Forget releasing a trailer or two to market your film a few months before the premiere. Channel subscribers are the new YouTube currency. How does that fit with your marketing strategy? 

Youtube has developed from the home of viral one-hit-wonders via becoming the Internet’s second-largest search engine to today’s heavy promotion and prominent display of channels. While Twitter’s new video service Vine, as we’ve blogged about (“Wolverine In Vine“), might be the new darling of the ultra-high-speed 6-second movie trailer, it surely hasn’t proven any longevity yet.

Continuity is King!

While Youtube has had a vision of transforming television and basically building the new cable network on the web with investments in hundreds of channels of content, the strategy hasn’t moved viewers from traditional TV to the site, rather changed the behaviour of the users already there.

Continuity is the new king unless your film or TV series is the new blockbuster. It takes time to build an audience and breaking continuity means that your channel can lose a large part of your audience in a matter of weeks. In a recent interview on This Week in Startups, Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback, spoke about the fact that while podcasters and netcasters are well aware of the dangers of breaking continuity, that is exactly what most of the TV industry is built on. Series takes a break after ending the season and then a year might pass until the next season. How much longer will this work?

Getting your people to buzz

Today, long-term consistent social media engagement is the only way to create a buzz or a following, unless your pockets are swimming with marketing dollars or Channing Tatum just signed on as your headlining star. As with any promotion that has a set end date (i.e. your premiere), you need to treat your film project as an election campaign. You need to be out there from the get-go, from the moment you feel reasonably confident that you will be able to put your project in production. Then it’s just a matter of slugging on. Putting out content and getting people to engage. Since many of your team and cast members already have well established personal social media presences, updates and links from them should be mandatory and even contractual. It’s not about spam promotion, a simple “I’m excited to be part of the upcoming XXX that we start filming in YYY” can be enough.

New Youtube channel design

Since our end goal is to get as many people as possible to follow your production’s progress and see the trailers, you need to maximize the attractiveness of your Youtube channel.

Youtube started rollout of a new, channel promoting design a month ago and it seems now have reached most users. The design is surely much nicer than before, totally responsive for all devices (including TV!) and have the massive header image that Facebook introduced. It also poses a lot of new challenges for the channel owner, both design-wise and content-wise. Each channel should have a welcome teaser video for unsubscribed users and display settings can be tweaked enormously. Have a look at Youtube star iJustine as she walks you through the new design and we will be back tomorrow with Cracking the new YouTube code pt 2!!! Boosting your (hip) subscribers….

Photo courtesy of Youtube.

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