Building a Community of Subscribers
Why subscribers matter
Think of your favorite television program. Who are the main characters or personalities? What night of the week is it on? What time? Whom do you chat with about the program the next day?Imagine engaging a community built around your brand in the same way. On YouTube, subscribers are those viewers who like your content enough to make a note of your Channel and navigate back to it with high frequency. They might even share your Channel with their friends and go out of their way to view your newest content!
In our new Channels Design, we’re going to make your Channel even more visible to subscribers, and easier for them to find. Thanks to the Guide’s presence on every page, your Channel will only ever be one click away from subscribers.
With the right video strategy, you can expose subscribers to brand messages at regular intervals, and use the power of sight, sound and motion to create brand enthusiasts within the YouTube community. YouTubers are an active bunch, and you’ll find that creating worthwhile content for a subscriber base on YouTube will motivate them to connect, create, curate and engage a broader community for your brand.
Looking for something a bit more specific in terms of why subscribers matter? You got it!
- YouTube viewers are looking for a community–and you can provide one centered around your brand!
- We’ve found that subscribers tend to watch twice as much video compared to users who don’t subscribe
- Driving watch time is a great way to aid organic discovery of your videos
Subscribed vs. Unsubscribed viewers
Subscribed viewers have indicated interest in your YouTube video content by subscribing. Unsubscribed viewers haven’t yet signed on to follow your YouTube activity, and they may be first time visitors. So why treat these two groups the same?
That’s the question we asked ourselves when developing a scheme to allow you to manage the experience of subscribed viewers uniquely from the experience for unsubscribed viewers. Our goal is to empower you to convert more viewers to subscribers and to tailor unique experiences for your subscribers as you build a community of brand enthusiasts.
The new YouTube Channels design aims to help you convert idle Channel visitors into invested, conscientious subscribers. To facilitate that, we’ve developed and improved a few key features.
Default tab for unsubscribed viewers
Channel owners have two options when it comes to setting the default landing page experience for unsubscribed visitors to their Channels.
- Set the Browse tab as the default view
- The Browse tab enables you to present a curated overview of your Channel’s video content
- You may include a Channel trailer to auto-play for unsubscribed visitors, letting them know what your YouTube Channel is all about
- For Channels with custom gadgets: Set the Custom tab as the default view
- The Custom tab contains an iframe that can host an external gadget, providing a unique interactive experience for visitors.
You may configure your default tab via the “Edit Channel Navigation” menu.
Getting there: Login to your YouTube account > hover your mouse under the lower-right hand corner of the channel art to reveal a pencil icon > click it > and select “Edit Channel Navigation”.
Your Channel trailer is a featured video that will auto-play for unsubscribed viewers that reach your “Browse” tab. Per the above, you may set this tab as your default view for unsubscribed viewers.
Similar to Featured Videos in our current Channels design, auto-plays of your Channel trailer will increment the video view count.Tip:We recommend you use this option to let visitors know what your Channel is about, or to feature an existing video that highlights the unique value of your Channel–for example, your most noteworthy video or a video about a timely promotion.
Tip: Check out the YouTube Creator Playbook for suggestions on driving subscriptions.Getting There:Follow these stepsto configure your Channel trailer for the first time:Login to your YouTube account > Navigate to your Channel > Click on the ‘Home’ icon > You will see an option to “Promote your Channel” > Click the “Channel trailer” btn to begin the set-up flow
Please note: You should already have the video you wish to use as your trailer uploaded to your YouTube account and set as ‘Public’ before beginning this process. Your video title, description and other meta data will show alongside your trailer, and may be edited in Video Manager.
- Descriptions longer than 144 characters (with spaces) may be truncated
- Titles longer than 45 characters may be truncated
- View count information for your video in the trailer location may be different than what you see on the watch page or in YouTube Analytics due to differences in timing of data updates in each location
In the Channel trailer set-up flow, you will have the option to review your uploaded videos, to filter them by duration (e.g., “Under 2 minutes”), and to select the video you’d like to use as your trailer. After selecting your trailer, you can preview how it will appear on your page. Clicking “Done” will finish the trailer set-up process.
Edit & Update: Follow these steps to change your Channel trailer:
Login to your YouTube account > Navigate to your Channel > Click on the ‘Home’ icon > Hover over the Channel trailer section of your page > Click the ‘Edit’ btn to open up the Channel trailer update flow. If you do not wish to have a Channel trailer for unsubscribed viewers, you may click the “Remove Trailer” btn in the upper right corner of this section of your Channel page.
If you have a Channel trailer and would like to remove it, click the “Remove Trailer” btn when editing your Channel trailer.
You may resume use of a Channel trailer at any time by clicking the ‘Channel trailer’ btn on the Browse tab of your Channel.
The new YouTube Channels design equips you to convert subscribers into active brand enthusiasts.
Your subscribers will always be one click away from your channel whether they are just arriving on YouTube.com’s homepage, searching the billions of videos on YouTube or watching videos. Whenever you update content on your channel, subscribers will see a number increment on their guide, indicating there’s something new waiting for them on your channel!
Please note: Users have the ability to choose how Channels are organized on their Guide. They may sort A-Z, sort by “activity” or sort by “relevancy.” Activity is determined by the volume of new material on a Channel since the user last visited that Channel. Relevancy is determined by how much a user is watching from each Channel, how recently they subscribed and other factors.
Optimizing Subscriber Experiences
YouTube provides a unique experience for both creators and audience alike, one that is social and interactive. As a creator, you have the ability not only to foster authentic engagement around your Channel, but also the opportunity to interact with these viewers. YouTube gives you a chance to build genuine community around your Channel and what it stands for.Tip: Check out the YouTube Creator Playbook for suggestions on engaging your subscribers. A powerful tool for optimizing the experience of your Channel’s subscribers is a new concept we’re calling Sections. Please see the Sections section below for details.