If you’re not yet taking advantage of the wonders of YouTube and video content in general, you could be missing out on a whole host of benefits. Not only does it give you the opportunity to perfectly demonstrate your products and services in whichever way you like – be that beautiful and cinematic or playful and fun – it also provides a great platform for sharing the personalities in your business. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, people love people.

However, you’re going to want to well and truly nail it if you want to see amazing results. You’ll be relieved to hear that doesn’t necessarily mean finding a five figure marketing budget and hiring the same cameras they use to film Taylor Swift’s music videos once a week. Here are our 5 tips for YouTube success.

 

Be original

You don’t just want people to watch one of your videos, then close the tab and forget who you are, do you? If you offer exactly what everyone else in your industry is offering, sure you’ll pick up some views, but without that stand-out quality you’ll never attract returning viewers. Spend some time watching what everyone else is doing, so you can do precisely the opposite. Watch videos created by companies in entirely different industries and see how their ideas could be transferred to yours.

This doesn’t mean skip over all the generic ideas such as introducing members of staff, a showreel, or a video from a team day. That is exactly the type of content people will want to see once they want to get to know more about you. But first you need to make them want to get to know more about you, and standing out from the crowd will do exactly that.

 

Give them a reason to come back

Ok so your original style was like a breath of fresh air for those who found your videos, and they want more. Maybe they’ll check back on your channel next week and look for more. But what will they find? And when will it be there? Upload schedules can make a massive difference. Don’t rely on people to click through to all of your videos and work it for themselves either, shout about it as loud as you can, in the video, in the description, in your channel art. Let people know which day they should be on your channel for something new and at what time too!

A great way to keep people coming back for more consistently is to start a series. If you have the time for it, uploading a new part of the series weekly is always a great option, but fortnightly and monthly will still encourage people who enjoyed your content to become frequent visitors.

Make sure you try to engage as much as possible with your audience. If they’re making the effort to come back to your channel at the time you asked them to, reply to that friendly comment they’ve left. Check out their channel if they have one and leave a comment on one of their videos! Connections are vital and the friendlier you are, the more chance you have of them helping you reach more like-minded people.

 

Thumbnails are IMPORTANT

Believe it or not, you don’t need to use a picture of Justin Bieber doing something provocative to attract the attention of a potential viewer. Now, using a screenshot can work if for example the video is fairly comical and you want a nice natural shot of the subject laughing, but usually we’d recommend you spend a bit of time composing and taking the shot. You’ll get much nicer quality that way too!

Have a think about how you’d describe your video in just a few words, that is precisely what you want to capture in your thumbnail. If your video is a little crazy, make sure the thumbnail reflects that. Alternatively, if it’s quite a professional video, demonstrate that with the thumbnail. The picture needs to entice the viewer, but without leading them to believe they’re going to watch something completely different.

So, you’ve got a great photo, but let’s not leave it there. Try and layer bold text repeating the title of the video over the top to ensure that knowing what the video is about is unavoidable once you see it. From this point, we’ll let your creative mind run wild. Maybe you want to get down with the kids and add an emoji over the top, or maybe you want to add in a gentle coloured border. The more eye-catching and ‘pretty’ your thumbnail is, the more people are going to want to click it.

 

Clever tagging

This is a fairly short section of the blog because it’s such a simple trick but so useful. Download a Google Chrome extension called VidIQ. Got it? Great. Not only can you now nose on the estimated earnings of someone’s video, the amount of views they’re getting an hour etc., you can also see the tags they’ve used!

This actually used to be a feature that YouTube offered. Tags were public, not anymore. But fear not, VidIQ will let you build up an understanding of ‘good’ and effective tags. So dive right in and start looking at similar videos to ones you’re creating/have created. Look at the tags, see where the videos rank for those tags and pinch the great ones for yourself!

 

You don’t need to remortgage your house for nice visuals

Gone are the days when you could upload a video filmed on your webcam and get a million views, unless you’re already famous, or it’s a cute dog…. or a funny cat. Viewers want to see good quality, and so they should, given how affordable it is now! Even just a modern smartphone will record fairly nice looking footage, but if you’re comfortable with spending a few hundred pounds on something that will last you years, we’d recommend the Samsung NX500. You can pick one up for about £400-£500 and with a 28.2mp sensor, 4k video recording and incredibly portability due to the fact it’s mirrorless, you’ll find it hard to fault it.

Ok you’ve got your camera, next you’re going to need to be able to edit the footage. If you have someone willing to spend a little bit of time getting to grips with the process, Adobe Premiere Pro CC will be your best option. The basics are easy and the limits are few. However, if you’re looking for something that basically edits it for you with a beautifully simple layout and tonnes of support online, go for Final Cut Pro X. You’ll need a mac to run it, but if you’re already on mac, it’s a no-brainer.

For those with a slightly larger budget that are more than willing to invest a couple hundred pounds more to get the most out of their video work, your next steps should be tripods, lights and microphones. Soft boxes are a great way to light your videos and these Interfit F5‘s will set you back £150 brand new. Manfrotto tripods are always a great shout, and finally, a microphone that won’t break the band, the Tascam DR-05.

 

Now you have the know-how and the gear to make it all happen, it’s down to you! Break free from the limitations of tweeting and Instagramming and put as much energy and personality into your video work as you can.

Good luck!

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