Every video intro needs a hook, a teaser that delivers more on the video title and thumbnail, something that pays off later on down the road. Gaming channels, they’re no different. Hello folks welcome back to vidIQ, my name is Rob. If this is your first time in these… ever-changing surroundings, we are the YouTube tool, and channel that aims to help you get more views in less time. Today we’re wanting to focus on the challenge that faces gamers wanting to start YouTube channels in 2018 with so much competition. So we put together ten top tips to help you get there. Now if you’re not a gamer, don’t worry, stick around. Many of the strategies that we suggest to you today are relevant for all types of channels, We just want to put it in a video game context. Let’s start with tip number one. The most important thing about your channel is not the video game you’re going to cover, it’s you. While the average viewer may find your content through a Youtube search, or suggested videos from related videos, they stick around because of what you can uniquely offer to your audience. Whether that’s through the humor that you have, the energy, the enthusiasm, the passion, it’s all about how you and your content makes your audience feel beyond any video game that you’re actually playing. I want you to answer two questions in the comments below right now. Question number one: why do you go back to your favorite video game YouTubers? Is it because of the video games they’re playing or because of the personality of the channel and that they connect with you directly? The second question is: if they pivoted from the video game that you’re interested in, would you still go to their channel irrespective of what video game that they’re playing next? So for some of you this may be your first challenge. Get in front of camera, talk directly to your audience while you’re playing your video games. If you’re not ready to do that, get behind the microphone so that people can hear you. Maybe do a face reveal later on. The key element is make you the star of a channel not the games that you play. With that being said the video game or video games that you cover on your channel are immensely important to you. The golden rule of any YouTube channel is that if you’re passionate about the topic that you’re covering, you’ll be passionate about how you share it with your audience and that always comes through in the videos that you produce. Let’s test your passion here’s another challenge for you: what is your favorite video game right now and if you were to start a YouTube channel on it could you come up with ten quick video ideas in five minutes? Now this may sound like a tough challenge so I’m going to challenge myself right now. My favourite video game is Clash Royale, here are ten quick video ideas I can come up with off the top of my head. 5 funniest glitches in Clash Royale. The best comeback so you’ve ever seen in Clash Royale. How to spend your money on the right cards on Clash Royale. What is my favorite card deck? Best strategies for two-on-two gameplay. Which cards should you be requesting from your clan? 5 new game modes I would love to see in Clash Royale. What should I spend my Clash Royale gems on? Rare and real at Clash Royale merchandise? And finally the top 5 Clash Royale youtubers. I bet you had no idea what I was talking about there except for 2 or 3 people watching this video who have played Clash Royale and that’s the audience you need to appeal to with your gaming content. You want to really focus down and concentrate on a target audience with a specific value proposition that they can relate to: who should be watching or why should they care? We’ve brought this up many times before, it applies to video game channels as well. Tip number 3: research… research… no really I do mean this, research. There are millions of gaming channels on YouTube right now so how do you stand out from the crowd? We’ve already talked about making you the star of your YouTube channel and taking your personality to the forefront but when it comes to the games you need to be able to answer questions that nobody else can answer, faster than anyone else, or better than anyone else. I’m going to use a Clash Royale as the example again. Every couple of weeks they release new cards for you to play around with. About two weeks ago a new card called the giant snowball was released. Now you don’t really need to know anything about that other than if you search on YouTube for Clash Royale Giant Snowball Tips, you’ll find all the big channels at the top of a search rankings, but if you just go down a little bit, you find this one channel with only a thousand subscribers but a video that has a hundred and fifty thousand views. Wow how did this happen? The video answers a very specific question about one particular game, the metadata is relatively good and it was one of her first videos out on the topic. What’s more astonishing is if you check the channel, this is the first video this channel has made and it has a 150,000 views and has gained 1,600 subscribers from that. So this, if nothing else, is proof that you can start a gaming channel in 2018 if you do the right things. Because I have a passionate knowledge about that video game, I know what to search for. It should be the same for you whatever game you are interested in, but let’s take an example of a game I know nothing about which is Fortnite other than it’s a shooting game. I did a couple of searches and within five minutes I was able to search for best shotgun in Fortnite save the world 2018 as a longtail keyword and instead of finding channels with millions of subscribers I found channels with a few thousand subscribers getting tens of thousands of views. So it is possible to do on any type of game, you just have to think of this from a really specific point of view. Are there any Easter eggs that you know of that nobody else does? Is there a big patch coming out with new weapons that you want to cover before anybody else? Think about how you can offer something valuable, new and unique to your audience before anybody else, or as I said earlier better than anyone else and you’re onto a winning strategy when it comes to a gaming channel. Tip number four: stick to your guns There’s two ways to look at this, first of all stick to one game for a period of time. I know that you’re going to be the personality of your channel but you need to build a rapport with your audience on a particular game, a particular topic. I’ve seen so many channels play Need for Speed one day, FIFA 18, the next WWE 2k 18 the next day. Your audience is not going to know where you are and what you’ve decided on. The second way to look at sticking to your guns is if you have successful content, double down on that strategy. If you found a particular secret which is really interesting to your audience, find another way to look at that secret or something that’s very similar. You’ll be able to use the vidIQ channel audit tool to see which is your best content over the last 30 days. Check on that on a regular basis and see if you can double down on more of that content. Tip number five: have the relevant set up. We’re not going to say have the best set up right now because you may not be able to afford it but there are three staples of any video gaming channel. Those being a webcam, a dedicated microphone, and some sort of recording software. Some practical, affordable, best-in-class suggestions include the Logitech c920 webcam, the yeti snowball microphone, and OBS which is a completely free screen recording program for computers. You might want to do another search on youtube to find more specific suggestions but there’s plenty around and at some very affordable prices. Tip number six: thumbnails. Make sure they’re customized and they look damn good. If you look at any of the top gaming channels on youtube you will see that their thumbnails are a work of art. Really bright, oversaturated lots of punch that really draws you into the visuals when you’re deciding what to watch next. A very common mistake gaming channels make is to take a screenshot from the game and use it as their thumbnail without any further editing or context. And what some channels do is use the same screenshot over over again with multiple videos and that just really isn’t appealing at all to the casual viewer. I understand as a video creator myself that there is a huge temptation to just push that video out of a door once it’s finished, but you should be spending at least 30 to 60 minutes on your thumbnail making sure that it’s not too cluttered, that the one or two objects in that thumbnail really tell a compelling story. We’ve got a dedicated video on thumbnails that you can watch in one of these corners (I haven’t quite worked out what my directions are yet on this camera) but do take a look at that and also look at the top youtubers in your video game sphere and see how they craft their thumbnails. We’re seeing now smaller channels on YouTube in terms of video game content producing amazing thumbnails. It’s a really competitive area and video creaters are understanding more and more that thumbnails are vitally important whatever channel size you are. So thumbnails make sure you work really hard at them. The strength of that thumbnail must be reinforced by the title and that’s tip number seven. It’s time for another challenge but this one is a really simple one. I’m going to show you two titles: which would you rather click on… one is a purely functional title, you might see at the top of an essay. The second one is compelling, it tells the story. I’m intrigued, I really want to know what happened to that guy’s head. Now as for tip number eight let’s go back to the beginning of this video: every video intro needs a hook, a tease that delivers more on the video title and thumbnail. Something that pays off later on down the road: gaming channels they’re no different. Tip number nine. No game lasts forever, at some point you will have to pivot. This ties itself all the way back to tip number one, which is you are the star of your channel. Once you’ve built an audience, gained their trust, they become subscribers, super fans, then you should be able to take them on a journey wherever you like. You might want to start with games that they may be familiar with or comfortable with. So for example, a lot of Clash of Clans YouTubers went on to Clash Royale. For Fortnite gamers you might want to move on to Call of Duty when the next one of them is released or a similarly themed topic. When you’ve built a huge audience, you can go wherever you want. That might be nostalgic, retro games that you’re a big fan of or your favorite games of all time. For example, mine is Goldeneye on the N64 but I don’t think vidIQ is quite ready for a let’s play on that – although do let me know in the comments below I’d be delighted to do that. [Music] But to summarize: find an audience, become their best buddies and then take them on a gaming journey wherever you want it to go. And finally, tip number 10… it’s a boss level fight… you ready for this one… yeah… patience. It seems like these days everybody wants to have a gaming channel on YouTube, even famous wrestlers do which is really odd to know. I think I actually look like one of them. The competition is more fierce than ever before and it’s relentless, in fact you could say it’s like putting your video game on the hardest difficulty setting. Are you dedicated enough to beat it? That’s up to you. Thank you very much for watching, enjoy the rest of your video making day, and if you don’t mind I’ve got a game of my own I need to finish off.