When most video creators struggle with securing enough views for their content and reaching to the maximum audience, while trying to earn a decent revenue from videos, MCNs come to their rescue. YouTube’s interface and algorithms support and promote channel-based browsing and thus, tying up with an MCN can prove beneficial for independent video creators in terms of exposure as well as revenue stream through video content.
One of the top Multi-channel Networks (MCN), Maker Studios, is home to 55,000+ independent creator partners hailing from 100+ nations, and enjoys more than 340 million views on daily basis! What’s more, it has over 650 million subscribers.
Now compare this with the one of the top MCNs based in India: (source)
- Independent creator partners: 500+
- Native countries: 1 (India)
- Average daily views: 1600
- Subscribers: 22 million
MCNs in India have a long way to go. While this is established that tying up with an MCN can help individual channels and videos in growing at a faster pace due to shared demographics and brand association, the question remains,
What these multi-channel networks need to do in order to ace YouTube?
This article is all about that.
Most MCNs have been on the receiving end for a lot of flak for not being transparent enough and promising unachievable numbers to video creators. However, the real reason is that many such multi-channel networks do not know the right approach to expanding their reach. So, we have torn apart the steps to make your MCN profitable and climb peaks after peaks.
5 STEPS TO MAKING YOUR MCN PROFITABLE
Step 1: RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE
Now this is nothing new. However, the difference is that here your audience is not the people who will be watching your videos, but those with whom you’ll partner with to multiply your reach.
So, your list of such creators must qualify as per the following checklist:
- they must fall in your niche
- must cover your demographics
- must be regular with content publishing
- must be promoting their videos actively
- must create/post engaging content
Step 2: OUTREACH TO OTHER CHANNELS
Expand and strengthen your ecosystem by reaching out to other promising channels in your niche and adding them to your network. This will help you establish yourself as an authority. So, start small. Focus your efforts on one particular niche and then, broaden your horizons, one niche at a time.
Don’t forget to sign a contract with your channel partners based on their stats for revenue sharing which also includes giving them realistic figures about how you, as a network, can help them expand their channel’s reach.
Step 3: CHANNEL MANAGEMENT & OPTIMIZATION
When you are a multi-channel network, you do not just need to manage and optimize your videos and channel, but all of them that are there in your network. Keep a direct contact with all creators/channels falling in your network and help them optimize their videos and channels.
Also, ensure that content syndication is done properly so that you do not mess up with YouTube’s copyright laws.
Step 4: AUTOMATE PAYMENTS
Weekly or monthly payments to individual channels might look easy initially. However, as your network grows, it becomes hasslesome and utterly confusing. Thus, you need to get into a habit of automating your payments right from the beginning, so that your focus is always on strategic tasks that help your network flourish even better.
Step 5: BRAND OUTREACH & PARTNERSHIPS
In any business, you must always be hungry for more. So, once you have followed the above steps religiously and developed your network substantially, you must reach out to big brands in your niche for strategic partnerships.
For instance, if you’re in the food niche, you can partner with Knorr, or if you’re in the SEO niche, you can call renowned SEOs for a crisp interview or commentary on forthcoming Google updates. See one such example below by ReelSEO.
Also, just like video content creators, media companies too are on a lookout for increasing exposure to their videos and ROI by optimizing their digital marketing investments. Hence, they present a lucrative opportunity to partner with. Do not limit yourself to being an aggregator. Try moving into the aggregator-producer space following footsteps of Netflix.
Now let’s find out how you can do this all from one single dashboard, without even having to head to YouTube.
VIDOOLY – YOUR DO-IT-ALL TOOL
Step 1: RESEARCHING AUDIENCE THROUGH VIDOOLY
Now, there are three ways to do this:
#1 Run a query in Vidooly’s dashboard and handpick prospective channels to partner with. This way, you can also find if the channel has already partnered with another network or not, and identify which network it is.
#2 Install VidLog, a chrome extension, and analyze prospects on the go while you do your regular browsing on YouTube. The extension will display everything you need to know about any video.
Oh! And it also displays results for YouTube channels. Pretty handy, right? Consider VidLog to be your secret superpower. Here’s how to use VidLog to its full potential.
#3 This is the smartest way to get what you want — stand on shoulders of your competitors. Explore your competition’s channel partners using Vidooly’s leaderboard feature and reach to those whose stats are most compelling.
Learn more about using leaderboards in Vidooly for top MCNs.
Step 2: REACHING OUT TO PROSPECTIVE CHANNELS
The beauty of using Vidooly to grow your MCN is that you do not even need to step out of your dashboard to find similar channels or to reach out to them. You can casually run a query and connect with channels you want to partner with right from your dashboard!
Step 3: MANAGING YOUR NETWORK & OPTIMIZING IT
Once you have partnered with a channel, pay attention to onboarding them onto Vidooly by sharing your contract (again, it can be done right from your dashboard) and giving them admin access to monitor and improve their channel stats themselves.
Don’t fret about giving them the admin access, as you will always have super-admin access for yourself.
Help channels in your network by updating them on latest information to produce and rank their videos better on YouTube and other search engines, such as optimization techniques. This article by Tubefilter provides great tips on how you can help your channel partners.
Additionally, perform regular checks on your stats and on your network partners’. Things like sentiment analysis which are not provided by YouTube, can easily be accessed through the dashboard of Vidooly.
Strive to build an active community around your network so that you do not always have to promote your videos and later, this task happens on automation.
Step 4: AUTOMATING YOUR PAYMENTS SEAMLESSLY
Vidooly’s Financial Module is a powerful tool for multi-channel networks. It allows the admins manage partner payouts and generate exhaustive earning reports with ease. What more? You can even automate your payments from the centralized dashboard and other nitty-gritties, so that you do not have to jump through hoops to make that happen.
Step 5: PARTNERING WITH BRANDS
As discussed above, you can outreach to brands and individuals in your niche. Again, you can use Vidooly’s leaderboard feature to find opportunities for partnerships through your competition.
Still, do not focus solely on ads. Plan your growth strategy in a way that includes product placement, sponsored reviews, and B2B partnerships. Merchandising is also coming across as one attractive stream of revenue where you can embed products or merchandising in your video content. One such initiative was done by Kate Spade in its online campaign of Miss Adventure.
OVER TO YOU
Since, MCNs like yours, help organize unconnected pieces of video content into a blooming, valuable network, what works for those content pieces and channels will eventually bore fruits for you too. Thus, it will always be a win-win situation if you are beginning to start your own network. However, do not forget that it takes time, effort and patience to build a network as massive as Maker Studios and Fullscreen.
Therefore, follow the steps discussed above as much as possible. Do not let it ever occur to your mind that your network is now at its zenith. There are always bigger and better channels available to add to your web.
It’s not rare for people to try other tactics to grow their business. So, if you are one of those who diverged from these steps and used creative techniques to develop your network, do share your process in the comments below. We’re listening!
Also, if you used the traditional path, we’d advise you to stay hungry, be more intuitive, and…
Storyteller on weekends, Content Catalyst on workdays. Books, Biopics, SEO, Yoga, & guffaws are my thing. Plus, my poetries rarely rhyme -.-