» Mapping out your viewers’ experience with your YouTube channel
» Determining what content will best engage your audience
Determining your goals
Your YouTube channel showcases something you’re passionate about. What drives you to create a YouTube channel and content isn’t so different from what moti- vates you to do other things in life, such as
» Host a fundraiser
» Write a blog
» Support a cause
» Give something back to society
» Earn some income
» Learn a new hobby
The reason that YouTube is such a great place for you to share your passion is because video is a supremely effective medium for getting your audience to engage with you. Learn to put that medium to use for you.
Though building your channel is one major goal, you likely have additional goals. Here are some other reasons for creating your YouTube channel and its content:
» Build a brand. There’s no better way to show who you are, either as an independent creator or as an organization, than by way of a video or series of
videos on your channel. The content might include diff types of videos — something you’ve created, straight news, information about you, or a combi- nation. Your motivation for brand building might be to obtain a new job, attract attention from industry luminaries, or make people feel good about your products.
» Educate your target audience. Most people love to learn, and much of the successful content on YouTube revolves around education and tutorials.
Educational content includes home repair, product confi justifi
for social causes, and many more topics. Educational content also helps drive brand awareness.
» Entertain the crowd. People love to laugh, enjoy music, and become
engrossed in a good story. These genres are all forms of entertainment, and all work especially well on YouTube.
Many forms of entertainment are highly subjective, so be sure to tailor your
content so that it connects with the specifi audience you’re trying to reach.
» Sell something. It doesn’t matter whether you have a product to sell, a
subscription to off or a candidate to elect, your YouTube channel is a great way to demonstrate to your audience that they want what you’re off
People are turning to YouTube to make buying decisions about future purchases. Make sure you understand that YouTube is now a primary source of information used to infl a sale. According to Tubular Lab, 64 percent of consumers use YouTube to review electronics when making a purchase decision.
» Earn a living. We’ve explained that your videos can make money by driving
and infl sales. You can also earn a living from people watching your YouTube videos by monetizing your channel (as explained in Chapter 14).
Don’t quit your day job — at least not yet. Making money from YouTube takes time, creativity, and persistence. Even the best-laid plans can’t guarantee results if you don’t (or your content doesn’t) resonate with your target audience. Don’t fret: Your YouTube channel may be a nice source of supplemental income, eventually.
Don’t feel that you have to keep your goals separate. Donut Media’s popular auto- motive channel (www.youtube.com/channel/UCL6JmiMXKoXS6bpP1D3bk8g) does a great job of combining educational goals with entertainment to keep its audience (almost 3 million subscribers) coming back for more.
At the end of the day, YouTube is about one thing: getting people to watch your content. Simple, right? In theory, yes, but your challenge is to help viewers fi your channel and your content. That’s what discoverability is all about: placing your content in front of the right viewers so that they can watch. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t share the secret sauce for getting found, though you can help improve the odds of your videos showing up in YouTube and Google Search as well as in Suggested Videos on the Watch page.
What can you do in the planning phase for aiding discoverability? Make watch time an important goal.
Watch time is one of the most important factors that triggers YouTube to place your content in front of viewers. Several years ago, YouTube made watch time more impor- tant to discoverability than the number of views the video received. So, what exactly is watch time? In its simplest form, watch time is the total amount of time viewers spend watching your videos. People who watch your content are telling YouTube, “Hey, this is important stuff — make sure similar viewers know.”
Watch time doesn’t indicate whether your viewers watch the entire video (although that’s a good thing, too) — it indicates that a relatively high percentage of the video is being viewed. How much? Again, YouTube isn’t specifi Note that it doesn’t matter whether your videos are short or long; what’s important is that viewers are engaged. The secret is to make legitimately good content. Good content increases watch time, which increases discoverability.
Creating viral videos shouldn’t be your goal. Betting your YouTube strategy on producing viral videos is like betting your entire retirement savings on winning the lottery. Attain your goals by proper planning and execution, not by chance.