Have you ever wondered how a YouTube channel gets so many subscribers and generates thousands of viewers everday, like Smosh, PrankvsPrank or many other top YouTube creators? Is there actually a secret recipe for great content for YouTube? Or is it only the matter of unique, informative and entertaining content?
These are all questions I have been asking myself because it is obvious that promotional/marketing channels are now becoming more important. Besides learning how to launching your YouTube campaign, you should also learn how to create successful videos and develop a YouTube content marketing strategy for your brand. To start with, you can check out Creator Playbook for Brands for best practices and strategies for your YouTube channel.
– Build a Content Plan
Having a content plan is important when building your brand. It helps you focus on content ideas for your brand’s goals as well as making you think bout how to engage your audience. The playbook states that you should first define the core content strategy. This should accommodate your audience’s passion and also your brand value proposition.
There are three main ways to add value to your audience. These are Inspire, Educate, and Entertain. Once you define your core content strategy, you should think about the creation of the content. It can be your own content that you create, content that you collaborate on or just different ways to curate existing content.
One last thing that you should not overlook is the content distribution strategy. This is really one of the key parts to gaining momentum and growing a Youtube channel.
– Create Great Content
When talking about creating great content there are 10 fundamental principles you should use. Here are the Ten Commandments for great content.
1) Shareable Content – Understanding the current trends and connecting through emotion are two tactics you can use to get more shares.
2) Collaboration – Research popular YouTube creators and reach out to your target audience through them.
3) Discoverable Topics – Remember that YouTube is also a search engine, the algorithm can’t ‘understand’ the video so be discoverable by optimizing your metadata.
4) Accessibility – Create content that is friendly to new viewers, especially if you are creating a series of videos.
5) Consistency – Consistency on YouTube does not just relate to scheduling regular content. It is also about the format, elements (intro, outros, etc) and the voice.
6) Targeting – Are you targeting a specific niche or a broad audience? You can also learn from your competitors and use your existing videos to guide your content marketing strategy.
7) Sustainability – Creating a popular YouTube channel isn’t a sprint it is a marathon. Plan for the long run.
8) Converse With Viewers – Be social and involve your audience.
9) Interactive Content – This is not just about asking for feedback and replying to comments, but also letting your viewers participate in your videos.
10) Authenticity – Who doesn’t love something authentic? Create videos with passion.
– Schedule Your Content
If you want to hook your audience it’s a good idea to plan out your content for the months ahead. This helps you set deadlines for yourself as well as letting you create a consistent story that your audience can follow.
In regards to the kind of content you should produce, there are three main types: help (videos that quickly and clearly answer your customers queries), hub (regular, scheduled content that provides a reason to subscribe to a channel and return on a regular basis) and hero (big inspiring videos that can create massive step-change to audience growth) content.
Each of these types of content is different, but can be combined in a complimentary way to help and engage your audience. When it comes to a content strategy, you will find that many content creators focus on hub content first before moving on to hero content, which usually needs a large investment to produce.
– Optimize Your Content
Great content is only half of the battle. Since YouTube is a search engine (and a pretty large one too), you should consider to optimize your content. Learn more about Metadata (this includes title, description and tags), thumbnails (it has to be appealing, vibrant and fit with any sizing), annotations (subscribe, navigation, and other CTA), playlists (great for contents that viewers need to see it in a particular order) and channel experience (channel icon, channel art, etc).
– Promote Your Content
If you have already created great content and optimized it, you need to make sure that your target audience sees it. There’s a really great article on Playbook that explains the different strategies that you can use to promote your content effectively. This covers everything from choosing the right campaign through to how to optimize your campaign.
– Amplify with Social
People love direct interaction with the creator of the videos (or, in this case, the brand). Social interaction can be anything from replying to comments, becoming engaged with the community, hosting Google+ Hangouts On Air and also using other social media to generate growth (for example: some people can come to your YouTube from Facebook while others might come via Twitter).
– Measure Your Results
To get the best result, you need to measure the impact of your strategy. There are three main ways that you can do this. They are: Audience (Have you reached the right audience?), Expression (Do they engage with the content? How much is the engagement?) and Participation (Are they willing to share the content? How many social shares did you get?). If you’re running an advertising campaign you can also use Adwords for video to quantify the results.
I hope that I’ve shown you developing a content marketing strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. By developing a strategy, you will be more likely to get great results and come up with great content week after week that your audience can engage with.
Now it’s your turn. Share with me any tips or stories that you have about advertising and building a successful Youtube channel.
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