Starting a YouTube channel can be a daunting task. You may be asking yourself questions such as 'How can I be discovered on YouTube?' or 'How do I get more subscribers to my channel?'. If you follow these simple tips then you will be well on your way to a successful YouTube channel.
1. Find the focus of your channel
Like all successful marketing you should always start with research. The first question you need to answer is 'What is my channel offering?'. In order to answer the following questions you need to have a clear focus for your channel. Whether this be tutorials on how to use your products, product announcements or answering frequently asked questions, your creativity is the only barrier. It could even be an amalgamation of different types of video.
There are a few reasons why knowing the focus of your channel is important. The first is that it will help you find who your target audience is (more on this in the next tip). Secondly it will help when researching your competition. You can either try to improve on what they are already doing or find a gap in the market and produce content that no-one else is. Lastly it will let your viewers know what the expect in the future from your channel. If they know and like the type of content you produce then they will be more likely to come back for more.
2. Find your target audience
This may be the most important piece of research you will undertake. As you know, to sell to your ideal client you need to know who your ideal client is, this is no different when it comes to YouTube.
Knowing who your target audience is will dictate the type of content you produce as well how you can reach your audience outside of YouTube. For example if you are selling custom hand made jewellery then your target audience would most likely be female, aged 18-30 who use sites like Pinterest to find new and exciting products. You could produce videos showing how you make the jewellery and how much dedication, effort and care go into all of your products. You could also produce videos introducing members of the team to give a more personalised look at your company and get your clients more emotionally involved.
If you run a plumbing business then your target audience will be completely different and would change where you will find your customers and what types of content they are interested in.
3. Know where your target audience are outside of YouTube
Following on from the last tip you need to know what other websites your audience use outside of YouTube. This will become important when you are sharing your videos as it will allow you to reach more of your ideal clients.
Don't just focus on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you should also be looking for popular blogs, news websites etc. which relate to your product or service.
4. Link to your YouTube channel in as many places as possible
From this point on I will assume that you have created your first video, of course this is also something we can help with.
This seems like a no brainer but I can't count the amount of times I have been on a Facebook page yet I still have to google a company to find their YouTube channel. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find your YouTube channel. There are plenty of places to add a link to your YouTube channel such as:
- On every page of your website in the header or footer
- In the about section on Facebook
- In your company description on LinkedIn as well as your personal bio
- In your Twitter profile description
The list goes on.
5. Use a custom thumbnail
When uploading a video, YouTube will automatically pick a frame from your video to use as a thumbnail. From the settings menu for your video you can either pick a different frame from the video or use a custom thumbnail.
We always recommend using a custom thumbnail for your videos as a good thumbnail will catch peoples attention and give a good idea at a glance of what the video is about. You can use images, text or a mixture of both, this will be dictated by your target audience.
We will be writing a blog post on how to create a custom thumbnail in the future and providing a custom thumbnail with your video is also a service we offer.
Ironically the video below on what makes a good thumbnail has a terrible thumbnail.
6. Share the video
Sharing your video should involve a lot more than posting 'Check out our new video' to Facebook. You should aim to make your post as informative as possible to get the attention of the potential viewer. This can include using a great quote from your video or asking a question such as 'Would you like to see how much goes in to making each of our products? Then take a look at our latest video.'
It is also a great idea to advertise or boost your post for 3 to 5 days. Most social media sites offer this function and allow you to customise the audience your post will be shown to. This is another area where your research will come in handy. Advertising your post will allow you to reach a new audience and new customers. It also a relatively cheap form of marketing.
Don't stop at just the social media sites either. Get in touch with bloggers who cover your area of expertise and ask them to write a post about it on their blog. Write posts in the forums of popular websites related to your product. Submit your video to related news sites.
Just make sure you don't spam anyone.
7. Engage and interact with your audience
This is a great way to get your customers to take an interest in your channel and your products/services. Make sure you reply to comments on your video on YouTube, both positive and negative and use the comments and suggestions to shape the future of your channel.
Engaging with your audience outside of YouTube is just as important. Whether it is replying to a comment on your own your Facebook page or tweeting a customer who has shared your video.
Engaging with your audience shows your customers that you care and helps to build up a connection which will keep them coming back for more.
8. Include a call to action
All of your videos should include a call to action at the end. This tells the viewer what they should do next after watching the video. The call to action will vary on the type of video you produce but can include any of the following:
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel
- Ask a question/let us know what you think in the comments
- Visit the website for more information
- Check out another one of our videos
- Subscribe to our newsletter
The possibilities are endless.
9. Make a channel trailer
When you visit a channel on YouTube, one of the first things you will see, if you haven't subscribed, is a channel trailer. These are short videos that quickly sum up what your channel offers and what makes you different.
After viewing your video and clicking on your channel to see what else you offer, your channel trailer should give the viewer all the information they need to get them to subscribe and get back to watching more of your videos.
Channel trailers are also good to use for advertising either through YouTube or other social media sites.
10. Study your YouTube analytics
YouTube analytics give a vast amount of information such as:
- Where the viewers came from to view your video
- How long viewers watch your videos for
- What action the viewers take after watching the video
- Where in the world your viewers are
- The demographic of your viewers
- The platform the content was viewed on
This information should shape the future of your YouTube channel. For example you may find that most of your traffic is coming from a certain social media site more than others. This allows you to focus more of your attention and marketing budget on that site to improve your return on investment.
Another example would be to study your viewer retention rate. Viewer retention rate shows you how long viewers watch your videos for before clicking elsewhere. You may find from this information that viewers are clicking off within the first 15 seconds which could mean that you are not capturing the viewers attention quickly enough. Or you may find that viewers are clicking off around two thirds of the way through your video, meaning you need to shorten your videos and make them more concise.
After implementing these 10 tips you should hopefully be on the way to building a successful YouTube channel. We haven't even touched on YouTube SEO as this is a subject that will be broken down in to multiple blog posts in the future.
I hope you have found this post useful and I'd love to hear what you think by leaving a comment below.
If you are looking for partner to help you produce video content for your YouTube channel then get in touch to see how we can help.