With 500 minutes of content being uploaded every minute, YouTube remains the most active social media channel in the digital landscape. But, how exactly do you use it to its full potential? 

Gone are the days that video content is just for teenagers; for every 10 minutes a user (aged under 35) spends on Instagram, they spend a further hour on YouTube; this year alone, over 75,000 influencers in the UK have added a YouTube channel to their online network portfolio. 

Subscribers expect compelling, integrated and dynamic content from anyone they choose to follow. We spoke to YouTube last week to understand how you engage your audience through video and keep your subscribers growing and have laid out their 10-step plan to founding a solid YouTube channel: 

1. Shareability

Those that have grown quickest, both in terms of views and subscribers, are those that have created shareable, engaging content. Consider the kind of media your friends currently share on other channels: usually it’s humour or fact-based, rather than a simple “I saw this person and enjoyed their content.” 

Combine that fun tone with a relatable personality - we’ll talk about the importance of people seeing and hearing you in a moment – and evaluate what your own attributes and lifestyle (if reflected in the content) will attract. Allow that to help you create a realistic impression of the size of following you are after. For example, if you are into a very niche sport, you’ll attract less interest than if you are into football or a globally popular activity. 

Lastly, be valuable. Create content that provides advice people are really looking for. Lots of fashion and beauty based influencers find that although subscribers are loyal to their weekly vlogs, it’s actually the tutorial-based (advice offering) videos that get them the big views. 

2. Conversation

This is something YouTube were adamant about; if you are approaching YouTube as a way to document your life or provide information, talking to camera is imperative. People like people, so they need to know who and what you are. 

Be authentic and be open; bear in mind that the more definition and preference you give on your channel, the more people there are who might have opposing opinions, thus limiting your following. Most large vloggers make early decisions on what they are and aren’t prepared to talk about, which you should consider too. Take voting preferences as an example; as much as being controversial can be good for momentary viral marketing power, it also encourages negative comments which most influencers want to avoid. 

3. Interactivity

In line with conversation, interaction is really important. YouTube videos all have the “like” and “dislike” buttons next to the video, but you can encourage more in-depth feedback and conversation through asking questions to your subscribers, using the Poll tool or asking them to submit ideas for content. Videos that ask for feedback or assistance with tasks get double the amount of comments and engagement.

4. Consistency

This is something that YouTube brought up more than any other point when it came to growing a following: creating a regular stream of content that goes up at the same time each week. If you consider the common behaviour of someone knowing when their favourite TV program is on, and consequently adapting their plans around it, you begin to understand how important it is to offer them the same possibilities on YouTube. 

In terms video quantity, they recommend that twice a week is more than enough and once is actually fine. Posting in the evenings is preferable and Sunday, as we all know, is a key engagement opportunity. Evenings are the best time to encourage followers to your channel as they are most likely to be in a position to watch content once home from work. 

Also, lets not forget that YouTube is a Google product, which is the largest search engine tool in the world. Posting regular, clearly marked content will no doubt reap you rewards through search terms and recommended videos within the platform. 

5. Targeting

This is something people often overlook, but is one of the most important things you should do before launching a channel. Being aware of how your content could be perceived on the channel is vital. For example, if you are posting regular content about women’s shopping, understand few men will feel the need to watch your content. 

Assuming you’re posting the same content, if you are looking to attract a broad range of people (eg: all women in the UK), make sure that you have enough content going out that caters for all circumstances. Include shopping posts for various price ranges, from shops people can all access and for a variety of body shapes, skin colours and ages. 

 Overall, realise the more you talk about, the larger your potential following. Balance this with keeping a robust content strategy; content should never feel random to a subscriber – they need to know what to expect from you. 

6. Sustainability

Evergreen content, that is content where its relevance never goes away or weakens (the opposite of time-sensitive content), is fundamental to YouTube success. It means that subscribers always have a reason to come to your channel, and there is always relevant content for your audience to watch. 

  Content that is obviously outdated is off-putting for subscribers and demonstrates lack of care. Always make sure the content showcased on your main channel page is relevant and in date. Also make sure any links are working and are replaced if they are broken. 

7. Discoverability

With so many videos being uploaded each minute, it’s essential that you title and describe your videos in the simplest and most informative way for people to find them. To find out what people are searching for (so you can create relevant content), you can look on Google Trends or trend predicting programs like Trendspotter and WGSN.

8. Accessibility

Don’t underestimate the advantage you have being a native English speaker. Although the Indian and Spanish language markets are booming on YouTube, 94% of the most read video content is created in English. 

  However, if you have plans for global domination, do remember to speak in a way that is understood as much as possible. If you are strongly accented, consider using subtitles – you’d be surprised how much a seemingly subtle accent can throw off someone whose main language isn’t English. Google/YouTube’s own translator tools aren’t perfect, so we’d recommend manually adding them in with your own editing software. 

9. Collaboration

We appreciate this is tricky, as there have been lots of circumstances where vloggers pairing up just hasn’t worked. However, there is no denying that those who do come together to create content, grow quicker. Finding somebody relevant, who wont feel like you’re piggybacking their success is the hard part – but if you look to other media types, podcasts as an example, sometimes partnering two influencers together can be a brilliant way to develop their own individual channels and profiles.

10. Inspiration

Last but not least, keep up the excitement. Tell your followers what you love about creating YouTube content and why you think it’s the best way for telling your stories online. Enthusiasm is infectious; them seeing you enjoy it will rub off on them.