Vlogging (Part 3 of 3): Syndicating Your Vlog - How To Get Your Vlog To A Mass Audience 

Being a part of the Heavy Chef team means you get to meet inspirational people on a daily basis - ranging from famous international superstars like Malcolm Gladwell, Matt Mullenweg and Charlie Ayers, “The Chef who Fed Google”, to crazy-cute 13 year old entrepreneurs and local guys shaking up the status quo in Cape Town’s biggest township, Khayelitsha like coffee fundi Sikelela Dibela and township tour operator Siyabonga Wilson

These interactions put smiles on our faces, daily, and makes all of us at Heavy Chef excited for the future. It’s way more exhilarating than the stuff you watch on Carte Blanche on a Sunday, not to mention a kick up the butt in terms of action. We’re grateful for each and every meeting, but, our brains are only so big, and now we feel it’s about time we spread these inspirational people’s words and share their learnings with you guys - our community. 

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"I have only one piece of advice when it comes to syndication and that is: release content consistently." 

After much back and forth as to how this content will be packaged, the HC team have set out to create a vlog - yes, a video log, on YouTube. It’s called Raw and I happen to be the host. 

If you’re still considering starting a vlog, click here read part 1 of our vlogging series - and if you want to know how to film and what equipment is needed, read part 2 of our series, and if you’ve reached the point where you’re thinking about vlog syndication, then the 5 points below are just what you need. 

Note: We’ve chosen to let our content live first and foremost on YouTube (due to its global versus niche reach), as opposed to other video players like Vimeo. From YT, we are able syndicate our videos via a variety of value aligned distribution partners - which is something we’re currently strategizing. By the way, if you’re a brand manager and are interested in getting involved, click here to pop me an email (shameless plug right there!). 

But - and I believe this is a valuable point - we aim to break each video up into two different content pieces: A shorter variant for Instagram, Twitter and FB, that ultimately serves to drive traffic to our full video on YT. 

Bear in mind two quick caveats: 1) our channel is certainly not huge yet (heck, we only have around 300 subs at the time of writing), but we’re going to get there, and 2) this is OUR strategy as it aligns to our organisation’s mission. You will need to visit YOUR mission to decide upon your best syndication strategy, but the below five points are general enough to help us all. 

Point 1: If you’re aiming for ad revenue on YT, number of subscribers and watch time are key metrics - not just number of views, per video. 

You know how Facebook tells you how many views one video has had, in small writing under the video player? - well it’s not entirely accurate. Why do I say that? Well, because all someone needs to do is watch the first three seconds of the video and that is considered a view. In my opinion, a three second viewership is of no value to me, so my feeling is: don’t bother with Facebook’s ‘number of views’ statistic. 

I digress, but you get the point right?  

Ok, back to YT. As at April 2018, you need a minimum of 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours watch time per 12 month cycle, to earn ad revenue from your videos. This has been done to protect the creators who work day in and out to create content of value. It’s not easy to get people to subscribe For two reasons. Firstly, to subscribe you need to have a registered YouTube account. Secondly, unless they see the value in following your videos (this talks directly to providing value in every video) they’ll be happy to watch once off and not click subscribe. 

Point 2: Okay, okay, so how do I actually get people to subscribe to my channel then? 

So, my feeling is: be direct. 

Tell your audience, consistently, to subscribe. Whether it’s offline in conversations or online on any online locations, don’t undervalue the simple act of telling people why and how to subscribe to your channel. You can do this via a voiceover or obvious copy placed on the screen. 

Remember, all the time, to add value to your community. This comes from understanding what they are looking for and providing just that. You do this by simply asking your audience what they want to hear. It’s a 2 way dialogue. 

And don’t forget to drive people directly to your YT channel from other social channels. If you are building up a database and sending a regular newsletter, even better. In this way you drive eyes directly to your channel and the context is already set. In other words, they didn’t find you via the YT search bar. 

With context comes trust and, therefore, a greater chance of gaining subscribers. 

Point 3. What if I can’t reach the min subscribers and viewership? 

On YouTube, there are other ways to make money, apart from advertising revenue. This is particularly relevant as YT keeps changing its algorithms. Here are 4 alternative means of bringing in the cash dollar: 

  1. Sell a service that you’re showcasing via your YT channel - i.e. presenting gigs (most obvious addition), consulting, video producing and editing, to the less obvious ideas: extra lessons, sound snippets (there are myriads of options, but if people can see your skills, why wouldn’t they hire you?) 
  2. Sell merchandise / digital products attached to your content. It’s not uncommon for people to sell e-books - if you’re offering immense value in your free content, people will have no problem paying for your e-book. On the merch front, selling on big marketplaces can further drive people back to your channel. 
  3. Get a company to sponsor one of your videos. They don’t always need to sponsor your entire channel. But, be straight up about the sponsorship as a YT audience values truth. 
  4. Place affiliate links in the description, but ensure these affiliates actually add value to your audience. You may not have a mass subscriber base, but perhaps you have highly engaged viewers who will click on your recommendations and follow through with purchase action. That’s still a win for you. 

Point 4: Your content lives on YouTube forever - it’s not time stamped like Instagram and Facebook stories.

The trickle-down effect is thus very valuable and means you may gain views on old videos at unexpected times. 

On this point, you may find that your video only gains mass views when some major event takes place in the world that drives people to search for videos containing specific keywords, which your video contains. Thus, your metadata is key (click here to find out more about metadata). 

So, if you're in a niche category and your video only gets 20 views now, don’t worry. It may get picked up at a later stage. Or when you gain new subscribers, it’s not uncommon for your old videos to gain more views.

Point 5: Consistent syndication is a MUST. 

I have only one piece of advice when it comes to syndication and that is: release content consistently. 

If that is daily, then that means you need to release 1 x video every single day. But, as I said in an earlier post, please set realistic expectations for yourself from the start. Many YouTubers (some pretty famous ones even) are stating how they are burnt out and cannot continue with the schedule they set for themselves. 

At Heavy Chef, we have set ourselves a target of posting 1 x Raw video per week, directly in line with our newsletter send out. We’re going for the quality versus quantity approach. Please do hold us to our stated postings schedule.

And that’s all for today folks!

But, before you do anything else - please, please, please head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe - and let me know what you think. Remember, if you have questions for our speakers, or for us, ask them in the comments.