Key Learnings from VidCon 2016

I recently attended the 7th Annual VidCon event held at the Anaheim Convention Center last week and having been to many conventions, this one drew a huge sea of kids (and their parents), all eager to meet their favorite Youtube celebrities. For those interested in learning best practices, tons of panels were held on the three floors of the convention broken up into three sections: Community, Creators and Industry. I've gathered some tips and tricks from the pros in the online video industry, which can help optimize your videos online.  

1. If you're a new channel, stick to a few small subjects to train viewers what to expect from you. If you're passionate about something, make sure to focus on that topic and test a number of content types around the subject. This will help you figure out which content types are doing the best. Make sure to look at video views, watch time, likes, dislikes and comments. Also, check to see if your content is being shared. 

2. Don't be afraid to suck. Putting yourself out there can be intimidating but if I learned one thing from the pros at VidCon, it's to take risks and see what resonates. Many admitted to having awkward videos early on but they developed confidence over time and asked their audiences for feedback. Coming off as authentic was also a key point throughout the conference. 

3. Test a variety of thumbnails and see which one garners the most clicks. Bright colored thumbnails with text tend to do well but make sure your thumbnail is clear and can be seen even on the smallest mobile screens. 

4. Collaborations can help grow your channel. It's important to work with other up and coming Youtube influencers/personalities. Doing so will leverage subscribers from both channels. If your business covers a certain niche, take the time to interview an authoritative insider in your space and make sure he or she shares the video with their audience. It's a win/win for both parties!

5. Learn to love SEO and craft your titles based on what you think your audience will search for. This one seems the most common, but it was interesting to hear it over and over from a number of panelists. Make sure to include all the keywords you think relates to your video and make sure you include misspellings. 

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