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. Unregistered users can watch videos, and registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos.
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 for audience engagement.
Should we have our own channel?
It's easy to create and manage a YouTube account, but you need to think about if and why you should have a separate presence.
We recommend that most videos are uploaded to the main RGU YouTube channel. Video topics might include anything of relevance to our audience, from student finance, getting around Aberdeen or Graduation. Exceptions to this would be course content and long videos intended for the current students from a particular course.
Email email@example.com if you would like to upload a video to the RGU channel.
Some YouTube channels exist and are managed at school level - Gray’s School of Art and the School of Computing Science and Digital Media are examples. Video production and the study of interactive visual media are covered in specific courses delivered by these schools. YouTube is an ideal channel where student work and the benefits of each school can be showcased.
You should consider if a channel is both appropriate and needed for your school, and how often you will realistically upload to it.
Hints and Tips
Your channel should reach and connect with your audience, so your content needs to be engaging. Think outside of the box, but uphold a central message – it may go viral!
Keep it fresh!
Channels, Playlists and Subscriptions
- 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.
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.
Titles, Descriptions and Tags
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.
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).
Tag your video with as many relevant keywords as possible. 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 etc.
Closed Captioning or Subtitles
Subtitles and closed captions open up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers or those who speak other languages. Its important to provide transcripts for every video as automatically generated closed captions can be very hit and miss, often substituting inappropriate words for whats spoken.
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, speak to Jo Fleet for alternative methods of uploading and using your videos.
The YouTube Help Centre has the answers to many common questions about creating an account, watching and uploading videos and maintaining your channel.