Two Rivers YouTube Channel on a Computer

Looking to up your YouTube marketing game in 2021? You’re not alone — and with good reason. YouTube plays a key role in most cross-channel marketing plans and is a great tool to use to connect with your brand audience. To help, we’ve outlined our favorite YouTube features and promotional services below.

Going live on YouTube

YouTube Live is the channel’s livestreaming tool. When you go live, your stream appears in the Live section, found on the left-hand side of the YouTube homepage. Livestreams are visible to all subscribers. Users who have recently watched your videos, or videos from channels like yours, will likely also see your livestream on their homepage.

Going live on YouTube is a great way to make users feel like they’re part of an event. Each viewer is watching the exact same thing at the same time. The chat function that pops up for the duration of the video makes YouTube livestreams a great opportunity for fan engagement, too. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of livestreaming has grown. It's given users access to their favorite artists, virtual events, and more while quarantined. Experts don't expect its popularity to decline anytime soon.

  • 81% of people surveyed would rather watch a live video than read a blog post.

  • 82% of users surveyed prefer live video over social media posts.

  • 70% cited YouTube as their favorite platform for live content.

Going live on YouTube is also a great way to repurpose blog content into short presentations. Using a Q&A format to deliver this content allows you to connect with your customers in a more personal way. It also offers an opportunity to show off your brand personality and build deeper relationships with your customers. Learn more about YouTube Live.

Using hashtags to boost YouTube video SEO

Using relevant hashtags can positively impact your YouTube video SEO and searchability.

YouTube allows up to 15 hashtags per video. The first three hashtags entered display above the video title, and all hashtags are visible in the video description. You can also use a hashtag in the video title, although doing so sacrifices the three hashtags above the title.

YouTube’s mobile app also allows for the placement of location hashtags. Location hashtags show up above the video title, in place of the first three hashtags. Location tags do not include a “#” but generally function the same way hashtags do.

There are a couple of different ways to find YouTube hashtags to use:

Go to YouTube Analytics > Traffic Sources. Click "YouTube Search." This will allow you to see if you’ve generated views for your channel from hashtags before. Consider using those hashtags in similar content.

Search for hashtags using the YouTube search feature. Use hashtags, when relevant, that are being used by current top videos. You can also type “#” into the search bar to see what auto-populates first; those are the most popular current hashtags.

YouTube Stories

YouTube reports that nearly 70% of its watch time occurs on mobile devices. Knowing that, YouTube launched Stories in late 2019, which offered another way to connect with these more casual, on-the-go users. Unlike other channels’ 24-hour window, YouTube Stories are mobile-only and expire after seven days.

Stories open up extra opportunities for two-way communication between you and your subscribers. The level of adoption of YouTube Stories is yet to be measured, which makes it a prime time to try it out with your channel and see how your audience responds. If you plan to use Stories, make sure you’re prepared to review and respond to more messages stemming from them.

YouTube Community

The YouTube Community tab functions like a newsfeed for your channel. Creators with more than 1,000 subscribers have access to Community posts. Use it to post quizzes, polls, and other status updates to engage your subscribers. Our recommendation is to maintain a regular post schedule. That could be several times each week or a couple of times per month. Consistency is key. Learn more about the YouTube Community.

YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program gives publishers greater access to YouTube resources and features. When you join the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll gain access to the following:

  • Creator support team: Access to this team provides extra resources to platform managers. These resources include increased tech support, recommendations for channel optimization, and help with content ID and rights management issues.

  • Copyright match tool: Keep your content on your pages. This tool finds full re-uploads of your original, owned videos on other YouTube channels. If a match is identified, you’ll be able to review it and choose what action to take.

  • Enhanced search visibility: Being a partner puts your video at the top of video searches, helping to drive more users to your channel.

  • More creative features: Gain the ability to use YouTube video cards and end screens to drive to destinations outside of

  • Monetization features: YouTube monetization features allow brands to add revenue to their YouTube stream in five ways: advertising revenue, channel memberships, merchandise shelf, Super Chat & Super Stickers, and YouTube Premium revenue. Users can choose which videos they monetize, allowing them to make the most of the opportunity. This content is often delivered to a larger audience. But, monetization does force viewers to watch ads, which may discourage video views. There may also be more language and location restrictions on your content.

If you apply to become a member of this program, YouTube will complete an evaluation of your channel. This evaluation is to ensure that traffic is growing and content is well optimized. To make sure your channel meets these criteria, conduct a channel audit ahead of submitting your application. Learn more about the YouTube Partner Program.

How will you use YouTube’s marketing features?

YouTube is constantly evolving their promotional services. Recently they introduced Clips, a feature that allows you to share specific parts of videos and livestreams. Last year, they introduced Shorts, a TikTok lookalike, as a beta. No doubt there is more on the horizon as YouTube continues to expand its marketing features.

Not sure which YouTube feature you want to explore first?