YouTube bolsters its Guide feature, unveils a fresh layout and makes marketers' jobs easier with one new update.

Content creators looking to build online communities with engaging media often turn to social networks for their reach and ease of use. While many marketers navigate toward Facebook as their primary mode of operation, a diverse web presence that includes numerous social platforms can build brand awareness, and it’s important for marketers not to overlook YouTube – especially since the network recently unveiled a new look that encourages video clicks and Channel subscriptions.

YouTube New ViewThe online video-streaming platform is a super highway, bringing in traffic from all over the world daily. There are more than 800 million unique users visiting YouTube each month, watching 4 billion hours of video and counting. More, users upload 72 hours of video content to YouTube every minute, driving higher subscriptions and engagement rates. To put YouTube’s social capabilities into greater perspective, there are approximately 500 years of YouTube video watched every day via Facebook and more than 700 media clips shared through Twitter each minute. Bottom line: it’s time to factor the streaming site into content marketing agendas.

Perhaps the greatest YouTube feature for marketers is its subscriptions function, highlighted in the most recent update. There are millions of subscriptions each day, allowing consumers to connect with businesses they’re interested in and remain up to date with brands’ latest online activities. Marketers who regularly upload branded content to their YouTube accounts deliver sales and educational media to prospects directly, and now Google attempts to make it easier for users to find new content on their preferred Channels.

YouTube Guide ViewIn 2011, YouTube released its Guide feature on the site’s homepage, which allowed users to add subscriptions, organize YouTube channels and stay connected with the brands they chose to follow. The social network now offers the Guide feature across various devices, so YouTube users can access their saved content wherever they are, no matter the technology. The new Guide option also suggests the latest and greatest Channels users may enjoy and informs members of content their social contacts are sharing across the ‘net.

The new layout puts crucial marketing elements in front of viewers, positioning visual content at the top of the page and the subscribe button, social actions and content information below the player. YouTube’s layout puts playlists and suggested media to the right of videos so users can browse additional media while they watch, and brands can become eligible as YouTube partners by enabling their accounts and monetizing at least one of their videos.

The new site will help brands build bigger and more connected audiences by improving social discovery and encouraging subscriptions. Now that members can access media across a variety of devices, marketers can spread custom content across the web and reach active audiences.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.