YouTube for Musicians: Webinar Recap
If you've been following along with my blog for awhile, you’ve probably heard me mention my workbook a few times… and that’s why we’re here today! During the writing process I really wanted to talk more about YouTube, but didn’t want to turn it into a chapter book on setting up a YouTube channel. So, the content in this webinar is really an extension of the “Is Your YouTube Channel Good Enough” chapter from my workbook, Market Your Music Online.
For starters, go ahead and log into your YouTube channel so you can go through these steps as we go!
I’ll be sharing...
1. How to verify your channel to access advanced features
2. How to use YouTube Cards to gain sales
3. How to activate and create a custom channel homepage to showcase videos from various YouTube channels
4. How to create custom YouTube graphics for free
5. The best way to share your videos to keep fans on your channel longer
Before I get into all that though... did you know that...
1. YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and everyday people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.
2. YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
3. More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
If you’re ready, I’m ready… feel free to continue reading but you should know this is just a copy of the webinar script... so feel free to watch instead of read!
#1 How to verify your channel to access advanced features
This first action item sounds super fancy and all - but it’s the easiest of them all. You won’t get a blue verification check mark or anything like that, but you will gain access to some advanced features like monetization, live streaming, custom thumbnails, ability to upload videos longer than 15 minutes.
To verify your channel, open a new tab and go to youtube.com/verify and enter your # and follow the steps.
Ok moving on! (Like I said, super easy)
#2… How to use YouTube Cards to gain sales
First let’s talk about what a YouTube Card is. I’m going to share my screen with you and show you Sarah Jarosz’s channel. You probably have seen a YouTube Card in action before but maybe just didn’t know that’s what it was called.
When I open her music video for "House of Mercy," you can see this little information i in the top right corner. If I click that you’ll see the YouTube Card pop up. This card links to her website shop, but there are various type of cards from: Channel Cards, Donation Cards, Fan Funding, Link Cards, Poll Cards, and Video or Playlist Cards. But basically, it’s just a pretty way to link to a different website or somewhere else on YouTube.
The process of adding a Card is pretty simple once you get the hang of it… it’s just a lot of tedious steps. So open your video in the video manager and select the Cards option. From there you’ll hit Add Card. For Sarah’s website shop Card, I use the Link option. Hit Create and add your URL. You’ll see that I’ve already associated Sarah’s website with her channel. So I’ll type in her shop URL at the top and click next. From here you can add or change the image and create some call-to-action text. I’m going to hit cancel here, and open up the Card I already have loaded. Here you can see the card settings. I have the card set for 1:02 into the video. I figure if someone sticks around for a minute, they’re most likely digging the music, and at that point I can have the card say “Hey, come to Sarah’s album shop.” While the i icon is in the corner the whole time, I’ll skip ahead to right before 1:02 and show you what happens.
Now let’s Take action: I want you to add YouTube Cards that link to your website shop on your most popular video content... and if you have a lot of videos, maybe start with your top 5-10 videos.
I suggest you test out adding your Card at different times on each video. Maybe add it 30 seconds into one and towards the end of another! Again, make sure you take note to add Cards to your most popular videos becauseee we’re going to move on to #3 which is probably my favorite of the 5.
#3 How to activate and create a custom channel homepage to showcase videos from various YouTube channels.
I don’t know whyyy this isn’t a default setting, but it’s not.
I’m going to go back to Sarah’s channel homepage. You see how I have a featured video here at the top and a variety of playlists underneath? That’s not the default way YouTube sets up your homepage. Chances are, your homepage might be a news feed type of videos you’ve liked and uploaded.
To activate your custom homepage… click on the settings icon under your banner image and switch this button on right here (custom channel layout) and click save!
Here’s another action item for you: set up at least 2-3 playlists. You can see my channel looks like I have a lot of content even though I don’t have any public videos of my own yet… but what I’ve done is create playlists that include videos that I like! This is also great for artists… I’ll show you what I mean back on Sarah’s channel.
If you look at this first playlist here, Undercurrent, her most recent album, you’ll see that the middle 2 videos are from other channels. I’ll open up the playlist here, and to add a video I’ll click this add videos button here and then I have the option to either paste a URL of a video from another channel or choose one of her channel uploads.
I also like to mix up the order of the videos every now and then. To do that just grab this bar on the left and drag and drop to reorder! That way your content looks like it’s changing and updating - because you never want your channel homepage to look stagnant!
#4 How to create custom YouTube graphics for free
If you aren’t already on the Canva train… let me introduce you to Canva!! I have the Adobe Creative Suite but still rely heavily on Canva when it comes to creating social graphics because the dimensions are ready to go and I find it easier to access all my past files than I do with Adobe.
You can see here I’m on the create a design screen… and I’m going to come down here to the social media & email header templates and pick YouTube channel art. This might look like the wrong size, but the Cover art is used for TV, desktop and mobile so it needs to be sized for the biggest, which is tv.
The super annoying thing about YouTube channel art is the cropping. I’ll pop back over here to my channel … you can see that this picture worked out perfectly because my face is centered in the crop because the image has a lot of white space around me. Over here on Sarah’s I created a text graphic because all of her pictures were too close up to fit on the desktop/mobile crop. So you’ll have to play around with it a little bit and probably test out a few designs, but Canva is definitely the way to go. They also have a template for a YouTube video thumbnail if you really want into designing!
My next action item for you: create a Canva account and test out some of their layouts for a couple social templates! But beware, if you’re anything like me, you will get addicted.
Last but not least, I want to share...
#5 The best way to share your videos to keep fans on your channel longer… and it all comes down to playlists
The overall concept is easy, but it’s not obvious! So if you’ve stuck around this long, you’ll be ahead of everyone else on YouTube.
Let’s say I want to share one of Sarah’s videos from her Official Video playlist. I’ll open the playlist, find the video I want to share, and click this share button down here. You see how it gives me the option to “share playlist starting with this video?” Yes!! That is what you want to do! No more sharing the URL to the single video, because that’s when you get random videos from other channels pop up when your video ends.
So in this case, I wouldn’t just be sharing one of Sarah’s official videos with this link - but all 7! How awesome is that!?
Market Your Music Online
This webinar has been the in depth version of all things YouTube, and the workbook will walk you through how to stand out online, how to figure out who your target audience is, all about hashtags, brand style, what and when to post on social media, and ways to grow your email!
Throughout the workbook I have 7 marketing rules & 3 social media challenges… so I figure I could share the challenge related to YouTube with you today.
It might sound super simple, but honestly think - when was the last time you did these 5 things on YouTube…
1. Reply to comments! Super simple, but so effective.
2. Comment on and favorite other videos. YouTube can be considered a social media too, ya know!?
3. Add relevant videos from other channels to your playlists… like we just talked about a little earlier.
4. Include a YouTube video embed in your eblast. Videos get amazing click rates in emails, if you didn’t know…
5. Embed a YouTube playlist on your website’s media page!
If this has been helpful, I'll hope you'll subscribe to my YouTube channel for more #WednesdayWebinars.
Katherine Forbes, Founder of Designing the Row
Designing the Row is a web design and marketing studio based in Nashville, TN. I'm Katherine Forbes, and I love creating websites to help share others' music online. I believe there is more to a website than just pretty graphics and layout. Each website needs to reflect the design and music style of the artist but also have a marketing strategy to help fans navigate easily