In our recent series we told you how to use YouTube to promote your business. Now let's discuss the recent changes that the Cupertino gang has made to the incredibly popular video social network and see how they affect you.
There are three significant pieces to your channel that have been changed, and while you may not have been forced over to the new format yet, it's coming.
The trailer option is actually a pretty nice feature, although (as pointed out in numerous forums) an unnecessary one except in one aspect. It allows you to record a video which could be considered the introduction to your channel, so when you set this up remember to keep it short and sweet but packed with relevant information.
A trailer is essentially the same as a movie trailer. It's like a commercial for your channel, a way to build interest and attempt to sway viewers to subscribe. The trailer will only be shown to viewers who have not subscribed to your channel, so it will not be an annoyance to users who come regularly to your channel.
This is your banner. The downside to this feature is that the customization options that were available before to make your channel page unique and let you flex your creative muscles are gone. This has been widely discussed in Google forums and generally poo-pooed by the loyal and hardcore crowd.
There are two advantages to the new layout, however, even if you think the tons of white space on the new page make for a bland and conformist look. First, if you are new to the game and setting up your channel for the first time, it is much easier to do and lets you play with the experts right out of the gate. Second (and ostensibly the reason for the move), it's a responsive design banner, meaning that it will display well and uniformly on desktop/laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Again, a level playing field with the designers who have had to spend lots of time in the past accomodating for the different devices.
This shouldn't affect you much as a marketer, but it's a nice feature change for the viewers and will help subscribers to your channel get to your riveting videos quicker. The guide for channels is now sticky, meaning less searching and more clicking through for the viewers.
If you look through the YouTube forums, you will find that the changes in layout are widely, um, not-liked by the faithful long-timers. For a small business looking to make their mark however, Google may have just given you a gift that you can't afford to pass up.
Google's analytics tool has also been made easier for admins to access with the new design, which is a good thing if you are tracking your success on the site. If you are a business, this is something you should definitely be doing, or you are just playing with a hobby. If you want to get an even better handle on your social media ROI though, you should really be using a full fledged dashboard to track your engagement across all of your online platforms.