YouTube is big business for brands and influencers alike: the top ten YouTube earners in 2017 are pulling in millions annually and brands rely on their own channels and content created by others to get exposure to the millions of people watching YouTube each day.
60 percent of people have stated they prefer online video platforms over regular TV and 80 percent watch YouTube at least monthly. On mobile alone, Brandwatch found that YouTube reaches people in the 18 to 49 age bracket more than any TV network. This means an interesting and helpful YouTube channel can both be successful financially and help brands reach more people.
If you have a YouTube channel and are looking to do product reviews or giveaways, it’s important to create high-quality videos that are useful to your viewers. A well-rounded review will get more shares, views, and comments than those lacking insightful information or are uninteresting to watch.
Popular videos benefit both the creator and the brand– the creator gets more views on their videos and the brand gets more exposure to potential buyers. The following are some best practices for product reviews and giveaways on YouTube.
How to Do Product Reviews on YouTube
The most successful product reviews come across as genuine and are a real opinion of the product. Even though many YouTubers like reviewing products they pay for out of pocket, this is also possible to do with a paid partnership, meaning the company is paying you to review their products.
Even though companies want influencers to be fair and honest, they also expect a relatively positive review since they’re paying the influencer for their time. Either way, disclose if you received any product for free or are being compensated in any way to publish a review. Many viewers don’t necessarily care if a video is sponsored or not; they mainly want creators to be upfront about it and to give a useful opinion.
A good example of honest and entertaining product reviews that have turned into big business for their creators is Ryan ToysReview, which now has over 16 million subscribers. The channel features a six-year-old boy reviewing toys and has expanded into a toy line at Walmart, animation features, and more. The videos are so successful because you can tell the host (Ryan) is a happy kid that enjoys doing videos. If he didn’t seem like he was having fun, kids and parents wouldn’t want to watch.
In this example, we get to see how much fun Ryan is having. The videos still have a “home camcorder” feel, which makes them more authentic and trustworthy.
When filming product reviews on YouTube, be sure to include the following attributes:
- A demonstration of how the product works
- The basic information about the product, e.g. the price, size, and where you got it
- What you liked about the product
- What you didn’t like
- Whether or not you will use it or buy it again
- Information about the product in the video title and description
YouTube creator Brittany from VasseurBeauty does a good job of this. Her videos feature reviews on products from specific stores, like IKEA and Amazon:
She also links to the products in the description, another useful attribute for product review videos.
Pairing Giveaways With Product Reviews
In addition, Brittany also regularly does sponsored and non-sponsored giveaways of products she likes to subscribers of her YouTube channel. Usually, the requirements of these giveaways are to enter using a giveaway service like Woobox and to comment on the video or subscribe to the channel.
The Benefits of YouTube Giveaways
Many YouTube creators pair product reviews with giveaways, especially if it is a sponsored review. Giving away products is a great way to get more exposure for the product and to grow the channel (especially if one of the requirements for entry to a subscription to the YouTube channel).
Giveaways also allow YouTube creators the opportunity to showcase what they can offer brands. By doing product reviews, you are building up a portfolio of reviews that allow paid sponsors to see your style. This lets them envision how they could work with you for their own products. Additionally, brands can see the reception a user’s videos get and what type of engagement they see with product reviews.
How to Run Giveaways on YouTube Product Review Videos
Whether you are running a giveaway on YouTube as part of a partnership with a brand or not, you have to follow mostly the same steps:
- Iron out what product you’re reviewing and outline what you what to make sure you include in the video (pros/cons, price, where to buy, etc). Keep the list where you can see it while you’re recording so you can be sure to include everything. Otherwise, you’ll have to edit snippets of videos together.
- Record the video, using your own voice and unique opinion. When possible, avoid working with brands that try to get you to use scripted reviews, as this won’t match with your channel style and thus, your integrity may suffer with viewers.
- Edit the video.
- Set up the giveaway. Be sure to collect a mailing address or contact information in the form. If you’d like fans to view your video to enter, you can use the password contest entry option. Make sure the password is easy to remember and be sure to include it in the video description so viewers can copy and paste.
- Put the giveaway URL and product purchasing information in the description and in any applicable video notations. Use affiliate links if applicable and be sure to disclose any compensation as per FTC guidelines. Be sure to note when the giveaway ends.
- Double check the video and all copy for mistakes and publish.
- Promote the video and giveaway URL through social media, blog, email, or other online channels as needed.
- After the giveaway deadline pick a winner via your preferred method or tool.
- Make sure the winner has fulfilled all the requirements of entering.
- Send the winner his or her prize.
If you are working with a brand, be sure to follow any additional guidelines they may have about publishing, promotion, or choosing a winner.
Product giveaways on YouTube are great to pair with product reviews because they drive more interest in the product you’re reviewing and it may make your videos visible to more people. For instance, many users will search keywords relating to “giveaway” on YouTube or social media to find contests to enter.
Product reviews and giveaways are a really fun video format for YouTube creators. Giving your honest opinion on products relevant to your audience opens the door to a conversation with your viewers and also gives brands a chance to reach more people. When you are honest, helpful, and entertaining in your reviews, you’ll find that you’ll get more views and giveaway entries. This usually leads to more reviews, as brands enjoy working with YouTube creators that get viewers excited about products they’re using.
To see the benefits and best practices for facilitating YouTube product reviews and giveaways from a brand perspective, read the next blog in this two-part series on YouTube giveaways.