And action - Making your own YouTube Channel successful

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Part 4 of our blog series “Effective Social Media Marketing”

Moving images are becoming increasingly important in digital communication. Everybody using social media will have noticed for a long time that more and more videos appear in the timeline not only on YouTube, but also on Instagram and Facebook. Although Facebook prefers Facebook Video and Instagram doesn’t allow you to upload direct YouTube videos, YouTube still is the largest and most important video platform on the net: as the second largest search engine after Google, the service attracts more than one billion users a month with its 400 hours of uploaded video per minute (!). An inexperienced user can get sick with this enormous amount of video competition. After all, how can you successfully present your own videos to your target group? There is no patent formula, but there are still some tips on how to optimize your own channel and how to be preferred by the YouTube algorithms.

4 Steps for setting up a YouTube channel correctly

1. A new YouTube/Google account:

Whoever wants to open a channel should first keep in mind how it is used: Especially as a company, but also as a blogger, it makes sense to set up a new Google account (including your own Googlemail) for this purpose. If you already have a private Google Account, you will normally be automatically logged in to YouTube. If you now open a channel with this account, Google links the channel directly to the information in your private account. But as in many other things, you should also separate professional and private life on YouTube. But don’t panic: you can also disconnect the YouTube channel from your private Google account afterwards here. But what you should always choose wisely is the channel name - you can’t undo that later.

2. Channel Appearance:

Once the channel is opened, one should first deal with the most obvious: the first appearance. A suitable branding should be introduced on this stage. Which colours will be important for the channel? Is there a logo? What font will you use in the videos? Here, one should consider a consistent, recurring appearance that potential viewers can classify and recognize the channel. For example, you can choose your own logo as a profile picture. However, a concise header or title picture is still very important. Here you can use additional information about the company or channel. A good example of this is the cover picture of Kontor TV: the music channel uses the space to advertise new releases. What you should always keep in mind with your own cover picture is that it doesn’t seem to be overloaded and has the right resolution. Since YouTube is accessed via many different end devices, you should choose a resolution that is displayed correctly in all devices. The ideal resolution is 1546 x 423 pixels. A higher resolution cannot be displayed correctly by smartphones in particular, so that important header information may be lost.

3. Channel Information:

From picture to text: the channel information must also be well formulated. An interesting channel description should not be missing. Furthermore, social links, i. e. links to the other social media channels, or external links to your own website should be inserted. If the channel is run as an entrepreneur, you should also include an imprint and contact. All these things can be configured and changed via the tab “About Us” in the channel overview.

4. Channel Overview:

If a user who is not a subscriber visits your channel, the Channel Overview page is displayed first. Here it makes sense to place a trailer. This can be a very successful video or a introductory video to the channel. In any case, it should give the user an overview of what he can expect from the channel.

In Video Veritas: How to publish your own videos correctly - 8 crucial hints

1. Regular and consistently good videos:

Humans are creatures of habit. Therefore, it makes sense to think about categories for your own channel and publish videos on the same day. For the beginning these can be videos in intervals of two or four weeks, depending on what you may realise. The more followers you have, the more videos you should post. But be careful: publish a few high quality, rather than many unprofessional videos. The viewer is used to “glossy” videos due to the increasing professionalism of bloggers & co. You should bring the right equipment and enough time to post good videos. As far as video quality is concerned, Facebook and Instagram are a little less critical. In both networks, spontaneous videos can also be attractive. No matter where and in what quality, it is significant to always post authentic videos.

2. First impression is essential:

As our attention span on the web is constantly decreasing, the first ten seconds of a video are the most important ones. Here you can for example give an overview of the video, integrate a teaser or work with cliff hangers. In any case, you should capture the viewer’s interest and keep it at bay. Many clicks are not enough: if the majority of calls to your own video were aborted after less than 10 seconds, YouTube will punish you with a worse ranking.

3. Headlines and Tags:

In order to increase the probability that your own video will be suggested in the YouTube search, you should first consider which search terms the potential viewer is looking for. These should then be used in the headline and as tags. The headline may be two lines long, in contrast to e. g. Google search. Nevertheless, the video headline should be creative & concise and not promise anything that the video can’t keep.

4. Video Description:

Even if not everyone reads the info under videos and it is not even displayed on smartphones, if you don’t open it actively, a short description should not be missing. Since only three lines are displayed on laptops and tablets without active opening, the most important facts should be included in these lines. Links to e.g. your own website therefore also belong to the beginning of the description. For example, if you want to point out a special position in the video, you can do this in the info. To do this, you just have to type in the minute in the video in 00:00:00 format, YouTube automatically converts this into a link, so that you can click directly to the desired position in the video.

5. Subtitles:

Subtitles are becoming increasingly important. These are irreplaceable not only for the deaf or foreign people. More and more users who want to watch videos on the go, for example, without sound, also fall back on it. Here it makes sense to make at least one subtitle in English so that the video can be understood worldwide. You should prepare a transcript before uploading the video. YouTube does offer an automatic transcription service, but this is often inaccurate. Subtitles can easily be inserted in video editing mode and manually placed in the right places in the video.

6. Thumbnails:

Everyone knows the small pictures that are shown on the left side of the video preview. They are called thumbnails and are automatically set by YouTube. In most cases, however, the suggested thumbnails are imprecise and unattractive. If your own account is accredited, you can easily upload your own thumbnails. These can be designed in Photoshop, for example. You should choose an eye-catching but aesthetically pleasing font and a suitable, high-quality image from the video for the background.

7. Info cards and end screens:

Info cards and credits have been the new, mobile-compatible ways of not losing YouTube users after watching the video since the classic annotations were disabled. It is particularly useful for encouraging subscribers or comments, for example. You can also refer to the website, another video or the YouTube channel in general. As an accredited affiliate account you can even set “Merchandise” links to iTunes or other affiliate sites.

8. Interactions:

One last important topic that must not be forgotten is interaction. That is why you should include elements in the video, in the info cards or in the end screens (see above), the description or comments to encourage the audience to comment. You could, for example, ask direct questions to the users, vote on the content of upcoming videos, etc. An interaction, not a pure monologue, should be created. A user asks a question in the comments? Answer him as soon as possible. Someone applauds your video? Say thank you. Criticism should also be accepted. Once you have built up a fanbase, the interaction works better. And this rewards YouTube with a higher ranking in the search results.

Part 1 of the blog series “7 tips for successful Instagram marketing”

Part 2 of the blog series “5 tips for successful Facebook marketing”

Part 3 of the blog series “Take the Cake with 7 Twitter Tips”

Part 5 of our blog series “Converting YouTube Videos into Cash”


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