Merely input the word “LoFi” into YouTube’s search bar and a multitude of videos will populate your feed. Some of these videos are remixes of soundtracks from video games and other media from yesteryear, while others are original compositions. Yet all of them possess a distinct mood that Millennials and Gen Z love to tap into when they want to study, work, or relax.
So what exactly does it take to create one of these videos? If you’re a content creator looking to tap into the LoFi trend, know that quality doesn’t always come with a quick turnaround. While there isn’t a singular method to creating LoFi videos on YouTube, we were able to get a glimpse of what the process can look like through an interview with Hotline Sehwani, a Sonic-themed LoFi channel on YouTube.
Spoiler alert: the channel’s formula for content creation and success requires time, a clear vision, and quite a bit of collaboration.
Things to Decide Before Creating a LoFi Channel Brand and Video
Hotline Sehwani states that every good LoFi channel has a distinct niche. By niche they mean a theme or a focus that encompasses a specific interest or subject. In their channel’s case, it’s Sonic. For other channels that niche can be something entirely different. It may revolve around another fandom or even a particular mascot featured in the videos, such as the LoFi Girl channel.
The important thing is that you choose a niche that has an audience actively searching for content like yours, and associated trending keywords that can put your content in front of their eyes.
“If you’re going to create a channel, whether it’s a music channel, a finance channel, or a fitness channel, you’re going to want your content to be found,” Hotline Sehwani said. “Put some time in with the YouTube tool. YouTube is ultimately a search engine.”
If you don’t understand how SEO works, learn the basics of keyword analysis and identification before you begin uploading content. Identify keywords relevant to your niche that have high volume and are specific to improve your videos’ discoverability.
Hotline Sehwani’s LoFi Video Creation Process
For a video to succeed, you need to know your audience. That includes knowing what they want to hear, and being open to the feedback you receive on an ongoing basis.
“We have a list of songs and requests that we get from people all the time,” Hotline Sehwani said. “So we’re very active in terms of what people want, or the fans want.”
Keep in mind that not all songs have good potential.
“Typically, for music, the song that has the lower BPM [beats per minute] is the song that will make the better LoFi song. That’s why on the Hotline channel you see a split between LoFi and your synth wave slash retro wave or more of the electric type music. Those were the songs that people requested, but they’re not really quite fit for LoFi songs.”
Hotline Sehwani aims for songs that have a strong potential to rank for relevant, trending keywords. Regardless of whether that song falls into the category of LoFi, synth wave, retro wave, or some other genre, each video takes relatively the same amount of time and effort.
Once the song is selected and categorized by style, freelance artists are selected and agreements are signed for the project. This includes collaboration with a graphic designer as well as a music director. These two projects are conducted in unison with one another, which reduces production time.
Once the music is composed, an ISRC code is obtained. Then the music is paired together with the final artistic design in a video.
Best Practices for Syndication and Discoverability
Once the video is created, the work to syndicate and promote the new content begins! Remember that you don’t have to limit yourself to one platform. You can spread your video and audio files across many, including YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud.
“The process that I pose takes time,” Hotline Sehwani said. “It’s a two-to-three-week process altogether, from the actual song selection to art selection to creating the music to getting the license to creating the video. So don’t burn yourself out. A lot of people have an upload-once-a-week mentality.”
With the right keywords and a regular upload cadence, you can focus on quality over quantity. However, you want to make sure that you put a conscious effort into your syndication and promotion process. Don’t take shortcuts for the sake of swift publication and gratification. Apply SEO best practices to any copy associated with your content, and use appropriate tags that trend well and are relevant to your video.
Want to Tune into or Get in Touch with Hotline Sehwani?
Are you interested in learning more about the channel behind the process? With nearly 17,000 subscribers (and counting), they’re worth a peek. Visit their YouTube channel to browse their published content or say hello to them on Twitter. You may find some inspiration for your own channel when you do.