Hacking the YouTube ‘Playbook for Brands’: Curate Some Playlists

/ Jun 5, 2014


Now that you have the appropriate annotations needed to bring viewers from one branded video to the next, you’re already on your way to creating playlists. Playlists are key when it comes to holding audiences’ attention for long periods of time because they let viewers exude minimal effort in uncovering a whole bunch of your brand’s video content.

Proven to up your brand’s watch time, playlists will let you organize your videos in whatever way you choose, even by incorporating other creators’/brands’ videos if you want to mix things up/cross-promote. Here are some basic, organizational guidelines to follow as you create your brand’s first official playlist:

What should you include in a playlist?

1) Content surrounding a theme or tentpole event: Say your brand is really prepping for the 4th of July (because, why not, you sell outdoor grills). All of your red, white, and blue grilling videos can now run together on your unique, 4th of July playlist. Also, your tentpole playlist doesn’t have to be this obvious. If you have a lot of videos that deal in general summer fun, you can run those in a playlist together, too.

2) Specific shows: If your brand has created any series, it obviously makes sense to give each show its own playlist, resulting in a seamless viewing experience.

3) Most-viewed videos plus new uploads: Putting together videos you know people will watch with ones people have never seen is a great method for getting views on fresh content. Viewers will start by clicking on popular videos or old favorites, where they’ll get immediately directed to your brand’s new stuff.

4) Videos that push for your brand: Of course, all of your videos do this to a certain extent, but this playlist should specifically include testimonials and reviews from satisfied users. This represents an instance where you may want to take other people’s videos to use on your channel (assuming that other people advocate for your brand).

5) Anything you want: Honestly, whatever you think is appropriate to combine for a viewing experience that people will want to spend more than five minutes on is worth a try. You’ll always be able to see which playlists people respond to and which ones flop.

How can you make the best playlist possible?

1) Choose a standout thumbnail. You’ve already learned how to create these, so take those lessons and use your best thumbnail here. Remember, this thumbnail needs to attract viewers to multiple videos, not just one. Higher stakes…

2) Host it. If you think your viewers will need some context to get what a particular playlist is trying to communicate, the Brand Playbook reminds you that you have the option to upload a “short and snappy” introductory video to set the tone, as well as interstitial shorts to maintain it.

3) Remember your metadata… Titles, tags, and descriptions are how people locate things on the ‘Tube. Always use this knowledge to your advantage.

4) Put Playlist Notes to use. They let you write short, casual blurbs about each individual video.

5) Feature it. If you create a new “section” on your channel’s page, you can easily feature your playlist there. This will draw attention to the playlist and make it stand out from the individual videos on your channel.

6) Make it Autoplay. The Brand Playbook provides this useful hint on how to link videos in Autoplay playlist mode. You just click the share button. You can then copy and paste the URL you get from there, and that new video link will lead to the playlist as a whole. Smart, right?

Creating solid playlists means you’re getting a better sense of how to show off your brand on YouTube. The next logical step is to set up your entire channel to do the same.

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