The benefits of an enhanced YouTube Channel

You may have heard people talking about Enhanced vs. Standard YouTube channels. What exactly does that mean? Standard channels are the ones that anyone can set up using a Google email address. Enhanced channels have additional features and functionality.

Enhanced channels are available to colleges and universities through YouTube’s EDU program or from a Google Content Provider like CMTv.

Here are some of the benefits of an Enhanced Channel as compared to a Standard Channel.

High Impact, Interactive Banners:

Enhanced YouTube Channels feature a “clickable” banner at the top of the page. This allows you to link your Channel directly to your Web site and also to reproduce the “look and feel” of your Web site. This provides direct integration with your existing outreach and provides a more professional look. In fact, YouTube banners are completely mappable so you can link directly to different parts of your school’s website, like the DSU banner, or to different YouTube channels, such as Northwestern. Standard channels have no banner; the only branding is at the top of the screen like you can see on the Curry College channel.

Delaware State University uses mapping to link directly to pages on their website.

Northwestern University highlights its YouTube play lists in its banner.

Curry College has a standard channel. There is no banner; the only branding comes from the college name.

“Instant On” Video:

Enhanced Channels have a “featured video” which plays as soon as you visit the page, immediately engaging your viewers. Standard channels are static. Many colleges and universities use this feature to play a 60-second promotional video.

Branding Boxes:

With an Enhanced YouTube Channel you have blocks to sign up subscribers, link to specific topic areas, and fully active links to other pages and sites. This helps you “push” visitors to the most relevant parts of your Web sites and create direct links to areas of interest. Standard channels have no branding boxes.

Branding boxes allow you to link users back to pages on your Website or other social media.

This box links to a description of the college's video contest.

Curry College uses play lists to help organize their content and make it easier to find.

Comprehensive Analytics:

Enhanced YouTube Channels have access to more extensive data than Standard Channels. This data can can help you fine tune your marketing outreach and target specific geographies and populations.

Extended Play Videos

Break the 10 minute barrier! On standard channels, videos on YouTube are limited to 10 minutes. Enhanced channels can host videos that are several hours long. For colleges and universities this gives you the opportunity to leverage one of your most important assets: your courses. UC Berkeley had made a commitment to offering many of its classes on line. The response has been amazing. Just look at the views on these videos! Think about all the data that they collected by attracting so many viewers.

UC Berkeley features its courses on its YouTube Channel. Take a look at the views!

YouTube EDU Efforts Profiled on AP

I’ve written before on the benefits that Colleges and Universities can reap from using enhanced YouTube channels to reach their target audiences. A recent AP news story gave some more insights:

College too expensive? Try YouTube

By JAKE COYLE

It might seem counterintuitive to look for higher education alongside Avril Lavigne music videos, but the video-sharing site has become a major reservoir of college content.

The Google Inc.-owned YouTube has for the last few years been forging partnerships with universities and colleges. The site recently gathered these video channels under the banner YouTube EDU (http://www.youtube.com/edu).

More than 100 schools have partnered with YouTube to make an official channel, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Yale and the first university to join YouTube: UC Berkeley.

There are promotional videos like campus tours, but the more interesting content is straight from the classroom or lecture hall. Many schools have posted videos of guest lecturers, introductory classes and even a full semester’s course.

At a time when many are finding college unaffordable and the ranks of the unemployed are swelling, free higher learning can sound like a good way to spend some free time.

“There’s a huge appetite around the world for people to better themselves, to study subjects that they either never got a chance to or haven’t studied in a while,” said Obadiah Greenberg, the strategic partnership manager for YouTube.

In the past five years or so, colleges and universities have been increasingly opening their doors digitally to the public.

“That Ivory Tower reputation may be even more dated than the advent of YouTube,” said Scott Stocker, director of Web communications at Stanford.

In 2002, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched the MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu) with the plan to make virtually all the school’s courses available for free online.

As a visitor, one almost feels like you’ve somehow sneaked through a firewall. There’s no registration and within a minute, you can be watching Prof. Walter Lewin demonstrate the physics of a pendulum by being one himself.

Last December, MIT announced that OCW had been visited by more than 50 million people worldwide. But why would institutions that charges a huge price for admission give away their primary product?

Ben Hubbard, program manager of the webcast project for the University of California, Berkeley, believes it has always been a part of a university’s vocation.

“The mission of the university has been the same since our charter days back in the 1800s,” said Hubbard. “It’s threefold: there’s teaching, research and community service. Probably in the 1800s they weren’t thinking of it as the globe, but technology has really broken down those barriers of geography.”

In 1995, Berkeley launched its webcasts (http://webcast/berkeley.edu) with video and audio webcasts of classes.

In 2007, Apple created iTunes U, a service that allows schools to make material accessible only internally by students or externally by anyone. Most schools do a little of both.

Tools like iTunes U and YouTube EDU not only benefit the community and those called “lifelong learners” curious for a lesson or two in engineering or economics. But these services are powerful marketing tools that ultimately only provide one dimension of the college experience, schools say.

“We all see that the real value in a college education goes so far beyond the lectures that faculty give,” said Stocker. “It’s a way for people to get a taste of what the Stanford experience is, but you’re not getting a degree and you’re not getting direct interaction with faculty.”