The 3 Big Steps for a Successful YouTube Channel

The 3 Big Steps for a Successful YouTube Channel Bridget Quigg Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

As a marketer, you know that high-quality video requires cash and that the more creative you can be, the better. With all that pressure, what are some of the most simple and powerful choices you can make to develop a strong YouTube presence on a budget?

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The following three steps cost you nothing but time and give you lots of room to test and study how YouTube is working for you.

Like any marketing channel, you need to figure out who your audience is, how they like to be addressed, and develop a consistent, signature style that keeps them (and their friends) coming back for more.

Step 1: Figure Out Your Vibe

YouTube videos from companies range from buttoned-up CEO interviews where everyone talks about everyone in the third person, to pumped up teens shredding the gnar-pow and yelling into the camera their camo ski gear. We’ve got many different vibes to choose from, people. What’s yours?

One key decision is whether you’ll talk into the camera, directly at your audience, or entertain them with a show that doesn’t not engage them directly. In theater world, they call it the fourth wall and you either break it or you don’t.

The benefits of talking directly into the camera at your audience is that it’s more casual and friendly. It creates a “we’re with you” energy and makes your brand feel more like a friend who can hang out than an authority for them to admire.

Check out James, the Clairol Color Director. This man is here to help you! He’s so on your side, with plenty of useful information about how to go platinum blonde at home.

The benefits of keeping that fourth wall closed is…well, you’re more likely to come off as an authority for them to admire. Whatever information you’re giving them will seem more weighty, even it if it is where to buy your heavy equipment.

In this testimonial video by John Deere, the man being interviewed doesn’t talk into the camera and the whole video has a more serious vibe because of that.

You can also get more artsy and sophisticated if you don’t talk directly to the audience. You could seem more cool, like Cartier does, for example. Cartier will not be talking directly to us anytime soon. Mais non!

And, what is cooler than driving around Paris in a 1950’s-era Mercedes, flirting with someone using really expensive jewelery? I can’t think of anything.

Keep in mind, if you don’t talk to your audience directly in your video, you have the comments section to engage them even more intimately, sparking chatter and responding to them. Gettin’ social on your social!

Step 2: Study Your Audience

Who are the people behind your “views”? Cheers to YouTube, they offer some handy analytics and a number of reports on your audience. I suggest you look first at their Demographics Report. It tells you information like age, gender, and top locations by views.

YouTube's Demographics Report tells you about your current audience's gender, age, and location.
YouTube’s Demographics Report tells you about your current audience’s gender, age, and location.

You can also use their Traffic Sources Report to find out the sites and YouTube features that viewers use to find your content. The Devices Report and Playback Locations report also give you clues about your audience’s tech tendencies.

YouTube's Devices Report let's you know if people are watching your videos from a computer, mobile device, or other device.
YouTube’s Devices Report lets you know if people are watching your videos from a computer, mobile device, or other source.

If you keep track of these metrics over time, you’ll have a better sense of your core audience. What’s almost always the same – their over 30 years old, they watch your videos from a game console, or they’re more than 50% female?

Ideally, your YouTube audience will surprise you with a whole new demographic you didn’t know your brand could attract. That would be good to put in your report for your boss.

Step 3: Pick Your “Thing”

Consistency is your friend on YouTube. Try not to go from game show to stop-motion animation to interview series. Be consistent to build a loyal audience.

Offering your fans a regular format, schedule, or other recurring element will grow your channel more quickly. We here at Simply Measured are pretty darn proud of our cool, stamp-thing at the beginning of each video.

Another signature style comes from surf equipment company Hurley. They have their series of #TOURNOTES videos that have lured in a healthy following. The videos are casual, with real, pro surfers talking to the video crew in all their shirtless coolness.

And, the videos always start and end with the same image and sound. “Beeeeep!”

Also, your actual content should be fairly narrow to start. Focus your efforts so that viewers know exactly what they’ll get when they subscribe to you.

H&M does this nicely. Their followers get fashion fun in all forms. There are H&M collection releases, behind-the-scenes photoshoot videos, tutorials on hair and make-up, and the occasional superstar surprise. (David Beckham, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga have all appeared in videos on H&M’s channel.) But, the goal of every video is education on fashion and style.

Before you rush off to follow H&M, take a moment to consider your best way to offer regular, useful video content that is unique to you.

YouTube Success for All

Gosh darn’t, there’s an audience on YouTube for you. You just gotta be yourself and pay attention to who is paying attention to you. Any successes you’d like to share with all of us? Surprises are the best. Let us know what you’ve learned about your YouTube audience.

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Bridget Quigg

Bridget Quigg

Hello, fellow Marketeers. My job at Simply Measured is to tell Kevin and Lucy how awesome they are at running the blog. Because, they are.