Most YouTube creators go about YouTube all wrong: they put more focus on video views and channel subscriptions than anything else, without realizing that the most important thing they can do to have a successful YouTube channel is to build a brand.
What does it mean to build a brand?
There are some things I’ve learned about marketing and brand-building over the years that I’ve learned to apply to my own YouTube channel, and now to my new channel with Jared Mecham, GeekifyGuys. I’ll share my brand-building list here to help you get started in the right direction towards YouTube success:
1. Be passionate about your brand
Why would you want to focus your channel on something you don’t really care about? If you don’t build your brand around something you’re passionate about then it will show, and you will eventually lose steam. Create videos in a niche or hobby that excites you, and the fun will automatically follow.
2. Don’t mimic
One of the worst things you can do as a new creator is copy another successful channel. Bring in your own creativity and personality to create your own flare. You might have some elements that are similar to another channel or brand, but make sure you stand out. Some ideas on how to do this: use different types of cameras or camera styles, have your own video creation formula, and engage with the viewer in your own unique way.
3. Know your audience
Understand who you are targeting and figure out what they want. Go on channels or forums that are similar to what yours is or will be, and figure out what their problems are and what they’re excited about. This will help you optimize your video for your specific audience rather than creating for the sole purpose of getting video views.
4. Speak to your audience
Be very strategic in connecting with your audience by speaking to them in a way that will make them feel like they are a part of a unique community, which will, in turn, help you create evangelists who will be loyal to your brand and outspoken about your brand.
5. Tell your story
People want to know how you got to where you are. They want to know about your struggles and successes. They want to know your backstory. This makes your viewers feel emotionally connected to you/your brand. Of course the best person to tell your story is you.
6. Find ambassadors (not collaborators)
Everybody is looking for somebody to collaborate with, but your end goal should be to find people who will be ambassadors for your brand because they have become a part of your community and feel passionate about your content or message. Ambassadors feel connected to your community to the extent that they will like and comment on your videos, and they will even share your brand to get others excited about it too.
7. Be consistent
I could write an entire article on consistency. For starters, you should have a consistent publishing schedule so viewers know what to expect and when to expect new things from you. But this is only one component in your consistency. You should also be consistent in your messaging, your video formula, your graphics, your language, your comments, and your social outreach. If viewers don’t know what to expect from your videos, they’ll never convert from viewer to evangelist or ambassador.
8. Do nice things
Think this one doesn’t quite fit in? Well, when you take the time to do nice things for your viewers, they will feel like you care, which will help them feel connected to your brand. How do you do nice things? Respond to your viewers’ likes and comments, do giveaways, meet viewers and fans in the area when you travel. You have to be authentic with this one or it doesn’t work. Your viewers can see right through you if you aren’t genuine.
9. Educate the viewer
For GeekifyGuys, we do one type of video on Tuesdays and a different type of video on Thursdays. This actually made us lose subscribers in the beginning, but I had to educate my viewers that this was the type of video GeekifyGuys was going to do so they knew what to expect from us. I had to stay true to my passion and remember that I was targeting to a specific audience. In addition, you must know your video creation formula so you can stick to it in order to educate your viewers on what to expect from your video. A common formula would be a hook, a bumper, the content, a call to action, and an outro.
10. Understand your message
Your messaging needs to stay true to what your ultimate goals are. Ask yourself if your message is distracting from the goal of the video or the overall messaging of your brand. This can get difficult when you create something great and end up having to cut it from your video when you realize that it distracts from the message you are trying to convey.
11. Work on social reach
Don’t worry about YouTube! Work on your social reach and engagement OFF of YouTube, and YouTube will take care of itself. Create a brand presence across multiple social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts, for example. Get your brand out there by expanding your reach as far as possible and by engaging with commenters on all of your platforms. If you can get people to come onto YouTube to watch your videos first, you get a lot of “love” back from YouTube because they’ll favor your videos when you bring on viewers and keep them there.
12. Analyze and adjust
We have great tools as creators to analyze what is or isn’t working with our videos. You can dig into your analytics to understand why some videos do well and some don’t. You can see where your audience retention is and make adjustments accordingly. You could be losing engagement for a number of reasons: maybe your messaging wasn’t right, or maybe you weren’t consistent with your brand. A great way to analyze is to look at your most popular videos and see what made them work and what your audience is craving so that you can continue to create things they will want to see.
13. Never give up!
Don’t forget that after you analyze, your work isn’t done! Don’t give up just because something isn’t working. Adjust your messaging, your content, or your social engagement. Don’t be afraid to try something new rather than throw something out entirely. Stick to your passion and become educated on what could work to make your unique brand become successful.
Apply these strategies to build a successful brand, and don’t forget to have fun and be passionate about what you’re doing.
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Most YouTube creators go about YouTube all wrong: they put more focus on video views and channel subscriptions than anything else – They need to focus on Building Their Brand!
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There are some things I’ve learned about marketing and brand-building over the years
What does it mean to build a brand?
Tell Your Story
Know your audience
Speak to your audience
Do nice things
Educate your viewers
Understand your messaging
Work on social reach
Analyze and Adjust
Never Give Up
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Build a Brand Not A YouTube Channel