It’s never been easier to create content. Take YouTube: all you need is a camera and an internet connection to start sharing videos with the world. But the real skill is in creating something that people will love and keep coming back to.
If there’s one group of people who understand how to pull that off, it’s YouTube creators. We asked three of them to share with us how they’ve raised the bar for their YouTube content strategies.
Help viewers feel like they’re in the room with you
“I’m a choreographer and dancer, so unlike comedians, vloggers, and singers, I don’t really get the chance to speak in videos. That makes it challenging to connect with viewers, which means I have to come up with more creative ways to break the fourth wall.
One thing I do is upload my dance classes with the original audio, where you can hear people screaming and cheering for the selected dancers. This, accompanied with the steady moving camera, makes people feel like they’re in the room watching live. I also encourage my fans to get involved. For example, they can post videos themselves, something that just can’t be done through traditional media.”
Kyle Hanagami is a choreographer whose Shape of You dance class was named the second-most viral YouTube video of 2017.
Don’t chase trends, get ahead of them
“One of the main ways I continue attracting new fans is by producing creative covers and mashups of current pop music. Doing that requires staying abreast of what’s charting or on the rise, not only in terms of radio plays and record releases, but in terms of a song’s YouTube presence as well. If I know, for example, that a popular musician is dropping a video on a certain day, I can create an interesting cover of the song and post it before the official video goes live. That way people who are watching the new music video may come across my version, enjoy it, and subscribe.
It’s also important to be aware of what else already exists on YouTube. I’m always watching other music creators’ content, not only to stay inspired and aware of what my colleagues are creating, but also to make sure I’m always bringing something distinctive and new — that I’m adding to the artistic conversation rather than just repeating what’s already been done.”
Sam Tsui is a singer-songwriter whose YouTube channel has, at publication, almost 3 million subscribers. He has collaborated with brands like Coca Cola, Kia, McDonald’s, Canon, Marriott, Ikea, and Mattel.
Make it really personal
“When I first started my doll crafting channel, I didn’t want to show my face. If you go back and look at some of the earlier videos, you’ll see that they were all done using point-of-view (POV) shots.
Then my husband Chris — who doesn’t appear in the videos, but works with me on everything from script writing to post-production — went to a YouTube creators summit and came away with this insight: YouTube is about the creators, not the thing they’re creating. Even when a video is showcasing a product, be it fidget spinners or slime, there’s a personality front and center.
So I started injecting much more of myself into the videos. We still have a lot of videos that exclusively use POV shots, but now we complement those with more personality-based formats like YouTube Live or behind-the-scenes videos.”
LaToya Moore-Broyles is the artist behind doll crafting channel MyFroggyStuff, which just hit 1 billion views.