YouTube is a video-sharing website to which users can upload, view and share videos.
It’s second only to Google as the world’s largest search engine, second largest social media website behind Facebook and has more than 400 hours of video content being uploaded every minute.
Topics include everything from instructional videos to news stories, help with learning a language to beauty and fashion tips, vlogs (video blogging) to video game walkthroughs. YouTube has also recently created many new online personalities and celebrities, sometimes producing high-levels income through advertising or product placement, which the channel is eligible to earn a percentage for helping to generate using their large audiences and engaging content.
YouTube is increasingly being embraced by brands and businesses, so it’s not just all about talking cats and people falling over, it’s a fantastic tool to engage with your audience.
The YouTube Help Centre has the answers to many common questions about creating an account, watching and uploading videos and maintaining your channel.
YouTube - Information for students
YouTube is a great platform to host a library of videos of your course work at RGU and connect with like-minded people around the world.
During your time at RGU you could use your YouTube channel to keep and organise videos about your projects, engage with a wide international audience through comments and sharing or even keep a video diary throughout your studies.
However, it is important to consider that as a student of RGU what you upload in your YouTube channel could have positive or negative connotations with the university.
Similar to other social networking sites you should remember that if you choose upload a video to YouTube, this will be public and on the web forever. Even if you delete it, it may have been copied or used elsewhere. As a general rule only post what you would be happy for anyone to see online. You may find that when you apply for a job your employer may check your social networking sites and you wouldn’t want anything to be visible which could negatively impact on your chances of a job or further study.
YouTube - Information for staff
We recommend that any marketing or promotional videos are uploaded to the main RGU YouTube Channel. The central channel should host videos with topics including more general subjects such as student finance, testimonials, getting around Aberdeen or Graduation. Having them on the central RGU channel also ensures they can also be used on our website for any future promotions or features. The central channel can also help highlight school channel content by adding to our playlists to be seen by our large and broader audience.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to upload a video to the RGU channel. We will need a proforma to be completed and any video with speaking to camera or commentary will need a transcription too.
YouTube is an ideal channel where student work and the benefits of each school can be showcased. Video topics might include anything of relevance to your specific audience - projects and workshops, facility overviews and tutorials, guidance on procedures and access, eg Finding Books on a Topic from the Library. Pieces that shouldn’t be uploaded to your YouTube channel would be actual course content and long videos intended for the current students from a particular course, ideally this content will be uploaded to CampusMoodle or an alternative location.
YouTube - Hints and tips for posting
Is your channel set up properly?
- Use a relevant icon (contact Marketing for advice on using the RGU logo).
- Use channel art to help represent your channel
- Use your about section to introduce you, what you do, what your videos are about etc, linking to your website or course webpage is also a good idea here.
Make some videos!
Videos don’t need high production costs to be effective, smartphone footage is now good quality and can be easily edited using the YouTube Video Editor to trim and combine clips, add royalty-free music and add text overlays.
Categorise and organise your content, grouping your videos encourages your audience to watch one after the other with no effort involved. Playlists also help your videos get a small boost in Google search result rankings.
Be careful of copyright and permission.
Copyright includes any music, a script, photographs, film clips, logos, television footage you may have used in your video, if in any doubt whether you will be infringing copyright by including this content, don’t use it. Also consider any people you have featured – you need written and signed permission to film, distribute, publish and use of the video from each person featured, if the video features children under the age of 16, you need consent from their parent and guardian.
Promotion and engagement
Share your content on other social media channels.
Don’t rely on the old adage ‘Build it and they will come’ – people won't necessarily see the videos if they are only on YouTube. Use your other social media accounts and email to promote your videos to different audiences.
Analyse your engagement.
YouTube has great in-built analytics to help you see how your audiences are watching with your videos, if they stop watching at a certain point and which topics are the most popular. You can use this information to help decide on aspects of your future videos such as length and further topics you might like to cover.
Maximise your audience
Use closed captions or subtitles for any spoken word.
Add captions for all speaking to camera or commentary, don’t rely on YouTube’s automatic captioning which is sometimes completely wrong, risking your reputation! Add a transcription to the video and check it has been applied correctly. Captions will help your video to be translated into other languages, be accessible by those who are hard of hearing and also add to your video’s metadata increasing your discoverability by search engines and YouTube searchers.
Optimise your keywords.
Use titles and descriptions to accurately describe what the video is for, what is shown in it, who is in in etc. The range and visibility of your videos depend on the titles, descriptions and tags you give it when you upload it to YouTube.
Titles should be short and succinct, but not vague. Resist naming the videos with version numbers – it means nothing for the viewer. The title should include relevant keywords to ensure high rankings in Google and YouTube search, while still being compelling enough to encourage clicks and views. (10 words max)
Descriptions should have an introduction no longer than 2 lines, as YouTube cuts the information and any more than this will only be seen if the viewer clicks ‘view more.’ You can include more information about your video’s subject and/or a URL to information on an RGU webpage (use http://www to activate the link). The description should include a brief summary of what the video is showing, who is in it, their courses or relevant extra information. Start with a summary and then go into more detail if needed. NB only the first sentence will show above ‘show more’ so top-load your information. (200 words max)
Highlight the main keywords people can find your video with. These can include location, industry, company name, occupation, course keywords etc. Include different iterations, acronyms and separations of strings of words along with the strings themselves. E.g. Robert Gordon University, RGU, Student, University, Aberdeen Business School, ABS, Business, MBA, masters, business, administration, postgraduate, post graduate, PG, study. The more relevant tags the better.
Keep it going!
Stay engaged with your audience.
Rather than uploading and forgetting about your video, respond to any comments, possibly creating whole conversations and engaging with your audience further than initially expected.
Keep producing videos.
Audiences will soon stop watching and start unsubscribing if you don’t regularly upload interesting videos. Try to schedule in regular uploads to help with this, using your analysis to gauge what you need to do.
Technical bits you may need to know
YouTube accepts videos uploaded in most container formats, including .AVI, .MKV, .MOV, .MP4, DivX, .FLV, and .ogg and .ogv. These include video formats such as MPEG-4, MPEG, VOB, and .WMV. It also supports 3GP, allowing videos to be uploaded from mobile phones.
YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. If you are uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes (black bars on the left and right) or letter boxes (black bars at the top and bottom) provided by the player.
You can use the YouTube analytics to find out what your viewers are watching and when they stop watching and where they are in the world. Great if you’re targeting a specific audience. The web team can help if you need further analytics information, we can track specific URLs so we can find out how our viewers have found out about the video.
Music and Audio Tracks
YouTube will recognise if you have uploaded a video with copyrighted music or audio tracks and stop your video from being uploaded. YouTube offers royalty free audio and music tracks which you can add to your videos using the Video Editor.
Some countries block or censor YouTube videos. If you're video is aimed at these countries, RGU staff can contact the webteam for alternative methods of uploading and using your videos.
YouTube - Glossary of terms
- Channels - When you upload a YouTube video, it goes onto your channel. Channels are like public profiles where you can see all the videos somebody has uploaded.
- Playlist – Videos from your channel and from other channels can be put into a playlist to watch together. YouTube will automatically play one after the other.
- Subscription – Subscribe to another channel to automatically receive updates on its content.
- CC/Closed Captions/Subtitles – Running transcript of spoken word.
- Vlog – Video blogging, usually informal diary-style speaking to camera.