Many popular style blogs and YouTube channels are currently creating daily sponsored posts. I am writing this post to inform my viewers, and potential advertisers, of my stance and approach to sponsored content on YouTube and this blog.
Details on what constitutes a sponsored video (UK) (ASA): https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/video-blogs-scenarios.html
My Pledges To Viewers/Readers:
A maximum of 50% sponsored posts per quarter (both on YouTube and the blog). This cap is to retain viewer trust and channel legitimacy. I feel daily sponsored content negatively effects such factors. The proportion will likely be far less than 50% in reality.
I will not do sponsored/paid 'review' posts on my YouTube channel or blog. Paid reviews are not 'reviews' by definition, they are not a formal assessment and can be biased and untrustworthy. There may be situations when I do a review post, then in the future, if the brand is suitable, separately arrange to do a sponsored video involving the brand. However, product review posts will remain completely honest and independent of payment or sponsorship arrangements.
I will only create promotional content with brands whose products or services I have tested and believe in, and which I also think offer good value for viewers. Testing will have to be conducted before any sponsored content is made. I reserve the right to reject potential sponsors; whose products do not live up to my standards.
If a post has been sponsored, it will be clearly identified as such in the video descriptions (and verbally in such videos), along with the name of the company sponsoring. With the addition of the YouTube hashtags feature, we will also now be marking sponsored videos with #sponsored (and often #notsponsored or #sponsorfree for non-sponsored content), to be fully transparent. All videos will comply with ASA regulations (you can view them here: https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/video-blogs-scenarios.html) and other financial conduct regulations, such as the FTC. They will also comply with YouTube’s endorsement regulations: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/154235#notify
My Opinion on Sponsored Content
Some viewers understandably have a negative view of sponsored content, possibly as a result of being exposed to a huge percentage of such videos on other YouTube channels. In reality, sponsored videos (when executed correctly) can be beneficial for all parties.
Video sponsors are usually a financial necessity, allowing creators to spend more time and money focusing on YouTube content; in theory, resulting in better content for viewers. Also, Google AdSense revenue, earned through regular YouTube advertisements, is extremely inconsistent and very low; with millions of views per month required to earn the equivalent of minimum wage - it’s unsustainable.
Advertisers also have a great way to have their products showcased to their exact target market, in a shareable, user-friendly video format which still offers value. Viewers themselves can also benefit from exclusive discount codes and expect higher quality videos in the long run, as a result of reinvestment of some sponsor money into future content.
Overall, when approached appropriately, sponsors are fantastic.
Nevertheless, I have been critical of the approach to sponsors taken by some in the style community. Daily sponsored videos can leave regular viewers with a bad taste in their mouths. I’ve also seen many videos, which seem like commercials or sales pitches disguised as ‘content’. I intend to keep providing viewers with valuable content, not allowing the content to be dictated by the necessity for a sponsor in every single post. My content will always follow the YouTube and ASA guidelines. Preserving viewer trust and a community feel is key to the Ben Arthur brand; which in the long run should also provide better conversion for brands and trusted recommendations for viewers.
I hope this page has proved informative for my audience or advertisers and has made clear my approach to sponsorships (and what can be expected from me). To my viewers, I hope you can be supportive of my sponsored posts, in the knowledge that I do not intend to 'sell out'. I am very selective of the brands I work with, and have sacrificed large amounts of additional income; by rejecting brands whose products I wasn’t impressed with, and didn’t want to recommend to my viewers.