HOW TO BE A BIG MAN ON CAMPUS!
Now that the worst kept secret in the industry is out, let me be the first to welcome the 2012 incoming freshman class of channel partners to the YouTube U. Hi Tony! Hey there Chris. Looking good Ashton!
As the sixth-biggest network on YouTube (per comScore), here at Revision3 we’re excited to have you traditional media folks on board. However, let me give you some words of advice. Despite your official anointment, it’s not like high school but with better drugs. YouTube is different. So let me be the unofficial Orientation Coordinator and give you 5 key tips to help you be successful with your new venture.
BEWARE THE UPPER CLASSMEN: You may think you’re the bee’s knees, but here at YouTube we’ve already got a strong group of stars that drive more views, comments and engagement than you’ve probably ever experienced. If you want to build your audience, you’ll need to play nice with them. Ignore them and they’ll ignore you, but if you treat them wrong, watch out. Hell hath no fury like an iJustine scorned, FPS Russia and RatedRR have a line on some *serious* ordnance and those Shaytards are a mean little band of ankle-biters. Oh, and don’t go messing with Harley Morenstein, or you’ll likely end up with a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey inside a pig inside your bed.
IGNORE THE COMMUNITY AT YOUR PERIL: Sure, in the old media it was all about making the video. Once it was out there, your work was done. But that’s not how it works here – homework is more than half the grade. If you really want to be successful, you’ll need to spend some serious time engaging with your audience. The biggest stars on YouTube know that once the video is released, the work has just started. They spend 40% or more of their time interacting with their fans, commenting, rating and curating their community. Oh, and don’t expect your assistant who writes your tweets to be able to step in here. The community can spot a fake a mile away.
THE ALGORITHM RULES: Sure, the YouTube guys may have promised you the moon. Just don’t expect them to promote your channel much. Yeah, you might get an occasional editorial mention, but YouTube is a mathematically-driven meritocracy. The brainiacs over in the engineering school are the real power behind the Dean– and their formulas will dictate whether your episodes are promoted, related and integrated into the viewing flow. So you’d better spend some time understanding how that selection process actually works.
PUBLISH OR PERISH: In the old world, shows were grouped in seasons, and they would come and go based on 13 and 26-week groups. It doesn’t work that way here. You’ve got to feed the content monster on a regular basis, or it’ll just go feed somewhere else and forget about you. Get a schedule down, stick to it, and don’t stop for anything. Yes, it’s a habitrail, but take your cues from the top hamsters, and don’t stop runnin’ for ‘nuthin.
YOUR VIEWS DON’T MATTER: Sure, you were the Big Man on Campus at high school, but here at YouTube U, you’re just another frosh. In fact, YouTube doesn’t really even need your video views. Heck, half of all the videos viewed on the internet happen there already. Nope, the reason the company is lavishing cash on you is because it needs your name to confer legitimacy. You’re the "halo car" equivalent of Chevrolet’s Corvette. Guys go to the showroom to ogle the muscle-car, but end up driving off in an Impala. And in the end that’s what advertisers will do too. They’ll ooooh and aaaah over your videos, but then they’ll end up buying the vast array of brand-safe video from unknown hosts that have already built huge communities. You’re a tease, not the main course.
But with all that said, we’re really happy you’re here. And if we can help with advice, collaborations, or directions to the bathroom, don’t hesitate to ask. Because now that you’re here on campus, the party can really get started!