It’s that time of year again — the time when every content creator looks to make that last big push before the holidays. Luckily for creators on YouTube, holiday-themed programming can prove to be a channel’s most engaging and lucrative. Whether you have 30 hours or 30 minutes to dedicate to YouTube before the year is up, tent-pole content is low hanging fruit when it comes to gaining not only views, but also brand new subscribers and extra revenue. Trust me, you won’t want to put this off until 2015!
So what is tent-poling? If you create a playlist of holiday jams, you’re tent-poling. If you interview an artist about an upcoming tour, you’re tent-poling. Anytime you create any new content around an event, you’re tent-poling. Tent-pole content can be useful when promoting events like tours or simply when you’d like to take advantage of the traffic around a major search term like Christmas, summer or Lollapalooza, for example.
Why do we tent-pole? Every day, countless fans use YouTube’s search engine to find quality content themed around current events. That’s exactly why creating tent-pole videos and playlists around highly searched-for events (such as the holidays) is an invaluable opportunity. It not only attracts new eyes to your channel, but it targets them at just the right time.
For channels that create tent-pole content during Q4, the benefits don’t stop there. With advertisers rushing to reel in new customers in time for the holidays, YouTube is able to serve the most ads (and at the highest CPMs) during this time of year. That makes videos viewed from October through December prime real estate for ads, and the more content you post during this time, the higher your chances of having those ads placed on your content (extra ad revenue, anyone?). Since creating tent-pole content doesn’t require the budget or editing skills that a high-definition music video does, filming extra holiday interviews or building “Best of” playlists here and there can often be the easiest way to take advantage of this period’s opportunities to attract advertisers.
Now that you’ve heard all about the benefits of creating tent-pole content, it’s time to brainstorm. Depending on the time, resources and creativity you can spare before 2015, the possibilities range from creating a “12 Days of Christmas” video series to simply building a “Best of 2014″ playlist that showcases some of your channel’s best content this year. The sky is really the limit here, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Tent-poling doesn’t have to come and go with the holidays, either. Are your artists playing any summer festivals in 2015? Consider making a curated playlist that features all the best artists on the bill. Expecting a slow release schedule in the fall? Keep fans engaged by interviewing your artists about their worst Halloween costumes of all time. There’s already an audience searching for this content and advertisers looking to place ads on it, so you might as well be engaging them.
No matter how much time you have to spare, get tent-poling this holiday season! Consider it our gift to you.