Growing Your Audience
So far in this series we have looked at technology and programs that are useful if you want to start a Youtube channel, today I am going to give you tips on what content you can include on your new channel to grow and maintain an audience. This is not something people often think about when starting out, but I have found that it is vital to success on the site.
There are so many options when it comes to gaming on Youtube, especially with a game like The Sims that has multiple aspects that enable players to be creative. If you are someone that doesn’t have a lot of time to spend editing and recording let’s plays, then a channel based around the Create A Sim (CAS) aspect of the game might be perfect for you! CAS in itself is something you can do a lot with on your channel especially if you use custom content! CC shopping videos are one of the most popular kinds out there. Creating ‘look books’ or themed styles gives you an opportunity to showcase your fancy editing skills.
If fashion really isn’t your thing then building is another alternative. Again it doesn’t require an awful lot of time however depending on the size and detail within the build the actual process can take much longer than simply creating a sim. All you would need to do is record while you build and speed up the clips during the editing process to avoid an extremely long tedious video. Some creators prefer to then add some voice over to explain their ideas and thoughts and some prefer to just place some music. If you choose the second option I strongly advise that you use tracks that are not restricted by copyright. No Copyright Sounds is a really great place to find thousands of upbeat tracks for all your videos!
Within these two kinds of videos are tags, collaborations and challenges. These are really fun to do once and a while and it is a good chance to interact with other simmers/gamers and put yourself out there. I have created an article on Create A Sim Tags which you can find here! I strongly recommend collaborating with other creators if you want to grow as a Youtuber, not only does this enable you to put yourself out there across other channels, but it really helps you to become part of the simming community which is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Last but not least are let’s plays. Time consuming, hard work and lengthy, these things are a big commitment that people often don’t realize until they actually start one! Before even thinking about planning, you should be completely honest and realistic about how much time you can commit to recording, editing and rendering let’s plays on a daily basis. Its not gonna work if you only upload one lets play, once a week and nothing else. Viewers will become impatient, disinterested and eventually go somewhere else to get their fix of sims content! You have to be consistent. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to upload every single day, but often enough that you regularly active and it doesn’t look like you have completely abandoned your channel! Perhaps think about setting up an upload schedule for your subscribers to follow so they know what content is coming when. Personally, I am a very busy person. Juggling a Philosophy degree among many other things while maintaining a Youtube channel is very difficult but there are ways to make it work:
- Pre-record: this method is a godsend when you don’t have time to record all the time. Take one day out or even a few hours to record several videos for the week ahead, edit them and upload them but set them to private on the Youtube settings. You could even schedule when they become public if you don’t want to release them manually. This way you have content ready to go for the following week and you can get on with other important things!
- Joint Channel: ever thought about sharing your channel with a friend? This way you can share the success and the workload. Perhaps one of you could focus on CAS videos while the other works on builds?
Whatever you chose to do, uploading on a regular basis is vital to growing your audience, no matter what content you choose to post. If you do want to take on an let’s play I have a few tips that will help you keep your subscribers watching:
Tip #1 – Be unique. I cant stress enough how important it is to come up with your own ideas and be original. People don’t want to see the same thing over and over. They want to come to your channel for something they cant get anywhere else!
Tip #2 – Storyline. With a game like the sims you have full control over what you and your sims get up to. According to a recent poll I posted on Twitter, a story line is KEY to maintaining interest.
Tip #3 – DRAMA! Keep your subs on their toes! Bring in that big plot twist they weren’t expecting, an unexpected pregnancy, death, relationship. Be creative!
Tip #4 – Enthusiam – When recording your let’s play, sound like you actually want to be playing the game. There’s nothing worse than listening to someone sound so bored and disinterested in what they are doing.
Tip # 5 – BE YOU! Let your personality shine in your videos. This allows your subscribers to get to know you as an actual person behind that microphone and engage with you in the comments.
My final, most valued tip for growing your Youtube channel is to use social media to the up-most. I would not be where I am now without it, Twitter is fantastic! There is a whole world of simmers out there who regularly communicate through the site. It is by far the best way to get stuck in and meet like-minded people who love the same thing you do, simming! Also, of course you should totally go and check out the forums on The Sims Community Social! Again there are thousands of members who chat and post ideas, photos, challenges and even giveaways! There are even threads dedicated to Youtubers like you and me so head on over there to get started!
That is the end of this very long edition to the series, next time I am going to focus on channel art and how to get your Youtube channel looking the part!