Late last week, YouTube Product manager Jeb Havens announced the roll out of the YouTube One Channel. This represents another significant step in the "Channel-ization" of YouTube, one of the latest trends discussed last month at SES London 2013 during the session on the Keys to Success with B2B Video.
The Channel-ization of YouTube requires a shift in video marketing strategy. Gone are the days when YouTube was exclusively a place for one hit, viral videos.
If you’re interested in building a successful channel on YouTube, you’ve now got to think about how you can build a cohesive channel experience for your audience. Today, your channel strategy – and your ability to drive subscriptions – has become critical to your success on YouTube.
That’s why the announcement that anyone can opt in to a YouTube One Channel is an important one. In fact, the new channels design was so important that YouTube asked iJustine back in early February to create "NEW YOUTUBE LAYOUT PREVIEW! WHOA! " to help other Partners and Creators prepare for it.
Then, after running a limited beta test and collecting lots of feedback from Partners and other creators, YouTube announced it was ready for all channels to upgrade to the new YouTube One Channel design if they wanted to.
As Havens said late last week in his announcement, "The main focus of this update is to make your new channel look great on browsers across all screens and devices. It will also help you convert more visitors into subscribers with a slot for a channel trailer, and you can customize how you organize your videos and playlists so it fits your programming strategy."
Here are three key things that you’ll want to do to get the most out of your new One Channel:
- Create a trailer, which will play for any visitors who aren’t yet subscribed to your channel. This is your chance to hook them and win new fans. Treat this trailer as if it were an ad. Keep it short and engaging and have a compelling call to action at the end.
- Upload an eye-catching piece of Channel Art. This will act as your channel’s visual identity. And unlike the branding on the old channels, it will look good across all screens and devices, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and TVs.
- Organize your channel’s videos and playlists so they work best for your audience and programming. With the new channel home and customizable sections, you’re in control of what subscribers see, enabling you to curate content — your own or others’ — into highly visible sections for your fans to discover and watch.
For more tips and to explore recently designed channels, check out YouTube One Channel. If you like what you see, then click the button at the bottom to switch to the new YouTube channel design. YouTube will migrate your channel to the new design, and walk you through it. And for a limited time, you will be able to switch back to your previous design if you don’t like the new one.
If you do switch to the new YouTube One Channel design, you will be in good company. For example, you will want to see how Intel is using a new feature that allows you to link to your associated channels to promote their international channels. And you will also want to read Luke Kintigh’s post on the iQ by Intel blog, "A Sneak Peek at the New YouTube Design: 5 Things You Need to Know."
Finally, you might even want to check out "Harlem Shake (Intel Edition) " to watch Intel employees take a much-needed break from making and marketing microprocessors. Who knows, it might even convinced you to "subscribe to Channel Intel for more fun, insightful and engaging videos on latest trends in tech and user experience."
Why is convincing viewers to become subscribers more critical now than it was a year or two ago? People who subscribe to channels on YouTube tend to watch more content, more often than those who don’t – and they also are more likely to be the opinion leaders who informally influence their friends, family, and colleagues to watch your videos, too.
Whether you’re a YouTube partner who is trying to build a fan base that will enable you to command a $20 CPM instead of a $2 CPM, or you’re a YouTube advertiser who is trying to convert viewers into buyers, people who subscribe to channels are the key to achieving your goals. You want to build an ongoing relationship with these people, instead of engaging them once in a Blue Moon.