How-To Develop a YouTube Programming Strategy

How-To Develop a YouTube Programming Strategy

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In this week’s Creator’s Tip, we take another deep dive into the new YouTube Creator Playbook for brands, focusing on the need to develop a programming strategy. What is a programming strategy and why is it important? For your content to perform as well as it possibly can, developing a consistent, predictable programming schedule encourages viewers to return to your channel and see what’s new. It’s also helpful because planning out each video ensures that each works together and fits into the larger vision for the channel. Let’s take a look in more detail.

How To Develop a YouTube Programming Strategy

YouTube provides this graphic to illustrate how your channel should use three different kinds of content on your channel and how they should be somewhat spaced apart over the course of a year:

youtube programming strategy

YouTube confirm that there are three main types of branded video content that does well, and we’ll take a look at these different types; Hygiene, Hub, and Hero.

Types of Video Content: Hygiene

This is the evergreen content that people in your industry are always searching for. You make the video once and it will continually bring in a steady stream of views. It’s how-to content, common questions, and tips. It’s the kind of content that answers questions and gives your viewers a solution to an issue they have been trying to solve. Our Creator’s Tip videos are a perfect example of this genre:

Types of Video Content: Hub

Once you’ve captured your viewers by answering one of their questions and showed them that your brand is credible, hub content is what will get those viewers to return. This is the episodic, formatted series or show that your channel publishes on a regular and consistent basis. The Red Bull Decades series on surfing is an excellent example of Hub content:

Types of Video Content: Hero

As your audience continues to build and returns to your videos, now it’s time to really promote your channel with hero content, which are the big “tent-pole” events that are designed to provide massive exposure. This could be a live-streamed event, a viral video, a Google Hangout with top talent, cross promotion with an influencer, or even a made-for-YouTube ad. Often these kinds of events revolve around major cultural events, too, like Christmas or the Super Bowl, or any major event that works well for your industry. A great tool to use to see both how evergreen your video might be and how popular your selected hero event might be is to use It shows you how popular a keyword or search term is over time so you know if it’s declining, growing steadily, or just flatlined. YouTube channel ‘Nice Peter’ scheduled one of their infamous ‘Epic Rap Battles of History’ for Easter 2011. To date, it has attracted over 31.6 million views and still generates engagement from fans in terms of likes and comments.

Keep Your Viewers Coming Back For More

Be sure to include your posting schedule at the end of each video you do so people know when to check back for more. Maybe ask them to subscribe by saying something like, “We’d love to have you subscribe to our channel for videos like this every Thursday! See you next week!” Or maybe just visually display, “New videos every Thursday,” in your end card if saying it verbally doesn’t fit your content very well.

The idea is to not only create a programming strategy, but to communicate it well so viewers know when to check back and expect more videos.

Please let us know in the comments below if you think anything else should be added to this list. The YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands can be downloaded here.


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