All social media platforms are constantly making updates to hopefully make their platforms better. YouTube is no exception. Recent changes to YouTube are good news for brands wanting to connect with viewers. One mistake some brands make on YouTube is thinking like brands instead of thinking like members of the community. Brands need to be more human and speak with one single voice on YouTube. These updates to the YouTube comments feature can help brands be part of the of the conversation.
- Pinned Comments – This allows you to promote a specific comment by pinning it to the top. This could be used to answer a common question or highlight a great comment from the audience. Note: You can only pin one comment.
- You can give a ‘heart’ to your favorite comments. This is similar to ‘hearting’ something on other social media platforms.
- Comments made by the video creator will have pops of color around them to make it easier to see which comments are from the creator.
- YouTube is also beta testing the ability to hold comments that are potentially inappropriate so that they can be reviewed.
YouTube Brand Deals
One of the ways a lot of brands are using YouTube is through brand deals; which means partnering with creators to promote the brand in some way through things such as product placements, promotions, and sponsorships. There are many ways to contact a YouTuber and create one of these brand deals. One way is through the website, Famebit.com. This is money that YouTube has been missing out on, so they recently purchased Famebit. YouTube’s purchase allows YouTube to receive more of the money being spent on brand deals. YouTube’s goal is to provide more collaboration opportunities between creators and brands. This would allow YouTube to make influencer marketing as a part of their advertising services. It could be done right from their current ad words system. It will take a while for this to happen but it will be interesting to see how it all plays out as YouTube integrates more with Famebit.
Mobile Friendly YouTube
One of YouTube’s biggest goals is to keep viewers on the site as long as possible watching video. Brands need to engage with viewers to get them to not just watch videos, but to also take action. This was done in the past using annotations. However, the problem with annotations is it was not mobile friendly and since web traffic is coming more and more from mobile devices, YouTube has added what they call ‘cards’ to start fixing this mobile compatibility problem.
YouTube End Screen
As part of this effort to make YouTube more mobile friendly, YouTube recently rolled out End Screens. End screens let you engage with viewers right as your video ends. End Screens work similar to cards but they appear in the last 5 -20 seconds of your video. In your video manager in YouTube, after clicking edit on the video that you would like to change, you will see at the top that End Screens has been add to the annotations tab. If you are going to use End Screens, you must first agree to YouTube removing all of the annotations that you have already created in the video.
You can do a lot of the same things with End Screen that you could with annotations. One thing I found interesting is that you can’t add an End Screen without suggesting another video or a playlist. This goes back to YouTube wanting to keep everyone on the site longer. End Screens are a great upgrade, not just because of their mobile friendliness, but because they are easier to use.
Previously, in order to really make a compelling call to action with annotations, you had to do a lot of work in your editing software, creating thumbnails manually. You should still plan in your edit where the End Screens will go so that you don’t cover something important at the end of your video. You can also go back to old videos and add End Screens to those videos. My favorite feature is that you can let YouTube choose what video is best for the viewer. A lot of users are reporting that this feature works great and that they are getting a higher click rate than if they were to recommend the next video themselves. YouTube also provides analytics so you can see how well your end screens are working.
Subscribe Card for YouTube
One feature that I don’t like is the subscribe card because it uses your channel icon. I don’t think most viewers are going to know what that button is for. Even so, it is an important button to have and, while I still don’t like it, you should still be using it, even though it needs some work to better let the view know what it is there for without having to hover over it. Something else to note is that this hover problem is also on links you might make to your website.
How will your brand use these new tools from YouTube?