YouTube held a one-day online training event called “Creator Day: Education”. The initiative meant to equip teachers and learning creators with knowledge and skills to use YouTube effectively not just for education but as a livelihood opportunity since YouTube channels, as they grow, can be monetized.
“There’s a huge opportunity in the learning space right now: it’s one of the fastest-growing areas on YouTube. People who have access to devices and the internet are finding ways to continue learning,” said Joy Kaung, Family and Learning Lead at YouTube APAC. “As the pandemic continues to bring economic woes to many private schools and teachers in the Philippines, we want to help them maximize YouTube for livelihood since they can monetize their channels later on as they grow and succeed on the platform.”
YouTube presents a wide range of opportunities for teachers especially they already have a following to start with–their co-teachers and students. All they have to do is just try and get started.
“Just start. The reality is you never know what you’re doing unless you start doing it. It’s never going to be perfect the first time. And that’s fine because as you are building your first thousand subscribers, that’s your time to make mistakes and learn. So feel absolutely comfortable about making mistakes and experimenting so you can improve your channel and grow,” said Jolly Estaris, the Philippine Lead for Video and Media Sales at Google.
Peter Esperanza or Numberbender started his channel by posting math lectures intended for his high school students in California but eventually pivoted to producing Filipino-language lectures. He teaches algebra, precalculus, AP statistics, and AP calculus via live streams, online workshops for teachers, and hour-long videos.
“During the pandemic, my library of content helped my students migrate from traditional learning to online learning. And now I’m trying to help teachers to likewise create content for digital learning,” he said.
Teachers and budding educreators should ensure that their content resonates well. They should choose a channel topic and build content that has an audience already out there.
“Before you make your first video, you can use data to ensure an audience exists for it and it’s an audience you have a good chance of attracting,” Joy explained. She then added that the idea is to “find a topic that has a high level of interest and a low level of competition,” as in the case of the Lessons from the Screenplay channel that sought to provide education for people aspiring to be screenwriters. The channel, in just over two years, has amassed more than 865,000 subscribers and 24 million total views.
Google has a host of products and features to help jumpstart an educreator’s journey including Google Trends to analyze how many Google searches are done for a specific term over a certain period of time (“The more consistent the popularity, the more likely the audience exists for your content,” Joy said); YouTube Search which can gauge how much competition exists for the topic in question; and Google Keyword Planner that allows an end-user to search for keywords and see how they may perform.
Then there’s deciding which format you want your content to be: video essays, animations, lectures, among others. Each format has its own pros and cons and will ultimately depend on the creator’s strengths and available resources. For instance, those who are afraid or shy to be in front of the camera can use a format that heavily relies on voice-over.
Getting the first video out
Those who want to embark on the educreator journey may feel that expensive equipment is necessary to create good videos but Shanu Vij, Scaled Program Manager and South Asia Site Lead for YouTube Space, stressed that “it’s not always just about the expensive equipment.”
Shanu pointed out that many smartphones are capable of taking good videos though she advised to use the back camera instead of the front camera for better specs. And in the absence of tripods and lighting, one can DIY substitutes such as clips, flashlights, and taking advantage of well-lit areas in their homes.
When editing, she suggested against using too many jump cuts when editing as it “does not look very professional”. A quick fix would be to use other shots of the speaker or images of the topics.
Getting the audience
Once your videos are out, it is now time to look at analytics to see if your videos are reaching your intended audience. Zoom out to see how your channel is doing then you can dive a little deeper and analyze high-level format performance using YouTube Analytics.
“Understanding your audience is key to planning future programming. Take a look at the following data both at the channel level and across content groups. What that really means for you as a creator is that the best way for you to use the algorithm to its fullest potential is to really understand what your audience wants to see, find your areas of interest that match your audience’s passions, and then create content that sits right at that intersection because algorithm follows the audience,” said Enrique Cuunjieng, Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube Creator & Artist Development – Philippines.
He stressed the importance of “quality over quantity” in terms of one’s release schedule.
Channel monetization comes after acquiring at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours over the last 12 months.
Getting a successful channel
The success of a channel may depend on a lot of things but none is more important than being grounded on one’s purpose: to teach people, in the words of Lyqa Maravilla of Team Lyqa.
“If you’re not grounded in your purpose, you can be easily swayed by the viewer count, the subscriber count. When we look at the metrics on what counts as success in content creation, it’s always focused on subscribers, views, and revenues but for us educators, we really need to go back to our purpose: teaching people. If we remember that we’re doing this to teach at least one person, and it’ll motivate us to keep creating even if the views aren’t there,” she said.
Lyqa has been on YouTube since 2015 and started with short videos to help people with aptitude exams like the Civil Service Exams and has since become a motivational speaker while continuing to upload education videos on her 1.5 million-strong channel.
Teachers are also learners as we all adjust to the new world of digital learning. YouTube content creation for education is all about passion for learning and teaching.
To know more about content creation, visit Creator Academy.