YouTube Tactical Guide


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A tactical "how to" guide for aspiring PAOs looking to tap YoutTube for public online outreach

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YouTube Tactical Guide

  1. 1. Georgia Department of Defense<br />YouTube Tactical Guidebook <br />Produced by the Public Affairs Office<br />June 2011<br />Table of Contents<br />How to Create a YouTube Account4<br />Getting Started with YouTube5<br />How To: Customize Your YouTube Channel8<br />Tips and Tools10<br />Tips and Tools for YouTube11<br />How to Upload Videos13<br />How to Upload a Video to YouTube14<br />Understanding and Using Tags, and Captions (SEO)15<br />HOW TO: Boost Your SEO with a YouTube Channel16<br />YouTube Video SEO Tips from SES Chicago19<br />Five Keys for Creating Viral YouTube Titles22<br />How to Build a Playlist24<br />How Do I Make a Playlist?25<br />Customize Your YouTube26<br />Customizing Your YouTube Channel27<br />How to Create an Account:<br />Getting Started with YouTube<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />How To: Customize Your YouTube Channel<br />YouTube recently redesigned channel pages to make them more dynamic and easier to customize. The beta channels are now a hodgepodge of your uploads, favorites, playlists, and numerous in-channel editing options. Should you upgrade to the new design, you have a greater chance of creating an eye-catching channel that’s likely to keep your viewers engaged for longer.<br />YouTube originally made the redesigned channels available to a select group of elite members and new users. Now however, the video site is letting anyone upgrade their channel, and eventually they’ll be moving all remaining channels over to the new version.<br />As previously reported, the redesign allows for wider videos and better organized pages; the result is a viewer-friendly experience centered around your content. As such, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to maximize the redesigned channels and show you how to customize them to your liking.<br />The Basics<br />-28575858520First things first: upgrade your channel. There’s absolutely no reason not to. The new design is sleeker, more viewer-friendly, and is just more dynamic than the old design. Plus, it’s pretty painless to upgrade. Simply visit your Channel Design page and click “Upgrade my channel.”<br />You’ll notice immediately that most of your previous channel customizations are already carried over in the new design, which is good news if you put a lot of time and effort into designing your channel’s look and feel.<br />Now that you’ve upgraded, you’ll immediately want to edit the video content settings for your newly enhanced channel. Thankfully this can be done with just a few clicks. Find the edit button in upper right-hand corner to view the content selection menu. You can opt to display uploaded videos, favorites, playlists, or a combination of all three.<br />If you select the playlists option, you can then individually select the video playlists you want to include. You also have the option to adjust the featured content set and the featured video for your channel. Since the featured video is the one channel visitors will see first, we suggest you peruse your options to find the right setting.<br />In-Channel Editing<br />In-channel editing is the new black on YouTube, and though basic in concept — you can edit everything without leaving your channel — it’s a key time-saver and an incredibly useful upgrade.<br />3867150446405You’ll notice that the new design is replete with editing options everywhere. You’ll want to take advantage of these to tweak the information displayed about you, your activity, and your videos.<br />Here’s what you can edit right from the channel page: recent activity, privacy settings, displayed settings for profile information, subscriptions, subscribers, friends, and channel comments, as well as channel settings, themes, and modules. You’ve got a lot of power right at your fingertips.<br />When it comes to theme and module editing, users with no CSS or design experience will find themselves completely at ease with beautifying their channel design. The themes and colors are pretty self-explanatory, so you can pick a preset theme, start toying with colors, and get an as-it-happens preview while you tweak.  You can still upload a custom background image and adjust the coloring for every element of your channel. Once you’re done, just click save to publish the new design publicly.<br />Also make sure to take a quick look at the modules tab if you’re interested in removing or displaying content modules. You can do away with, or include, these modules: comments, recent activity, friends, subscribers, groups, and subscriptions.<br />Extra Channel Tips386715043180<br />Adjusting background image file size: One annoying thing about YouTube background images is that they’re constrained to 256 KB, which means if you have a high resolution image, you’re out of luck unless you’re able to compress the file size with a photo editor. If all of this sounds foreign, not to worry.<br />An easy way to downsize your image is to use an online photo editor like Picnik. Simply upload or access your online images from Flickr or Facebook, and click the “Save and Share” tab. You’ll notice that you can select from a few different photo formats (try JPG), and then use the sliding bar to compress the image file size below 256 KB. Click to save your photo, and now all you need to do is upload it to YouTube (Edit Channel -> Themes and Colors -> show advanced options).<br />Expand your color palette: YouTube also only lets you select from 64 different colors, but you can really use any browser-safe color by inputting the right hex code. Why not use a web color chart like this one to have even more choices? Just enter the code of your choosing into the box next to the color palate, hit enter on your keyboard, and your preview is instantly updated.<br />Keep up with what’s new: YouTube has an under the radar blog dedicated to the Channels Beta project. Since this is a beta offering, YouTube is pushing out changes and adding new features on a very regular basis. Subscribe to this blog to be the first to know about what’s new.<br />Tips and Tools:<br />Tips and Tools for YouTube<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />How to Upload Videos:<br />How to Upload a Video to YouTube<br />How to upload a video to YouTube <br />Once you edit your video, make sure it's smaller than 2GB in size, in an acceptable file format, and less than 15 minutes unless you have permission to upload videos of unlimited duration. <br />If all of these things are in order, you are now ready to upload!<br />To upload your video:<br />Click the Upload link at the top of any YouTube page.<br />Click the Upload video button to browse for the video file you'd like to upload to our site. Select the file you want to upload and click Open.<br />As the video file is uploading, enter as much information about your video as possible in the relevant fields (including Title, Description, Tags, and Category). You're not required to provide specific information, but the more information you include, the easier it is for users to find your video!<br />Click the Save changes button to save the updates you've made to the video file.<br />Have more than one video file to upload? <br />Not a problem! You can upload up to 10 video files in a single uploading session.<br />Understanding and Using Tags, Titles, and Captions (SEO):<br />HOW TO: Boost Your SEO with a YouTube Channel<br />Mitchell Harper is co-founder of BigCommerce, a leading provider of shopping cart software used by more than 40,000 organizations worldwide. Mitchell has written and published over 300 articles relating to software development, marketing, business, social media and entrepreneurship.<br />While many companies are still focusing SEO efforts on their websites, there are many other ways to boost search results, especially since results are now comprised of all kinds of content, including videos, images, maps, business listings, tweets and even Facebook Page posts.<br />So how do you expand your efforts without breaking the bank? To boost SEO, consider creating a YouTube channel. Every video you post to your channel can be tagged and indexed, increasing the odds your brand name will appear in natural searches for keywords associated with your business.<br />4286250367665Creating your own channel is pretty simple — here are four easy steps to kick things off right.<br />Step 1: Choose Your Topics<br />You might be thinking “Who would want to watch a video about what I sell?” Well, the answer is probably a lot of people, but they won’t want to watch “commercials” about your products on YouTube. Instead, people will appreciate informative or entertaining videos about your products that illustrate how to choose the ones for their needs, how to use or fix them, and what special features are available.<br />But don’t stop there. Consider what other expertise you can offer beyond your products. Whatever business you’re in, you’re probably an expert at what you do, so share your knowledge. For example:<br />If you sell women’s apparel, record videos showing how you choose your merchandise, interview local designers or even create how-to videos on coordinating outfits.<br />If you sell specialty cookies, record a few different videos about where you source your ingredients, how you bake your cookies, and how you package them for shipping.<br />If you sell wine, record videos of yourself opening, tasting and critiquing the different products you sell. Or, help viewers pair featured wines with seasonal meals.<br />With a bit of creative thinking, you can come up with some really interesting ideas that would be a perfect fit for a regular or even semi-regular video series.<br />Though it doesn’t specifically use YouTube, take a look at Gary Veynerchuck’s for an excellent example of using video to sell your products. WineLibrary pulled in $60 million last year.<br />Step 2: Record Your Videos<br />Once you come up with ideas, you’re ready to record. You can use any high-quality consumer-level camera, and you don’t need to hire a professional videographer. In fact, it’s great if your videos look “home made,” as that just increases the viral appeal and makes them look less like commercials.<br />Before you record your video, make a bullet list of 5-10 points you’ll talk about and keep the edited recording under two minutes. At both the start and end of the video, it’s OK to plug your website or business. Make sure to always include a link to your website in the video, which will deliver viewers from YouTube to your product pages.<br />I record the videos for our YouTube channel using a $600 Sony HD video camera, and edit with the free iMovie software that came with my MacBook Pro laptop. At the beginning and end of each video, I include a five-second promo for software and also a link to learn more on our blog, which gets people to come to our website for more educational content.<br />-47625197485Step 3: Optimize for VSEO<br />After you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube, you’ll be asked to enter a title, description and tags. This is where VSEO begins.<br />Let’s say your company sells shoes and you just recorded and uploaded a video about “casual sneakers.” You want to use the phrase in the title twice to maximize SEO impact –- once at the front and once at the end, like this: “Casual Sneakers — How to Choose Casual Sneakers 101.”<br />Next up is the description. Always include a link at the front of the description back to your website, followed by a carefully crafted paragraph around your key phrase, like this:<br />“ — In this video, Casual Sneakers 101 coach Jim Smith explains how to choose casual sneakers that best suit your needs. Casual sneakers, when chosen correctly, will make it easier to jog and play low-impact sports. Jim gives clear advice in choosing casual sneakers for men of all ages.”<br />The video description is shown in the search results on Google and is also used to determine which keywords or phrases your video should show for. Lastly, remember to use a lot of supporting words that give context to your video. Words such as “jog,” “sports” and “men” help Google figure out exactly what the video is about.<br />Finally, for tags, repeat your key phrase and common variants. Similar to website SEO, stick to 10-15 phrases. For phrases with more than one word, make sure you enclose them in double quotes, like this:<br />“casual sneakers,” sneakers, shoes, “jogging shoes,” “walking shoes,” “men’s shoes,” casual-sneakers.<br />Step 4: Build a Base of Viewers<br />457200175895<br />There are a few creative ways you can begin to “seed” your video beyond posting links on Facebook and Twitter.<br />One idea is to post your content as a “video reply” to other related videos. This gives YouTube context as to what your video is about and starts a steady flow of traffic. To do this, search YouTube for the exact phrase you want to rank for (in this example, “casual sneakers”). Click on each video that comes up and post your new video as a “video reply” to those.<br />Next, start building links back to your video. The more websites that link back to your video on YouTube, the more relevant that video will appear in searches. The best way to do this is simply to find out who is linking back to the most popular videos in your category, searching for that URL in Google to see where it appears, and then reaching out to these sites to ask them to link to your videos.<br />Once your video has had a few hundred views (which doesn’t take all that long), it should start appearing on Google for your key phrase.<br />YouTube Video SEO Tips from SES Chicago<br />Speakers on the Video SEO panel sharing YouTube SEO tips and examples were:<br />Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR. Greg has done numerous press releases with optimized video content, and hosts the SES Channel on YouTube, which they’ve optimized and promoted 185 videos for to-date.<br />Steve Espinosa, Director of Product Development & Management, eLocal Listing, LLC<br />Gregory Markel, Founder/President, Infuse Creative, LLC
, and perennial conference speaker for search marketing events such as SES, SMX, and PubCon. Also featured recently on FOX Business Channel on YouTube Video effort by auto company General Motors.<br />YouTube Stats<br />The panelists agreeing that that the enormity of YouTube’s size – content, traffic, viral presence, etcetera – make it much more than a video site; rather, it should be treated as a major search engine unto itself. According to a comScore Media Metrix, October 2008 had over 100 million YouTube video viewers, for a total of 2.5 billion searches.<br />YouTube’s SEO Algorithm<br />You Tube has a search algorithm that includes the optimization of the following:<br />title<br />description<br />tags<br />number of views<br />rating<br />All of these items can be manipulated by the video owner, as well as the viewing/sharing audience, to determine placement in both YouTube search listings, and carried over to Google’s own universal/blended search listings.<br />The following is an assorted list of YouTube SEO Tips offered by the panel:<br />YouTube Content ideas<br />“How-To” Videos are perhaps the best overall strategy for SEO and viral marketing, says Jarboe. (Smart move can be building out a “How-To” YouTube channel, just like the example at the top of this “how to” YouTube search.)<br />4648200154305<br />YouTube Competitor Research<br />Markel shares that community/social & linking factors weigh heavily in determining ranking on many video search engines. This includes Ratings, Favorites, Playlists, Comments, Honors, Views, Embedding, Response Videos, and Linking. “Click on a competitors video watch page “Statistics & Data” tab and analyze the factors contributing to the video ranking success, then work to meet or beat them!” he says.<br />Video Dimensions<br />“Don’t do widescreen!” Even though YouTube now features videos in the 16:9 format, Espinosa’s  recommendation is to still export to the standard 4:3 format. The reason why – thumbnails are still optimized for 4:3 dimensions. “Export in 4:3 if goal is universal search and conversions.” he says.<br />Description field<br />Anchor description length of 27 characters (max) – this is the maximum amount of characters you have for keyword placement before the “three dots” and the end of each video link on YouTube.<br />Include a clickable URL in the first line of the description tag. The first line of the description is what appears by (And again, if you want to avoid it looking truncated, keep it to within 27 characters.)<br />Video image(s)<br />Include a call-to-action. Espinosa says to conclude the video with an instructional/visual cue to click on the link, and show your call-to-action right in the thumbnails. (As we’ve reported here, YouTube takes the thumbnails at the ¼, ½, and ¾ mark.<br />Having a phone number with a solid background really stands out, says Espinosa.<br />Constant In-Video Description/Branding/Call To Action – Markel says to brand the registration goal site / URL throughout entire video (instead of at the end, which is most common); also, include the registration call to action within the video while suggesting a click on a live URL in the description pane.<br />Piggybacking on Popularity<br />Add comments with URLs on popular videos. Markel says have your comment written as a codedURL call to action…i.e., “Like football? Check out YouTube (dot) com (slash) user (slash) footballfun.”<br />Video spin-offs – “Create a video related to popular content and using a similar but NOT copied keyword/title in hopes of it showing up as a related video’ within the popular video’s page and thereby piggybacking on the other video’s popularity.” says Markel<br />Link building<br />Markel shared that YouTube adds “nofollow” to all video titles… except those displayed under ‘Recent Activity.’ “If possible, try to keep most desired videos in “Recent Activity” section. The anchor text length on “Recent Activity” link is 27 Characters. Building links to these videos (embedded on-page) is ideal [for SEO]. Plus links to video channel helps with reputation management.”<br />Tracking<br />Check the YouTube Insight feature for your breakdown of stats:<br />Source of views. (Views can come from related videos, YouTube Search, YouTube Other, Viral Other, Google Search, Embedded player views, or external links.)<br />Viewing demographics. (By age range and gender)<br />Video views over time<br />Sites linking to your video<br />Geographic views. (What states, regions, or countries your video is most popular in.)<br />“Hot Spots.” The ups-and-downs, or “engagement” of viewership at each moment in your video, compared to videos of similar length. (ReelSEO note: This is a good way to find out if you may wish to trim your videos for length, if you see a big drop-off in viewership over time.)<br />4638675-57150Optimizing YOUR OWN WEBSITE with YouTube video<br />Embedding YouTube videos on your website not only saves on the cost of streaming media hosting, but you can also get YouTube’s own tracking stats at no charge as well. Espinosa offers these tips for on-site optimization with YouTube video.<br />Create a separate text-optimized page for each video on your site.<br />Surround the video with a description and link to your YouTube page with anchor text being the keywords you would like to rank for.<br />Submit the same description to each video site (i.e. Yahoo! Video, Youtube, Google Video)<br />User Google Website Optimizer to help you determine which video works best. You can then set up Goals in Google Analytics and learn which video was the most successful. Create different variations of the video and then simply run a test using the free Google Website Optimizer and change nothing but the video on the different versions of the pages.<br />Five Keys for Creating Viral YouTube Titles<br />As with text web pages, from an SEO standpoint the title of your YouTube video is the most important piece of content on the page. Well, to be fair, the most important piece of content is actually the video itself, but for the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume that the video is at least moderately watchable and entertaining.<br />Every YouTube video resides on its own page and has a unique URL. YouTube creates HTML meta tags for each of these video view pages based on different page elements. The title of the video becomes the title tag, the description becomes the meta description tag, and the YouTube tags become the meta keywords tag (never mind that this tag is ignored by most search engines). Therefore, writing a good title can vastly affect your video’s click-through from both YouTube and from non-video SERPs.<br />The following five tips will help you write the most effective titles possible for your YouTube videos.<br />Conduct some keyword research<br />Using a free tool like Google’s AdWords keyword tool or Wordtracker, identify what people are searching for around the keyword niche that your video occupies. For example, if your video is about Dwayne Johnson giving workout advice, plug in keywords like “workout tips,” or “weight lifting advice.” Most keyword tools, including the AdWords tool, will suggest synonyms with higher search volumes. Like any keyword research, you are looking for the sweet spot between high search volume and low competition. In the following screen shot, the keyword “tips for workout” has a considerably lower competition rating than “workout tips.”<br />Therefore, “tips for workout” would probably be the better choice for a keyword given the higher chance of its ranking. A good title in this case might be Tips for Workout from Dwayne Johnson.<br />use the word “video”<br />Erik Freeman, a link-building guru at The Search Agency, turned me onto this tip a couple of years ago. The concept is simple. Many searches for videos include the word “video.” Including the word in the title of the YouTube video vastly increases your view page’s relevancy when a searcher’s query contains the word “video.” For example, if your video is a compilation of Bobcat freestyle tricks, try the title Bobcat Freestyle Video. Keep in mind that this tactic works best when you are targeting searches on non-video-specific search engines (like Google’s web search). People who search on YouTube use the word “video” less-frequently (in my experience) because it is implied.<br />Be mindful of title character counts<br />Google truncates page titles somewhere around the 66 character mark. Any longer and you’ll see an ellipse at the end of your title. Since YouTube automatically adds “YouTube –” to the beginning of every view page’s title tag, you’re already 10 characters down before you even start. In the following screen shot, the Google result for the search term “Michael Jackson video” is truncated because it exceeds the maximum character count.<br />190500<br />There are two disadvantages in this scenario. First, a user will not be able to see the full title, and if there is descriptive information toward the end that might compel a user to click, it will be lost. Second, I have found that clean, non-truncated SERP listings tend to have higher clickthroughs. If you think of your SERP listing as marketing copy, you would never intentionally cut off the most visible part of the listing.<br />Be descriptive<br />This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s likely the most common mistake that I see on YouTube. How many times have you seen videos entitled, AWESOME!, or What? or Genius Moves? It’s understandable that the users who uploaded these videos were excited about them, but it’s important to clear your head of amazing-beer-pong-skills induced delirium and remember that most people will have no idea what this video is about aside from what they see in the title, a brief description, and if you’re lucky a thumbnail image. Use the title to quickly summarize what the video is about. Instead of AWESOME! try Awesome Soccer Skills.<br />Learn from others’ successes and failures on YouTube<br />If you are certain that your video is the greatest thing since Leave Britney Alone but you are having trouble coming up with a good title, spend 10-15 minutes searching around YouTube for similar videos. See if you can find videos that perhaps haven’t gone viral but have views above several thousand. Is there a common thread among several of them? On the other side, is there a common thread among those videos you find with lower numbers of views? Searcher behavior is difficult to predict, but it never hurts to take a cue from past failure and successes.<br />How to Build a Playlist:<br />How Do I Make a Playlist?<br />Here are a few ways to get you started with making Playlists:<br />484822573025From the video watch page:<br />Click the arrow next to the + Add to button under the video you're watching.<br />From the drop down menu, choose New playlist...<br />You'll be taken to a page where you can set the properties for your Playlist.<br />Type in the name of your New Playlist and hit Enter on your keyboard. You'll see a message saying, Saved to your playlist.<br />From your Queue:<br />Sign into your account and click on your username in the upper right corner of your screen. Click on My Videos in the expanded menu.<br />Click on the + New button next to the word, Playlist on the left side of the screen. Enter some information for your new Playlist and click Create playlist. If you already have a Playlist, you can skip this step.<br />Click on the Queue link, found right above your Playlists on the left.<br />Check the boxes on the videos you want to add to your Playlist.<br />Click the Add to button found above your videos. Select your new Playlist and click Add videos.<br />4914900999490<br />Adding to an existing playlist:<br />Click the arrow next to the + Add to button under the video you're watching.<br />From the drop down menu, select the playlist you want to add your video to.<br />Customize Your YouTube:<br />Customizing Your YouTube Channel<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />