For Canadian fashion and beauty vlogger Bree Taylor, YouTube offers a wealth of opportunities to establish a brand online. Whether its individuals broadcasting themselves for extra cash or businesses creating original marketing content, people everywhere are drawn to the video hosting site. But in a world of content-overload and short attention spans, it can be difficult to successfully rope in subscribers.
In an exclusive Social Media Today interview, Bree reveals six essential strategies for success on the ever-changing platform.
1. Embrace change & do new things
"YouTube has changed a lot since I first started," said Bree. "For one, the layout of the channel pages and home page has changed often which causes challenges for getting seen, especially when you are struggling to get viewership against the others who are already established. Nowadays, it's hard to get recognized and gain attention because there is so much content being upload every second. There are millions of people posting videos and being able to stand out is essential... YouTube has gone from a fun and supportive community to a very competitive industry."
2. Be yourself
"I always want my channel's integrity to stay intact and for the people who love watching me...to never have to doubt what they are going to get when they come to my channel," explained Bree. "I am always honest and upfront with my viewers and they really appreciate that, especially when it comes to reviews of products, books or companies/brands. It's also why companies trust me with endorsements or reviews of their products or services: they know that I tell it like it is and that my viewers respect and appreciate that."
3. Research networks before signing
"My advice for others is not to rush into a network deal so quickly," said Bree, explaining that her very first contract with a multi-channel network wasn't what she thought it would be. "Really take your time and...ask a lot of questions. Be prepared with a list of questions and challenge them. Really get down to what they are able to do for you and ask for tangible results. Work with them and find someone who is willing to work with you to achieve your goals and reach the levels of success you are looking for. Don't just think about the money, think about the long term results...for you, your brand and your channel."
4. Network, network, network
"Another huge tip is to network. Meet like-minded people, go to VidCon, BeautyCon or any convention you can to meet other YouTubers, make friends and connect with others. That can also help a lot!"
5. Determine YouTube's place in your company marketing
"My advice to businesses not sure if they want to start a YouTube channel would be to evaluate if it's worth their time first of all, how it will benefit their business and if they have the time and budget to either produce content or pay someone to produce content for them. If so, then I highly suggest just taking the plunge and doing it. YouTube is a great place to be and can really help a business if the right marketing tactics are used to carry out the process. It isn't necessary for every business but depending on the type of business, it can be a huge asset."
6. Social media is where businesses, organizations and individuals need to be
"If any business wants to thrive, one must keep up with the times and trends. Social media is where businesses need to be. The longer they fight it, the [more] time they waste on potential business opportunities, sales etc. Social media is a great way to connect with your customers/viewers ...while also doing great timely promotions....There are so many ways to use [YouTube], but it's about doing it the right way. Hire a great industry professional who knows what they are doing. I went to school for media studies and public relations which has helped me a lot in knowing ...trends and keeping up with them on a daily basis for this growing industry online."