For other YouTube creators, ad dollars only go so far, and a significant portion of revenue comes from sponsorships and “affiliate marketing” (when brands offer a commission on any sales or traffic that the creator’s content drives). Affiliates function pretty seamlessly through YouTube; anyone can include links to featured products in their video’s caption, and when audience members click through and buy them, that YouTube channel gets a small kickback. Many YouTubers prefer Amazon’s affiliate program, “Amazon associates,” although there are plenty more to choose from.
It wasn’t long ago that “content marketing” meant producing and promoting blog posts, infographics, white papers and other static media. But as the digital landscape continues to evolve, “content” is increasingly coming to be understood as “video.” YouTube—the original video platform—continues to be a big player when it comes to the most effective channels for video marketing.
“Additionally, such branding is important for ensuring that your viewers remember the video, which is especially handy when they need to refer someone to it. Even though they might forget the actual content and the name of the video, remembering your branded footage will help direct viewers to your channel.” – Jon Clark, 7 Vital Elements of a Successful YouTube Video, SearchEngineJournal; Twitter: @sejournal
Promote your videos. Only videos that record thousands of visitors and channels that update videos frequently make the cut for YouTube's Partner Program. Wait to apply until you've developed a following and have garnered thousands of hits for your channel and videos. Promote your videos on your blog, through forums, and wherever else it's possible to leave a link.
“So, use YouTube Analytics to see what videos are successful at keeping viewers watching. Pay close attention to the Watch Time report and Audience Retention report. Keep viewers watching each of your videos by using effective editing techniques to maintain and build interest throughout each video. Then, direct viewers to watch more content by adding end screens to each of your videos. Next, build your subscriber base, because subscribers are your most loyal fans and will be notified of new videos and playlists to watch. Finally, build longer watch-time sessions for your content by using playlists and creating a regular release schedule to encourage viewers to watch sets of your videos instead of just single videos.” – Greg Jarboe, 3 Big YouTube Numbers Video Marketers Need to Care About, Tubular Insights; Twitter: @tubularinsights
There are many options for editing tools and software. Depending on your operating system, your computer may come with free editing software such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. These programs provide basic editing tools, like the ability to cut clips together, add titles, and add limited effects and color correction. There are also higher end, more expensive options such as Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premier CC, which offer an array of editing tools. YouTube even has its own online editing platform you can use to compile your clips and edit together your video.
At the end of the day, though, there are a lot of variables that can affect just how much you can make on YouTube. Your audience has a lot to do with the type of ad that would work best. For example, if you are making short funny videos, it’s probably best to not include a 30-second ad at the beginning—a viewer might just skip right on by. Luckily, YouTube has an analytics page that you can use to see just about every measurable aspect of your video—from demographics to time of day watched and location.
You can also sign up for Patreon, which allows you to launch membership-only video channels through YouTube at a small fee per month for regular rewards. Just imagine how much a YouTube channel could generate if it has the 1,000 subscribers required by the YPP. Charge $1 for a new channel with new content, and you could be looking at a solid monthly revenue stream.
With the basic profile complete, it’s time to add a few finishing touches! Before we move on, it’s important to get one thing straight -- you can customize the way your YouTube channel looks to subscribers and unsubscribed visitors. This means that unsubscribed viewers would see different featured content than dedicated, subscribed viewers. Pretty cool, right?