A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the right video can be worth a lot more than that! And as the second largest search engine in the world, lagging only behind the almighty Google, YouTube is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to video. You’d be foolish to ignore the incredible potential and opportunity that can be unlocked by publishing videos on YouTube.
Just as there are innumerable tactics and techniques for improving your search rankings in Google, the exact same thing can be said about getting your videos ranked in YouTube. Today’s post doesn’t talk about that directly. Instead, it’s about what you can do to maximize the benefit once a new viewer comes along and watches one of your videos. How can you capture them? How can you retain them?
While the two features being described in today’s post aren’t exactly new, I’m still boggled by the number of so-called YouTube experts and professional Internet marketing folk who aren’t taking advantage of these features. If you don’t already have these features enabled, you need to enable them right now.
On your blog, you are likely utilizing some strategies to reduce your bounce rate and to keep readers on your site for as long as possible. You want them to read your related posts. You want them to browse through your archives. YouTube is no different.
Whenever you watch a video on YouTube, you are usually presented with a list of related videos along the sidebars. You may also be presented with related videos at the conclusion of whatever you’re watching. To help keep people watching your videos (and not the ones published by other people), you’ll want to use a feature called “Featured content.”
In effect, this puts a clickable thumbnail in all of your videos that will then direct the person to watch another video from your channel.
To activate this feature, log into your YouTube account, click on your profile picture in the top right corner and choose Creator Studio, assuming that you are logged into the right account and channel.
After that, click on “Channel” from the resulting navigation sidebar on the left. This opens up a sub-menu for additional options. Choose “Featured content” from this resulting list.
Once here, click on the “Feature content” blue button. This will bring up a dialog where you can choose between your most recent upload and the option to choose a specific video or playlist. After that, you can choose to have the thumbnail displayed at the end of the current video with optimized timing or at a custom start time. It’s up to you.
Be sure to click the blue “Update” button when you’re done to save the changes.
The other feature that you’ll want to enable is called “Branding” and it places a logo watermark on your videos. Yes, you can add watermarks yourself through your own video editing software, but you unlock two added bonuses with the YouTube option.
First, when a user hovers over your logo watermark, he or she will then be shown the name of your YouTube channel and the number of subscribers that you have. Second, if the user clicks on your logo, he or she will then be sent to your YouTube channel page. You can use this page to promote your other social media, additional videos and playlists, and so on.
Enabling this feature is very similar to enabling the featured content thumbnail. On the same Creator Studio page, click on “Branding” underneath the “Channel” section in the left navigation sidebar. Click on “Add a watermark” to bring up the dialog box.
YouTube recommends that the logo you upload has a transparent background and only uses only color. I personally have a two-color logo and I think it works just fine. They recommend a file format of PNG or GIF with a maximum file size of 1MB. Upload and save accordingly.
Next, you can pick to have your watermark displayed at a custom start time, at the end of the video or throughout the entire video. If you’re going to have your featured content at the end of your video, you probably don’t want to pick the same for your branding watermark too. Click the blue “Update” button to save and you’re ready to go.
Will these two features miraculously boost your YouTube subscriber and view count numbers into the astronomical range? Probably not, but not enabling these features could seriously hurt your performance and you’d be foolish not to activate them.