If you’re shooting content and want to have a place to showcase it, it’s no secret that YouTube gets most of the eyeballs. If you’re wanting to build one, it simple method to just create a channel right? Well, while it’s true that with a Gmail account, you already kind of have one, it’s not just a matter of “if you built it, they will come.” You really have to put some thought into it.
Fortunately, for this Filmmaking 101 chapter, we have found a few things you can do to make that YouTube channel go viral.
1. Target audience. The main thing you want to think about … is who is your audience? Who are you gearing your content towards? YouTube creator Tim Schmoyer says that your audience most important thing to think about when creating your YouTube Channel. “You need to make somebody feel like “this channel is for me,” Schmoyer says. “If you just have a general channel and don’t know who you are targeting, you’re going to make it difficult for your audience to feel that way.” That’s a good point because knowing who your target audience is, determines your content.Not many people remember that ESPN originally stood for the “Entertainment and Sports Network.” They would show sports coverage during the day, and movies at night. It didn’t take long before channel executives saw that when they switched to movies, their ratings plummeted, so they saw that their target audience wanted sports 24/7, and as such, that’s what they got.This also leads to doing some research on what’s popular out there. Evaluate other channels similar to yours. See what videos they’re putting up, and how their views are going. You may not be able to get a dead on accurate accounting, but the number of views in each video is certainly enough to let you know if the idea you’re looking to add to is red hot or not.
2. Value Proposition. What is the value of your channel. “What are you giving to your audience? We all consume content because it’s valuable to us in some way,” adds Schmoyer, “so you need to know what that value is that you’re delivering to them.” The bottom line is to know why people are caring about the content you’re delivering.
3. Delivering strategy. Tim adds that having a strategy or schedule for delivering that valuable content. the idea here is to have a plan to keep providing that content. You have gotten your target audience to come to your sight, but you want them to keep coming by reliably delivering new content on a consistent basis. One viral video gets them to come to your channel, consistent content that they like makes them subscribe and return to it time and again. And since Google AdSense is based on views and subscriptions, that’s a key point. But if you just put out videos every once in awhile, chances are, you’re going to lose viewers rather than gain them. Consistency is the key.
4. Have a strategy to grow. Schmoyer says that this is the one place where budding YouTube channels often drop the ball. “A lot of creators just post a video and hope that it performs on it’s own merits,” Schmoyer says. “You should also put hard work into a strategy that makes your video discovered by the people you want.”
5. Launch Your Channel with Content. Schmoyer suggests launching your channel with at least six videos of content. That way, once someone comes across your channel, they’ll have a few videos to watch, and that makes them want to hit the subscribe button since they know you’re delivering content. “You want to have a library content there, so that when you promote your channel and get traffic, there’s a few things for them to watch to decide if it’s valuable to them,” Schmoyer says.
A great example of this was “Weird Al” Yankovic. For the launch of his last album “Mandatory Fun.” It had been years since Al had hit the charts, and so he devised a release strategy to hit the Internet by storm. Wierd Al made eight videos for all his tracks and phased them out every few days to build on the momentum of the previous video release. The result was a lot of coverage, millions of views, a successful launch, and a Grammy award for Best Comedy Album.
6. Launch your channel to your personal network. To grow your channel, you want to launch it with your own built in audience. We all have a built in audience of our social network … that collection of friends and family that can give you some good feedback to make the channel better in the early days. And if they like it, they can post about your channel on their social network feeds and now you have access to their friends, and their friends, etc. This is how viral actually gets going, and it helps you to get momentum and subscribers by “priming the pump,” as it were.
7. Lastly, evaluate and repeat. Look at your metrics. What’s working, and what isn’t. Evaluating your content enables you to focus on the content that’s resonating, and let lose of the content that isn’t. Think of the ESPN example. Evaluating their content by looking at the ratings enabled ESPN to focus on their core audience. This is true of just about every single TV channel. It also helps you to put your time, money and energy into the video content that’s actually getting views.This one is the most important because it will not only give you an idea on if your content is providing that value you’re looking for, but also if you’ve focusing on a category of content which may be over crowded. The real popular thing right now on YouTube is “lets play” videos, where you play video games and people watch as you comment on them. It’s so big that YouTube went out and bought Twitch, a popular broadcast portal for gaming. But frankly, the genre is getting pretty crowded, with a small segment of YouTubers getting thousands of viewers and the rest just getting a few dozen. This could be due to the kind of game being played or it could be that the genre is just too congested.This also leads to evaluating other channels similar to yours. See what videos they’re putting up, and how their views are going. You may not be able to get a dead on accurate accounting, but the number of views in each video is certainly enough to let you know if the idea you’re looking to add to is red hot or not.
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