Ah, YouTube. Seldom mentioned with major social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, yet still a household name. Many brands don’t leverage YouTube to its fullest extent – which can mean a major missed opportunity.
The site boasts approximately 1 billion unique visitors each month and 6 billion hours of video watched. From a survey of consumers, 80% report that video is helpful when researching a purchase decision. And a report shows that video traffic will comprise 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2019.
However, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s a lot of content, so it’s important to have a strategy that makes your channel stand out from all the noise. Here are five tips on how you can make your YouTube channel a success, from the ground up.
Start with clear goal
Though it’s tempting to create a channel just for the sake of doing it, take a step back and think about your goals. Why are you joining YouTube? What content do you want to showcase? Do you want subscribers, likes, views, or all of the above? Set numerical goals to quantify how much you want, and in what timeframe you want it, so you know if you’re getting value or falling short.
Be consistent with your content
Once you’ve leapt into YouTube, it’s easy for your channel to stagnate. Make sure you have at least 5 videos planned out and pre-recorded before you launch the channel. Decide on what you want to do with your content – do you want to release a video on the same day on a weekly basis, for example? Do you want to plan content around key product launches you see coming in the future, or seasonal events? Laying out a schedule with content, dates, and times, as well as fine-tuning the roadmap to filming the content and getting it on YouTube, will allow you to stay consistent (and keep you sane).
It’s all about the visuals, so clean up shop
First off, what’s your YouTube name going to be? What will serve as your “channel trailer,” aka the first video that automatically plays when people come to your channel’s home page? Will you organize your videos into playlists? Organization and layout are key when it comes to YouTube, because keeping your channel visually appealing and easily navigable can help you gain subscribers. Make sure the thumbnails (the pictures that will represent your videos before people press ‘play’) are clean and representative of the content. Don’t forget to tag your channel and videos with relevant topics and keywords to make them easier for searchers to find.
Part of creating a YouTube channel is raising initial awareness. To do this, you can feature your video content and channel across platforms – do you have a blog, an e-newsletter, and/or other social channels? If you do, feature your videos or channel with links on those those platforms.
Be analytical – it’s critical
As time goes on, so does the YouTube channel creation and re-creation process. Remember those goals you set back when you first got started? Make a point to continuously track your progress against them. A great tool to help do this is YouTube’s analytics platform. It offers a variety of reports, including watch time reports that describe audience retention, demographics, and traffic sources. It also provides you with engagement stats, such as the amount of likes you’re getting, comments, and shares, which help you make sure you’re engaging your users. If you’re not, you’ll have to reassess how you can craft and create your channel’s future content to become better. The next step should be to dive into your website Analytics. Are you getting traffic from YouTube? Is it driving interest in what you do? While the content lives on YouTube, the goal should be to drive people to your website as well.
Don’t give up! YouTube is a very challenging medium that requires effort, patience, and experimentation. As long as you follow through on the above tips consistently, you’ll be well on your way to a channel that’s the envy of your competitors.