By Aurelia Butler-Ball
The Covid-19 pandemic and the current lockdown in the UK has had a significant impact on many businesses and the global economy as a whole.
Despite the gloomy economic predictions and future uncertainty that we face, there have been some really positive stories of technology being used to make a difference to people’s lives and support their wellbeing.
Fitness trainer Joe Wicks’ successful use of YouTube to run morning fitness classes for millions of children is a great example.
Not only has the huge popularity of these at home PE lessons shown how powerful the platform is, it has also encouraged many entrepreneurs to look at ways in which they can use YouTube and other platforms to start their own business and do some good during the coronavirus crisis.
Here Aurelia Butler-Ball from Irwin Mitchell’s Media & Entertainment team, who specialises in working with Influencers, provides five top tips for would-be vlogging entrepreneurs:
1. Understand what your channel is trying to achieve. Not for you, but for your viewers – what are they going to gain from your content. If viewers think you are just in it for yourself, they’ll immediately switch off. There are millions of YouTube channels out there – why should people watch yours? You need to make content that is different from everything else otherwise it will never be seen.
2. Know your audience. What is their age, gender, location? You need to know who will be watching your content to make sure it is as engaging as possible for them.
3. Niche down. When you start, your channel should be about one specific topic because you need to appeal to a very specific audience. It’s a cruel lesson to learn but viewers have no investment in you at the start, they’re only interested in the content. Once you've grown your channel, and you've got millions of subscribers, you can take the content wherever you want but to begin with, keep it niche.
4. Love analytics. The two analytics you will need to learn to love are ‘click through rate’ and the ‘watch time’. The ‘click through rate’ represents how alluring your titles are and how clickable your thumbnails are. Check the click through rate for your channel as a whole and on individual videos as you test. The more you increase your click through rate percentage, the many more views you’ll get. The more ‘watch time’ you get, the more YouTube is going to promote your content.
5. Know the law. As your followers start to grow, so might your opportunities to be paid by brands to talk about their products online. However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is there to ensure that viewers know when they are watching paid-for content instead of the YouTuber’s completely unbiased view. In order to comply with strict advertising regulations, including hashtags such as #ad prominently in the video title will be required. Also, where such functionality exists on the platform, clicking the relevant box when posting the content to indicate that it is ‘paid-for’ content will be needed. If you don’t comply, your content can be taken down and your relationship with the brand irreparably damaged.