About a year ago, I wrote this post detailing a proper way to set up a Youtube channel for business. An update on top of the post warns visitors that the information is old since Youtube switched to new channel designs not long after the post was published. I thought it was a good idea to take the time to write a fresher post.
First off, if you are serious about spending some time on Youtube, I recommend you don’t shy away from using some of the features of a software such as the Tube Toolbox. This kind of software can help you build lists of targeted users in a jiffy. Don’t use the other automated features though, they’re pure evil.
Now that we have cleared this out, let’s get into the features on youtube.com and how I would recommend you set things up.
- Go on the settings tab and fill in the right info. Notice that you have a limited character count for tags, choose wisely.
- The “themes and colors” tab lets you customize the colors of your channel. The possibilities are limited there.
- In “Modules”, choose what fits you, but make sure you check the “other channels” box. This feature will make a box appear on your channel, within which you can link directly up to 15 other Youtube channels. This new feature (Youtube partners have had it for a while) makes it easier to explicitly position your channel in the millions of channels out there.
- The “videos and playlists” tab is the most important as it lets you control how your content shows on your home page. If you are not going to upload content, that’s fine, but you better make sure that you spend time favoriting videos and building playlists to have something interesting to show on your homepage. If you will upload content, do check the “my uploaded videos” box as well.
- Now go in the /settings page of your account, profile setup, and fill in as much as you can. You don’t have to fill in the favorite music/book/movie box if you’re a business, but do fill in the interests box with a bunch of strategic keywords. Also, don’t fill in a company’s name in the first/last name boxes, it tends to look kind of silly.
- In the “Privacy” section, I would recommend you agree to show your video’s statistics publicly – that is if you intend to upload videos. It’s additional information for visitors who need more details about your videos, so it increases interest.
- In “activity sharing”, you obviously want to share your Youtube activity with other networks. Be careful: Maybe there will be times when you will have a lot of activity on Youtube (like when you start subscribing to a whole bunch of different channels to get some subscribes back or something). You wouldn’t want that to pollute your Twitter feed. Brazilians, lucky you, Youtube lets you hook up your account directly to your Orkut account (#lucky).
- Very important, keep in mind that in the “manage account” tab lies the option that enables you to unlink your Youtube account from your Google account, in case you would like to pass ownership/management to somebody else…
- Before you start uploading videos, read the Optimizing your video uploads on Youtube: It will save you time post-prod.
- You can add subtitles to your videos, but technically you will have to provide the subtitles (Youtube has an automated subtitles feature, but it doesn’t seem active on all videos). Use CaptionTube to easily create captions for your Youtube videos.
- Annotations let you insert bubble boxes inside your videos, which can show a message, a link to another youtube property (channel, video, playlist), or even a “contact this user” link.
- Youtube doesn’t show it, but it has RSS feeds, and lots of them. My favorite is the RSS feed for a playlist: http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/playlists/50653251EDB4E764.
- Talking of playlists, they can also be used to select your own thumbnail on a Youtube video.
- If you want your video to show up in Google’s search results, the least you should do is blog about it (and preferably publish that blog post and upload that video simultaneously). Make the blog post at least 500 chars long.
- Youtube videos rank very well in Google’s SERPs. Pay attention to the title/description/tags of your videos, and same for the posts that contain your embeds.
At this point, your channel’s homepage should be setup. Hang on though, now you have to set up your account:
Now that we’ve set everything up, let’s look into a few things: