Join Fangage’s CEO Sam Feldt onstage at TNW2021 for a session on ‘Empowering Creators.’
Growing a YouTube channel with creative content is truly exciting, especially for creative types.
Creative inspirations come often and they can be enlightening. However, you will limit your channel’s growth if you change direction too often.
Here’s an example: imagine if a successful brand like Heineken changed their product drastically every once in a while. It would have devastating results for the brand.
Building a brand takes consistency and a systematic approach. And this can be hard for creative people.
However, on a platform where your results are based on an algorithm, you need to work systematically.
Hence, building a brand on YouTube starts with preparation.
1. Determine your core focus
Identifying a problem, niche, or area of expertise you want to cover with your channel is crucial. You can go very specific but more general channels can work too.
Either way, you need to have a core focus for your channel and hold onto it. This way, you won’t diverge in another direction as easily.
2. Analyze the competition
After you’ve determined the core focus for your channel, you should look at how other successful brands in your focus area are doing it.
You should learn from your competition. Although you don’t want to be a copycat, you should take the best parts of your competitors’ channels and combine them to create something great.
How are they engaging with fans? What kinds of content works for them? What other things are they doing that seems to work?
3. Find your unique selling point
You need to find that gap in the market and fill it with your channel. People need to have a reason to choose your channel over your competitors.
You need to provide something unique and build on that consistently. This could be anything, but it needs to be something. Think of highlighting certain parts of your personality or using unusual edits.
4. Do your keyword research
To most creators, keyword research is the most boring part of the preparation phase. However, it is essential to achieve growth on a platform like YouTube, where algorithms determine your success.
YouTube has, after all, its own search engine. And keyword research will make it easier for your desired audience to find you. And getting them to find you means more opportunities for your content to be shared.
In fact, according to research by Digital Marketing Institute, 76% of users said they would share a branded video with their friends if it was entertaining.
Do your research and increase your chances of growing.
5. Develop a system
Consistency is key for building a successful brand on YouTube. The algorithm favors consistency and frequency. It’s a real grind.
You need to develop a system to be able to consistently upload content your audience needs. Your audience has high expectations and if you can’t keep up with their demands, you won’t be able to reach your full potential on YouTube.
When are you going to record videos? When will you edit? How will you schedule?
You need to have a system to be able to consistently deliver value to your audience. Because then you will be favored by the algorithm and your videos will have more opportunities to be discovered.
6. Give your channel your branded look
It might seem less important, but setting up your profile with proper branding is essential.
Your profile picture needs to be easily recognizable as this is what people see next to your name in the comments of your videos. Brands often use their logos as profile pictures because these are easily recognized, even at a quick glance.
Also, be sure to include a header with your brand’s colors to give your channel the complete look of your brand.
The channel of creator and music critic Anthony Fantano (theneedledrop) is a good example of a well-branded YouTube channel. His logo is instantly recognizable and his header completes the look by highlighting its primary brand color.
Building your brand
7. Nurture relationships with your fans
When you start getting some views, comments will likely appear under your videos. The easy route would be to do nothing with them. But if you’re serious about building your brand on YouTube, you should definitely leave relevant replies to those comments.
It’s important that you nurture the relationships you have with your subscribers. They will love it when you give them your attention and if you’re open to discussions with them.
Besides, this will also reflect well for your brand when people who are new to your videos check out the comment section.
8. Repurpose your videos on other platforms
You can always share the content you upload on YouTube on other platforms.
You can upload an interesting highlight from a video to your Instagram to start a discussion with your followers. This is good for your engagement on these platforms and increases your social presence overall.
Finally, you should definitely form partnerships whenever you can. These are great opportunities to get your name out to a different audience and tell your story in a unique way.
When you’re just starting out, it might seem like an impossible task to collaborate with a brand, but finding YouTube sponsorships for small channels is perfectly possible.
This is a great method of getting brand exposure while you might attract some new loyal fans along the way.
Partners are usually very interested in what you have to offer them. Therefore, you must show the company how they will benefit from collaborating with you.
You should be able to offer them analytics of your audience so they can see if collaborating will be worth it for them.
Pro Tip: with a website for your fans, you have 100% control over your fans’ data. Being able to show these advanced insights to your fans will be of great value when negotiating with companies for a partnership.
Consistency is key
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: consistency is key when building a successful brand on YouTube. The steps we listed here are very simple. Actually implementing them and being consistent is the hard part.
If you’re really serious about building a successful brand, you need to fulfill the needs of your audience consistently.
With a website for your fans, you can collect fan data and offer your fans the personal fan-experience they need.