Since the early days of YouTube, collaboration has been a key stepping stone for creators to take their channels to the next level. A classic example is Shaycarl getting a shout out from Philip Defranco, eventually making videos with him and the rest is history. Nowadays, collaboration is looked at in a different light. Some creators are skeptical, some creators feel used through collaboration, others feel ignored and some creators just don’t know how to set up a successful, meaningful collaboration even if both parties are interested. The following tips should help you get off to a sure start and help you establish meaningful, smart and rewarding collaborations with other YouTubers.

Tip #1 Collaborate With Similar Audiences, Not Just Channels

Many people will tell you, “Find a channel like yours to collaborate with!” This isn’t bad advice but it’s not the best advice. Content is important but the audience watching that content is more important. After all, you do a collaboration to gain the audience of another YouTuber and turn them into your own audience.

For example, if a vlogger (guy or girl) has an audience of primarily 13-17 year old girls and a beauty guru has the same demographic, those two channels are an ideal fit for collaboration. Their content may be different but if they collaborate in a smart, fun way while still showcasing each of their respective brands, their audience can easily cross over.

Tip #2. Get Creative With Your Video Content

Collaborations that are done well and see the most success are ones that make sure both pieces of content for the collaboration are a logical, cohesive fit for each other. You don’t want the two pieces of content to be too similar but you also don’t want them to be too out of left field.

Our2ndLife members Connor Franta and Ricky Dillon are two good of examples of this. For instance, Connor did a video with British YouTuber Marcus Butler where they talked about how British and American people say the same things in different ways. On Marcus Butler’s channel, they kept the British vs. American theme going but with a pop quiz, true/false video quizzing each on the different countries. This is a good example of staying on a topic while creating two different pieces of content.

Ricky recently did a video with Daily Grace where they each did completely different things. One video was Truth or Dare and the other was them singing karaoke. Completely different, slightly random but both fun and engaging which is what their audiences are there to see and it worked perfectly.

Tip #3 Establish A Marketing Plan, And Stick To It

This probably sounds very “corporate-y” but it’s important to work together with each other when doing a collaboration to make sure that both of your videos gain the maximum amount of attention possible. This means that communication between both YouTubers needs to be open and honest. You need to both decide and agree what you’re willing to do to help both videos succeed.

Here are a few suggestions for questions that should be discussed:

  • Are we putting each other’s videos up as a PIP video within our video to link to via annotations?
  • Are we including each other’s videos in our endslates?
  • Are we both setting up clicktotweet campaigns @ replying both of us?
  • Are we both sharing the video from our own personal social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.)?

All of these questions and more are important to discuss before you move forward with a collaboration or things could turn ugly if you have different ideas of how this should go later on in the collaboration process.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Collaboration is a great way to gain an audience, make connections and showcase your creativity. If you have any questions about collaboration feel free to tweet me, I’d love to help you out with specific collaborations you may be working on.