I have always been a big fan of video as a communication tool and YouTube is an amazing platform if you use it right.
-it’s you, your voice, your gesture, your feelings, much more than text
-it helps you scale: if you do a talk thousands can watch it even though they’re not here or if they missed it
-live is great, your community can feel the moment without being here, we use ustream at any of our launch events and LeWeb got 250,000 unique people watch the free stream last year, with peaks at nearly 10,000 simultaneous people watching, that is 4 times the size of the physical event
My YouTube channel loic.tv passed 2 million views and I’m getting about 3,000 views a day. Okay it’s nothing compared to the astounding 150 million views of iJustine, the 50 million views Renetto got, or the 90 million views Chris Pirillo got, but it’s a good start! Scoble also recently started to finally put everything on YouTube and is very successful with his channel. Chris Brogan is also a great source of inspiration. They all have many success factors in common.
I am still learning a lot, here are a few tricks:
-don’t think just shoot
Most people don’t do video because they lack confidence, they are afraid of their image. Don’t think. Shoot, record. You look ridiculous? No problem, who cares. Most often if you think too much, it gets worse! Watch iJustine teach you here.
That’s easy these days, just carry an iPhone4, a Kodak Zi8 or a Flip camera and when you have interesting meetings grab a few minutes with the people you meet, or make thousands of them like scoble does.
-make sure you have good quality sound, it’s as important as the video itself
here is what I generally use to record my YouTube videos
-build a YouTube following.
Did not think much about it until now, I started adding a “subscribe to this channel” button at the beginning of all the videos, it takes 20 seconds to do with YouTube annotations. In one month, my channel went from 3,000 to 4,000+ subscribers. It builds loyalty and creates a community, subscribers get the videos by email generated by YouTube. You also get more views
-transcribe the videos to get more visible in search and increase audience
We have been adding text transcript to every single video of my series “Build Your Own Brand”, it makes the video accessible to the hearing impaired but it also helps Google understand what’s in them, every single word you say gets referenced, you appear in more searches and therefore get more views.
-use annotations to make it easy to follow a series
I added a simple “Watch the next video” button at the end of each video of Build Your Own Brand linking into the next in the series. Simple, but helpful and gets more views to the videos. I also added a “Subscribe to this channel” button at the beginning of each video.
-translate them in as many languages as possible
This is a tough one. Being French I know many people don’t understand english (or even don’t understand “my” english) and therefore having a French, Spanish or German translation is really helpful. It’s not easy, I have posted a few tweets and many of you offered their help to translate them, Ricardo Sousa helped coordinate. Thanks all for your help but the truth is you end up with many files partially translated and it takes a huge amount of time. I am investigating other ways to translate.
-create a video series
Grouping videos on a topic like “build your brand” then publish them as a series released every day helps loyalty and excitement around the channel, instead of publishing them all at once
-create a dedicated site for a video series
Youtube itself is a great platform, but if you use their custom player, you can make it a player with the entire series and just register a domain et voila, you have a dedicated site you can point people to
-add a url at the beginning of the description of each video
I always forget this one, but starting a YouTube video description with a link to whatever you want to promote is a good way to get traffic from YouTube into your site, since YouTube standard annotations don’t let you do that, you need to buy advertising if you want to link from a YouTube video to a url which isn’t a YouTube content. This is a good way around it. When we launched Seesmic for iPhone we added a direct link to download the app in the AppStore in the description and the video got about 40,000 views, many of those viewers for sure also downloaded the app from that link.
-respond to comments
The more I am active in YouTube, the more comments I am getting. As in any social network (yes, most people don’t think of YouTube as a social network but it is one) interacting with your community is very important, that’s one more source of comments you need to monitor and the YouTube plugin Tequila Rapido created for Seesmic Desktop2 really helps.
-do shorter videos
The Twitter and Facebook era got us all used to short snippets of information, I am starting to do the same in video in my BYOB series, more like 1 to 3 minutes. They are edited, though, which takes a huge amount of efforts that Whit Scott is doing for me . When I create the videos myself without editing I try to have one or two points no more and keep them short.
it’s like blogging, you really create a community around the videos if you post regularly, every day if possible
-create one or many YouTube channels depending on content and quality?
That one I still have to figure out, I noticed iJustine now has several YouTube channels, one for her iPhone videos for example, which tend to be casual and lower quality than the other, often edited, ones. I am just starting to play uploading from my iPhone4, wondering if I should make it a separate channel.
-create an interactive channel banner
I think you need what YouTube calls a “partner” account to do this but you can deep link your banner to your other social networks or your own site or blog, try it on mine.
-do a podcast, too
It’s a shame that from just uploading on YouTube there isn’t a feed making it available as an iTunes podcast option, so I am also uploading some of them to blip.tv so they’re available on my iTunes video Podcast unfortunately I forget most of the time, we’re trying to make it happen for the BYOB series.
-oh and of course needless to say when yo
u post a video share it on all your social networks and blog it as much as you can
any other good tricks you think about? update: Chris Pirillo posted how he got 50,000 subscribers on YouTube