Written By Fiona Frills
The Background Basics:
I think one of the most important things to think about is this: Why do you watch a YouTube video? Most likely it is because of one of these three reasons. I know these are absolutely true for me.
3. Info/education on a specific subject
Second question to think about is, what do you watch when you are on YouTube? I watch a lot of different things but I mostly watch videos on beauty, makeup, lifestyle.
My own channel is about my passion(s). I make videos about things I love to do and try. I watch videos by people who love what they are talking about. Your channel should be about what you love (or really like A LOT). Now, lets get into what I call my not so secret formula to grow your channel.
1. Remix Your Content
With over one hour of video uploaded to YouTube every second, how do you rise above the crowd?Combine (aka remix) the best ideas that have already been done, and do it in a way that has never been seen. Viewers are tired of watching the same thing. They want a new twist.
How do I do this (or try to do this)? The Remix Infotainment Method. Remember the reasons viewers come to YouTube. I think the number one reason is Infotainment – being entertained while learning.
This is a great video I watched on thinking about remixing. This will give you ideas on how to think about remixing your own content for YouTube. Thinking out of the box; bringing two ideas together from two different niches; creating more or different value/info into an old idea.
Some real world examples that i have applied this to include a recent video about TEEN Wears LONG Acrylic Nails. Remixing what it is like getting long acrylic nails but this time from a teen’s perspective. Another one is a video on Applying My Makeup With Slime. Slime is all the rage right now. I remix making slime to apply my makeup.
2. Write Captivating (BUT no click bait) Titles
I write titles that have action verbs. I think magazine writers and reporters write some of the best headlines. I flip through beauty magazines for inspiration (and learning). I also look at popular YouTube Channels like Buzzfeed. Most titles I write now have action verbs (Wearing, Trying, Applying).
Source: Alex Khan
I write short titles with no more that 50 characters now because over 70% of my viewers are on a mobile device so only 50 characters of the title show up on a mobile device. This length also makes me think of the best action words to use.
Your titles should reflect what your video is about. There is a lot of click bait in titles but your viewers will click out (never good for your watch time more on this below) or just get frustrated with watching videos that have click bait titles and not watch you anymore.
3. Create Action/Reaction Thumbnails
Your video thumbnail is like your mini-FREE ad on YouTube and your best chance to get a viewer to click and watch your video. When you’re on YouTube next, scroll through and think about what videos you would click on and look at the thumbnail.
When I am scrolling through YouTube is the reaction/action thumbnail that catches my attention. The thumbnail should capture the best moment(s) of the video. You want to try to use real in action photos from your video. You don’t want click bait. Showing your eyes and/or making eye contact with the potential viewer is key for a click-worthy thumbnail.
4. Making The Most Out of First 24 Hours
YouTube wants to see engagement and watch time on videos that become suggested videos. When your video is suggested by YouTube that first 24 hours after you publish a video are critical. Post about your video on all you other social media accounts.
I also plan to comment on as many viewer comments as I can during that first hour (and sometimes two hours) after I post a video. Many times when I comment the viewer will comment back or other viewers will comment too. Stay engaged with your viewers as much as you can during the first 24 hours after posting your video.
Really, stay engaged all the time. Show your love and appreciation, after all, viewers are what makes your channel tick.
5. Watch Time Rules
Watch Time is like food to YouTube. You want to feed YouTube by increasing the Watch Time on your videos and on your channel overall. Its hard to get beyond looking at the video views, I get stuck on that too. But when a viewer watches a lot of your video and/or watches several of your videos in a single viewing session, YouTube will reward your videos and channel by suggesting your video more. This is the gift that will keep giving.
I still play around with how long I should make my videos. I try to make my videos between 5 to 10 minutes with an average around 6 or 7 minutes. I don’t think there is some ideal length. This is something that you’ll have to play around with and see what works best for your content and channel.
YouTube gives you a few tools to help you keep a viewer on your video and/or channel that you should use on every video you upload. The first is Play Lists. Create as many Play Lists as you can think of that revolve around your content themes.
For example, I have Fun with Fiona, Fionas Fresh Face, Fashion By Fiona, etc. I also create new Play Lists often â€” these are more specialized Play Lists (Teen Makeup Tips, Acne Skincare, etc). When you upload a video be sure to add it to all your relevant playlists.
I will include my thoughts on how many times to upload a week as part of this Watch Time discussion. Given that YouTube wants increased watch time uploading more videos helps to do exactly this. More videos will give you more Watch Time on your overall channel, which is a really good thing.
I have two channels. On my FionaFrills Vlogs channel, I upload 5-6 times per week. On my main FionaFrills channel, I upload once a week and I try a few times a month to upload twice a week.
6. Equipment I Love
I want to first say that nailing the above ideas is really the most important part of growing your channel. It is not so much about the most expensive camera but more what you’re doing in front of the camera.
Having said that if you’re serious about growing your channel you do need a solid, good quality camera and a few accessories to take your video quality (from a filming perspective) up a few notches. Below is my list of must-have equipment and then some really nice to haves.
Sony A5100 – Fast autofocus and easily adjustable brightness, saturation, background focus
Canon G7X PowerShot – great blogging camera; strong, sturdy camera with fast, autofocus
Gorilla Pod – versatile and easy to use on the go or at home
Nice to haves:
7. Infotaining & BTS Setup
I think one of the biggest draws to YouTube is watching real people vs watching actors pretend they are someone else. Be who you are. Real. Real. Real. Have energy (what I call Infotaining). Don’t be fake, viewers pick up on that immediately and don’t like it. I typically have an outline or flow of the video I am filming.
It is almost like a checklist so I don’t forget anything. I don’t script anything. Everything is impromptu but based on the outline so there is logic and a story around each video.
BTS (Behind the scenes) setup. My typical setup right now is filming at the best time of day so I can use natural light” mother natures light is IMO the best. I put my camera on the Gorilla Pod and set this on my desk or on one my shelving units that that has the best natural sunlight for what I am filming.
And thats it. I adjust the cameras lighting dial depending on what I am filming (closeup, background, etc). I do not use any extra audio equipment. I use the microphone built right into my cameras.
9. Editing & Final Touches
I use Final Cut Pro on a Mac Book Pro. I used to do all kinds of fancy transitions and effects but now I keep it simple. Jump cuts are typical in a YouTube video. I try to do jump cuts every 10 seconds give or take. This simple change up keeps the viewer interested.
I edit out some of my babble and try to keep the clips engaging, fun, and giving value to the video. I use the first 10 seconds of the video to pull the viewer in and stick around (aka increase my watch time). Sometimes I put a clip from later in the video that is funny and intriguing. Other times I film a specific intro that is fast, fun and to the point but still a little mysterious.