A little pragmatism never hurts, especially on the topic of video production, which can in some ways be more complicated online. Not one to mince words, Joe McDermottroe provided a useful series of checklists for current or future content producers on YouTube.


The Programming & Producing Checklist

  • Create great content that’s unique
  • Optimise the first 15 seconds of your video
  • Include specific calls to action in video or through annotations
  • Set a recurring schedule for your channel
  • Identify channels with similar content and/or relevant audiences
  • Use Analytics to better understand your audience, improve your content and help you develop effective programming and production strategies

“Being engaged on the platform is what people are really interested in,” McDermottroe said.


The Publishing and Optimisation Checklist


  • Write detailed and comprehensive metadata
  • Spot-check live video and published metadata.


  • Annotate the video with community CTAs (calls to action), a subscribe button and links to related content.
  • Set the video as a featured video on your channel page.
  • Set the video as a video response to a popular and relevant video from your channel.
  • Add the video to a relevant playlist on your channel.
  • Engagement and outreach!

To this last point about engagement, McDermottroe emphasises the human component: involve me and I’ll come back. “Loyalty keeps people coming back,” he said, so do what you can to make people feel special: feature comments (like iJustine), acknowledge viewers (like Old Spice).

Finally, here are a few drill-downs on producing metadata, playlists and video responses, optimising your channel page, and reaching audience. See? It’s all here!



Strategy: Write optimised titles, tags and descriptions for content.

Why it works: Metadata helps YouTube index content and is critical to building viewsfrom search and suggested videos.

How to do it: Use optimised keywords and formatting when writing metadata for your videos.


Playlists & video responses

Strategy: Organise content into sets of videos, using playlists and video responses. Create show separation, themed content or curated content, using playlists.

Why it works: Playlists help organise your content into meaningful sets of videos, which increase number of videos a viewer watches and improve your content navigation.

How to do it: Create playlists for different sets of videos. Add new uploads to relevant playlists and produce video responses to other videos.

“If you yourself have got a list of videos in your channel and you want to get people to watch as many videos as possible, then having this idea of introducing, discussing, showing … [is]the way you can start to look at success,” said McDermottroe.


Channel Page Optimisation

Strategy: Optimise and design your channel’s page avatar, metadata, layout and background. Set correct sharing settings for your channel’s feed.

Why it works: A well-designed, organised and search-optimised channel page attracts moreviewers, making your channel a richer destination for subscribers and create a professional look.

How to do it: Design a customised background, optimise channel metadata, utilise Channel Templates and broadcast the right interactions to subscribers through feed.


Reaching all Audiences

Strategy: Optimise videos and create content to reach the widest audience possible.

Why it works: Overcoming the language/cultural barrier will allow you to reach out to untapped audiences that can help propel viewership growth.

How to do it: Use online tools to create captions for your videos and create content that can transcend cultural differences.

Pro tip: Score metadata in two languages. It never hurts to add captions!


All of the above tips and more are to be found in the new edition of the Creators Playbook, YouTube’s super-useful bible for producers keen to optimise their use of the video platform. 


About Author

Angela Natividad writes regularly for AdWeek, AdVerve and MIPBlog; she is also co-founder of esports-focused marketing company Hurrah.


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