Last June, YouTube’s VidCon announcement of YouTube Stories was met with shared interest among brands, creators, and agencies… leaving many wondering: when will this be available to me? And how can I best use Stories to connect with my audience?
Good News: YouTube Stories is Finally Here
Shortly after the conference, Stories was made available to a small set of influential creators with large followings. However, starting in late 2018, Stories has been made available to accounts with more than 10,000 subscribers. YouTube has not revealed if they plan on making the feature available to channels with under 10,000 subs at this time. Perhaps we will hear more next month at the Tenth Annual VidCon.
Before We Get to Why… HOW do You Use YouTube Stories?
You can only upload Stories from the YouTube mobile app, which means that you’re most likely going to be shooting your Story on your mobile phone. This is going to yield a secondary type of content to complement your longer videos.
Image Examples: Highly produced YouTube video (horizontal image) vs. a real-time low budget selfie-style approach (vertical image)
If Stories are new to you, you will need to shoot them differently from the way you shoot your regular content. For example, if you are a cooking channel that shoots gorgeous, elaborate recipes in a full kitchen setting, you’re probably not going to be making abbreviated recipes as a Story. Instead, your Story is most likely to be a selfie-style video taken on your phone while you are shopping for ingredients, looking for your next recipe, or behind the scenes during filming of your feature video.
This is significantly different from how many users upload their longer YouTube videos today, which is from a desktop after editing. Uploading from your mobile app naturally indicates that where you are doing the shooting is from your mobile phone camera with minimal editing using the simple filter and text overlay features offered when you are capturing a Story.
So, if you are lucky enough to have a following of over 10,000 subscribers…
Here are the reasons you should begin using YouTube Stories right now.
#1. YouTube Stories are short-form videos that appear for seven full days before disappearing. This extended length creates a visibility advantage unavailable on any other platform.
Think about that again. More time = more opportunity to be seen by viewers who are not on the app every day. For those with lower session time or those who didn’t get to your story when it was first posted, it gives more time to comment and share.
For example, here we are working with our client T-Mobile. During a LiveStream Phone Unboxing, we captured behind the scenes footage for use in this T-Mobile Story.
#2. YouTube Stories appear at the top of the Subscriptions Page in the YouTube mobile app, which ensures you’ll be at the top of the page even if your newest video isn’t.
Any Story made by the user’s subscribed channels will appear here, so make sure your avatar is clear and recognizable.
#3. Stories also appear on the Home Tab, so that if YouTube chooses to feature you, you’ll become exposed to an entirely new audience.
Get in on Stories early while it’s least crowded so you have the best chance of snagging some of this highly valuable real estate.
#4. YouTube Stories also appear underneath the video the user is watching in the mobile app’s Up Next section.
YouTube is making a strong attempt to mix Stories in with regular content, giving viewers the chance to change it up and switch over to Stories instead of watching one of the Up Next choices.
#5. You can comment and view comments on the Story itself. This is not available on other platform’s Story features.
This feature gives YouTube Stories the potential to be the most engaging Story functionality on any app.
The ability to create a dialogue about a Story directly in-line creates a much higher chance of engagement and repeat viewing.
#6. You can respond to comments on your YouTube Story directly with text or with a new VIDEO clip!
This functionality has never been seen before. Responding to comments on a Story with a video allows you to speak directly to your audience in real time as they ask questions, give feedback, and continue the conversation.
Image Source: Google Press Release
#7. Clickable Stories are coming soon and will be able to drive users to other videos and/or brand destinations.
Only a few of the big creators on YouTube have the ability to drive users to destinations with clickable Stories, but it will soon be rolled out to a broader number of users.
For now, you can add text, music, filters, and stickers on your Stories directing the user to where they can find more content. Stay tuned and use this feature once it is available.
We are looking forward to helping our brand clients use this feature for flash sales and driving to deeper content.
Are you using Stories yet?
Let us know in the comments section below.
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