How Much do Sponsors Pay YouTubers (and How to Make More!)

Survey from real YouTubers shows how much sponsors pay and how to make more money!

Getting sponsors for your YouTube channel can be sooo frustrating! You hear about influencers like Mr Beast bagging six- and seven-figure deals from sponsors…and you want some of that!

So you do some research. You look around to find the companies doing sponsored videos in your niche, you put together your contact list and spend an afternoon on the phone…and you get totally shut down.

The common refrain is, “We’ve got a great affiliate program. We’ll send you a link.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my affiliates and booked just over $7,000 in commissions last month, but the goal here is that certainty of a sponsorship. I think every YouTuber is tired of creating an amazing video for an affiliate, sending hundreds and even thousands of targeted clicks their way and then hearing nothing but crickets chirp!

The problem with negotiating sponsorships, besides getting pigeon-holed into the affiliate program, is that YouTubers don’t know what they should ask for. We’re limited to knowing what sponsors pay YouTubers by our own individual experience.

So I surveyed YouTubers on the Facebook groups I’m in and asked how much they’re charging for sponsored videos. I asked how many subscribers they had and the average views videos are generating. We’ve only gotten 15 responses so far (yeah my stats nerd brethren, I know that’s not a great sample) but I’ll be updating the post as we get more input.

Got a YouTube channel? Take the survey here.

Let’s look at the data and how much sponsors are paying YouTubers then I’ll share some tips to getting more money from sponsorships.

Who is Getting Sponsorships on YouTube?

Respondents ranged from new channels with no subs to one with more than half a million. It was great seeing some of those bigger channels add their experience and we got some great insight into how the star YouTubers are negotiating. The median channel size of respondents was 16,000 subscribers.

Average views per video over the last three months ranged all the way up to 72,000 views though most channels were quite a bit smaller. The median views per video for respondents was 3,600 and I was excited to see that even some of the smaller channels were able to negotiate deals.

Most of my YouTuber friends are in the personal finance niche so that’s where the data skewed. A third of the respondents were specifically in the frugality/budgeting niche while 60% counted in the broader personal finance topic. We did have a few responses from others like DIY, live streaming, cooking and lifestyle.

How Much Can You Make on YouTube with Sponsors?

I first asked, “When you negotiate for a flat fee with no affiliate commission, how much do you generally agree on for a price per video?”

Answers ranged from $100 to nearly $4,000 per video. I’ve created a dot-plot below showing the average views per video and how much the YouTuber charges for a sponsored video. There were only eight responses here (Again, don’t laugh stats nerds. I know it’s not a good sample) but it’s interesting how well the linear trendline fits.

How Much to Charge YouTube Sponsors
How Much to Charge YouTube Sponsors

Responses ranged from about $0.035 to $0.15 per average view with a median of $0.089 per view. I had to average some responses as the YouTuber provided a range like $1,000 to $3,000 per video. I’ll update the chart as more data comes in but that $0.09 per average view generated is pretty close to the few guidelines I’ve seen from other data.

Of course, this is going to differ depending on your niche but it seems a good place to start negotiating for sponsorships is between that $0.05 to $0.15 per view range.

I also asked YouTubers, “For videos where you negotiate a blended payment, fee plus affiliate, how much do you charge for the fee-portion of the payment?”

There was less data here than for the other question so I won’t embarrass myself with a dot-plot but the fee portion generally ranged from $200 to $750 though a few larger channels were charging into the thousands of dollars per video even when an affiliate commission was offered.

Add your experience to the survey here!

How to Make More with Sponsors as a Social Media Influencer

The most promising point from the data is simply that fee-based sponsorships are possible, even in a niche like personal finance where affiliate partnerships are the norm. Not only can you negotiate a small fee to supplement the affiliate payout but it’s possible to find sponsors that will provide all compensation in a flat-fee.

Most YouTubers don’t realize that besides a budget to pay out affiliate commissions, almost every company will have a ‘branding’ budget they can spend for marketing as well. This is more of a discretionary account that can be used to spread the brand message even if return isn’t as easily measured as in an affiliate program.

And that idea of branding is hugely important for YouTubers. Your videos live forever and even the viewers that don’t click through to a sponsor, they hear and see that sponsor’s message. That another viewer that could need just one more touch-point with the company’s brand to convince them to click through and become a customer.

Also, unlike a blog post where readers immediately see the brand’s link to click-through, it’s not so easy with a video sponsorship. Viewers engage with the message but may not even see the link…and may go straight to the sponsors site with a Google search.

A 5-Step Process for Negotiating Sponsored Videos

Fortunately for YouTubers, there is a process you can use to bring out your channel’s value and negotiate for more money in sponsored videos.

  1. Measure the median views your new videos are receiving. This is a better measure than the average which is skewed higher by your runaway videos. I usually look at videos more than a week old but no older than three months to measure median views.
  2. Use click-through rates on videos with affiliate links to find an average CTR. If you don’t have CTR data…and you REALLY should start, typical is between 4% to 7% for sponsored videos.
  3. Find how much a sponsor or a related-company is offering for affiliate payouts per conversion. You can use past experience or just do a search on an affiliate network like CJ Affiliates.
  4. Use conversions-per-click data from your affiliates to estimate a number of conversions from your average views per video and CTR. If you don’t have data on conversions-per-click, estimate between 3% to 5% depending on how interested your community might be in the product.
  5. This gives you a great idea, and measurable proof, of how much your videos are worth to a sponsor.

I would start negotiating a few hundred dollars above this estimate at least. First, it gives you a place to negotiate lower and still make good money. Also though, remember that your video is worth more than just the base number of conversions you drive. The trust you’ve built with your community means a lot of your viewers will follow you into the brand even if they don’t click through your link in the description.

Don’t forget you can add on extras like an email newsletter, social media postings and blog posts transcribed from the video to get more out of a sponsor. These videos last forever and can be a huge benefit to any brand. Understand how much your channel is worth and how important you are as a social media influencer!

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