With my last post I mentioned how productive September was for our social networking tactics. I started with YouTube and I’ll continue with that topic for this post although I first wanted to mention that my general recognition of our strides in the social networking realm also included some improvements we’ve made to our blog and toward our efforts to attract more followers on Twitter. And I’ll discuss those in the coming posts, too.
But back to YouTube, and the branded channel.
As you can see from the screen shot below, a branded channel provides a lot more control and functionality, as displayed by the buttons along the top which read, respectively: Post Bulletin, Settings, Themes and Colors, Modules, Video and Playlists, and Branding Options. And through these six buttons, you can control many elements of the appearance and functionality of your channel. Ours admittedly has a ways to go. The banner for example, was not designed for the size of the banner YouTube required, so for the sake of immediacy, we took a pre-existing banner (I think the same one we used for our blog) and artificially enlarged it. That works on a short-term basis, but the fact is that doing graphic manipulation like that “stretches” our logo and causes the whole thing to look just a little bit fuzzy. We also have an opportunity with the background that we’re currently not taking advantage of, so until we can devote time to do that “right” – we’re sticking with a “blue” background. At least it comes close to matching our color scheme.
Much of the additional functionality is largely the same as a “normal” YouTube channel. The spotlight video box plays a pre-selected video, and new videos are listed in chronological order in which they are uploaded. Not shown in the screen shot is a branded advertising box the “branded channel” affords us along the left-hand column lower down on the page.
Across the bottom of the video that is playing in this screen shot is a reference to the promotion we were running in September (when this screen shot was taken). This one is for 30 free books, which was our September promotion for the Diamond publishing package. This is called an “advertising overlay” and I’ll talk about this next time.
If you don’t yet have a channel on YouTube, you should start one to promote yourself, your company, your book, or whatever. And then, see if you can get a Branded Channel. I’m not personally familiar with how that happened for us, but I think it was the result of Google recognizing how much we spend on advertising and setting it up for us, either out of a) customer courtesy or b) their desire to get us to spend more.