YouTube rolled out its new One Channel platform over the spring and early summer. By now, whether you have set up your channel or not, any YouTube accounts you have should have long been converted to the new design. With the changes, Google is attempting to make the site more of a subscription based destination, rather than a video hosting site. As the name implies, all users now have a channel to which others can subscribe, and additional ways of promoting their channel. The new design and functionality also provide more opportunities for engagement and community building.
Since Google is providing you with several new tools, it is worth the effort to understand how they can help your firm. Here are some things you can do to take advantage of One Channel:
Choose the right banner and channel avatar. Responsive design has come to YouTube. The One Channel design is similar to the Google+ layout in that it allows you to upload a channel banner and an avatar, and it adjusts the banner to display differently on different screen resolutions. There are many templates available online that show the live banner area for various screen sizes. Pick a professional photo, and make sure any colors or fonts used in the banner are consistent with your firm's branding. Your banner won't buy you automatic groupies, but clip art is still a turn-off.
Create playlists. Playlists allow you to group relevant sets of videos together, making it easier for users to find helpful information. The new design displays playlists more prominently to the side of the currently playing video, and a well-thought out playlist can help keep subscribers interested. Playlists also help categorize videos by practice area or type of video (question answer, testimonial, etc) and can actually allow for more diversification within a channel. You can upload and separate items like video taken at a community event from informational content provided specifically by the firm, both of which are relevant to your subscriber and client base.
Disable related channels. To the right of your page, on your public profile, there are two areas that showcase featured content and related content. You can choose what is shown in the featured channel box. YouTube decides what related channels will display according to what their algorithms determine to be similar content. Because it is very likely that the related channels will highlight links to your competitors' videos, YouTube allows you to disable this widget.
Make your content about your viewers. As with all social networks, content that is mostly self-serving or salesy in nature receives the least attention and engagement. Try to follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60 percent of what you post should entertain, 30 percent should inspire and 10 percent should in some way try to directly sell or promote your services. People watch videos and TV online to avoid commercials, not seek them out.