How to use YouTube and not screw up?

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If you think that YouTube suits only funny ridiculous videos, music clips and unprofessional bloggers, you are wrong and almost behind the times. Nowadays it is the second most popular search engine after Google.

Vladimir Khodakowsky from Russian Media Group hosted a workshop about useful tips for journalists working with the platform during the Annual Congress in Turin.

«YouTube is one of the easiest ways to reach new audiences of digital natives,» Vladimir claims.

The Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism at Oxford University publishes the Digital News Report every year. Exploring the Report made in 2015 you can see that the media consumption via online media is growing dramatically. Soon the Internet is going to become the main source of information for people all over the world. Another important trend is the rising popularity of online video news. More and more media consumers watch news on YouTube. Vladimir explains that it is one of the easiest ways to gain views and likes. You just need to start making reports and news releases taking into account the main factor: be yourself. He also names some numbers: for example, 51 per cent of US residents use YouTube everyday and 10 per cent of them go directly for the news.

«As a journalist you can’t get 10 million views. Accept it. You can’t get millions of money. Accept it too. But you can be just you uploading interesting videos,» Vladimir says.

YouTube users do not fell in love with professional journalists or objective experts. They want to see you showing emotions, transparency and honesty. You do not have to shoot everything with extremely expensive and professional equipment. You can lay an egg even using Mark II with the best lens. Vladimir, for instance, speaks about ELLE magazine. It once received such a comment: «Dear ELLE Magazine, you don’t get Youtube at all». What does it actually mean? What went wrong for ELLE?

They were just publishing beautiful commercials. There was no interaction with the audience, there was nothing relevant and catchy.

You should prepare the content for YouTube the same way you work on your texts. Snazzy header, intelligible description, interactive topical video with appeals to comment, to share, to react. And speaking about sharing Vladimir stresses out that you must promote your video via social networks and using tags and all the tools YouTube provides.

He points out that there are three easy rules: find, engage and grow your audience. And if you catch its mood and learn its requests, they will be very loyal.

You must always respect your subscribers. One of the tools for it is schedule. It is way more easy to follow your stream and not to miss videos, if you publish them on schedule. You should also try to answer on their comments and to build a dialogue, this will really help you to understand the audience better. You should link your various videos together or blur faces if it is needed.

Of course, you should not be naive. You will start to earn real money after more than 1 million views per week. Even if you have a few thousand views, your profit will be only about one or two hundreds dollars. So do not rush to buy professional equipment, it may not pay off. You should assay the platform, the audience, the theme. The crucial aspect is to find yourself and your style, you must be free and inartificial. This is what distinguishes YouTube vloggers from TV journalists.

You may ask: «So, what is the most important thing?» The answer is to start and to be yourself. The follow up question: «How can we achieve an incredible success?» And Vladimir answers: «Success? Well, it happens.»

Sofia Brontvein

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