10 big lessons for anyone looking to market themselves on YouTube

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YouTube iPad

I was recently fortunate enough to attend two really cool Google events: Engage and YouTube All Stars. Getting the chance to interact with some of the intriguing innovations and latest news to do with Google is pretty cool. Getting the chance to do so with products developed solely to help any business out there succeed on and off-line is even cooler.

Engage was divided into three segments — Pitch Perfect, AdWords Bootcamp and Above & Beyond — meaning that you could tailor your experience according to your interests.

The presentation that stood out for me surrounded building and maintaining client relations, where Google’s Craig Wing made it clear that “when selling your business, you are not just selling your business, but you are in fact also selling yourself”. This is so true! Avinesh Pillay backed this up, saying: “even if you fail the pitch and you do not get the deal, do not fail selling yourself as you as a person will always be remembered”.

Those lessons are applicable to any business but are also clearly ones that the success stories at the YouTube All Stars event had taken to heart.

YouTube All Stars Event

At the event, YouTube showed how the likes of Caspar Lee, Rob Vamplew (Rob The Ranger) and energy expert Martin Lorton, make a substantial monthly income through Google AdSense and how people like acapella singing group The Soil achieved international fame after showcasing their talent on YouTube.

Peter Cilliers is another of these success stories. Cilliers started the channel Six Pack Factory as a way of chronicling his weight loss. It’s since become a serious money spinner for him. In one month, he made R80 000 from Adsense ads alone. He shared some tips and advice when to achieve success while earning revenue through your own channel on YouTube:

1.Take action and get started

Create an account and start uploading videos, no matter what camera or phone you are using. Just start and keep going.

2. Continuity is key

Do not be demotivated after uploading one or two videos with little interaction, sharing or no views at all. Sometimes it can take anywhere from six to 14 months before getting noticed and going viral. Tell people in your video to share, take action or when your next video is due to be uploaded.

3. Have a clear goal for your channel and videos

Before you start make sure every video you upload is towards your main goal for your channel and videos.

4. Be unique and different

If you are competing in a niche where someone else is already established (or not), you have to make sure that what you are presenting or at least the way you are presenting it, is done in a unique and different matter to ensure engagement and growth of your subscribers. Target a really microscopic, detailed, refined niche.

5. Interact with your fans

No matter how big you grow or small you still are, remember to interact with your fans and at the same time listen to them in order to make sure you give them what they want. Reply to comments, ask them questions, give away prizes, feature them in videos or Do Google Hangouts.

6. Customize / brand your channel

From the start you can brand your channel making sure the background is relevant and standing out. Also make sure your avatar is universal stays the same all over each and every social network. When you reach partner status ensure the added features compliment your branding.

7. CTA: Call to action

Ensure you use annotation features of YouTube and visual design and recorded movie effects to bring forth your call to actions. People will then tend to respond, as it is more user-friendly.

8. Never leave your videos open-ended

At the end of your video you can add annotations over nice CTA images to ensure the viewer does not end there but continues to other videos or engages more with your channel.

9. Use annotations

This function gets repeated a lot as there is so much one can do with it. For example, create a video with images which link to all your other videos via annotations over these images that form or look like navigation buttons.

YouTube annotations

10. SEO your videos correctly

Make sure you use the right title, description and tags relevant to your video and its content. Also make sure your custom thumbnail is relevant and attracts attention.

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  • http://ramonthomas.com/ Ramon Thomas

    This is very useful guidelines. I will certainly apply them to grow my own Youtube channel. You can subscribe to it here http://www.youtube.com/user/ramonthomas and post some comments on my controversial Soweto rape video.

  • Nick Funnell

    Interesting stuff, but unfortunately you missed one absolutely critical point- YouTube’s
    totally out-of-control flagging & community guideline enforcement policy.

    Both personal experience and anecdotal evidence has shown that video producers
    posting to YT are likely to find themselves persistently and aggressively
    flagged (resulting in guideline ‘strikes’) for completely false or spurious
    reasons, no matter how uncontroversial their content. There is an ‘appeal this
    strike’ button, but it usually results in simple confirmation of the strike
    within minutes.

    The producer will then find him/herself labelled & defamed as a pornographer or
    producer of unsuitable content (such as graphic violence or ‘hate speech’) in
    YouTube/Google permanent records. There is no guarantee this information won’t
    be shared with law enforcement authorities at some point in the future, and only
    a lengthy legal challenge can alter this status.

    So overall, my advice is to steer well clear of YT- it’s not worth the risk.

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