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When people talk about the "big 4" social media networks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn come to mind. But YouTube is still a force to be reckoned with that should not be forgotten. YouTube boasts over a billion users, hundreds of millions of hours of video are watched on a daily basis generating billions of views, and YouTube is the second largest search engine, only behind Google. YouTube also has the second greatest reach of social media networks, with Facebook coming in first.

So needless to say, YouTube packs a pretty powerful punch that can deliver great results for your business, especially if you rely heavily on video content. To help you get the most out of YouTube, we've put together 5 tips and tricks you need to know about to enhance your YouTube experience that will undoubtedly help you one way or another:

Force Start A YouTube Video At A Specific Time

YouTube gives you the ability to create a link that will force start any YouTube video at a specific time, rather than starting the video from the beginning. So if you are wanting to take your audience to a specific moment in your video, or any other video you are sharing, you have that capability with this feature.

To do this, simply open the video you are wanting to share, click on "Share" beneath the video, and you will see a box that says "Start At" where you can enter the specific time you are wanting to force start the video, or if you simply play the video to that point and pause it, that box will auto fill with the time you have paused the video at. Make sure the "Start At" box is checked, and you will notice the link under the "Share" section will have that specific time added to the end of it. Go ahead and share that link, and whoever watches the video will be taken to that specific moment in the video!

Please note YouTube does not give you the ability to embed videos so that they force start at a specific time - you have to share the given link for this feature to work.

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Obtain The Written Transcript Of YouTube Videos

Another pretty nifty feature on YouTube is the ability to obtain the written transcript of any video. This transcript is automatically generated every time a video is uploaded to YouTube. Users do have the ability to manually hide the transcript from viewers on YouTube, otherwise, you will find the transcript for any video, regardless if it's your video or a video someone else uploaded.

There are many situations where having a written transcript of a video could be useful - for example, maybe you uploaded a FAQ or tutorial, and you want to have text-based directions available on your website, or maybe you need a quote or two to use for a blog you are writing or to use in a social media post, but don't want to waste time watching the entire video from scratch to find it. 

To obtain the written transcript of a YouTube video, simply open the video, and then click on "More" beneath the video, then "Transcript". A transcript section will then appear with the transcript - one thing to note is in some cases it may not be perfect (ie, incomplete sentences), if the users who uploaded the video has not gone back and manually cleaned up the transcript, but it will still be readable and serve its purpose.

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Add An End Screen To Your YouTube Video

Ever watched a YouTube video, come to the end, and seen an end screen where you are asked to continue watching other videos, subscribe to that YouTube channel, or visit a website? They are displayed during the last 5-20 seconds of the video. Here is an example of a well-designed end screen from this video:

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The idea here is to use end screens to keep your viewers engaged with you by getting them to subscribe to your channel, getting them to continue watching your other videos, and/or by sending them to targeted pages on your website. End screens will be displayed on both desktop and mobile devices (annotations, on the other hand, only display on desktop devices). And they're not too difficult to set up.

Here's how you do it:

  • Go to your Video Manager
  • Click "Edit"
  • Click "End screen & Annotations"
  • Use the End screen creator studio to choose the template and background you want to use
  • Click "Add element" to promote a video or playlist, promote subscriptions to your channel, etc.

You can also click here to access a help article YouTube has put together on adding end screens to videos.

Add Free, High-Quality Sound Effects & Royalty Free Music To Your YouTube Videos

Are you familiar with the YouTube Audio Library? Within it, you will find royalty-free 320kbps audio tracks and sound effects that you are free to download and add to your YouTube videos. How cool is that? Not only does this give you the ability to add them directly to your YouTube videos, but being you can download them, they can be added to any video you are working on. 

Click here to open the YouTube Audio Library, or open your Creator Studio, then click "Create", followed by "Audio Library". You'll then see a screen that looks like this:

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Categories for sound effects range from alarms to doors to human voices to sports to weather and so on, while music genres include alternative, children's, classic, country, pop, rock, and more. There is a download and favorite button next to each sound effect and audio track available. The downloads will be in MP3 format, and then you are free to do what you wish with it.

Please note some tracks may have an attribution-required icon next to them, requiring you to give credit to the original artist. For additional information on that, please click here.

Use Google Trends To Compare YouTube Search Terms

While this trick isn't performed directly on YouTube itself, it can impact what you do on YouTube. You may already be using Google Trends to see how various search terms compare over periods of time. This can be beneficial in your marketing efforts to help you determine what keywords to use in your next campaign. But Google Trends can also be used to look at the performance of search terms on YouTube. Pretty cool trick, right? This could help you with determining a topic for your next YouTube video, what keywords to include with your video, or what words or phrases to include in the description of your video.

To use Google Trends to compare YouTube search terms, simply go to Google Trends, type any search term into the "Explore topics" bar at the top of the page, hit Enter, and after the results load up, click on the "Web Search" drop down and change that to "YouTube Search". Who knows - the results may help you determine the keywords you were thinking about using for your next video are not as popular on YouTube as they were a month or two ago, so you'll be on the hunt for keywords that are performing well today!

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