YouTube celebrated its tenth birthday the other day, almost nine of those years being as a property of Google (GOOG). It would seem like a raging success: Some stars of the medium make significant amounts of money, companies use it as a powerful marketing tool, and Google harvests enormous amounts of user data that become marketing gold. YouTube is the top video site in the world, with more than a billion users and $4 billion in annual revenue.
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.
The fact that YouTube is such a hugely popular platform also means that there is a lot of competition. According to Statista, as of July 2015, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. So, if you want to be successful on YouTube, you need to make sure that you have the time and the resources to publish quality content on a consistent basis. In other words, you’ll need a good YouTube marketing plan.
YouTube also has a more democratic appeal. Unlike Instagram, where the biggest influencers are mainstream megastars in their own right (Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé), YouTube is dominated by homegrown celebrities, such as Jenna Mourey (a.k.a. Jenna Marbles), Mariand Castrejón Castañeda (a.k.a. Yuya, a Mexican beauty vlogger), and a bunch of gamers that I’ve never heard of but have millions of fans. The world’s highest-paid YouTube star is Daniel Middleton, a British 26-year-old who goes by “DanTDM” and gained his fortune (an estimated annual income of $16.5 million, per Forbes) by posting videos of himself playing Minecraft. Last year, he did an international tour that included four sold-out nights at the Sydney Opera House.
For instance, say you are a fitness trainer who provides workout videos. You notice that a prominent traffic source for your channel is people searching for “5-minute workouts”. Using this insight, you could now create an entire playlist of different five-minute workout routines. These videos will be highly searchable, allowing you to meet the existing needs of your audience and grow your viewership.
"Commodified Internet spaces are always profit-oriented, but the goods they provide are not necessarily exchange-value and market-oriented; in some cases (such as Google, Yahoo, MySpace, YouTube, Netscape), free goods or platforms are provided as gifts in order to drive up the number of users so that high advertisement rates can be charged in order to achieve profit.":181
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Step 4 Write smart descriptions. Youtube displays the first 125 characters in the search results. So be aware of your first sentence. Make it count. You want to compel someone to click on your result. But don’t stop there. The full description has room for 5,000 characters. That is prime real estate. Use it wisely and add in a few latent semantic keywords and tags in your description.
Remind your YouTube viewers to subscribe to your channel, during or after the video plays, and in the description or comments section. Tag your videos with relevant keywords, so people can find your work. Push traffic to your YouTube channel from other social platforms. “Boosting your subscribers won’t happen overnight, but keep it up. Consistency is key, and you can reach out to other creators for advice or collaboration,” adds Ezarik (YouTube says collaboration is critical, too). Interact with your viewers by responding to comments.
The online-video unit posted revenue of about $4 billion in 2014, up from $3 billion a year earlier, according to two people familiar with its financials, as advertiser-friendly moves enticed some big brands to spend more. But while YouTube accounted for about 6% of Google’s overall sales last year, it didn’t contribute to earnings. After paying for content, and the equipment to deliver speedy videos, YouTube’s bottom line is “roughly break-even,” according to a person with knowledge of the figure.
One reason is that it caters to a narrow audience of young viewers. Music videos are its most popular content. YouTube’s stars remain relatively unknown. Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is the biggest star, with 35 million subscribers to his wacky videogame montages. Even Ms. Wojcicki hadn’t heard of him before joining YouTube, she told a conference last fall.
Your video thumbnail will be the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results, and it can have a large impact of the amount of clicks to and views your video receives. YouTube will auto-generate a few thumbnail options for your video, but we highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail. YouTube reports that “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.” When filming, think of high-quality shots that accurately represent your video. YouTube recommends using a 1280 x 720 px image to ensure that your thumbnail looks great on all screen sizes.