A guide for promotion: Self Promo 101.

This is a thread I found on reddit. The user that made this is a musician, Skylar Cahn, and he has a YouTube channel.

Message to Damnlag moderators: New threads asking how do I promote my YouTube channel should be deleted and people redirected to this.


Treat it Like a Business


There’s tremendous debate in the music community as to whether you should consider yourself a businessman or an artist. My thoughts lie strongly in the former category (while still thoroughly enjoying the process of writing and recording) and I’m vehemently against the idea of “build it and they will come”. Music, similar to Let’s Plays and gaming channels, is an incredibly saturated market. There are lots of people out there and as many of you are aware, it’s very difficult to rise above the noise. Generally speaking, people are not looking for your channel – you need to get it to them.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time over at /r/entrepreneur and I’ve picked up some valuable ideas on ways to get the word out. Entrepreneurs generally have the same issue you do – they have a product or service that nobody knows about and they need to get people interested enough to spend money. In your case, they’re spending their time, which is as valuable as/more valuable than money.

  • Competitions – This could be a great way to get some degree of interactivity with your user base but could require some creativity. Your success with this could increase if you’re able to leverage a platform outside of YouTube such as a Wordpress website. Challenge them to do something better than you and post it, create some form of media that they can Photoshop, create a map and see who can run it the fastest. Get creative but remember that this is about interacting with your fanbase. Get involved with them.
  • Blogging – I hate blogging, but it’s a tried and true method of getting content out to people and increasing your search rankings in Google. If you’ve got thoughts on a new game, hardware reviews, an interesting story, put it on a blog and link it in an annotation on your videos. This also gives you a web presence outside of YouTube that you can leverage in a variety of ways (see above). Blogging is a long term game and you won’t see results soon. If you’re consistent though, it can be very beneficial. Focus on providing something of value and creating something that people will want to read.
  • Call to Action – I think many of you are aware of this, but a simple mention of liking/commenting/subscribing at the end of your video can help. I hate the idea of this because it seems spammy but if done correctly it doesn’t come off too bad and again, it’s something that is well established in the business world as being effective. Some people need to be reminded what to do.
  • Guest Posting – A slightly bastardized form of this to accommodate LP’s could be very effective. Games have social media channels, websites, forums, etc. and they’re looking for content related to their game that will garner the interest of potential participants/customers. Have an in depth video that analyzes part of their game? Send it to them. Have a fun and well produced five minute compilation of you playing their game? Send it to them. The same can be said for gaming websites/article aggregates. Look into doing game reviews, analysis, strategies, etc. If you’re able to provide valuable content, those who are looking for content will be much more interested in you.
  • A/B Testing – I pulled this one out to specifically mention that it’s important to try different things. If you’re large enough to be able to pull in sufficient amounts of data, try A/B testing your thumbnails or your video intro. Maybe try a different YouTube profile pic/banner or some imagery on your social media. Keep trying different things and see what works best.
  • Webinars – Are you an expert in the game you play? Did you finally hit level 100 in POE or complete a speedrun through Dungeon of the Endless in an impressive time? Hold a QA session and publicize it through any means you can imagine (social media, blogs, forums, etc.). If you have information, present it to those that are looking for it. Live events like this also allow you to show off your personality and get people interested. The idea behind this is it’s more of an “event” than a regular stream night would be.
  • Commenting on Blogs – I go more in depth to this later, but being a part of your community is huge. Find blogs, forums, sites, etc. that include people who would be interested in your content.
  • Social Media – This is covered below as well. Be everywhere.
Get On Social Media

This is the reason that I originally decided to write this post. Social media can be a completely free way to get into contact with the people you’re interested in connecting with. I’ll start with the platform I’m most familiar with and go down from there.

Twitter: My personal opinion is that twitter is the best place for YouTube content creators. Using a combination of third party apps (which are approved by Twitter) such as Tweepi and Hootsuite (both have free options), you can essentially automate the entire process and over the period of six months significantly increase the number of relevant and regularly active followers you have. Here are the basic steps on what I do:

1.) Create a twitter account, get some nice artwork. If you suck at graphic design (which, let’s be honest, most of us do) grab something off of GraphicRiver and use Gimp to customize it. Use the same artwork you use on your channel – create an identifiable visual brand that people can recognize across all your social media channels.

2.) Regularly post content that is interesting to people you’re trying to attract. Examples would be gaming articles, pictures, quotes, event times/dates (think MLS, Blizzcon, E3), general thoughts, funny comments. It’s generally accepted that images, videos and quotes do well on twitter – cater these to what you specialize in.

3.) Use Hootsuite to schedule this content. Twitter is a platform that requires considerable consistency. Try to post something 3-5 times per day and use the 80% rule for promotion. 80% of what you post should not be promoting yourself while the other 20% should be focused on promotion. Vary the times in which you post, the content you post and when you promote. Hootsuite allows you to schedule this all at one time, so take an hour on Sunday to find stuff and get it set up for the week.

4.) Use Tweepi to follow the followers of other people. Are your LPs more based around FPS’s? Follow people that follow the official Call of Duty or Battlefield twitter pages. Only follow people with an avatar, those who speak your language and those who have posted recently (within the last two or three days). You’ll usually get a between 10-40% of people that will follow you back. Regularly unfollow those who don’t follow you back or don’t post regularly. Doing this daily for several months can help you start building a sizeable following.

5.) I should note that Tweepi is a tool that is authorized by Twitter and falls within their terms of use. The same can be said for Hootsuite. These are 100% okay and legal tools to be using (as of the date I posted this) – no blackhat stuff here. Getting banned by Twitter helps nobody.

To give an example of what I do: I am looking to attract indie film makers. These are people who could be interested in purchasing the music that I create and are in the price point that I’m selling it at. I certainly post about music, but I also post VFX breakdowns, industry relevant news, director interviews, etc. This is done several times a day with the hope that the people I’ve added (who I hope are in some way connected to film and directing) look at it and go “huh, that’s interesting”. I want to be interesting to those who are in my target demographic.

Facebook: Lots of people think that Facebook is dead, yada yada yada… it’s still very active in my opinion. Facebook has three main areas you should look at: Groups, Collaborations and Advertising. Since we’re tending towards free options, I’ll ignore advertising, but look into it if you’ve got some money to spend. Take advantage of the various groups that Facebook has. Is there a gaming group near where you live? Is there a group dedicated to a game that you’re playing through? How active is the game you’re playing’s Facebook page? Leverage all of these if you can. Additionally, look for other individuals who you could collaborate with through Facebook. Collaborating on YouTube is an excellent way to get out to others would have already shown interest in the type of content you produce.

Google+: The main advantage here is that Google and YouTube are connected (much to everyone’s dismay it seems). Throughout the time my channel has been active, I’ve accumulated connections through google equal to roughly one quarter of those who have followed me on YouTube without doing a damn thing. I don’t use this nearly as well as I should but it’s something that YouTubers should be aware of. Additionally, take advantage of the communities on G+. Again, find groups that are relevant to what you’re creating. Don’t post in the 250k+ community dedicated to YouTube content creators – the scope there is too large. Find a community specifically dedicated to the content you’re creating.

Instagram: I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t use Instagram. That being said, much of what you’re doing is based on visuals and assuming you have the proper permission to post screenshots or in-game footage, do what you can to leverage this platform.

Interviews: One of the widely suggested techniques for gaining validity with a small business is to get into contact with key industry experts. If you’re a part of a competitive gaming community, try to get a skype interview or phone interview with any of the pro teams or players. The same goes for game developers, major content creators (mods, maps, hats, etc.) and other YouTube personalities. Anyone that people look up to or are interested in. You’re helping these people by creating a focused experience about them and you’re helping yourself by getting connected to a major personality within your community. Create a highlights video or just post the whole damn thing.

Reddit: I’ve left Reddit until last because it’s not the easiest place to find followers. Again, being a part of a community is very useful. As before, provide value to a community that you can connect to. Post highlights, analytical videos, best plays (same as the other channels essentially) to hook people. It should be mentioned that when you’re connecting to these communities, you’re looking to hook them in with your most interesting content. Don’t post “Let’s Play Fallout 4 #12 – I Scroll Through The Menu Adjusting My Settings” to try and get people interested.

Be Where Your Fans Are

I’m a musician. If I want to sell music, get custom commissions or score games/films, I should not be spending the majority of my time with other musicians. Networking is great, but whether or not you consider fellow LPers friends or competition (hopefully friends!) they’re certainly not going to make up the majority of your subscriber base. I spend time on music forums to get advice on how to make better music but otherwise I spend my time frequenting game dev forums, short film forums, cinematography forums, etc. The more active you are in these communities the more exposure you’ll get to your potential customers/subscribers. They are the people who are interested in the service you provide. Cater to these communities. Create a breakdown of your latest build. Analyze the items that you’re using on a cost/benefit ratio. Create a quick compilation of funny moments or awesome plays that you made. One of the major advantages of LPers is that you guys have tons of content that you produce compared to other channels. Use that to your advantage and condense it down a short but very interesting format. If you’re trying to grab someone’s attention then you have to be short, concise and direct.

Extra Content (I’ll add to this as I find more)

Here are some articles that I’ve read recently that I think could be useful to run through. https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/2y66lj/37_tactics_i_used_to_grow_my_company_to_50kmonth/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/24q0ln/how_i_built_a_27000year_passive_income/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/2r3rvk/my_very_own_list_of_free_stock_photo_websites_50/

Conclusion

Some of these will certainly be more effective than others, but the goal of this post is to encourage some of you to start thinking a bit more about how to start communicating with those who might be interested in what you have to offer. There are a lot of ways to communicate and I’d like to think that if you only picked one or two of these ideas and dedicated yourself to it for a period of 4-6 months you’d see some degree of success. I sincerely hope that some of you who enjoy seeing that subscriber count tick up by one or two subs or getting a new comment on your channel will find some success. Best of luck to you all!
 

Christoverse

Active Member
This is a thread I found on reddit. The user that made this is a musician, Skylar Cahn, and he has a YouTube channel.

Message to Damnlag moderators: New threads asking how do I promote my YouTube channel should be deleted and people redirected to this.


Treat it Like a Business


There’s tremendous debate in the music community as to whether you should consider yourself a businessman or an artist. My thoughts lie strongly in the former category (while still thoroughly enjoying the process of writing and recording) and I’m vehemently against the idea of “build it and they will come”. Music, similar to Let’s Plays and gaming channels, is an incredibly saturated market. There are lots of people out there and as many of you are aware, it’s very difficult to rise above the noise. Generally speaking, people are not looking for your channel – you need to get it to them.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time over at /r/entrepreneur and I’ve picked up some valuable ideas on ways to get the word out. Entrepreneurs generally have the same issue you do – they have a product or service that nobody knows about and they need to get people interested enough to spend money. In your case, they’re spending their time, which is as valuable as/more valuable than money.

  • Competitions – This could be a great way to get some degree of interactivity with your user base but could require some creativity. Your success with this could increase if you’re able to leverage a platform outside of YouTube such as a Wordpress website. Challenge them to do something better than you and post it, create some form of media that they can Photoshop, create a map and see who can run it the fastest. Get creative but remember that this is about interacting with your fanbase. Get involved with them.
  • Blogging – I hate blogging, but it’s a tried and true method of getting content out to people and increasing your search rankings in Google. If you’ve got thoughts on a new game, hardware reviews, an interesting story, put it on a blog and link it in an annotation on your videos. This also gives you a web presence outside of YouTube that you can leverage in a variety of ways (see above). Blogging is a long term game and you won’t see results soon. If you’re consistent though, it can be very beneficial. Focus on providing something of value and creating something that people will want to read.
  • Call to Action – I think many of you are aware of this, but a simple mention of liking/commenting/subscribing at the end of your video can help. I hate the idea of this because it seems spammy but if done correctly it doesn’t come off too bad and again, it’s something that is well established in the business world as being effective. Some people need to be reminded what to do.
  • Guest Posting – A slightly bastardized form of this to accommodate LP’s could be very effective. Games have social media channels, websites, forums, etc. and they’re looking for content related to their game that will garner the interest of potential participants/customers. Have an in depth video that analyzes part of their game? Send it to them. Have a fun and well produced five minute compilation of you playing their game? Send it to them. The same can be said for gaming websites/article aggregates. Look into doing game reviews, analysis, strategies, etc. If you’re able to provide valuable content, those who are looking for content will be much more interested in you.
  • A/B Testing – I pulled this one out to specifically mention that it’s important to try different things. If you’re large enough to be able to pull in sufficient amounts of data, try A/B testing your thumbnails or your video intro. Maybe try a different YouTube profile pic/banner or some imagery on your social media. Keep trying different things and see what works best.
  • Webinars – Are you an expert in the game you play? Did you finally hit level 100 in POE or complete a speedrun through Dungeon of the Endless in an impressive time? Hold a QA session and publicize it through any means you can imagine (social media, blogs, forums, etc.). If you have information, present it to those that are looking for it. Live events like this also allow you to show off your personality and get people interested. The idea behind this is it’s more of an “event” than a regular stream night would be.
  • Commenting on Blogs – I go more in depth to this later, but being a part of your community is huge. Find blogs, forums, sites, etc. that include people who would be interested in your content.
  • Social Media – This is covered below as well. Be everywhere.
Get On Social Media

This is the reason that I originally decided to write this post. Social media can be a completely free way to get into contact with the people you’re interested in connecting with. I’ll start with the platform I’m most familiar with and go down from there.

Twitter: My personal opinion is that twitter is the best place for YouTube content creators. Using a combination of third party apps (which are approved by Twitter) such as Tweepi and Hootsuite (both have free options), you can essentially automate the entire process and over the period of six months significantly increase the number of relevant and regularly active followers you have. Here are the basic steps on what I do:

1.) Create a twitter account, get some nice artwork. If you suck at graphic design (which, let’s be honest, most of us do) grab something off of GraphicRiver and use Gimp to customize it. Use the same artwork you use on your channel – create an identifiable visual brand that people can recognize across all your social media channels.

2.) Regularly post content that is interesting to people you’re trying to attract. Examples would be gaming articles, pictures, quotes, event times/dates (think MLS, Blizzcon, E3), general thoughts, funny comments. It’s generally accepted that images, videos and quotes do well on twitter – cater these to what you specialize in.

3.) Use Hootsuite to schedule this content. Twitter is a platform that requires considerable consistency. Try to post something 3-5 times per day and use the 80% rule for promotion. 80% of what you post should not be promoting yourself while the other 20% should be focused on promotion. Vary the times in which you post, the content you post and when you promote. Hootsuite allows you to schedule this all at one time, so take an hour on Sunday to find stuff and get it set up for the week.

4.) Use Tweepi to follow the followers of other people. Are your LPs more based around FPS’s? Follow people that follow the official Call of Duty or Battlefield twitter pages. Only follow people with an avatar, those who speak your language and those who have posted recently (within the last two or three days). You’ll usually get a between 10-40% of people that will follow you back. Regularly unfollow those who don’t follow you back or don’t post regularly. Doing this daily for several months can help you start building a sizeable following.

5.) I should note that Tweepi is a tool that is authorized by Twitter and falls within their terms of use. The same can be said for Hootsuite. These are 100% okay and legal tools to be using (as of the date I posted this) – no blackhat stuff here. Getting banned by Twitter helps nobody.

To give an example of what I do: I am looking to attract indie film makers. These are people who could be interested in purchasing the music that I create and are in the price point that I’m selling it at. I certainly post about music, but I also post VFX breakdowns, industry relevant news, director interviews, etc. This is done several times a day with the hope that the people I’ve added (who I hope are in some way connected to film and directing) look at it and go “huh, that’s interesting”. I want to be interesting to those who are in my target demographic.

Facebook: Lots of people think that Facebook is dead, yada yada yada… it’s still very active in my opinion. Facebook has three main areas you should look at: Groups, Collaborations and Advertising. Since we’re tending towards free options, I’ll ignore advertising, but look into it if you’ve got some money to spend. Take advantage of the various groups that Facebook has. Is there a gaming group near where you live? Is there a group dedicated to a game that you’re playing through? How active is the game you’re playing’s Facebook page? Leverage all of these if you can. Additionally, look for other individuals who you could collaborate with through Facebook. Collaborating on YouTube is an excellent way to get out to others would have already shown interest in the type of content you produce.

Google+: The main advantage here is that Google and YouTube are connected (much to everyone’s dismay it seems). Throughout the time my channel has been active, I’ve accumulated connections through google equal to roughly one quarter of those who have followed me on YouTube without doing a damn thing. I don’t use this nearly as well as I should but it’s something that YouTubers should be aware of. Additionally, take advantage of the communities on G+. Again, find groups that are relevant to what you’re creating. Don’t post in the 250k+ community dedicated to YouTube content creators – the scope there is too large. Find a community specifically dedicated to the content you’re creating.

Instagram: I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t use Instagram. That being said, much of what you’re doing is based on visuals and assuming you have the proper permission to post screenshots or in-game footage, do what you can to leverage this platform.

Interviews: One of the widely suggested techniques for gaining validity with a small business is to get into contact with key industry experts. If you’re a part of a competitive gaming community, try to get a skype interview or phone interview with any of the pro teams or players. The same goes for game developers, major content creators (mods, maps, hats, etc.) and other YouTube personalities. Anyone that people look up to or are interested in. You’re helping these people by creating a focused experience about them and you’re helping yourself by getting connected to a major personality within your community. Create a highlights video or just post the whole damn thing.

Reddit: I’ve left Reddit until last because it’s not the easiest place to find followers. Again, being a part of a community is very useful. As before, provide value to a community that you can connect to. Post highlights, analytical videos, best plays (same as the other channels essentially) to hook people. It should be mentioned that when you’re connecting to these communities, you’re looking to hook them in with your most interesting content. Don’t post “Let’s Play Fallout 4 #12 – I Scroll Through The Menu Adjusting My Settings” to try and get people interested.

Be Where Your Fans Are

I’m a musician. If I want to sell music, get custom commissions or score games/films, I should not be spending the majority of my time with other musicians. Networking is great, but whether or not you consider fellow LPers friends or competition (hopefully friends!) they’re certainly not going to make up the majority of your subscriber base. I spend time on music forums to get advice on how to make better music but otherwise I spend my time frequenting game dev forums, short film forums, cinematography forums, etc. The more active you are in these communities the more exposure you’ll get to your potential customers/subscribers. They are the people who are interested in the service you provide. Cater to these communities. Create a breakdown of your latest build. Analyze the items that you’re using on a cost/benefit ratio. Create a quick compilation of funny moments or awesome plays that you made. One of the major advantages of LPers is that you guys have tons of content that you produce compared to other channels. Use that to your advantage and condense it down a short but very interesting format. If you’re trying to grab someone’s attention then you have to be short, concise and direct.

Extra Content (I’ll add to this as I find more)

Here are some articles that I’ve read recently that I think could be useful to run through. https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/2y66lj/37_tactics_i_used_to_grow_my_company_to_50kmonth/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/24q0ln/how_i_built_a_27000year_passive_income/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/2r3rvk/my_very_own_list_of_free_stock_photo_websites_50/

Conclusion

Some of these will certainly be more effective than others, but the goal of this post is to encourage some of you to start thinking a bit more about how to start communicating with those who might be interested in what you have to offer. There are a lot of ways to communicate and I’d like to think that if you only picked one or two of these ideas and dedicated yourself to it for a period of 4-6 months you’d see some degree of success. I sincerely hope that some of you who enjoy seeing that subscriber count tick up by one or two subs or getting a new comment on your channel will find some success. Best of luck to you all!
Thank you for the post Sentenza ^
 

Mr.Nodafish

Active Member
Honestly when I saw the title I assumed this would be another generic "get good" thread, but I actually found this to be quite useful. Thank you for the post.
 

TheNameisJon

Active Member
Thanks! I did not know about Hootsuite, or Tweepi. The one thing I don't do it stay active on twitter. I need to start though because I could meet more people who share the same interest at me.
Awesome job, thanks for taking the time to write this!
 
im trying to grow my twitter now..... hope it can help my youtube grow bigger
 

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