Part one in this two-part series can be found here.
Like most social networks, your ability to benefit from YouTube One Channel relies heavily on the level of involvement to which your firm is willing to commit. At a minimum, you should brand your channel and fully fill out all meta data, like titles and descriptions, so your videos will be correctly categorized and easy to find. YouTube is now using the title of your channel rather than your user name to display in search results, so make sure it is simple and relevant (and please, no keyword spam).
Here are some additional things you can do to maximize the benefit of your channel:
Take advantage of YouTube Analytics. Google has made a real effort to make YouTube’s analytics more useful by, among other things, adding charts that help you visualize how well your videos are performing. For smaller publishers, the charts allow you to compare how many people are watching certain videos, what people from different geographic regions are watching and how your viewers are reaching your videos. You can use this information both when creating new videos and organizing playlists.
Encourage subscriptions. People no longer have to be on your YouTube channel page to subscribe to your channel. You can embed a subscribe button directly on your site. Place a subscribe button with every video you embed, and consider adding it to your other social network links. Once people are subscribed to your channel, they will see your content on their YouTube home page, as well as on their tablets and mobile devices. This keeps you front of mind with little additional effort.
Take advantage of available editing tools. The editing tools YouTube now provides have been enhanced to the point of being actually useful. You can combine shorter videos or clips into one video, trim longer videos to a custom length and add music and other effects. Once you have created or edited a video, you can publish it automatically. You can also choose a custom video thumbnail, so you don’t have to display that shot of you with your mouth open and eyes closed that YouTube might pick by default. If you can, choose a thumbnail that is representative of the video as a whole.
Use annotations wisely. With annotations, you can link to an associated site from within your video. For example, if an estate planning attorney were describing the process of probate, he or she could link to a section of their own website about methods of avoiding probate or probate litigation – from within their YouTube video. Annotations give you the opportunity to direct your audience to the precise area in which they have already expressed interest while viewing your video.
Remember: Keep your interaction professional. Everything you do on YouTube is going to show up in your channel feed. Since your identity is known through your Google accounts, even if you are not acting in a professional capacity the comments you make on others’ videos will be displayed in your channel, unless you create additional profiles and Google+ accounts from which to log in. Interaction is good – it helps build community – and letting people in on a little of your personality could actually be beneficial. Just make sure it is constructive, even if not specifically related to the law.
If you are using videos in your marketing plan, you should consider taking the time to explore the new One Channel features. Google is giving publishers an opportunity to make more connections and have more reach with the revamped design and functionality.