So you’ve set up your channel and you’re ready to upload a video to YouTube. But how do you plan for success? We’ve put together a short guide on how to upload and set up a video on YouTube with key factors that make your content more discoverable, shareable, and enjoyable for your final audience. We will take you through how to set up metadata like title, description, audience, and tags as well as taking advantage of advanced features like automatic chapters and captioning. Get ready to roll out professionally prepared content that gets people’s attention and keeps them interested in seeing more.
Upload a video to YouTube from your computer
First, make sure that you are logged into the right account on YouTube . Then, if you have multiple channels, verify that you are using the intended channel for your content. Click the “Create” button at the top of the page then click upload video from the drop-down menu. Drag and drop or select the correct file from your computer.
Add metadata to your video
After you select the video file for upload, it’s time to prepare it for publishing. Add the video’s title, informative description, and tags so that your video is more discoverable by people searching in your subject.
Select a thumbnail for your video that is representative of the content. Thumbnails that have clearly recognizable images in them are more attractive than thumbnails that are blank or nondescript.
Add an end screen to highlight any of your previous content that is relevant to your new video. If you don’t have any content to share at the end of your video, an end screen is optional. But is a good option for creators with multiple videos who haven’t had time to put a playlist together yet. End screens allow interested viewers to jump right to the next related video and keep enjoying your content.
Automatic chapters and timestamps
You can use YouTube’s automatic chapters feature to split up your content into easily digestible chapters. This feature analyzes your video and determines where natural stopping points can be based on multiple factors like scene changes, title cards, pauses, and more.
You can adjust the timestamps or start from scratch and add timestamps yourself. Whether you use automatic chapters or add timestamps yourself, adding chapters to your YouTube video can be helpful if your video is long, has multiple steps, or has natural breaking points. Adding any kind of timestamp to your video can help make it more shareable. If a viewer is interested in a specific piece of information in your video, they can seek to it more easily and be ready to share the video with a helpful timestamp.
Choose visibility options for your video
You have the option to set your video as public, private, or unlisted. Public videos can be searched for and found by anyone and can be viewed on your channel’s homepage. Private videos won’t appear in the videos tab of your channel homepage or in YouTube search results and can only be viewed by someone logged into the channel. Unlisted videos also do not appear on the channel page or in search results on YouTube, but can be shared by sending someone the link.
Add audience information if appropriate
Select audience or age restriction settings if they are appropriate for your video. Mark your content as made for children or mark your content as for mature viewers as needed. If neither option is selected then the video won’t be marked by age range and will be treated as a video for general audiences by YouTube.
Add caption files or use automatic captioning
We all know that adding captions and subtitles have a myriad of benefits for content creators of all kinds. For example, adding captions and subtitles to your video makes it more discoverable by search engines and more enjoyable for diverse audiences. Adding these files to your videos creates an additional representation of the content in your video. This helps your video be more inclusive to deaf and hard of hearing viewers. It also helps search engines find, tag, and sort your videos which can boost your content’s discoverability.
To get started, set the language of your video. This is an important step in setting up a new upload whether you add captions yourself or use automatic captioning. YouTube uses this information to feed your video to audiences that search for videos in your language. YouTube also uses this language for automatic captioning if you choose to use that feature. In the video elements page of the upload process, you can choose your captioning options or add your own subtitle files in one or multiple languages.
The language you set for your video is the one that will be used by YouTube’s automated speech recognition technology to create automatic captioning. If you set the wrong language then your automatic captioning will come out wrong because the automated speech recognition will attempt to create captions in a different language than is being spoken in the video.
YouTube will also ask you about caption certification. Depending on where and when your video has been shown in the past, it might require captions. For example, if a video appeared on television in the United States on or after September 30, 2012; your video upload will require captions. If your content does not require certification, you can mark the appropriate option based on the video’s history.
Upload a video to YouTube from your phone
Uploading a video to YouTube from a mobile device is very similar to uploading from a computer. It’s just a slightly simplified interface. To get started, open the YouTube app on your phone. Tap the “Create” icon which looks like a plus sign. Select “Upload video” then choose a video from your device. Tap “Next,” then enter a title and description for your video. When you’re finished adding information for your video tap “Upload.”
Special considerations for uploading a video to YouTube
Instead of publishing immediately, you have the option to schedule your YouTube video to publish at a later date. This can be useful if you have a busy publishing schedule and don’t have time to publish each video on the day that it comes out.
If your video is part of a series, then you can choose to add it to a playlist, include related videos in an end screen, or link to other videos in the description. If you put some time into creating a helpful and informed journey for them then they might be more likely to return to your channel when they are seeking similar content in the future.
Depending on your video content, you may want to consider how you want to treat your comments section. YouTube allows you to turn off comments, hold comments for review, or allow your audience to post comments freely. This decision depends on your specific audience and their interactions with your channel and with each other.
Creating and sharing YouTube shorts
Videos that are less than 60 seconds and have either a square or vertical aspect ratio will be uploaded as a YouTube short. Longer videos can be used to create YouTube shorts as well. You can create them yourself or allow other people to use clips from your video to produce YouTube shorts which can drive traffic from their channel to yours.
Using YouTube’s automatic captioning
If you choose to use automatic captioning, make sure that you review your captions to ensure that they match the spoken content. Automated speech recognition technology has come a long way but mistakes can still sometimes be made. If there are portions of your video that have difficult audio, speakers with multiple dialects, or unique branded content it’s important to double check the captions and make sure that they are high quality so your audience can enjoy your video.
There are a lot of auto captioning tools out there, so feel free to shop around! We would be embarrassed if we didn’t mention our own offerings as one of the options for you to try. We take accessibility in quality captions very seriously at Amara, which is why we have ensured that our AI-powered captioning technology is effective through testing it with our in-house team of captioners and translators. Amara Teams now offer self-service ordering of auto captions for English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese Brazilian, Italian, and Dutch (with other languages coming soon).
Edit automatic captioning for best quality
YouTube allows you to edit captions for your video directly. It takes a little while for YouTube to generate captions for videos, so you might have to wait a bit before you can make edits. A few quick touch-ups can be useful to produce high quality captions for your audience to enjoy. Reviewing and editing captions can help fix mistakes but can also prepare your content for accessibility standards. Make sure that you capture plot relevant sounds in your videos captions so that your audience can follow along even if the video is on mute. Thinking about captions as an accessibility feature can help your content be more inclusive to deaf and hard of hearing viewers as well as neurodivergent audiences.
If your audience is international or multilingual, it might also be useful to edit your captions to prepare them for translation. Eliminating mistakes in your caption file can prevent translation mistakes later. It can also be helpful to create a glossary for important terms, unique branded content, and technical jargon. Translation is a masterful skill and the more you can support it from the start, the better all of your final subtitling results will be.
Integrate YouTube and Amara
Both Amara Public and Amara Teams make it easy to import, edit, and export caption and subtitle files. Whether you are working alone or in a video production team, Amara has features to streamline your workflow. The Amara Editor is an intuitive tool for typing, tracking, organizing your captions and subtitles for your video. As you type, the Amara Editor tracks the number of characters in a line, number of lines in a subtitle, and the reading speed of each subtitle. The Amara Editor also includes a reference panel for translators so that they can see the original captions line for line as they translate into a new language.