The PooTube endeavour continues. Yesterday, I spent the whole day streaming my own videos on YouTube and encouraging other people to help me out. My mom had videos running in the background all day so that I could meet the minimum 4,000 watch time hours in order to get reviewed for monetisation and....WE DID IT! I am now under review, which I've found out can take quite a long time considering what's happening in the world right now.
I basically began watching a bunch of people on YouTube who approached the platform like a business, which is something I've always been skeptical about as an Arts and Cultural student who often discusses the moral-ethical implications of social media platforms in an academic setting. But, once I started getting a grip on keywords, click-through rates, and other super technical almost mathematical things the YouTube SEO offers, it's beginning to click for me. Of course, I'm still trying to be as mindful as possible because staring at social media like it's a game of numbers can be veeery damaging for one's mental health, and it's what a lot of YouTubers/Instagram influencers have spoken up about before. Regardless, there is no harm in educating yourself in order to get the best results from the content you already make.
1. Maximising Viewers
I used to only promote my YouTube videos on Instagram, but now I'm starting to dabble in promoting it on Facebook again. It's super interesting how our actions change the minute our perception changes. When I started looking at my YouTube channel like a business, during my last YouTube Diaries entry, I started to think about it more actively; where can I share this? What can I say about it to make other people interested instead of just "new youtube video, link in bio!"? What kind of title should I give this to make sure other people will watch my stuff? How are other people marketing their content?
Turns out, every little detail counts. Yeah, we know how thumbnails and tags work, but there is a whole other world out there when it comes to the algorithm. There's an app called TubeBuddy that I downloaded to help me track keyword searches and to see how good the traffic/competition is for these words. If they're bad, I don't use them in my titles/tags, if they're good, I figure out how to truthfully incorporate them.
2. Market Research
I then did a little viewer recon as I took to Instagram and asked for people's opinions on my Insta Stories. Not all of my viewers follow me on Instagram, but many engaged subscribers go there as a way of personally contacting me to ask their questions, usually pertaining their own university careers. I asked them which of my videos they like the best, what other kinds of videos they'd like to see from me, what kind of videos they watch other YouTubers for, and what kind of content YouTube is lacking overall. Here are some of the answers:
By doing this brief research, where maybe only 10 people answered, I already got 10 new video ideas. I think the key to treating YouTube like a business is foregrounding the art part of it all. I don't particularly think my weekly vlogs are art per se, but it is genuine content I am interested in making, interested in watching from others, and want to actually share with people. If I'm instantly unenthusiastic after reading a video idea, I won't do it. There's no point in talking myself into doing something I'm not passionate about?