Youtube Changes Small Business Owners Need To Be Aware Of
Are you a small business owner dependent on digital marketing channels like Youtube to monetize and promote your products and services? If the answer is YES, this blog is for you! Recently, Youtube made some significant changes that might impact your usage and interaction with the platform.
Unlike the past, when Youtube was only identifiable as a video-sharing platform, the app is slowly reinventing itself to serve more like a social media platform. And that’s good news for small business owners because it means their content will quickly go viral and stand a chance to be found by their target audience.
Some significant Youtube changes and new features include:
- Unlisted videos
- Video monetization
- Youtube Video Metrics
- Youtube shorts
- Youtube channels
Changes to Youtube Unlisted Videos
According to Youtube Official Blog, “Unlisted is a setting for videos that can be viewed and shared by anyone with the link to that particular video, but don’t show up in the search result or other tabs.” Back in 2017, Youtube introduced a security update to the system that generates Unlisted links. The update was meant to make unlisted videos almost impossible to discover unless the owner shares the link with their audience.
Fast-forward to July 23, 2021, and the platform is again making changes to Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017. That is, Unlisted videos that were uploaded before 2017 updated will now be made Private, starting July 23. However, the good news is that Youtube has given creators the chance to keep their videos in their current state by opting out of the security update if they want to.
Youtube further states that it will directly notify creators whose videos have been impacted by this change. So if you’re one of such creators, you can choose to:
- Do nothing and let Youtube make your Unlisted videos Private from July 23, 2021. In this new status, the videos will only be visible to you and the people you choose. Plus, the links you previously used to share these videos as Unlisted will no longer be functional.
- Make your Unlisted videos public, so they become visible to anyone using Youtube.
- Reupload as new Unlisted videos to tap into the security update. However, data from the original upload, e.g., views, likes, and comments, won’t be transferred to the re-uploaded video. Also, you’ll have a new video URL as the old link will no longer be functional.
- Opt out of the change. If you don’t want your Unlisted videos to be affected by the upcoming changes, you can fill out this form before July 23 to keep them in their current Unlisted state.
Changes to Youtube Video Monetization
Another significant Youtube change that you’re probably aware of already regards how you can earn money from the platform. To monetize on the platform, you need to apply and get accepted into the Youtube Partner Program (YPP). The policy took effect at the start of 2018, and it has minimum eligibility requirements that creators should follow to join the program. These include:
- You must have at least 1000 subscribers.
- Your channel must have at least 4000 valid watch hours within the past 12 months.
- You must have a linked Adsense account.
- You must live in a region/country where YPP is available.
Please note that there’s a difference between view count and watch time. The former is the total number of people that usually interact with your videos on Youtube. On the flip side, the latter reflects the total number of hours users spend watching your videos. Therefore, watch time is more critical, especially if your channel runs ads, because that means more revenue flow.
However, 2021 has seen Youtube changing its terms of service, enabling creators to monetize their channels outside the YPP. In essence, Youtube will start placing ads on videos whose owners haven’t subscribed to the partner program. But there’s one small catch; all the revenues generated from the ads will go to Youtube.
Changes to Youtube Channels
If there’s one instrumental change that small business owners will enjoy, it’s the revamping of Youtube channels. Youtube is now updating its structure to feature creators’ channels more often. That means your prospects, customers, or clients can add your business channel to their favorites and interact with your content more.
So how can you ensure that your Youtube business channel is more visible? Simple! Head over to the channel settings and optimize for improved exposure. Optimizing your content for more exposure means using keywords in your video titles, tags, and descriptions. That way, your channel has a better chance of showing up atop the Youtube homepage when a user performs a search.
Introduction of Youtube Shorts
Youtube is no longer a preserve for long videos that some users may find challenging to watch till the end, thanks to the introduction of Shorts. With Youtube Shorts, creators can upload short-form videos (60 seconds max.) without needing sophisticated creation tools – just a smartphone and Shorts camera in the Youtube app.
Shorts is a perfect platform to market your products and services by creating commercial-grade videos that your target audience can resonate with and enjoy watching. And the best part? You can still monetize the video creation process, so you gain both from lead generation and Youtube revenues.
Introduction of Video Metrics
Youtube just made it better and easier to analyze and draw insights from your video upload trends with its new metrics. You can leverage the platform’s metrics to point out which videos perform well and which ones don’t.
But that’s not all; you can also know when your videos perform better and when they don’t. For instance, you can tell if most of your viewers tune out at a specific interval, say the 1-minute mark, figure out the issue causing that trend, and fix it. Likewise, you can notice if your viewers tend to replay something at a certain interval, so you duplicate it in your future videos. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; you can discover more Youtube video metrics here.
Change, they say, is the only constant in life, and that’s evident in the way Youtube isn’t taking anything to chance as far as adapting to new trends is concerned.
Perhaps the most significant change that small business owners need to take note of regards the Unlisted videos. If you have any Unlisted videos that you uploaded before 2017, you must decide whether you want Youtube to make them Private or leave them in their current Unlisted state. Also, you can make the Unlisted videos public, so they become visible to anyone, or reupload them as new Unlisted videos to benefit from the security update. It’s all in your pitch, but remember, you have until July 23, 2021, to enact the changes.
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