Tuesday Trends is a weekly post that covers, in brief, emerging movements, innovations, or strategies that you can integrate, tweak, or ponder as you organize your program.
As you are well aware, online video has become an integrated strategy for communicating with Millennials and Digital Natives. It has become intrinsic for brands to consider online video as a leading tool to market product and information.
This movement is being empowered by mobile platforms and publishing tools that are increasingly user-friendly and free. Digital Natives and Millennials love to create and publish content to share experiences and build community.
Because video, as a platform, has become increasingly social, Youtube is now investing $100 million into original programming to lure film industry personalities toward Youtube as a viable conduit. Google has also sweetened the pie by offering 55% in ad revenue sharing to content creators. Here are just some of the people who are claiming digital land with youtube; Rainn Wilson, Deepak Chopra, Justin Lin, Anthony Zuiker, Amy Poehler, Ashton Kutcher, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tony Hawk – source
What does this mean for youth leaders?
Most of you are not interested in carving out a considerable amount of your time in creating compelling content for ad revenue. The only reason that this trend should merit your attention is because it underscores the reality that each individual youtube channel has a sphere of influence. If your area, group, or program publishes content to youtube you have more than likely done so because you simply needed a spot to park announcements, highlights, or promo material. Youtube is a great place for that. It’s an even better place to build social and creative impact for causes and interests that you’re pushing students toward already.
Recommendations for building Youtube Content
1. Clean house. If you have a youtube account for your group you need to consider what’s on it. How old is the content? What is the context of it? Does it all come together? What is the central theme of all the videos? If it’s come check this out or come to our place, how’s that working? What does the channel’s page look like? Has it been designed with your group’s imagery, logo, and information? Get rid of old content that has expired it’s shelf life. The camp video from 2009 is great but may have served it’s purpose and needs to be retired. The talking head commentaries seemed like a great idea but if nobody is watching them then it may be communicating irrelevancy.
2. Plan a content strategy and schedule. Sit down with your creatives and think through what you would really want to produce for students. Most of our youtube publishing has been event based or impulsive. What would it look like to tell a story through video shorts that were layered in installments? Who should write them, film them, and edit? How are students the subject or participant in it’s publishing?
Here are some questions to consider as you write a content schedule and strategy.
-What do our kids really care about?
-What moves them to action?
-Who among our kids are known for being creative or already publishing content themselves?
-What is our hook? Why would any student be willing to watch a two to three minute video?
-How do we encourage subscribers?
-Where do we cultivate community?
-How do we build story and use imagery to offer consistency?
3. Use video to start conversation and not make statements. Youth leaders classically try to feed an entire meal in one sitting to anyone who will listen. Instead of a talking head that has five follow up points think about a group of people asking questions or a story that evokes an emotion and response.
4. Make it always come back to the kids. Whatever you publish try to have as an end goal the idea that every piece needs to solve or move students towards things that are an actual need they intrinsically hunger for. This will challenge you to look at your pieces with new eyes. You will find yourself asking, “Does this really matter and will the students actually desire this or am I about to publish this because ‘I’ think it’s cool?”
Here is a list of the top 100 youtube channels from 2011. Take a look at what people are actually watching as a way to think through your future content.