficial to become one of the early sponsors of someone with 100,000-300,000 subscribers but you're going to get the most impact if you sponsor channels with at least 500,000 subscribers. Of course, these sponsorships will also be more expensive, which brings me to my next point.
3) Set a strict amount that you're willing to offer them
You might be able to find out from their primary website, their Youtube channel, or one of their other sponsors how much a channel or show usually charges before you approach them, but you also need to know how much you're able to spend.
Most Youtubers have a set amount they charge sponsors. Some channels let you sponsor a specific video for a smaller amount. Either way, be prepared to spend several hundred dollars and some free product samples for a good sponsorship campaign--and remember that you're still spending way less than you would on a single television commercial.
4) Create a special offer
Setting up even a minor discount for the Youtube channel's subscribers will draw more of them in and make many Youtubers more interested in your proposal. Try offering a 10% discount on their first purchase when they sign up through a special link created for referrals by that Youtuber.
You can also choose to set up a contest for subscribers who choose to sign up for your newsletter or who purchase a product from your website. The point is that you're doing something special for everyone subscribed to this channel so they remember who you are.
5) Approach the Youtuber
If the Youtuber is part of a larger network of channels you'll want to approach the channel or production company instead of the Youtuber, but if they're an independent Youtuber you'll want to approach them directly.
There are two ways you can do this: with an initial offer, or by asking them what their typical sponsorship program looks like. The most important thing is that you're completely professional and genuinely interested in working with them.
6) Run the campaign
A sponsorship deal will typically run for a pre-set time period of 1-6 months. This gives you time to run the campaign, maybe ask for a couple tweaks to the Youtuber's presentation of your product, and assess its value.
If your campaign is successful you can renew your contract at the end of the pre-set period and become a long term company sponsor or choose to sponsor a different Youtuber instead. If the campaign isn't successful, perhaps it's time to work with a completely different type of Youtuber altogether.
Have you ever considered sponsoring a Youtube channel or show? Why/why not?