ASU has partnered with YouTube to create a premium learning channel. Below you will find guidelines to publish and optimize educational and inspirational videos on ASU-affiliated YouTube channels, making it more possible to reach vast audiences and boost affinity for ASU.
Titles are key for users to discover and watch your content. Titles need to include search-optimized keywords and help the viewer quickly understand what the video is about. Do not try to trick the viewer; the title should be an accurate reflection of the video’s content.View the Hub’s Basic SEO Guidelines and YouTube Optimization Guidelines for more detailed information.
Unit-focused channel video title requirements
Unit-focused account video titles must be 100 characters or less and use title casing. It is recommended that the units include their shortened or full-length college or unit name and the ASU acronym at the end of the title.
You can add up to 5,000 characters to your video description. The video description helps draw viewers to watch your videos and helps YouTube and Google algorithms discover your content.
Tips to optimize your descriptions:
- Pay attention to the first 150 characters — they’re crucial. They are what will be initially displayed to your viewers and need to capture the essence of the video.
- Use SEO best practices. Ensure the description of each video has relevant keywords that support SEO strategy for discoverability.
- Invite the viewer to learn more. Include references to playlists, helpful websites and social media channels in the description for the viewers to learn more about your brand.
Remember to include your department name. Department terms should be incorporated into the video description for SEO.
Think of the YouTube thumbnail as the new book cover. The more engaging and interesting it looks, the more likely a viewer is to click and watch your content. It should clearly convey your brand and provide a quick idea of what they’ll be getting in your video.
Keep in mind when creating your thumbnail:
- Emotion and up-close visuals perform better. Images that are compelling and that are easy to understand on small screens perform better than crowd or abstract visuals. Close-ups on faces, with authentic emotion, preferably making eye contact, will perform.
- Be bold, show gold. We are fortunate because bright yellows outperform other colors on YouTube. Using ASU Gold will help your videos stand out from others as well as convey the ASU brand.
- Include an ASU logo. A small logo or watermark quickly signals the video is from a trusted source and increases the likelihood to click.
- Include three to four words in the thumbnail. Do not repeat the title of the video in the thumbnail. Make it a bold and easy to read statement.
- Design for the smallest screen. Many of the impressions you will receive will be from a mobile device — the related videos column or the homepage feed, all of which have a small dimension.
- Avoid the lower right-hand corner. YouTube often covers the lower right corner with a timestamp or watch later button. Important images or information are likely to be hidden from viewers.
- Consistency counts. Establishing a consistent thumbnail design that includes a color palette, layout, fonts and other elements improves recall and recognition.
Please note that all videos placed on the Premium ASU YouTube channel are now required to use a standardized thumbnail. Download the template from Dropbox. Channels affiliated with ASU are encouraged to create their own template based on the guidelines outlined in this section.
- Accurately portray the content of the video. No surprises — viewers will expect to see what was promoted in the thumbnail also in the video. For low-lift imagery, use a screen grab from your video that aligns with the above guidelines. For the most impact, consider what your thumbnail image can be during preproduction and intentionally take photos during production. Stock images can be used, however it is not recommended as a regular practice.
- Thumbnails should be of high quality and not pixelated. Dimensions should be 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080 and the final artwork is formatted as a .png or .jpg. Make sure your final file is less than 2MB in order to be able to upload to YouTube.
Unlike other social networks, shorter is not sweeter on YouTube. Videos that are longer than four minutes are more positively received by viewers. Watch time is a key metric that YouTube uses to determine the value of an individual video and the channel as a whole. Learn more about YouTube analytics.
Adding video end screens to your YouTube uploads encourages a viewer to continue engaging with your channel content. End every ASU video with the ASU bug in the center of the screen, followed by five to 20 seconds of padding on every video. This allows for suggested videos and a subscribe button to be added on YouTube. Learn how to add an end screen with ASU’s End Screen Lookbook or YouTube’s guidelines. Download the ASU end screen template for videos appearing on the official ASU YouTube channel.
See Graphics for video.