My 10 Favorite YouTube Features
If 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. 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…
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.
- Automatic Closed Captioning
After I learned from more than one source how much closed captioning enhances SEO, I add it to nearly all of my videos. And YouTube makes it easy by generating automatic closed captioning that you can edit.
- 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!
- 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…
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.)
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.
- 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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