February 18th, 2015
YouTube is an essential part of getting a label and artists’ catalog out to fans who are searching for music. The service is always rolling out additional channel features that help connect fans to channels and encourages them to become subscribers. Here are four simple, instant updates to try out, no matter where you are in the release cycle process.
Create a Custom Banner – and Keep it Updated
Make sure your banner is updated with the latest album branding, press photo and relevant info – use it as a place to highlight the pre-order, release day or tour dates. YouTube recently changed its banner and profile photo specs to better accommodate sizing across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms. Head to YouTube’s Channel Banner Specs site for details. Be sure to test out your banner on multiple platforms, including several computer monitors, to be sure text or photos aren’t cut off by resizing or the profile picture.
Set Your Channel Trailer
YouTube has a new feature called the Channel Trailer that acts as a welcome video, with the goal to convert viewers into subscribers. When you enable the Browse Tab in channel settings, only non-subscribers will see this trailer. A compelling channel trailer is the most engaging way of introducing your channel, and encouraging your viewers to subscribe, so they’ll make you part of their YouTube habit. If you can’t create a custom trailer, sub in your most recent piece of content – a new single streamer, an official music video or similar video that will quickly relay the band’s vibe and sound to a new listener. Be sure whatever video is placed here has a compelling description, as the links and info will show prominently within the trailer space – place in buy links, social links, etc.
Set Your Channel’s Fan Finder Video, InVideo Programming and Watermark
Free ad space is awesome – and YouTube offers every channel the opportunity via its Fan Finder. Once you set the Fan Finder video, YouTube will run that video in unused ad spaces before other videos on the site, similar to the service’s TrueView ad platform. Set the video to be something representative of the band, similar to the channel trailer. The video will link to the channel to encourage new subscribers, and you can keep track of how many views and subscribers you receive via this program.
Similarly, YouTube also allows for InVideo Programming. This allows you to set a single video to appear as an automatic annotation across all channel videos – similar to when you’re watching a TV channel like ABC and a promotion for an upcoming TV show appears in the bottom corner. Set the latest official video, single premiere, etc. to boost views and drive viewers to your most important, current content.
Lastly, brand all of your videos instantly and easily with an automatic upload watermark. YouTube allows you to set a logo or photo that will appear in the top right corner of all uploaded content and link to subscribe to the channel. Just remember to edit around this.
Organize your videos into playlists to feature on your channel homepage, share with your audience, or promote to potential new subscribers. This is especially helpful when similar content needs to be organized such as a “series” or streamers of an album, similar to the examples found at Sawyer Sessions channel. Playlists are organized on the channel’s homepage, and can be created using videos uploaded to the channel or other videos available on YouTube. Make sure to fill out playlist descriptions, using calls to action such as buy links or tour dates. Be sure to organize them in terms of relevance – the most important content and playlists should be the first things viewers see.
Of course, there are many more ways to optimize your channel’s reach and engagement. Want to know more? Contact your project manager, who can share the full YouTube 101 primer we’ve created.
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