4 takeaways from the YouTube Brand Playbook

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, attracting 1 billion active, unique users every month. Its reach across U.S. adults (18–34) surpasses that of every cable network. Impressive, right?

With more than 300 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute and usage continuing to rise, audiences have more options than ever to choose from and watch. They expect brands on YouTube to inform them, entertain them, and provide utility to them—when, where, and how they want it.

Luckily, there’s a great resource to help brands figure out how to use the platform—it’s called the YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands. In case you don’t have time to read through the entire thing, here are four of its most important tactical suggestions for your brand.


True, few people jump out of their seats with excitement when it comes to metadata, but it’s hugely important to the way YouTube indexes your content. Make sure you’re not missing out on search and suggested video views: consider SEO when writing video titles, descriptions, and tags that are both accurate and compelling.


Thumbnails serve as mini billboards for your content, so make sure to incorporate strong images that represent the video’s content accurately and enticingly. Keep in mind that viewers will see these thumbnails, like your videos, on multiple platforms (desktop, tablet, smartphone, TV, and so on). A thumbnail that works fine when viewed on a desktop might not do the trick when viewed on a pocket-sized phone.


Whether your brand is focused on increasing engagement, gaining subscribers, driving audiences to more content, or leading them to your website, annotations are here to help! When it comes to creating circular traffic or presenting calls to action, annotations can be your best friend. Implement an annotation experience that’s conversational, interactive, and useful.


Remember: it’s all about the user! Playlists make it easier for your audience to watch multiple videos and increase watch time, a primary factor in YouTube’s search algorithm. Playlists organize your content and create another asset that will surface in search results and YouTube suggested video. And they can include both your own videos as well as others. So get to playlisting if you haven’t already! And don’t forget to publish your playlists as posts to your channel feed.

To sum up: optimization is crucial to maximizing your brand’s presence in search, promotion, suggested videos, ad serving, and discoverability on YouTube as well as Google search! The effectiveness of every single YouTube engagement and amplification strategy (working with influencers, paid media, community management, etc.) relies on a sound optimization strategy.