General Tips on Adding Value

Remember your own viewing habits. What makes you click on a video? What makes you binge watch? What makes you subscribe? Don’t make content in complete isolation, ignoring what you would actually do as a viewer. If you wouldn’t pay for your own content, don’t expect others to value it higher.

Don’t rely on the base topic to provide value. This is most evident for gaming channels. The game itself isn’t that interesting – we can already play the game ourselves. It’s the person behind the game that adds value. For some, it’s informative commentary that helps others play the game better. For others, it’s the entertainment value of watching someone fail. For streamers, it’s the interactivity. In general, videos about the game have more value than just straight-out playing the game.

This is more clearly seen in videos covering TV shows and movies. Obviously, you can’t just show the movie, but it’s usually fascinating to listen to people talk about the movie and everything that goes with it. I don’t watch Star Trek, but I’ve learned a lot more about starships than I imagined. Watching gameplay is almost the same as watching an episode of a TV show. Either I’ve already seen it, or I’m not interested in watching it.

Consistency is the key. You hear this a lot, but see this in the frame of value and you’ll appreciate why consistency and locking down on a niche is crucial for building a following. I will subscribe not for one good video, but the likelihood that all subsequent videos will give me the same value. Your subscribers are return customers. If I know that your channel is going to cover a topic I’m interested in with a guaranteed level of depth and relevance, I’m sold.

Improve company quality
Quality Over Quantity always wins.

Give people a reason to keep on coming back. Open dialogue and interaction, ask questions, and give some insight and previews to what you might be doing next. Use the chance to push content that you also think is valuable – either your own or someone else’s. You’re a salesperson trying to make a sale.

Don’t forget that value applies to you as a creator as well. If it takes 8 hours to make a 10 minute video that no one finds interesting, is it really worth your time? Could you make a simpler video in less time? Just as businesses will cut costs, you will need to consider whether to downsize or change your operations. Remember this when you are advertising your content, either by linking it on reddit, sharing it to your Facebook friends, or buying ads. If the viewer does not perceive value, no amount of promotion will make them watch you, just as no amount of annoying telemarketing will get you to sign up to this new energy company.

Video length is a big factor in perceived value. If someone has a 10 minute break, they could watch two 5-minute videos, which feels like double the value, compared to a single 10-minute video. Similarly, as videos approach 15 to 20 minutes, the expectations rise, ultimately becoming exponential. 30 minutes is equivalent to sitting through a short film, and by the 1 hour mark (check: long let’s plays and livestreams), this is like sitting through a lecture.

Don’t be afraid to lure potential viewers in with short videos. Think of these as “loss leaders”. They’re probably not as good as your regular content, but it’s a smaller investment for the viewer. When they are pleased with the value they are getting, they will be more inclined to watch more videos from you.

The reason why meme images spread so easily is because as a still image, there is zero time investment for maximum value. Animated gifs are close behind. Videos are a big step. It’s not uncommon for Facebook pages to post condensed previews of their shows or screenshots as free “tasters” to entice people to watch their video on YouTube.

Edit: Here’s a thought exercise: imagine some bigshot executive is offering a million dollars to host your YT channel. What can you pitch to the executive that proves that you are worthy?

Your channel is your business card. You should be able to show it and share it at every possible opportunity with conviction. –Reddit

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