2020 Jul 13
“First, to start out your channel, it’s very important to know that on YouTube, people subscribe to verticles. A lot of people come to me and say, ‘I’m a dancer, I’m a singer, I can cook, can I put all of this and create a YouTube channel?’. You can’t because people usually subscribe to one genre of content.”
– Janeeth Rodrigo –
YouTube needs no special introduction. We live in an era where a ‘YouTuber’ is also now considered a legitimate profession, just like a businessman, lawyer or doctor. It is, without a doubt, one of the most used video-sharing platforms across the world, encompassing video content of so many different types and genres. Through YouTube, so many content creators express themselves, their creativity, their hobbies and passions, garnering millions and millions of subscribers and viewers. And in turn, these content creators monetize through YouTube, to obtain a sum of money for the time and effort they invest in, to create video content.
Since becoming successful on YouTube is a code that most of us want to crack, we spoke to General Manager of IdeaHell, Head of the Digital Arm of Derana Macroentertainment, Janeeth Rodrigo, with hopes of providing you with an in-depth guideline on how to achieve success on YouTube. Keep reading to find out some tips that might be helpful for you, before starting your YouTube channel!
Visualize what your channel is going to be
“I give this exercise, I tell people to visualize their channel trailer. If you are starting a channel, your channel trailer should be 1 to 1 1/2 minutes long. In that, you have to very clearly communicate 4 things to the audience.”
The visualization exercise as mentioned by Janeeth is paramount in helping aspiring content creators, really figure out what kind of content they want to create, what kind of content they are passionate about and what content they can excel in. The four things that should be communicated to your audience effectively in this visualization exercise that Janeeth mentioned, is as below:
- Who you are – people who view videos on YouTube are attracted to personalities, so communicating who you are as a person, what your values are, what you are passionate about and what you are good at, is important.
- What kind of content you are hoping to create – clearly mention what genre of content you are going to create, whether it be travel, fashion, technology, makeup, comedy etc.
- The frequency of your uploads – clearly mention how frequent your videos are going to be published. Setting a goal for yourself, for example, “I’m going to publish one video, every week, Thursday at 6 pm” is a goal that you could work towards. To obtain any sort of success on YouTube, publishing at least one video per week is important.
- Who should subscribe to your channel – clearly define your target audience, as to who should subscribe to your channel, based on the content you are hoping on publishing. Whether it be tech geeks, people who are interested in fashion, comedy etc.
Naming Your Channel
As much as we all like to come up with cute and funky names for our YouTube channel, naming your channel comes with utmost importance, as the channel name is one of the main things people will remember when searching on YouTube. You could consider the three following aspects when naming your channel:
- Your name or brand name – If you plan on becoming a personality on YouTube, using your own name (if it’s easy to remember) or coming up with a catchy brand name comes with its benefits.
- Targeting your audience through your channel name – If your channel is all about travel, having the word ‘travel’ in your channel name will help you target your niche audience who are travel geeks. However, including the verticle that you are hoping to enter could get saturated, hence you must find a creative way to communicate what your channel is all about, to your relevant audience. You could use synonyms and other words that are relevant to the content you’re creating. For example, if you’re channel is all about makeup, you could use words like ‘blends’ or ‘conceal’.
- Your channel name is advertiser-friendly – When you gain popularity on YouTube (and that is, of course, the goal), different brands will start reaching out to you for sponsorships and other deals, depending on your vertical. You must make sure that your channel name is something that a brand might like to associate with.
Planning your content
“There’s this theory from Google that’s related to marketing, this concept called Hero, Hub, Hygiene. For any brand or marketing campaign to succeed, they should have these three types of content. What I’ve done is, I’ve applied this same concept to YouTube.”
Image source: https://brendangahan.com/hero-hub-hygiene/
Janeeth explains that if the Hero, Hub, Hygiene concept is utilized creatively, success on YouTube is definitely something that can be achieved.
- Hero content
These are the types of content that are very viral, that will end up on the trending list once in a while. However, this might not happen with every video that is published, hence a YouTube channel cannot be sustained with just hero content.
“With hero content, as soon as you upload it, there will be a peak in watch time. Suddenly, people will start watching. But, it’s only trending during that time. For example, the Red Bull space jump, no one’s watching it now. Hero content will have a sudden peak and an equally sudden valley. Hero content will be trending for a short period of time, but afterwards, they won’t give you views. If you do only hero content, you’ll get subscribers, viewers and money one month but until your next hero video goes viral, you might not gain any subscribers, views and money.” Janeeth explains.
Hub content is the type of content that you intend to mainly create and push out regularly, on the day that you promised to publish in your introductory visualization video.
“Hub content is your bread and butter. Hub content will not have a sudden peak like hero content, but your subscribers will watch it and appreciate it. Since hub content will be uploaded regularly, it will mitigate that sudden valley or sudden drop caused by hero content. You’ll have a regular stream of subscribers and a regular form of money.” Janeeth mentions.
Hygiene content is the types of videos that you can rinse and repeat, that are educational. For example, a video that shows someone how to tie a tie. There will always be someone who wants to know how to tie a tie, at some point in time.
“Hygiene content will perpetually be watched, it doesn’t have peaks and it doesn’t have valleys. These videos are what’s called Evergreen content, these videos will be watched throughout the lifetime of your channel.” Janeeth explains.
Having a good balance between these three types of content is key to having a good YouTube channel. This concept can be explained in an example, for your better understanding.
Taking a musician as an example, their hero content might be that original song that they release once in a while. People will watch it soon after the release, but after a while, the hype will die down. A musician’s hub content might be their daily vlogs, their weekly jam sessions because it’s regular. A musician will regularly meet up with their band to practice their skills, hence vlogging those jam sessions can make up for regular content. As hygiene content, a musician could release a guitar cover of their song, how to play the drums to one of their songs; educational content around what they mainly do, can be their hygiene content.
“If we take the YouTube channel ‘Travel with Wife’ as an example, I realized that they were not doing any hygiene content. So, I gave them a very easy solution, to talk people through the process of editing, because they edit their videos anyway. That became their hygiene content and it was very effortless. This is a crucial step in planning your content.” Janeeth explains further.
This divine influx of information doesn’t stop from here, folks. Stay tuned to the second part of ‘Guidelines to be a Successful YouTuber” where we explore how to monetize through creating content on YouTube.