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Creator Playbook

Version 2

February 2012
Table of Contents
3 Introduction
4 Playbook Structure
5 Icons & Key Definitions
--------
6 Prelude: YouTube Analytics

Programming & Producing Publishing & Optimization Community & Social Media
14 The First 15 Seconds 39 Metadata 70 Involve Your Audience
18 Calls to Action 44 Thumbnails 75 Blog Outreach
23 Regular Schedule and Frequency 47 Annotations 78 Other Social Media
28 Tent-pole Programming 52 Playlists & Video Responses 84 Checklist
31 Cross-promotion and Collaboration 57 Channel Page --------
37 Checklist 63 Reaching All Audiences 86 Appendix
68 Checklist 87 Video Upload Checklist
88 Metadata Keyword Resources
89 Glossary of Terms

2
Introduction
Welcome to the second edition of The YouTube Creator There Are No Rules to Making Great Content
Playbook! This version features a new look, brand new The Creator Playbook is not a collection of rules or guaranteed tricks
to get more views. Instead, it presents best practices, optimization tips,
sections to reflect the new channel design, and lots of and suggested strategies for building audience and engagement on
updates to help you optimize for the overall new site layout. YouTube. Weve tried to frame our suggestions and tips to encourage a
variety of uses and to encourage creators to innovate and develop their
Were excited to provide our partners with a great resource own approach.
that compiles important tips, best practices, and strategies
Be Creative in Applying The Playbook to Your Channel
that will help you build your audience on YouTube. We We understand that not every strategy or optimization will apply to
hope you find the information helpful to your creative every creator on YouTube. Each bit of information will apply differently
process and that we can help you take your channel to the to the myriad of channels, categories, and talented creators that make
next level. First, we want to address some questions you YouTube so great. The Creator Playbook requires you to be creative in
may have about what kind of information is presented in its application. This resource should be a guide for how to think
strategically about the content you make, where to focus your
The Creator Playbook and how you should use this optimization efforts, and should inspire you to constantly try new things.
resource as a new tool to achieve your creative goals. Use The Creator Playbook alongside your creativity, passion, and
commitment to creating great content; it will not act as a substitute for
any of these necessary elements of success.

Theres Always More To Know


YouTube learns a lot from its partners and were constantly finding new
The most important part of what you tips and trends to share back with you. As the platform evolves and as
do on YouTube the greatest optimization new features are released, there will be updates to The Creator
Playbook with new strategies, tips and optimizations for you to try.
is to make something great, and to love Check back with us often to get these updates so you can continue to
what youre making. learn how to build audience and utilize new features to reach more
people in meaningful ways.

3
Playbook Structure
The Creator Playbook is structured into three sections: Programming & Producing, Publishing & Optimization, Community
& Social Media. Each section presents several optimizations or strategies for building audience or engagement on
YouTube. These best practices are each explained in stages to help you understand each point and guide you through
taking action.

Overview Page Details


Includes: Provides context and further detail on why the best practice is
Strategy: Brief description important or how to implement.
Why It Works: Reasoning or context
How To Do It: Short explanation of how to implement. Examples
A Visual Key Guide to: Presents examples and/or different methods or variations.
Time Cost: Estimation of how much time is required.
Effect: Outlines what metrics are affected by optimization. How-to (and Analytics Tip)
Impact Rating: Estimation of how much effect an optimization or
strategy will have on outlined metrics. Once you understand the strategy or optimization, youre ready to
Optimization Type: Denotes if optimization or strategy is production take action. This page outlines basic steps to get you going.
based, achieved during publishing, or something based around The how-to page also contains an Analytics Tip which will provide
community or outreach. information on how to measure and track changes to your channels
performance and the metrics that may be affected.

4
Icons & Key Definitions
Progress bar appears at the top of the page showing the progress through
Progress Bar each best practice explanation.

Time Cost
Minimal: Moderate: Medium: Major:
0 5 Minutes Less than 1 Hour 1+ Hours Full Day or More

Metrics the optimization will influence: viewership, subscribers, video


Effect ranking, engagement

Impact Rating Optimization Type

1 : Moderate
Implemented before going into production

3 : Strong
Implemented during production process

5 : Major
Implemented at the time of video uploading

Implemented after video has been published

5
Prelude

YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics is a powerful tool and valuable resource In addition to this initial overview section of YouTube
for all content creators. The tool provides deep insights Analytics, every How-to page of The Playbook includes an
about your channel, videos, and audience. Analytics Analytics Tip to help you use the tool to assess the impact
should be used in conjunction with The YouTube Creator of any changes implemented.
Playbook to help you prioritize optimizations, measure
impact of new strategies, and to assess your channels
performance.

6
YouTube Analytics

Strategy:
Use YouTube Analytics regularly to assess your channels performance, and
investigate changes or trends across different metrics.

Why It Works:
Analytics provides actionable intelligence for creators to make better videos,
implement or measure optimizations, and develop strategic programming.

How To Do It:
Gain fluency in YouTube Analytics product. Routinely assess channels
performance and make changes to content or strategies based on findings.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Subscribers
Views
Medium:
1+ Hours Community Activity
7
YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics is a robust tool that provides informative Start macro and move into the micro. Assess metrics from a top
data and insights about your content, your audience, and level or expanded time period, and then focus in on areas that show
something interesting or unusual. A change or spike in one metric
your programming. What you learn by using YouTube should lead you to investigate other metrics that correlate. For
Analytics can help inform programming and production example, a change in viewership should lead you to investigate
decisions for your channel, and helps every creator be traffic sources, then maybe a specific video.
smarter and more strategic with the videos they create.
Compare the changes for different metrics against each other to
understand the relationships between them.
Find the Story Behind Peaks and Changes
Dont just analyze your newest videos, use Analytics to learn about
Dont just use YouTube Analytics for a quick look at your channels what videos from your archive continue to perform well and
performance explore the tool to gain a deep understanding of your investigate why theyre top performers.
content, audience, and strategies. With the right knowledge and usage,
creators can understand causality and correlations between the various Prioritize your efforts by starting optimizations on your top-
metrics and gain insight that will help build an audience. The data will performing videos and work backward.
always tell a story, when you know how to read it.

8
YouTube Analytics
Viewership

Identify and analyze your most viewed days, weeks, and individual videos to
understand why they were so successful. Determine the causes or catalysts for the
high performance and build on them: repeat themes or video topics in a new, creative
way or shift how you divide up time and resources to focus on types of videos that
performed well in the past.

Optimize the videos from your archive that continue to perform well.
Make sure the video is annotated to gain subscribers, encourage community
actions (commenting), and drive the traffic to more of your content or channel.
Use the old video as a traffic driver to new uploads or initiatives you want to
promote.

Use the trends that are happening on your content to set a release schedule,
determine a playlist strategy, or organize your channel in a new way.

Compare your views to unique viewers to understand how much content each of your
viewers watches and how well you organize and present content to the audience.

Subscribers

Examine the dates or videos where there was a high gain or loss of subscribers to
learn more about what resonates with your audience.

Identify and analyze videos that drove the most subscriptions relative to how many
views they received to learn what caused more viewers to become subscribers.

Measure the impact of including a subscribe call to action or annotation in videos.

9
YouTube Analytics
Community Actions: Likes, Favorites, Comments, Shares

Measure community actions as a ratio of total views to gain the best understanding of
what videos are causing the most actions.

Assess which videos get the most actions relative to how many views theyve received
to better understand which videos increase engagement with your viewers and why.

Measure the impact of including Calls to Action and annotations for comments, likes,
or favorites in your videos.

Traffic Sources

There can be different peaks and valleys within each traffic source, so examine the
changes in each to better understand overall viewership. Changes in viewership can
be caused by a shift in all traffic sources at once, or sometimes just one.

Understand how viewers discover your content at a channel and per-video level so you
can make creative or strategic decisions. When examining individual videos, you can
see what other specific videos are driving traffic via suggested or related video
placement.

The new homepage creates new ways for viewers to discover channels use traffic
sources to identify which of these new sources may be driving views for your videos

Assess the impact from a new metadata strategy, thumbnail optimization, or blog
outreach initiative by examining the different traffic sources relevant to each change.

Look at the traffic sources for specific videos to measure the effectiveness of cross-
promotions or other actions that drove traffic on your channel.

Determine the level of active subscribers on your channel by seeing how many views
for new uploads or on the channel come from subscription modules.

10
YouTube Analytics
Audience Retention

The Relative retention graph shows how your video performance


compared to other videos on YouTube of the same length. Absolute
shows you the viewer retention for every 10 seconds of the video.

Improve the format or pacing of your videos and find optimal video
length by examining the graphs. Identify the parts of your videos that
are most interesting to the audience (peaks), and at what points
viewers fast-forward or abandon the video (drops) - these patterns
will highlight needed changes to content and/or packaging.

Demographics and Geographics

Learn more about your audience and what particular videos or


content resonates with them by analyzing your audience location,
gender, and age.

Tailor your strategy and videos to best serve the current audience or
to target a new one.

Track changes to your demographics over time or across different


types of content you publish to know how your audience evolves.

Optimize for international audiences by identifying the countries


where your content is popular. If your content is performing well in a
foreign language consider transcribing and enabling captions to
subtitle your videos for specific languages.

11
YouTube Analytics
How-To Steps
1. Gain fluency in YouTube Analytics 4. Make programming or creative decisions based on your
Explore YouTube Analytics and read through documentation to
data assessment
understand what each metric measures and represents. When you have assessed your channel performance, decide what
actions to take based on your findings.

2. Regularly assess performance and track optimizations Find ways to build on your channels peaks of success. Understand
why certain videos performed well and make programming and creative
Make checking your Analytics part of your YouTube workflow to know decisions to build on that previous success.
how your videos and overall channel are performing.
Understand why certain videos or formats performed poorly and adjust
Keep a record of when you implement new optimizations or change your future strategy to avoid drop-offs and low performance.
your strategy. When changes are made, so you can track results and
impact days or weeks later.
5. Track results of implemented changes
3. Refer to the Analytics Tip in each section
When you make changes based on previous data, track relevant
Analytics Tips at the end of each section help you use this tool in every metrics to see if the changes cause the desired result.
area.

Track the peaks and valleys of all metrics carefully and set goals for
each. Use Analytics, and downloadable reports to keep an ongoing
record of your channels performance with notes on when new
strategies or optimizations were implemented.

12
Section One

Programming & Producing


14 The First 15 Seconds
18 Calls to Action
23 Regular Schedule and Frequency
28 Tent-pole Programming
31 Cross-promotion and Collaboration
37 Checklist

13
Programming & Producing
The First 15 Seconds

Strategy:
Make the beginning of your videos compelling to your viewer.

Why It Works:
Attentions spans are short. Hook viewers right from the start and increase
engagement for the entire length of the video.

How To Do It:
Accomplished through production and video structure.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Subscribers
Video Ranking
Moderate:
Less than 1 Hour Views 1 2 3 4 5

14
Programming & Producing
The First 15 Seconds
Many viewers decide whether they are going to keep watching your Branding and Packaging Later
video within the first 10-15 seconds. Attention spans can be short and
they are just one click away from abandoning your video. The videos Branding, flashy intros, and packaging can create a professional
content - What am I Watching? - should also come across in the first quality to your content, but its not the star of the video.
few moments and hook them early to give them a reason to stick
around. Let the content or the personality be the star upfront, then the viewer
has a reason to watch past the intro and continue with the video.

Or you can make sure the branding is compelling content that


Compelling Content First entertains the viewer. (See Examples)

The first thing the viewer sees should be compelling, whether it is Packaging and branding should be minimal and short. Weve found
the personality or the content of the video. 5 seconds to be an optimal length.

Personalities should address and welcome the audience, ask a


question, spark the viewers curiosity, tease the rest of the video.
What Am I Watching?
Use a teaser for the content of the video; start with a quick clip of
In a lot of cases of non-fiction programming, it is important to make it
whats to come later in the video.
clear to your viewers what your video is, and what theyll be
watching. If the viewer still doesnt know exactly what theyre
watching in the start of the video, theyre gone.

Capture Attention Brief Branding (Optional) Keep Them Watching with Great Content

15
Programming & Producing
The First 15 Seconds
Examples
Engage First, Brand Second Branding as Compelling Content
/sxephil /CollegeHumor

Compelling Openings
/Vsauce (3 openings) /FoodWishes You!

16
Programming & Producing
The First 15 Seconds
How-To Steps
1. Understand the engagement & viewing trends of your 3. Experiment with variations
content Try different approaches and see what works best to keep people
Use tools available in Analytics to better understand how your videos watching your video and decrease early abandonment.
are performing in terms of engagement and audience retention. Short
attention spans or drop-offs in attention or retention at the beginning of
the video reflect a need to optimize the first 15 seconds of the 4. Place compelling content first
video(s).
Whatever approach you take, the first 15 seconds of your video needs
to be compelling, engrossing, or entertaining enough to get your
2. Determine the right hook or opening for your content viewers to commit to continue watching the rest of the video.
and audience
All content is different so determine the best use for the beginning of
your videos. Depending on your category, content, and current
engagement trends, your approach to the beginning of your videos will
vary.

Use Audience Retention graphs available in Analytics to track changes


in how your audience is viewing your content. Optimizing the beginning
of your video should increase viewing time and attention spans, while
decreasing drop-offs at the beginning of your videos.

17
Programming & Producing
Calls to Action

Strategy:
Direct viewers during the video to take actions that can help build audience.

Why It Works:
Online video is an interactive experience. Prompting your viewers to take action
will lead to more activity and help you build engagement and audience.

How To Do It:
Accomplished through production and/or annotations.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Subscribers
Video Ranking
Minimal:
0 5 Minutes Views
18
Programming & Producing
Calls to Action
Watching content online is an interactive and social experience and content creators rely on the actions of
their audience to help them succeed - but the many viewers wont act unless you prompt them.
Videos you produce and publish should have specific Calls to Action (CTA). Depending on the message, you
can use the beginning, middle and end of the video to direct the actions of your viewers. CTAs should be
minimal and simple. Too many prompts can cause confusion. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for
viewers to perform an action

Important Actions to Direct Your Viewers to Take on YouTube


Subscribe Like / Add to Favorites / Share

Videos should have a CTA for the viewer to subscribe to your Asking viewers to like, favorite or share the video, helps it appear
channel. more places across the site.

Give them reasons to subscribe: more great videos every week, Likes and favorites from your viewers get broadcast out to their
never miss an episode, etc. community, which draws new viewers to your video.

Viewers sharing your video on social media broadcasts it to all their


Visit Your Channel or Watch More Videos friends and followers.

Encourage the viewer to watch more content and direct them how to
Comments
do it.

Tell people about your channel and everything that it has to offer. Ask your viewers questions about the video and encourage them to
leave a comment.
Invite viewers to watch another video or the next episode in a
Asking a specific question or an A vs. B choice will increase the
playlist.
comments.

These prompts are a great way to guide the


conversation that will take place in the comments.

Remember that it is a violation of YouTube Terms of Service and


Community Guidelines to incentivize clicks on video features in any
way (i.e. give-aways or prizes for liking or favoriting a video) 19
Programming & Producing
Calls to Action
There are many ways to communicate with your audience and include Calls to Action in
your videos. In many cases, talking to the audience can be the most powerful but there are
many effective ways to prompt your viewers to take some action.

Methods and Types of Call to Actions in Your Videos

To Camera Host-Mentions In-Video Graphics and End-Cards

Talking directly to the camera in a genuine manner can get the You can use graphical overlays and other graphics in your videos to
audience to listen and act. Having the talent of the video, the host or prompt for specific CTAs.
a character talking to their audience and prompting them to take
some action is important to include in videos. Build in graphics for your videos to encourage subscribes,
commenting, or shares. You can use the spotlight annotation to
make these graphics clickable once the video is uploaded.
Annotations

See the Annotations section for more details. (pg. 47)


Create a video end-card to appear at the end of your videos that
directs the viewer to more content, encourages them to subscribe,
or to visit your channel page. You can create a template that builds
Use annotations when you dont want to have your characters break
consistency for the end of your videos that directs the audience to
the fourth wall of your video.
take specific actions.
Annotations are a great way to include CTAs in your video when
they arent part of the videos content. Video Descriptions

Use annotations to update and add new CTAs to older videos. See Metadata section for more details. (pg. 39)

Use space available in the videos description to include messaging


and links for your viewers to act on.
Annotations can optimize repurposed content to
include important CTAs. Use links to get your audience to subscribe, go to your channel
page, start a playlist, or visit your site and social media.

20
Programming & Producing
Calls to Action
Examples
Subscribe
/MysterGuitarMan /DailyGrace You!

Ask a Specific Question More Content (Annotations)


/KnowYourMeme /eHow

Remember that it is a violation of YouTube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines to incentivize
clicks on video features in any way (i.e give-aways or prizes for liking or favoriting a video) 21
Programming & Producing
Calls to Action
How-To Steps
1. Determine desired actions 3. Include / add call to actions to the video
Decide what actions you want your viewers to take for each video. Videos should have a call to action. Keep these important elements in
Prompts for key community actions such as subscribing and watching mind when shooting the video, creating packaging, writing the video
more content should be included in most videos, but assess the right description, and when adding annotations.
actions for your content and overall objectives.

2. Choose the right method and placement


Depending on your content, decide if talking to camera, host mentions,
use of graphics, and/or using annotations is the right method to get
your audience to perform actions.
Decide where in the video each CTA should appear to be most
effective, without distracting the viewer. Keep in mind that you dont
want to direct the viewers away from the video before they finish
watching.

Use the Subscription graph and Community Engagement graphs in


Analytics to track changes in viewer actions in response to your CTAs.
Including CTAs in your video should lead to increased community actions
taken by viewers including subscribing to your channel, favoriting, liking,
and commenting.

Remember that it is a violation of YouTube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines to incentivize
clicks on video features in any way (i.e give-aways or prizes for liking or favoriting a video) 22
Programming & Producing
Regular Schedule & Frequency

Strategy:
Release content frequently on a recurring schedule and maintain activity on the
channel. React to trending topics with relevant content.

Why It Works:
Frequency of uploads and other platform engagement keeps your channel feed
active and retains audience interest. To build an audience, A consistent
audience requires consistent content.

How To Do It:
Find the right release schedule for your audience. Maximize content gained
from production investment.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Channel Views
Subscribers
Video Ranking
Medium:
1+ Hours Views
23
Programming & Producing
Regular Schedule & Frequency
Theres a lot of great videos to explore on YouTube, and so Get the Most from Your Productions
remaining relevant, engaging and maintaining the interest
and attention of your audience is important. The activity of
Make the most of your production investments. Be creative and
resourceful about how you create content to find ways to be able to
your channels feed is how you keep your audience publish more regularly. Ways to get more videos from your
engaged. Feed your Channels Feed! production investment include creating supplements for your larger
productions, and using resource-saving production techniques.

Create videos that make something new and engaging for your
audience using current content: making-of, bloopers, behind-the-
Frequency of Uploads and Engagement scenes, recaps, best of countdowns, trailers, vlogs, comment
videos, and more.
Publishing content regularly and often will keep your channel feed
active, increase your placements on the site, and help you build Create shorter versions of long-form content to act as teasers,
viewership. A good level to aim for is a minimum of one video per trailers, or previews of longer videos. These bite-size versions
week, but the right amount of content depends on your audience, introduce your longer content to viewers, and get them interested in
your goals, and your content. This frequency will provide your watching the full-versions.
audience with new content regularly, and keep them coming back
often.
Use annotations, playlists, and other linking to get
Keep your feed active for your audience. An active feed is sustained viewers from the previews to the actual video.
by uploading videos, but also by your engagement on the platform in
the forms of commenting, favoriting, liking, and managing your
playlists.
Consistent audience
Maintain content and engagement with your channel in-between
requires consistent content!
breaks in regularly releasing content. If you have seasons, or have a
- Freddie W., Top YouTuber
break in producing regular programming, find ways to maintain your
audience during the down time. Your audiences interest must be
sustained between your main videos.

24
Programming & Producing
Regular Schedule & Frequency
Some of the same trends and viewer interests that drive television Timely Publishing
viewership are applicable to the web. Regular release schedules,
programming, and timely publishing are all important in online video. React to trending topics with relevant content when it makes sense
for your audience. Dont be too locked into your schedule. Timing is
important in online video and being part of whats going viral, rising
search trends, or breaking news can be critical for certain content.
Set a Schedule News and politics, sports, commentary, and opinion content can
thrive on topicality.
Release videos on a set day of the week, if possible. Releasing
Adding this reactive and timely supplemental content to your regular
videos on a recurring schedule helps build a structure to your
channel that an audience can rely on. It can be easier to retain programming can help your channel find new audiences.
audiences and keep them coming back to your channel when they
know when new episodes will be coming out.

Support programming with a schedule. If you have varying types of


videos on your channel or multiple shows in one place, use a set
schedule for each type of series to act as programming for your
channels various offerings.

Use YouTubes scheduled publishing


feature to build your schedule.

25
Programming & Producing
Regular Schedule & Frequency
Examples
Supplemental Content (Behind-the-Scenes / Teaser) Maintaining an Active Feed with Uploads and More
/TheMomsView

Supplemental Content (Comments Video)


/BarelyPolitical

26
Programming & Producing
Regular Schedule & Frequency
How-To Steps
1. Find the right schedule for your content 2. Get the most of your production investment
The right schedule depends on your category and content. There may Find ways to cull more content from your shoots and production.
be existing trends that your schedule can be based on. For example,
Use production techniques to minimize production time and maximize
movies typically get released on Fridays, so if you review or provide
the useable content.
commentary on films, this calendar may influence the right day of the
week for new videos. Create supplemental content for your big projects or videos that are
less production intensive. Capture behind-the-scenes footage, keep a
If you set a schedule, make it clear to the audience and new viewers
log of your bloopers, or create vlog-style update or comment videos.
when and how often episodes are released. Remind the audience in
the videos, in the episode description, or through other branding on
your channel.
3. Maximize your frequency
More content will lead to more viewership, so release content
frequently to build and retain a consistent audience.
Use other engagement methods (commenting, playlists, etc.) to keep
your channel active for your audience.
Maintain content and activity during breaks between regular publishing
or seasons of a show.

Find what days your channel sees peaks in views or if your audience
follows your schedule by looking at the viewership graphs available in
Analytics. Learn about how many views you gain by adding more
content to your channel, and find the right balance between production
investment and views gained.

27
Programming & Producing
Tent-pole Programming

Strategy:
Create, release, and/or package content that is themed around tent-pole
events.

Why It Works:
Tent-pole events drive search trends, editorial opportunities, audience interests,
and advertiser campaigns.

How To Do It:
Create and publish content according to a programming calendar. Use playlists
and other packaging to angle your content for tent-pole events.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Promotion
Views
Discovery
Moderate:
Less than 1 Hour External Site Traffic
28
Programming & Producing
Tent-pole Programming
Why does Discovery channel have Shark Week every year? Why do a Program Your Content
lot sitcoms have a Halloween themed episode at the end of October?
Why does the Today Show have relationship experts on the week Create a programming calendar and identify the tent-pole events
before Valentines Day? The answer to these questions is: Tent-pole that are relevant to your channel and audience.
Programming.
Create videos around these upcoming events to take advantage of
Tent-pole events are the cultural events that promotion, sponsors/ promotional and revenue opportunities, and capitalize on audience
advertisers, and viewing trends orbit around throughout the year. Big and search trends.
movie releases, sports, holidays and niche events should act as guides
for the content you produce. This strategy can apply to all partners. Any Package previous content in new ways for tent-pole events. Reuse
channel can create or participate in tent-poles relevant to their specific older footage with newly created content to create new videos.
audience. Create playlists to re-organize your videos to be programmed for
upcoming tent-pole events.

Titles and tags can help rebrand a video for tent-pole


events. Make use of your archives, where it is relevant

Get Ahead of the Buzz

Release tent-pole related content at least several days prior to the


event. Online video is different than television and film because a
video posted online has a long-tail. The weeks leading up to an
event, the pre-buzz, is just as important as the date of the actual
event, maybe more important. The video will still be there when the
event arrives and afterward, but it can have more momentum if it
was released early.

The right time to release depends on how much sustained interest


there is around any particular event.

29
Programming & Producing
Tent-pole Programming
How-To Steps
1. Create a programming calendar 3. Perform blog outreach
Create a programming calendar for upcoming months. Identify the key Send your tent-pole videos to relevant blogs, sites, and online
tent-pole events that are relevant to your channel and meaningful to communities offering them content for their readers.
your audience.
Provide short descriptions of the content and why it would be a great fit
Identify (or invent your own) tent-pole events where you may want to with the sites readers. Include links and embed codes in your outreach
dedicate more resources, time, or content. emails.
(see Blog Outreach section, pg. 75)
2. Release videos around tent-pole events
Create videos for the tent-pole events and be strategic about when to
publish these videos.
Apply your extra time and resources, use of talent, or collaborations
with other channels to be for tent-pole videos that will benefit wide
interest from viewers and search trends.
Devote blocks of time to celebrate or produce special content around
milestones or signature events that you invent for your channel and
audience. Make anniversaries special events or assign certain weeks
(or months) for special programming.

Track changes in viewership as a result of programming your content


by using the viewership data available in Analytics. Use Traffic Sources
information to track views coming from search, homepage, featured
video, or blogs for the videos youve made based on tent-pole events.

30
Programming & Producing
Cross-promotion & Collaboration

Strategy:
Work with other creators and cross-promote content between channels.

Why It Works:
Cross-promotion directs viewers to content or channels, and collaboration with
other creators can be one of the most powerful ways to reach new audiences
and build views.

How To Do It:
Create a strategy to cross-promote your content to relevant audiences. Find
and reach out to channels with similar audiences to plan creative
collaborations.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Channel Views
Subscribers
Views
Major:
Full Day or More
31
Programming & Producing
Cross-promotion & Collaboration
Cross-promotion across channels and collaborations with other online General Best Practices
creators are some of the most effective methods of building audience
and subscribers. Accessing new audiences on YouTube begins with Cross-promote and collaborate with other channels that are relevant
finding the channels where those audiences are already engaged. to your audience or attract similar demographics.

No matter what kind of channel you are vlogger, branded, comedy, Appear, guest-star, or contribute to other channels content and vice-
music - it should be a priority to identify similar or relevant channels that versa. Leverage each others audience to find new viewers.
you could work with on cross-promotion and collaboration in a way that
makes sense for both channels. First, you must do the initial work to Be creative with remote collaborations. Record video chats, utilize
build your content, your channel, and your audience into something that video-responses, or incorporate video from one another on your
other channels want to support or be a part of. channel.

Make it easy for the viewers to get from one place to the other. Use
MeekaKitty Promotes Her Guest Musicians annotations, playlists, links in description, and clear direction within
the video on what the viewer needs to do to watch more.

Be active on your channel during any cross-promotion period.


Respond to new viewers comments. Make a good first impression
by showcasing your best content and interacting with the new
viewers. For example, brand your channel in a new way or feature
your best videos or playlists. (See Channel Optimizations in section
two, pg. 57)

Weezer and the Muppet Studio

32
Programming & Producing
Cross-promotion & Collaboration
In-video Promotion Channel Promotion

Guest Star: Appearing or guest starring in other channels content Recommendation Activity: Like, favorite, or comment on the
is a great way to work with other creators and channels. You can videos of other channels that you want to promote. This passive
combine elements from each of your channels, or simply fall into promotion will appear in your activity feed for your subscribers.
another channels theme completely.

Shout Out: A shout out can be illustrated with actual clips/ teasers
from the channel thats being promoted or a simple host Subscriber Box Sharing
recommendation can go far. Find clips that are short, surprising, or
provide cliff hangers that make people more interested in following The other channels module
the call to action to check out the channel. on your channel page is a
great way to link other
Make sure to link to the other channel using annotations and links in channels you manage or want
the description. to promote. When users
subscribe to your channel they
are also offered the
opportunity to subscribe to the
channels you have listed.

Arrange cross-promotion for


yourself by getting placement
in other channels lists and
featuring others in your own..

Use VidStatsx.com to identify successful channels and


compare subscriber growth.

33
Programming & Producing
Cross-promotion & Collaboration
Shared Topics

Organize and create videos with other producers that are related, complementary, or supplemental.
Focus both sets of content on the same tent-pole event or create complementary videos that have similar
tones, subjects, or perspectives.

Make the viewer aware of all channels involved in the cross-promotion through playlists, annotations,
mentions, video descriptions, and links.

Consider linking multiple videos in a chain that completes a circle. (i.e. producer A ends his or her video
with a teaser or recommendation to check out producer Bs video, which in turn links to producer C, and
so on back to A.) No matter where a viewer begins, all videos in the loop are in a position to gain new
viewers and potential subscribers.

34
Programming & Producing
Cross-promotion & Collaboration
Examples
Guest Star Collaboration and Cross-Promotion
/FreddieW and /EpicMealTime /Weezer and /TheMuppetStudio

Part of making it on the internet is working with


a lot of people, that is definitely essential.
- KassemG, Top YouTuber

35
Programming & Producing
Cross-promotion & Collaboration
How-To Steps
1. Build your channels appeal 3. Create engaging cross-promotion opportunities and
Before reaching out to collaborate with other channels, build your value collaboration videos
with great content and an engaged audience. Create collaboration videos with channels and creators with similar
Create something exceptional, unique, compelling, or special with your content and relevant audiences.
channel that will make other channels interested in supporting or Set clear objectives of what each creator wants to get out of the cross-
working with you. This can extend beyond just content to include promotion. Work closely with each other to ensure each channel is
production support, access to talent, shoot locations, etc. maximizing the opportunity and benefits of working together.
Fine tune your channel, content, and engagement during cross-
Having a unique contribution is one way to attract
promotions to provide the best experience for new viewers,
collaborations when starting a channel.
encouraging them to become subscribed fans.
Consistently update and refresh less-intensive promotion strategies
2. Identify relevant creators and channels such as featuring channels in your Other Channels list and promoting
Know the other channels where similar audiences to your own are with your recommendation activity.
spending their time.

Track the effectiveness and results of cross-promotions by examining


viewership graphs and subscriber changes in Analytics. Assess the
stickiness of your content/channel and the relevancy of the cross-
promotion by measuring subscribers gained from the additional views.
How many new viewers were retained weeks after the promotion?

36
Programming & Producing
Programming & Producing
Checklist
Create great content that is unique, compelling and entertaining or informative.

Optimize the first 15 seconds of your video.

Include specific Calls to Action in the video or through annotations.

Set a recurring schedule for your channel and maximize your production investments to optimize how often
you are able to release content.

Create a programming calendar and identify tent-pole events that are relevant to your audience, around
which you can create content.

Identify channels with similar content and/or relevant audiences and work with them to create meaningful
cross-promotion opportunities and collaboration videos.

Use Analytics to better understand your audience, improve your content, and help you develop effective
programming and production strategies.

37
Section Two

Publishing & Optimization


39 Metadata
44 Thumbnails
47 Annotations
52 Playlists & Video Responses
57 Channel Page
63 Reaching All Audiences
68 Checklist

38
Publishing & Optimization
Metadata

Strategy:
Write optimized titles, tags, and descriptions for your content.

Why It Works:
Metadata helps YouTube index your content and is critical to building views
from search and suggested videos.

How To Do It:
Use optimized keywords and formatting when writing metadata for your videos.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Video Ranking
Views
Search Traffic
Minimal:
0 5 Minutes Suggested Video Traffic
39
Publishing & Optimization
Metadata
YouTube is the worlds 2nd largest search engine; optimize your video Optimization Tips Overview
to take advantage of this fact. Metadata is the information that
surrounds your video: Title, Tags, Description, Thumbnail. This set of (See appendix for keyword resources)
data informs the YouTube algorithm of a videos content, indexing it for
search, features, related videos, and ad-serving.
Title
Compelling
Keywords first
Branding at end
Accurately represents content
Description
Optimize the first 1-2 sentences
Most compelling info first
Include keywords, links
Channel description, helpful information
Tags
Mix of common & specific
Ordering
Variations and enough to fully describe content
Use quotes for keyword phrases: short film

Metadata as Packaging

Metadata can also be used as packaging or rebranding a video. Adding


in relevant keywords to the title of an archive video can help you
repurpose the content for new search trends, or tent-pole events.

Remember that it is a violation of YouTube Terms of


Service to use misleading metadata on your videos 40
Publishing & Optimization
Metadata
Title Tags
Titles are an important tool to describe the content and compel users to
click on your video. Think of them as taglines or magazine headlines Create a set of standard tags for your channel that can be applied
that will peak interest of potential viewers, but they need to be to any video you publish. These tags should be tags that apply to
formatted and written with keyword optimization in mind. most of the content your produce (i.e. filmmaking, animation,
comedy, Funny Videos, Pet Videos etc.)
Include relevant, compelling keywords to maximize clickability and
search traffic, but always accurately portray content. Write tags that are a mix of specific and general keywords that are
relevant to the videos content.
Place keywords first in the title and branding (such as your show or
channel name) at the end. Select a reasonable number of tags that most closely reflect your
video content.
Actively update and optimize titles of catalogue videos to remain
relevant and gain views in the long tail of a video. Actively update and optimize archive videos with relevant tags when
new search trends emerge.

Formatting
Properly format tags to ensure proper indexing of video.
Combination of both general and specific keywords.
Use quotes for phrases: harry potter
Mirror the title of the video, using same word order in tags.
Only add tags to the tag section of your metadata. Adding additional
tags to the description of your video constitutes spam and may
result in the removal of your video or demotion in search, or account
termination.

41
Publishing & Optimization
Metadata
Description Include a recurring Keyword Tagline in episode descriptions. The
Descriptions provide additional context and information about your keyword tagline is a few sentences that describe your channel, but
video to compel viewers to click. Every video you publish will reach new is written to include several search-driven keywords. Repeating this
viewers. Your description is another key opportunity for you to let these tagline in episode descriptions will inform first-time viewers about
new viewers know about your channel and everything it has to offer. your channel, assist with including the right keywords, and increase
Provide links to visit your channel, subscribe or watch more content. your videos search relevancy.

Begin your description with the most relevant information and State what the release schedule of your channel is in episode
compelling language. Only the first few sentences of your descriptions.
description show up above the fold on a video watch page and next
to the thumbnail in search results. Follow a structure or template for all your video descriptions to
create uniformity for your audience, as well as increase the
relevancy of your videos to one another for related video rankings.

Write your description to include the the keywords used in the title
and tags as well as additional relevant keywords.

Always include:
Link to your channel page
Subscription link
Links to related content, or to sites/videos/channels/users
referenced in the video.
Links for social media.
Links should always include the http:// to make them
hyperlinks.

42
Publishing & Optimization
Metadata
How-To Steps
1. Utilize keyword resource tools 3. Optimize metadata for every new upload (and archives)
Use the keyword generator tools (links available in Appendix) to help Create a compelling, accurate, and keyword-driven title. Keywords first,
you generate and test keywords for your uploads and/or channel. brand or show name after.
Fill in as many relevant and appropriate tags as possible. Write a mix of
2. Create Standard Keywords, Keyword Tagline and common and specific tags by adding your Standard Keywords and
specific tags about the episode. Follow proper formatting. Use keyword
Standard Channel Links
generator tools.
Based on your channels content, theme, and audience, create a list of
Write a thorough, helpful, and keyword-driven episode description.
standard keywords that apply to your channel and most uploads. These
Write compelling first sentences of your description. Include relevant or
keywords should be things that are categorical, genres, broad topics,
helpful information about the episode or your channel. Include your
show name, etc.
Keyword Tagline, list of links.
Write 2-4 sentences that explains your channel and includes keywords
Rebrand or continually optimize archive videos by updating the
that are relevant to your content. Include when new episodes are
metadata to reflect new search trends, tent-pole events, or other
released and other relevant information.
keywords that may have become relevant to the content.
Create a list of links that can appear in episode descriptions.

Use the Traffic Sources data available in Analytics to track changes in


views coming from search traffic and suggested video traffic after you
optimize the metadata. Use keyword tools and Google Analytics to
better understand what keywords are driving viewers to your content.

Using third-party software or agencies to help with tags, subscribers or view counts may
be a violation of Terms of Service. 43
Publishing & Optimization
Thumbnail Optimization

Strategy:
Create great, high-quality custom thumbnails for your videos that accurately
represent the content.

Why It Works:
Thumbnails act as mini-marketing posters for your content and are important to
attracting clicks on your videos.

How To Do It:
Design and upload custom thumbnails for new videos. Update archive video
thumbnails.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Video Ranking
Views
Search Traffic
Moderate:
Less than 1 Hour Suggested Video Traffic
44
Publishing & Optimization
Thumbnail Optimization
Thumbnails, along with your video title, act as mini marketing posters
for your content on YouTube. You should always create custom
thumbnails to be uploaded along with the video file. There are a few
general guidelines to follow, but the right poster-frame depends on what
the video is about.

Clear, in-focus, hi-resolution (640px x 360px min., 16:9 aspect ratio)


Bright, high-contrast
Close-ups of faces
Visually compelling imagery
Well-framed, good composition
Foreground stands out from background
Looks great at both small and large sizes.
Accurately represents the content

Thumbnails are important for search, related video traffic, and channel Not Optimal Optimal
page optimization. This visual snapshot of your video is one of the most
important optimizations for attracting views on YouTube.

Make sure to upload high-resolution thumbnails so they


appear crisp and clear throughout the site.

The thumbnail should accurately represent the content included


in your video and should not be overly sexually provocative. 45
Publishing & Optimization
Thumbnail Optimization
How-To Steps
1. Keep thumbnail optimization in mind when shooting 2. Create a great thumbnail
Shoot your videos to make the content translate into a great thumbnail. Using images from the video and supplemental images (where
relevant/appropriate) to create a custom thumbnail that shows off the
Proper lighting, framing the shot, and capturing compelling imagery
best aspects of the video.
when you shoot will provide you with better material to work with when
creating a thumbnail. Using photo-editing software to resize, modify, or combine images
together in the frame.
Consider taking photographs during your shoots to capture images for
thumbnails. Apply effects such as adjusting the contrast and brightness of the
image to make it stand-out and make the colors brighter.
Preview your thumbnail design at the actual size it will appear on the
site to know if the image will still be eye-catching at smaller scales.

Track changes in viewership after you optimize your thumbnails. Use


the Viewership graph and Traffic Sources information available in
Analytics to track any increase in viewership coming from search,
homepage feed, or suggested video where thumbnails are important for
attracting clicks.

46
Publishing & Optimization
Annotations

Strategy:
Use annotations on your videos to increase viewership, engagement, and
subscribers.

Why It Works:
Annotations are a unique feature to YouTube and can help you keep viewers
watching more content, increase community actions on your videos, and
acquire new subscribers.

How To Do It:
Add relevant and helpful annotations to all your videos after upload. Use
annotations on archive videos to direct traffic to new initiatives or content.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Video Ranking
Engagement
Minimal: Subscribers
1 2 3 4 5
0 5 Minutes
Views
47
Publishing & Optimization
Annotations
Annotations are text overlays that you can place on YouTube videos. Types of Annotations
There are numerous uses for annotations and producers are constantly
finding new, creative, and strategic ways to apply them to their videos. You can customize many different
aspects of annotations including:
size, color, type, link, and timing of
annotations.
Annotations Use Cases
Different types of annotations are
Supply additional information. useful for different needs and
strategies. Find what works best for
Act as a dynamic, editable text your videos.
layer.
Use spotlight annotations to make
Be used as navigational areas within the video clickable.
elements. (to certain time-
code, or Next/Previous You can customize many different aspects of annotations including:
episode) size, color, type, link, and timing of annotations.

Act as subscribe button within When a spotlight annotations is used, the text only appears when
the video. the viewers hover over it with their mouse. Only a light outline of the
annotation is shown when the viewer does not hover over it. Using
Make areas of your video clickable or interactive. this type can be a great way to include unobtrusive annotations that
are still easily clickable for the viewer.
Link the viewer to your channel page from within the video.
Make annotations clickable and link to various places or actions on
Ask specific questions to the audience to respond to in the YouTube. You can also set annotations to open a new window when
comments. clicked, keeping the viewer from leaving the original video.

Encourage community activity such as liking or favoriting the


video.

Link to other content: videos, playlists, channels, full-versions.

Dynamically add content to your old videos.

48
Publishing & Optimization
Annotations
General Best Practices

Avoid annotations in the lower-third of the video. The advertisement Make sure to write and place text so it looks nice and reads well on
overlay can obscure annotations placed there. the screen.

Be careful not to obstruct the actual content. Avoid prompting the viewer or having them click away from the
video too early in the video. Depending on what the annotation is
Use your best judgment to determine timing, placement, style, and being used for or the action you want the viewer to take, there is a
how many annotations you should include in your episodes. Dont proper placement and timing. Consider using the Open in a new
bombard the viewer as it will feel spammy and will have an adverse window option for annotations that are hyperlinked, so the viewer is
effect. not taken away from their current video.

When linking to a video that you want to play within its


Example End Card - Spotlight annotations make graphic clickable. playlist add &list=(playlist ID HERE) to the end of the url.
/Smosh /HISHE

Other Uses:

49
Publishing & Optimization
Annotations
Consistent Annotations for Navigation Other Annotation Strategies
Some channels have found success in using an annotation template:
the same annotations, in the same placement across all of their videos. Front of episode call to actions: Ask viewers to like or favorite the
Such as: video.

Ask a question. Asking a specific question is often more effective.


Subscribe Button - Makes it easy for viewers to subscribe right from
your videos. When clicked, this annotation adds your channel to the Other videos or content that is referenced in the video.
viewers subscriptions.
Additional or supplemental information about the content.
Newest / Next / Previous Links to another video in the series or to
newest video. Including an annotation in your videos that links to Subscribe and other CTAs repeated at the end of the episode.
your newest content will leverage your entire catalogue to drive
traffic to your most recent upload. Be creative! Annotations can be used in many ways and you should
always consider how to use this unique feature to make your content
better and more strategic.

The YouTube player can sometimes obscure annotations in the extreme bottom
of the frame. Avoid annotation placements here. 50
Publishing & Optimization
Annotations
How-To Steps
1. Learn how to create annotations 3. Update annotations on high-performing archive videos
Understand the different types and uses of annotations, as well as how Add and update annotations on high-performing archive videos to help
to create and edit them. leverage these views to new initiatives or new uploads.
Use annotations to repackage old content for new purposes along with
2. Add annotations to new uploads after publishing updated metadata.
Determine the right use of annotations for your content and audience.
Avoid creating distracting annotations or too many. Use annotations for
calls to action encouraging the viewers to take certain community 4. Be creative
actions such as favoriting, liking, and sharing the video. Experiment with annotations to use them in new ways that will help you
Decide if any static annotations make sense for your videos. Add a increase engagement, build audience, or simply make your content
Subscribe annotation and/or a Newest Episode annotation that is better and more compelling.
present for the entire video to provide easy navigation for the viewer at Include elements in the video with the intention of enhancing with
any moment. clickable annotations after upload.
Utilize annotations at the end of the video to direct viewers to another
video, your channel, or to some other action such as subscribing.
Create an End-Card to addend your videos and use annotations to
make it clickable.

Annotations will affect metrics depending on what you use them for and
what actions youre directing viewers to take. If you use annotations for
community actions, subscribers and linking to other videos, track
overall growth of these metrics. Focus on one specific action or
initiative to measure specific effectiveness.

51
Publishing & Optimization
Playlists & Video Responses

Strategy:
Organize your content into sets of videos using playlists and video responses.
Create show separation, themed content, or curated content using playlists.

Why It Works:
Playlists help organize your content into meaningful sets of videos which will
increase the number of videos a viewer watches and improve navigation of your
content.

How To Do It:
Create playlists for different sets of videos. Add new uploads to relevant
playlists and set them as video responses to other videos.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Subscribers
Video Ranking
Moderate:
Less than 1 Hour Views 1 2 3 4 5

52
Publishing & Optimization
Playlists & Video Responses
You can create playlists using your own content, other channels videos, Playlists as Viewing Experience
or a combination of both. Playlists can be used as an organizational tool
for content, or creators can produce playlists as a viewing experience Creators can also use playlists to string together videos to create a
for an audience. They can be featured on your channel, and they show long viewing experience long-form content as created by stringing
up in search results and suggested videos. individual videos together.

Playlists as Organization You can create an intro video specific to your playlist to introduce the
set of videos youve compiled.
Playlists are a great way to organize your videos into groups and
viewing sets. If you have multiple shows or themed content on your You can also create interstitial videos to appear between videos
channel, playlists create organization. Utilize playlists to make your you curate in a playlist to provide context and commentary.
channel easier to navigate. Sometimes called a hosted playlist.

Separate different shows into their own playlists to feature them on These playlist-specific videos will also show up as stand-
your channel and connect videos together for viewers. alone videos on the site; consider setting these videos as
Unlisted or determine how to use annotations,
Create sets of videos that are grouped together for a specific theme messaging, & metadata to convey to viewers that they are
or tent-pole event. Use the title and thumbnails to brand it. part of a playlist.
Build playlists to feature your most viewed content with newest
uploads to connect your catalogue views to new videos. Add playlist commentary to each video included by commenting on
the video while viewing it in playlist mode. The comments appear
Set a playlist to be a series playlist if you want to lock-in a group of underneath the video for viewers watching the playlist.
videos as a rigid set where the videos will always appear together.
This option is ideal for serial content. Videos in a series playlist can Playlist in Search
NOT be included in other Series playlists.

Playlist on Channel

53
Publishing & Optimization
Playlists & Video Responses
Optimized Playlists & Video Responses Promote Your Playlists

Utilize metadata strategies and keywords when titling and writing a Creating or adding videos to a playlist will be published to your feed,
description for playlists. notifying your subscribers. Adding to your playlists is another way to
be active on your feed and broadcast your content.
You can reorder videos to create the best linear viewing experience
for your audience. Upload a video to introduce the playlist to your subscribers and use
annotations, messaging, and links to get them to watch it.
Attribute videos included in your playlist to their creators by linking to
them in your description. Feature playlists on your channel page and embed on your site.

Manage video responses on your videos. Users can set video Encourage your audience to comment on your playlists as their
response to your content, if you want, or you can restrict to just your comments will include a link to your playlist.
own content.
Use the right urls when promoting videos from a playlist or
Using Video Responses allows you to populate the space around
entire playlists. To link to a video in autoplay playlist
your videos with your own related content.
mode, make sure the url includes &list=. You can get
the right url from your playlist pages Share widget. A
Ask viewers to submit video responses as a form of viewer
video url set to play within a playlist looks something like:
interaction.
youtube.com/watch?v=xxxx&list=xxxx.

(Example of Playlist Experience) Viewer Comment on Playlist

54
Publishing & Optimization
Playlists & Video Responses
Examples
Playlists on Channel Added to Playlist in Feed

Hosted Playlist Example

55
Publishing & Optimization
Playlists & Video Responses
How-To Steps
1. Set a strategy or use of playlists for your content and 3. Add new videos and maintain playlists
channel Add new videos to relevant playlists at upload and maintain current
Each channel is different, so find the right use of playlists and video playlists to keep them fresh, engaging, and relevant to your audience or
responses for your content and audience. new viewers.

Decide if your playlist strategy should or will affect how you produce Add new uploads as video responses to relevant videos or to archive
content or publish it, (i.e. videos produced for a playlist should follow a videos that can drive a lot of traffic.
structure that is tailored for watching a set of connected videos.)

4. Organize arrangement and display of playlists on


2. Create playlists for your channel Channel Page
Create different playlists for grouping and organizing your videos into Arrange and organize playlists on your channel page to make
sets or themes. navigation easy for channel visitors.
Follow metadata strategies and optimizations for the playlists. Use
keywords for a compelling title, optimize tags of the playlist, and write a
keyword-driven and informative description for the playlist.
Choose the best thumbnail from the videos in the playlist to act as the
playlists primary image.

Track changes to total viewership after creating playlists. Use YouTube


Analytics, viewership graphs, and channel visit data to assess how your
channel visitors are consuming content on your channel page. You can see
views happening within playlists for specific videos in Analytics.

56
Publishing & Optimization
Channel Page Optimization

Strategy:
Optimize and design your channel pages avatar, metadata, layout and
background. Set the correct sharing settings for your channels Feed.

Why It Works:
A well-designed, organized, and search-optimized channel page will attract more
viewers, make your channel a richer destination for subscribers, and create a
professional look.

How To Do It:
Design a custom background, optimize channel metadata, utilize channel
templates, and broadcast the right interactions to subscribers through the feed.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Channel Views
Subscribers
Time Spent
Moderate:
Less than 1 Hour Views 1 2 3 4 5

57
Publishing & Optimization
Channel Page Optimization
YouTube channel pages can be optimized in a number of ways to help Discoverability
make your channel a discoverable destination that offers consistent,
current content. When setting up and optimizing your channel page, you Upload a square high-resolution (1600px x 1600px) avatar that is
should be thinking about visual branding, channel metadata, and recognizable at smaller resolutions. This avatar will be your
channel organization. channels billboard throughout the site.

Branding Accurately describe your channel and capture relevant channel


keywords when writing the channel description. Include relevant
Create a custom, visually-compelling background image for the information such as upload schedule and details about the content.
channel page.
The first 45 characters of the description appears in the channel
Feature your brands personalities. Make the audience feel like they browser and across the site where viewers discover your channel.
are connecting with a person or character of your show and not just
the brand or logo when they come to the channel. You can edit your Channel Page title to best reflect your brand.

Make use of the image mapping space directly above the channel To maximize channel promotion, concentrate on the
header. Determine what links are important to display here and channel avatar and first 45 characters of a channel
design this area to gain the most clicks. Links on this banner image description.
can link to promote any initiative, on YouTube or off.

Feature the channels upload schedule into the background image or


in the channel description. Announcing your schedule is specially
useful for channels that house multiple content series.

Upload graphics specific to the mobile viewing experience of your


channel in the Edit Channel pane.

Connect social media accounts and link to other sites or channels in


the right sidebar of the channel.

58
Publishing & Optimization
Channel Page Optimization
YouTube Channel Pages have two main ways of displaying a channels
video content: through the Feed or through the Featured Tab (utilizing
channel templates and the Featured Video module). The feed is an
important promotional tool for your channel it is displayed on your
channel page and can be accessed on the homepage for subscribers.

The Feed

The feed broadcasts channel activities to your current subscribers.


By default: uploads, liked videos, videos added to playlists,
bulletins, comments you make, channels you subscribe to, and
favorited videos.

For creators who do not upload on a weekly schedule, the feed


allows an easy way of creating value for subscribers by
broadcasting your other activity on the site. This activity in between
uploads can help keep your feed active and relevant.

Consider thinking programmatically with your activity on the site.


Broadcast your curation activity of other content on a set schedule.
Add videos to playlists and Like content that your subscribers might
enjoy on certain days of the week.

If you upload a high volume of content or are very active on the site,
adjust your sharing settings to make your feed the right balance of
uploads and activity to be engaging for your audience..

Broadcasting your activity on the site creates an effective


platform to curate content for your audience. Your channel
can be the source of great content whether or not you
upload it!

59
Publishing & Optimization
Channel Page Optimization
YouTube Channel Pages now come with the ability to organize content Choose the right template for your channel to create the best
into templates. Highlighting playlists, recent uploads, or other channels, experience for your content and schedule.
templates allow creators to tailor their channel experience around the
content that they upload, curate, or want to feature. Playlists are more prominent in the new channel design, so find the
right playlist strategy to optimize your channel layout. (See Playlist
and Video Responses section, pg. 52)
Templates, Modules, and Layout
The Featured Video module is used to highlight one video within a
Each channel template highlights different types of content. The five channel template. This video can either serve as an introduction to
different templates are: your channels content, highlight a topical tent-pole event, or surface
the latest video in a content series.
Creator highlights playlists. Best for creators who curate
content into playlists often, have multiple shows on one You can set your channel to send subscribers to the feed and non-
channel, or who upload multiple clips everyday. subscribers to your Featured Video tab. This will create a unique
experience for each type of viewer. If you do set your channel in this
Blogger focuses on recent uploads or a featured playlist. way, consider using the featured video player to feature a highlight
Best for creators who upload one type of serial content on reel or welcome video of your channel and select the best content
their channel and who want viewers to find their most recent layout for this audience.
content first.
Enable the Other Channels module to promote your other channels
Network The network template is best for channels that or related channels. This module is a great feature to create cross-
want to highlight other channels. Network channels may promotion amongst channels.
curate content from multiple channels through playlists and
other activity.
Channels listed here are also listed as suggested
Everything a combination of playlists and highlighted channels when a user subscribes to your channel.
channels, the everything template allows creators to
highlight, in equal parts, the channels own content and
other channels content that may appeal to subscribers.

Live exclusively meant to highlight live-streaming content.


(limited to live-stream enabled partners)

60
Publishing & Optimization
Channel Page Optimization
Examples
Creator Template with Other Channels Module enabled Blogger Template with Top Branding Enabled
/SongsToWearPantsTo /BarelyPolitical

61
Publishing & Optimization
Channel Page Optimization
How-To Steps
1. Design a great channel background 2. Optimize channel metadata
Design an attractive background for your channel that features the Write an optimized, accurate channel description including: release
personalities, characters, or content of the channel. schedule, show description, and other relevant information. Make your
channels content clear in the first 45 characters of the description.
The channel banner image can be made clickable, so design it to get
viewers to click. Ensure your most important links are image mapped in Link to your dot com, social media and other relevant sites.
this section.
Branding can click offsite: ensure your most important links are in the
image mapped section above the channel. 3. Choose template, enable Featured Video and Other
Channels modules, manage Feed
Upload graphics for the mobile viewing experience.
Explore all available features and modules available for the channel
Create a great avatar image that is relevant to your channel and will be page and use them to highlight the type of content that is most relevant
eye-catching in search results. to your audience.
Enable the Other Channels module to feature other channels and
cross-promote. Enable your recent activity feed and channel comments
to increase engagement with your channel.
Treat your Feed as another form of content creation, update regularly
and ensure highlighted content appeals to subscribers.

Track changes to channel viewership as optimizing your channel


metadata and thumbnail can attract more clicks in search and increase
percentage of views on the channel page. Track subscriber growth.
Install Google Analytics on your channel page to help you track visits
and time spent on the page.

62
Publishing & Optimization
Reaching All Audiences

Strategy:
Optimize videos and create content to reach the widest audience possible.

Why It Works:
Overcoming language and/or cultural barriers will allow you to reach untapped
audiences, propelling viewership growth.

How To Do It:
Use online tools to create captions for your videos and create content that can
transcend cultural differences.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Subscribers
Video Ranking
Medium:
1+ Hours Views
63
Publishing & Optimization
Reaching All Audiences
YouTube is a global platform and your audience can exist anywhere. Be Part of the Global Community
Taking extra steps to optimize your content for any potential audience
will help your videos reach as many people as possible. Making your Find out what other channels exist around the world that are
content accessible to foreign language speakers and viewers who are relevant or similar to your content.
hard-of-hearing provides you with completely new viewers.
Consider collaborating or cross-promoting with channels in other
regions of the world, if your content will translate well.

Create Content with Global Appeal Invite other language speakers to create new voice-overs or audio
for your content.
Your content may already have global appeal (check analytics), but
consider if there is an opportunity to adapt it and appeal to cultures Use Analytics to find out where your channel already attracts an
around the world. audience, and focus internationalization efforts in those languages.

Make use of subjects or themes that have cross-cultural and global


appeal such as animation, dance, animals, or strong visuals without
dialogue.

Focus videos on trends that are popular in specific regions.

Tie-in your regular content to big tent-pole events happening in other


countries and apply internationalization strategies around these big
events.

If there is a big enough opportunity, consider launching your content


on a separate channel targeting new regions or with a new
language.

64
Publishing & Optimization
Reaching All Audiences
You can optimize your current content to be able to reach more Metadata for a Global Audience
audiences. YouTube provides several features to help you caption and
subtitle your videos for multiple languages and you can use metadata to Adding captions to your videos will help it show up more places on
capture global searches. the site. If your video is captioned for multiple languages it will be
searchable in these languages.

Creating Captions When uploading content that is intended for multiple languages,
provide metadata and annotations for both languages, where
You can provide your own captions and transcripts, or YouTube has appropriate.
several features to help you create and translate transcriptions of the
audio in your content. A transcript is a text version of the audio in your Using both English & other language metadata Titles, Tags, and
video that you can upload to YouTube along with your video. This can Descriptions helps discoverability through different search terms.
be used to create captions for the current language of the video, or
subtitles in other languages.

If you have a caption track for your videos already created, upload
them to YouTube.

If you upload a caption track on your video, YouTube can then


enable Auto-Translate, allowing it to be automatically translated for
users in 58 languages (variable accuracy).

To easily create captions for a video, write out the text of all the
audio and upload it. YouTube will auto-sync the timing to match
speech in the video. (English, Japanese, Korean speech only)

Use 3rd-party caption creation tools or ask fans to help create


captions.

Download or edit the machine transcription created by


YouTubes auto-caption as a starting point and edit for
accuracy. (More info about captioning your videos in
YouTube Support.)

65
Publishing & Optimization
Reaching All Audiences
Examples
Metadata in Two Languages
/tartofraises1 /megwin

Collaboration with Global Channels A Global Audience Shown in Analytics


/Faireset with /MysteryGuitarMan

66
Publishing & Optimization
Reaching All Audiences
How-To Steps
1. Consider all audiences when creating content 3. Add captions to your current videos
Identify opportunities to reach a new audience around the globe with Prioritize languages by looking at your traffic sources from different
your videos. Adapt your most popular videos to be in more languages. regions in YouTube Analytics.
Re-edit your current content that is well-suited for translation to have Create captions in target languages by uploading transcriptions to
different audio in different languages. YouTube or by asking your fans to help translate.
Identify relevant tent-pole events in different countries or prioritize your Use YouTubes CaptionTube to have your fans or subscribers create
optimization efforts for more languages. captions for your videos.

2. Cross-promote and collaborate with global channels 4. Optimize videos with multi-language metadata and
Change the country setting at the bottom of the YouTube homepage to annotations
explore worldly videos and channels. If your video has captions, let the audience know by using annotations
Check YouTube Analytics to determine which similar channels have the or address it in the video content.
biggest audiences in different countries. If you are creating content intended for multiple languages, write titles
and descriptions in both languages. Start with your primary audiences
language.
Add and write annotations with both languages represented.

Use traffic sources and regional information to track if captioning videos


are helping your channel attract more viewers. Monitor comments on
your videos to see if more language speakers are engaged with your
content.

67
Publishing & Optimization
Publishing & Optimization
Checklist
Every channels specific approach and strategy to publishing will vary, but below is a simple and useful
publishing checklist that covers some of the most important actions required once you upload a video.
Making the video is only half the battle, optimizing and engaging with the community after you upload are of
equal importance.

Upload
Write detailed and comprehensive metadata following keyword strategies and formatting.

Create and upload a great, eye-catching thumbnail that is high-resolution.

Spot-check the live video and published metadata.

Publish

Annotate the video with community CTAs, subscribe button, and links to related content.

Set the video as featured video on your channel page based on how you organize your channel pages
uploads.

Set video as a video response to a popular and relevant video from your channel.

Add the video to a relevant playlist on your channel. Add to YouTube Show season list, where applicable.

Engage and Outreach (See Section Three)

68
Section Three

Community & Social Media


70 Involve Your Audience
75 Blog Outreach
78 Other Social Media
84 Checklist

69
Community & Social Media
Involve Your Audience

Strategy:
Interact with your audience and involve them in your videos or channel.

Why It Works:
Viewer interaction builds loyalty to your content and increases viewer
engagement. The channels involvement can guide conversation in comments
and user actions.

How To Do It:
Create viewer-centric content, and engage with the audience through social
features on the platform.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Subscribers
Video Ranking
Medium:
1 2 3 4 5
1+ Hours
70
Community & Social Media
Involve Your Audience
Online Video is social; it is a two-way dialogue. People are Ask the Viewers
drawn to online video and web series because they can
interact with the channel in ways that they cant with Ask viewers for their opinions, ideas, or feedback on videos.
Whenever you try something new, ask for their thoughts.
television. The ability to interact with your viewers is key to
the medium. So, speak to your audience, and listen to what Include specific questions in the videos, or in your messaging to
they say. viewers. Specific questions will encourage more responses and
guide the conversations happening around your videos and channel.
If you actively engage with your audience through your Ask fans to actively promote your video through social media and on
channel, it will pay off in the long run. An engaged YouTube by liking, commenting and favoriting.
community of viewers often leads to a loyal following. Your
fans will become your social army empower them to grow Ask for video responses, remixes, or fan-versions to your video.
your brand and they will be your best promoters.
Feature the Audience

Feature viewers and their content in your video. Make the audience
feel like the star by featuring comments or user-submitted content
in your videos and theyll be a fan for life.

Consider setting criteria for what gets featured on your channel such
as requiring the user to be a subscriber. This can boost
subscriptions.

Devote entire episodes to viewer interaction. Comment Videos


(responding to / featuring user comments) and vlogs (speaking
directly/conversationally to the audience) are easy ways to create
and release extra content and speak to your audience in ways
different from regular episodes.

71
Community & Social Media
Involve Your Audience
Your viewers dont just want to be an audience, they want to Messaging Fans / Subscribers
be a community. They want to engage with your channel
and interact through comments, messages, and more. Make announcements through YouTube Bulletins which will appear
in your subscriber feeds.
Make sure you are a part of that conversation and
representing your brand well. If your videos attract a large Where appropriate, include Call To Actions in your responses or
viewership, a community will emerge with or without you. messages, but keep it casual. E.g. If you like the video, dont forget
to share it!

Interacting with fans and the Community Reward Your Community and Super-Fans

Respond to comments. This should always be a key part of your Find ways to reward your community (both on and off YouTube) for
social strategy. Comments are the best forum to interact with their loyalty and support of the channel. Beyond shout-outs in the
viewers about specific episodes and will spur more viewers to videos, think of rewards such as fan merchandise or exclusive
include their comment when they notice you actively respond. content shared through Unlisted videos.

Respond to comments in the first few hours after you publish a


video. These first commenters are your core audience, and building
comments early helps increase the videos ranking in search.

Your own comments on your uploaded videos get pinned to show up


at the top of the comments section, prominently featuring your
engagement with the fans.

Be an active member of the YouTube community and platform.


Comment, favorite, and be present on the site, outside of your own
channel.

Where possible, engage with the commenters on the places outside


of YouTube where youre seeing a lot of new views come from, such
as blogs, sites or other online communities.

72
Community & Social Media
Involve Your Audience
Examples
Featuring the Audience Featuring Comments / Acknowledging the Viewers
/schmoyoho /iJustine

Asking the Audience Uploader Comments Show Up First


/BarelyPolitical /TheIndieMachines

73
Community & Social Media
Involve Your Audience
How-To Steps
1. Set your own interaction strategy 4. Dedicate time to interact after each upload
In whatever way makes sense for you, your content, and your channel, Whenever you upload a new video, dedicate time to interact with your
acknowledge the viewers and make them feel important. audience. Message them on social media, and be a part of the early
conversation that happens around your videos.
2. Create viewer-centric content
Decide whether viewer engagement can be included in your regular 5. Ask your fans for feedback and support
videos, or if separate videos make more sense for you to interact with Encourage and guide the conversations that happen around your
and/or involve the audience. videos by asking specific questions.
Consider creating videos or segments to your content that feature the Ask for feedback when you make changes or try something new. Ask
audience or are centered around engaging with them. for show ideas or new video concepts.
Ask viewers for help achieving benchmarks or with programming
3. Utilize the social features of the platform initiatives.
Respond to comments, send bulletins, use the moderator tool, and
respond to messages from your audience. Dont just be active on your
own content, engage with other videos as well.

Track changes in Analytics for community actions such as commenting,


favoriting, or liking of your videos. The viewers will become more
engaged as you interact more with them. Track the performance of
viewer-interaction segments by using Audience Retention graphs.

74
Community & Social Media
Blog Outreach

Strategy:
Share your content with relevant blogs, sites, and online communities.

Why It Works:
Blogs and other sites are always looking for great content to feature that is
relevant to their audience. External site traffic can be a significant driver of
views for your channel.

How To Do It:
Create a blog roll and only share content that is relevant. Target your outreach
and build relationships.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

External Traffic
Video Ranking
Medium:
Views
1 2 3 4 5
1+ Hours
75
Community & Social Media
Blog Outreach
Dont limit your purview to just YouTube. A lot of viewers Build Relationships
find content on YouTube through other sites on the Internet.
There are tons of sites and blogs that are always looking Keep track of what blogs and sites are featuring your videos and
driving views. Identify the key drivers of views and consider sharing
for great content to write about or feature. Make it easy for content with those places first, letting them know they are getting the
these people to promote your videos by reaching out to inside scoop.
them with great content that is relevant to their audience.
Build a relationship with the editors of blogs by thanking them when
they repost, and only sharing videos that you truly feel they would
want to share with their audience.
Get the Word Out
Track Your Brand
Create a blog roll for your channel or shows as a promotional tool.
Your blog roll should be a comprehensive list of sites, blogs, online
influencers (twitter users), and niche online communities that are
Know where people are talking about your content, or sharing your
content. Set Google Alerts for your channel name, show names,
relevant to your content.
character names, and any other keywords specific to your channel
that will help you identify places where your content is appearing or
Promote new videos to places from your blog roll that you think
being discussed across the web.
would be interested in the content. Tent-pole or topical content is
typically best suited for targeted outreach to relevant sites.

If youve created full playlists of videos related to key tent-pole


events, share these curated video sets with blogs, who may be
looking for groups of videos about topics currently trending online.

YouTube does not recommend or approve any of the blogs or websites shown.
Used as examples. 76
Community & Social Media
Blog Outreach
How-To Steps
1. Create a blog roll 2. Send videos to targeted outlets
Use blog directories such as Google Blog Search, Technorati, and Send brief, personalized emails to appropriate contacts and include a
Alexa to find blogs and sites that are relevant to the type of content you short description of the content, why it might be good for their audience,
produce. and a link to the video with the embed code. Make a note that they can
embed/share if they like it.
Create a list of general blogs with a broad scope in your category. Also,
find niche sites that could be relevant to specific episode you produce
such as tent-pole event episodes.
3. Track the pick-up
Locate contact information from the sites and include names of
Set Google Alerts for the name of the video or use other online
recipients, where possible.
conversation tracking to help you track where it gets embedded. Check
your discovery stats to find sites that are driving traffic.

Track changes in viewership coming from external sites. You can also
use the Traffic Sources metrics to see what % of views is coming from
external sites and blogs. Identify key drivers of views and target your
outreach there. Track off-site discussions on your content using Google
Alerts.

77
Community & Social Media
Other Social Media

Strategy:
Leverage other social media to build viewership on your channel and engage
with your audience in new ways.

Why It Works:
Social media is a great way to turn your fans into a social army that will help
you broadcast your content out to their personal network.

How To Do It:
Engage with your audience and promote your YouTube content on social media
platforms.

Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type

Engagement
Video Ranking
Moderate:
Views
Less Than 1 Hour Subscribers
78
Community & Social Media
Other Social Media
Google+
Creators should establish a Google+ Page to engage with Post behind-the-scenes photos or provide a sneak preview of your
fans and other YouTube creators. Google+ allows you to videos.
organize people into different circles to help you guide your
interactions and tailor your engagement to a circles specific Endorse other creators or videos you like.
interests or needs. Not only can you share videos and other
media, you can get face-to-face, live engagement with your Find ways to repurpose and share videos from your archive in
audience in Hangouts. unique ways.

Manage Circles Post content regularly and be consistent about how you engage on
your Page.
Create and organize different circles to correspond with the various
audiences you want to reach.
Engage
Create circles for your collaborators, super-fans, and other YouTube
Dont simply push content. Be sure to spend time interacting with
creators. Discover people in other creators circles, and add them to
fans in your posts.
your circles.
Ask specific questions about the content you post and solicit
feedback.
Post and Share

Determine your goal for each post. Do you want to spur discussion?
Keep your posts conversational, informational and casual.
Communicate news? Increase your Pages reach? The way you
phrase and format your posts should align with your goals.
Comment on your posts, on user threads, and respond to direct+
mentions.
Post new YouTube uploads to your Google+ Page, and target your
Encourage followers to +1 and share your post if they like what they
updates to specific circles.
see.
Provide updates and announcements.
Poll your followers, and let them vote on ideas for your next video.

79
Community & Social Media
Other Social Media
Google+ (continued)
Hangout! Measure

Host Google+ Hangouts with your fans on a regular basis. Find out what people are saying about you and your videos by using
Google+ search. Its a good way to help you spot super-fans and
Hangouts are a great way to seek input from your fans and reward conversations you can jump into, when it makes sense.
your super-fans with personal direct access to you.
Use Ripples to keep track of how your posts are spreading across G
Be creative with Hangouts. You can watch YouTube videos in +. You can find out who is sharing and re-sharing your videos, who
Hangouts in real-time, which allows you to host regular viewing are your biggest influencers, and how communities are forming
parties and focus groups. around your content.

Stay tuned for Analytics on a Page for more data about your users
and how your +Page is performing.

Link up your Google+ Page in the description module of


your YouTube Channel to drive more followers to your
Page. Also, include a link to your YouTube Channel in
the About tab on your +Page profile.

Remember to follow all community guidelines and Terms of Service if uploading


the video file of a Google+ Hangout to YouTube. 80
Community & Social Media
Other Social Media
Facebook
Creators and Partners should have a Facebook presence for Your Facebook strategy should be unique to that platform and part
their YouTube channel. It is a great tool to interact with your of the objective should be building audience around your YouTube
fans in different ways and build audience. Your activity and the content. Create a unique viewing experience for your Facebook fans
activity of your fans on Facebook get multiplied out to their by how you post and how you interact, but center your actions on
groups of friends, so it is a great way to rely on your fans to driving views, increasing subscriber and gaining more Facebook
help introduce your show to new viewers. fans.

Facebook Best Practices Turn Facebook fans into viewers and subscribers by consistently
directing them to your YouTube content and channel.
Post new uploads to your Facebook page. Post updates regularly (at
least once a day.)

Find ways to repurpose and share videos from your archive in


interesting ways.

Interact with your fans when you post content to your page.

Ask specific questions about the content you post. Asking a


questions to build comments on the post that will help you reach a
new audience. Every action your fans take on your page gets
broadcast out to their friends, helping you reach new viewers.
Encouraging comments will also help you learn about the interest of
your core audience. Your Facebook fans represent some of your
most dedicated viewers.

Vary your updates to be both video-centric and also conversational.


Your Facebook fans dont just want to click links, they want to get
something extra, more personal on Facebook.

Disclaimer: These strategies are sample strategies, not endorsed by YouTube


and in no way connected to or sponsored by Facebook. 81
Community & Social Media
Other Social Media
Twitter
Twitter is another tool to interact with your fans in a
conversational way. Twitter is also a great way to identify your
peers, contribute to the conversations that are relevant to you
and your audiences interests, and spot what is trending on the
Web.

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter updates should be a mix of personal updates as well as


promoting your content.

Share links to your newest videos on twitter. You can use URL
shorteners to track Click-Through-Rates (CTRs.)

@reply power-users on twitter with links to videos they would be


interested in and may re-tweet to their followers. Twitter outreach to
relevant users should accompany your blog outreach.

Create unique #hashtags for your channel and always use them in
your tweets; encourage your followers to do the same.

Update your twitter feed 1-3 times per day to stay visible in your
followers feeds.

Disclaimer: These strategies are sample strategies, not endorsed by YouTube


and in no way connected to or sponsored by Twitter. 82
Community & Social Media
Other Social Media
How-To Steps
1. Create and set-up accounts on social media sites 4. Post / share your videos
Create accounts on sites that are relevant to your content and Make posting your YouTube videos to social media sites part of your
audience. Find niche sites that are specific to your audience. YouTube publishing process. Post new uploads, but also find ways to
repurpose or reintroduce videos from your archives to your fans on
Set up your pages and accounts to reflect your YouTube content and
social media sites.
channel. Use similar design or branding to unite the different outlets.
Accompany each post with questions or other ways to encourage
comments.
2. Set a social media strategy for your YouTube content
Decide what content to share on the social media sites and how to
interact with your audience in the right ways on each.
5. Track and assess
Track engagements and traffic happening on social media sites and
assess how they are translating into views for your content. Experiment
3. Ask your fans for input with different strategies to turn your social media followers into viewers
Ask your fans for ideas on what sort of content they want to see on and subscribers to your channel.
different social sites.

Monitor your Traffic Sources to track changes coming from external sites
and social media sites. Use third-party analytics tools that are available for
tracking your keywords or links across social media sites. Investigate the
peaks and valleys of engagement on social media platforms in the same
way you do for YouTube performance.

Disclaimer: These strategies are sample strategies, not endorsed by YouTube


and in no way connected to or sponsored by other social media sites. 83
Community & Social Media
Community & Social Media
Checklist
Set up accounts and set specific strategies for all social media sites that are important to your content or
audience.

Create and maintain a Blog Roll for your channel. Include niche sites or targeted sites for tent-pole related
content.

Dedicate time and resources to involve and interact with your audience. Perform outreach to blogs, sites and
online communities for relevant videos.

Create content or segments specifically with your audience in mind. Make sure that you include viewer
interaction in your videos by asking specific questions, featuring fans, or by addressing the audience in the
videos.

Interact with viewers in the first few hours after your upload new content. Respond to comments and be
active on social media sites to build engagement around new uploads.

Track engagement on social media sites and assess the incoming traffic from those communities to your
YouTube content.

84
Now, Go Create Something.

85
Appendix
86 Video Upload Checklist
87 Metadata Keyword Resources
88 Glossary

86
Video Upload Checklist
Every channels specific approach and strategy to publishing will vary, but below is a simple and useful
publishing checklist that covers some of the most important actions required once you upload a video.
Making the video is only half the battle, optimizing and engaging with the community after you upload are of
equal importance.

Upload Publish Engage & Outreach

Write detailed and comprehensive Annotate the video with community Update your social media
metadata following proper CTAs, subscribe button, and links to channels.
formatting and strategies. related content.

Create and upload a great, eye- Set the video as featured video on Outreach to relevant blogs,
catching thumbnail that is high your channel page based on how sites and online communities.
resolution. your organize your channel pages
uploads.
Engage with the audience on
Set the video as a video response to the comments section in the
a popular and relevant video from first few hours of publishing.
your channel.
Like and favorite the video on
Add the video to a relevant playlist your channel in timely
on your channel. Add to YouTube increments (e.g. 24hrs later) to
Show season list, where applicable. have the activity appear in your
subscribers feeds.

87
Metadata Keyword Resources
YouTube Keyword Generator / Video Targeting Tool: Identify new keywords for your video.
https://ads.youtube.com/keyword_tool

YouTube Trending Topics: Identify trending topics in your category.


http://www.youtube.com/videos

Check out the keywords that other successful, similarly themed videos utilize.

Start to type keywords in the YouTube search bar and see what suggested searches come up.

88
Glossary (Annotations - Feed)
Annotations Channel or Channel Page
Video Annotations are an uploader-controlled dynamic overlay you can YouTube.com/CHANNELNAME. A channel is the public page for a user
add to videos that allow you to overlay text on a video and/or make parts account on YouTube containing uploaded videos, playlists, liked videos,
of the video clickable. You can add, edit and delete annotations to your favorited videos, channel comments, and general activity. Some creators
videos controlling the text, placement, timing, and link URLs. URLs can manage or create content across multiple channels.
only be directed to YouTube.com.
Comment
Audience Retention Written comments on videos, channels, playlists, or in response to other
The Audience retention report (formerly known as Hot Spots in Insight) is comments. Comments may be posted either on the watch page or on a
an overall measure of your video's ability to retain its audience. It channel page.
represents when viewers leave your video, fast-forward, or rewind at

different points in the video. Community Actions
Any actions taken by a viewer on or around your channel and content.
Avatar Includes likes, favorites, subscribes, comments.
The square image on your channel page that represents your channel

across the site. End-Card or End-Slate
A graphic that creators can make and include at the end of their videos.
Blog Outreach End-Cards typically include specific call to actions for the viewer to
A strategy of sharing your videos with a targeted list of blogs, sites, and/ subscribe, watch more content, visit a channel page, or contain credits for
or online communities or influencers. Sending your video link and/or the video. Generally, End-Cards prominently feature annotations.
embed code with information about it in the hopes of getting blog editors
or online users to embed or share the video with their audiences. Engagement
Interaction between the creator and the audiences, the viewer and the
Blog Roll video, or the creator with the site. Can be measured by the number of
A list of blogs, sites, online communities, and influencers relevant to a interactions (comments, favorites, likes, new subscriptions) per view.
particular category or type of content, used for Blog Outreach.
Feed
Bulletin A stream of activity either for one channel (via the channel page feed) or
A message a channel owner can send to their subscribers. Bulletins for multiple channels (the homepage feed). Feed activities include
show up in subscribers feeds. You can attach videos to a bulletin. uploads, updated playlists, video and channel comments, new
subscriptions, bulletins, likes, favorites, and sharing. Users control
Call to Action which feed activities they choose to broadcast, and the feed activities that
Prompting the viewer to take an action. are broadcasted to them, depending on which channels they subscribe to.

89
Glossary (Favorite - Share)
Favorite(s) Packaging
A user action that adds a video to their channelsfavorites playlist. This Graphics and or content that adds context to a video. Packaging can
action can also be broadcast out to subscribers. build your brand, connect your host with the audience, add relevant
context to archived content, or add scripted/annotated Calls to Action.
Hook
Content that is meant to keep viewers interested in what happens next. Playlist
Ideally a videos hook happens within the first 15 seconds. A playlist is a collection of videos that can be viewed, shared, and
embedded like an individual video. You can create playlists using any
Hosted Playlist videos on YouTube. Videos can be in multiple playlists. Uploaded videos
A collection of videos in a playlist with added video context from the and favorited videos are default playlists on your channel.
playlist creator. Context is added with hosted videos that can act as
intros, outros, and/or interstitials. Hosted videos can contain an actual Pre-Buzz
host (person) or creative branding that acts as a host. Audience interest in a tent-pole event in the days and weeks leading up

to it.
Like(s)
A user action that shows appreciation for a video. This action can be Programming
broadcast out to subscribers in the feed. The practice and strategy of organizing videos, shows or channel content
and activity in a daily, weekly, or season-long schedule.
Metadata
The textual information that describes a video, channel, or playlist. Video Recommendation Activity
metadata includes title, tags, and description. Playlist metadata includes A strategy where a channel likes, favorites, or comments on a video to
title and description. Channel metadata includes a description. promote that video to their subscribers through the feed.
Optimization Series Playlist
An action that increases the potential success of a video, channel, A playlist that locks the videos into one specific playlist. Intended for serial
playlist, or content strategy. or episodic content that follows a narrative story arc. Videos included in a
series playlist cannot be added to other playlists on the channel.
Other Channels Module
An optional module that allows the channel owner to feature other Share
channels on their channel page. Ability to distribute videos via social media, email, or direct links. This
action can be broadcast to subscribers.

90
Glossary (Suggested Videos YouTube Analytics)
Suggested Videos Thumbnails
Video thumbnails that appear in the right hand column of watch pages The image selected to represent your video or playlist on the site.
and the homepage, or the tiled thumbnails that appear when a video has

finished playing. Traffic Source
The referral source of a view for a video. The page, module, or place of a
Subscriber / Subscription site that drove a viewer to a video.
By subscribing to a channel, users will see that channels activity in their
homepage feed. Subscribers can also opt into email communication from Video Response

the channels they subscribe to on a per-upload and weekly digest basis. A feature that allows users to upload a video comment to a video. Video
Responses show up underneath the video they are responding to on
Subscriber Box Watch pages. Settings and preferences for video responses can be set
See Other Channels Module. under the edit video menu.
Tags Vlog
Words or phrases used to describe the content of your videos. Added to A Video-blog. A casual, conversational video format or genre featuring a
videos at time of upload. (See Metadata) person talking directly to the camera.

Teaser Watch Page


A short video that acts as a preview or trailer for longer content. Can be The page where the majority of video viewing happens. URLs with the
used to promote larger content initiatives or announcements. format youtube.com/watch?v=[video ID Here] are watch pages.

Templates YouTube Analytics


Different pre-set channel designs that can be used to highlight videos, A tool that provides information across various metrics for videos,
playlists, and other channels. channels, and audience. Available in your user account.

Tent-pole Programming and Publishing


Content creation and publishing strategy that is meant to leverage the
popularity of large cultural events to maximize audience.

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