What is an MCN? An Infographic Guide to Multi-Channel YouTube and Social Influencer Networks

At Paladin we work with Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) and new media companies on a constant basis, but we often find ourselves explaining MCNs to those outside the industry.  Paladin’s Account Manager, Jennifer Dagdigian, created this helpful explainer on the definition, history, and relationship between YouTube video networks, social influencers, and brands.

MCN Multi-Channel Network Infographic

If you’re looking for tools to help manage and scale your MCN, click to learn more about our Network Management Suite.

If you’re looking for tools to help find influencers for brand campaigns and network recruitment, click to try our Talent Locator for 1 month free.

If you’d like to track and monetize your IP across YouTube, click to learn more about our Rights Management Suite.

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    6 Essential Tips for Recruiting Social Video Influencers to Your MCN

    There is a lot that goes into growing, managing, and monetizing a successful multi-channel network. However, a network is only as valuable as the talent in it, and attracting talent to a new or emerging network can be a challenge.

    Working with over 25 MCNs, we at Paladin Software have identified some common traits that have helped our clients grow their channel counts and revenue. Find our 6 keys to success for attracting, onboarding, and retaining video creators on YouTube and other social platforms below:

    1. Make it easy for people to apply (and give them a reason to).

    Provide a simple form that incorporates YouTube (or other social platform) authentication, allowing you to review a channel’s performance data and compliance data. This is an essential no-brainer.

    Motivating creators to apply by clearly communicating the benefits of joining your network is equally important. Common examples of benefits include:

    • Favorable contract terms
    • Access to software tools
    • Royalty-free creative assets like music or stock footage
    • Help with growth strategy and promotion
    • New revenue opportunities from brand marketing, content syndication, content claiming, or merchandise
    • Recruitment revenue shares

    Make sure to follow through on the value-add that your marketing is based on to build a positive reputation in the MCN and creator community.

    2. Know your applicant.

    When you’re growing a network from zero, every cent counts. It may be tempting to accept all comers until you’re generating enough cash flow to re-position yourself as a premium network. But a network’s brand is a fickle thing, and your relationship with YouTube is delicate.

    Accepting enough bad actors can get your CMS invitation permission revoked indefinitely, so be sure to screen your applicants carefully. Some things to consider when screening applicants:

    • Do they have any copyright or community strikes?
    • Do they meet a solid minimum popularity threshold for subscribers and recent views?
    • Do you think they have growth potential and will be marketable in the future?

    3. Check in after accepting talent into your network.

    Be sure to check in on creators after they join to confirm their content is still representative of what they had when they first applied. It is fairly common that channels will apply with authentic-looking content, and following acceptance into a network they post ripped content that is owned by third parties, becoming a magnet for copyright strikes.

    4. Make sure contracts and payment data are accessible.

    One thing talent loves is transparency. Make sure they have access to, or that you send copies of, their contract and payment information as it becomes available. Build your own, or license a technology solution such as Paladin’s Network Management Suite that makes all their information available for review at any time through a creator dashboard.

    5. Be responsive to support inquiries.

    Perhaps the biggest complaint about MCNs is that they offer poor talent service. If someone asks a question, respond quickly. If you can’t understand them or don’t think you’re on the same page, take the time to follow up.

    Be respectful and patient. It takes a lot of time and energy to make a video, let alone many videos in the case of the aspiring YouTube professional.  This is their baby. If a creator is having an issue, be prepared to respond to emotions in a sensitive manner.

    Also be aware that good relationships with creators are in your best interest as a business. The nature of working with social influencers is that they have a large digital soapbox to stand on. If you cultivate a poor interaction, talent can use their digital reach to harm your network’s brand.

    There are some excellent support platforms out there like Intercom that can help you manage the inbound support requests in a timely manner.

    6. Identify winnable recruitment opportunities.

    In most cases, it requires deep pockets and a lot of relationship management to attract talent that have already reached super-star status. If your network has the means to attract and sign a highly monetizable top creator, do it. But for most MCNs this isn’t an option.

    Fear not! You may not be able to sign PewDiePie, but you may be able to sign the next PewDiePie. If you identify new high-growth creators that are just starting out, and cultivate a positive relationship with them to retain them in your network, over time you can help them grow them into top talent.

    Paladin’s Talent Locator can help you identify your ideal recruiting targets that align with your brand or network. For example, find an emerging gamer who has more than 1,000 YouTube subscribers, that isn’t part of an existing network, and whose views and subscribers have grown by 5x in the last 90 days.

    As you’ve probably noticed, the main themes of our advice are attentiveness and vigilance.  Be accessible and helpful to your potential and onboarded creators, while ensuring that your network attracts and retains talent who are positive actors in the video community.  With that in mind, recruit away!

    If you’re looking for tools to help manage and scale your MCN, click to learn more about our Network Management Suite.

    If you’re looking for tools to help find influencers for brand campaigns and network recruitment, the click to try our Talent Locator for 1 month free.

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