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Do's and Don'ts for YouTube Publishers

Here are some dos and don'ts for leveraging YouTube as a distribution platform.

Even though YouTube boasts eye-popping overall viewership stats, including a staggering one billion unique users per month, simply posting your videos on YouTube won’t help you leverage the platform to its fullest extent. Here are some dos and don'ts for using YouTube as a distribution platform.

Be an Active YouTuber

The first thing I always recommend is to be an active YouTuber. People forget that YouTube is a social media channel. You want to make sure that you're being active, and regularly posting fresh content. In this day and age, that means uploading 1-2 videos per week. If you can't do that consistently, then make sure that you're posting strategically. Make sure that you are timing your videos. Going back to the editorial calendars (as discussed in Part 1), make sure that you're timing your videos to coincide with product launches, industry trade shows, and any other events that can help generate buzz around that video.

Create Original Content

You also want to make sure you're creating original content for YouTube. Your fans are going to appreciate this. It's good to repurpose content, but make sure that you're adding interactive elements. Make sure that you're encouraging people to comment on your video, to share your video, and maybe even post their own video.

Participate in the Community

Also, with YouTube, being active means not only uploading your own content and keeping it fresh, but being involved in the YouTube community. What I mean by this is making sure that you're going out and liking and engaging with other videos that may be complementary to your brand and to your company. If a viewer is watching that other video that you're commenting on and they're not exposed to what your brand is about, that's a great way for them to learn what you're doing. Just by being active and being out there, you can draw people to your own content.

Optimize Your Channel

You also want to make sure that you're optimizing your channel, which includes everything from thumbnails to playlist to annotations. You want to make sure that you're giving people an easy user experience on your channels.

Part of this is creating thumbnails in a deliberate way. A thumbnail is a short preview of what your video is about, so you want to make sure that you're taking the time to create something that's going to really tell the story and show what your video is about. A lot of casual YouTube users don’t know this, but YouTube does, in fact, allow you to create and upload your own thumbnail. Make sure you're taking the extra minute to do that and using a thumbnail or a picture that's going to really catch people and draw people in.

Create Playlists

It’s also important to organize your YouTube content effectively by creating a playlist. You want to make sure that you have content that's curated and easy for people to find. Keeping viewers on your page longer is going to contribute more to your marketing strategy.

Schedule Your Videos

Another important aspect of being a successful YouTuber is scheduling your videos. Recently, YouTube made it possible to schedule the publication of your videos ahead of time. We do this with a client called CherylStyle. They produce videos on DIY crafts and dependable recipes for the family. We started producing videos with them that followed an editorial calendar, so we would produce several videos way ahead of time. Rather than just letting these videos live on our systems, we actually went through and scheduled all of them and we found some really impressive results.

Probably 90 to 95% of the related videos that come up when you play CherylStyle videos on YouTube are their own videos. Only YouTube knows for sure, but my theory is that when you go through and schedule a video, even though it may not be a public video, because you're sharing it and it's living on YouTube, their algorithms are crawling it and they're able to process and determine what other related videos are going to come up with that video. By scheduling it and having it up there for a few weeks, even though it’s not published yet, you can get some really incredible results in terms of the related videos that come up next to your video, which again leads to sustained engagement and more visibility for your brand.

Link to Your Network

Another big deal with YouTube is linking to your network. YouTube allows you to link to your other social media channels. It allows you to associate a website. One example of how this approach can be used effectively comes from a company called Video Creators, which has associated their YouTube channel with a website where they can actually raise funds for the things that they're doing. YouTube allows for that, so make sure you're associating your website and driving action when somebody is done watching your video, whether it’s driving them to your site, driving them to a sign-up sheet where you can get a lead or get more information, linking to a page where they can buy a product you just described or reviewed or unboxed, or just keep them coming back for more.

Embedding YouTube Videos

If you're using YouTube as your sole platform, then you want to make sure that you're embedding your YouTube videos on your site. This approach is huge not only for SEO; it's also great for other partner sites or complemented brands to be able to embed that video on their site, just to get your brand exposed to new audiences. Make sure that you're embedding.

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