Estimates for YouTube's annual revenue, nearly all of which still comes from ads, vary a fair amount. But many of the estimates are now above $10 billion. At different points, Bank of America and Mizuho forecast that YouTube would post 2017 revenue of $13 billion and $12 billion, respectively. And in February, Baird's Colin Sebastian estimated YouTube is doing around $15 billion in annual sales.
5. Consider the customer journey. “If you’re just starting out on YouTube and have yet to build a following, chances are your first viewers will find you through search. So before you hit record or start building your video story, think about how you want your customers or viewers to find you. Who are you trying to attract? What are they searching for on Google or YouTube and how can you help them? Figure out which keywords you want your brand to rank for and craft compelling and entertaining video content around those keywords. The key to is to think about what the ideal path for your customer is. Say your company is a photo printing company. Your brand may be interesting to people who are searching for things such as ‘engagement photos,’ ‘scrapbooks,’ etc. If you want to capture those interested folks, your best bet is to create content for what they’re already searching for.” – Amy Copperman, 4 Essential Tips for YouTube Video Success, Adobe Spark; Twitter: @AdobeSpark
After all, relatability is a YouTuber’s greatest asset — along with a willingness to keep plugging away. “If you’re passionate about it, you really increase your chances of success,” says Asano. “It’s a lot of work. To produce just one video, you need camera equipment, a computer to edit it on, and time. And if you’re just starting out, you’re not going to get paid for a while because you need to build your subscribers. Don’t do it because you think you’re going to make an easy buck, because it’s not.”
“If you want your video to be watched, it needs to create some kind of value for the viewer. Videos that are purely focused on a brand, or driving sales, will likely be ignored. The best video content tells stories that connect with the viewer. The better you tell stories about yourself, the more likely your viewers are going to understand what your company is offering and what it can do for them.” – Ash Read, 7 Secrets of Super-Successful Video Marketing, Buffer; Twitter: @buffer
In late 2011 and early 2012, YouTube launched over 100 "premium" or "original" channels. It was reported the initiative cost $100 million. Two years later, in November 2013, it was documented that the landing page of the original channels became a 404 error page. Despite this, original channels such as SourceFed and Crash Course were able to become successful.
Because of the time you're allotted with this ad format, it's suggested that you create this type of ad with the goal of views and brand development, rather than just clicks into your website. This ad ideally generates revenue from the long-term brand awareness that comes out of a story people don't want to skip, and one viewers remember the next time they approach your product or service.
At the same time, YouTube is moving to develop subscription services. In November, YouTube announced a music-subscription service, similar to Spotify, that will offer ad-free listening and other tools for $10 a month. YouTube executives have discussed another subscription offering for non-music content, according to one industry official, which would be in addition to its existing ad-supported service.
After all that prep work, it’s finally time to start filming your video. Don’t own a fancy camera or have budget to rent one? Don’t worry! Advances in smartphone cameras have made it possible to film great content with just a phone. If you are filming your video with a phone, be sure to turn it sideways and film in landscape mode. This will prevent awkward cropping or framing when you upload the video to YouTube, which natively supports the landscape format. No matter what you’re filming with, these tips can help your video to look professional and stay engaging for your viewers.
But sponsorships are where the big bucks are made, and where intermediaries like MediaKix and other agencies come in. This is the major leagues: Most brands aren’t interested in YouTube channels with fewer than 200,000 to 300,000 subscribers or average views of less than 10,000 to 20,000 per video, says Asano. The bar is also high because videos cost more to make, and require tricky negotiations —the sponsor will want to know where their product will be featured, for how long, and so forth. “When we’re connecting top brands with top influencers on YouTube, you’re talking a minimum budget of $50,000 to $100,000, and it just goes up from there,” Asano explains. “Some of the biggest YouTube influencers get paid $100,000 to 200,000 for a single video. And then those videos get millions of views. That’s why there’s a lot of money in the space.”
Apply to join the YouTube Partner Program when you feel confident in the interest and following your videos have garnered. There is no set following numbers needed to become a partner, but YouTube must see that your videos have interest and are growing a following before you're accepted. Sometimes YouTube will contact you directly about becoming a partner, especially if your videos have gone viral quickly. If not, you can apply on the YouTube partner page by entering personal information, describing a marketing plan, and defining your video genre.
Once your channel is setup, it’s time to start populating it with content. This is where the fun begins! In this section, we’ll talk about some different types of videos you can create and walk through how to film and edit videos. Overwhelmed? Feeling uninspired? Check out our list of great video advertising and marketing campaigns for creative ideas to inspire your next project .
One of the main ways you can take advantage of this feature is by creating a channel trailer. A channel trailer is the video version of your description and is shown to all your unsubscribed viewers. Your trailer should be short and sweet (around 30 to 60 seconds). Focus on showing visitors what your channel is about, what they can expect to see, and encourage them to subscribe. Your trailer won’t be interrupted by ads, keeping the user focused on why they should watch more videos from your brand.