Today's teens can easily connect with like-minded people by making videos and sharing them. For some 85 percent of U.S. teens, a smartphone is their tool of choice to watch, share and publish videos, according to Pew Research Center.
Video and social media platforms are great tools for teens to explore their interests, express themselves creatively and connect with communities around the world. Many creative teens have built personal brands and vibrant communities for people who like fashion, beauty products and video games.
Some teens even partner with companies like Star Stable — makers of the world's most popular online, horse adventure game — to create video channels for a global audience. The company credits the popularity of their video channel, Star Stable News, to the energy and ideas of the young hosts and the vibrant community they have built around the world.
The Star Stable News hosts Ylva Potatoheart and Matilda Opalpie are happy to share tips to create your own video channel. If you're not sure where to start, this guide can help you plan, film and promote your video content. But first, online safety is of utmost importance, so before filming and posting, make sure you talk to your parents about your plans and get their permission.
1. Determine the theme of your video channel.
Ask yourself what makes you happy. You may know immediately or it may take some soul searching. If you're unsure, grab a notepad and keep a list of things that catch your interest throughout the day. Ask yourself what kind of videos you like to watch? What would you love to discuss for hours on end? Talk about what matters to you, and your passion will show.
2. Pick your channel name with care.
Your video channel will be your trademark, so select a name that reflects the content you want to create. Some influencers use a nickname, some use their real name, some just pick a word, and some simply make up a name they like! Just make sure your channel name is easy to recognize and relates to you and your content.
3. Determine what action you want people to take.
Ask yourself what you want your viewers to think, do or say after watching your videos. Can you help others? Or do you want to spark a discussion? Do you want to inspire them to make the world better? Do you want them to laugh and be happy?
4. Plan and record your topics and content.
Plan ahead and map out content for the first five or six videos. Create and follow a basic structure so your viewers can follow your story. Each video needs a welcome message, an overview of the video's content, a deep-dive into the topic you're discussing and a conclusion. If it's easy for you to speak off the cuff with a simple list of subtopics, go for it! Otherwise, an organized outline can keep the video on track.
5. Publish and enjoy.
Once your video is complete and edited, it's time to put it out into the world … and see how people respond! Share the video on your social channels, tag influencers and use hashtags to reach a wider audience. Don't forget the importance of a well-written title. To help people find your video, take time to come up with the right key words and be sure they appear in the title.
6. Engage your community.
When people leave comments, respond as soon as you can — it's a great way to build that community. Use your video and social channels to ask viewers for ideas for upcoming videos. Show your community that you care what they think and that you are listening to them.
It's never too late to tackle a new adventure, especially if you are up for the creative and artistic challenge. If you have an idea of what you want to do, grab your equipment, go out and start creating!