Since YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet, it might be a good idea to think about getting a YouTube channel for your brand. Whether you have a budget to hire a vendor to create your video content, or you’re doing it yourself, it’s a great visual tool to give people an inside look into your brand’s personality. Here are some built-in tools that YouTube offers for making content creation and possibilities for reach that much easier.

YouTube Video Editor

Creating or obtaining the content is the hard part, and what you can do with it once you have it is the fun part. YouTube offers its own video editor, so you can do everything you need on YouTube, which is especially helpful when you’ve shot something simple that you want to get up on your channel quickly. Just log in to your YouTube channel, and select the Video Editor tab from the Creation Tools dropdown menu on the left side menu. Then you can drag the file of the video you would like to edit into the editor or choose from your existing video uploads.


The video editor allows you to choose when the video stops and starts so that you can isolate exactly what you want to display. Other features the YouTube video editor offers is adding music if you don’t already have it from a selection of free audio tracks, adding transitions between segments and adding text which is very useful for adding titles to identify locations, dates or people in your videos. If you would like to use music from an original recording or from one of your own mp3s (make sure to heed copyright restrictions!), you can simply drag and drop your own audio into the video editor. Other useful options within the video editor let you adjust the brightness and contrast, add a filter, slow down the pace, pan and zoom, and stabilize any shaky camera motions.

YouTube Video Annotations

YouTube gives you even more tools once you’ve uploaded a video to further extend the reach of your campaign or marketing goals. One of the most valuable is the annotations tool, which you can access by clicking on the dialogue box icon on the video page that you want to add an annotation to. That will take you to the annotations editor where there are several types of annotations you can choose to add.

The annotations that YouTube offers their channels are speech bubble, note, title, spotlight and label. The speech bubble is mainly for cosmetic purposes, used for creating pop-up speech bubbles with text. A title can be created as a text overlay to give your video a custom title. A label is helpful if your video contains different sequences of sections that you want to specify for the viewer without having to explain it in the video itself. The spotlight is a box that you can place at any point in the video on a specific area that when highlighted, a user can hover over with their mouse to see custom text.

youtube annotations

Example of a video annotation link to an associated website

The note feature I find most valuable, as this is the most straightforward in creating pop out links within the video to other content. This allows users to explore your channel and other video content further. YouTube gives you a selection of several different places your link can go to, including a subscribe page so users can subscribe to your YouTube Channel, or it can direct them to the Google+ page linked to your YouTube channel, to a fundraising website, one of your YouTube playlists, or to an associated website, which in most cases would be your brand’s or business’ main website. To add an associated website, you’ll need to verify your website in webmaster tools by downloading the HTML verification file and uploading it to your website. Then you can use that website to link in your YouTube videos, which is one of my favorite features of the YouTube annotations tool.