Visual Social Channel Series: Getting Acquainted With YouTube

While photo-based platforms like Instagram are fairly easy to get started with, video content marketing can be a bit more intimidating. You must be vulnerable, take risks, and craft content that captivates your audience for longer periods of time. Luckily, speakers at the BlogHer conference offered us some enlightening pointers on how to get your YouTube channel off the ground. Read on to see how you can utilize video in your marketing efforts.

Overcome Market Saturation

YouTube comedian Jessi Sanfillippo started her YouTube channel in 2013, and it took about a year before she began seeing some traction. Perhaps the most crucial advice she gave us was to find ways to stand out. Many industries are oversaturated on YouTube -- there are plenty of fashion, food and makeup vlogs. But standing out isn't as tough as it sounds. As Sanfillippo told us, "We all have the same skills and the same tools, but we all approach it differently. We're all going to do it differently." Identify your unique selling point and magnify it, even if it seems tiny and insignificant at first.

Assess Your Equipment

Many YouTube newcomers ask, "Do I need to buy a top-quality video camera?" According to Lauren Lumsden, Director of Video Programming at Cosmo, it depends. For food vlogs, you'll want the best lighting you can get. However, some vloggers regularly shoot with just their smartphones. In either case, there are some basic pieces of equipment you'll want to consider -- like microphones, tripods and compact fluorescent bulbs. There are also free options for video editing software, like iMovie and Lightworks. Depending on the subject of your content, higher end equipment may or may not be necessary.

Be a Storyteller

If you've read any content marketing advice lately, you've probably been lectured about the importance of telling a great "story." With video instead of text as your medium, it can be even easier to bring stories to life. A study by IPG Media Lab followed 50 successful brands from around the world and found that they leaned toward storytelling and long-form content (videos longer than one minute). Stories tick all the boxes for quality content -- they're relatable, entertaining and memorable. Using tools like Channel Meter, you can observe trends and easily determine the impact of your stories. Of course, if your videos are not compact and organized for consumption, you'll need to make things more accessible.

Make It Accessible

The last tip to sharpening your video content is to make it as easy to consume as possible. There are several techniques for doing this, and it helps to stick to the same routine for each video you publish. First, you can sync your social media accounts to ensure audiences on each platform know when new videos are published. Next, run through a mental checklist to make sure (1.) Your video title and description are understandable, enticing and honest; and (2.) There are no barriers to enjoying your video -- the sound, visuals and story flow should all be easy to comprehend. Use subtitles and cut out any tangents that are not relevant to your main topic.

To sum up what we learned at the BlogHer conference, YouTube is a medium that won't leave us anytime soon, so publishers should create enticing video content as a way to drive traffic. With our rapidly shrinking attention spans and busy lifestyles, video offers just the format to keep audiences engaged with little effort on their part -- simply click and watch. It is this immediacy that makes video such a powerful platform for building brand loyalty and gaining recognition in your industry.