Everyone is shouting about video these days as the best way to get your message across to your target audience. If you’re a budding mommy vlogger with parenting tips and kiddie tales to tell, that’s you too. Inspired by our recent trip to Mom2.0 Summit, WildBrain social staffer Lisa Giles-Keddie has put together a great post with our top tips for YouTube…
Facebook, YouTube or both?
Facebook is all about its Live video broadcasting at the moment because its data shows this kind of content keeps the viewer’s attention for longer – that’s three times longer than your average video content (Facebook 2016). This means Facebook’s behind-the-scenes wizardry will rank it higher in your target audience’s News Feed. Even better news is Facebook is a couple of months away from paying you for your great video content as well.
So, if Facebook Live is all the rage, what’s happening with YouTube? Which is best for the virgin vlogger – and which will make you money from your great video content?
“It’s still YouTube. It’s as simple as that,” says Tim Trevathan, head of revenue operations at Defy Media at the Digiday Video Anywhere Summit in New Orleans recently (digiday.com, 2017). Other expert speakers at the summit also agreed, saying those starting out should get creative on YouTube to build a brand and a loyal following. Put it this way, YouTube boasts over a billion users – that’s nearly one third of all people on the Internet.
So, what’s the secret sauce for mommy vloggers-to-be, once you have your YouTube channel set up? From a video content strategy perspective, we’ve listed our Top 5 Tips for starting out – without touching video editing software, if that’s your main concern:
- Know your competition. Ok, you’re not going to be an overnight YouTube sensation (well, you might get lucky), but it does pay to look at your favorite mommy vloggers. You may love, even secretly worship them, but they will become your (healthy) competition if you plan to make money in the future, especially working with brands. What do these vloggers talk about, how do they get their message across, is there a subject you know more about that they don’t really cover, something you could become the ‘expert’ in? The latter is where a unique content niche will be found. It’s where you could plug the noisy mommy vlogger market. Make a quick list of the pros and cons of these vloggers’ content to base your next plan of action on.
- Plan your story before you start recording. Don’t panic! This doesn’t mean writing a full film script, or drawing an elaborate storyboard – who has time for that? When getting ready to report on location, every good TV reporter scribbles down some key points to touch on. The less scripted the video is, the better. In fact, it appears more ‘real’ and in the moment than a polished, edited video. Prep is key though: First, think about who you would like to speak to by noting down three key personas, then flesh out what interests they might have? From this, talking points should come flooding through. If it’s easier to think of it this way; what moms do you meet at playgroups? When you meet up for a drink (coffee or alcoholic), what do these parents talk about most? If it’s a child’s bowel movements or what they’re refusing to eat and decorating the dining room with instead, then these are key concerns your audience wants to hear solutions to. These are great starting points.
- Speak to the camera. Yes, it may seem obvious but having wobble cam and not giving your viewer eye contact is a real turn off. We ask the kids to “look at me” when we’re telling them something for their own good – and not at the fascinating squashed raisin they’ve just found on the floor. Keeping eye contact not only engages your audience straightaway, but also shows you know your subject and that you respect them for listening to you. When we say ‘camera’, it doesn’t have to be a fancy multi-cam studio set-up either. Most cellphones give great quality video these days, and you can pick up a holder/selfie stick for a few dollars. Don’t be afraid to do videos that are 10 minutes or longer – after all, us moms love to talk passionately about parenting. Good news is YouTube loves this kind of long-form content too. You could even start off your next video plugging your previous one, saying, “did you see my video last week about getting blueberry stains out of Egyptian cotton sheets?” If you don’t want to be on camera, don’t be. One clever way of spreading your knowledge is to create ‘how to’ videos by switching the camera around and filming around you, or using your cellphone in its handy stand to film your hands in action. Perhaps show off the best toddler tumblers you’ve (begrudgingly) collected, or the bedtime stories your DS or DD likes by giving an explanation off screen – hey, you could even read an old blog post if it’s got some great tips. Perhaps get a mommy vlogger group together and take turns to appear on camera – like an Instagram pod. Just think of the cross-promotion you could generate…
- Repurpose your current video content. You may have video content on Facebook already, or yet-unpublished video gold nuggets on parenting to share. Don’t be afraid to repurpose that content, especially on YouTube – you could even set up a playlist called “My Top Facebook Parenting Successes”? Being able to create playlists in YouTube means you can audit then categorize your current video clips – and it doesn’t have to be a neatly edited masterpiece either when first starting out. Do upload these video clips into YouTube as well, to keep it all native and start collecting valuable video stats. Remember, add links to any related blog post when writing a description for your video – we can’t stress enough how important cross-promoting is on your other social media channels. The good thing is YouTube makes it super easy to post across your social network – and you can even have your video start playing at a particular point to address a parenting concern that’s currently trending on other platforms. YouTube loves when you send people to them, and if you’ve got an engaged following on another platform, you can tempt them with what’s coming up – kind of like a TV teaser. Your link becomes a valuable traffic source that will benefit your YouTube channel.
- Test. And test again… There’s really no right or wrong way to get your video message across on YouTube. Be bold: Test posting different styles of filming (locations, camera angles, being on-screen and off), lengths of video, posting at different times of day – though as a mom, we all know when fellow moms have time to watch! Once you’ve found what video content works best and those key posting times from analysing your stats, maybe create a set publishing time or ‘mini TV guide’ of content coming up to whet the viewers’ appetite? Just posting two new videos of great content a week is considered ‘regular posting’ on YouTube.
See, it’s really that simple to start YouTube vlogging – and you can fit it around the kids (and the partner). Good luck intrepid mommy vlogger explorers!