Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three tips to help potential viewers find your channel

This is part of an ongoing series sharing tips from the YouTube Creator Playbook, a resource of best practices and tips you can start using on your channel and videos right away.

Think of your channel description as an advertisement for your channel -- a great ad can win you some new fans, while a bad ad is a surefire way to get ignored.

On YouTube, it’s important to think about how your channel appears in search results, on the video watch page, or in our channel recommendations. The channel page is the best way that users can learn everything there is to know about your content, but a viewer is more likely to get to your channel if they have a sense of what they’ll see.

In the future, displaying an interesting and informative channel description is going to become even more important, as we add more features that will help users discover collections of channels.

For example, do you have any idea of what this (fictional) channel is about, based on how it looks in search results?

Here are a few pieces of advice to help out.

First, pick an appealing avatar and channel name. They’re the most visually prominent aspects of your channel in search results.

  • Your avatar should reflect your channel brand. Use images and colors that are consistent with what you use on your channel. Avoid using abstract designs or a logo by itself, and remember that it should be recognizable at smaller sizes.
  • Try to be both descriptive  and succinct with your channel title so a potential viewer can quickly understand your genre or content category. Double check how your channel description appears in search results, and adjust the length accordingly.

Second, make the most of your channel description. It is an important opportunity to reach a new audience, so, make every word count. Your first 45 characters should say what your channel is about. If you upload a video every Friday, that can wait until further down in the description.

Finally, your featured video is still your best asset for giving viewers a taste of your channel. It should act as a short preview of your channel content that quickly convinces new viewers to subscribe to your channel. Your most engaging content should be up front with a catchy intro.

Learn more best practices and strategies about how to build your audience in the Creator Playbook.

Benoît de Boursetty, YouTube Product Manager, recently watched the NASA control room during the landing of the Curiosity rover.