By Chris Pendl
SEATTLE — It goes without saying you probably have a YouTube Channel for your show or station. And yes, there’s a lot of talk around what makes a video good – but how can you get the most out of the video you’ve posted on YouTube? In this column, we’ll look at how to make money from your videos, how to get users who find your video on YouTube to tune-in to your show, and other tips to make the most of your online video efforts.
1. Monetize your channel
YouTube recently made it much easier to become a YouTube partner. This program gives publishers a handful of tools – including the ability to receive money from ads that run before your content. Setting this up is simple. Once you’re logged into your account, click on Video Manager. You’ll then want to select the video you want monetize, click on the Monetization tab, and check “Monetize with Ads.”
2. Link back to your website
YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind Google. It goes without saying that if your video is public, there’s a lot of discovery that will happen on YouTube. If someone likes your video content, give users a link where they can learn more about you. Adding “http://” before any website URL will make your link clickable. Check out this example from a GoPro video.
3. Get found using video title, description, keywords, and tags
Unlike text, search engines can’t read with 100% accuracy the content of your video. Making sure you take the time to fill out the title, writing a thought-out description, and tagging your video is critical for SEO. For example, the first two lines of your video’s description will show up in Google and YouTube searches. There’s a great blog post that covers some of the technical details of this by Tim Lorang. You can see the implementation of this in some of Felix Baumgartner space jump videos.
4. Create a quick intro with show name, time, and channel
Remembering that many people who aren’t connected to your show will discover your content on YouTube, create a quick slide that plays at the beginning of your video tell them where they can get more of your content. This is what the folks at Conan are doing.
5. Use YouTube’s audio library to add music to your video
This is a collection of royalty-free audio tracks for background music in your videos. Using this music and avoid the worry of YouTube possibly removing your content for copyright violations. You can download these tracks and import them into your video editor or insert them into a video that’s already been uploaded to YouTube. Here’s a quick look at YouTube’s Audio Library.
6. Use on screen annotations
These are text, images, or other videos that display on the screen when a viewer is watching your video. When used correctly, these allow you to hold a dialog with your viewers and let them take action when they’re watching your video. Use annotations to supplement and enrich the video and avoid annotations that take over, distract, or feel like spam. YouTube’s annotation guide explains how to set these up. Here’s an example from ReelSEO (a great channel to follow to learn more about YouTube video) showing their related video content and featuring a subscription button to their channel – all clickable to a viewer.
7. Create playlists
Playlists allow you to group videos either from your channel or another channel –leading to more views and deeper exposure to your content. Let’s say you’ve uploaded all of your station’s video to YouTube using one account–leading to a collection of unrelated content. Using a playlist would allow you to create video groupings for each show or by content. The playlist functionality also carries through when you embed a video on your website. YouTube details the full workings of playlists in their help guide. Here’s what this looks like for CNN and their playlist for the Government Shutdown of 2013.
8. Use YouTube’s comment settings
This will allow you to keep the comments on your videos as constructive as possible. You can automatically allow comments from trusted users (if you’ve opted to “approve” comments before they’re displayed), you can ban users who you consistently feel don’t add value to the conversation, and even hold comments for your review based on blacklisted keywords and phrases.
9. Pull through social media on video content
If someone watches your video and he or she like it, there’s a good possibility they’d want to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Check out what ABC World News Now is doing on their video content. They’ve placed a band of text at the bottom of the screen with a website that takes a viewer to their Facebook page or Twitter account.
10. Use channel art to stand out
Take some time to customize your YouTube channel experience. Using the channel art guidelines, stand out from the competition. You can also use this real estate to promote an upcoming show or contest on your station – like “The Wrong Mans” on BBC. This isn’t an ad — rather a creative use of channel art.
To dive deeper into the inner workings of YouTube, check out their creator’s guide.
Chris Pendl is the creative director at Bonneville Seattle and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his blog at www.oldradionewtricks.com. Meet Chris Pendl at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday, October 10.