YouTube simple and effective practices for musicians

By John Waltmann
Client Relationship Manager of Symphonic Distribution – View the full article here.

The countless features and optimizations of YouTube’s platform can seem intimidating, but we are here to provide you with a few basic optimizations on YouTube profiles that can have you looking the part in no time.

Take a look at our simple guide to some of these best practices HERE, and start utilizing one of the most powerful tools for your brand today. We’re going to break down some of these features for you now below.

First and foremost, set up your profile with a branded profile image, nice header image that can be optimized for mobile, and making sure you have included all your social networks and officials website in the header options.

Google has provided us with a simple step-by-step instruction on best practice for creating your channel art. Take a look at the specifications here.

Now, there are some changes that have happened the past couple years on how you update your profile image. Your branded YouTube channel icon is now changed through your connected Google+ profile. Again, YouTube likes to requests a size of 800×800 pixels at about 100kb file size. For a step-by-step process of optimization your profile image, visit here.

Your profile channel should be looking pretty sweet by now, but we’re just get started. After you have a handful of videos uploaded to your channel, you’re going to want to take advantage of the ’section’ or ‘shelves’ feature. You can find this optimization by selecting “Add A Section” at the bottom of your main homepage of your profile. You can then customization the content and layout of these. Have some fun seeing how some of the features under ‘sections’ work, and find what’s best for you.

The branding watermark and InVideo Programming are a great and effective feature of YouTube that can boost your engagement and views in no time. All channels are capable of this feature, so make sure you are taking advantage of this convenient service. You will need to create a custom image to use for this. You can access these ‘channel settings’ from your YouTube dashboard. Simply select ‘add a watermark’ and upload your image. Best practice calls for an image that is 800×800 pixels. You can also select which time you’d like the subscribe branding watermark to appear, I generally select ‘entire video’.

Now, to feature a video across your entire channel in every video, you will just select ‘feature a video’ from your channel settings. Generally, you will be selecting a video that is your own, but you can also point to any public video on YouTube.

After some time with these new features engaged, you can check out how they are performing by visiting ‘YouTube Analytics’ > ‘Annotations/Annotation Type’ and you will see InVideo programming listed. Click around and test out other variations of branding watermarks and featured videos to see what is giving you the best results.

A couple years ago, YouTube only allowed Partners to create custom thumbnails for their videos. Now with their new Partner program, anyone can create custom thumbnails, which is a major plus for content creators. Having attractive thumbnails are a great way to reel people in, thus driving more traffic to your videos. Always make sure you don’t leave your videos with the thumbnails YouTube automatically chooses for you (the thumbnails they choose are random stills from the beginning, middle and end of your video). Your thumbnail images should be high quality with a recommended size of 1280 x 720 pixels. For more tips on utilizing thumbnails to your advantage, click here.

There are endless possibilities to the content you can create and upload to YouTube. We here at Symphonic want to help you find the look, personality, and feel of your artist, producer, DJ, or band profile. Everything from lyric videos, visualizer videos, tour promotions, album streams, and even music videos, we are here to help along the way.