Youtube Creator Playbook


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
1 Comment
  • @_@ ==> TubeLaunch Free Download ! [ ] [ Limited Time ] enjoy.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Youtube Creator Playbook

  1. 1. Creator Playbook Version 2 February 2012
  2. 2. Table of Contents3 Introduction4 Playbook Structure5 Icons & Key Definitions --------6 Prelude: YouTube Analytics  Programming & Producing Publishing & Optimization Community & Social Media14 The First 15 Seconds 39 Metadata 70 Involve Your Audience18 Calls to Action 44 Thumbnails 75 Blog Outreach23 Regular Schedule and Frequency 47 Annotations 78 Other Social Media28  Tent-pole Programming 52 Playlists & Video Responses 84 Checklist31  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  
  3. 3. IntroductionWelcome to the second edition of The YouTube Creator There Are No Rules to Making Great ContentPlaybook! 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 onupdates to help you optimize for the overall new site layout. YouTube. We’ve tried to frame our suggestions and tips to encourage a variety of uses and to encourage creators to innovate and develop theirWe’re 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 Channelthat will help you build your audience on YouTube. We We understand that not every strategy or optimization will apply tohope you find the information helpful to your creative every creator on YouTube. Each bit of information will apply differentlyprocess and that we can help you take your channel to the to the myriad of channels, categories, and talented creators that makenext level. First, we want to address some questions you YouTube so great. The Creator Playbook requires you to be creative inmay 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 yourThe 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. There’s Always More To Know YouTube learns a lot from its partners and we’re 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 you’re making. learn how to build audience and utilize new features to reach more people in meaningful ways. 3  
  4. 4. Playbook StructureThe 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 onYouTube. These ‘best practices’ are each explained in stages to help you understand each point and guide you throughtaking action.Overview Page DetailsIncludes: •  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. ExamplesA 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, you’re 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 channel’s performance and the metrics that may be affected. 4  
  5. 5. Icons & Key Definitions Progress bar appears at the top of the page showing the progress throughProgress 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, videoEffect 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  
  6. 6. PreludeYouTube AnalyticsYouTube Analytics is a powerful tool and valuable resource In addition to this initial overview section of YouTubefor all content creators. The tool provides deep insights Analytics, every How-to page of The Playbook includes anabout your channel, videos, and audience. Analytics ‘Analytics Tip’ to help you use the tool to assess the impactshould be used in conjunction with The YouTube Creator of any changes implemented.Playbook to help you prioritize optimizations, measureimpact of new strategies, and to assess your channel’sperformance. 6  
  7. 7. YouTube AnalyticsStrategy:Use YouTube Analytics regularly to assess your channel’s performance, andinvestigate 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 channel’sperformance 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  
  8. 8. YouTube AnalyticsYouTube Analytics is a robust tool that provides informative •  Start ‘macro’ and move into the ‘micro.’ Assess metrics from a topdata 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 metricyour programming. What you learn by using YouTube should lead you to investigate other metrics that correlate. ForAnalytics can help inform programming and production example, a change in viewership should lead you to investigatedecisions 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 •  Don’t just analyze your newest videos, use Analytics to learn aboutDon’t just use YT Analytics for a quick look at your channels what videos from your archive continue to perform well.performance – explore the tool to gain a deep understanding of yourcontent, audience, and strategies. With the right knowledge and usage, •  Prioritize your efforts by starting optimizations on your top-creators can understand causality and correlations between the various performing videos and work backward.metrics and gain insight that will help build an audience. The data willalways tell a story, when you know how to read it. 8  
  9. 9. YouTube AnalyticsViewership•  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  
  10. 10. YouTube AnalyticsCommunity 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 they’ve 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  
  11. 11. YouTube AnalyticsAudience 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  
  12. 12. YouTube AnalyticsHow-To Steps1. Gain fluency in YouTube Analytics 4. Make programming or creative decisions based on yourExplore YouTube Analytics and read through documentation to data assessmentunderstand 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 creativeMake checking your Analytics part of your YouTube workflow to know decisions to build on that previous your videos and overall channel are performing. Understand why certain videos or formats performed poorly and adjustKeep 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 andimpact days or weeks later. 5. Track results of implemented changes3. Refer to the ‘Analytics Tip’ in each section When you make changes based on previous data, track relevantAnalytics 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 channel’s performance with notes on when new strategies or optimizations were implemented. 12  
  13. 13. Section OneProgramming & Producing14 The First 15 Seconds18 Calls to Action23 Regular Schedule and Frequency28 Tent-pole Programming31 Cross-promotion and Collaboration37 Checklist 13  
  14. 14. Programming & ProducingThe First 15 SecondsStrategy:Make the beginning of your videos compelling to your viewer.Why It Works:Attentions spans are short. Hook viewers right from the start and increaseengagement 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  
  15. 15. Programming & ProducingThe First 15 SecondsMany viewers decide whether they are going to keep watching your …Branding and Packaging Latervideo within the first 10-15 seconds. Attention spans can be short andthey are just one click away from abandoning your video. The video’s •  Branding, flashy intros, and packaging can create a professionalcontent - “What am I Watching?” - should also come across in the first quality to your content, but it’s not the star of the video.few moments and hook them early to give them a reason to stickaround. •  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 thatCompelling 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. We’ve found the personality or the content of the video. 5 seconds to be an optimal length.•  Personalities should address/welcome the audience, ask a question, spark the viewer’s 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 what’s to come later in the video. clear to your viewers what your video is, and what they’ll be watching. If the viewer still doesn’t know exactly what they’re watching in the start of the video, they’re gone.Capture Attention Brief Branding (Optional) Keep Them Watching with Great Content 15  
  16. 16. Programming & ProducingThe First 15 SecondsExamplesEngage First, Brand Second Branding as Compelling Content•  /sxephil •  /CollegeHumorCompelling Openings•  /Vsauce (3 openings) •  /FoodWishes •  You! 16  
  17. 17. Programming & ProducingThe First 15 SecondsHow-To Steps1. Understand the engagement & viewing trends of your 3. Experiment with variationscontent Try different approaches and see what works best to keep peopleUse 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. Shortattention spans or ‘drop-offs’ in attention or retention at the beginning ofthe video reflect a need to optimize the first 15 seconds of the 4. Place compelling content firstvideo(s). Whatever approach you take, the first 15 seconds of your video needs to be compelling, engrossing, or entertaining enough to get your2. Determine the right ‘hook’ or opening for your content viewers to commit to continue watching the rest of the video.and audienceAll content is different so determine the best use for the beginning ofyour videos. Depending on your category, content, and currentengagement trends, your approach to the beginning of your videos willvary. 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  
  18. 18. Programming & ProducingCalls to ActionStrategy: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 actionwill 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  
  19. 19. Programming & ProducingCalls to ActionWatching content online is an interactive and social experience and content creators rely on the actions oftheir audience to help them succeed - but the many viewers won’t act unless you prompt them.Videos you produce and publish should have specific Calls to Action (CTA). Depending on the message, youcan use the beginning, middle and end of the video to direct the actions of your viewers. CTAs should beminimal and simple. Too many prompts can cause confusion. The goal is to make it as easy as possible forviewers to perform an actionImportant Actions to Direct Your Viewers to Take on YouTubeSubscribe 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 theirVisit Your Channel or Watch More Videos friends and followers.•  Encourage the viewer to watch more content and direct them to how Comments to 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 a related 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  
  20. 20. Programming & ProducingCalls to ActionThere are many ways to communicate with your audience and include Calls to Action inyour videos. In many cases, talking to the audience can be the most powerful but there aremany effective ways to prompt your viewers to take some action.Methods and Types of Call to Actions in Your VideosTo 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 don’t 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 aren’t part of the video’s 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 video’s 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  
  21. 21. Programming & ProducingCalls to ActionExamplesSubscribe•  /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  
  22. 22. Programming & ProducingCalls to ActionHow-To Steps1. Determine desired actions 3. Include / add call to actions to the videoDecide what actions you want your viewers to take for each video. Videos should have a call-to-action. Keep these important elements inPrompts for key community actions such as subscribing and watching mind when shooting the video, creating packaging, writing the videomore 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 placementDepending on your content, decide if talking to camera, host mentions,use of graphics, and/or using annotations is the right method to getyour audience to perform actions.Decide where in the video each CTA should appear to be mosteffective, without distracting the viewer. Keep in mind that you don’twant to direct the viewers away from the video before they finishwatching. 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  
  23. 23. Programming & ProducingRegular Schedule & FrequencyStrategy:Release content frequently on a recurring schedule and maintain activity on thechannel. React to trending topics with relevant content.Why It Works:Frequency of uploads and other platform engagement affects the algorithm andkeeps an audience’s interest. To build an audience, “A consistent audiencerequires consistent content.”How To Do It:Find the right release schedule for your audience. Maximize content gainedfrom production investment. Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type •  Channel Views •  Subscribers •  Video Ranking Medium: 1+ Hours •  Views 23  
  24. 24. Programming & ProducingRegular Schedule & FrequencyThere’s a lot of great videos to explore on YouTube, and so Get the Most from Your Productionsremaining relevant, engaging and maintaining the interestand attentions 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 toyour channel’s feed is how you keep your audience publish more regularly. Ways to get more videos from yourengaged. ‘Feed’ your Channel’s Feed! production investment include creating supplements your larger productions, and using resource-saving production techniques. •  Create videos that make something new and engaging for you 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 improve your ranking in the algorithm and help you build viewership. A good level to aim for •  Create shorter versions of long-form content to act as teasers, is a minimum of one video per week, but the right amount of content trailers, or previews of longer videos. These bite-size versions depends on your audience, your goals, and your content. This introduce your longer content to viewers, and get them interested in frequency will provide your audience with new content regularly, and watching the full-versions. keep them coming back often.•  Keep your feed active for your audience. An active feed is sustained Use annotations, playlists, and other linking to get by uploading videos, but also by your engagement on the platform in viewers from the previews to the actual video. the forms of commenting, favoriting, liking, and managing your playlists.•  Maintain content and engagement with your channel in-between “Consistent audience breaks in regularly releasing content. If you have seasons, or have a break in producing regular programming, find ways to maintain your requires consistent content!” - Freddie W., Top YouTuber audience during the down time. Your audience’s interest must be sustained between your main videos. 24  
  25. 25. Programming & ProducingRegular Schedule & FrequencySome of the same trends and viewer interests that drive television Timely Publishingviewership 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. Don’t be too locked in to your schedule. Timing is important in online video and being part of what’s 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 YouTube’s scheduled publishing feature to build your schedule. 25  
  26. 26. Programming & ProducingRegular Schedule & FrequencyExamplesSupplemental Content (Behind-the-Scenes / Teaser) Maintaining an Active Feed with Uploads and More•  /TheMomsViewSupplemental Content (Comments Video)•  /BarelyPolitical 26  
  27. 27. Programming & ProducingRegular Schedule & FrequencyHow-To Steps1. Find the right schedule for your content 2. Get the most of your production investmentThe right schedule depends on your category and content. There may Find ways to cull more content from your shoots and existing trends that your schedule can be based on. For example, Use production techniques to minimize production time and maximizemovies 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 theweek for new videos. Create supplemental content for your big projects or videos that are less production intensive. Capture behind-the-scenes footage, keep aIf 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 inthe videos, in the episode description, or through other branding onyour channel. 3. Maximize your frequency More content will lead to more viewership and better ranking in algorithms. Release content consistently 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  
  28. 28. Programming & ProducingTent-pole ProgrammingStrategy:Create, release, and/or package content that is themed around tent-poleevents.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 playlistsand 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  
  29. 29. Programming & ProducingTent-pole ProgrammingWhy does Discovery channel have Shark Week every year? Why do a Program Your Contentlot 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 eventsbefore Valentine’s 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 ofTent-pole events are the cultural events that promotion, sponsors/ promotional and revenue opportunities, and capitalize on audienceadvertisers, and viewing trends orbit around throughout the year. Big and search releases, sports, holidays and niche events should act as guidesfor the content you produce. This strategy can apply to all partners. Any •  Package previous content in new ways for tent-pole events. Reusechannel 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  
  30. 30. Programming & ProducingTent-pole ProgrammingHow-To Steps1. Create a programming calendar 3. Perform blog outreachCreate a programming calendar for upcoming months. Identify the key Send your tent-pole videos to relevant blogs, sites, and onlinetent-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 fitIdentify (or invent your own) tent-pole events where you may want to with the sites readers. Include links and embed codes in your outreachdedicate more resources, time, or content. emails. (see Blog Outreach section, pg. 75)2. Release tent-pole related videosCreate videos for the tent-pole events and be strategic about when topublish your tent-pole related videos.Apply your extra time and resources, use of talent, or collaborationswith other channels to be for tent-pole videos that will benefit wideinterest from viewers and search trends.Devote blocks of time to celebrate or produce special content aroundmilestones or ‘signature’ events that you invent for your channel andaudience. Make anniversaries into special events or assign certainweeks (or months) 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 you’ve made based on tent-pole events. 30  
  31. 31. Programming & ProducingCross-promotion & CollaborationStrategy:Work with other creators and cross-promote content between channels.Why It Works:Cross-promotion directs viewers to content or channels, and collaboration withother creators can be one of the most powerful ways to reach new audiencesand build views.How To Do It:Create a strategy to cross-promote your content to relevant audiences. Findand reach out to channels with similar audiences to plan creativecollaborations. Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type •  Channel Views •  Subscribers •  Views Major: Full Day or More 31  
  32. 32. Programming & ProducingCross-promotion & CollaborationCross-promotion across channels and collaborations with other online General Best Practicescreators are some of the most effective methods of building audienceand subscribers. Accessing new audiences on YouTube begins with •  Cross-promote and collaborate with other channels that are relevantfinding 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 other’s audience to find new could work with on cross-promotion and collaboration in a way thatmakes sense for both channels. You must do the initial work to build •  Be creative with ‘remote’ collaborations. Record video chats, utilizeyour content, your channel, and your audience into something that video-responses, or incorporate video from one another on yourother channels want to support or be a part of. channel. •  Make it easy for the viewers to get from one place to the other. UseMeekaKitty 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 comments of new viewers. 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  
  33. 33. Programming & ProducingCross-promotion & CollaborationIn-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 channel 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 channel’s theme completely.•  Shout Out: A shout out can be illustrated with actual clips/ teasers from the channel that’s 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 otherMake sure to link to the other channel using annotations and links in channels you manage or wantthe 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 to identify successful channels and compare subscriber growth. 33  
  34. 34. Programming & ProducingCross-promotion & CollaborationShared 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 / 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 B’s 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  
  35. 35. Programming & ProducingCross-promotion & CollaborationExamplesGuest 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  
  36. 36. Programming & ProducingCross-promotion & CollaborationHow-To Steps1. Build your channel’s appeal 3. Create engaging cross-promotion opportunities andBefore reaching out to collaborate with other channels, build your value collaboration videoswith great content and an engaged audience. Create collaboration videos with channels and creators with similarCreate something exceptional, unique, compelling, or special with your content and relevant 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 isproduction 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 to make collaborations when starting a channel. them become subscribed fans. Consistently update and refresh less-intensive promotion strategies2. Know and find relevant creators and channels such as featuring channels in your “Other Channels” list and promotingKnow 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  
  37. 37. Programming & ProducingProgramming & ProducingChecklist 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  
  38. 38. Section TwoPublishing & Optimization39 Metadata44 Thumbnails47 Annotations52 Playlists & Video Responses57 Channel Page63 Reaching All Audiences68 Checklist   38  
  39. 39. Publishing & OptimizationMetadataStrategy:Write optimized titles, tags, and descriptions for your content.Why It Works:Metadata helps YouTube index your content and is critical to building viewsfrom 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  
  40. 40. Publishing & OptimizationMetadataYouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine; optimize your video Optimization Tips Overviewto take advantage of this fact. Metadata is the information thatsurrounds your video: Title, Tags, Description, Thumbnail. This set of (See appendix for keyword resources)data informs the YouTube algorithm of a video’s content, indexing it forsearch, 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 plentiful •  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  
  41. 41. Publishing & OptimizationMetadataTitle TagsTitles are an important tool to describe the content and compel users toclick on your video. Think of them as taglines or magazine headlines •  Create a set of ‘standard tags’ for your channel that can be appliedthat will peak interest of potential viewers, but they need to be to any video you publish. These tags should be general tags thatformatted and written with keywords and the algorithm in mind. apply to most of the content your produce (i.e. filmmaking, animation, comedy, “Funny Videos,” “Pet Videos” etc.)•  Include relevant and most 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 video’s 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  
  42. 42. Publishing & OptimizationMetadataDescription •  Include a recurring ‘Keyword Tagline’ in episode descriptions. TheDescriptions inform both the viewer and the YouTube algorithm of a keyword tagline is a few sentences that describe your channel, butvideo’s content, and can be a good place to add additional information is written to include several search-driven keywords. Repeating thisnot available in the video. Every video you publish will reach new tagline in episode descriptions will inform first-time viewers aboutviewers. Your description is another key opportunity for you to let these your channel, assist with including the right keywords, and increasenew viewers know about your channel and everything it has to offer. your videos’ search relevancy.Provide links to visit your channel, subscribe or watch more content. •  State what the release schedule of your channel is in episode•  Begin your description with the most relevant information and descriptions. compelling language. Only the first few sentences of your description show up ‘above the fold’ on a video watch page and next •  Follow a structure or template for all your video descriptions to to the thumbnail in search results. 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  
  43. 43. Publishing & OptimizationMetadataHow-To Steps1. Utilize keyword resource tools 3. Optimize metadata for every new upload (and archives)Use the keywords generator tools to help you generate and test Create a compelling, accurate, and keyword-driven title. Keywords first,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 of2. 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 channel’s 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 orkeywords should be things that are categorical, genres, broad topics, helpful information about the episode or your channel. Include yourshow 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 thethat are relevant to your content. Include when new episodes are metadata to reflect new search trends, tent-pole events, or otherreleased 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 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  
  44. 44. Publishing & OptimizationThumbnail OptimizationStrategy:Create great, high-quality custom thumbnails for your videos that accuratelyrepresent the content.Why It Works:Thumbnails act as mini-marketing posters for your content and are important toattracting clicks on your videos.How To Do It:Design and upload custom thumbnails for new videos. Update archive videothumbnails. Time Cost Effect Impact Optimization Type •  Video Ranking •  Views •  Search Traffic Moderate: Less than 1 Hour •  Suggested Video Traffic 44  
  45. 45. Publishing & OptimizationThumbnail OptimizationThumbnails, along with your video title, act as mini marketing postersfor your content on YouTube. You should always create customposterframes to be uploaded along with the video file. There are a fewgeneral guidelines to follow, but the right poster-frame depends on whatthe 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 contentThumbnails are important for search, related video traffic, and channel Not Optimal Optimalpage optimization. This visual snapshot of your video is one of the mostimportant 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  
  46. 46. Publishing & OptimizationThumbnail OptimizationHow-To Steps1. Keep thumbnail optimization in mind when shooting 2. Create a great thumbnailShoot 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 theProper 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 whencreating 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 forthumbnails. 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  
  47. 47. Publishing & OptimizationAnnotationsStrategy:Use annotations on your videos to increase viewership, engagement, andsubscribers.Why It Works:Annotations are a unique feature to YouTube and can help you keep viewerswatching more content, increase community actions on your videos, andacquire new subscribers.How To Do It:Add relevant and helpful annotations to all your videos after upload. Useannotations 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  
  48. 48. Publishing & OptimizationAnnotationsAnnotations are text overlays that you can place on YouTube videos. Types of AnnotationsThere are numerous uses for annotations and producers areconsistently finding new, creative, and strategic ways to apply them to •  You can customize many differenttheir videos. 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  
  49. 49. Publishing & OptimizationAnnotationsGeneral 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. Don’t 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 itsExample ‘End Card’ - Spotlight annotations make graphic clickable. playlist add “&list=(playlist ID HERE)” to the end of the url.•  /Smosh •  /HISHEOther Uses: 49  
  50. 50. Publishing & OptimizationAnnotationsConsistent Annotations for Navigation Other Annotation StrategiesSome 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’ theSuch 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 •  Related videos or other 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  
  51. 51. Publishing & OptimizationAnnotationsHow-To Steps1. Learn how to create annotations 3. Update annotations on high-performing archive videosUnderstand the different types and uses of annotations, as well as how Add and update annotations on high-performing archive videos to helpto create and edit them. leverage these view to new initiatives or new uploads. Use annotations to repackage old content for new purposes along with2. 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 forcalls to action encouraging the viewers to take certain community 4. Be creativeactions such as favoriting, liking, and sharing the video. Experiment with annotations to use them in new ways that will help youDecide 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 withany moment. clickable annotations after upload.Utilize annotations at the end of the video to direct viewers to anothervideo, your channel, or to some other action such as subscribing.Create an ‘End-Card’ to addend your videos and use annotations tomake it clickable. Annotations will affect metrics depending on what you use them for and what actions you’re 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  
  52. 52. Publishing & OptimizationPlaylists & Video ResponsesStrategy: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 willincrease the number of videos a viewer watches and improve navigation of yourcontent.How To Do It:Create playlists for different sets of videos. Add new uploads to relevantplaylists 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