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Industry Trends
April 3, 2023
min read
Elsie Bernaiche

How to make a brand want to work with you again

So you’ve scored your first sponsorship with Skillshare - cool! You got their talking points, you recorded your bit, you sent the draft and got the green light to go live on your YouTube channel. You even got 127K views of your video, which is right on par with the higher end of your average views for your most popular videos - score!

But where’s the email from the Skillshare people asking you for another video…? You waited 30 days and no follow-up telling you how great your video did. You have no idea, truthfully, how many clicks your video actually accrued for Skillshare, but you were so sure that they’d at least email you… what happened?

This is the classic situation so many creators get stuck in with brands that they established a really good initial relationship with - the truth is, getting a repeat relationship going is difficult! Creators don’t know what objectives the brand has when deciding to work with their channel, but if creators could only get access to the bigger picture, they could position themselves for better success.

Here’s a few tricks on how to do just that. 

1. Offer a CPM deal. 

A CPM deal is a great way to show the brand you’re trying to work with that you understand their performance objectives. A CPM deal focuses on the price a brand pays for the exact views they will get from your channel and audience. CPM, or “cost per mille” is a fixed price for a fixed number of views that the sponsored content you’ve created for the brand will generate. 

With a CPM deal, you might be able to accomplish the views guarantee with 1 stellar video - but you have the reassurance that if your first video doesn’t quite hit the mark, you are permitted to continue making more sponsored content with the brand until those views are met. The brand is extremely happy in these cases because rather than paying for a video that underperformed - which will virtually guarantee that they WON’T be returning to your channel for more videos - they’re paying for the exposure and audience reach that they wanted from your audience. 

Plus, with a CPM deal you’ll get more than 1 video in most cases, and you can promote this fact to future brands that you want to work with. “I was sponsored by Skillshare 3 times!” sounds a lot better than “I did 1 video that didn’t get as many views as they hoped”, wouldn’t you agree?

2. See how many times they’ve sponsored a similar creator.

You’ll need to do some work to find this information - you can try picking through YouTube directly, but it’s DEFINITELY easier to use a platform like ThoughtLeaders sponsorship intelligence platform to get the bigger picture quickly.

You can either pull a channel you already know about that produces similar content to what you make, OR you can go to the brand you’re working with and look at all the content creators they’ve sponsored in your niche. 

Here’s an example:

If I’m a car channel, doing automotive repairs/restorations, car reviews, and other car-related content, I might take a look at Donut Media.

YouTube channels about cars

By searching their sponsorships, I can see how recently they’re still being sponsored by these brands, and when that brand was last featured. I can also even see the total views and average views these brands are getting from working with Donut Media.

A car channel could contact Keeps and say, “Wow, you’ve worked with Donut Media 28X in the past 2 years, it’s good to see this content is working for you and you’re one of the channel’s top sponsors. Since my content is super similar and equally appealing to the same audience as Donut Media, you should consider sponsoring my channel a few more times to see if you’re really penetrating that market like you have with Donut Media.”

Alternatively, you can look directly at Keeps’ track record:

Keep sponsorships

By searching some car-related keywords, I can see that, indeed, Keeps is sponsoring lots of car channels or channels that talk about the automotive industry/motorcycles, and the average mentions on these channels is between 6-28 sponsorships! 

You’d simply reach out to Keeps after your first video and ask them to renegotiate price, but make the point that automotive channels are one of their most popular content types to sponsor and you’d love to get them booked for at least half a year for a monthly video - since you now know they’d be willing to try at least 6 sponsorships with you. You can even reference all these channels like Do It With Dan, TJ Hunt, SuperspeedersRob and Donut Media so they know exactly which partnerships you’re aligning your channel with. 

3. Leverage a competitor brand’s track record.

If all else fails, nothing tempts a brand like a little competition.

You can use the same platform to show a brand their direct competitor - brands are constantly trying to dominate the YouTube space, and that means they want bigger channels, more channels, and more mentions than their competitors. 

Using the example of Manscaped and other men’s grooming products like Tiege Hanley, Geologie, Keeps and Roman, you can convince your brand of interest to come onboard for multiple sponsorships by showing them what their competition is doing.

You can see across all of YouTube, Manscaped, Roman and Tiege have the most “average mentions”. Manscaped is by far on the most individual creator channels and with the most mentions. The big sell would be to show the other men’s brands that in order to dominate the space they should be sponsoring multiple videos on your channel in order to increase their total mentions and total views, all the while growing that ever-important “Total Channel Count” number that really represents how many different audiences have seen and learned about their product.

One further trick you can do to stack up these brands and get their attention… you can show “average likes” for their sponsored videos with these creators vs. YOUR average likes.

The idea being that even though Manscaped might have been on the most channels with the most mentions, the channels they’ve worked with are averaging 8K likes per sponsored video, whereas all the other brands have found creators to work with that are doing more than that! Keeps is working with channels that have as much as 340K views per video and 14K likes. Compare that to your channel’s average views and likes and you’ll probably be able to close 3-5 videos with Manscaped for a long-term, repeat relationship. 

These suggestions are just three quick and easy ways you can talk to a brand strategically while making your channel a standout option for further paid partnerships with that brand. Marketers make all their decisions using data, so if you can speak the same language, you’ll be able to get paid for the awesome content you’re producing on a consistent basis, and you’ll find yourself reaching out less and less often to NEW brands, with more and more brands coming back to extend the partnership that you struck up. Furthermore, you’ll be able to establish a foundation for negotiating with any brands that have already reached out for at least 1 sponsorship, and get multiple video deals booked up front that both you and your brand partners can be satisfied with! That’s what I love most about influencer marketing - it’s truly a win-win for everyone involved, cutting out all the irrelevant ads that audiences and consumers hate to be bombarded with these days. You can deliver value to both a brand and your engaged subscribers/viewers while turning your side hustle into a full-time, well-oiled, money making machine. 

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