Extend your social reach with a YouTube channel

by Raymond Parker on February 3, 2011

in Blog, Technical, Video

Do you have a YouTube channel? Whether you have a website or blog—but particularly if you do—or just want to launch your cat’s film career, sharing your videos online can be a lot of fun.

(I know there are other venues out there, like blip.tv and Vimeo, with different pros and cons, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll assume YouTube is the most well-known and easy to use free video hosting site).

Signing up

I created my YouTube account just 11 months ago, but yesterday one of my videos, “Removing and Installing a Bicycle Chain,” surpassed 10,000 views (over 9 months). I realize this is not exactly the kind of “viral” result enjoyed by videos on evening make-up application, stupid pet tricks and that irritating wannabe celebrity guy who shall remain nameless. You know, the one who has spawned 10,000 bobble-headed imitators, who quack into cameras at “vlogger” conferences and edit their 10-minute videos into 300 two-second clips. Don’t do that. Please.

I used to self-host my videos—still do for those longer than YouTube’s 10-minute limit—but it became clear that not only was post-editing conversion and compression time-consuming, I was robbing myself of the wide exposure available on a social network like YouTube.

What to post

I’m not sure what makes a video go viral, though popular interest in your topic naturally helps. Just as it’s important to take care of SEO on your blog, it’s vital to title your videos clearly and tag with keywords.

Why has my chain change video been so successful while others have languished? It comes down to the YouTube search engine—that’s where people query their interests and the success of your masterpiece will depend on whether it is returned near or at the top of a search. In the case of my smash hit, YouTube search and related videos are the greatest driver of views (35% ea.). Traffic from the original page, where the video is embedded, pales by comparison.

Finally, it’s up to the public to vote your offering up or down and comment accordingly. This, in turn, affects results. So, fellow Tubers, feel free to like my videos!

It’s also a good idea to use video annotations, a relatively new YouTube feature. You can use these in-video links to connect related videos. I’ve used them in a series of features, beginning with my Clean & Lube how-to. From that video, I’ve linked at relevant points videos on chain measurement and crank removal (with more to come soon).

What’s the benefit?

We all like movies, right? On VeloWeb, I use them for mechanical how-tos and ride documentaries. The former, I’ve learned, are especially popular. If you have a skill you can share, if you can solve a problem for someone, your videos will likely attract an audience.

A video channel is another source of traffic. It’s proof that you take your subject seriously enough to create alternate content for your readers … I mean, viewers.

Making your videos

You don’t need to invest a fortune in camera gear and software to create good video. I use an ordinary still camera with video recording capability. Many consumer and “pro-sumer” level SLRs now include HD capability. Make sure you have the storage space and computing power to deal with these potentially huge files.

Simple videos don’t demand much editing. We’re seeing iPhone creations uploaded directly and in-camera edited content that can scoop mainstream media and change the course of world events.

A simple video doesn’t necessarily demand professional skills; just perseverance. Close-ups, for instance, may demand multiple takes to produce satisfactory raw stock for do-it-yourself videos.

A discussion of editing software falls outside the scope of this post, but again one need not spend a fortune. My existing videos were edited in iMovie, an intuitive yet powerful suite bundled with every Mac, and also available for iPhone. The upload interface is simple.

To visit and subscribe to VeloWeb’s YouTube channel (or any of my other social media accounts) use the widget at the top of the right sidebar.

Do you think video might benefit your blog or brand? If you are using video, how is it working for you? If you have a related question, I’ll do my best to answer.

{ 0 comments… add your spin! now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: