“Damn I should’ve made a YouTube channel back then; I could’ve been a millionaire by now”
In the millennial age, we all have that one friend who is desperately wanting to be a YouTuber or a social media influencer via Instagram; you might all relate to this fact, if you cannot; well, then the aspiring YouTuber or the social media influencer may be you.
The art of Making YouTube videos has changed over the years, from 2010 onwards especially, from skits to rants to roasts to technology to vlogs to reviews to reactions to DIY-s to fidget spinners to slime to make up tutorials to ASMR and mukbang-s, you might have witnessed the change… What has not changed is people’s ideologies regarding YouTube and how much do these YouTubers earn, some people find this career odd; because they feel that its only concerned with yelling loudly and gesticulating wildly in front of the camera surrounded by ring lights and then the same people are awed by the fact that how do these YouTubers earn so much, and it is quite natural notion to have; that how can someone make a decent earnings same as what a corporate 9-5 job offers; from posting videos on the internet of themselves playing with slime or fidget spinners or by applying make-up.
In reality, YouTube has been a very progressive way of letting the same be a career for a lot of people, back in the day there used to be a lot of conjecture about YouTube as a ‘career choice’ but then eventually and as the earnings of YouTubers started booming and the platform YouTube itself started improvising, more and more content creators joined in, leading to now where creators are now termed as influencers and are making some really good brand deals and content.
The main perception of the people is that YouTubers either earn a lot, or they don’t earn much.
- The BIGGEST perception is that YouTubers earn on the number of views they get.
- People also think the number of likes and the number of subscribers have a part to play in the game of earnings.
THE YouTube ALGORITHM
The Youtube algorithm decides which videos people see when they are on site; basically showing the people what they want to see on YouTube (or at least what the algorithm thinks they want.)
YouTube algorithm works amazingly for the users who watch the videos but it’s a tussle for the content creators who’ve to keep up with their content.
AUDIENCE AND QUALITY CONTENT
Either of the two can happen; a creator has the audience but trashy videos, or he has quality videos but he doesn’t get the required views, these scenarios will stunt the growth of your channel because either way you’ll hit the block.
A YouTuber has to be consistent with his quality content so that he doesn’t have to struggle much with its promotion, and let the views be as organic as possible.
Stick To Originality Of Content
You need to stick to originality and you need to give your channel a considerable time to grow, with videos and posts targeted to a specific type of audience and hence use other social media handles to promote them.
Monetizing through Youtube
Once the creator feels that he has gained an audience and has a decent amount of engagements on his videos on his YouTube account, you first need to make a YouTube account with your email id, and then sign up for a Google AdSense account.
Once you set up your AdSense account, enable your account for monetization via YouTube partner program by agreeing to their terms and conditions. Google AdSense is the way in which google pays the content creator and hence is the most common type of earnings when you initiate with your own channel as you’re more focused on making quality content and reaching out to an audience only then can creator think of merchandising and sponsorships or subscriptions as option to earn extra income via their videos.
STRUCTURING AD FORMATS
Once a creator is done with the above procedures, he’ll be prompted to choose between the below ad options and this ought to be strategic:
- Skippable ads – ads in the start of the video that the user can skip after 5 seconds of watching, YouTubers get paid only if the user watches the whole ad or at least 30 seconds, if the ad is longer.
- Unskippable/ Pre-Roll ads – ads at the start that the user can’t skip over.
- Overlay/ In-Display ads – ads at the bottom of the video, here YouTubers get paid if the user clicks on the ads to expand it.
- Alongside display ads: YouTubers get paid when the viewers click on the ad at the discretion of the advertiser.
- MidRoll ads: ads that pop up in the middle of a longer video; here the payment varies but usually follows the system of skippable ads.
Here are the ways YouTubers can earn money:
1. ADSENSE MAKES SENSE
It’s not a secret anymore that google earns YouTube, and hence you set up a Google AdSense account to help with the same and have ads placed on your videos, varied ads are played for different viewers who watch the creators video, this is because the ads are dependent on the history of the viewer’s web surfing history.
In the beginning, the content creator has to share his income with Google and as reported, Google takes approximately 45% share of the what the advertising company pays.
YouTubers make money based on the viewer’s engagement with the ads placed while watching their videos.
In the most popular and legit opinion, a viewer must watch the ad for at least 30 seconds so that the creator’s pocket can be filled.
Advertising is managed by Google AdWords, where advertising company chooses ads on Cost Per Click or Cost Per View.
• COST PER CLICK: It is also known as Pay Per Click (PPC), here advertisers pay on the basis of clicks on the ads, so if a certain keyword has a CPC of ₹100 and if a viewer clicks then the advertiser will be charged to pay ₹100. These are usually the overlay ads in the form of texts in the bottom while the video is being played or show up like a banner on the screen.
• Cost Per View: CPV is related to the viewer watching the ads. A view means watching the video for at least 30 seconds as discussed above or the ad whichever comes first. Here even if the viewers break their finger by clicking the ad the advertising company is not to shell any money out. So if a video is trending and gets a 1 million views but nobody watches ads or skips ads after 5 seconds the creator won’t receive any income.
So in such difficulties it is important that the creator knows his audience and his content well enough. For example, if you run a technology review YouTube channel, it surely would have grabbed an audience who are into latest trends and technologies, therefore any advertising company trying to reach out to technology friendly owners would be more than happy than happy to host ads on your channel because both of your outlooks and demographics are the same, making the viewers eventual potential customers! And hence this sniper approach is very important for any content creator to inculcate in order to progress and earn better, making this advertising 101, where you need target words with high Cost Per Click Value.
Let’s take proper examples to understand CPC, CPV and AdWords better;
i. You put a make-up tutorial, and it gets say 20,00,000 views, and your click rate is 0.1% that means 2000 people clicked the ad, and if the CPC IS ₹10 then the total revenue would be ₹20,000 and if google keeps 45% making your net income ₹11,000, which means the you’d make ₹10 per 1,818 views.
ii. You make a video that about insurance sin general and it gets 250000 views and your click rate is 0.5% meaning 1250 people clicked the ad, and if the CPC is ₹45 then the total gross revenue would be ₹56,250 of which google takes up 45% share making your net income ₹30,937 which means you make ₹10 per 81 views.
the above scenarios are hypothetical but that is how Google AdWords and CPC works and so YouTubers get paid in the same way, a sound knowledge of Search Engine Optimization and search engine marketing along with digital marketing comes in handy for a YouTuber at this point.
This has been the most popular way of earning income for YouTubers apart from their routine monetized video uploads in 2018, from PEW DIE PIE to LOGAN PAUL to LAURA DIY to SUPERWOMAN to LIZA KOSHY to BHUVAN BAM, every YouTuber who has gained a following on the platform is getting in contact with designer or merchandise suppliers to have their own new ‘merch’ and are doing pretty good sales via promoting it in their daily vlogs or uploads.
Picture 2: Logan Paul
Logan Paul is known as the merch monster on Youtube and one needs to learn the aggressive source of marketing merchandise via youtube from him, however stupid it may seem but when stupid is your selling idea and you are doing it right, that only makes you a genius; his brand MAVERICK BY LOGAN PAUL has earned him a considerable amount of net worth.
2) SPONSORSHIPS AND BRAND DEALS
Once a creator has developed a good reputation and name for himself, getting sponsorships and bagging brand deals is not that big a deal as he has an audience that is faithful to his content and hence the companies or brands offering sponsorships can rely on the creator for their product placements and this is how creators mint extra money.
For ethical reasons, the creator must be clear that the video is sponsored by the product so that all the parties are clear with their commitments.
Creators may even extend the sponsorship further and use the products in their videos as a part of product placement, if your videos are impacting a large section of the society, companies will surely see your worth as your content is as important to the audience as movies and other mainstream contents.
Patreon is basically what crowdfunding is to common businesses out there, as the latter is a great source of funding many types of products and services, Patreon is a website via which content creators can encourage their audiences to support them financially, you never know when you may need to use this way of earning via YouTube, and for this reason you need to be extremely loyal to your audience and also produce consistent quality content.
This is an example of modern day creatives where YouTube creators are rapidly becoming influencers, as fans that are loyal find it okay to fund the creators that they love watching.
YouTubers also use this as a tool for charity and donations for various causes.
4. ADJUVANT PRODUCTS AND DEALS
Most of the content creators not only indulge in creating a specific type of videos on the internet, they divulge and are also doing activities apart from uploading content on YouTube, like they can write a book and are going to launch it in different markets like Amazon or be a part of theatre play and they could use YouTube as the best marketing tool, for such ventures, hence YouTube helps them earn more via its links and this is when YouTube Partner Program that offers rewards comes into play.
• Lilly Singh aka Superwoman released her book, “HOW TO BE A BAWSE” IN 2017 and she made sure that she promoted it via her YouTube videos after outro and in her vlogs as well.
• Also Lilly Singh is the first ever Unicef Global Goodwill Ambassador from the digital space and has used her YouTube platform to promote some of Unicef’s initiatives as well.
5) YOUTUBE PREMIUM
Formerly known as YouTube RED, YouTube Premium is a paid streaming subscription service so it basically turns into Netflix just with YouTube content creators.
The major creators who’ve earned a substantial amount of following over the medium, make content on YouTube premium and viewers can watch such features by signing up to the premium service along with some monthly fees.
This way too YouTubers can earn a lot in the advanced stages of career in YouTube through quality content, as on date though, it is not available in India
Liza Koshy, the famous Viner turned YouTuber came with a YouTube premium series called LIZA ON DEMAND and it was received very well by the audience.
So now that you’ve sipped your coffee and have been educated, here’s wishing that YouTubers and the extent of their earnings won’t remain a secret anymore.