10 Fundamentals of a Creative Strategy on YouTube

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Matt Koval, Programming Strategist, YouTube
Twitter Handle: @MattKoval

A framework for YouTube creators to filter their ideas through, with the goal of maximizing their potential for long-term success. Got a series idea for your YouTube channel? Workshop it during the presentation!

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  • Over the past year, we’ve worked with several top creators to find out what makes a successful show on YouTube.Notice I said “show” there. Or series. It’s important tothink beyond the one off viral hit. To sustain the audience over-time with something repeatable. That’s what these folks have managed to do, and their career depends on it.What I want to talk to you about today is building a consistent audience over the long haul. I realize this is non-profits and budgets are tight. But with some creative thinking I think you can implement all or at least some of these.These are the10 Fundamentals of Creative Strategy.
  • Just know that none are absolutely necessary.Not a checklist. Not a scorecard.In fact some of our top creators only do a few of these. But they do them extremely well.We’ll give you a worksheet at the end that lists these ten fundamentals. During the presentation, think about your particular show.
  • • “shareable” = “Viral” • The idea that people watch your content and immediately want to shareit with other people.• Powerful because people are finding out about YOU from the people THEY trust the most – their friends.
  • Rhett and Link, two incredibly sharp creators who have thrived on YouTube for over 5 years – put it this way.
  • This is a great, tough test of your Hero content.If they can’t come up with something that they themselves would click on, they move on to the next idea.Now here’s one of my favorite “shareable” videos of recent past.NEXT – PLAY “I forgot my iPhone”
  • (next)
  • YouTube is a community. It is a social network.Viewers often see their favorite stars as friends in the computer – vloggers are looking at you, and talking to you.Powerful because it builds loyalty and repeat views.
  • OK, Interactivity.
  • “Is there a way to involve the audience with this idea?Different from Conversational - all about involving the audience with the show itself, and/or its characters.This is another unique advantage in making content for YouTube -- that you can give the audience a chance to participate.
  • ERB - is a hugely popular series
  • • At the end of each episode, they ask viewers who won the battle, and who should be next. • A simple interactive component that is considered by one Maker executive to be “the smartest words of this series”
  • If they use your suggestion, they show it by way of a graphic.
  • Top YouTubers agree that consistency is critical toa channel’s success, though many will define it in different ways.Some talk about consistency in upload schedule.Some talk about consistency of personality.Some talk about consistency of format.Some talk about consistency of voice.Bottom line: When a viewer comes to your channel, they should know what to expect.
  • Some talk about consistency in upload schedule – the importance of uploading a video every Tuesday, for example.
  • Some talk about consistency of personality. That there should be a central face of the channel, either a host or the same actor in every video.
  • There is also consistency of format. Creating a show or series is a vehicle of sorts that is repeatable.Format of =3 – iterated across YouTube.Let’s take a look at this format [NEXT – PLAY BAD LIP READING]
  • From what we’ve seen, on YT, it’s helpful if you can focus on certain groups.
  • Is there a clearly defined audience you’re going after.Maybe it’s on the series level [NEXT SLIDE]
  • You can’t upload one thing and expect to have fans – you need to engage and grow your audience over time.You need an idea that is sustainable – if you’re doing YouiTube right, you might be on YouTube for a long time (ShayCarl, vlogger, just passed the 5 year mark)
  • Jack is a comedian and filmmaker Makes comedic short films
  • In between those bigger videos, he makes a sustainable series called “Your Grammar Sucks,” where he reads YouTube comments to cameraEasy to shoot – a green screen and a little editingTo make it even easier, he now has his fans submit comments
  • The Fine Brothers, two creators who have been making content on the site since it began, have this policy
  • [read quote].You might say that’s a bit extreme, but it’s helpful to think about how you can “bulk shoot”, if possible, in order to be sustainable on YouTube.
  • MATT
  • This is all about making content that will be found through search results, or related videos.Generally two ways to be “discoverable” –Through trending topicsOr Evergreen content
  • This is all about making content that will be found through search results, or related videos.Generally two ways to be “discoverable” –Through trending topicsOr Evergreen content
  • “Speedrun” is a popular series that recreates entire movies with drawn animation, and reduces them to 60 seconds. The selected movies are always pop culture classics, frequently searched for.
  • Having a show with “stand alone” episodes is helpful because, if you’ve uploaded 30 episodes, you have 30 chances for a new viewer to stumble upon, enjoy, and subscribe for more.
  • The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce): an enlightenment organization committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.
  • One of the fastest ways to grow subscribers on YouTube is to “collab” with those who have their own fans, and feature them in your videos.Works because when the guest star promotes the video, you get seen by another loyal audience that already knows how to use YouTube -- how to subscribe, comment and favorite videos. If they like you, they subscribe to you too.I think it’s common knowledge that collaborations are a great way to drive audience on YouTube. It works in large part because of who you are talking to… if you work with another YouTube channel with a loyal audience, that audience knows how to use YouTube.  They subscribe.  They comment.  They “favorite” videos.  So getting 100,000 of Toby Turner’s viewers to see your content will be much more powerful for building long time viewers than having that same clip in a blog read by millions of viewers, or a TV show.  Which is not to discount those – but collaborations are just an indisputable driver of loyalty when done right.There are generally two ways you can collab. First is to design a show that has a “guest chair” of sorts [next slide]
  • Even though the saying goes that Life is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration, we still think it’s important to highlight inspiration.This is why we have 10 Fundamentals, and not 9 Fundamentals – YouTubers made that suggestion.No matter what kind of content you are creating, loving what you do gives you more gas in the tank. It makes the process more enjoyable.Viewers can detect when you’re passionate about something.
  • OK, we’ll now take your questions. As we do that we’re going to pass out the worksheet.Take 6-8 minutes to fill out the questions.Just remember, it’s NOT a scorecard or checklist.
  • 10 Fundamentals of a Creative Strategy on YouTube

    1. 1. Google Confidential and Proprietary INTERNAL ONLY | August 2013 10 Fundamentals of a Creative Strategy on YouTube Google | YouTube Matt Koval – Programming Strategist
    2. 2. 0 0 O V E R V I E W 1 0 F U N D A M E N T A L S S H A R E A B I L I T Y C O N V E R S A T I O N I N T E R A C T I V I T Y C O N S I S T E N C Y T A R G E T I N G S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y D I S C O V E R A B I L I T Y A C C E S S I B I L I T Y C O L L A B O R A T I O N A U T H E N T I C I T Y
    3. 3. None are necessary. Each can help.
    4. 4. S H A R E A B I L I T Y
    5. 5. Will viewers share these videos?
    6. 6. /RhettAndLink 0 1 S H A R E A B I L I T Y
    7. 7. You’ll need more than one video. “When people share this, what 10 words will they use to describe it to their friends?” /RhettAndLink
    8. 8. C O N V E R S A T I O N
    9. 9. Is there an element of speaking directly to the audience?
    10. 10. 0 2 C O N V E R S A T I O N
    11. 11. I N T E R A C T I V I T Y
    12. 12. Is there a way to involve the audience with this idea? 0 3 I N T E R A C T I V I T Y
    13. 13. C O N S I S T E N C Y
    14. 14. Are there strong recurring elements to this idea? 0 4 C O N S I S T E N C Y
    15. 15. Schedule 0 4 C O N S I S T E N C Y
    16. 16. 0 4 C O N S I S T E N C Y Personality
    17. 17. 0 4 C O N S I S T E N C Y Format
    18. 18. 0 4 C O N S I S T E N C Y
    19. 19. T A R G E T I N G
    20. 20. Is there a clearly defined audience? 0 5 T A R G E T I N G
    21. 21. S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
    22. 22. If the audience loves it, can you make more of it? 0 6 S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
    23. 23. 0 6 S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y/TheFineBros
    24. 24. /TheFineBros “If we can’t shoot at least three episodes in one day, we move on to the next idea.” 0 6 S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
    25. 25. D I S C O V E R A B I L I T Y
    26. 26. Will the content get found through search or related videos? 0 7 D I S C O V E R A B I L I T Y
    27. 27. Trending -or- Evergreen 0 7 D I S C O V E R A B I L I T Y
    28. 28. A C C E S S I B I L I T Y
    29. 29. Can every episode be appreciated by a brand new viewer? 0 8 A C C E S S I B I L I T Y
    30. 30. C O L L A B O R A T I O N
    31. 31. Is there room to feature guest stars? 0 9 C O L L A B O R A T I O N
    32. 32. A U T H E N T I C I T Y
    33. 33. Is this idea authentic and on message? 1 0 I N S P I R A T I O N
    34. 34. None are necessary. Each can help.
    35. 35. 0 0 O V E R V I E W 1 0 F U N D A M E N T A L S S H A R E A B I L I T Y C O N V E R S A T I O N I N T E R A C T I V I T Y C O N S I S T E N C Y T A R G E T I N G S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y D I S C O V E R A B I L I T Y A C C E S S I B I L I T Y C O L L A B O R A T I O N A U T H E N T I C I T Y
    36. 36. R E S O U R C E S 1. Main Site: www.youtube.com/nonprofits 1. YouTube Playbook for Good: www.youtube.com/yt/playbook 1. Email: nonprofits@youtube.com 1. YouTube.com/Spaces available for channels who have reached a certain number of subscribers (lower for non-profits).
    37. 37. T H A N K S !

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