The 411 on You Tube From Movie Buzz’s Peter Rallis
What baby steps do you advise beginners take to get up and running on You Tube?
Getting noticed on YouTube is much harder today than it used to be. I got lucky enough to start my show when there wasn’t a lot of traffic to the site, so my shows would pop up more around the webpage. I was able to generate a large enough audience that by the time YouTube took off publicly, I could sustain my show without disappearing from all the new content creators. According to the New York Times, YouTube now has 20 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, which is the equivalent to 100,000 full-length movies every week. So, newcomers to YouTube have to compete against that. The best advice I can give is to not be intimidated by the other competition on the site and just start uploading videos. ou never know who will find you, what video of yours will take off or what new contacts you can generate. The longer someone waits to start publishing their work, the harder it will get for other people to find you. It’s also very important to stay consistent with your work or uploads. You don’t want to lose the audience that you created.
Would you recommend that filmmakers starting production companies start a You Tube channel for the company and put their productions under that umbrella or do it a different way?
I strongly suggest companies start a YouTube channel. YouTube is one of the top most visited websites on the internet and with Google owning YouTube, the traffic to your content is opened up even further. I remember seeing that someone used a Google search to find one of my videos on YouTube. If you have content that you know people will be looking for, Google is always linking to videos with their search results, so it’s a great way to have your content be seen. It’s always good to have your hand in major sites with large numbers of traffic. If you want to be seen, you have to put yourself out there for people to find you and YouTube is the best place for that. You can still have your own blog site, but you need to build an audience in different networking sites to really get your name out there.
What is the best way to strategize when planning a campaign?
If you’re working on a campaign, it’s best to advertise yourself in every way you can. The internet has become so large that you can no longer just post something to your Facebook. You need to make a video for YouTube and use Twitter to reach out to all of your followers. If you create a large enough following through these various sites, you never know who will be able to help you down the road. So, in the future, if you need a graphic designer for something, you can simply tweet “Is anyone good at Photoshop?” You’ll be surprised at how many people respond. Everything is at your fingertips if you know how to communicate on the web.
People talk about rating systems and I’m not familiar with them. How do they work and is there one that you think is best?
The rating system for content on the internet used to be on a scaling from 1 to 5 stars. Now everything has turned into ‘liking’ or ‘not liking’ something with a simple click of the mouse. The biggest way ‘liking’ works best is on YouTube. If your video generates enough ‘likes’ it will appear higher up in searches. A simple reminder to your audience to like your content is a good way to make sure people are using that rating system to promote your work.
Should you identify people on You Tube who have similar interests and subscribe to their channels? Is that an effective way to build collaborations?
It’s a good idea to subscribe to people on YouTube who you have similar interests with mainly to see how they manage their channel and how they produce and promote their work. I’ve learned a lot from just seeing how other people have promoted themselves, but, the best way to build collaborations with someone is to send them an email. Most YouTubers post their email addresses to be contacted at. Just make sure you have a solid and thought out idea to present them. If you send an email just saying, “Hey, we should do a collab together!” it will most likely be ignored. You have to come into it with a great idea.
You’ve talked about the partner program and growing a strong subscriber base. How the program work and produce income? How would this benefit filmmakers and their projects?
The partner program on YouTube has become a great way for people to generate income from their videos. If someone wants to become a partner, they need to apply to become one. The basic rules for becoming a partner are 1. You need to have at least 1,000 subscribers, so that advertisers know that somewhat of an audience will see their ads. 2. You need to upload videos to YouTube regularly. You can’t upload something every two months or so if you want to become a partner. Consistency is key. 3. You have to make sure your work is copyright free. Being a partner means that you can start generating revenue and YouTube will not put advertising with your content if you don’t own 100% of it. The income comes from your audience clicking on the advertising that runs next to your videos. The more viewers you get, the more likely people will be clicking on the ads. This can be very beneficial for filmmakers if they are looking for some extra money to spend on their projects whether it is equipment or paying for permits.
Any tips from Vidcon 2010 you’d like to pass along?
All I can say about VidCon 2010 is that if you weren’t there, you missed out. YouTube gatherings are the absolute 100% best way to make connections. It’s a great place to meet the people who you have been watching online and an even better way to make friends and connections. It’s a great opportunity to shake hands with future people, who you might be working with. Vidcon 2011 is currently in the works and I strongly suggest going to that when it is finally set up because if you ever wanted to share your great ideas with someone, gatherings are the best place to do that.