Recently, Ryan Nugent, an audience development strategist at YouTube, announced the launch of the second version of the YouTube Creator Playbook, which compiles important tips, best practices, and strategies to build greater audiences on YouTube.
I had been given an advanced copy a week earlier, which gave me time to analyze the latest version of the Creator Playbook in time to present my findings at one of the Express Clinics at SES London 2012 last Wednesday, the day before Version 2 was announced on the YouTube Blog.
As I told attendees in the Expo Hall at the The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, the update to the Creator Playbook reminded me of the “Kirk Beats Khan SCENE - Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan MOVIE (1982) – HD,” when Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) provides Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) with his analysis of the military tactics being used by Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), “He’s intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.”
The two dimensions that v1.0, v1.5, and version 2 of the YouTube Creator Playbook all cover very intelligently are content and audience. The third dimension that is missing: advertising.
YouTube Creator Playbook Version 2 compiles 15 important tips that will help you build your audience on YouTube. Of these, 14 first appeared in v1.0, which was covered in “YouTube Creator Playbook Offers New Strategies and Best Practices” back on Sept. 1, 2011. In v1.5, which was published in November 2011, the important tip about YouTube Insights was replaced with an important tip about YouTube Analytics.
In Version 2, the 15th new strategy appears in the Publishing & Optimization section. This best practice is called “Reaching All Audiences.”
Here’s the strategy: “Optimize videos and create content to reach the widest audience possible.”
Here’s why it works: “Overcoming the language/cultural barrier will allow you to reach out to untapped audiences that can help propel viewership growth.”
Here’s how to do it: “Use online tools to create captions for your videos and create content that can transcend cultural differences.”
And here are more details: First you need to create content with global appeal. Actually, you may already be doing this, so check your YouTube Analytics. However, if your channel’s top geographies don’t include Ceti Alpha V, then consider adapting it to appeal to cultures “where no man has gone before.”
For example, Version 2 of the Creator Playbook shows Simon’s Cat, which is most popular in Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Here are the ever-important how-to steps for reaching all audiences:
- Consider all audiences when creating content.
- Identify opportunities to reach a new audience around the globe with your videos.
- Re-edit your current content that is well-suited for translation to have different audio in different languages.
- Identify tent-pole events in different countries or prioritize your optimization efforts for more languages.
- Cross-promote and collaborate with global channels.
- Check YouTube Analytics to determine which similar channels have the biggest audiences in different countries.
- Change the country setting at the bottom of the YouTube homepage to explore worldly videos and channels.
- Add captions to your current videos.
- Prioritize languages by looking at your traffic sources from different regions in YouTube Analytics.
- Create captions in target languages by uploading transcriptions to YouTube or by asking your fans to help translate.
- Use YouTube’s CaptionTube to have your fans/subscribers create captions for your videos.
- Optimize videos with multi-lingual metadata and annotations.
- If your video has captions, let the audience know by using annotations or address it in the video content.
- If creating content intended for multiple languages, write titles and descriptions in both languages. Start with your primary audience’s language.
- Add and write annotations with both languages represented.
Version 2 of the YouTube Creator Playbook also features a new look, brand new sections to reflect the new channel design, and lots of updates to help you optimize for the overall new site layout. However, there isn’t a single, solitary mention of advertising. With more experience, the intelligent YouTube team will learn that partners and creators are very likely to be interested in learning how to use advertising to build their brands on YouTube.
There should be at least one important tip in the Creator Playbook about using video ads. I’m fairly confident that most YouTube Partners would love to learn how to add a call-to-action overlay to send viewers to their site, or drive sales straight from the video.
And there should also be at least one best practice in the Creator Playbook about building a Brand Channel. I’m pretty certain that many YouTube Partners would be interested in moderating user comments or using Google Analytics.
In addition, there should also be at least one strategy in the Creator Playbook about mobile. Some YouTube Partners would likely be interested in learning more about YouTube Mobile (m.youtube.com), which is the No. 2 video-viewing website in the world, second only to YouTube.com.
Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait until Version 3 of the YouTube Creator Playbook before we see some important tips, best practices, and strategies that indicate three-dimensional thinking.