YouTube shares five pieces of advice aimed at smaller channels looking to build an audience and channels just getting started for the first time.
The tips are presented by Rachel Alves, YouTube Product Manager, and are informed by what she’s seen in her past four years of working for the company.
Part of her job at YouTube is to understand why some channels are able to grow and sustain an audience, while other channels’ audiences decline over time.
Alves says she’s analyzed thousands of videos during her time with YouTube. These are the top five things she’s learned about growing a channel.
5 Tips For Smaller YouTube Channels
Build your channel around an audience
Alves encourages smaller YouTube creators to design their content around people. Think about who is watching the channel, what they’re interested in, and how their interests are likely to change over the course of six months to a year or longer.
Design content strategies around people and their interests. Adjust those strategies as peoples’ interests change.
“And remember that you need to do two things in order to grow. You need to attract new viewers, and then you need to keep those viewers coming back to watch more.”
Find your niche
With more content than ever on the web it’s getting harder to stand out. Alves recommends looking for underserved, niche categories and going after gaps in the market.
Either make something better than what’s already out there, or make something different.
Watch lots of videos
Content creators are advised to watch lots of videos, similar to how a business owner would keep an eye on their market with continuous research.
Look at creators that are producing similar content and think about what they’re doing that’s working so well. The idea isn’t to copy the videos, but to understand what their audience enjoys watching.
Establish a brand
YouTube recommends establishing strong branding by maintaining a style between:
- and so on
A distinctive brand helps a channel and its content stick out among the many options viewers have on YouTube these days.
A brand helps viewers become familiar with a channel and recognize it as soon as it’s offered in recommendations. This can lead to more clicks and views on the channel’s content
To new and smaller channels, YouTube says think about what fonts, colors, and styles best represent your brand. Then make sure those elements are present in the channel icon, channel art, channel description, and channel trailer.
Consistency is key to growth on YouTube, as it can take time and experimentation to get viewers into the habit of watching a channel regularly.
In order to keep viewers coming back to watch, creators have found success with strategies like uploading consistently on a schedule. This helps viewers know when to expect new content.
Channels that retain an audience tend to keep making videos around similar topics and themes as the one that initially helped them attract viewers.
YouTube channels shouldn’t limit their creativity, but some consistency will help build viewership numbers up in the beginning.
For more on this topic, see the full video with Rachel Alves below: