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Stages and Challenges of a YouTube Channel ▷ Everything You Need to Know

Is your brand’s YouTube channel isn’t growing as planned? Well, it might be because you are focusing on the wrong questions. All YouTube channels go through different stages to success, each associated with typical challenges. If you focus on advanced questions too early or lack a solid strategic foundation, your channel’s performance suffers. 

First things first. Take a look at our Youtube success ladder to determine which stage your channel is currently in and which challenges you should address first to optimize your results.

Stages and Challenges of a YouTube Channel

Four stages of a YouTube channel

  1. (Almost) empty channel
  2. Channel as a video content archive only
  3. Some video formats are defined, but no holistic strategy yet
  4. A holistic strategy and content calendar are in place

The first stage is an empty channel. This means that a brand has not uploaded any videos yet, but they have created the account and have their profile set up. Veet Norway is an excellent example in this case:

Veet youtube channel

The next stage is “video content archive,” which means the social media manager uploads old company videos or uses YouTube as a dumping ground for content produced for specific campaigns. The company, in general, is not active in uploading viewer-oriented content or interacting with its subscribers. The YouTube channel of Veet New Zealand is precisely in this stage currently - the channel is used as a dumping ground for random video content:

 Veet youtube channel

When the company decides to produce content specifically for YouTube, we can say that the brand moved to the third stage. At this point, social media managers brainstormed different topics that they wanted to cover with their videos. An example can be tutorials or product review videos. La Roche Posay USA started a great initiative to produce how-to product videos, but viewer-oriented content quickly mixed up with ad videos:

La Roche Posay USA

However, we can talk about the last YouTube stage when a holistic strategy is in place. A holistic strategy would include planning and executing video marketing with the H or STDC frameworks. Have a look at IKEA’s case study here.

Their YouTube channel is a terrific example of how the brand provides different videos to meet its customers’ intent at each stage using the See-Think-Do-Care Framework (STDC).

This practical and empowering tool helps you assess how to communicate with your target customer in this digital culture.

Four challenges of a YouTube channel

  1. No content strategy 
  2. Right channel setup
  3. Clean up or refurbish a channel
  4. Video optimization for more views

Where to start? How to set up a YouTube strategy? If you ask yourself these questions, you’re probably facing one of the most common challenges of a brand YouTube channel - content strategy. As the first step, make yourself familiar with the abovementioned See-Think-Do-Care Framework. Once you understand what video content you would like to have for each stage, it will be easier to start with video marketing planning. 

The additional challenge might arise for more prominent brands with markets in different languages - how to structure our YouTube channel? Centralized vs. decentralized approach, structure by language or by target group, we break down all the options for a global YouTube channel set up in this blog post

The following YouTube challenge is to make your channel viewer-oriented and well-structured. It includes a channel banner image with a clear CTA, channel trailer, social media links, playlists with SEO titles and descriptions, and others. This is the time to make your channel aesthetically pleasant and easy to navigate. 

Lastly, you need to optimize your videos for YouTube and Google searches. Video optimization works similar to website SEO: You optimize for keywords. How to do a proper video SEO? Check out our YouTube video to find out. 

I hope this article was helpful :-) Learn more about YouTube video marketing at!

The 6-Step Guide to YouTube Content Strategy

How to build relevant video content for every business
FREE Download