Once your video is finished uploading make sure you take the time to choose which of the 15 types of video categories is the best fit for your video. You also want to choose which of the 3 thumbnail photos YouTube makes available is the best representation of your video (users used to have more control over the thumbnail image but this capability was removed when many users started choosing inappropriate photos to encourage viewers to click on their video). You also need to choose your privacy settings from one of three options: public (anyone can see it, it will show up on your channel and in search results; this is recommended for anyone uploading a video for marketing purposes obviously), unlisted (the video can only be seen by someone who has the actual URL for the video; it won’t show up in your channel list or in search results), and private (only people you choose can view your video; they must be logged into YouTube to view the video and you invite them to view your video by email; limited to 50 users).
Remember to take advantage of community features that YouTube provides that help you build up your community on YouTube by giving viewers a chance to interact with you and others who are interested in your video. In the advanced settings, it is recommended that you choose the settings that allow for viewers to leave comments about your video and allow viewers to rate your video. It is also recommended in the advanced settings menu that you choose to allow your video to be embedded in other websites, and indicate the location and time of the video.
Copyright Considerations on YouTube
It is also recommended that you choose to allow your video to be viewed on mobile devices (iPads, iphones, android phones, etc.), which is increasingly where videos are being viewed more today. It’s important to note that your video may not show up on all mobile devices due to copyright or licensing issues, especially devices like iPhones and iPads that have the QuickTime video player that doesn’t allow for text ads to be shown over your video. This typically happens if you choose background music that you don’t have the rights to and YouTube only allows you to use the music with your video if YouTube has the ability to put a text ad on your video to generate revenue that can be shared with the record company that owns the rights to the song (1/3 of YouTube’s monetized views come from this source). Since the ad can’t be shown in QuickTime, the video won’t load on the mobile device (the viewer sees a statement that indicates that “The content owner has not made this video available on mobile”). If you don’t have the rights to the song and YouTube doesn’t have a deal with the record company that owns the rights, YouTube will either ban the video from being played in countries where it does not have licensing rights or allow your video to be viewed without the sound track. If you want to hear a sound track you need to either re-edit the movie with an acceptable music track and then re-upload it to YouTube or you can choose approved songs from YouTube’s AudioSwap library and change the music track directly on the YouTube site without having to re-upload the video. It is recommended that users, especially business users, only upload content (both visual and audio) that they know they have the rights to. YouTube’s copyright tool, Content ID, is constantly scanning both new and old content on the site to find what is copyrighted and then matching that content up to what YouTube should do with it based on deals with content creation companies that are constantly changing. While your video’s audio content may be acceptable at one point, you may find that at a later date YouTube determines that is not and may ban your video or take the audio away from a popular video that has many views and is an important part of your marketing strategy.
There are a large number of sites that are part of the Creative Commons, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works, including music, available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Common licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow artists to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefits of those who would like to use their content. Sites like ccMixter, jamendo, magnatune and others offer music published under Creative Commons flexible copyright licenses. If you choose to use content from one of these sites, it is expected that in your video or video description you will properly credit the musician and the track, as well as express the CC license the track is under. For example you might include text like this in the description of your video: This video features the song, XXX, by YYY, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. There are also sites like jewelbeat.com where you can purchase the rights to use a song or soundtrack at minimal costs (i.e. $1.00). Again, it is expected that you source the song in your video description back to its source (e.g., “Music from JewelBeat.com”).
Other Editing/Marketing Options Once Your Video is Posted on YouTube
In addition to being able to edit your soundtrack online while logged into your YouTube account, YouTube also provides the capability edit your video in other ways including rotating the video, cropping your video, choosing different image effects (black & white, cartoon and other effects), running a shaky video through an image stabilizer (be careful if you have titles in your video as they may not respond well to the stabilization process), adding captions and subtitles (helps if audio is not clear or understandable due to language considerations), and inserting annotations like speech bubbles, notes, and titles. YouTube doesn’t allow you to turn annotations into clickable links that direct visitors off of YouTube to your website but you can add calls to action such as clickable buttons that ask people to subscribe to your video, watch other videos on your channel or like your video. If you are willing to spend a little money, you can take advantage of the AdWords for Video program (formerly called Promoted Videos Program). If you sign up for this program, you can put a customized banner ad directly onto your video that will direct viewers to your website if they click on the banner. You can only take advantage of this option if you are signed up for the Google Adwords paid search program. However, you can take advantage of this feature even if you are only spending $1 per day in the Google Adwords program. Once you take the step of setting up a Google AdWords account, you may also want to start experimenting with promoting your website more broadly across the Internet by taking advantage of the full AdWords program, including accessing Google’s Display Network, which gives advertisers the opportunity to put an ad with a link to their website in front of visitors on thousands of content appropriate websites across the web.
Another free service that YouTube offers that can help your video perform better in Google’s search algorithms is the ability to upload a complete transcript of your video that YouTube will then synch with your video. The dialogue in your video will be incorporated into the search algorithm, increasing the chance that your video will be found. After creating your script, make sure to save it as .txt file. You can learn how to upload the script into your video by clicking on the Captions Button above your video.
Other “free” actions you can take to increase views of your video involve getting others to link to or embed your video in their websites, social network pages, and blogs. The more backlinks (or inbound links) to your video, the better it will do in Google’s search results.
Trackable Marketing on YouTube
One of the benefits of video marketing, especially on YouTube, is that it is trackable marketing. YouTube Analytics provides lots of data that can provide insights into the absolute and relative popularity of your video, demographics of the viewers watching your video, and where the viewers are coming from. Key data provided about your video provided by YouTube includes:
- Number of views across customizable timeframes
- Demographics of viewers (male/female, age ranges, country)
- Playback locations of your video (on YouTube, Embedded Player on other websites, including the names of the websites, Mobile devices)
- Breakdown of sources of traffic (Embedded players, Mobile, YouTube and Google Search, keywords used in the search)
- Audience Retention (Absolute Retention – how often each moment of your video is being viewed as a % of total views, Relative Retention – how well does your video retain viewers during playback by comparing it to all YouTube videos of similar length)
All of this data helps provide insights into how effective your video marketing program is on YouTube. If you choose to participate in the Google AdWords program, you will get access to additional analytics.
To learn more about video marketing on YouTube, we recommend two helpful books that go into much more detail about marketing opportunities in the YouTube ecosystem – YouTube For Business – Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller, and YouTube and Video Marketing – An Hour A Day by Greg Jarboe.