Programming strategies are important for maintaining a successful YouTube channel that will keep your audience returning on a regular basis and engaged while they watch your videos. The strategies we will be covering in this article will help you program your channel’s content in a way that optimizes its performance and enhances the overall viewer experience. We’ve already covered Playlists, an invaluable tool for organizing your content and turning one view into multiple views. In addition to playlists, YouTube’s Sections feature allows you to customize your channel’s layout so that you can organize your videos thematically, highlight your newest and most popular videos, and direct viewers to watch multiple videos and playlists.
Clearly stating your programming schedule and maintaining a steady output is another important strategy to consider. Frequently uploading videos and engaging with your audience through comments, questions, and mentions on your other social media platforms will help keep your channel active and retain audience interest. Find the right release schedule for your audience; aim for uploading at least one video per week and use any breaks in your regular scheduled programing to interact with your audience.
Tent-pole Programming is a strategy of creating, releasing, and packaging content around certain popular events. These “tent-pole events” are the cultural happenings and holidays that organize our viewing habits throughout the year, and programming around them can capitalize on search trends and audience interests. An example of tent-pole programming could be a “Super Bowl Predictions” video or “Guide to throwing a Super Bowl Party” video; the Super Bowl would be the tent-pole event and tent-pole programming would mean releasing those videos in the weeks or days before the event. You could also upload a “Super Bowl Reactions” video shortly after the event, but it wouldn’t be nearly as effective if you released any of these videos months after the football season.
Some other programming strategies include:
- Block Programming: Scheduling similar video releases back-to-back.
- Cross Programming: Interconnecting videos by extending a storyline, topic, or theme over the course of multiple video releases.
- Stacking: Grouping together videos with similar appeals to sweep the viewer along from one video to the next
All of these strategies can be particularly useful when used in conjunction with Playlists and Calls To Action (CTAs). CTAs direct viewers during the video to take actions such as watching another one of your videos or playlists, or subscribing to your channel. YouTube is an interactive and social experience, and prompting your viewers to take action can help them feel more invested in your channel. CTAs can be included in your videos by Direct Host-Mentions (talking directly to your viewers within your videos), In-video graphics, Annotations, Cards, and Video Descriptions. See below for examples of CTAs in the video description field, via YouTube Cards, and with annotations.
Calls To Action Overview