YouTube was founded in 2005 and the first video was by Jawed Karim, a co-founder and it was an 18 second video of him in front of elephants. Since then YouTube has become a staple in the online experience with people using it for education, entertainment and inspiration.
YouTube tends to have longer form content when compared to Instagram and LinkedIn. This means more filming, editing and a higher expectation of production quality. However, a successful YouTube video will be replayed much more than other platforms and it can bring your brand to the masses.
1. Define your target audience
A channel with 0 subscribers and views needs to clearly position itself in order to build a community. You may be an orthodontist who wants to communicate with people interested in braces. This means that the language, visuals and information presented must align with the messages on braces. When your channel is sending a clear message about what it offers, it becomes discoverable to the target audience.
2. Thumbnails and titles are as vital as the content
The main reason an individual would click on your video is because of the thumbnail and the title. The title may pose a question that the individual needs an answer to or the thumbnail may spark curiosity around the video.
3. You can win or lose within the first few seconds
When people click on your video, the first few seconds will decide whether they stay to watch the rest of the video or whether they leave. For a new channel, it is best to use the first 5-10 seconds summarising what the person will gain from the video.
4. Link your videos
Make videos that link with each other. This may be through a series you produce or a playlist which groups videos. The longer you can keep your viewers on your channel, the more likely they are to subscribe and YouTube will be more inclined to suggest more of your videos to them.
5. Reply to comments
When people take the time to leave comments on your posts, you should reply and engage with these comments. You can leave a comment on your video and pin it to the top. This can allow you to ask a question, again encouraging viewers to discuss your video.
6. The channel page should match your brand
When viewers come across your videos they may take the next step and go onto your homepage. At this point you can lose potential subscribers if you have not worked on the layout and visuals of the homepage. Make sure to link your website and social media pages on here in case your viewers want to find out more about you.
7. Remind viewers to subscribe
Viewers may be enjoying your content but without a reminder to subscribe they may leave your content and never find their way back to your videos. You can remind viewers to subscribe by voicing it, putting up visual reminders in your videos and using the ‘End screen’ elements.
YouTube can unlock many opportunities for any business but it is a platform which requires commitment, regular content and PATIENCE. I have heard some YouTubers say that it takes 50 videos in order to get to a good level in your use of the platform. With that, I suggest a long-term view with YouTube to put out content for a minimum of a year before judging whether your content is a success or not.