When it comes to YouTube, you’re allowed to include paid product placements, endorsements and other similar brand sponsorships, but the video has to be in-line with full disclosure. How do you disclose product placement & sponsorships on YouTube? This begins with acknowledging that the video contains paid promotion to viewers, and also notifying YouTube that the content does have some sort of commercial “relationship” that can include endorsements, paid product placement and so on.
Interestingly enough, and contrary to what so many creators and advertisers believe, disclosure can improve the viewer’s perception to hear the honest truth. It all depends upon just how you disclose product placement and sponsorships on YouTube.
As a YouTuber, You Should Definitely Provide Disclosure
A friend tells another friend about an amazing product or service through a social media link. That friend takes what they see and keeps the information in mind when next choosing to purchase a related item or service. They act on the initial recommendation only to be deeply disappointed. They tell the friend and learn that the friend was paid for recommendations. This leaves the recipient of the information feeling misled.
Naturally, you may feel a bit leery about disclosure because of your viewers’ response, but you can do it in a way that doesn’t have to seem so unappealing. Whether you’re paid or provided free product, you need to consider disclosing this fact. As a YouTube creator, you should definitely do so for your viewers. Now, before you say you will be ruining your chances for a viewer to take the actions you desire, keep in mind that you don’t have to make your disclosure a huge advertising statement. So, just how can you disclose product placement and sponsorships on YouTube? Here’s a couple of steps to follow:
Step 1) Verbal Disclosure Within Your Video
Let’s say that you are someone who makes YouTube videos on healthy meals and you’ve received inquiries from brands that want to sponsor your channel. If you are doing a vlog or some sort of video content, you should disclose any free products or the fact that you are giving them a paid promotion in the video.
You don’t have to make it an awkward or unappealing statement. As an example, “Thanks to the team over at Amazingly Amazing Healthiest Health Foods for supporting my channel by sponsoring this video and supplying me with the products we’re using today.” You can then go on to explain why you chose their brand. The point is, this is a great example of how to disclose product placement & sponsorships on YouTube verbally.
Step 2) Your YouTube Video Description
Next, you should also consider including a disclosure of paid promotions or sponsorship in the YouTube video description. For example, when providing your honest take on the brand, you can include something like “This video was sponsored by [Company Name]. All options are my own” in the description box.
hough this alone may not be enough to satisfy the rules, being doubly honest can itself be doubly rewarding. Viewers see you are dedicated to disclosure and feel more trust – even if you have been compensated for vlogging whatever you are doing.
Step 3) YouTube Content Declaration
Lastly, YouTube makes it remarkably easy to comply with their requirements by opening your “Creator Studio” and incorporating a check box in the “Video Manager”. Then, simply press edit on your sponsored YouTube video, and open the “Advanced Settings”. From there, you can check the box that says “This video contains paid promotion such as paid product placement, sponsorships or endorsements”.
Though YouTube does still run ads against your videos, by letting them know about your video sponsorship, they typically eliminate ads that are in direct conflict with your brand or sponsor during that video.
Optional Step) YouTube’s New Disclosure Feature
YouTube also has a new feature that allows vloggers to include a visible text overlay disclosure for the first few seconds when viewers select your video. It is activated in the same way as the YouTube Content Declaration (above) but when checking the first box, you can also opt to select the second box which runs the ten second “Includes paid promotion” line in the video.
Remember, we’re not legal experts or lawyers, so don’t take this as “legal advice”. That being said, most of us are told that honesty is the best policy. When considering how to disclose product placement and sponsorships on YouTube, it is the essential policy and one that can actually reward you with greater audience trust!
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