If you’ve been considering adding video to your business’ content marketing strategy, you’ve no doubt been thinking about creating a YouTube channel. However, for many smaller businesses and solo entrepreneurs, it might be worth considering sharing a YouTube channel with several related, non-competing colleagues. You can get much of the benefit that you’d gain from a YouTube channel but with a fraction of the effort.
What is a Shared Channel?
A shared channel is a single YouTube channel containing videos from multiple (ideally non-competing) businesses but designed to serve a specific target audience that all the businesses want to reach.
Why Consider a Shared Channel?
The shared channel provides many of the benefits that larger businesses get from developing their own channel:
- Single place for people to find a consistently updated library of videos with a niche focus.
- Develop loyal viewers (subscribers) who are notified whenever a new video is posted
- Individual videos in a niche channel have better SEO and show up easier in search
- Viewers who find one video are exposed to the entire channel of related content
- Provides a binge-watching opportunity for target audience to engage
- Best way to maximize the benefits of the YouTube platform (The #2 search engine)
The shared channel is a better option for small businesses (or larger companies desiring to reach multiple niche markets). Making a YouTube Channel successful is no simple task. YouTube’s data shows that successful channels must be consistently updated, the videos must be promoted and that more videos = more viewers.
Isn’t a Single Branded Channel Better
Yes. But only if you have the resources to maintain it. YouTube is littered with the carcasses of dead and withered channels and videos. It is painful to think of the time and money wasted creating videos with 50, 20 or even 5 views.
There are many reasons channels fail, from poorly defined channel strategies, inconsistent updates, lack of promotion and even abandonment. A failing channel can quickly become a downward spiral. The longer a channel goes without views, the further down it drops in the search results, resulting in fewer views etc. Visitors who do land on your channel are unlikely to subscribe if they perceive that the channel is dead.
However for companies and individuals with the resources to maintain their own channel, there are some benefits that the shared channel doesn’t offer:
- Channel branding consistent with company brand
- Clickable video links (annotations) can take the viewer to the company website
- 100% of the videos on the channel deliver your company messages
That’s about it. It’s probably about 10% of the value of a successful channel to be gained by taking on 100% of the creation, strategy, promotion and maintenance. You must be a big enough company for that 10% to be worth it.
Unique Opportunities With a Shared Channel
By sharing a channel you increase the chances of success and lessen the burden of any single company. Some positives:
- The Channel grows with more frequent updates
- Video creation is spread among participants
- Each participant promotes their videos (on their website, mailing list, social media, etc)
- Channel promotion is multiplied by the number of participants.
- Time and costs associated with managing the channel are shared.
- Any paid promotion of the channel can be shared.
Examples of a Shared Channel
We are very excited to be pioneering the Shared Channel concept. We are currently producing Small Business File as a promotional strategy for our video production clients focussed on small B2B (b2b).
The most important thing with a shared channel is that all participants can benefit from a common niche audience. Ideally participants are non competing. This can be because they are in different industries, different specialties or in different locations. Four businesses in the same industry could share a channel if they serve different geographic regions. A group of local businesses that cater to a specific market also works, like a channel for weddings in San Francisco featuring a photographer, caterer, cake baker and dressmaker. An auto body shop, an auto painting company and a mechanic could go in on a channel catering to car maintenance.
Small Business Advantage
One of the advantages that small business has over their larger counterparts is flexibility. The shared channel allows small businesses to strategically band together in an informal way that would keep lawyers at Fortune 500 companies employed for months.
I encourage you to look for opportunities to use the shared channel. Or feel free to call and kick around some ideas.by