Understanding The YouTube Creator Playbook Part 2: Metadata and Descriptions

Last week, in our endless quest to crack the mysteries of YouTube’s Creator Playbook, we began breaking down the “Metadata” section piece by piece, starting with the simple yet elusive perfect title.

Diving even deeper into the depths of video metadata, this week we’ll be tackling a crucial YouTube metadata component – descriptions.

A video’s description as the YouTube Creator Playbook explains, “provides viewers context for a video before, during, and after they watch.”

For a terrific example of a keyword-conscious and compelling description, lets take a look at two very different types of videos.

First up is the Machinima Prime web series “Good Cops.” Being under the Machinima Prime umbrella, “Good Cops’” description has more information than most videos. However, the basic info captures exactly what a good description should contain.

Something to focus on is “Good Cops’” use of keywords like “YouTube,” “Comedy” and “Best” at the top of the description. By doing this, people searching for any of these words will at some point run into “Good Cops.” In addition, the description has links back to season one of the show so people can get caught up on past episodes.

The second example of a truly descriptive “About” section is a video from Vice, “Getting High Injecting Snake Venom.” All of Vice’s videos have extremely detailed descriptions, which provide tons of context for their uploads. The description for “Getting High…” is 184 words and provides a detailed analysis of the snake venom phenomenon. If your videos are going to tackle topics that require a small amount of context, the description section is the perfect place to provide your viewers with that information.

A good description is going to be the place where fans and newcomers alike can decide whether or not they want to stick around for your video. Write your descriptions like the pitch for any creative project; make it compelling and easily understandable by any demographic of viewer. Imagine that you are describing your video to a person who has no idea who you are or what you do. Read it to your friends and colleagues — if they don’t get it on the first try, it’s probably time for a rewrite.

For part one of our YouTube Creator Playbook breakdown, check out “Understanding The YouTube Creator Playbook Part 1: Metadata and Titles “.

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