Video platform YouTube has been testing a new layout called One Channel for a few months and the revision is now available to any of the network’s members. Brands can adopt the design early if they so choose, but it will be required for all channels starting June 5.
The basic services and functions of YouTube will not change, but it will now be much more personalized and easier to navigate. Rather than just presenting videos, brands will be able to focus more on developing a base of followers for their content. Here’s what you need to know to get your company ready to adopt the new layout.
Create a Pitch Video to Attract Subscribers
YouTube has always excelled as a platform for sharing videos, but the new layout encourages brands to build more of a community around their channels. When somebody who is not yet subscribed to your channel visits your YouTube profile, you can have a pitch video that automatically plays at the top of the page. However, when a current subscriber clicks on your page, the video doesn’t appear since the trailer is unnecessary.
This clip should encourage people to subscribe to your channel or simply explain the type of content they will find. It should reflect the attitude and personality of the brand being represented, whether that means a humorous or a serious take on your channel’s material.
If your brand doesn’t want to make an explicit pitch to attract subscribers, this can also be a place to showcase one of your most representative videos. Pick your best content that exemplifies what your channel is all about.
Focus on Presentation and Curation
The redesign will offer channels more control over how videos are organized and how your viewers see them when they browse through your profile. Companies can put more nuance into which playlists are showcased on their main page. YouTube has several options for layouts that brands can use to present their content, which means that the most pertinent videos will be easy to find and watch.
This curation allows brands to put more personality into the look and presentation of their channels. It also can feature the best elements of your brand’s content. Whatever you feel is the best way to showcase your channel can probably be accomplished within the redesign.
One important element of the new layout is that more of the metadata for your videos will be visible. Make sure that you’re giving appropriately descriptive titles to your uploads and that the descriptions are concise, yet informative. In the same vein, be sure that your channel has a thorough profile description so that any pertinent information is easily accessible to your visitors.
Add Mobile-Friendly Channel Art
Under the old layout, channels only had a small profile photo to identify their brands. The new setup has space for a wider banner image called “Channel Art” at the top of the page. It serves the same purpose as the cover photos on Facebook or header images on Twitter: giving brands extra space to present themselves visually.
When choosing your Channel Art, the new design reminds users that the image will likely be seen on many different mobile devices. Part of the new YouTube look includes a better layout to make sure that channels look great on mobile device browsers. This won’t be a major shift in terms of the aesthetic qualities of the site, but it should be more usable and functional no matter what devices your viewers are watching on.
The only way this should impact your strategy is that you’ll need to make sure that the Channel Art you select will also scale well on devices of different sizes. If your image is filled with small details or text, it may not translate as well onto small screens.
Connect With Other Channels
The redesign features a slim column on the far right of the browser with a list of additional channels. The top section is titled “Featured Channels” and lets your brand share other YouTube profiles that you think would be of interest to your viewers. It’s an optional section, so it doesn’t appear if your brand does not have any related channels or partners to link to.
Below the Featured Channels is “Related Channels.” These appear on all profiles and are selected by YouTube’s algorithms to be items that would likely be relevant to your viewers. A “Subscribe” button appears below the names of channels in both sections.
This is a helpful element of discovery to add into the YouTube experience. It should be a useful complement to the renewed focus on community and presentation. Encouraging more exploration could also mean that visitors spend more time watching content on YouTube, which would benefit brands and give them another powerful platform for connecting with more viewers.
Have you upgraded to One Channel yet? Let us know what you think of the redesign in the comments!