YouTube has released a new video that discusses how to grow your audience in the app and maintain performance over time.
Rachel Alves, who currently works at YouTube as a Product Manager for Recommendations, previously worked on the platform’s performance analysis team, where she examined thousands of channels for key growth trends and tips.
As a result, she is uniquely qualified to emphasize the most critical elements – here are Alves’ top five channel-building tips.
1. Build Your Channel Around an Audience
Alves’ first point is self-evident, but also critical from a branding and consistency perspective.
Prior to anything else, you must consider the audience you’re attempting to reach and what they want to see, both now and in the future, in order to keep your posts relevant and viewers returning.
“Consider who is watching your channel, what they are interested in, and how their interests are likely to change over the next six months, a year, or two years, if you are in this for the long haul.”
According to Alves, attempting to capitalize on short-term trends may yield some favorable statistics, but will not be sustainable over time; instead, you should aim to build around people and their interests, and adjust as those interests change.
According to Alves, two things must be done in order to grow:
• Increase viewership
• Retain those viewers’ interest by providing additional content.
Essentially, by aligning with a core interest, something for which you can provide unique value and are highly attuned, you can create video content that evolves in response to current trends, better catering to audience needs.
2. Find Your Niche
Alves points out that there is more content available than ever before, which means that in order to stand out, you must create content that is either superior to what is already available or has a unique angle that people cannot get anywhere else.
“For instance, if I wanted to start a cooking channel, I could either a) target a niche market or b) identify a gap in the market. A niche market might be that, rather than making standard recipe videos, I target a specific type of recipe, such as salad recipes.
This, again, may not be a case of capitalizing on trends, which is a popular growth hack. However, by focusing on a specific alignment, you increase your chances of building an audience over time, as people will learn what your content is about and how it relates to their interests.
3. Watch Lots of Videos
According to Alves, if you were starting a business, you would conduct market research and competitor analysis; similarly, building an effective YouTube channel is very similar.
Alves advises creators to consume a large amount of content in the niche they’re targeting for inspiration and to inform their presentation choices based on engagement trends in that genre.
4. Establish and Develop Your Brand
According to Alves, having strong branding, which includes consistency in thumbnails, titles, colors, graphics, and fonts, will help your channel stand out when your videos are recommended to viewers.
“Consider which fonts, colors, and styles best represent your brand, and then ensure that they are reflected in your channel icons, channel art, channel description, and, of course, your channel trailer.”
This is true across all forms of digital marketing – by establishing brand guidelines around visual representation, you can strengthen your brand and ensure that people recognize your content without even looking at the brand or channel name.
5. Maintain Consistency
Alves’ final tip is to simply’show up’ and be present for your viewers when they search.
According to Alves, in order to develop repeat viewers, you must post consistently and on a consistent schedule in order to become a part of their routine. Additionally, Alves notes that creators must adhere to the promise made in their clips, which is especially important when establishing a channel.
While channels must also evolve their approach over time, by adhering to a central focus, you increase your chances of attracting an audience interested in that topic. This audience will take time to develop, but consistency is critical.
These are some useful pointers, and while there is no one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing your YouTube performance, adhering to these guidelines will go a long way toward assisting you in growing your channel’s viewership.
Ultimately, the key is in the content, and in creating excellent, entertaining material that is relevant to your target audience. That is the real trick here, and it is not easy to think of, let alone create, great episodic content. However, if you focus on an area of interest and conduct research into what works on other channels, there are significant opportunities in YouTube clips.