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Sunday, February 12, 2017

••◊ Optimizing Videos for YouTube

I'm sure this will be a multi-part post as I learn more about YouTube. You see, Video Gear is now shutting down as a sales and rental house. San Diego has always been a small community for video; mostly wedding and corporate video. There's a strong contingency of indie filmmakers, but they typically don't rent equipment. When they do buy, they buy the cheap stuff from Amazon or B&H since it's not worth owning expensive/professional equipment for YouTube shorts. Even more so than Los Angeles or New York City, you have to develop your own thing here in San Diego. There's no infrastructure to rest upon.

What this means is that we are re-launching the Video Gear tutorials as their own thing. Dom and I plan to continue with the videos with ad and sponsor revenue from YouTube.  I've taken down the Vimeo site simply because they don't have a revenue stream.  I love Vimeo.  Honestly, their site management is so much simpler than YouTube and they let you update a video instead of just dog-piling a newer version or losing your view count.  We had more views from the artist community on Vimeo than the tutorial community on YouTube.

So,...getting back to the point of this post...I want to share a few things I'm learning about YouTube now that I've taken over management of the Video Gear channel.

1.  SEO matters (great big DUH!).  However, SEO isn't just about adding a whole bunch of keywords.  Use Google trends to identify keywords and key phrases that matter.
2.  SEO uses the *first* part of your video's title.  Make that count as much as possible.
3.  Numbering your videos lets people know that this is a series and more are available.
4.  Create playlists so people can binge watch your videos.
5.  Use "End Screens" to advertise more videos and let viewers subscribe.  This also means that you need to edit in 20 seconds of time at the end of your video for the End Screen elements to pop up.
6.  Use cards to advertise other videos related to the current content in the middle of your video.
7.  List social media contacts in the video description.
8.  Subscribe to related channels, and hopefully many with more subscribers than you.
9.  Ask viewers to share their work from your tutorial in the comments section.
10.  Make a "Creator's Video" that tells viewers who you are, what you do, and what you want to provide to them.
11.  Use thumbnails with large, bold text that can be identified at postage stamp size.

I'm still learning as I go, but these are the basics I've learned in the last few weeks.  The YouTube Creator Academy has been a wonderful resource to come up to speed and I highly recommend checking out some of their tutorials.

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