YouTube's making a lot of changes adding new features and moving them around but there is one feature that keeps being super important and that is YouTube Playlists. In this guide we'll show you why they are so crucial, how to create YouTube Playlists and how to use all of the features inside of playlists.
What is a YouTube Playlist?
A YouTube playlist is like a collection of videos that play one after another automatically. It's similar to a music playlist on YouTube Music where you have different themes like Energy Mix, Relaxing Music, or Workout Music. The difference is that the playlist we're talking about here is for videos, not music. Once a video finishes, the next one in the lineup starts playing without the user doing anything.
But making a playlist is not just about putting videos together randomly. It's a big part of your YouTube strategy. When you create playlists strategically, they can help you work with the YouTube algorithm, influence what your viewers watch, and keep them coming back for more.
Why Creating a Playlists on YouTube is a Good Idea
Playlists are super important for your YouTube channel. They help you get more views, which is awesome for boosting your view counts, engagement, watch time, and even improving your YouTube SEO and discoverability. Using playlists benefits you, your viewers, and everything related to your presence on YouTube.
Create Playlist to Improve Your Discoverability on YouTube
It's crucial to put your videos into playlists because playlists can show up in various places on YouTube. When you publish a video, that's one opportunity to reach viewers. But if you publish a playlist containing that video, you get another chance to showcase your content. Playlists often appear in YouTube searches, and some search results even have a special section for 'Related playlists.'
Build a Playlist to Boost Engagement and Watch Time
The coolest thing about making playlists is that when someone watches one of your videos and likes it, having a well-organized playlist makes it easier for them to watch more similar or related content because the next video plays automatically. This way, you can turn one view into many views, as long as you guide viewers in the right direction. Of course, this works best when you're creating content that your audience enjoys! So, here are two main reasons why you should give it a go with playlists.
AIR Media-Tech has helped thousands content creators boost their YouTube channels, gaining billions of views. Reach out to us for custom growth strategies!
Now, let's look forward to a step-by-step guide on how to create YouTube playlists. We'll also show you all the different features within playlists that you need to know about and highlight best practices on building efficient playlists. To access your playlist area:
- Log into your YouTube Studio.
- Then, click on the Content tab.
- Once you're on the Content tab, look to the far right-hand side, where you'll find the playlist.
- Click on it to view the playlists you currently have.
If you don't have any playlists yet, you can create a new one in a couple of places.
Step #1 Create a Playlist
First, go to the top-right corner of the YouTube Studio and click on "Create", and there you'll find the option to create a new playlist.
Another place to create a playlist is on the Video details page of your video. This is where you can edit your video. Jump to the page of any of your videos in YouTube Studio, scroll down just below the thumbnail section, and you'll find a part that says Playlists. Click the Dropdown, and you'll see an option to click "New playlist" there as well.
You can use either of these methods to start creating a new playlist. Let's go with option number one: click on "Create" in the top-right corner of the YouTube Studio, and then click on "New playlist".
Step #2 Come Up With a Title
Next, you'll see the pop-up window where you can create a title and description for your playlist. When picking a title for your playlist, aim for something compelling rather than just categorical. For instance, if you run a fitness channel and your playlist is about Pilates, instead of a generic title like "Pilates", go for a more descriptive and engaging one such as:
"15-Minute Pilates at Home for Beginners | No Equipment"
This is important because your title should communicate the context that appeals to your audience and encourages them to click on your playlist when they see it on your channel page, playlist page, or under videos they're already watching. It is more helpful than a vague title.
Step #3 Write a Playlist Description
One more section here is the "Description", which has a 5000-character limit. Some creators might overlook it, but the description can significantly boost your playlist's visibility, searchability, and ranking. To craft an effective playlist description:
- Think about what your audience is searching for and incorporate those keywords. For in-depth guidance on optimizing your videos for search results, refer to our YouTube SEO guide.
- If you're part of an affiliate program, add relevant referral links.
- Share links to your other social media platforms.
Here's an example of a playlist description for a fitness channel, designed to help both your audience and YouTube algorithms understand more about your videos:
"Join me for a relaxing Daily Yoga Flow that will leave you feeling energized and revitalized! 🧘♀️ This beginner-friendly Pilates meets Yoga class is perfect for those who want to connect with their bodies and the present moment. You don't need any equipment or experience to join in! ✨"
Step #4 Add Videos to Your Playlist
After setting up your playlist title and description, simply click on "Create". Once your playlist is made, it will take you to a page like the one in the screenshot below. However, there won't be any information here yet because you haven't added any videos to your playlist. To add videos, click on the three-dot menu and select "Add videos".
When you click on "Add videos," you'll see three options:
- Search videos on YouTube.
- Enter the direct URL or web address of a video.
- Select videos from a list of your content by clicking on your YouTube videos.
The last option is the most convenient. To add videos from your content list simply start clicking on the videos – they will be highlighted. Once you've selected the ones you want to add, click on "Add videos." After doing this, your playlist page for that specific playlist will look something like on a screenshot below.
One more way to get to this page is to go to your Playlists on your YouTube channel and click on "View full Playlist".
If you're feeling a bit lost setting up your YouTube channel, don't worry. Just reach out to us, and we'll help you get everything sorted out the right way.
How To Manage Your YouTube Playlist?
Now, let's explore some settings and features you can use to make your playlists more efficient.
Arranging Videos In a Playlist
First off, you have the option to manually arrange videos. To do this, just grab the little menu on the left-hand side and slide it around to arrange the videos in any order you prefer.
You can arrange your videos by either publishing date or popularity using the "Sort" filter above your videos. Additionally, in Playlist settings under the three-dot menu, you can enable "Add new videos to the top of playlist" to ensure your latest content is always at the top.
Collaborations Within a Playlist
Next, there's a feature that lets you collaborate with other YouTubers using your playlist. For instance, if you have a collaboration with a friend, both of you can access the playlist. As you create more videos in that series, they can easily add relevant videos to the playlist. To enable collaboration, click on the three-dot menu, select "Collaborate," and allow collaboration.
This feature is handy if you manage multiple channels on the same topic, making it easier to add videos to the playlist across all your channels.
Official Playlist Series
You can also boost your playlist's visibility by making it an official series. When you enable the official series option it signals to YouTube that all videos in the playlist are tightly connected. This means YouTube is more likely to recommend them together which is a real gold. To enable the official series head to the three-dot menu, hit "playlist settings," and toggle on "set as an official series."
Remember, any video can be in any regular playlist, but it can only be in one series playlist. So, choose wisely to guide your audience seamlessly through your content.
What Makes a Good YouTube Playlist?
There are tens of other tricks to make your YouTube playlist really efficient in pushing up that watch time, engagement and discoverability for your videos. Consider these key tips for better results.
Take a Look at Analytics
Check out analytics to ensure your top-performing videos are at the forefront of your playlist. This increases the chances of grabbing viewers' attention and keeping them watching the next video. To find those best performing videos go to YouTube Studio and analyze all the videos in your playlist to see which one:
- Has the longest watch time;
- Brings in the most subscribers.
Identify it and put that video on top of your playlist. To keep your viewers hooked on videos till the end, discover 11 tips to boost your YouTube engagement rate!
Optimize for Search
Keep in mind, when crafting playlist titles and descriptions, you're not just talking to your audience but also to YouTube. Add in relevant keywords to make your videos more searchable and pay a special attention to the title and first 150 characters of your description. Quick reminder, this YouTube SEO guide will help you with that.
Create Eye-Catching Thumbnails
Your titles never go alone. Thumbnails are always right next to them, grabbing a viewer's attention or letting them slip away. To ensure your thumbnail is clear and catchy, we recommend starting by analyzing competitors in your niche. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which videos with thumbnails generate the most views?
- What hooks do they use in their thumbnails?
- Why did they choose that particular style?
Begin with this analysis and then explore our guide on how to learn the most from your YouTube competitors.
Remember: You can't upload a separate thumbnail for playlists; the first video's thumbnail becomes the playlist thumbnail. But, in YouTube Studio, you can change it easily. Go to the playlist, click the three dots on the chosen video, and select "Set as playlist thumbnail".
Decide how to curate playlists that best fit your channel. Understand your audience's preferences by gaining insights, and tailor your playlists accordingly. After all, playlists on YouTube is more than just grouping related videos; they're key tools in your video strategy for organizing content and making it easier for your audience to navigate your channel.
Remember, every time you feel like you can use a hand in improving your YouTube channel strategy, AIR Media-Tech is right here for you. Just drop us a line and let's make your channel grow faster with all the insights, services and strategies we have under our belt.