A number of signs suggest that the future of video is in very frequent publishing. In a few short years, YouTube channels of typical associations, nonprofit organizations, and businesses will publish videos every week and, for many, even more often. Short has always dominated online video, and it’s likely that YouTube will look more and more like Twitter, with frequent bits of information that cater to short attention spans–and appear very frequently.
The future of video is now for the most popular video channels
Checking out the one hundred most subscribed channels (by subscribers), we found that frequent video publishing dominates the listing. For example:
- PewDiePie, which has more than 26 million subscribers, rose to popularity publishing five to eight videos about video gaming a week, and has only recently scaled back to four to seven a week.
- Smosh, which has more than 17 million subscribers for its parodies and other humorous videos, publishes new videos every Friday and hypes related channels that publish additional videos.
- Hola Soy German, which has just slightly fewer subscribers than Smosh, publishes every week.
- JennaMarbles, which has 13 million subscribers, publishes every week.
While famous people such as Rihanna (13 million subscribers) and auto-generated YouTube channels on broad topics such as music, sports, and news can win large numbers of YouTube subscribers without a regular, frequent publishing schedule, it seems likely this will decrease over time as more and more channels seek to trade on the winning strategy of frequent publishing, and that this is where the future of video lies.
Start preparing for the future of video
If you’re not yet ready to publish video every week, you can still prepare for the future of video. The first thing to do is to acquire a lot of footage when you or your video producer has a camera out. All kinds of events make great video, and once you’re getting some footage, it really doesn’t cost much to get more. Even if you’re only trying to get b-roll, filler that adds visual interest and gives you more editing options, having more footage will help you keep your videos dynamic and ramp up your production volume.
The other thing to do is have your camera out more often, and hire professionals for more events. You never get a second chance to capture a real-life event, and you need these raw materials to make video. You’ve probably experienced all kinds of moments wherein you thought, if only I’d caught that on video. Having the camera out more often means missing fewer of those moments, and even rough video taken with a smartphone can be useful if edited and packaged correctly.
Another thing to do to prepare for the future of video is to experiment with YouTube’s scheduling feature. YouTube partners have had this capability since 2011, and YouTube made it available to everyone without fanfare in the summer of 2012. All you have to do is when you upload your video, select “scheduled” instead of “public,” “unlisted,” or “private.” This allows you to make sure that your video channel has new content on a consistent schedule–and you can consider the whole schedule at a single time.
Creative thinking makes the future of video less daunting
Most organizations probably can’t afford to publish 50 videos a year if they’ve been publishing one, four, six, or ten unless they think creatively about how to control costs. Fortunately, for most organizations it probably makes sense to only increase slightly the number of ambitious videos they create, while filling out their video schedule with material such as this:
- Short teasers for longer videos—while the annual conference recap video is in production, publish a teaser video that’s 30 seconds to 3 minutes long to generate buzz.
- Create making-of videos, or behind-the-scenes videos, repurposing content.
- Curate material from like-minded organizations. You’ll keep your channel active and they’ll get attention (and perhaps give you attention in return).
- Create short comment videos on news events.
- Best-of countdowns showing bits from the 10 best videos of the year.
The future of video will feature more and more YouTube channels that move to a weekly—or even more frequent—format. As some of today’s most popular YouTube channels have shown, publishing frequently is a crucial way to build relationships and keep your audience engaged. There are many strategic ways of doing that without breaking your budget.
If MiniMatters can help you with business video, fundraising video, association video, or other video production needs, we’d love to provide an estimate through our online form, talk with you at 301-339-0339, or communicate via email at [email protected]. We serve associations, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia.