A couple weeks back I made a personal pledge to get a better understanding of all the social media channels and tools we have at our disposal - and spend less time on my two 'favourite' platforms (blogs and Twitter) - firmly of the belief that the more I can cram into my head the better (I think!)
So, I've spent a few days trying to get a little further under skin of YouTube, and I've pulled out some tools, tips, resources and examples of YouTube goodness.
I plan to add to this pot as time goes on, but in the meantime I thought it was worth sharing what I found to be particularly useful so far.
YouTube Goodness - 'Brand' New
Some of these finds are brand new to me but others are just useful for those who work with brands on a daily basis. Enough of the suspense, let's get to it...
1. You Tube Show and Tell
This was only set up a few months ago and is billed as the 'home of creative marketing examples on YouTube'.
It may be a bit light in some sections, but the bank of goodies such as 'viral hits' and 'brand channel examples' are really useful, especially during the planning stages of a campaign.
Major benefit: Creatives corner - a series of videos giving you advice on getting the most out of YouTube content
This is clever, useful, and addictive.
Infinitube allows you to select a key word / topic, and it will then respond with playing related videos on an automatic loop.
Major benefit: Doing some research about a brand / person, let this run for 45 minutes or so and you'll have covered a good portion of what you need to know.
YouTube's Quick List function is similar and is worth keeping on file too.
Imagine you are at a conference and you have a great case study video you'd like to feature on loop during the time your guests are present?
This is the answer. Chuck the URL into the bar and let it do the rest.
Major benefit: Access to YouTube content that you want to use to make an impact
This is cool...and I must use it soon!
As they describe it: "synchtube allows you to create public and private rooms where you can watch synchronzied YouTube videos with up to 50 people. Everyone views the same video at the exact same time!
Major benefit: A solution to getting people 'together' to pass feedback on video content
5. One click search from Google Chrome
I love Google Chrome extentions - so nifty.
This one is a good 'un for when you are madly researching or looking for something - instead of popping out of the window you are working in, just search for a video direct via extension icon. Simples.
Major benefit: Time, time and, erm, umm, time.
6. The YouTube Blog
If you are spending more time in the video space, this blog isn't a bad one to subscribe to - also worth following them on Twitter too.
Major benefit: YouTube changes more than I do before a dinner party, so this is a good place to keep on top of new development and initiatives.
7. Converting YouTube videos to other formats with Any Video Converter
I love this for so many reasons.
It's free and it can turn any format video into desired output you like - and it is dead easy to use.
Major benefit: YouTube is home to every clip on the planet, this tool will allow you to grab the ones you want and re-package up as you see fit.
Ever wanted maybe 20 seconds of a four minute clip on YouTube?
This is the solution for you - go in there, grab it, and pass it in.
Major benefit: Just say a news report features your client / brand for only a small portion of a report, you can get just the bit you need. Nice.
9. TestTube from YouTube
The idea behind this makes a lot of sense. It is where YouTube developers and engineers test stuff out, but in a pretty open environment, allowing you to get a look in.
Things like 'comment search' and 'insights for audiences' could come in very handy.
Major benefit: Gives you a chance to be one step ahead of your clients, adding valuable insight where appropriate.
10. Channel Search
It can sometimes be a little tough navigating the YouTube interface, making some sections almost impossible to find.
I'm especially interested in how brand channels are evolving and these two links are great for this:
YouTube's most subscribed channels
YouTube's sposnor channels
This is a video feed of the latest news with footage provided by Joe Public.
Major benefit: If you have some footage that is newsworthy, you might get it featured there.
12. YouTube Sidebar Widget
This can come in handy for bloggers to people managing corporate websites.
This will help created a customized Videobar for your site, in any shape or format you desire.
Major benefit: Trying to promote your YouTube channel? Feature one of these across your digital portfolio for extra awareness.
13. Creating a branded YouTube channel
I found a couple of great resources in relation to branding up a YouTube channel.
One direct from Google (guide to branding a channel) and one from One Woman Marketing (branded YouTube channels).
Major benefit: Both are very useful and worth referring to when you need to go through the design / set up process.
14. Top of the YouTube pops
YouTube have just announced that they'll feature charts to highlight the most watched / popular videos.
Here are two resources that are always worth checking in on:
Top 100 most subscribed UK YouTubers
Top 10 YouTube videos of all time (via RRW)
Major benefit: Check out the most subscribed list to get an idea of why people subscribe to certain YouTubers over others.
15. Top examples of branded YouTube channels
I always find it tough compiling best practice examples of YouTube branded channels because they can be hard to a) search for and b) whether or not they deliver on their promise / purpose
In any event, here are five that I think each have something to offer:
http://www.youtube.com/user/homedepot (good example of content fit vs brand)
http://www.youtube.com/user/DriveTheATeamVan - (test the 'drive the van option')
http://www.youtube.com/user/hbo (great use of scrolling menu)
So there you have it - some YouTube intel.
Do you have any other YouTube tricks, tools and tips to share?
If so, lay 'em on us via the comments section below.
Note: I spent most of my time scrawling through Google and YouTube pulling this post together but also wanted to make special note of a couple of posts:
They were very handy in pulling this together.