How to boost your YouTube channel’s recognition using new intro videos

YouTube has just launched a new feature which enables you to add  a three second intro video to your YouTube videos.

YouTube logoYou can select whether to add this to all your videos or just a selection. The aim is you can more easily build a consistent brand your fans will recognise.

It only takes three easy steps to set up and you can read more about this here.

How to get a Google Plus Hangout on Air to play on a new style YouTube One Channel

YouTube logoIf you’ve upgraded to a new style YouTube One channel, the process for getting a Google Plus Hangout on Air to play on your YouTube channel has become a bit more convoluted. It is hoped Google will eventually make this simpler.

With the old style YouTube channels you could start a Google Plus Hangout on Air, click Start Boradcast, and there it would be,  immediately visible on your YouTube channel.

Firstly a couple of background points

1. What do I mean by a new YouTube One channel?
It’s a new, improved channel layout which YouTube are now offering to all  users.  I’ve done a blog post on this with more information.

2. What is a Google Hangout?
This enables you to connect with other users using video. A Hangout on Air enables you to stream the hangout direct to your YouTube channel. This can be handy for notifying people about the hangout. For example “Go to my YouTube channel at 6pm to see the live broadcast”.

Here are the steps to get a Google Plus Hangout to play on your YouTube channel

My thanks to social media expert Jonathan Pollinger of Intranet Future who alerted me to this solution.

1. Go to Google Plus and click the Start a New Hangout button, top right hand side of the page.


2.Choose the names of the people you want to join the hangout and give it a name.

Click on the box to add names, or alternatively make it public.


Make sure you tick the Enable Hangouts on Air box.


3. Start the hangout and click the Embed button at the top of the screen. Copy the YouTube URL to your clipboard.


4. Go to your YouTube channel and hover your mouse to the right of your channel trailer and click Change Trailer.  Paste in the YouTube URL from Step 3.  The  Google Plus hangout will now replace your existing trailer.


5. Now, when you’re ready to go live,  go back to  Google Plus and click the Start Broadcast button.


6. Your hangout will now play on your YouTube channel and will be saved as a video once it had ended.

7. Remember to change your YouTube channel trailer at the end of the hangout, back to what it was before, if that’s what you want.

Phew! I told you it was convoluted didn’t I? If you know a simpler way, do let me know in the comments below!

Intranet FutureIf you need more help on Google Plus Hangouts, or anything to do with social media, please contact  Jonathan Pollinger of Intranet Future. I highly recommend him.

How to measure video audience retention using YouTube analytics

YouTube  has recently introduced a massive improvement to their video analytics. This brings some powerful benefits if your business has videos on YouTube.

You can now monitor how long people watched your videos for.

It’s all very well saying your video got 800 views but what if those viewers stopped watching part way through thus missing out on your key message?

Now you can play the video and view a graph showing exactly which proportion of the audience were watching at any given time. See the example below.

How to view your audience retention

  1. Go to and logon to your account.
  2. Click “audience retention” on the left hand side bar.
  3. Then choose your video beneath where it says “content”.
  4. Choose your date range.
  5. Play the video and the red vertical bar will move.

Note: This will only work for videos with more than a few hundred views.

Three tips on how to use this to your advantage:

  1. Analyse where the drop off occurred. What specific content caused people to tune out?
  2. Was your video too long? Could you have got your key messages across in a shorter video?
  3. Use the results to work out what you could do differently next time you produce a video.

Here is an example of the audience retention measure. As you play the video in your YouTube account the vertical bar moves across.


How to use YouTube annotations as a marketing tool

A YouTube annotation is a caption that is added after you’ve uploaded your video. It could be a promotional message or a link to another of your videos.

If used wisely and sparingly, annotations can work as a powerful marketing tool.

YouTube annotation exampleHere’s an example I set up for East Glos Club. They’ve had a promotional video on their site for some time and the club was holding an open day. >>

I simply added an annotation which appeared on the video at 00:12 seconds and again at 00:50.

It appears this quickly to ensure people see the message soon after video has started.

In this case the annotation is quite large but it was only going to be on the video for a month so we were not too bothered about this!

It is possible to make the annotations smaller to avoid the viewer becoming distracted. You can also link the annotation to another YouTube video. Below is a good example on the viral video “Charlie Bit my Finger”. They’re promoting a new video and also an iPhone app.

EDIT: If you want to get really creative, Suraj Sodha of Rapid Leverage Marketing has a great video tutorial on how to add an interactive “outro” video  to an existing YouTube video.

If you need some help on adding annotations to your YouTube videos do get in touch.

YouTube annotation

New YouTube Capture app films and shares videos instantly

YouTube has just launched a new free app for iPhone and iPod touch.

The app complements the existing YouTube iPhone app by simplifying the upload process and enabling easy social sharing to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. There are also features to enhance videos with colour correction and image stabilising. You can even add music from a pre-determined list of tracks and there’s some basic editing functionality with a trim function.

YouTube Capture is ready to record as soon as you open it. This is quicker than using the built in iPhone camera app where you have to switch between stills or videos.  Videos recorded on YouTube Capture are saved to the camera roll.

When you’ve finished filming  filming, write a caption, select which networks you want to share to, and hit Share. Even if you minimize the app, the video will keep uploading in the background. You can control who sees your video by setting it to private, unlisted (only people with a link to the video can view it), or public.

Another feature I really like is that YouTube Capture will remind you to rotate your phone to a horizontal position for filming. This avoids ghastly vertical videos being uploaded to YouTube!

YouTube Capture is available in the Apple App Store and there’s more information here. YouTube say they’re working on an Android version.



How to improve your SEO with a You Tube channel

YouTubeCreating a YouTube channel for your business is a great way of expanding your “e-footprint” and boosting your SEO (search engine optimisation).

Here are some tips on how improve your SEO using You Tube.

1. Ensure your video title is descriptive and contains key words.
For example your business name, location and what you do along with the product or service featured in the video.

2. In the video description include a link to your website and keywords.
Again include the keywords and repeat them. For example if your video is about how to choose a tennis racket, weave that phrase into the description at least two or three times.
Top tip: Ensure you include the http:// bit in your website address otherwise it won’t be clickable. Eg.

3. In the tags section include no more than 10-15 phrases including variants.
So for a video on choosing a tennis racket also include the alternative spelling of “racquet”. And just as you do for website keywords include phrases of two words of more in inverted commas, eg “tennis racket”.

4. Drive traffic to your channel.
The more views your channel gets the higher the impact on SEO. Mention your channel wherever you can and give people a reason to click through. Mention it on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, web forums and in your email signature.

I recently created a series of tennis coaching tips for East Glos Club. Below is an example of how one of the videos appears in a YouTube search at position number two.  This is due to implementing all the above.

YouTube SEO

YouTube: How to add customised thumbnails to your videos

What we mean by a customised thumbnail is the still image which displays before the video is played.  The problem is those images might not be what you want to illustrate your video, particularly if you want to use your branding.

YouTube customised images

Now YouTube has made it possible to upload your own still image for your videos.Until now YouTube gave you a choice of just three images to choose during the upload process, like the example on the right >

Here’s how to set up a customised thumbnail

1. In your YouTube account select Video Manager.

2. Find the video you want and choose Edit. Example below.

 YouTube customised images

3. You’ll then see an option for Customised Thumbnail. Example below.  Nb. This option only becomes available when the uploaded video has finished processing.

YouTube customised images

4. Click and upload your chosen image.
The maximum file size is 2Mb. The recommended minimum width is 640 pixels but for HD videos you could go up to 1920 pixels wide. You also need an image which is 16:9 (widescreen) resolution. To calculate the image height multiply your image width by 0.5625.

5. You can change the customised thumbnail any time by repeating the above steps.