A step-by-step guide to developing a YouTube channel for beginners

1. Define goals

If you want to become a Youtube star, you have to compete with the already established popular channels. The top 10 most popular Russian channels collectively gain 70 billion views. 

Already in 2014, there was one interesting quote in the comments of famous Youtube-bloggers:

"If we came to this platform today, it's unlikely we would have had this much success, it would have been too late."

However, it's a great tool for businesses and marketers. By comparison, the top 10 channels that promote their brand are racking up 1.8 billion views. The competition for viewers is lower here, which means it's easier to gather a loyal audience of viewers.

Directly talking about your products and services is the wrong concept. Before you start a channel, you need to understand why you need a channel and what you can talk about on it besides your goods or services. 

It is difficult to reach the top 10, but to occupy a niche where the competition is lower - is realistic. The very fact that you have videos on Youtube increases your chances of being discovered.  

To get traffic from Youtube you have to become a partner of Youtube - gather 10 000 views of your video. Once you become one, you can embed clickable links directly into your videos and thus drive traffic to your site. You'll also be able to use cues - interactive elements where you can insert images, text and links to sites.

                                                                                     Youtube for reputation management

 If you have a great reputation and search results for your brand's queries, that's cool, but you can keep amplifying it with video content. The more queries for your industry you can control, the better.

Videos are good for increasing conversions: you clearly show what your product or service is good for. A number of studies prove this:


- a 2011 study said that a shopper will put a product in the cart after watching a video about the product with a +144% probability;


- in another survey, one in three Millennials say they purchased a product solely because they watched a video demonstration of it the day before;


- Animoto confirmed that about 96% of those surveyed actually found videos helpful in the online product selection process;


- Wistia found that visitors who interacted with videos were more likely to convert.


2. Develop a content plan for video

As with any content, there's a lot of work to be done with video, to invent, to reinvent. You can follow a content plan to systematize your work. It can simply be a calendar of future publications. Example:

Follow the rules to create a content plan:

   1 Analyze keywords and topic queries, for example, using Wordstat or Serpstat.

   2 Explore different query options.

  3 Allow time for video production and promotion.

  4 Post video content regularly.

 Clustering helps you analyze similar queries, track trends, and schedule video content. You'll also understand what metadata to include with your video. If you specify metadata that doesn't reflect the essence of the video, it will quickly get blocked. 


3. Create videos

Video production is not necessarily about studio equipment and lots of money. Production can be cheap but effective. For example, if you work with a team, you have to pay them, but you can shoot a few videos ahead of time.


Try different ways of producing videos:

Home video production

You don't have to allocate a separate room for filming with expensive equipment. Here are some ideas:


- Try Animatron, a tool for creating marketing videos;


- Use Animoto to create rich promos;


- if you have a Mac, try iMovie: a free video creation program you can master in a week;


- Blue Jeans is a great option for video interviews with niche influencers;


- ClickMeeting is good for presentations. Host a webinar, then work with the saved recording. You can record the presentation and post it to your channel, with your logo:

MY Accademy (Programm)

Outsource video production

The obvious option is a site like freelance.ru. Although there is a risk of getting burned, you will mostly find people willing to help.


You can turn to Youtube bloggers from your niche. Some will gladly help, with someone you can barter: a free service in exchange for a relcam. There are a lot of enterprising people on Youtube. 

4. optimize your videos

Take time to optimize each Youtube video: 


1 Technical video settings. YouTube has recommendations for technical settings. 

2 Video metadata. 

- main keyword;

- product and brand name;

- speaker's name if it's an interview or lecture;

- hashtag, event title;

- city, coutry.

The video description and/or attached comment should have a whole list of clickable content. This will keep people watching your video longer, which will increase your ranking.

Ideally, if you can get subtitles for each video. That way the meaning of the video won't be lost even without sound.


The more people watch more than half of the video, the better. Roughly speaking, if 50% of people watch more than 50% of your video - Youtube will conclude that it's quality (Unfortunately, no one knows the exact percentage that Youtube works with - the numbers are approximate). This will increase the likelihood that the video will pop up in someone's recommended list.


 Add a video to your site

Embed the video on the page and promote your own address, not your Youtube page.


Embed the video on your site and suggest that customers watch it there. The customer will not watch other recommended videos, but will go to your site and continue to interact with you. Also, you'll avoid autoplaying videos (in social networks, videos are played by default, so if you link to a video on Vkontakte, most will close it right away).


Consider investing in paid advertising (e.g., Facebook ads). This can work for your niche.

Create playlists


By using playlists, you create a more attractive look for your Youtube channel and immediately show users the full range of interests that your videos cover:


Playlists give you three benefits:


- Users interact with your brand longer - videos from one playlist are played on automatic until the playlist runs out.


- You separate your business by destination - the address of the playlists goes into both Youtube and Google searches, which allows you to draw attention to them more effectively.


- By customizing your Youtube channel, you highlight the best content that might have been lost among other clips.

6. Keep an eye on the trend


Topvisor is a tracker that monitors Youtube rankings. You will create a new project for each video and can monitor several keywords related to your videos at once. It's worth paying attention to the main keyword, brand name and other information in the video title:

Youtube Analytics

Youtube shows you how your video and your channel looks like in general. You can check:


- traffic sources - places where people get to your videos: recommended videos, Youtube search, links from external sites;


- The number of times the video has been added to users' playlists, favorite lists, etc;


- Average time spent watching your videos;


- The number of interactions with your videos - likes, comments.



Revenue reports help you keep track of your profits: they provide information on revenue and total channel viewing time.


Viewing time helps you understand how interesting your videos are to viewers. All of YouTube's major algorithms are related to viewing time, so it's important to keep track and analyze these metrics. Based on viewing time, you can calculate metrics:


average views in minutes,

average views as a percentage,

audience retention.

Retention reports let you know which artwork and advertising techniques work best for your audience:


 A Youtube channel is hard to create: you have to post videos regularly before you notice a return. But don't despair: in Russia, this is a huge platform with great potential on which you can promote yourself and your business.

Check-list: what to do to move your channel

1) Decide how you're going to earn on Youtube. Don't count on an affiliate program and don't track the result in likes. Work with other bloggers and make sure you have the same target audience. Post videos about what's hot - over time, the channel will monetize.


2) Don't fudge subscribers and views. This will ruin the "karma of the account".


3) Define the audience, think about the concept of the channel and change it over time if necessary.


4) Solve all organizational issues: properly design the channel, make it public, calculate the budget and plan the action plan.


5) Make useful videos, not product commercials. A channel trailer is like a movie trailer: a chance to interest those who are watching you for the first time. Hold attention, get the message across, be useful.


6) Ask viewers to subscribe and be active. Interact with subscribers, answer questions.


7) Optimize your videos, use hashtags.


8) Work closely with reports in Google Analytics and adjust your actions.


 Thank you for your attention, good luck!


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