I’ve been a bit of a movie buff since I was a kid, and I used to wonder why some of the best films I saw were the ones I found by accident. I stumbled on plenty of gems at film festivals for $2 with my allowance money simply because I liked the name of the director, or because the title made me laugh.
It got me thinking, why don’t these awesome films get more notice? Why aren’t these masterpieces the blockbusters that break records worldwide instead of Katy Perry’s self-involved documentary? The answer comes down to something deeper than budget…
It comes down to brand and marketing.
Often, the movies that I love the most tend to have little to no marketing behind them. And a brand can be tough to come by in the low-budget film industry. It’s a shame, but it’s the same with YouTube. Some of the most creative YouTubers we’ve seen could be bigger with just a few pieces of the puzzle. So let’s talk branding first.
“Think of your brand as your identity,
the ‘face’ that people recognize.”
Brand Like Steve Buscemi
Think of your brand as your identity – the ‘face’ that people recognize. For your videos to stand out, your identity needs to be unique. Think about Steve Buscemi, the guy has pretty much made a career around his ‘unique’ face and is a pretty darn good actor to boot. But what’s important about that lesson? Mr. Buscemi doesn’t go for the heartthrob roles. He knows where he fits, and he knows where his strengths are valued, and you have to admit that you recognize his roles when you see them.
Being a YouTuber is no different, but I’m not saying you should have a face like Steve’s – we all bring something to the table that is unique or appealing to an audience. Creating a brand that people can relate to is a matter of solidifying an identity that works, and sticking to it. That way, you are the reason people keep coming back, and that generates subscribers. But it doesn’t happen overnight…
“What are the important parts of a channel brand?
Think about your favourite video game characters.”
What are the important parts of a channel brand? Think about your favourite video game characters. What game character comes to mind the quickest? I always find myself returning to Master Chief from the Halo series, and it turns out that he’s a great benchmark for channel branding. Why do I say that? Because he probably came up in your top 3 list too. Here’s why:
1. When you see him, you immediately know who he is because of his unique yet simple look. Heck, his real face doesn’t even matter!
2. When you were first introduced to him, you likely got a feel for his backstory and personality.
“The more heads you turn, the more people
are bound to come knocking.”
The two parts that I underlined above are big elements to your memorability as well. I’m not saying that your face needs to look exceptionally unique (although I’m sure you have your moments), I mean simply that your content, assets and properties can benefit from a consistent visual style and theme. It’s like painting your house chicken-yellow so no one can help but notice your presence on the block when they drive by. The more heads you turn, the more people are bound to come knocking.
“Painting your house” in this case comes down to consistent visual elements in your thumbnails and banners like banners or in-image titling, and also maintaining a personality in your video titles and descriptions. You can even jot some personality into your channel comments for extra pizzazz.
We’ve seen great success giving our thumbnails a visual theme, and sticking to it. We also keep a common overarching name for our favourite or most popular video series. Injecting that name into our titles and descriptions is not only good for consistency, but also for SEO and keywords – but that’s next week’s topic. Stay tuned for part two of this article on Tuesday!
It’s all about personality, and you’ve got it by the truckload – it’s time to get it out there!