How to Grow as a Small Channel: Advice from a YouTube Product Manager

Hello Insiders! Today we’re back (with a new mic!) to cover a requested video on advice to grow your smaller YouTube channel. We have 5 tips for you today.

Check it out and leave your comments and questions below!

Chapters:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Tip 1: Build your channel around an audience
1:24 Tip 2: Find your niche
2:22 Tip 3: Watch lots of videos
3:24 Tip 4: Establish your brand
4:01 Tip 5: Be consistent
4:51 Recap

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(logo whooshing) — What’s up Insiders? It’s Rachel here. And today, I wanted to share five pieces of advice that I often give to smaller channels or creators who are just getting started and looking to build an audience here on YouTube. I’ve been at YouTube for about four years. A lot of which I spent analyzing thousands of videos and channels trying to understand why some channels just took off and were able to sustain their fame. And on the other hand, understanding why some channels decline. I’m not a product manager on YouTube’s recommendation system. All that being said, let’s get to the top five things that I’ve learned during my time here. I hope it’s helpful. Okay, the first is to build your channel around an audience. And I know that sounds obvious But what I’m encouraging you to do is really design your content around people. Think about who is watching your channel, what they’re interested in and how their interests are likely to change over the course of six months, a year to two years time if you’re in this for the long-term. If you do go after short-term topics, let’s say how to make banana bread during the pandemic, I’m sure that was very successful. However, those viewers may be less likely to stick around with you in the longterm. And so design your content strategy around people and their interests adjusted as their interests change. And remember that you need to do two things in order to grow. You need to attract new viewers and then keep those viewers coming back to watch more. Number two is find your niche. And what I mean by that is that there’s more content on the internet and YouTube than ever before and it is harder to stand out. So in order to grow, you really need to make something better than what’s already out there or something different. So, for example, let’s say that I wanted to start a cooking channel. I could either, A, go after a niche market or B, find a gap in the market. So an example of a niche market might be instead of making regular recipe videos, I go after a specific type of recipe. So maybe all of my recipes are salad recipes. Or maybe they’re all surveyed. A gap in the market could be something that let’s say I have identified there’s not a lot of videos out there for budget conscious students. So maybe my entire channel are recipes under $10. So do your best to find your niche so you can either make something better or different than what’s already out there. Number three, watch lots of videos. If you were gonna start a business, you would be doing market research, which is an exercise where you go out into the market that you’re entering, figure out what’s selling, what people love and really understand what they enjoy. And starting a channel is not that dissimilar. So what you really wanna do is look at some creators that are producing similar content. Think about, what are they making that’s working so well? And that’s not to copy them in any way, that’s to understand what viewers really enjoy. So let’s say I’ve started my cooking channel. It’s focused on salads, I’m calling it Salad Crush. I’m gonna start out by searching for other videos about salad and seeing what those popular videos have in common. I actually did this right before I made this video and a lot of the thumbnails had multiple recipes in the thumbnail. So maybe that’s something that I’m gonna replicate because there’s lots of viewer demand for three different, easy recipes in one video. So maybe that’s something I’m gonna make as well. So understand what’s out there. Do a ton of market research. Watch lots of videos. Number four is to create and establish your brand. Having really strong branding or a consistent style between your titles, your thumbnails, your colors, your graphics, and your fonts, really helps your channel and content stick out when viewers have so many options about what to watch. And it helps them easily become familiar with your channel and recognize it as soon as it’s offered in recommendations. So really think about what fonts, colors and styles best represent your brand, and then make sure that that flows through your channel icon, your channel art, even your channel description and of course your channel trailer. Number five and last but not least is be consistent. It can take time and lots of experimentation to start getting viewers into a habit of watching your channel regularly. And in order to do that, to keep them coming back to watch, there are some strategies that some creators use like uploading consistently. So on a schedule so viewers know when to expect new content and of course continuing to deliver on the promise that viewers were first given when they started watching your channel. So maybe it’s making a series with similar topics and themes as to the video that they first fell in love with when they hit subscribe or started watching your channel first. Of course, don’t limit your creativity. If you’re gonna sustain audience’s interest over time, you will have to evolve but consistency can help in the beginning when you’re trying to get viewers into a routine. So to recap, my top five pieces of advice for creators just starting out are to build your channel around an audience, to find your niche, to watch lots of videos and do your market research, create your brand, have strong branding and then be consistent. Best of luck and if you’re a more established creator that has good advice for other creators who are just starting out, please leave it in the comments below. As always, keep it real.

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