YouTube is widely recognised as one of the ‘big four’ social media channels (alongside Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

And, no matter how advanced technology becomes, creating quality video content from scratch is a time-consuming and challenging proposition.

So what are your options then?

1. Set up a YouTube channel for the sake of it that has no purpose or content? (Really?!)

2. Avoid making the most of this platform completely? (Not great either)

Fortunately, you have another option, and it is often overlooked…

3. You can create a really compelling channel using content that already exists.

This, for lack of a better term, is video content curation and is an easy thing to add to your social media management mix.

Playlists

inspirational people How to create a compelling YouTube channel without your own original contentThe playlist feature is one of the best ways to arrange and prioritise your video content.

Let’s quickly walk through the basics of the function and then we’ll get into some clever ways of using it.

To start with, locate some videos that already exist on YouTube and using the ‘add to’ option create a playlist.

Once you’ve located and filed your content in a specified ‘folder’ it is time to bring it to life, following these steps:

  1. Return to your channel and click on the ‘Videos and Playlists’ tab
  2. A drop down menu will appear and on the left-hand side and YouTube will ask you which content you’d like to display
  3. The ‘Playlist’ box is un-ticked by default so give it a tick and then follow the prompts about how many playlists you’d like to have on display and press ‘save’
  4. Once your changes have been made, locate the ‘arrange’ playlists option which will give you the ability to drag and drop the playlists in your preferred order

Now you can have as many as 12 playlists, arranged by subject, directly available from your channel.

If you really want to highlight the breadth of your playlists, head back into the ‘Video and Playlists’ tab and change your featured layout to ‘grid view’ – this will give visitors an at-a-glance looks at all of your content.

Top tip: Playlists (and associated metadata) are indexed in YouTube and Google’s search results so using this feature can help improve the discoverability of your channel.

Handy resources: Check out playlist looping site playinurtubez.com and connect your channel. Once connected, you can locate playlists created by other YouTube users which can be instantly edited and added to your channel.

YouTube playlists don’t have a ‘shuffle’ function which is always a handy option to have in your repertoire. But fear not, a site called randomtube can perform this task.

Another thing you can do with your playlists is export them to other places on the web via RSS. This function isn’t directly provided by YouTube either, but visit referd.info for an easy solution.

Other channels and favourites

There are two other functions which can help you establish a compelling YouTube channel without any original content.

The first option involves making clever use of the ‘other channels’ function.

Here’s a quick guide to enabling and leveraging this feature:

  1. Head over to the modules tab and select the ‘other channels’ option (this will add a new box underneath your YouTube player)
  2. Click on the ‘edit’ function and add in some related channels (only add the name of the channel e.g. thenextweb as opposed to http://www.youtube.com/user/thenextweb)
  3. You can add up to 16 channels to this section which is a great solution for people / brands who want to cross promote other properties

The favourites function provides another way of curating your favorite YouTube content and sharing it with your community.

While the favourites function is handy, and is made more useful by the settings available within the modules tab, playlists allow you greater flexibility and control and should be your primary curation tool.

Are there any other tips you’ve got about making the most of YouTube channels?