One of the oldest, and most successful, ways to get more subscribers for you channel is through YouTube collaborations. This is when two channels work on one video. Their goal is to help both of their channels get more subscribers, and more views. People have been doing this since the very beginning of YouTube, and it still works today.
This article is going to help you understand more about how to have successful YouTube collaborations. It is also going to look at how to make them happen, and exceptional examples of collaborations that have happened over the years. You’re going to learn a lot, and your YouTube channel will benefit.
YouTube collaborations for marketing purposes
Give your collaborators credit
The entire point of doing YouTube collaborations is to make sure everyone gets proper credit. In the past, this was done informally through the YouTube description section. Now there is the YouTube Collaborator feature.
This tool allows you to select a role for the collaborator, as well as give them credit by:
- Entering their exact YouTube username
- Entering the channel’s URL
This will help firmly established the connection between your two channels, and send a little bit of traffic to your collaborator from your video. If you are collaborating with someone else on their channel, make sure to ask them to include you using this feature.
Don’t forget the power of a good end credit scene either. They have been used for years, and recent additions make it easy for the two of you to link your channels. Create the credits as YouTube Annotations as you see here:
They made it so that if you scroll over top of Lilly’s photo, or T-Pain, both of these are links directly to the collaborator’s page. If you don’t have the editing skills to create something like this, it shows the importance of the YouTube Collaborator feature.
Working with YouTube collaborators
The YouTube channels which you collaborate with do not have to be in your exact same industry. As Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart showed us with their cooking show, it is quite possible for people who are well outside of each other’s typical target audience to work together.
Despite this, you still have to work to be sure that you’re choosing the right collaborators to work with. Steps to take include:
- Compatibility: Do you see yourself as able to work with the YouTube personalities involved? I mean actually work with them, on a human to human basis. Some YouTubers are quite abrasive. Is that something you want to associate with, or do you think you get along better with someone who presents themself in a friendlier manner? The most important thing is how well you work together, it has to be your first consideration.
- Ideas: There’s absolutely no point going forward with a YouTube collaboration if you don’t have an idea. If you are the person initiating the partnership you are the person who is going to have to have an idea. You will likely want to put together a basic script. This script will have to play towards both of your strengths as YouTube creators.
- Offer: I’m willing to bet that you want to work with a YouTube channel that is more famous than you are. Why would they want to do so, what do you have to offer them? Once you have your idea, start to put together things like your audience statistics, and your social media audiences. Don’t forget you’re going to have to discuss money. This could be an upfront cash payment, or a sharing of the YouTube AdSense on the backend.
- Promotion: This could be part of your offer, but be sure to look at how the two of you are going to promote your collaboration. This will obviously include social media. Taking the next step of having a hashtag promotion plan in place will add to your proposal. You can also hype the video by mentioning the upcoming collaboration in videos leading up to it. Having a promotion plan in place will make your collaborator realized that you’re serious.
The promotion phase of your YouTube collaborations are always the most important. It allows both sets of your fans to become aware of the upcoming video, hype it up themselves, and actually watch it. The promotion phase of your collaboration is a big deal, let’s look at it closely.
Promoting your YouTube collaborations
Without good promotion of your YouTube collaboration, you will not not take full advantage of this opportunity to grow your channel. Before the video is released, you should start looking at how you are going to use social media to promote your video.
The people over at How it Should Have Ended always enjoy working with The Brotherhood Workshop. They have collaborated a number of times, and they’re always sure to hype up their videos before they go live:
— HowItShouldHaveEnded (@TheHISHEdotcom) March 15, 2016
Once they go live:
— HowItShouldHaveEnded (@TheHISHEdotcom) March 22, 2016
And then follow up with anything that happens afterwards:
— HowItShouldHaveEnded (@TheHISHEdotcom) March 24, 2016
Keep in mind that “what happens afterwards” doesn’t have to be as big as a DVD release. Get ready to tweet out when the video hits certain view milestones. This is a great way to reconnect with the video at a time your followers will find it interesting.
To get the most out of these social shares, be sure to use things like our Twitter retweets service to drive even more attention to the content. These are your flagpole moments in the history of your YouTube channel. Be sure to maximize them.
Perhaps the most under-utilized strategy for those who are collaborating on videos is using hashtags. This is a way for you to start, and link together, a conversation about your video. The biggest brands in the world effectively use hashtags to promote their YouTube videos. There’s nothing stopping you from coming up with a unique hashtag to promote your collaboration.
An example would be Gatorade using the hashtag #se7en as Jimmy Johnson chased his seventh championship.
Notice how they included the hashtag right in the title. They then, of course, used it on Twitter:
— Gatorade (@Gatorade) November 21, 2016
Putting a hashtag right in the title greatly encourages your fans to actually use it. Failing that, write about it in the description, mention it in the video, or use it as a YouTube Annotation. The point is to get your fans, and your collaborator’s fans, talking about it on social media. This will push more people to watch it, and may lead to real social connections occurring between your fan bases.
Where to find YouTubers to collaborate with
Having all of the ideas in the world is one thing, actually getting to work with another YouTube star is another. Most YouTube stars are quite busy as it is without worrying about what you need from them. When you are first starting out, it’ll be a good idea for you to work with people who are actively looking for someone to collaborate with. Here are a few places to look:
- YouTube Partners Google+ community
- YTtalk forum
- Let’s Play Collaboration thread on Reddit
- The YouTube Community forum
- TubeBuddy community
- YTgamers Forum
These are some of the most popular places to find YouTube collaboration opportunities. Don’t be afraid to look around on specialist websites in forums in your niche, you may find someone there as well. Keep in mind that the more time you spend getting yourself known on these forums, the better chances there are that you will build a relationship with someone who wants to work with you.
Interesting YouTube collaborations
These interesting YouTube collaborations all have something to teach you. The main lesson is how to promote your videos. You will also see how you can blend your styles together. The more collaborations you watch, the better off you are going to be when it comes time to create your own.
Here’s an idea from the people at Minutephysics. They collaborated with Vsauce on this video, and they pushed people to watch a second video at the end of the first one:
This wasn’t a case of two videos being split in half. It is two videos that complement each other.
Another form of promotion is this one from the How it Should Have Ended team, who normally do animation, and the Brotherhood Workshop.
How it Should Have Ended completely changed their style to match that of Brotherhood Workshop’s stop-motion Lego. This is going to do wonders to promote the style of Brotherhood Workshop, while still giving the HISHE team some very interesting new content to share.
Perhaps the greatest YouTube collaboration channel of all-time is Epic Rap Battles of History. Here is a very short list of some of the best channels they have collaborated with:
- Snoop Dogg and WestFest TV
- Lilly Singh aka SuperWoman
- Rhett & Link
- Ray William Johnson
And that’s not even half of the exceptional YouTube collaborations they have done. Their entire channel is a testament to how successful you can be if you choose the right collaborators. The channel itself is a collaboration between Nice Peter and Epic Lloyd. The first thing they did, and it’s the hardest thing, is they created an incredible channel from top to bottom. Who wouldn’t want to be involved with someone who puts this up as their first channel video:
The quality of the videos has grown greatly since this time. The channel has continued to draw in the best collaborators, and this has only pushed the popularity of this epic channel higher and higher. If you ever start struggling with finding collaborators, take a look at the success of Epic Rap Battles of History and realized that it all pays off.
Doing YouTube collaborations pays off
I know that a lot of new YouTube channels struggle at first. They make the mistake of thinking that doing one YouTube collaboration will completely change the channel. While good collaborations will build your channel, it will still take some time.
You will have to put some effort into building your channel, and make sure that your branding is perfect. Pushing your subscribers up using our YouTube subscriber service will also help push people to work with you.
What we have looked at above will help speed up the process:
- Have a plan to give your collaborators credit.
- Choose the right collaborators to work with.
- Promote your YouTube collaborations.
- Using hashtags can start more conversations.
- Look for people who are actively trying to find people to collaborate with.
- Learn from other people who are doing exceptional YouTube collaborations.
YouTube is like anything else. The more effort you put into it, the more you get out of it. This also applies to your YouTube collaboration efforts. The more work you put into your collaboration before you even contact the person, the better chances you have of success.