Again, it's cool to see that so much of what I'm being instructed to do by this book are things that I already have a pretty solid handle on, Youtube being one of them. And I completely agree with the authors sentiments regarding the power of video. Expect to see a lot more visual content from me in the next few months! That being said, it's important to understand how Google (who as of 2006 owns Youtube) and Youtube interact in order to strengthen your online presence.
Think of Youtube like all your other social media networks. Hyatt suggests you make friends with other users, watch videos, subscribe to channels you like, add videos to your favorites, comment on videos, rate comments, and post video responses. This level of interactivity helps to market you and your music, interact with fans, other artists and potential partners, increases your Google index as well as attracts more fans in hopes that you will achieve the elusive status of a "Viral Sensation."
Some homework: Spend some time watching what is already working on Youtube and follow. You can see the most watched videos on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/charts to get an idea of what people want to see, then incorporate these elements into your own content.
When you're ready to make videos, think about what is going to be appealing to your target audience. Keep your videos to less than 3 minutes and always include a Call to Action. In other words, invite them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter if they like the video, but only use one call to action per video so you don't confuse your audience. Getting viewers to take action is the whole point of making a video.
Since Youtube is also a search engine consider including content that people already know they are looking for, use this site to see what people are searching for: http://ads.youtube.com/keyword_tool . Another strategy, that doesn't necessarily apply to rappers, but for you singer/songwriters out there reading, Cover Songs really work! So pick a few of your favorite songs and create your best version for your channel.
The author, then goes on to explain a step by step on how to set up your Youtube channel if you don't already have one. I won't go into too much detail here but some main points are to choose the "musician channel" option, keep your colors and branding consistent with your other social media accounts and website and think about including keywords in your title.
To optimize your channel, titles are key. according to some Youtube studies, the biggest factor determining success on a video's click though is directly related to the video's title. Always include artist/band name, song title and any other important info/ relevant keywords. The description box is also really important so put your website (with the http:// part so that it shows up as a hyperlink) and a little explanation of the video itself. After you have chosen the proper video category, make sure you tag with no more than 7-8 related words, genres, people, themes etc. Once your video is uploaded remember to share it on your other Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and your Blog. Finally, use the "Analytics" tab in your "Creator Studio" to follow the success of your video and see if your Call to Action is working.
(A screenshot from my recent #SoGoneChallenge video including all the necessary info and keywords as explained in the chapter)
That about does it for the Youtube overview, as always, let me know what you think and if you need more information on something I talked about just ask. I know it can be overwhelming but helping you helps me. So have fun with Youtube and don't worry if you don't have the best camera or the most awesome editing skills. Just trust that if you put yourself out there all that extra stuff will eventually come to you! Good Luck!