YouTube today launched Fan Finder, a new initiative to help channel creators bring in new fans for free. Fan Finder is essentially an advertising campaign that YouTube is running for its most important users: the ones who actually produce videos.

All channel owners have to do is create and upload a video, a practice many of them are very familiar with. The only difference is the content: the video should focus on introducing new fans to their channel.

Once uploaded to Fan Finder, YouTube will then turn the video into a TrueView video ad, which lets viewers skip after five seconds, and show it for free across the site. Best of all, the YouTube team says Fan Finder takes into account “the interactions that viewers have with millions of YouTube channels in order reach the people who are most likely to engage with your channel.”

In other words, Google is experimenting with making better YouTube ads. It’s easy to see how the company could one day offer this service to advertisers who are willing to pay to build their YouTube followings.

YouTube offers the following five tips for creating an effective channel ad:

  • Keep your channel ad short and engaging: Introduce the viewer to your content; don’t assume they have heard of you or your channel before. Remember, your channel ad will run as a TrueView ad which the viewer can skip after 5 seconds, so get to the point.
  • Entertain the viewer: When in doubt “show” what your channel is about, don’t “tell”. If you have a comedy channel make sure your ad is funny, if you have a music channel make sure your ad has music. You get the drift.
  • Aim for a strong message: Keep your channel ad focused on your channel and why viewers should subscribe or check out your content.
  • Have a clear call to action: What do you want your viewers to do? This should be scripted and annotated in your channel ad. Don’t forget to explain what subscribe means (example: “Want to see more content? Subscribe here”).
  • Branding matters: Make sure your branding is clear and reiterated throughout the ad. You want viewers to remember your channel.

What are you waiting for? Go take advantage of Fan Finder while it’s still free.

See also – YouTube announces the first YouTube Music Awards, a fan-powered event taking place November 3 and YouTube adds Play icon to video page titles so you can quickly see which tabs are making noise

Top Image Credit: Eric Piermont/Getty Images