The first thing to do when building a review channel is deciding which products to feature. It seems like there’s a channel for everything and you may struggle to stand out. Perhaps you can find your audience by focusing on a single product, rather than a variety of them.
Finding a niche
A key component to finding an audience on YouTube is filling a niche and creating content for it consistently. This ensures you’re discussing familiar topics you are knowledgeable about but also helps in keeping a consistent schedule.
Review channels are already a niche, but you can take this further by specializing in one product. While that seems like it would limit your potential, there are plenty of channels succeeding with the method.
For instance, Filip Koroy runs EverythingApplePro, which focuses entirely on Apple-related products and nothing else. There are different products within this category, but he keeps things centered on the brand. Similarly, PlayStation Grenade focuses entirely on PlayStation-related content.
Finding a niche within a niche can be helpful as well. Toy review channels are nothing new, so choosing to focus on one specific toy may be what’s needed. Brick Builder has found a lot of success doing exactly this by building a channel entirely on LEGO reviews.
More options than you think
You may be wondering how on Earth you are going to be able to fill your channel with regular content when focusing on a singular product. Fortunately, there are more options than you think.
Let’s say you’re running an iPhone-only channel. Every year, new phones are announced with plenty of hoopla. You can create reaction videos based on the latest announcements or breakdown videos of the announced differences from the previous models or other versions.
From there you can make list videos about the improvements and features you hope to see or retrospectives on older releases and your favorite parts of them. Of course, when the new phone releases, you do reviews. Months later, you can do follow up videos about whether or not your feelings have changed, based on the phone’s updates, since your initial review.
That’s not even including reviews related to the ancillary products for the iPhone — earbuds, chargers, cases, etc. That said, there are certainly pros and cons to this type of channel.
Expertise: The most obvious benefit is becoming the “go-to” person for a product. When you’ve proven to your audience you know what you’re talking about, you’ll become the person they trust most for opinions on that product. If you’ve built your entire channel and brand around iPhones, viewers will understandably want to come to you for the low down on all the latest iPhone updates.
Outreach: Other sites often highlight external resources for their readers, so it’s a great idea to reach out to sites with similar interests about potential collaborations. Whether it’s just a spot on a listicle or a deeper partnership, a product focus could open up more outreach and referral options you’d otherwise miss out on.
SEO Research: While there’s been some debate on the importance of SEO these days, it’s still something you’ll want to utilize. By focusing on a single product, you’re able to research the specific SEO strategies that will be the most effective.
Sponsorship without Conflict: Sponsorships with companies allow you the opportunity to test out products, giving you content without cost. These can bring up potential ethical questions from viewers: Is a product getting a better review because it was provided to the reviewer for free?
Avoid this issue by seeking out sponsorships on the products related to your focus. For iPhone, these would be headphones and other accessories. This way you still have sponsorship options, but there’s no conflict with your thoughts on the iPhone itself.
Lack of Content Diversity: Since you’re dealing with only one product, the options to diversify your content are limited. Establishing your brand and making a name for yourself as the go-to person takes time, and detours derail that progress. That’s not to say you can’t make the occasional video tackling something entirely different, but until you’ve firmly settled into your brand, it will only confuse viewers.
If People Stop Caring: One of the biggest concerns is whether or not a product will stay relevant in the long run. Hot products — especially when it comes to technology — are fickle, and what was once trendy may eventually fall out of public favor.
Imagine running a channel back in the days of Zune versus iPod and choosing to focus on the Zune. Backing the HD DVD over Blu-Ray — the list goes on. Point is, it’s hard to know what will still be around down the road and what’s merely a fad. Even products from companies with excellent track records have failed spectacularly (e.g., Nintendo’s Virtual Boy).
What works for you
While there are certainly risks involved with a single product review channel, the benefits might mean the difference between building an audience and getting lost amidst the crowd. Limiting your focus doesn’t necessarily equate to limiting your channel’s potential.