Blog Post #2-Takeaways from Expert session Chapter 10-Marketing with YouTube
First things first-why did I choose this topic? Well, as with every class I have taken at NWTC there is a point where I get fired up to take a leap and incorporate skills I am learning into a video project that I would like to do. My journey into the world of video production began in earnest about seven years ago at which time I began making recording my hiking excursions to Wisconsin State Parks. My intention was to visit/video all 62 of them and post them on YouTube for others who would like to take a day for hiking and wanted to preview the parks. At the time I did not know much about video production, at least compared to now, and knew even less about the importance of social media for reaching my target audience. None-the-less, I gathered footage for approximately 20 and edited and posted 12 projects on my YouTube WISP Hiking channel. Here is a link to one of the videos Straight Lake SP- Luck, WI
I haven’t looked at this for years until now . I was surprised to see I had over 400 views. This is a remote state park and a rather crummy video, so how did I get more views for this than any other production I ever put out?
Four years ago, I put the project on pause until I could get my abilities up to my satisfaction through coursework at NWTC. With my production skills now up to par and my burgeoning social media capabilities, I am ready to restart this excellent project. Thus, this Expert Session, featuring Sean Cannel, seems highly relevant to my interests.
But who is this guy that I had never heard of before? A Google search reveals him to be a “YouTuber”. This is actually a word in the dictionary now.
- a person who uploads, produces, or appears in videos on the video-sharing website YouTube.”
I’ll add that to the ‘learn one new thing every day’ column for today, along with learning that some people make money-in a few cases lucrative amounts-being YouTubers ( 2021’s top-ten YouTuber salaries).
I don’t have much interest in selling or otherwise generating income from YouTube or any other social media platform. As a matter of fact, I am considering using ‘unmonetized’ as one of the themes for my channel relaunch (this word, unsurprisingly, is not listed in the Oxford Languages or Merriam-Webster dictionaries). All-the-same, I still found his interview to be engaging, informative, and inspiring. He started out quite organically in the early 2000’s by videotaping and editing a church youth group with which he was associated. He did this weekly and then started doing the same for the weekly church services. In this way, he regularly practiced his craft, improving his skills, and developed a devoted audience. He carries this work ethic and strategy forward to his current business. Throughout the interview he emphasizes repeatedly the importance of finding your niche by which he means a target audience that shares the same passions as you. Do not be a generalist-i.e., someone who waxes philosophically or vlogs as they ramble through their day without any focus-was a takeaway message.
It was several years later in 2007 that Sean started posting his videos on YouTube. FUN FACT: YouTube launched in 2005 and is now the 2nd largest search engine in the world behind Google (ref: Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube#). He evolved with the platform and became in demand as a content creator and marketing manager. He describes a post he made, essentially spontaneously, called “gifts to buy for guys”. He turned on the camera and pulled various gifts he had received-books, electronics-off the shelves of the room he was in, showed them and included links to Amazon and other web shops. It was a hit and, even though posted several years ago, still ranks high on this common search topic.
Sean spent the last 25% or so of his interview plugging for his book “YouTube Secrets” which was kind of annoying although increasingly common on the social media landscape. I wouldn’t mind this too much except that it was done in the context of an interview produced for an academic textbook, thus, clearly increasing commercial bias of the textbook itself. In the midst of all this selling he wrapped up his main points for YouTube success:
- Have the courage to “just do it”
- Have clarity in your messaging and target audience
- Be tactical about what and to whom you post
YouTube is a marathon, not a sprintSean Cannel
So where does this leave me, the geezerly ‘unmonetized’ Wisconsin State Parks hiking guru wannabe? I took notes while watching his video and throughout the writing of this blog. Notes, written in pencil on paper, give me tangible building blocks with which to 1) restart my project, 2) create a persona and better define my niche, and 3) envision how this will be distributed once produced.
Yea! I just passed the first mile marker of my YouTuber marathon! Maybe I will now add ‘submit unmonetized to dictionary for consideration of a new word in the English language’ to my to do list.