25. Create your own compelling video thumbnail – The thumbnail is a quick snapshot that will represent your video on YouTube. In order to attract the most viewers, the thumbnail should be eye-catching. If your channel has been verified and is in good standing, you can (and should) upload your own custom image to make sure the thumbnail is as intriguing/exciting as possible. To upload your own custom thumbnail, click the “edit” button for the corresponding video in the Video Manager section of your account.
Shooting, editing, and producing videos has previously been a time-consuming and expensive venture that has seemed unattractive to many marketers. However, it’s now easier than ever before! With programs becoming more and more accessible, cheaper, and easier to use, people are finding themselves opening up to the idea of being both behind and in front of the camera.
In the above example, Zappos chose to title their video 5 Ways to Cuff Your Jeans! as a means of making viewers with style questions aware that Zappos is here to help style your clothing as well as offer some for sale. The title is more likely to be found by someone not searching for Zappos specifically, but more so for someone looking for help styling jeans. Zappos used the title of the video to help illustrate the video’s purpose of providing a service to viewers. In the end, helping bring the video in front of a relevant audience for Zappos.
The spotlight annotation acts similarly to the note annotation in that it allows you to link to various aspects of the YouTube network with or without text, but the only difference is it highlights a section of an existing video. Therefore, you can create aspects of your video that added with the spotlight annotation appear as custom links to your other YouTube assets. By placing the spotlight over a particular item within your video that section now acts a working link to other content.
YouTube is effectively the second largest search engine in the world (behind only Google). With video becoming more and more important (we even launched Buffer for video last week!), now is the perfect time to start optimizing your YouTube Channel and begin reaping the benefits of a strong video strategy, including connecting with new potential customers, getting a better search presence and building your brand.

By creating information-dense, accessible, easy-to-interact-with video content, brands can develop a substantial online following and promote customer recall. For an example of a company that’s done this particularly well, consider Headspace, a meditation app that became a $250 million business. The app offers multiple levels of meditation, employing gamification to increase engagement. Users must complete and master each meditation level before advancing. Most sessions are in video format, beautifully crafted with illustrations and layouts true to the brand. It is elegant, consistent and engaging, heavily relying on video.


Next, consider your audience and the overall mood for your production. Are you targeting a small audience that will appreciate the newest, underground hip-hop track, or do you need something that will appeal to many demographics? Are you creating a practical product tutorial or an upbeat event recap? Be sure to choose music that enhances the overall tone of your video.
Asking people to subscribe to your channel is a must-do — and yes, people will actually subscribe just because you ask! But if you give them a reason to, they’re even more likely to hit that red button. “Subscribe so you get my next video first!” or “My subscribers get exclusive content” and “Subscribe so you can enter my giveaway” are examples of language to try.

Any opportunity to showcase links to your other social networks, blogs, website etc is worth utilizing. With YouTube’s latest upgrade to the look and feel of the channel there’s new ways of displaying your other online properties. Many brands, like Oralbrush and Dell as seen below, choose to utilize the space about their channel at the top right of the dashboard as a place to link to their Twitter, Facebook, blog, website and other destinations of relevance to their YouTube audience. It also allows for a brief description of your channel which should be utilized with keywords and natural phrasing in mind, much like the optimization of your metadata above.
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