Soul of the Streets

Making Money from Travel Videos: Sponsors and Partnerships

Posted June 01, 2017
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People often ask us: How do I make money from my videos?

There are a number of ways you can turn your videos into a business, but let's look at one in particular: sponsorship and partnership.

Advertising has been the backbone of TV and video since its inception. Many people believe that as TV migrates to the Internet advertising will go away, but this is not going to be the case. What may change, and already has in many ways, is the way that adevertisers present themselves.

On the web we are used to seeing traditional commercials run before a video (of pre-roll as it is called) but what is happening more and more is sponsored content. In other words, advertisers are teaming up with content producers to make content that is relevant to the company's business -- and in most cases features the company logo somewhere in the video. You've probably seen these kinds of videos on the web whether you are aware of it or not. Be in the Morton Salt sponsored OK GO music video, Food Network sponsored BuzzFeed cooking videos, or Korean Air sponsored Great Big Story Seoul series

The latter is an interesting case study for us. Great Big Story, the CNN owned video channel that features VJ style short documentaries, has partnered with Korean Air for a series about the characters of the streets of Seoul -- ranging from street balancing artists, to street food, longboarding and more.  For Korean Air, they are sponsoring videos about Seoul to highlight it as a destination and promote travel to the city (which hopefully will be done through Korean Air). For Great Big Story, they are getting money from the sponsor to make videos that they would already make, just with a particular set of criteria from the sponsor. Rather than buy TV ads across different programs, Korean Air wants to use content that people engage with and seek out to promote their message and business. 

This is a good case study for how you can monetize your video business. Now you may not work on the scale of Great Big Story or have the contacts that they do, but this is still a very real possibility and way to make money from your video work. The first thing to look at is the kind of videos you are making. In the case of Great Big Story they make character videos about people all over the world, so there is a travel element. Therefore a travel company, like Korean Air, is a good fit for them.

This works with any niche, and also at more regional or local levels. Say your niche is also travel videos, look for a partner in that space, like a regional travel company or resort in the area, and send them some of your stuff. If your niche is food (even better if it's a specific type of food) look for a company in that industry to partner with -- like a food magazine or restaurant management company.

What you need to get your foot in the door with advertisers like these is either previous success, or an active audience. In Great Big Story's case they have both: they have a huge amount of followers and have had previous experience with part partnerships. How can you attain this? 

Getting a large following comes down to a few key factors including compelling and perfectly executed content, exposure, promotion and content subject. When you are growing an audience early it always helps to have a defined niche so you have a built in audience. This part may be hard to pull of.

An easier route is through successful partnerships (and this will help grow your personal audience). Don't go right away for the big fish like Korean Air. Start small, start local, and start with a low price and get a few good deals under your belt. This way, when you are pitching to the bigger fish, you have an excellent track record to point to.

You can do this, just get out there and do it!

Want to learn all about making money? Check out our business courses and learn how to start making money from your videos today!


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