Regular users of YouTube will have noticed that the second most popular web search facility after Google has had a makeover. The new YouTube design and navigation changes have been in effect since the end of last year, sparking great debate when they were launched.
But have you fully embraced the potential of the new features yet?
“We’ve given YouTube a refresh. When you login, you’ll be greeted with recent activity from your subscriptions. You can also browse and add new Channels to your homepage. Connect with Google+ and Facebook to share your favorites with friends. There’s plenty to discover, so login and give it a spin.”
Like many new digital and social media technologies, the best way to understand how they work is to get stuck in and give them a go yourself. You’ll quickly learn what works best for your business and what isn’t worth investing time into.
With the new YouTube features still in early adoption stages, now is a good time to get a step ahead with some early quick wins. With a really small investment of your time, you can make sure your YouTube channel is working hard for you and is making the most of the new features in terms of promoting sharing and subscriptions.
If you’ve not already updated your YouTube channel, here are the three most important things your business should do:
New YouTube Home Page
The YouTube home page has now been changed to look clearer and include a “Subscription Feed” in the middle (not unlike Facebook’s Live Feed), with recent video content and updates from your subscribers. Operating more like a social networking site, the aim is to make content much more relevant and personal to each user, with your video rates and comments appearing in your subscriber feeds. Thus, the more activity you can generate, the more exposure you get on the YouTube home page.
(1) Upload new content as regularly as possible (at least weekly is advisable)
(2) Respond to and follow up on comments and shares
(3) Promote and share videos you like as much as possible
(4) Using a call to action, get your viewers to subscribe, rate, comment and share each of your videos.
New YouTube Channel Page
As YouTube moves in the direction of becoming more focused around channels (including featuring keyword-rich channels in search results), it is important to activate your new channel and optimise its content.
(5) Activate your YouTube channel
(6) Click ‘Edit Channel’ in the top right-hand corner to begin the process
(7) Start by updating the Title to something clear, concise and benefit-driven
(8) Add Tags for your page (relevant keyword phrases, in quotation marks)
(9) Re-write your page description and content with well written, keyword-rich content.
(10) Set up a background image that is relevant to, and a reflection of, your products and/or services
YouTube Design and Layout
Don’t forget to customize your page for best results using the new YouTube layout options – it only takes a few minutes!
(11) From the choice of layout designs, activate the Blogger Template
(12) Pick your featured video (the one that auto-plays to new visitors) and edit it accordingly – your most recent is normally the best choice
(13) Add your website and other social media channel links
(14) Use benefit-led copy to encourage customers to visit your website
(15) Check all your copy for keyword phrase density, and optimise it
Previously called YouTube Insight, this detailed analytics feature helps you to understand much more about your audiences and activity on YouTube. You can also trouble shoot with unpopular videos and make changes to improve results.
(16) Set aside some time to spend having a look round YouTube Analytics
(17) Check out the ‘Audience Retention’ section (previously hotspots) to see how engaging your videos are.
(18) Pinpoint when people are leaving your videos, and take steps to avoid those video techniques in future
(19) See where people rewind and replay your videos, and do more of the same!
(20) Use ‘Playback Locations’ to see where people watch your videos – if most use mobile devices, make sure your website is mobile optimised
I hope these 20 YouTube Tips have given you a good starting point to begin exploring the new YouTube features and functionality.
Please share your comments and experiences on the new YouTube channel below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!