Many of my readers here at Pixel Whizz might not realise – but I actually started my online career as a YouTube personality. On my old YouTube channel, I used to review the latest and greatest in consumer technology. I now work full time for a living in the tech and startup world, specialising in video and YouTube marketing.
Throughout the 3-4 year journey growing my YouTube channel and online brand, I amassed a following of over 75,000 subscribers along with over 15 million video views. Over this time, I learned a ton about both online video marketing and community growth.
It wasn’t a choice I took lightly – but I decided to move forward with a ‘proper’ career instead of one ran from my bedroom. Thankfully, the skills I learnt throughout growing my technology channel to one of the largest in the UK, are all applicable to almost any form of online marketing.
YouTube is one of the largest potential online goldmines for business success.
It’s also one of the hardest networks to succeed at. It takes a ton of hard work, a ton of personality and a whole lot of time spent on it.
Consistency is king
Consistency is the most important thing in any business. If you produce good content, and you consistently do so, you will get noticed online. People will come to read your stuff over time – even if it’s just a trickle.
YouTube is no different. Posting new videos once or twice a week is almost an unspoken requirement. YouTube search is a fantastic way to capitalise on current affairs and trending topics, but longtime subscriber growth comes from your existing community engaging with your stuff. Consistency allows this to happen. High quality videos delivered regularly will allow much more opportunity for engagement and sharing.
Consistency in online business is never a bad thing. This covers everything from your social media to your content production.
Conversation is queen
I briefly just touched on why conversation is so important. More than any other content network, YouTube is a community. Hundreds of little niches of members, all waiting to comment and share your content regularly. These niches are fickle, and people will support and engage with you as much as you support and engage the other way around. YouTube is extremely similar to networks like Reddit from this point of view – if you appear to only be there for marketing, views or money, you most likely won’t become a success. Even larger YouTubers know the value of conversation and will often reply to hundreds of comments on their newest videos.
You need always need a hook
Something has to make you stand out in a sea of noise. For me, this was as simple as my accent. Being an independent British technology reviewer in a sea of Americans was enough to get my name out there and people interested in my channel and brand.
For you, your hook could simply be putting some additional time into your production and elevating yourself from the crowds this way. YouTube is a network that’s carved and dictated by amateurs, but there’s a reason that professionals have jumped to the platform and excelled by producing top notch content. Examples of this include people like Casey Neistat – who’s largest hook (he has many) is that his vlogs are creatively edited and gorgeously shot.
If there happens to be a ton of people in your niche providing blogging tips, how can you stand out from the crowd? Maybe start a whiteboard series, like Moz did. Or inject comedy and a light tone into your videos, like Wistia.
Find your hook, and play this up time and time again.
Present real value
YouTube is a place for both entertainment and information. The key though, and where you’re going to find YouTube success, is if you combine the two. Of course there are exceptions to this rule – a ton of famous vloggers don’t really present much information to their audience, and just bank on providing excess entertainment.
For a new starter though, one of the best ways to find YouTube success is to solve a problem.
From this point of view, YouTube is similar to Search Engine Optimisation. Demand driven terms like “New iPhone Review” or “How do I chose the best DSLR” are fantastic ways to hook into a new viewer and convert them into a loyal subscriber.
By presenting value again and again, and enticing viewers to become a regular viewer – which can be achieved by using your hook and being different – over time your channel will grow. Expect slow growth initially, however this will speed up exponentially over time.
Network, network, network
YouTube marketing is almost impossible in an insular bubble.
If you’re not networking with other YouTubers in the same space as you, you’re doing it all wrong. Twitter is the best place to achieve this in my opinion – as often you’ll be able to reach out to other creators extremely easily.
Follow them, tweet them, direct message them. Send your videos over to them for critique, whilst also sharing everyone else’s videos. Soon you’ll be networking with the best of the best, and it won’t be long until you become one.
There’s no alternative for hard work
Unfortunately YouTube is not about quick wins. Sure, you might have the odd video go viral, but if you go onto the YouTube homepage right now, I can promise you that every channel appearing to you has at least 100 videos. Most will have over 500.
There’s no work around for having to produce a lot of material, and spending a long time on the material. Just remember, the rewards for putting this work in will be great.