YouTube presents a huge opportunity for small businesses looking to reach new audiences.
The video platform is often the first port of call for a younger generation of consumers. Many in this group want an engaging, visual way to find information and entertainment.
Huge global brands are ploughing resources into video, including some of the world’s biggest publishers. But even the smallest companies can use video to their advantage – and with some careful thought and a bit of preparation, you can use this medium to drive real revenue benefits.
But a YouTube channel is only useful if people are actually watching your content. So, to get first-hand experience of how to increase YouTube subscriber numbers, we got in touch with a YouTube influencer who has already found success.
Kaitlin Emma is a 20-year-old vlogger who focuses on fashion, beauty, and many other aspects of life. Her channel, Kaitlin Emma, is nearing a quarter of a million subscribers, and she has secured a coveted ‘verified’ tick on the platform. We spoke to Kaitlin to get her top tips on building a YouTube channel.
Given the huge volume of content on YouTube, it’s crucial that you find a niche. What’s your specialist area? In which field can you produce unique, valuable content that viewers can’t find anywhere else?
As Kaitlin demonstrates, your niche could be as simple as your own personality. Kaitlin began her YouTube journey very young, watching hair tutorials and fashion videos. This was her route into making videos, but she quickly found her own voice. “I was extremely quiet and shy in school,” she says. “So I never wanted to try anything out of the ordinary. But gradually my confidence grew, both on YouTube and offline. This encouraged me to begin speaking about topics surrounding high school, body image, and my experiences.”
Her audience grew as she adopted a more personal approach. “Although my advice videos were never popular at first,” she says, “as time has gone on they have grown to become some of my most-viewed videos. They’re constantly gaining views and comments, even though they’re now several years old.”
It’s important that you have a firm strategy behind what you post on YouTube. This might involve tailoring posts to current events, as Kaitlin explains: “Keeping in touch with current trends online and what people are searching for is where you can get your next idea from. In the beauty industry, new releases and big changes are always attention grabbers.”
Your strategy might also be seasonal: “Keeping your video topical to the season is also a huge driver of views and growth. For me, back to school season is a great time to upload fashion and makeup videos appropriate for dress codes and school guidelines. Christmas is also a really fun time in the beauty community.”
Kaitlin posts every Tuesday and Friday, and sticks rigidly to her schedule. She says: “Posting regularly is essential! Twice a week is frequent enough to keep people engaged and show them you are still dedicated to creating content.” By keeping to a strict posting schedule you can build trust amongst your audience, and encourage repeat visits to your channel.
YouTube is a huge opportunity, but it’s important to remember that it should be approached as part of a broader social strategy – something that Kaitlin has learned from experience. She says she wishes she realised the power of using all social media platforms before starting her channel. “Now I see the importance of building an equal presence on all platforms and how a balanced following conveys a lot about your viewers’ loyalty.”
Finally, as with everything in your business, it helps to think long-term. But you need to build out some measurable performance indicators against which you can judge your success. For Kaitlin, these were primarily about subscriber numbers.
“When I began,” she says, “I wanted to reach 10,000 subscribers. To me, that meant you’d made it! But of course by the time I got there I had my eyes on 20,000, then 50,000, and so on. Goals are definitely what drives you to keep going and succeed.”
Have you considered using video to attract new consumers? Let us know in the comments below.
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