It seems that YouTube gets overlooked as a social network despite the fact that it is the most popular of the video sharing sites. (Vimeo is second.) In fact, seventy-two hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, but not enough of it is from marketers.
YouTube, like Google, has tons of free information to help your company succeed at online video. In fact, YouTube gives marketers everything they need to succeed as video creators. The good news is that they are constantly making changes to make the service better. The bad news is that it can be hard to keep up with all the changes.
Here are six tools and tips that will give you a chance to explore the tools that are available to you your company for social video and also help you make better decisions about your online video strategy.
1. Advertisers Playbook. This tool can help you build your business with YouTube, explaining the process from content creation to publishing. This document is great for a team that has been tasked with starting the video production process, especially since it helps to get everyone on the same page.
2. Creator Playbook. This document is less about how to create a video from start to finish and more about strategy and best practices. It has tons of information that you could use to convince your CEO that the company needs a video strategy.
3. Closed captioning. This is great for the hearing impaired, but it has other benefits. For instance, it allows Google to index your video more accurately. The big issue before captioning was available was that Google had to rely on keywords and other information in the video description, which unfortunately wasn't always correct. Now Google can better pair views with relevant content. It's just one more example of how important good video content is to succeed online.
4. YouTube's new focus on engagement. YouTube has changed its focus from clicks to engagement, meaning time spent on a channel is more important than clicks on a channel. So we as video creators need to increase our focus on quality content that people want to watch. It also provides a greater advertising opportunity because the longer people spend on the site, the more opportunity you have to show the advertising. This change is also more in line with the way Google ranks web pages. Long term, this could also help YouTube move towards being a replacement or a competitor in the TV world. Over the last few years, YouTube has invested money in creating content channels so it will be interesting to see where this goes in the future.
5. Annotations Analytics. This is another big change recently announced by YouTube. Annotations Analytics allow you to test the effectiveness of your annotations, which in turn can strengthen your goals. Annotations have often been overlooked, but they are just one more tool to help your video be more effective.
6. YouTube tools for nonprofit organizations. YouTubeoffers a plethora of tools to help nonprofits meet their goals. One of the newest is a digital thermometer that tracks contributions. Nonprofits can also track views or subscribers and allow people to view their contributions.
How will your company leverage the power of YouTube in the New Year?
This monthly Social Media and Video column is contributed by Jayson Duncan. Jayson is an Orange County, California filmmaker and owner of the video production company Miller Farm Media. In 2003, Jayson began using video to help others tell their stories through his video production company, Miller Farm Media. He has created videos for Fortune 50 companies. In his spare time Jayson enjoys playing his guitar, song writing, and spending time with his wife, Gretchin.