Across the Youniverse: It’s the thought that counts…and the gift…and the wrapping paper….

Happy Holidays, fellow YouTube noobs! As many of you may recall, I recently dipped my toes into the massive, swirling virtual whirlpool that is YouTube SEO blogs (and if you don’t recall, you can read it here).


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So many tips! So many tricks! What’s a guy to do?


Well, as a helpful holiday present, I’ve taken the liberty of searching through the 10.2 million results for “driving traffic to YouTube channels” (or at least the first few pages – after that, Google gets…weird) and putting the most talked about tips to the test on our own YouTube page.


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We’re getting there…slowly, but surely.

So, here’s the second most common tip, and it’s a perfect one for the holiday season:


Tip # 2: Put a freaking bow on it


I love giving gifts, but I have to admit when it comes to wrapping them, my particular style is less “perfectly-cut ribbon-cascaded Pinterestworthy art piece” and more “tied up plastic Wal-Mart bag.“


Hey, at least I recycle.


Point is, for me, the thought was what counted – not keeping Hobby Lobby in business by making that thought look pretty. However, when it comes to YouTube pages, packaging matters. Banners, icons, playlists, featured videos – there are plenty of ways to fugly your page up if you’re not paying attention. Fixing this may not provide immediate results, but over the long term, a clean, user-friendly page will (according to the advice I’ve read) make your brand look more legitimate, encourage subscribers – and keep viewers from clicking somewhere else out of embarrassment.


Let’s go through and correct some of the highlights (lowlights?) on the esd page, shall we?


It almost looks like a bow 


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The first one is the most obvious – that darned blue box and triangle background pattern. Nothing screams, “I’m not serious about this!” like default banner patterns. If you’re a business, grab a logo, a banner, ANYTHING and throw it in there. Then, refine it over time.


In our case, I added the logo to the G+ page controlling our YouTube page (OMG, don’t get me started on G+…that’s a whole ‘nuther blog series).


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Generic blue box, be gone!


I then had Brandon from our graphics department whip up a banner to fit the proportions on the image prompt screen (graphics departments are awesome, are they not?)


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WE LOVE TO TYPE IN CAPS (except for our logo ((except for when it’s our YouTube name)))


Oh, and while I was at it, “CreativeESD”, while true, probably won’t get many search results for people looking for “esd and associates”, so I changed that, too. I also went into the “links” section and added the company Facebook and Twitter pages to increase our interconnectivity with our other pages.


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That’s some nice wrapping paper!

What child/cat video is this?

If the banner is the bow in our little holiday YouTube analogy, then playlists are the wrapping paper. A good playlist can make your video stand out, not just on your page, but to other pages with similar searchable themes. Without them, your perfectly targeted video might as well be lost in the Land of Misfit Thumbnails.


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Now where’s that abominable snowman video?


Say I’m a cancer patient who found my way to the site through a link to one of our video testimonials for the Alamo City Cancer Council, and I wanted to know more. Our ACCC videos are right there at the top of the page, but I’d have to click on each one of them to see them – unless, of course, they were in a playlist. Say I’m starting a new fitness regime and I’m looking for some inspiration. Looking at this mess, it would take me way to long to realize that there are multiple testimonials about the YMCA just a click away. Say I love to watch silly cat videos. There’s a bunch of ‘em on our site, but cat lovers searching for silly office cat antics would never get there with a video named “It’s Bath Time!


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So fresh and so clean!


Enter the playlist. Now, with our videos grouped in easy to read “cat-egories”, users can watch what they want en masse, get suggestions on similar videos in their sidebars, and generally not have to play “find the video” from the home page. It’s a way for videos that don’t get a lot of love to team up with more popular videos to find viewers who would enjoy them. It’s also just nicer to look at – like using double-sided tape inside the edges of the paper to keep the tape from mucking up the nice, clean edges of your gift (or at least, that’s how my mom does it).


It’s the vlog that counts


But as important as it is for your gift to look nice, there’s only so much you can do to jazz up a pair of work socks. Content is still important. That’s why your best content should be highlighted on your page’s channel trailer.


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Thankfully, I happened to have a perfect, timely holiday-themed trailer available. It’s not a minute or less, but I think it gets the job done.


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Our costume budget was just sliiiightly less than Disney’s.


Whew! There we go – a new icon, banner, page name, links section, playlist menu, and to top it all off, a funny, timely trailer to catch the eyes of potential subscribers. All that’s left to do is start promoting our new-look page and trailer on the web with the skills we learned from Tip #1. Let’s do that, give it a few days, and see if all this pretty paper makes a difference.


Until then, have fun updating your pages, subscribe to ours – and may the Force be with you!

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