Sponsored content is an important part of many vloggers’ livelihoods. Brand deals can seriously boost your YouTube-related income, especially with YouTube’s recent crackdown on the kinds of videos it will monetize.
However, the government also has regulations of its own set in place when it comes to sponsored content. By labeling your sponsored videos clearly and properly, you can avoid the threat of having your sponsored videos taken down or demonetized.
Here’s how your sponsored content should be labeled.
1. Put it right in the video title.
The video title is one of the first place that your viewers look. If they see the word “ad” in the title, then they’ll know right off the bat what they’re getting into.
However, you don’t have to write your sponsored video titles like, “AD- My Video.” A subtle “My Video (ad)” will do. You could also replace ad with “sponsored” or “paid promotion.”
Every time singer Dodie makes a sponsored video, she puts “ad” at the end of the title in parentheses.
2. Place a watermark in the corner of the thumbnail to let your viewers know.
It’s often the thumbnail of a video that catches a viewer’s eye. Potential viewers see your face, your text, and anything else you’ve added to get their attention. This makes the thumbnail a smart place to label your sponsored content.
Place the word “ad” in clear, bold letters in the top corner of your video’s thumbnail. Make sure that it stands out enough so that your viewers will see it. White or light gray font will blend seamlessly with most any thumbnail design.
Hazel Hayes doesn’t label her sponsored videos in the title, but she does add a clear, bold watermark on her video thumbnails so that her viewers know it’s a paid promotion.
3. Mention several times in the video that it’s a brand deal.
The most important place that you need to label your sponsored content is in the video itself. Make it clear to your viewers that you were paid to make a video about a certain product or company.
You don’t have to explicitly state, “I was paid to make this video,” though. You can say something along the lines of “I partnered with this company…” or “My friends at this company asked me to try their product…”
Whenever DanandPhilGAMES does a sponsored video, the boys introduce the game they’re trying as a brand deal before showing viewers how to play.
4. Remind viewers again in the video description.
Your video description box is the best place to write out a full disclaimer. You can spell everything out for your viewers in black and white right under the video they’re about to watch.
In the descriptions of your sponsored videos, you should again restate that it was a paid promotion. You can describe the brand deal in more detail or link to the company or product you’re promoting.
Whenever AmazingPhil uploaded this sponsored video, he wrote “This is a paid promotion for Tinder!” at the top of the description box, right under a link to download the dating app.
Sponsored content is becoming the norm on YouTube. In the best interest of both you and the companies you’re working with, you should clearly and properly label any sponsored content you create.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.