For some time large media organizations such as NBC, BET, the Washington Post and even Al Jazeera have been building online audience via a presence on YouTube. Smaller news organizations should take advantage of the gains association with this popular site offers.
Creating an account is free and easy, but don’t stop there. Before you start uploading videos take some time to brand your profile page. One word of caution, focusing too much attention on the question of quality can waste more time then it’s ultimately worth. For more on video quality, I’d recommend you check out this post from CrunchGear.com.
Ok, so what can you do with your profile page?
Firstly, I want to suggest that you switch your accounts from the default YouTuber to Director. This FREE change in what YouTube refers to as Channel Type will allow you to add custom items and logos on your Profile page. Basically it allows you to make your YouTube homepage consistent with your overall branding.
To make this switch, simply sign into YouTube and then go to the “Channel Info” section (http://www.youtube.com/my_profile) of your account and click on the “change channel type” link.
Don’t forget to press the Update Channel button before navigating away from the page otherwise your change won’t be registered.
Before running off, make sure that you have given your channel a title and description. This information is entered in the Channel Info page. Your description can be something as simple as RCA Record’s:
The latest videos from RCA Records!
If you want to promote all your products you can provide a description similar to that of the Universal Music Group:
Universal Music Group (UMG) Music Video Channel.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Music Group, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, Universal South Records and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world.
But leaving these fields blank will only serve to confuse visitors to your page.
This screen is also where you can include a link to your homepage or other portions of your site or even contest or event. For example if you visit the NBA’s YouTube page, you’ll see that they are currently looking for people to vote for the Fan Plays of the Year.
Channel Design allows you to customize the look and feel of your homepage in addition to delete or add the types of content visitors will see. At the very least, I would encourage all of you to upload your logos, make the color scheme visually consistent with your own sites and remove content options that might just clutter your page.
To get some ideas of how other sites are customizing their pages, check out some of these links.
You could even go so far as to apply for Partner status which would allow you to do something like what Al Jazeera English did on their page, and really get the most out of your background image.
Once you’re done designing your YouTube page, don’t forget to upload your videos.
Those are my thought, how are you using your YouTube page?
Note: This was originally written for our blog at Ottaway. I’ve expanded it for public consumption.