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Minimising the Impact of COPPA on your Youtube Channel

We’ve had 2 months now to see the impact of COPPA, and it appears many children’s channels were right to be concerned. The removal of end screens, subscribe links, and comments has had a serious impact on channel revenue and audience retention.

In the new age of COPPA, children’s channels need to change their strategies for retaining their audience. So, how do you market your channel now COPPA’s taken a lot of your options away?

New End Screens

Probably the biggest blow for children’s Youtubers came with the removal of end screens. This means creators have lost their automatic ‘click to subscribe’ option, plus any opportunity to direct their watchers to another video on their channel.

Since COPPA came into effect there has been a definite downward turn in audience retention numbers and subscribers.

How do we fix it?
New end screens! We all wish that ability was still there, but instead why not direct your viewers to the content in a more organic way?

By that I mean, creating a new sting for the end of your videos that can tell viewers “don’t forget to click below to subscribe!” or “Like this? You’ll love…. Go to our channel to find out more!”

If your channel is cartoon-based, make it part of the video and have the character pop in at the end.

Unfortunately, this of course doesn’t help existing videos so difficult decisions need to be made – re-issue or just use the popularity of the old to jump off on the new? I vote the latter.


Something that’s now more important than ever is thumbnails. Design your own custom thumbnails – you don’t need to be an artist to do so (I’m definitely not). You are seriously missing a trick if you aren’t doing this – but make sure to check YouTube best practices to get the correct ratio etc. before you start. Making your own allows you to customise and quickly and easily show viewers looking at the right-hand menu which videos are from your channel by using similar themed colours, headlines or video splits.  
For example:

Revise your descriptions and keywords

The dreaded phrase – keywords. Just like SEO is instrumental to your website, keywords are what tells Youtube where to place you and viewers that they’ve found what they’re looking for. It helps you rank more highly on searches but also lets you target competitors (if you want to).

There are tons of great sites, but I personally use a mixture of Google’s keyword planner and TubeBuddy. Keywords need to be everywhere – in your title, your description and your tags.

Google’s Keyword Planner is helpful because it’s free and gives you an idea of what people are searching about across the web not just on Youtube (gives you a higher chance of your video organically appearing on Google Search results).

TubeBuddy is what you need to know what people are searching for specifically on Youtube. You can sign up for a free account or pay to access more features. This chrome extension is so so useful because you can put in a keyword and see suggestions, how highly they rank, suggestions on other search terms and it also offers alternatives to highly competitive keywords.

Another useful feature of TubeBuddy is that it lets you see what keywords your competitors have used, go on their video and TubeBuddy will provide you a list right on your Youtube webpage. This will help guide you in your own keyword decisions and see if any competitors are targeting your name in their keywords too.

Create a new channel trailer

When people go to your channel, the first thing they want to know is what it is – what you do and why. Your channel trailer is the most effective way to tell people, engage them and get them to subscribe. It’s your greatest way to promote your Youtube.

There’s no right answer for how long videos on Youtube should be (go on 20 different sites and you’ll get 20 different answers) – but channel trailers are generally short –usually between 1-2 minutes in length and almost always under 5.

This is one of the main marketing tools for your channel so make it stand out. Keep it in line with your branding and add a call to action to encourage viewers to subscribe, with COPPA now in effect there’s no easy click button on the video itself so reminders are more important than ever.

Don’t forget, a rubbish channel trailer = less subscribers. Sell yourself – but make it fun!


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