How long did it take to grow the channel to 1000 subscribers?
We started our YouTube page in 2009 when we were still a small startup. YouTube wasn't really a priority at that time and we mostly posted social events. We hit 1000 subscribers about two years later in late 2011. Once we started posting content regularly and with specific goals, the subscriber count skyrocketed.
What gear do you use?
We have a humble studio space with a few DSLRs and a Sony PXW-FS5 with a variety of lenses. For bigger shoots we'll rent equipment, but for the most part we stick to our cameras, mics and a few Astra lights. We also have a WisperRoom for recording VOs. As for editing, we use the Adobe suite. Our animated educational videos lean heavy on After Effects, and live action in Premiere. Occasionally we'll use other software such as C4D for 3D stuff and Camtasia for screen recording. There's a host of supplementary studio equipment and software we use but those are the primary tools.
Where do you get inspired to create new content?
All over the place! It really depends on what projects are being requested and we jump off from there. There's so much fresh content coming out everywhere these days that inspiration just comes from watching what is currently trending. The difficult part is to stay ahead of these trends. If Google or Facebook is putting out flat geometric animations, that's a great place to start but that also means everyone is following those trends. You've also got to add some of your own personal taste and stay on brand for your company. For us, that means keeping a little bit of a sassy attitude and if there's room for an owl pun, that's something we love to add.
What was your biggest lesson learned from creating videos?
The biggest thing to consider is the budget - of both your time and money. As a medium-sized company, we have a lot to produce. When it comes to marketing, we have a bit more flexibility, but with something like our Academy courseware, we need to be able to produce a lot of content that changes really frequently. We need to be able to update older videos often and quickly. The best way for us to do this was to create this huge After Effects template that has a ton of expressions in it to make it really flexible. My absolute favorite expression is one that allows us to switch out a VO and have all the pre-comps match it, even when you move them around in the timeline. Developing that template and updating it in modularly saves us a crazy amount of time. It also makes working with contractors a lot easier.