You probably already know that videos are a highly popular, highly shareable form of internet content. If you want to engage and entertain your customers, creating a compelling video and sharing it on YouTube is one of the best ways to do it. In addition to being one of the most highly-trafficked websites in the world, YouTube is also the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google. And since it is now owned by Google, there are some legitimate SEO benefits you can reap by using YouTube to market your business.
If all you’re doing is uploading videos to YouTube, you might be missing out. Here are 11 cool features that you could be using to ramp up your marketing.
- YouTube will create a transcript of your video, and editing it – or uploading your own transcript – can help drive traffic to your video. The problem with sticking with the automatic transcript is that they can be very inaccurate. If you use keywords in your video, then transcribing it accurately can help move your video to the top of YouTube’s search rankings – and Google’s, too. To add a transcript, all you need to do is click the little “CC” icon under your video and paste in the transcript.
- After you upload your video, you can add clickable links to it using YouTube’s Creator Studio. The links act just like a call to action button on your website. That means that you can prompt viewers to subscribe to your list, buy a product, or just visit your website. To add them, simply go to Video Manager > Edit > Annotations and then choose the annotations you want to add. There are five options, including speech bubbles, notes, spotlights, titles, and labels. You don’t want to overdo it, but adding annotations is a great way to make your video interactive.
- When you post a long video, you can specify a starting point in the video instead of making people watch from the beginning. This is a great tool if you want to highlight a particular moment in the video. To use this feature, simply click Share and you will see a little box that says “Start at” underneath it. In the box, enter the time when you want the video to start (hours: minutes: seconds) and then post it. When people click on the video, it will begin playing at the exact spot you specify.
- If you have a lot of videos on your YouTube channel, you can easily organize them into playlists. For example, if you have created a series of demonstration videos, you might want to group them all together to make them easy for viewers to find. To create a playlist, simply click on Creator Studio > Video Manager > Playlists. From there, you can name your playlist and add as many videos to it as you choose.
- Instead of using the default URL that YouTube assigned to you when you created your channel, you may be eligible to create a memorable, custom URL. To find out if you are eligible, go to your Account Settings by clicking on your profile picture, and then click Advanced. If you see a note that says “You’re eligible for a custom URL. Claim it here,” click the link and choose the name of your URL. Make sure to choose carefully and double-check your spelling, because once you have submitted the request you can’t change it. You’ll have to agree to the Terms & Conditions and confirm, and once you do you’ll have a custom URL for your channel.
- YouTube offers its users a vast library of audio files and sound effects to use in their videos. All of the available files are royalty free, which means you can use them without paying for them. To access the library, simply go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. From there you can browse sound effects and music clips and download them to use in your videos.
- You can stream videos live on YouTube instead of creating them beforehand. Live video has been getting a lot of attention lately with the addition of Facebook Live and apps like Meerkat. While many of the videos streamed live on YouTube so far have been news events such as the Democratic and Republican conventions, and sporting events, you can use them for marketing, too. A live video would be an effective way to preview a sale or demo a product. To live stream, simply click Upload and then choose the “Live Stream” option on the right-hand side of the page and follow instructions. After your video has concluded, it will be archived on your channel so people who missed seeing it live can watch it later.
- Instead of a video, consider creating a photo slideshow with a voiceover or music behind it. To create a slideshow, log in to YouTube and click the Upload button. Click “Create Videos” on the right-hand side of the screen, and then select “Photo Slideshow” from the options. You’ll be prompted to upload your photographs. The easiest way to do it is to put all of the photos you want to use into a single folder and then upload them all at once. Once they are added, you can arrange them, add effects and notations, and post the video to your channel.
- Another cool video creation option is 360 video, which you can create yourself if you have the tools to do it. You can find a list of compatible equipment here. When your viewers watch a 360 video, they can click to see different camera angles and perspectives. In other words, it gives your viewers a truly interactive and immersive experience.
- Thanks to Google’s affiliation with YouTube, you can use Google Trends to find the best keywords to use in your YouTube videos. All you need to do is go to Google Trends and then click Explore Topics and type in a search term. Then you need to click Web Search > YouTube Search to view the results. It can be interesting and informative to see the differences between how people search on Google and how they search on YouTube – and understanding those differences can help you increase traffic to your videos.
- Finally, YouTube has a Creator Studio app that allows you to manage the videos on your channel on the go. You can do all kinds of useful things, including updating thumbnails, enabling or disabling monetization, and managing subscribers.
These features can help you create cool and memorable video content that will help you attract new subscribers – and turn those subscribers into paying customers.