Hacking the YouTube ‘Creator Playbook’: Exploring Metadata

/ Mar 12, 2014


By now, you should have a polished YouTube channel to call your own. Unfortunately, that’s only the beginning of making your channel a successful one. We will now show you how to optimize your channel’s viewership, starting today with metadata. Including information like titles, tags, and video descriptions, metadata will help index your videos for searches and provide context for new audiences. Let’s get started with some introductory metadata tips.

Titles = Headlines:

1) Grab Attention Like a Newspaper: (Or online news platform, to be more culturally relevant). Use eye-catching, bold words that will cause viewers to click on your video simply because they’re wondering what a “Fire-Breathing Cat Gone Wild” could possibly mean.

2) Use Appropriate Keywords: The right keyword is a balance between what’s trending and what exemplifies your content. Choose wisely.

3) Keywords Come First: In your title, put the keywords ahead of your particular branding. In other words, “Fire-Breathing Cat: Otto Jones Show” rather than “Otto Jones Presents: Fire-Breathing Cat.”

4) Number Your Series: Always include episode number in the title when you’re presenting a series. This will make it easy for an audience to follow your show.

Tag It:

1) Make Widely Applicable Tags: If you create a bunch of tags that can work for all of your videos, it’s not only a more efficient tagging method, but also a way to brand your content.

2) Keep ‘Em Brief: Don’t overload your videos with tags, but do add enough to cover all the key points. Also, make sure that each individual tag is as short as possible.

3) Put Them in the “Tag” Section Only: If you add tags to your description, the platform sees this as spam and may remove your video!

And Describe:

1) Prioritize: Put the most important information at the start of your description so that it doesn’t sink “below the fold.” Let viewers see the words that matter.

2) Relate to Title and Tags: Mirror some of the same the language you used in your title/tags when you write your description.

3) Add Links: Whether they’re to your channel page or to the next video in a series, this will help keep people watching you.

4) Don’t Forget: The “Creator Playbook” lists several important factors for adding links to your video description. They include linking to channel page, a link to subscribe directly to your channel, links to relevant content, links to other social media, and always having the “http://” that makes a link into a hyperlink.

5) Write Consistently: Use a similar layout and style for each video’s description. Do this for the simple reason of avoiding ugly chaos on your channel and making yourself easily identifiable to viewers.

6) Mention Your Schedule: You have your scheduled programming, so state it here! What’s the point in maintaining regular video releases if no one knows about them?

Metadata helps make your channel easier to search for on an internet of galactic proportions. Next, we’ll focus on how thumbnails can help draw attention to your online work, too.

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