Everyone has their go to way to get publicity. But if you want to get the attention of today’s younger generations, you need to be on YouTube. Creating a YouTube channel is a lot of work, and requires a ton of upkeep. If you are up to the challenge, I would read up on starting your channel, as well as the videos you should create.
For the majority of stores, managing a YouTube channel is too much to deal with while also working on the logistics of your store. Fortunately, there are a bunch of channels out there that focus on your target audience. From fashion to cooking and everything in between. There is a YouTube channel you can pitch your product and brand to.
How to Pitch a YouTuber
There are a ton of resources out there to help your store with PR. Most of them are telling you to do the same thing. People will tell you that it is a numbers game, but is it really? Send out an email following a certain template to every media outlet you can think of. That will get you exposure. Trust me that doesn’t work!
I recently sat down with a YouTuber with over 60,000 subscribers on YouTube alone, and asked what it takes to pitch your product. Robin James answers the questions you have been dying to know.
But before we go into the specifics, I want to give you some background info on Robin. There is a common misconception regarding YouTube personalities that I really want to debunk. If a YouTuber has a sizeable following, it is not a hobbyist with an Iphone, the channel is their business so treat it as such.
Robin James, Man For Himself
YouTubers are not free media. You need to treat their channel as if you are contacting another business. Robin has a MA in Politics and History from the University of Glasgow; and an MA in Broadcast Journalism from City University, London before starting his professional life in TV.
I am giving you this background not to show you that Robin is an awesome guy (even though he is), I do it to show you that he is not just a YouTube hobbyist. Most channels that have a tailored following are not hobbies. They are a business, so treat it like one when you pitch your store or product.
“YouTube channels are businesses, and if you do not treat them that way you will not be pitching your product/store effectively”
Now that I have gotten that very useful tip out of the way, we can go into what Robin recommends you do when pitching a YouTube channel.
A YouTuber’s Tips to Pitch a YouTube Channel
In this section I will go over the questions I asked Robin to help you better pitch a YouTube channel, and follow it up with a summary of Robin’s answer.
Let’s get into it:
What is the Best Way to Get a Hold of a YouTuber for Business Inquiries?
If you are looking to pitch your store or brand to a YouTuber you should do it via email. The majority of large audience channels will have an accompanying website. They set up emails for this exact reason, so use this instead of trying to reach out in the comments or via social media.
You can find the prefered email address for the channel you are targeting by going to the about section of the channel, and selecting “view email address” beside business inquiries.
You can also check to see if there is a contact section on their site. Remember this is a business, you would want to keep business related discussions logged in your inbox as well.
How Should a Brand Discuss Working With You?
Robin was emphatic with his disregard for clearly templated emails. If it looks like it was sent to 10 other people, it will be ignored. He explained that if a company can not take the time to craft a personal email, they are not going to be someone he wants to work with.
He also likes when brands are straight to the point. “We are both professionals, so let’s get to the point of how we can help each other out.” Basically explain what you are looking to get from the YouTuber, and explain what you can do for them, or what you can pay. You do not always have to pay to access a YouTuber’s audience, as Robin explained in my next question.
What Makes You Want to Work With a Brand?
When I asked Robin this question he reiterated that the channel is a business, if the brand states they have budget to work on a project that always gets things going. But, money isn’t the only reason a YouTuber will work with a brand.
Obviously YouTubers produce content they are passionate about. In Robin’s case he is passionate about Men’s lifestyle (clothing, grooming, and styling). If you can provide them with something that plays on their passion, you can get them excited without paying.
Robin describes exciting opportunities as products that are groundbreaking or work to solve a common problem of his audience. He described this as products that could stop balding or stop oiliness etc…
He also likes when a brand can offer something money can’t buy, like early access to a product.
What Gets a Brand an Instant No From You?
This is something that drives Robin crazy. If you are going to pitch your product to a YouTuber you need to know about them and their channel. The reason Robin agreed to do this interview is because I am a subscriber of the channel and he knew I was educated on the channel.
Take the time to learn everything you can about the YouTuber and the channel. Robin says it is very obvious when someone says they love the channel and choose a random video to reference. Moral of the story, research and research more before reaching out.
An Irrelevant Product
Robin is frustrated when people contact him with cheap and low quality products. This is because Robin’s channel focuses on showing men things they can use to improve their fashion and grooming lives.
Make sure your product is something that you think is very relevant to the audience of the channel you are pitching.
Pitched to Every Other YouTuber in The Space
YouTubers talk to other YouTubers. If you are flogging your wears to every channel on the block, word will get around. A YouTube channel is followed because it produces original content. If the channel thinks that 5 others are going to create the same thing then why would they want to?
About the The Video Itself
After asking Robin about pitching the product, I asked him a couple of questions about the videos he produces. I found some interesting information for you guys. Here is what I asked.
What Do You Think is The Best Type of Video for Brands?
Robin knows that a store wants to be able to generate sales from a video, and that is what you want to. He thinks that the best videos to do for brands is a review video or a tutorial. Both these videos show the product in use and creates social proof.
It is easy for a viewer to make a connection between the video and actually making a purchase. They see that he likes the product, and it is proven to work. A viewer will think “I could use that.”
What is Your Favorite Video to Produce?
“I like to create videos that get to show of my creativity, they are usually more subjective than a tutorial video or such.”
While tutorials and reviews are great for brands, they require little creativity. As a creator, Robin likes videos that allow him to be a little more expressive. Below is one of Robin’s most recent videos and favorite of his.
This gives you some insight in pitching a channel. If you let them have a little more creative freedom, you will keep them happy and might be able to get something extra special.
The Number One Piece of Advice
My final question for Robin was, what is your number one piece of advice to someone trying to pitch a brand to a YouTuber? He responded with: “Be Honest!”
“Just Be Honest!”
Both parties have an objective in this relationship, so be honest and open about what you hope to accomplish and achieve. If the two are not aligned, it is better to know that early. You would hate to sink hours into something that goes nowhere.
As a thank you to Robin for his insight, go ahead and subscribe to his channel or follow him on one of his many social accounts.