Hacking the YouTube ‘Playbook for Brands’: Make Your Metadata

/ May 26, 2014


Arguably more important than creating and scheduling content that people want to watch on YouTube is making that content easy for viewers to find. The first way to optimize your content via searches is through your metadata. Sprinkle in those keywords wisely and your brand’s videos will be popping up on viewers’ screens in no time.

The “Creator Playbook for Brands” reminds us that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (right behind Google). Take advantage of this by using titles, descriptions, and tags in the best ways possible.

Craft a Clickable Title

Put yourself in the average viewer’s shoes when you consider whether your title would make you click or not. Drafting something snappy is always good. However, don’t let that serve as your only priority when it comes to wording. If your catchy title doesn’t reflect your video’s content, people are going to quit watching pretty quickly, which will make your watch time stats look pretty dismal. (You’ll also be in violation of YouTube’s honor code.)

And remember, make those keywords leap out first. Your particular branding should come after—unless your brand is already big enough to be the keyword itself (in which case, you may already be doing this right).

Descriptions: Focus on the Start

When you see search results, the descriptions that pop up below each heading only divulge their first couple of sentences. Keep this in mind by a) not getting too wordy with your metadata, and b) provide links early on so they’ll show up in the search results.

On the other hand, don’t direct people away from your video too soon. If people get distracted by other links you’ve suggested (even though they do still lead to your brand), it will lower your video’s average watch time, which brings it lower down in the search results.

Overall, you’ve got to include a description of your channel, a direct link allowing them to subscribe, and your channel’s release schedule. Keeping viewers in the know is key to gaining more views. Also, you’ve got to maintain some consistency with your metadata descriptions, so find your “recurring keyword tagline.” These couple of concise sentences should include multiple search-driven keywords and must be used over and over in each new video’s description to introduce new viewers to your channel.

Lastly, Tag It

Keywords reveal their simplest form as tags. Including both general and specific ones will direct those with both broad and highly targeted search goals. Keywords in your tags should also match some of the keywords used in your title. Again, consistency pays off in such a large space as the World Wide Web. Don’t make your brand difficult to find.

Standard tags that can go to a number of your videos may look like as basic as “Funny Videos,” an example from the “Creator Playbook for Brands” itself. For the more particular ones, don’t stress too much, because you always have the opportunity to add and change these as new search trends come forward. Use as many tags as you can within the 120-character bounds, and, when all that’s said and done, head to YouTube and Google for tools that will help you optimize that metadata.

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