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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Why you need a YouTube channel

By Daniel Ong’era

You are probably considering becoming a YouTuber.

Everyone seems to have started a YouTube channel recently. Jalang’o started his, and in two months, he has grown the subscription from under 5k to close to 200k. Betty Kyallo seems to be doing very well with hers. Even Moses Kuria is busy building his.

And then there are hundreds of other Kenyans who seem to be doing very well for themselves publishing content on YouTube.

Is it too late for you?

It is not too late for you, but only if you know a few critical things about how content is consumed online, and in particular, YouTube.

You especially need to know how to do things differently if you are not Betty Kyalo, Jalango, or Moses Kuria, with an existing name and face recognition.

But even before we talk about the critical knowledge you should have to build something on YouTube, it is important to point out that it is a tiny percentage of the Kenyan and, indeed, the African population that has adequate internet connectivity to consume content on YouTube.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) 2019 census report, only one in five Kenyans has internet access.

And even at the global level, it is only about 50% (3.4 billion) of the population that has access to the internet.

Having stated that, Internet penetration is growing at a fast rate around the world, and according to a report by The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a US nonprofit think tank, the rate is faster in Africa than elsewhere else in the world.

And that is good news.

That means the number of potential viewers on YouTube is going to keep growing tremendously in the next decade, as technology makes it easier for people to come online, and the cost of bandwidth drops.

So there is a huge demand for video, and other forms of content out there.

Secondly, no one anywhere around the world has an experience like yours. You are living a unique experience, and if you know what part of that personal experience to share and how, people out there will always be interested, especially if it helps them improve the quality of their own lives.

Now let’s talk about the few things you should know before starting your YouTube channel, especially if you are not a public personality already.

1. Fill content gaps on YouTube

People like Jalang’o, Kibe and Betty had something going for them before they started their channels. People knew who they were, and they had what Robert Cialdini (renowned expert in Psychology and Marketing) calls social proof.

What that means they can post anything and people will come to watch. You can’t do the same because you’ve not had similar exposure- nobody knows you. Nevertheless, you can create a channel and grow over time to compete with them.

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