You don’t need expensive hardware to get going. Content is far more important than having 4K or 360-degree video. Great quality helps, but today’s smartphones are more than good enough to start with. That said, good lighting is very important: natural is great, if you can be outdoors, or near a window, or pick up some lighting kits that start at a couple of hundred dollars. Clear audio is critical, too; you can buy a highly-rated clip-on lavalier (“lav”) mic starting at only $23.
Link economics -- For years, people in media and tech proclaimed the link economy. The idea was that you'd give away material, welcome people to link to it, and those links would bring new audiences that you could then turn into customers. But there is a basic problem, in that very few people actually click links that require them to go to other sites. As the Journal pointed out, many people simply watch a video hosted on YouTube and embedded elsewhere and don't actually visit Google's site, reducing the ability to display ads.
It’s important to visit each location you plan on using before the shoot. On your scouting trips, make sure you’ll be able to capture the kinds of shots you want for your video. Typically, it’s better to have more space so you can adjust the camera position as needed. You should also check for any loud or ambient noise like busy roads or air conditioning units that could interfere with your audio when filming, and you should consider light and time of day. While the room might have sufficient light in the morning, you may need to bring a lighting kit in to film during the afternoon or evening.
Watch time reports the total number of minutes your audience has spent viewing your content on your channel as a whole and by video. This helps you see what pieces of content viewers are actually consuming instead of just clicking on and navigating away. Watch time is important because it’s one of YouTube’s ranking factors. A video with a higher watch time is more likely to rank higher in results. YouTube provides a line item report on watch time, views, average view duration, and average percentage viewed for individual videos, location, publish date, and more. A video’s average percentage viewed, or retention rate, indicates the average percentage of a video your audience watches per view. A higher percentage means there’s a higher chance that your audience will watch that video until the end. Try placing cards and end screens in videos with a higher average percentage viewed rate to improve the number of views your calls-to-action receive.
The best advice for creating a content cadence is to set the tone from the beginning and let your audience know what to expect. Make your introduction video an introduction to what sort of content you will be publishing, and how often—and then whatever cadence you set for yourself, make sure you follow through. Don’t promise to post videos every day and then end up posting once per month.
This means that if someone skips an ad, or is running an ad blocker, then you don’t get paid for that view. This makes estimating the amount of views a video has and how much a user makes off of the video very challenging. It also depends if it’s a video ad at the front of your video, or just a box at the bottom of your page; this determines how many people interact with your ad and the amount of money that can be made.
Now that your YouTube channel is up and running, let’s talk about search. Remember how we mentioned that YouTube is the second largest search engine? While creating engaging content is a must, it’s not the only factor for success. There are several things you can do to optimize your videos to rank highly on both YouTube and in Google search results.