First, you may need to know that, in fact, YouTube launched a redesign.
It involves both an aesthetic and structural update meant to keep users more engaged and on the site longer. YouTube’s ultimate goal is most certainly to increase their (thus, Google’s) advertising revenue potential, but put your cynicism away, because the key is: It’s designed to keep users more engaged and on the site longer. That is what you really need to know.
Here are the 2 key changes to the site and why they should matter to you:
More emphasis on Channels and Subscriptions than just on individual videos
What Does This Mean? On the home page, users will now see handy channel categories helping them browse for content that interests them–even stuff they may not have considered being on YouTube. There’s also recommended channels, which is based on previous searches and views. And a customizable feed of new videos added by channels they subscribe to. Users can also connect from YouTube to Google+ and Facebook to see what theirs friends are sharing.
What Does This Mean For Your Business? YouTube currently reports 3 billion video views per day, which will start translating into lots more engaged viewers, with all the redesign alerts YouTube has all over the site. As video watchers start to more actively peruse content through YouTube’s cleaner structure, you need to take steps to get in front of them!
- Develop videos that you can upload on a fairly consistent basis: seasonal tips/motivation/ideas/inspiration, how-to’s on something your company produces, footage from events (especially great if you run a club, restaurant, or store and had customers in attendance–most people love seeing themselves and will share that content), footage of your company building a house for charity, even silly antics around the business.
- As with anything else, just keep your target audience front of mind, upload videos they’d want to see, and then stick to it. Consistency will be key staying in front of them.
Prettier, cleaner channels (that are also easier to manage)
What Does This Mean? The look of the channel page has been simplified, drawing more attention to the “subscribe” button. The previously buried “about” and other channel info now can’t be missed in its new spot in the upper right corner. The layout is also customizable now, giving a choice of 4 great “featured tab” templates. There’s a “search channel” bar that didn’t exist in the old version, and the new channel is generally easier to navigate.
What Does This Mean For Your Business? It’s now easier to represent your business and brand on YouTube the way you want to. So it’s therefore time to revisit your channel settings or finally create a channel for your business, if you haven’t already.
- Be sure to look at your Sharing and Connected settings–consider connecting your channel to your other social networks and set user capabilities on both YouTube and connected accounts (Let users comment on a video when viewing it on YouTube, but not when on Facebook?).
- Choose your “Featured Tab” template–If you have several playlists that are equally important to you, go with the “Blogger” layout that focuses more on playlists. If you have a hero video and several affiliated channels that you want to promote, choose the “Network” layout. There’s 4 terrific layout options, 1 of which will work for your specific business goals.
- Adjust your background image. The new Channel size is 970px wide versus 960px wide on the old, which appears to be close enough for your old background image to still work. But that’ll probably depend on the image you’re using. Plus, the graphic designers around my office probably just cringed at reading that, so be sure to examine how the image looks in the new design and resize accordingly. (And if you don’t already have a background image, why not? Might as well add some personality to your YouTube channel.)
If you hadn’t already been giving video attention; finding creative ways to integrate it into your marketing efforts, sprinkle engaging videos on relevant pages throughout your site, and curate a YouTube channel that gives customers another outlet to your brand, NOW is the time to start.