Thought Leadership

Let Us Not Forget The Fundamentals


Somewhat of a rant by YouTube Nerd, James Norell

Describing the arc of reluctant acceptance and eventual embrace of social video by brands and entertainment companies (I’m going to skip the litigation phase for concision) is as easy as the simple story structure you learned in school:

Phase 1: What is this thing?

Phase 2: Why do I need to do this?

Phase 2a: Who else is doing this before I do this?

Phase 3: How do I do this well? 

Phase 3a: What should I post?

Phase 3b: When should I post? 

Phase 4: How should I measure it doing well? 

Seeing the conversation evolve from having to convince clients of its importance to advanced strategies on how to win and measure the impact has been extremely gratifying. The constant shifting of algorithms and additional engagement functionality keeps it interesting, but the fundamentals are still the same. 

You cannot open LinkedIn, read the Morning Brew, or even attend a company all hands without hearing people talk about NFTs, AR, VR, Web 3.0, Metaverse, etc.  I am certainly no Digital Luddite; these things are very exciting. I consider it a fundamental part of our jobs to understand and implement solutions that leverage new things for our clients, but I do find it concerning when a client hasn’t programmed their YouTube channel in months or started leveraging the community tab to engage their audiences and yet they are approaching us for an NFT idea or an AR activation or finally want to get into livestreaming. A secure foundation with a built-in audience is necessary to successfully leveraging these new opportunities. Of course, there will be exceptions to the rule, but in terms of consistent, predictable success, you need to have the right foundation. To that end, let us take a moment to review the basic tenants of a successful YouTube strategy for brands and entertainment companies and please shout out any I may have missed in the comments.



It’s not 2010, you can’t just upload your TVCs to YouTube (unless it’s a SuperBowl ad) and expect to get any sort of following. Program for the platform or at least repurpose the content you have available in a more optimized format. Yes, you also need to be doing Shorts (blame TikTok).



Commit to a programming schedule so that your audience knows when to expect new content  



Algorithms are driving 90% or more of the viewership on YouTube today. Ensuring your optimization strategy is complete and consistently applied across your library can mean the different between a single view and seven. Create opportunities for circular viewership which trains the algorithm to keep suggesting your content to viewers. Little Dot Studios Americas utilizes a 48-point optimization checklist. Request yours here!


Community Management

YouTube is a social media platform period. You have to engage your audience, program your community tab, post stories. Implementing even a basic community engagement strategy on your channel can increase engagements 80% and priority content viewership by more than 40%.


Always on Paid Media

Too many companies make the mistake of only supporting their hero content with media, usually in an attempt to achieve a vanity metric for the campaign. Implementing an always on channel health focused approach to paid media will not only be more impactful in the long run but will also save you money you can then reinvest into content.


Rights Management

Don’t sleep on UGC. It is an incredible source of information on what matters most to your audience and what formats they want to see. At the very least track UGC through a comprehensive Rights Management strategy to ensure you are not missing out on these valuable learnings.


Data & Reporting

Frankly YouTube has made it more difficult to access and analyze the information you need for high-level strategy on YouTube. The current state of YouTube analytics is great for short term performance trends and comparing your last 10 uploads, but when you need more you have to pull the data from the API and manipulate it with your own systems. This is why we built our own Report Generator and manually generate custom reporting for our clients based on agreed upon KPIs each quarter.

This Thought Leadership piece was written by James Norell, SVP, Strategy and Business Operations at Little Dot Studios.