Hacking the YouTube ‘Creator Playbook’: Mastering Playlists

/ Mar 6, 2014


YouTube’s playlists let you curate your viewers’ experience on your channel. They allow one video to flow seamlessly into the next, increasing watch-time and creating order in a channel now populated by regular content. In addition to strategies for optimizing your playlists’ potential, we’ll let you in on YouTube’s newer features that will help you get the most out of your programming.

Types of Playlists:

1) Series: If you have a couple of different series running on your channel, make a playlist for each to help organize them for your audience.

2) Themed: Say you have a bunch of videos that feature beauty tips. Group them together for a playlist that’s all about looking your best. You can also throw in other people’s content to round out the playlist. A shoutout like that may prompt the ‘Tuber’s content you’re using to feature you, later.

3) Most Viewed and Least Viewed: Compile your most popular videos and throw in some new content. This will draw viewers in to watch new stuff that they might not seek out by themselves.

4) “Best of [Blank]”: People can’t resist clicking on the word “best.” You can use this knowledge to make a video compilation that showcases the work you’re most proud of.

Draw Attention to Your Playlists:

1) Give Them Context: Add descriptions and titles that will entice viewers and make your playlists pop up early on in search results. Use keywords that relate to popular trends or videos of yours that people already watch.

2) Pick the Right Thumbnail: You have the power to choose, here, so make it catchy!

3) Address Your Subscribers: In the “Notes” field, write like you’re messaging your subscribers directly. As always, the more personally involved you make subscribers feel, the more invested they will be in your content.

Use Advanced Features:

1) The Interstitial Creator: In the “Edit Playlist” interface, you can insert recorded and text-based videos in the midst of the content you’ve put together for your playlist. These interstitial shorts are “automatically unlisted,” as the “Creator Playbook” will tell you. This means that they will remain solely in the context of your playlists and not bother subscribers’ by popping up on their feeds.

2) Start and End Time: Also in the Edit Playlist interface, this feature lets you showcase only the parts of your videos that make sense in the playlist’s context.

3) “Hosted” Playlists: You can use the interstitial content feature to make introductions, as well. Welcome people to your playlist by giving them a brief rundown of what to expect up front.

4) “Playlist Mode”: Tell your viewers how to watch your videos in playlist form by providing the appropriate link. The URL should include “&list=,” which you can get to through the playlist page’s “Share” feature.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with your playlists. Feel free to mess around and explore your creative options. Once you’ve gotten the whole playlist thing down pat, you’ll be ready to use it towards tent-pole programming, which we’ll go over in tomorrow’s “Creator Playbook” tips.

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