5 Tips to Becoming a Successful YouTube Influencer
**Originally published December 14th, 2018. Updated December 17th, 2019**
Being a YouTube influencer is one of today’s hottest career choices. However, it is anything but an easy industry to break into. It’s a highly competitive, saturated environment with an assortment of challenges in terms of achieving viewership. And viewership is vital to monetizing one’s YouTube channel. Regardless, there are still plenty of shining examples of people who have achieved success on the video-sharing platform and translated that success into a lucrative and growing career.
The success of YouTube creators has shifted the tides of traditional marketing, and how companies can potentially reach their customers through media. The exponential growth of influencer marketing has created a very relevant dream if you desire to gain social stardom have for your own monetized channel. The video platform has changed visual media as we know it, notably weaving itself into the marketing fold of many corporations looking to share their voice (and products) with their consumer base. In short, there’s a lot of money in the marketing industry, particularly with influencer marketing. So the allure of getting paid substantial sums of money for creating YouTube video content is quite obvious.
If you are one of the many people looking to become a force on YouTube and grow a powerhouse channel, there are a few things to consider when starting the process.
#1. First things first, think about what you want to achieve…
As the old saying goes, you have to walk before you run. Or, think smarter, not harder. Both apply when it comes to the first step. Before you do anything, you need to figure out what you’re hoping to get out of building a presence on YouTube. This will help you decide what type of video content you want to create and define the right audience for that content. Establishing a tangible direction and intent for your content will lay the foundation for building an audience that will want to bookmark, subscribe to, and share with their friends and networks. Emphasizing content that is both useful and entertaining to your audience enhances your viewership, and your followers will begin to see you as a trusted source of information and education.
#2. …then develop your channel’s goals and content.
Developing your content is the most fun part of the process. But it is also a job in itself. Defining the voice of your brand and your channel is not an easy task. Once your voice is established, you then must ensure that your content aligns with it. The easiest (and arguably best) way to develop your channel is to simply be yourself. But here’s the catch. What if your content is informative and engaging, but you aren’t exactly the most interesting personality this side of the Mississippi? If this applies to you, then there’s nothing wrong with adding some pep to your videos and perking up your personality on camera. Just keep in mind that there is a thin line between ‘pep’ and being obnoxious.
We have the honor of representing the hugely-popular Youtuber TDBarrett and recently had the opportunity to sit down with him on LinkedIn Live to discuss this very topic. Check out his insights below on how he found his niche, and other tips on how to grow your brand on YouTube.
Ok, so now you feel comfortable on camera, so it’s time to decide what type of content you will be broadcasting on your channel. How-to videos, comedy skits, product reviews, unboxing videos. These are popular content styles on YouTube, but the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to determining the subject matter of your content. But once your subject matter is chosen, analyze the content style to see how you can make your videos unique using your brand’s voice and personality.
Depending on your niche and content, you may also want to give yourself some flexibility to cover trending topics in your vertical. Don’t hesitate to ride the wave if a big news story breaks and you know other creators with similar channels are talking about it. It’s important to stay relevant. Even when covering the same topics as others, there is an inherent opportunity to add valuable input to the conversation.
#3: Consistency is key!
The importance of this factor can not be overemphasized. Recent reports show that YouTube channels that post more than once a week are performing much better than channels who post less frequently. They are also receiving far more recommended views. The data doesn’t lie. Channels that post often not only engage their audiences on a deeper level, they also garner much greater visibility and viewership on YouTube. It is advised that creators post to YouTube three or more times per week. This is particularly vital if you’re just starting and trying to build an audience. A solid content cadence with multiple posts per week can quickly raise viewership on your channel by stimulating the algorithm.
Creating an abundance of content at the beginning that covers applicable topics will help your channel perform well in the algorithm. It also creates a library of content that will escort viewers from one video to another, enhancing your watch time and providing an incentive for your viewers to subscribe.
#4. Bring Something New To The Table
Time for a reality check. When choosing a niche on YouTube, you have to understand that you can’t build a channel easily just being yourself on camera the way your favorite big YouTubers have. To use a grocery store metaphor, there simply isn’t the shelf space. There are too many personalities and the platform is too saturated to just show up and start generating viewership. Your personality is why people will stay with your channel, but it’s not what will make them show up in the first place. The incentive for your viewers should always be kept top of mind.
With that little caveat established, ask yourself “Why should someone watch me instead of another famous YouTuber in my niche?” Offering something fresh and unique is the ultimate factor in establishing momentum and garnering views.
Viewers need something to attract them to your content. It must be something that they are interested in, from a subject matter perspective, and you must also have an appealing thumbnail to get their attention. The old saying ‘if you build it, they will come’ isn’t entirely untrue. But once they are there, something has to be wildly interesting, entertaining, and different about your channel and it’s presentation style if you are to retain their attention.
#5. Build a Social Presence for Your YouTube Channel
This seems like a given but is an often underutilized element of creators who are building their audience. Particularly in the initial stages of starting the channel. Plain and simple, you need to create social media pages and profiles for your YouTube channel on all of the social networks relevant for your audience. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are of course the big players and most certainly will need to be supporting networks for your YouTube. But this list of networks may also include Snapchat, Periscope, and other social platforms as well, depending on your audience. Research your niche to discover which networks are most applicable to growing your audience, and monitor other creators in your vertical to see where they also are building their social presence.
Creating your YouTube channel’s social page(s) on each platform and filling out all available fields to the best of your abilities is a great start in expanding your online reach. Include links to your YouTube channel, your playlist, your ‘highlight reel’ per se, and/or your official blog. Being descriptive and informative in your bios will also legitimize you with fans and potential spawn intrigue from prospective viewers. And don’t just leave your social media pages sitting there after you create them. Social media is meant to be social, and you’ll have much more success promoting your YouTube channel and getting more viewers if you focus on engaging with your audience through both your YouTube channel and your social media accounts.
Calls to action (CTAs) that encourage your viewers to leave their input in the comments should also be weaved into your video content. You should check back often and respond to those comments, to keep the conversation going with your viewers. Engaged audience members are far more likely to continue following you and connect with you if you start and participate in conversations with your viewers.
You should also stay tuned to what your followers are saying on social media. Monitor your notifications and take note when they mention your page in a comment or on their own pages. Pay attention to what they say in the comments. This is a direct reflection of the sentiment your audience has for your content. Whenever possible, reply to their comments and posts about your channel and show them that you value their input and that you want to create the best channel and content for them.
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