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YouTube has just announced its most recent numbers: 1 billion unique users are now visiting the video-sharing website every month. That's almost one out of every two people who are using the Internet.

Your law firm is not promoting the latest floor wax or electronic widget – why does it matter to your bottom line that YouTube is so popular? Google's analytics draw heavily from YouTube; the search engine recognizes websites which include YouTube videos before the ones which do not. You want your firm to rank high enough in search engine results to be found? YouTube can help you.

You also want to use YouTube because your competitors are, and because it helps with your social media efforts. As you upload your latest educational video for your clients, notifications driving them to your content from Facebook and Twitter will bring you more viewers, and increase your name recognition.

New YouTube, Not Like The Old YouTube

YouTube and the social networking site Google+ have integrated, which allowed YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface. YouTube's most recent redesign has placed the video channel in a central column on the YouTube home page, not unlike most news feeds of social networking sites. The designers have also updated the mobile and tablet experiences for viewers around the same time. This new look and feel has been dubbed "The YouTube One Channel."

Though the YouTube redesign is not a major aesthetic shift, the changes have been put into place to ensure it works better with Google+ and allows creators to use personalized headers and a video trailer. The design change is intended to help businesses better engage their target customer base by emphasizing channel subscriptions, allowing those businesses a clearer avenue for community building.

What does YouTube One Channel offer?

You have a two-step goal: you want viewers, and you want to convert your viewers into subscribers. This is where One Channel comes in. With the new design, you can feature a personalized trailer that will play to new (non-subscribed) viewers. The trailer is your own running advertisement - a direct way to show them who you are, what your channel is about, and a way to encourage those new viewers to subscribe.

You can also better organize your playlists and videos and have more control over how they are presented; you can alter what content your subscribers will view when they click on your channel.

A Better Venue Fit

Your channel should be viewable wherever your audience finds it – while sitting at a desk computer, with a laptop, or on a small phone or mobile device screen. With One Channel, the art will scale to fit whatever screen on which it is played, and your social media links will show on any device which has a browser.

More Relevance

With One Channel, you can also curate your content by placing it in the most visible sections, making it easier than every for your subscribers to find the content you want them to see. When your subscribers choose your channel from the guide, your entire channel will appear for them, not just your activity feed. This lets you direct your audience to any of the multiple layouts for videos and playlists. You can customize your channel to highlight your content by importance, relevance or theme.

Engaging Your Audience

Focus on creating compelling content. Create playlists that showcase your content, and consider adding videos from other channels that have valuable content for your viewers. Post your firm's videos on a regular schedule to keep your viewers engaged and coming back for more.

When you are ready to update your firm's content to the new One Channel layout, go to https://www.youtube.com/onechannel and click on the button at the bottom of the page to upgrade your channel.

About Author

Barbara Atkinson is a former Bigger Law Magazine staff contributor and editorial board member.

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