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How to Get the Most Out of YouTube (from Charity Comms)

September 30, 2011

I was recently at an event, Charity Comms, talking about games.  One of the other sessions I attended after was about how to get the most from YouTube, run by a couple of guys from Google.  Now video is an interesting area (I co-wrote a book about video and the internet) and it has, with the proliferation of cameras and easy-to-use software, become a much more common communications currency.  I can only see this trend continuing; so as with written text going from an almost mystical art reserved for the few to a mass tool for everyday use, so technology is allowing the same progression for audio and video.   I thought I’d share my notes from that session in how to get the most out of YouTube as an organisation/content creator…

  • If you’re a charity you can get the free account upgrade that normally costs $40K.  This allows a number of helpful tools, including the ability to put ‘call to action’ links into your videos for uses to respond to.
  • Pay attention to the comments and user feedback.  YouTube gets lots of comments and you should be taking part in those conversations with users.
  • Google+ now allows you to broadcast a Hang Out via YouTube.  This is a video meeting of up to 10 people, but you can broadcast the whole thing to a larger audience.  Good for debates and discussions.
  • Short is often better; YouTube is primarily a short film platform and works best as this.  The average video length uploaded to YouTube is 3.8 minutes.
  • React fast; as well as being about short film, YouTube is about immediacy. When events happen – respond!  (This also looks to the point I raised at the start about video becoming a common currency.)
  • Always customise your channel.  If you’ve got it upgraded, there is a lot you can do.  If not you can still change the colours etc.  All worth doing.
  • Create playlists!  These are lists of vidoes put into an order.  They don’t have to be your uploaded films, they can be from anywhere on YouTube, so are a great way of creating content for your channel.  I’ve been experimenting with it and it is easy to do.  Here’s one I created on Gamification.
  • Thank you videos: If there is a page where somebody donates, buys something, performs an action – at the end page that confirms the transaction, why not embed a ‘thank you’ video of somebody from your organisation thanking them for their help/interest?

Hope the information is of some help!

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