So far VidCon has been just under 45,000 steps for me. I know this because my phone, for some reason, has a built in pedometer. That’s the equivalent of just over 24 miles I’ve walked related to VidCon and it really echoes the information in the panels here at the conference. If you want to succeed in online video, whatever your goal, you need to take the extra step and go the extra mile with your content. What are those steps? We have 7 for you right here:
#1 YouTube has become a team sport. Find your team.
One quick solution is to join an MCN, although panelists like musician Peter Hollens urge strongly against a move like that for smaller channels. Instead, some suggest you simply find and collaborate with like-minded creators in an effort to build or join a community that supports each other on the path to mutual success.
#2 Don’t be distracted by the numbers.
For some, success is measured in dollars, but underscoring the money is the message of building meaningful relationships with an audience.
#3 YouTube is still rewarding watch time
Not just over one video, but over an entire viewing session. So use analytics and audience feedback to optimize watch time when making videos but also work to ensure that a viewer watches another video on the site and ultimately subscribes and has a reason to come back again and again.
#4 Be a person, not a brand
Whether you are making vlogs or high budget content, the YouTube platform gives each account the ability to operate like a person. Interact with viewers on a personal level and utilize all of the tools on the site to do so. Comment on and watch other videos. Add videos aside from your own to playlists. Molly Templeton from Everybody at Once says that success comes from helping others first, as the YouTube community at large is a “back scratching” community.
#5 Use common elements in titles, tags and descriptions
Going this extra step will ensure that your videos are more closely related to each other. This is by no means a quick fix to the YouTube algorithm, which according to YouTube is fed best by, “enhancing the human experience”, but it will help videos gain more exposure when one of them catches on with viewers. This is a much more robust strategy than just relying on native search.
#6 Be a fan of your fans
Find out what makes your fans excited about your content and work to replicate that on a personal level with each and every one of them. That can be difficult as a channel grows, but there is a lot of value in an excited fan who becomes more of a friend and champion of your content. It should be a no-brainer at this point that every meaningful comment on a video deserves a reply.
#7 Build another destination
It could be as simple as owning a .com domain that redirects viewers back to a YouTube channel until you are ready to launch something full scale, but according to Rooster Teeth CEO Burnie Burns having an off-YouTube destination to properly monetize content is critical. In the same panel Philip DeFranco said, “YouTube is such a clusterf*ck right now, you need another destination”. Once you have content that people love and come back for, it is your responsibility as a creator to ensure you can continue creating by any means necessary.
These are just some of the many steps that can be taken on the path to success on YouTube. But rest assured none of them can be done without some sacrifice, whether that be time, money or something else. In the end it is all a balancing act between creating quality content that is meaningful to viewers and the back end details that can really propel the videos to another level of success.