Social Media for Blogs & Brands: Navigating YouTube

how to use youtube

If you missed Part One of the Social Media for Blogs & Brands, click here to learn all about Pinterest!

Harnessing the Power of Video

In an era where social media reigns king, you can ask anyone what their favorite social platform is, and chances are the top answers will be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and depending on the demographic, Snapchat. But rarely do people think about YouTube as a social media platform.

The truth is though, YouTube, and online video content, is only growing in popularity and demand. With over one billion active YouTube users, vloggers and video content creators are quickly gaining notoriety and a massive social following. In fact, in the last couple of months there have been several articles written on the influence of Youtubers vs. traditional A-list celebrities, and the odds were definitely trending toward the Youtubers. Basically, that means that a uber popular YouTuber – take Zoella for instance – has about the same amount of influence in pop culture as an A-list celeb. All because she creates and uploads videos!

No matter if you’re a dedicated blogger looking for a new challenge and a fresh way to present your content, or a newbie looking to drive as much exposure as possible to your blossoming website, don’t forget about the power of video marketing and the possibilities that await! So as bloggers and creative content curators, how do you leverage the powerful influence of YouTube to boost your content and engage with your audience?

Begin Somewhere. Start Small.

The key here is just to begin! Unfortunately, there’s probably never going to be ‘the perfect time’ to set up a camera and start speaking to a little black box. And unless you’re already comfortable front of a camera, chances are it’s going to take some time to learn how to look and feel at ease on camera. But just like with most things in life, the best way to overcome your awkward camera face is to practice!  No matter if you have 50 followers or 5,000, pretend like you’re talking to your best friend – a one-on-one super personal conversation where you can just relax and be yourself.

Don’t think you need to create a visual masterpiece on your first video, or even your 30th video. Speak on something you’re comfortable and passionate talking about or showing and let your personal interest drive your content. 

Pro Tip: Consistently using Snapchat and Instagram stories is a great way to get comfortable talking to a camera or phone! The more comfortable you are, the more at ease your audience will be.

Curate Unique Content.

While I just said earlier you want to make videos on things you’re passionate about, also be careful that there’s not too much overlap between your blog’s content and your channel’s content. I’m a big fan of watching lookbook videos on YouTube. That’s where I’ll find a blogger who’s posted a great outfit on her blog and then she’ll also posted a 1:00-1:30 video about that outfit on her YouTube channel. While I love a beautiful photo as much as the next girl, there’s something about seeing the outfits move and flow in person that makes you get a really good feeling of the style and pieces.

While you’re brainstorming creative content ideas, make sure to note which videos can standalone and which ones would be best suited as a supporting piece for your blog post. But just keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to repeat content just for the sake of posting another video. Your dedicated viewers will start to get bored with the repetition and you run the risk of losing them to a more creative channel. 

Ask Your Regulars to Follow Along.

 Some of my favorite bloggers are just starting to make their way onto YouTube and they have no problem letting their loyal readers know they’re making videos. Just like you promote your latest blog post on Instagram, don’t be afraid to cross-promote your new channel! Let your social community and readers know you’re posting quality content on YouTube. They may not all flock over and hit the subscribe button, but if you’re posting consistently about your newfound platform, readers will get the hint!

Because video is such a dynamic medium, if you're uploading unique, well-shot and well-edited content, your community will love checking out the video version of you. It will really give them a glimpse of the person behind the screen, and nowadays we’re all about getting as personal as we possibly can with personalities and bloggers!

Get Into An Editing Groove.

I’m sure you all are fairly familiar with the photo editing process. Adjust exposure and contrast and colors and crop lines, etc., but for video it’s more about framing your shot from the start and then once you’re in the editing phase creating a seamless steam of talking (like with haul videos or tutorials) or action shots (fashion look books, styling videos, etc.) It’s not hard to do, in fact I often find it easier to accomplish than the perfectly edited photo, but it can take time and practice.


A Couple Programs to Use

    Final Cut Pro — you can get a free trial to see if you like it!
    Clipper — iPhone app for quick Instagram videos and editing on the go!

 A Couple Things to Avoid

     Long, silent pauses. Videos are for sound and action. Edit out those awkward pauses!
    Jumpcuts. Don’t startle your viewer with an abrupt, unexpected cut from one shot to another.     Overly creative transitions. Sorry ladies, the days of the epic fades and bouncing ball transitions are OUT. Keep it simple with cuts or basic fades.

 A Couple Channels To Watch

 If you’re like me and gobble up as much inspiration as you can before starting out on something new, then chances are you’re going to love these ladies and their YouTube channels.

   Zoella — British lifestyle and fashion vlogger. Current subscriber count: 11 million
   Margo and Me — Leading lady of a blog with the same name. Lifestyle and fashion content.
   Chriselle Lim — A glamorous fashionista with serious style.

So that’s YouTube in a nutshell! I truly believe this platform is only going grow in the next year or so, so jump on in while it’s still a developing community and I think you’ll find it exciting and full of possibilities. 

Emily is a content marketer from 8-5 and a lifestyle and fashion blogger from 5-8. Her first passion is writing and she loves sharing her knowledge with people who are passionate about what they’re doing. A resident of the trendy Southern city, Greenville, SC, Emily can often be found in local coffee shops with a warm chai latte and a new blog post brewing. You can follow along with Emily on her blog, Some Pretty Thing or her Instagram