Position Your Channel
Channel positioning is what makes your channel unique, different, or better than other channels on YouTube.
Elements that go into your channel’s positioning include:
- Your style
- The type of videos you produce (how-to, vlog, humor, music, etc.)
- Publishing frequency
- Video length
- Your target audience
- Lots more
Why Is Channel Positioning Important?
In short: channel positioning helps you stand out and grab attention on YouTube.
Why does this matter? Well, 300 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. And there are millions of channels on YouTube.
In other words: YouTube is a very crowded space. And positioning helps you stand out from the pack.
How To Position Your Channel
Define a Target Audience
This is where you answer the question:
“WHO is your channel for?”
So before you shoot your first video, take a second to define your audience.
For example, is your channel for:
- College students?
- Busy moms?
- Coffee lovers?
The more specific your target audience, the better. In other words: you don’t want to create a generic “gaming channel” or a “parenting vlog”. Instead, define WHO your gaming channel or parenting blog is for.
That way, when someone from that group sees your channel they’ll say: “Awesome! This is the channel I’ve been waiting for”. And they’ll watch, like, and share your videos.
For example, Antonio from the Real Men Real Style channel has a crystal clear target audience: men that want to dress up and look sharp doing it.
So if you’re a guy that wants to look great in a suit, Antonio’s channel is for you.
But if your idea of dressing up is slapping on a clean hoodie, you’ll need to find another channel.
And Antonio’s clearly-defined audience is one of the main reason that he’s grown his channel to 1.9 million subscribers:
Here’s where you decide on the type of value you’re going to provide to your audience.
For example, do your videos…
- Help busy moms make healthy meals for their kids?
- Show Rocket League players how to win more matches?
- Make Star Wars fans laugh?
Either way, make sure to define a specific value proposition.
It’s time to decide what types of videos you’re going to create.
Vlogs? How-to videos? Inspirational?
Of course, you can use several different types of videos on your channel.
But it’s important to focus on 1-2 types at first. Then, as your channel grows, you can test out new formats.
So: how do you know which type of video is best for your channel?
Go with the format that provides the most value to your audience.
For example, The Backlinko channel’s value proposition is: “higher rankings and more traffic”.
So, when I first started my channel, I asked myself: “What video type will help people get higher rankings and more traffic?”.
Vlogs? Probably not.
Inspirational videos? Nope.
How-to videos? Bingo!
Because how-to videos deliver the most value to my audience, 100% of my videos are how-to videos:
And this helped my views and subscribers grow in record time.
This is where you outline how often you’ll upload videos to your channel (and when).
There’s no “best” publishing schedule that works for everyone. But it is important to have a schedule in place. That way, subscribers and potential subscriber see that you publish videos on a consistent basis.
For example, some YouTubers (like Gary Vee), posts a new video every day.
And with 1.3 million subscribers, that schedule clearly works well for him.
Others, (like Juns Kitchen), publish one new video per month. Even though that’s much less frequent than normal, Jun is consistent with his “1 video every month” schedule. And that’s helped him grow to over 2 million subscribers.
In short: don’t worry about publishing lots and lots of videos. Instead, choose a schedule that gives you the time you need to create amazing video content. If that’s every 2 days, great. If that’s one video per month, that’s totally fine.
The most important thing is to pick a schedule that works for you.
It’s no secret that video is a highly-visual medium.
Which means that your channel’s style is a very important part of positioning your channel to stand out.
Your visual style extends to every inch of your channel, including:
- Your animated logo
- On-screen graphics
- Your wardrobe
- Video thumbnails
- Channel art
- And more
So it’s worth taking time to define what style you want to use across your channel. Whether you go for cute, high-tech or retro try to use a consistent style across your channel and in your videos.
For example, which channel strikes you as having a distinct style?
Marie Forleo’s channel page uses the same font, colors and sense of style across the entire page. And if you watch her videos, that same visual style extends there too.
While the channel on the right looks generic. It has no distinct style to help it stand out from the thousands of other gaming channels on YouTube.
Channel Sections help you organize your video content on your channel page.
You’ve probably seen Channel Sections used on other channels:
Your Channel Sections tell potential subscribers: “here’s what I’m all about!”.
It also helps current subscribers find more of your videos that they want to watch.
So it’s important to use channel sections strategically.
There are 16 types of Channel Sections that you can use on your channel, but the 5 most common are:
- Popular Uploads
- Live streams
- Recent activity
Even if your channel is new, it’s helpful to think about how you want to use channel sections. That way, when you upload new videos, you’ll know where those videos will appear on your channel page.
That said, there’s no “best” way to structure your Channel Sections.
But, in general, here’s a simple format that tends to work well:
For example, Sean’s Think Media Channel uses this Channel Section format on his channel.
As you can see, Sean set one of his best videos as his Channel Trailer. He also uses the “Uploads” Channel Section to feature his most recent videos at the top of the page.
Also, Sean organizes his videos into different playlists. This makes finding the videos you want to watch a cinch.
Jumpstart Your Channel: a primer on planning out your new YouTube channel (via the YouTube Creator Academy).
Organize content with channel sections: a how-to guide to setting up Channel Sections.
How To Come Up With A YouTube Name: Additional tips and strategies on deciding on a Channel Name.