My 10 Favorite YouTube Features

My 10 Favorite YouTube Features

YouTube Top 10If you’re like most peo­ple, when you think of YouTube, you think: “it’s a place to watch and upload videos,” and not much more. You’ve seen how the inter­net mar­ket­ing lead­ers have been using videos every­where: their blogs, their social media chan­nels, and even their email.

Won­der­ing if you should jump in with videos for your busi­ness? Con­sider this:

YouTube is cur­rently the 2nd largest search engine; it gets 1 bil­lion vis­i­tors monthly; and 6 bil­lion hours of video are viewed every month.[1] Those are some good rea­sons to give it a try.

Let me share with you some fea­tures that YouTube has that I really like, and maybe you’re unaware of them…

  1. Enhance­ments
    If your video is too dark or too light, or if it is too shaky, check out the enhance­ments area where YouTube can “aut­ofix” these chal­lenges. I was amazed when it turned my client’s video from so dark that it was unwatch­able to a sat­is­fac­tory video with excel­lent con­tent. Impressive.
  2.  Auto­matic Closed Cap­tion­ing
    After I learned from more than one source how much closed cap­tion­ing enhances SEO[2], I add it to nearly all of my videos. And YouTube makes it easy by gen­er­at­ing auto­matic closed cap­tion­ing that you can edit.
  3. YouTube Chan­nel links to your Google Plus Page
    If you link your YouTube Chan­nel to your Google Plus Page (not to be con­fused with your G+ pro­file), it adds a rather nice video tab on your G+ Page  with thumb­nails of your videos. Like!
  4. Cus­tom Thumb­nails
    Cus­tom thumb­nails enable you to cre­ate a cus­tom video cover image. With­out it, you’re stuck with those “eyes closed” and “mouth open” shots. Your YouTube account needs to be ver­i­fied and in good stand­ing first…
  5. Mon­e­tize
    After you become a YouTube Part­ner, you’re eli­gi­ble to mon­e­tize your video. That’s right — you get paid for allow­ing oth­ers to adver­tise on your video. We’re not talk­ing much money (think piggy bank), but men­tally it’s fun to be earn­ing a lit­tle rather than hav­ing to pay for a busi­ness service.
  6. Loads in Pri­vate Mode
    This is a lit­tle thing, but it had to be on my top-10 list. When I first upload a video, the default view­ing mode is pri­vate so that oth­ers can’t see it yet. I really like being able to opti­mize and enhance my video before oth­ers see it.
  7. Ana­lyt­ics
    YouTube made their ana­lyt­ics so user-friendly (I know that’s an oxy­moron for some peo­ple.) The lay­out is very clear, and at just a glance, you can really see what’s going on. Well done YT.
  8. Title has 70 Char­ac­ters
    You have 70 char­ac­ters to name your video. The length works for me — I’ve never had to strug­gle to shorten the length. (I can’t say the same for a tweet.)
  9. SEO
    YouTube is very effi­cient at bring­ing appro­pri­ate traf­fic to my chan­nel. Accord­ing to one of my favorite info­graph­ics, the fol­low­ing helps your video SEO: a) num­ber of views; b) title; c) descrip­tion; and d) rat­ings. Stated another way, opti­miz­ing in a way that is con­gru­ent with your video con­tent works.
  10. Con­tin­u­ous Improve­ment
    YouTube is con­tin­u­ously adding new, awe­some fea­tures. I haven’t yet explored using the music they pro­vide or played around with their video edi­tor. Maybe I bet­ter rethink that… with a built in edi­tor, we may not have excuses for our on-camera blunders. 😉

Not-so-favorite fea­tures — Although for the most part I think YouTube is great, there are a few things that could be improved…

My pet peeves include:

Not easy to nav­i­gate: They move things around a bit, so some­times it is hard to find what you’re look­ing for. I’m lost in there a lot of the time, and it doesn’t help that because I have both a G+ pro­file and G+ page that chang­ing back and forth between those per­sonas can add to the confusion.

Mon­e­ti­za­tion is clunky: I didn’t find the process of mon­e­tiz­ing my chan­nel easy. It took some time fig­ur­ing it all out and there was some back and forth between Google AdSense and me. Per­haps it is eas­ier now…

Over­all, cre­at­ing videos for your small busi­ness can be fun and very reward­ing. It takes some time at first, but it can bring a lot of traf­fic to your website/blog and social media chan­nels. Give it a try or let me know how it’s going for you!

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