Lessons from the 73rd most popular channel on YouTube
Tubefilter just posted their Top 100 Most Subscribed YouTube Channels for June and PewDiePie came out on top again. If you’ve never seen one of his videos, mostly he plays video games, records the action with an insert of himself making humorous comments about the game.
The guys love the jokes and the games. The girls watch because he’s a good looking guy with a sexy accent. Go ahead, call me sexist. It’s still true.
Fact master Matthew Santoro came in at number two with an incredible 30% increase in subscribers over the prior month. Shakira comes in at number three.
Crazy Russian Hacker, the wild science experiment guy saw a 169% increase in subscribers taking him from 98th place in May to 5th place in June.
All wonderful, but I think we can learn more by moving down the chart to the 73rd spot. This belongs to Meg DeAngelis aka MayBaby, aka MayBabyTumblr on YouTube. Take a look at her stats.
This teenager from California is racking up some major numbers and though she’s younger than probably any two of us put together, she can teach us a few things about how to succeed on YouTube.
Lesson One: Teach your viewers how to do something
Meg started posting videos about six years ago. Back then she was all about cheerleading. She used her channel to demonstrate the proper way to do a variety of gymnastic moves like how to do a front handspring. She gives clear instructions and breaks down complex moves into small, very doable steps. She made me feel like I could do a front handspring and that’s quite a feat!
Lesson Two: We’re just talking here. . .
Meg’s videos make you feel like you’re having a conversation with your best friend. She keeps eye contact through the camera and she’s not afraid to flub. If she says the wrong thing or holds the product upside down, she laughs, corrects and moves on. Those moments make her seem very real and approachable – two things that sell well on YouTube.
Lesson Three: Looks matter
Meg is adorable, but I’m not talking about her looks. I’m talking about the look of her videos. Here are the thumbnails from her early videos:
You get the point but the shots are dark and amateurish. Here are the thumbnails from her latest videos:
Wow. What a difference. The new videos have color and life and excitement. And they weren’t hard to make. You could create these thumbnails with a freebie program like PicMonkey in just a few minutes.
These days, Meg’s videos are more lifestyle oriented. She combines fashion and beauty with DIY crafts and general teenage chatter. Also notice the length. Most of Meg’s videos are around the 7 to 8 minute mark.
Lesson Four: Connect with your community
With 981,00 subscribers, 187,000 Instagram followers and 77,000 Twitter followers, Meg can’t possibly reply to everyone who comments on her channels. Still, she stays connected by replying here and there and listening to her fans. She incorporates their ideas into her videos and with a single Tweet she makes someone’s day.
Imagine getting a reaction like this to one of your replies:
— Meg DeAngelis (@MegsDeAngelis) August 4, 2014
Lesson Five: You don’t have to be big to make it big
Meg isn’t a celebrity in the traditional sense. She’s not an actress or a singer. She’s a girl with passion and a plan. She’s grown and changed with YouTube upping the quality of her videos, adding in sharp edits, graphics and music. She listens and responds to the fans and has built quite a kingdom.
The most important lesson you can learn from Meg and all the YouTubers like her is that you don’t have to be big to make it big on YouTube.