YouTube Creator Playbook - For YouTube content creators

by Matt Byrom on 08 May 2012

YouTube PlaybookThe YouTube Creator Playbook is a brand new, tailor-made user guide for YouTube content creators. If you want to push your videos to more viewers, present your YouTube channel in an attractive format and improve conversions and optimisation, you’ll undoubtedly find it useful.

With the YouTube Creator Playbook by your side, you have access to tips, tricks and ideas to make your channel stand out. In issuing a new and improved set of content guidelines, YouTube are hoping to inspire video makers to put their best foot forward, create the best possible video content and use that content to shore up their marketing strategy.

First of all: what’s not in the YouTube Creator Playbook?

You won’t find any ‘how to get rich quick’ schemes in the YouTube Creator Playbook. It’s simply intended as a springboard; a collection of guides and ideas for video marketers. The document is designed to funnel creativity through a series of checklists and guidelines to ensure you’re using your content in the best possible way. There are also many sections on measuring stats and analytics to ensure your video is serving you as it should.

Each section is clearly ranked in terms of impact and time cost. And yes, some of these techniques involve a certain investment of time. The manual itself is a 91-page document, so this isn’t a quick fix resource. But the knowledge in the Playbook comes right from the heart of the YouTube team, so if there’s one resource you can rely on, it’s this one.

So what is in the YouTube Creator Playbook?

The YouTube Creator Playbook is broken down into easy-to-handle snippets on three main themes: ‘Programming and Producing’, ‘Publishing and Optimisation’ and ‘Community and Social Media’. The idea is that the document steps video marketers through the YouTube production lifecycle to make videos easy to understand, share and discuss. In turn, this boosts content visibility and loops back into your SEO. Content is presented as a PDF or a handy slideshow on the YouTube website, and you can watch example videos every step of the way.

It stands to reason that many people who make videos aren’t necessarily concerned about stats, but times are changing, and optimisation can only really be successful if you constantly measure the impact of your efforts. YouTube offer a wealth of analytics tools, and the Creator Playbook is keen to emphasise the importance of delving into those charts and graphs to see positive and negative influences on your channel’s traffic. Each subsection in the Playbook includes a detailed description of the analytics you’ll need to look at for the best results.

Programming and Producing

The tips in the first section of the main Creator Playbook describe ways to engage subscribers. Short and snappy introductions and hooks are important if you’re going to retain your core audience beyond the first few seconds of your video. YouTube suggest branding is placed later in the video so as not to ‘lose’ people early on.

The concept of a call to action is also well-covered, and the Content Playbook provides various ideas about ways to include those calls. You could call someone to subscribe to a channel, like a video or click an annotation in the video. Remember: you’re not allowed to give prizes for clicks, but you can use persuasive language and clever design to guide people in the right way.

You can also collaborate with other producers to interlink complimentary video marketing and ensure wider exposure to a shared audience.

In terms of your channel, users are more likely to respond if they’re given a rhythm or routine for new content. The Content Playbook suggests establishing a regular publishing schedule, almost like a TV show, to encourage frequent, habitual visits from fans. If an event is approaching, you can also try using the buzz around the event to theme your content, making it more likely that you’ll gain exposure in search, virally and on social media. YouTube call these ‘tent-pole events’.

Publishing and Optimisation

Optimisation is a term any website owner will be familiar with, largely thanks to the booming SEO industry. But it’s not just about Google rankings. The YouTube Creator Playbook rightly points out that YouTube is effectively the second largest search engine on the web, and it’s a search engine that’s often ignored by traditional SEO techniques. That presents an opportunity for video marketers.

Optimisation is especially important when creating video, as the majority of the relevant data can’t be indexed easily by search engines. The Creator Playbook says optimised, keyword-rich phrases should be used in your title, tags and description. When producing thumbnails, pick something relevant that catches the eye: a blurry, badly exposed snapshot never truly represents the topic at hand. Finally, consider creating playlists and video responses to collate similar videos and cross-promote them.

When publishing your video, it’s best to pay attention to keywords, annotations and optimisation techniques to ensure you’re giving it the best possible chance of being found in searches. When creating a channel, take care to optimise it for the best possible exposure.

Community and Social Media

Social media can make or break a marketing campaign, and many of the tips in the final chunk of the Creator Playbook are just as useful on the web as they are on YouTube. The basics are all here: set up social media profiles, use them, be professional and interact personally to build bridges with your fans.

Making people feel involved is a great way to utilise the power of the internet over traditional broadcast media, and it gives people that extra incentive to share videos with friends. Finally, if you know of any relevant blogs, offer your content to them as an exclusive: everyone wins, and the benefits to your conversion rate will speak for themselves.

Share your YouTube tips

So that’s the YouTube Creator Playbook in a nutshell, but is there anything we’ve missed? Post your favourite tips and tricks in the comments.

Video Marketing

Matt Byrom

Written by Matt Byrom

My name is Matt, I'm Managing Director of Wyzowl. That means I chat with customers and make sure everything is running smoothly in the office. I love our business and hope you enjoy our blog! :)