The Ultimate Guide To: YouTube

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YouTube is at the forefront of developing video to be the hottest content right now. What is more, it has become a whole music universe in itself. Read on for the Ultimate Guide to: YouTube!

YouTube is without a doubt a beast of an advertising platform which features videos. There are 1001 features and angles to the popular video platform worth discovering. All of them are hugely important for every music industry expert.

No matter if you have to work with YouTube as a Channel Manager on a daily basis or if you are just part of the wider field dealing with it. Here is your Ultimate Guide To: YouTube. Your one-stop-shop blogpost for all things YouTube.

Without further ado, let’s just jump right into it.

Table of content:

YouTube Management 101

Since the start of Social Media, there have been a lot of trends that came up and went by. However, YouTube was one of the first big players in the field. Indeed, the company was started in 2005 by three former PayPal employees, Chad HurleySteve Chen, and Jawed Karim.

Already in 2006, Google bought the video platform for $1.65 billion. The speciality of YouTube is, that anyone can upload a video, view videos, curate it, comment on other videos and add videos to playlists.

Anyone can upload a video to YouTube

What is more, you can subscribe to other users or channels. When you subscribe to a channel, their new videos will have a prominent place in your feed and is, therefore, easier to find.

YouTube has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Nowadays, channels can accumulate enormous amounts of subscribers.

This biggest YouTube Channel right now is ‘T-Series’

The number one channel on YouTube is the Indian music channel called ‘T-Series‘ (as of 22nd of September). Namely because of the 112 million subscribers. ‘T-Series’ is also a Multi-Channel Network, more of which later in the post.

Some of the most popular Channels belong to famous musicians and entertainers. Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Eminem, and Ariana Grande are just some well-known music figures.

YouTube has replaced MTV as the music television

It will therefore not come as a surprise for you when I say that YouTube is hugely important for the music industry and its artists. It put an end to music television and its tv channel MTV. Now, fans watch music videos primarily over YouTube.

But that’s not all, a whole industry has evolved around the Google company. There are now professional YouTubers who make a living from creating video content. You can find anything from Beauty Channels that offer make-up tutorials to DIY channels teaching you how to build anything yourself.

The possibilities for video content are endless

However, back to the music side of YouTube. The official music video isn’t the only video content you can produce. The possibilities are endless. Tour diary videos, lyric videos, question and answer videos, behind the scenes videos from the record recording, A-Day-In-The-Life videos over to live videos from the last tour. Just to name a few.

Subsequently, video is now the best performing post on Facebook. Video Marketing is also in everyone’s ears.

Video Marketing more important than ever

More importantly, YouTube is now the second biggest search engine in the present world. Since it is owned by Google, the big internet corporation has now included video directly into the Google search. That means, every video that is uploaded can rank in the organic or paid Google Search. Making it a prime platform for marketing as well as fans/customer reach.

YouTube might be intimidating at first being such a large platform with so many participants. However, if you keep some simple principles in mind, it will be all worth it.

It is important to get to know your fanbase

First things first, get an understanding of your fanbase. In the music industry, that is very often the fans of the act that you are supporting. No matter if you are a Record Label, Touring/ Booking Agent or Publishing House. The talent is at the heart of this industry. And subsequently their fanbase.

Conversely, there might be variety in what the different fan bases like. Glam Metal fans might like more of in-depth guitar solo videos whereas singer-songwriter fans could be more into lyric videos and so on.

This determination on which form of video content works best for your case will give you the needed focus.

Formulate the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘Who’ for your videos

Formulate ‘What‘ your videos will cover, ‘Who’ your videos are made for and the reason of ‘Why’ you are putting them out there.

So for example, if we keep the Glam Metal band. The ‘What’ could be a guitar solo tutorial by the lead guitar player or Live footage from the last show. The ‘Who’ is the band’s fan base but also their friends who might be interested in the band. The ‘Why’ is, for example, the new album that needs promotion.

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Glam Metal band W.A.S.P. wanting you to get to know your fanbase!
picture source

After having put all this effort into the video don’t just stop there and trust the organic search on Google. Make an effort and promote the video through the rest of your social media channels. Even add it to your newsletter.

Also, have an eye out for any changes made on the platform. Just recently, YouTube has changed the way subscriber numbers are displayed. Abbreviated public subscriber counts will only be shown from now on.

Difference between YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Music Premium and Google Play

Since the start of YouTube, a lot of things have changed. From being a platform for uploading videos by everybody, it now has evolved into a whole music world in itself.

The logo for the newly established YouTube Music service.
picture source

Now, there is YouTube (the video platform), YouTube Music (a music streaming service), YouTube Music Premium (a subscription music streaming service) and the good old Google Play is still hanging around as well.

It’s understandable that you are confused. Well, because it is.

Here is a more in-depth explanation of the situation.

There were rumours that Google will shut down Google Play after releasing YouTube Music. But nothing has happened yet.

So, keep an eye on this because there are definitely going to be many developments here. For example, YouTube Music will replace Google Play as the default installation on all Android Devices.

YouTube Management Tools

When managing YouTube a lot of professionals use the backend of YouTube. However, once your channel has grown to a certain point, handling it all manually can be a daunting task. Fear not! Here are some tools that make your YouTube workload much easier.

YouTube Studio:
The first tool that will help you is arguably the YouTube Studio app. Here you can have access to your channel through the app wherever you go. It gives you a quick overview of all your videos. There is even a basic video editor available.

TubeBuddy:
Is a YouTube channel browser plugin. That means you can access it directly in your prefered internet browser. It is YouTube certified and offers things like bulk processing. Here, you can edit multiple comments at once, for example. It also offers Video SEO. That helps you with optimizing your videos for them to be found more easily.

Browser plugins are super helpful tools

AgoraPulse:
This tool started out as a social media management tool for likes of Facebook, Twitter and co. It now has included YouTube into its portfolio as well. Here you can work on comments as a team and use its CRM function to keep track of your subscribers.

SocialBlade:
This service offers a detailed breakdown of any YouTube Channel (it also works for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). Just type in your channel or a competitor and check out the details to your heart’s content.

Canva:
With Canva you can easily create channel-art and thumbnails. That helps your channel to stand out and you can use this to create a coherent look. What is more, with this tool you can easily create cross-platform visuals that help your fans identify with you super quick.

Wave:
This is an online tool for creating and cutting videos. One of the best features is that you can easily reframe your video to all different standards. No matter if you need the video for IGTV or YouTube. There are a lot of templates to choose from whenever you are short of inspiration.

vidIQ:
Here we have another YouTube certified tool. It helps you to identify the videos that work best on your channel. That helps you to boost those videos and invest your advert budget wisely. What is more, it has a built-in keyword tool. This helps you identify the keywords that will help your videos rank the best and show you other videos with those keywords.

Here are more helpful apps for your digital work.

YouTube Management Consulting

First things first, management consulting sets out to help you grow your business and foster a better way of running things. It deals with strategy, structure, management and operations and helps you to get better with those parts.

  • YouTube Management functions:
    That means to put ordinary management consulting tools and to apply them on the platform of YouTube.
  • YouTube Channel Manager:
    A YouTube Channel Manager is taking care of channels for a living. Maybe the person is employed at one company in order to take care of their channel/s. Or the person is a freelancer is providing numerous clients with her or his skills.

There is a high chance that when YouTube started, music and copyright wasn’t at the forefront of the creator’s mind. It was basically made for ordinary people to upload self-made videos.

However, very quickly music got involved. Probably because it is such a major part of most peoples lives. I mean, who doesn’t love music?

In nowadays YouTube universe with record labels and musicians having official channels, music and copyright have become far more prominent.

YouTube reacted to this by introducing something called Content-ID. It is a digital fingerprint system that Google developed in order to catch any copyright infringements.

What it does is that it compares all newly uploaded videos against files logged in the Content-Id system by copyright holders.

It is important to keep the Content-Id system in mind when uploading a new video. There is a tonne of royalty-free music pieces in the YouTube library for you to use in your videos in a save way.

YouTube Channel Management

Responding to people’s questions or comments can create conversations that help your audience learn more about your company and add even more value to your video.

By adding subtitles and closed captions to your YouTube videos, you can open up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers. Or if your band talks in an undefiable English country accent.

It’s already normal for big festivals to have an interpreter for hearing impaired visitors so why not include such measurements on your YouTube Channel. Plus it is a massive video SEO plus to have subtitles. It helps the YouTube algorithm to detect what your video is about.

Live video is more popular than ever. Going live is a great way to build trust and loyalty as it is an authentic way to communicate with your audience. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself and your brand new YouTube account! This is a perfect way to promote your new tour for example or a QandA.

Make sure the gear is good enough for off-track videos like a tour diary vlog. This does not mean you breaking the bank, it could be as simple as getting a good audio recorder for $100.

Here are more tips on how to master YouTube Channel Management.

Advertising on YouTube

If you want to roll out a big marketing campaign don’t shy away from YouTube Advertising. As I’ve already mentioned, YouTube is the second biggest search engine.

People are just so used to watching content rather than reading an ad or reacting to billboards on the street. There are many different ways of placing an ad on YouTube.

They serve different purposes just as your ad serves different propositions. You can customize your campaign ad in any way that suits you.

Here are the different ads in short:
Display ads: These ads show on desktop only. It appears on the right corner of the screen, above the suggested videos.
Overlay ads: Desktop only, it appears semi-transparent on the lower 20% of the video.
Skippable video ads: Appears on desktop, mobile devices, TV, and game consoles. The viewer can skip this ad, can be played before, in the middle or after the video.
Non-skippable video ads: Desktop and mobile devices, 15-20 sec. long, can appear before, during or after the video.
Bumper ads: Desktop and mobile devices, 6-second long non-skippable ads that appear before the video is shown.
Sponsored cards: Desktop and mobile devices, displays content that may be relevant to the video you see; after a teaser is shown the viewer can click on it to reveal more.

YouTube Data Management

Ideally, you want people to watch your video all the way to the end. However, that is far from the everyday truth of YouTube, and that’s ok.

Indeed, checking in on the ways your viewers consume your content is going to help you optimizing your channel. YouTube Data Management is nothing else than YouTube Analytics. Similarly to Google Analytics, YT Analytics will give you important insight into the life of your channel.

There are various parameters that you can have an eye on. No matter what the demographics of your audience is, where they watch your video, on what device that happened and what source brought them to your video.

However, there are a few key numbers to look out for especially.
Watch time will give you an overview of how long your videos have been watched for. Audience retention is showing when people stopped watching your videos. Views are gathered when your video is watched longer than 30 seconds.

Make sure to include those all-important info cards before the people stop watching your video. A retention report is a perfect tool for finding that sweet spot.

However, that is not telling you much in means of viewer engagement. You can use an easy mathematical calculation in order to gain better insight. Just divide watch time by views and you’ll get the average view duration (watch time: views = average view duration).

A high average view duration will boost your video in YouTbe because it is a very important metric for the algorithm.

YouTube Finance Management

If you are thinking about Finance Management on YouTube you are talking about advertising revenue. In order to ride on the advert band-waggon, you have to fulfil certain criteria.

Within the last 12 months, you have to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours. Then you can join the YouTube Partner Programm, in cooperation with Google Adsense, which gives you access to rolling out adverts.

YouTube will keep a share of the income and pay out the rest to you. There is still no official break-down of the share that YouTube is keeping. However, several calculators can give you an overview.

In the YouTube analytics section, you can have a further look at your earnings. The revenue report states the different types of income streams, including YouTube Premium. The ads rate reports give you insight into which ad brought you the most income.

Multi Channel Networks

If you don’t want to hassle the YouTube Partner Programm yourself, you can try and sign up with a Multi Channel Network. MCNs are third-party service providers that handle the affairs of multiple channels. Those services can include audience development, content programming, creator collaborations, digital rights management, monetization, and/or sales.

There are MCNs for any type of content creators such as musicians and record labels. Affiliate channels are managed by an MCN but the rights still belong to the original ower. Owned & Operated (O&O) channels are owned directly by the MCN.

YouTube or Google aren’t endorsing MCNs directly. However, there is a list of trustworthy and Best Multichannel networks.

For example the MCN of Believe, the biggest digital distributor. Or GoodToGo, evolved out of Rough Trade Distribution and Groove Attack.

Video SEO

Traditional SEO for websites is working alongside the measurements for ranking on Google. YouTube search engine optimizations work the same.

Just for videos instead of written content on a website. There a lot of tweaks and tricks you can try to make your video rank higher on YouTube.

There are many tools to help you with YouTube SEO

Remember some of the tools I introduced to you earlier? They come in handy now. Search for keywords that people use often on YouTube.

Incorporate them in video titles, the description and the video tags you can set yourself. That helps the viewer to reach your content quickly.

Use those tools discussed above and manage the comments your viewers and subscriber leave on your videos. That offers them a feeling of community and a sense of importance.

Engage in information-management by answering all the important questions your fans might have. Don’t shy away from encouraging your fans to subscribe to your channel.

Encourage your fans to subscribe to your channel

You can do so by a small overlay at the end of the video. It doesn’t have to be huge but viewers are so used to these questions anyways now that they even expect it.

Make your videos as sharable on other social platforms as possible. If for example, the music video you’re promoting is rather long and editorial, make sure to have enough snippets at hand for your fans to share.

This signals to YouTube that the content of your video is amazing and engaging. Always remember that YouTube is powered by a non-human algorithm and needs markers like that to measure what is ‘good’.

Make it easy for your viewers to click through your content

Organize your videos in a way that ease click-through by your viewers. Design popping and crabbing thumbnails or channel art and keep the look coherent.

That way you can keep viewers much longer on your channel. Consider uploading very long videos. This might sound counter-intuitive in a digital age where everyone is so used to fast and rapid content.

But if a fan is really into something or someone they love to watch long content. This, on the other hand, boosts parameters like watch time and views, as discussed above at Youtube Analytics.

Make sure the video description is long and informative

You could make a live video of the new tour or a lengthy Q and A video.
Optimize the title and description of your video. Make sure the description is at least 250 words long and contains the keyword multiple times.

Organize your videos in playlist to keep your viewers longer on your channel. Distribute your videos on as many platforms as possible.

YouTubes Future

The world of YouTube is ever-changing. What is true at one point becomes obsolete in the next. However, what is for certain is that YouTube is shaping the entertainment industry like no other outlet.

Especially the music industry is hit by the sheer market force of YouTube. They slowly try to picture this by including YouTube streams into the Official Charts in the UK for example.

YouTube streams even count into the UK Charts

Even though big music markets like Germany are not participating in this new practise just yet, it shows the importance of video streams for the music business. YouTube has even created its own charts. displaying ‘Trending Charts’, ‘Top Songs’, ‘Top Artists’ and ‘Top Music Video’.

The video platform also changed policies concerning ad views in its charts and now dropped the count of ads towards a chart position.

YouTube Music now comes pre-installed on all Android Devices, replacing Google Play. That is a big move and another sign that Google Play might be released into retirement.

Is YouTube even evolving into a record label?

Some might even argue that the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube are going to be the new record labels in the long run. Offering artists everything they need; from an outlet for their music to distribution.

If one thing is clear after this Ultimate Guide To: YouTube, it is not going away in the foreseeable future.

In case of any questions concerning YouTube don’t hesitate to contact me!

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