Welcome to the first show in our new video tips and advice series – How To’s Day! We thought we’d kick off with advice, tips, and best practices for starting your own show on YouTube. So, what’s the first tip? Above all else, just do it. In my opinion, the best content on YouTube wasn’t planned. It was made by passionate creators doing what they love until something sticks. Planning ahead can shorten the time it takes for something to stick, but it is no substitute for passion and perseverance, so get started!
10 Key Things to Consider When Starting a New Video Show
I could probably make an 8 hour seminar on this course and still not fully cover it, so consider these points the bare minimum when starting out. And as with just about anything related to online video, the YouTube Playbook is a wealth of information when starting out and even once your show/channel has been established. The following ten “things” were borrowed from YouTube’s “10 Fundamentals of a creative strategy on YouTube.” Despite the fact that this was authored specifically by and for YouTube, we really feel that YouTube did an excellent job outlining 10 solid fundamentals that should apply to any new video creative strategy. So whether you are making video for Vine, Facebook, Amazon or the granddaddy of them all, YouTube, take notes.
#1 Sharability: Make Content Made to be Shared
It is imperative that the content you create can be shared. That sounds like a no brainer but there is a lot more to it than that. Viewers must be able to connect with you on some emotional level. You can do that by being relatable and covering topics that are not only relevant to your target audience, but are also active being discussed in your particular community or group.
Videos are also shared because they are valuable. If your content provides sufficient value to the viewer on any level, chances are better that they will share it with like-minded individuals and friends.
#2 Conversation: Create Video Content That’s Talked About
Online viewers crave conversation. If your content doesn’t lend to conversation, have secondary/supplementary content (across multiple platforms) to start the conversation. A great example of this is the RocketJump channel and their series VGHS on YouTube. Although the series is inspiring in and of itself, it does not inherently start a two-way conversation with viewers. For that reason, they have a second channel that shows behind the scenes footage. They are active on other social media platforms to engage with the audience and they also have a weekly podcast. If your main content is not conversational, supplement it with something that is!
#3 Interactivity: Make Interactive Video Content
Wonderful examples of interactivity can be found with the best content creators. One of the most successful series on YouTube was based on such a concept. Rapper DeStorm Power did a weekly challenge video where he would ask his viewers for a topic and then make a rap to it the following week. It was a tremendous success and led him winning an American Music award in 2011 for New Media Honoree (Male).
Find a way to give viewers a voice and they will thank you for it. Making a new series or channel is always a team effort, whether you believe it or not.
#4 Consistency: Be Consistent and Stick to a Schedule
Consistency should be practiced in all facets of publication. When viewers know what they are to expect and enjoy it, they are more likely to come back for more. The simplest way to remain consistent is to have a schedule. There certainly can be a better time and day for publishing, but more importantly have a schedule and stick to it. It creates one more way to encourage viewers to revisit your series and make it a regular part of their lives.
Keeping a consistent personality and face of the channel is of equal importance. Once you are beginning to gain an audience, any significant change in personality can have disastrous effects on a channel. It is of the utmost importance that viewers can trust that your voice remains consistent.
Another pillar of consistency is the formatting of the content. Viewers who like what they see will expect it to be equally as good or better the next time around. This is true of both the format of the presentation and its visual and audio quality.
#5 Targeting: Understand Your Core Audience
Use the analytics built into sites like YouTube or a third-party tool to properly target your audience. Who do you want to watch the show, what do they like? Is that the type of viewer you’ll be getting from making your show the way you plan to?
Target viewers not only on a video to video basis, but at the show level and channel level as well.
#6 Sustainability: Make a Video Show That Lasts the Course
The audience loves the show, now what? Is this something that is easily duplicated? One of the most important things in online video is maintaining a viewer’s attention. There are constant distractions online, so be sure that not only the content is repeatable, like this how to series, but that the production budget remains constant from episode to episode. A big budget launch turned budget film can quickly discourage viewers.
#7 Discoverability: Optimize for Search and Being Found Easily
This is a big one and is becoming increasingly important. With the saturated landscape that is online video, it’s no longer a slam dunk that content is discoverable. That is, able to easily be found through search or related videos. If you plan to launch your series on YouTube, this is even more important. Not only is YouTube a video hosting service and social media site, but it’s the second largest search engine in the world. Your content must be easily searchable.
By following trends, tent-pole events or other relevant videos, you can in effect “catch the wave” of viewers watching the content. A great example of this would be something like the popular ice bucket challenge from last year. Find your own take, relevant to your channel and piggyback on that success.
Another option to aid in discoverability is to make evergreen content. Unlike following trends, evergreen content tends to get less views per year. On the other hand, evergreen content continues to get those views year after year so long as the information remains relevant. They do not die with the trend like an ice bucket challenge video would.
A great trick to finding topics to cover would be to begin entering them into Google search and seeing how Google completes that search. It is likely that is an ongoing and time-tested search term that should yield added discoverability.
#8 Accessibility: Make Video Content That Can Stand on its Own
Each episode should be able to stand alone, yet encourage viewers to search out the rest of your content. It would be a significant challenge for a series like “Lost” to thrive in the online landscape currently. The less series context needed to enjoy episodes on a stand-alone basis, the easier it will be on your series/show.
#9 Collaboration: Look for Other Creators to Work With
Leave room for collaboration. Work with other creators that have similar audiences to cross promote your channel/show. Audiences, especially on YouTube, have been trained in subscribing, commenting and sharing the content. It is the quickest way to promote your channel. And just collaborating isn’t enough. If the other producer isn’t willing to PROMOTE the content, it isn’t really a collaboration. They should be as proud of the final product as you are and eager to share it with their fans.
#10 Inspiration: Inspire Your Viewers So They Keep Returning
This is perhaps the most important of all tests and speaks back to my opening remarks. True passion must be a component of the series. If you genuinely love what you are doing, chances are viewers will too. Not only will the passion attract audiences, but that drive will help you keep up with the day-to-day operations that make a channel/show successful.
Think about these 10 main points when creating a new channel/show and you’ll lay the groundwork for being successful. That being said, which of these points do you think is most important in your experiences? Let us know in the comments below. Also, please let us know what you would like to see us cover in future episodes of “How To’s Day”?