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DevFactor Official Branding Guide / Tutorial

Discussion in 'Branding and Channel Design' started by DevFactor, Apr 3, 2015.

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Does Your Channel Demonstrate It's Value Propostion in a Clear, Consise Manner?

  1. Yes

    10 vote(s)
    22.7%
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Maybe

    23 vote(s)
    52.3%
  1. DevFactor
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    Hey Guys,

    I'm Andrew and I run a YouTube channel called DevFactor: /devfactor

    DevFactor has a pretty big history, so I'll give you a run down before I start the tutorial.

    Two years ago after being unhappy with the state of programming education (its outdated, slow, inefficient) - I opted to start a website to teach people how to code. On the DevFactor website, I produced over 100 text based programming tutorials. Growth was steady, but slow. Last year DevFactor was seeing ~100k unique visitors per month and 500k page views. But most of my traffic was going to one or two "viral" posts.

    I started dabbling with video on YouTube, and realized that I got a ton more organic traffic due to the lack of good quality programming tutorials on YouTube. So I decided to go all in, redirecting my traffic from DevFactor to YouTube (or to a landing page actually). And running my channel using principles found in agile development and lean management.

    For those of you who aren't familiar with Lean Management, I suggest reading this book: amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous-Innovation/dp/0307887898/?tag=devfactor-20

    To Summarize My Approach:

    1) Using data available, select a market (programming, game development) and create hypothesis on who will want your content and how you will market it.

    2) Plan 2 week "sprints" where you test a feature, or content change. Gather as much data as possible so you can review the results and make informed decisions on the success of the feature.

    3) Use A/B testing. For our channel, I tried putting out two series at once. I started a Ruby on Rails (web development) and Java Game Programming tutorial series simultaneously. For each I optimized keywords using the Google keyword planner tool, optimized titles and created special thumbnails (more on that soon).

    4) Pivot. Based on the data you gather and results of A/B testing, determine your most popular video's categories and topics. Because game development was WAY better performing, we opted to "pivot" and focus on game development. Since we have RoR fans, RoR tutorials will continue but at a slower pace and lower priority.

    5) Market your content directly to your target demographics (not at random), and ensure your mission statement / goals and emotions go into the marketing. There is a book called Contagious which talks about viral marketing. But the summary is you need to explain "what", "how" and "for what purpose" in your marketing. Because I was honest about my channel & goals, and expressed I was passionate about the topics I was able to get hundreds of subs from one viral post: reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/2y7ln6/would_you_be_interested_in_a_free_java_game_dev/

    6) Finally, always collect as much data as possible from subscribers on how to improve your channel. In the end, they are the consumers of your product and may see things differently than you do. Especially in the case of my tutorials, I've found it great talking to subscribers because they have a totally different role than I do (I already know the content, they are learning).

    And here is what I used to "add icing to the cake". I wanted to create not only a popular channel, but an authority channel which would be perceived as high quality, useful and concise. In essence, I decided I wanted to shoot for regular subscribers and relationships rather than high views here and there. I've used these techniques to work on that:

    1) Custom thumbnails - my thumbnails all include my very simple logo. This means if someone sees my video in search, they instantly know its from me and they instantly know it is of a certain quality, and that they will get feedback if they need help.

    2) Custom Intro/Outro (10 seconds or less). I experimented with this and it worked great! But only when it was cut down to under 10 seconds. Above that and I lose viewers.

    3) Playlists by topic. Not only do playlists help organize, but they will get you more views. Viewers will accidentally let the next video play and opt to watch it regardless of if they originally intended to.

    4) Produce Value: Why does your channel matter? At my channel you can learn to code (proven to increase your earnings), learn to build video games (many people's dream job!), and you get free debugging in the comments ($40/hr+ at a tutor). Your channel must bring literal value into someones life for it to be worth subscribing, and you must have a clear goal for your channel (don't do multiple things in a channel, e.x. cooking, cars, unless that is your "thing").

    Finally, some philosophy of mine (from spending a few years marketing online content):

    1) Don't Repeat Your Self
    2) Short, Concise, Trim the Fat
    3) Clear Mission
    4) Key Words to think of: Engage, Inspire, Excite

    In 1 month on YouTube we have grown to ~2,000 subscribers.

    If you are interested in learning about coding or game development, check us out: /devfactor

    If you have questions or comments I'd love to help answer them!
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 3, 2015, Original Post Date: Apr 3, 2015 ---
    Hey Admins, I appreciate the sticky. Thanks!

    I was wondering how I could edit this? Doing so would allow me to work on the formatting and condensing the material. If a lot of people are going to view this I want to make sure I maximize readability and insure the important points stick out :)
     
  2. Pimikochu
    Active Member
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    Hey Andrew,

    Thank you so much for sharing your tactics! Really appreciate the book recommendation / references; to be honest, I just purchased Contagious, haha.

    It's evident, through your writing, that you are genuinely passionate and committed to your craft and youtube. Wishing you all the best with DevFactor and your channel! x
     
    Panton likes this.
  3. Ninja of the end
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    Hello devfactor how are you doing today. Do you feel some of your youtube success was because of your website. Also, I feel like you have a lot of good ideas in that.

    I feel like a lot of new youtubers try many different things so that way they can optimize there channel and later down the road not be stuck on one thing.

    I agree knowing your demographic is very important when starting a buisness and a youtube channel is like a buisness, but a lot of people don't know there demographic because there's no data out there, and I youtube channels are like clicks demographics change periodically or you may not doing well with that demographic because they care about something else.

    Generally the human attention span for things like intro is 15 seconds that's person experience so that would make sense. Your section about playlist is good but you don't want people accidentally hitting your channel because if the next video goes without them clicking it they will most likely close it right away. Which view time in youtube is important and accidental view don't really help your channel. You want people to seek it out.

    Yes I agree a channel must have value to someone in order for them to return where it be a learning,mental, or emotional value.

    I agree don't repeat yourself, make sure your clear precise and fluent, the flow of a commercial or video, as important as pitch and tone. But one thing I feel is your text lacks character to me it feels to sales pitchy like add icing to the cake, that feels more scripted.

    your intro feels a little light maybe talk a little about you before your buisness, because in the end people don't care about a youtube channel or a buisness because of the buisness, they care about because of the people in the buisness.

    Your writting is good plenty of white space in there which is actually important, it has good flow. Also, it has a lot of data but maybe to much people may be like yah that's too much for me want to take in.

    All in all your doing great, good luck out there. Also, sorry if people think what I said is stupid. This is my personal experience, and a little bit of what college taught me.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 22, 2015, Original Post Date: May 22, 2015 ---
    Also left out one thing, keep in mind youtubers who just start may not be able to get data on what works and not, especially in two weeks it may take several months for them to get that kind of data in 2 weeks they may only have 5 subscribers. Even someone with 10000 may need more then two weeks because feedback may be slow coming or they get so little it's hard to tell at that given time if something can be profitable or not. I said my piece. Everyone have a safe holiday weekend and a very nice one. This is ninja, saying good night.
     
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  4. LaneVids
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    I think that this piece is some of the best advice for anyone creating videos. Engage with your audience, Inspire your audience (and yourself) and if you are excited about your content and relationships, then your audience will be too!
     
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  5. StraightUpIrish
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    Thanks for this really helped :)
     
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  6. ThisEvilBunny
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    Very helpful advice, I think making playlists are very helpful. I haven't made any as of yet but will incorporate it. Especially for Vlog channels where you cover multiple topics.Thanks!
     
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  7. Panton
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    Devfactor all i have to say is thank you. This thread will most likely change someones views on running a youtube channel. You do have to run your channel somewhat like a business. But i think we could all agree that you must love what your doing. I know for a fact that i will be reading this thread again and again and checking your channel out since i'm interested in coding and game development.:)
     
  8. hatlesschimp
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    I like what you have written! I think I have implemented some of them strategies already but some I know I have to do but haven't yet. Thanks
     
  9. KarriKat
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    that is all really interesting info I had no idea you could use ruby to discover information on users. I have no idea where to start with all this!
     
  10. EposVox
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    Awesome post and advice, DevFactor!

    This is fairly similar to what I did at the start of 2015 and has brought me great success.
     

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