How to Create Custom YouTube Thumbnails

social media how toAre you frustrated by the default random YouTube thumbnail option for your videos?

Do you wish you could create something custom to improve your views?

Since December 2011, YouTube has been making some radical changes to their site.

Everything from the home page layout, website colors and even the look and feel of the video players have changed dramatically.

But none of these aesthetic changes have had any real impact on the way we need to be marketing videos on YouTube.

However, this latest change may just be the biggest game-changer that savvy video marketers can take advantage of! Introducing the Custom YouTube Video Thumbnail.

From YouTube's Support Portal, instructions for uploading a custom thumbnail.

A Little Background

In April 2012, YouTube quietly rolled out the option for all YouTube channels to become “YouTube Partners.”  This original YouTube Partner Program consists of a selective club of content producers with a large audience and a ton of views.

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8 Ways to Use 15 Second Videos to Connect With Your Customers

social media how toAre you using video to connect with your audience?

Do you think 15 seconds is too short to convey your message?

Think again.

The rise of mobile users has brought new tools to help marketers connect with on-the-go consumers.

Viddy is one such tool.  It’s a relatively new social network centered on creating and sharing 15-second video clips.

Taking advantage of the rise in mobile use, Viddy is used mostly on smartphones and other mobile devices by its user base of 22 million people who create and interact with video content daily.

Since the network limits your video uploads to 15-second clips, it’s a similar experience to Twitter’s 140-character limit, ensuring your quality content is concise.

Why add Viddy to your business’s existing social media regimen?

  • Video streaming has increased 93% via mobile phones from 2010 to 2011, according to Ooyala.
  • Americans spend 2.7 hours a day socializing on mobile, according to Smart Insights.
  • Viddy needs less maintenance as compared to other social networks like Twitter or Facebook.
  • Fluid integration with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube help bolster your video content and presence on Viddy.
  • There’s less competition on Viddy for getting your content seen as compared to Facebook, YouTube or Twitter because the social channel is still young.

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How to Use YouTube Live Streaming to Boost Your Exposure

social media researchDid you know you can broadcast LIVE on YouTube in a few simple steps, right from your webcam?

This is great news for businesses. Imagine what this could do for you or your brand!

YouTube is a social media heavyweight, so you should give live broadcasting on this popular platform careful consideration for your social media marketing plan.

Keep reading to find out why you should consider live streaming on YouTube.

The Google+ Back Door to Live YouTube Broadcasting

Regular readers of Social Media Examiner will remember Mike Delgado’s excellent article “Google+ Hangouts On Air: What Marketers Need to Know.” In it, Mike walked through all of the steps needed to do a Google+ Hangout On Air.

Here we’re going to look deeper into the power and position that your business can achieve by using these same features to publish on YouTube.

The popular web series GeekBeat.TV (part of the Revision3 Network) does a live show almost every Friday afternoon that broadcasts on YouTube. Here’s a direct link to a playlist of the archives of many past episodes.

At the time this was written, their YouTube channel boasted more than 2.7 MILLION VIEWS—and YouTube isn’t even their primary channel of distribution.

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5 Creative Ways Businesses Are Using Google+ Hangouts

social media how to

Are you interested in adding a bit of splash to your social media marketing mix?

Google+ Hangouts has addressed this issue.

It might be the versatile platform you’ve been waiting for to help capture the attention of an even bigger slice of potential customers.

With Hangouts, you can:

  • Video chat instantly with up to nine people.
  • Share documents and other files with the group.
  • Watch a YouTube video together and chat alongside it.
  • Share your screen with others.
  • Record sessions for viewing later.
  • Broadcast the chat live to anyone.

How to Get Started

Starting a Hangout is easy (and free!). Just create a Google+ account, and click the “Start a Hangout” button. The technical aspects of Google+ Hangouts are extremely basic and intuitive.

starting a hangout

Starting a Hangout is simple. Click the green "Start a Hangout" button and decide who to invite.

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8 Ways to Track YouTube Video Performance

social media how toAre you wondering how to analyze the reach of your YouTube videos?

YouTube’s video statistics and analytics tools help you measure results of your videos.

Why measure your YouTube marketing efforts using these tools?

These tools give you the analytical know-how to help create improved branded content to more effectively get your videos:

  • Discovered in organic search in both Google and YouTube results
  • Watched by the largest and most relevant audience possible
  • Shared across social networks, email and embedded on other websites

To improve results with your future content, dive into your YouTube Insights in the following ways.

video statistics

The public statistics found below any YouTube video.

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6 Ways to Grow YouTube Subscribers and Your Exposure

social media how toAre you seeking more visibility for your YouTube videos?

Are you wondering how others do it?

If you want the massive views, exposure and targeted traffic that YouTube offers, you need to focus on first building an audience—or as YouTube calls them, subscribers.

Why YouTube Subscribers?

A YouTube subscriber is someone who has chosen to “follow” your channel and your content so they can stay updated with your latest videos. In essence, a subscriber can become a raving fan who watches, comments and shares your videos with others. Building up a strong subscriber base is essential for creating a powerful community online.

The following article will reveal six simple—yet highly effective—methods for getting more subscribers to your channel and your existing videos.

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How Online Video Can Grow Your Business and Your Brand

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Steve Garfield, who is the author of the book Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business.

Steve shares insights into how video can give your company a competitive advantage. He also shares tips on how to get started and what to look out for in the future.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

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How Johnson & Johnson Uses YouTube to Create Awareness

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Robert Halper, who is the director of video communication for Johnson & Johnson.

Robert shares the story and strategy behind the company’s successful social media activities. You’ll also learn how Johnson & Johnson’s social media communication is not just about the brand and how they create awareness with YouTube videos.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

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Social Customer Service Allows Startup to Outpace the Competition

social media case studiesPatton Gleason is the first to admit he can’t sell. And just over a year after going live with his online start-up, the Natural Running Store, he hasn’t had to try.

“I’m a terrible sales guy. I’m awful at it,” Gleason says. “But I really do like this idea of ‘can a relationship really be your big marketing vehicle?'”

Turns out, it can. By wowing customers with unheard-of service, Gleason has come close to replicating the in-store experience online. In doing so, he turned the Natural Running Store into a serious competitor in the running shoe arena.

And he’s done it without spending a nickel on outside advertising. The key has been to give online buyers a very personal touch and create bite-sized content for social media.

“It is 1000% a hustle in relationships,” he says.

The result: high search engine rankings, dozens of features on like-minded blogs and a profitable, growing business.

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