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Fact sheets and legal compliance info
IS5. Creating a YouTube presence Information sheet
Date Posted: 27 July 2016
This briefing will explain the features of YouTube and why your group may wish to use it
(A PDF of this information sheet is available to download below)

YouTube is a free video-hosting website that allows you to upload videos to the Internet – which others can then comment on and share with their friends though a range of social networking websites. It is increasingly being used to promote local arts groups, providing an exciting addition to their output of print and online publications.

Although there are other free video hosting websites (such as Vimeo and Viddler), YouTube has established itself in recent years as the most popular, and is certainly one of the most versatile.

This briefing will explain the features of YouTube and why your group may wish to use it. It will focus on the basic process of registering on the site and uploading your video content, before explaining the simple process of setting up a YouTube channel.

A. Why should you use YouTube?
YouTube provides a great platform to promote your group and its activities, for a number of reasons:
  • YouTube accounted for nearly 23 per cent of all visits to social networking websites in the UK in July 2011, making it the fastest growing social network for the five consecutive months*
  • It’s easy to use, from navigating the site and registering to uploading a video and setting up a channel
  • YouTube videos can be accessed, commented on and uploaded on the move, via applications available for the steadily increasing number of smart mobile phones on the market
  • You can ‘embed’ videos (that you or somebody else has uploaded) in your website or blog, adding a professional-looking multimedia component to your web pages
  • It’s free!
(Source: James Murray at http://weblogs.hitwise.com/james-murray/2011/08 /mobile_usage_boosts_youtube_to.html)

YouTube allows your group to create a channel to showcase your own videos, plus other people’s videos you have added to your favourites list. People can follow the channel by subscribing to it, meaning that they will get updates (either by email or on the YouTube homepage, according to their preferences) whenever you add another video to the channel.

Below is an example of a YouTube channel, which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/voluntaryarts
(Please see the PDF download for images)

B. Signing up to YouTube
YouTube is owned by the search engine company Google. If you already have a Google account, it is easy to get started on YouTube. If not, registering is a simple process, and once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to access not just YouTube, but other Google services.

1. Go to www.youtube.com. If you already have a Google account, click the link that says ‘Sign In’. If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to create one by clicking the button that says ‘Create Account’.

2. You’ll be asked for your email address, and to choose a password. It is not recommended that you use your personal email address or associate your personal Google account with YouTube, because if you ever leave your current role your colleagues will not be able to access the group’s YouTube account. You should instead pick an email address you’d be comfortable sharing access to with other group members. For example, Jane is a volunteer at ‘Group X’ and wants to set up a YouTube account for her group. She should set up the YouTube account with a shared email address, such as management-committee@group-x.org, not jane@group-x.org or jane@personal-email.co.uk. You are also presented with the option to stay signed in – if you are using a public computer it’s best to uncheck this box.

3. You’ll also be asked to enter your country and date of birth, and to do a security check to make sure you’re a human! Just type the word(s) into the box below.

Note: your word(s) will differ from that above as they are randomly generated. When you’ve finished, click ‘I accept. Create my account’. (Please see the PDF download for images).

4. Google will then send you a confirmation email to prove that the email address you entered is a valid one. Check your email account and once you have opened the email from Google, click on the link provided. You will now be directed to a page confirming that you are registered with YouTube.

5. For subsequent visits to the site, or if you already have a Google account, just go to www.youtube.com, click ‘Sign In’ and enter the email address and password you use to access your Google account.

6. Once you are logged in, you are presented with the option to set your account preferences. If you click on this link, you can add details to your account, such as a username (i.e. the name of your group), your email options (how often and in which circumstances YouTube sends you emails), and your privacy settings.

Note: for more information on these settings, visit the YouTube help section at www.google.com/support/youtube.

Things you can do once you’ve signed up
  • Subscribe to a channel – click the ‘Subscribe’ button at the top of their page. Their latest videos and recent shared activity will be delivered automatically to your homepage.
  • ‘Like’ a video – enjoyed a video? Click ‘Like’ beneath the video to let others know.
  • Comment – respond to a video that you’ve just watched by adding a comment beneath it. You can also rate the quality of other people’s comments by clicking ‘Vote Up’ or ‘Vote Down’, to the right of the comment. The highest voted comments earn the top spot, directly beneath the video.
  • Share – you can share YouTube videos with your friends via email, social networks or blog directly from the video page. Just click the ‘Share’ button underneath the video.
  • Embed – YouTube provides you with the code to add videos to your website or blog if you have one (as long as the video owner has allowed this). Click ‘Embed’ to see all your colour and size options – then just give the code provided to your webmaster to copy and paste directly into the source code of your site or blog.

C. Upload your videos

Creating video content
To create your own videos you will need to have a device that can capture video ñ– this could be a camcorder, digital camera, webcam or even your mobile phone. There is no need to spend a fortune on expensive camera equipment – often the idea is more important than the quality of the footage, and people are increasingly used to viewing video content filmed on nothing more than a mobile phone.

If your group doesn’t own any of these devices, you could ask if any of your members or volunteers have one that you could borrow – ensuring that you agree with them in advance the terms of the loan and what will happen if the device is damaged or lost. Check your insurance details to see if this is covered.

Alternatively, you could hire a camcorder from a commercial hire company or employ a freelance film-maker – though these options are more expensive, and not always the best idea if you are just starting out in producing video.

Note: if you are featuring people in your videos, make sure you let them know what you are intending to do with the footage, and get their permission to do so.

Once you have filmed your video footage, you can copy it to your computer and then either upload it as-is or edit it with free software such as iMovie (included with Mac OS) or Windows Movie Maker (included on Windows PCs).

Alternatively, you can edit your videos directly in YouTube, via its own Video Editor – no software downloads necessary. There you can combine your video clips, trim the length of your video, add music and transitions between video clips. In addition, YouTube’s AudioSwap (found within theVideo Editor) allows you to add music to your videos, with permission and free of charge.

Uploading your videos
1. Click the ‘Upload’ link at the top of the YouTube home screen or go directly to http://upload.youtube.com / my_videos_upload.

2. You’ll then be presented with a panel giving you three options. You can drag and drop the video files from your computer onto the panel, or click ‘Upload video’ to browse the files on your computer conventionally, or click ‘Record from webcam’ to create new video footage from your webcam (if you have one).

3. You will then be asked to add a title for your video, along with a description, tags and a category. The better your videos are labelled and tagged, the more likely they are to show up in searches, so be sure to use words that are relevant to the content of your video. Don’t forget to add your group’s name and a relevant link to your website (if you have one) in the description. Tags are descriptive words used by YouTube to direct searchers to your videos (e.g. dance, site-specific, Stirling, group work). Separate your tags with commas. Then choose a category from the drop-down list of options (such as ‘education’ or ‘nonprofits and activism’).

4. You will also be asked to specify whether you want to make your video public or private (only accessible by your specified friends). For the purposes of your arts group, most of the videos you will be uploading will be public.

5. Click ‘Save Changes’ when you are finished. After your video is uploaded it may take a short while to process. Once it has, you can choose one or more of the AutoShare options, allowing you to share your video on Facebook, Twitter or Google Reader, or embed it in your website.

D. Create your own channel
Your channel is the YouTube page that people will visit to view your own videos and the videos you have added to your ‘favourites’ list. You can personalise your channel by selecting the background colour, design and layout of the page. You can also incorporate your logo, if you have one.

Setting up your channel

1. Click the downward arrows next to your email address in the top right-hand corner of the page and select ‘Channel’ from the drop-down menu, or go directly to www.youtube.com/create_channel

2. If you haven’t already added a username when you set up your account, you will be asked to do so now. This will also be the name of your channel, so it is best to use the name of your group (e.g. ‘belfastmimeartists’). Names have to be all one word and can only contain letters A-Z or numbers 0-9. Click ‘Next!’ Your username will also form your channel’s address (e.g. www.youtube.com/belfastmimeartists).

3. Once you have created your channel, you will have the option to customise it, using the buttons at the top of the channel.
  • The ‘Settings’ button allows you to specify who can see the channel and to add descriptive channel tags to help people find the channel
  • The ‘Themes and Colours’ button allows you to change the colours of the channel – by clicking advanced options you can add the specific colours of your group
  • The ‘Modules’ button allows you to change the layout of the channel
  • The ‘Videos and Playlists’ button allows you to choose the type of content you would like to feature on your channel (e.g. your uploads and/or your favourites) and which video you would like to feature when people first arrive at the channel.
When you’ve completed your changes, click ‘Save Changes’.

If you don’t have many videos of your own to upload yet, you can prevent your channel looking a bit sparse by adding lots of ‘favourites’ – videos by other people that are relevant to what your group does and that you have added to your favourites list. You can find and add favourites by using the search box on the YouTube homepage and clicking ‘Add to’ and ‘Favourites’ underneath the videos you like.

YouTube non-profit programme
Does your group or organisation have a compelling story to tell? Do you want to connect with your supporters, volunteers and donors, but don’t have the funds to launch expensive outreach campaigns? With a designated ‘not-for-profit’ channel on YouTube, you can receive benefits such as:
  • special features to allow you to further brand your channel and increase your upload capacity;
  • listing on the non-profit channels and the non-profit videos pages;
  • ability to add a call-to-action overlay on your videos;
  • posting a request on the YouTube Video Volunteers platform to find a skilled YouTube user to create a video for your cause.
The not-for-profit programme is currently only available to UK, not RoI, organisations, although YouTube is continuing to expand the programme, so check back to see if other countries have been added. www.youtube.com/nonprofits


Further Resources

FCD Information Sheets
  • Free and low-cost IT tools (January 2011)
  • Creating a Facebook presence (December 2011)
Voluntary Arts Briefings
  • 133 – Putting your arts or crafts group on the map ? – ten ways to get noticed (March 2010)
  • 122 – Reaching out to new audiences (December 2008)
  • 114 – The latest developments in web technology (December 2007)
Useful videos
  • YouTube 101: How to Upload – www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzSwnbxb9TY
  • YouTube101: Sharing Videos – www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoZV-BtJjXw
  • YouTube101: Customizing Your Channel – www.youtube.com/watch?v=NykI2cJ9o80

Published by Foundation for Community Dance, December 2011

© Foundation for Community Dance. All rights reserved.

Every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, but is not intended to be legally comprehensive or to replace professional/legal advice. No responsibility can be accepted by the publishers, author(s) or contributors for any errors, omissions or changes not for any harm, however caused, which results from the information presented.

This information sheet was first produced and published by Voluntary Arts:
www.voluntaryarts.org/briefings
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