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How to Schedule a YouTube Video: 2024 Guide

Learn how to schedule a YouTube video for maximum views (and maximum time savings).

Michelle Martin March 12, 2024
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Nobody’s out here on YouTube straight up uploading and hitting publish all willy-nilly in 2024. Scheduling YouTube videos helps you keep a consistent content calendar and allows you to publish at the best times for your audience.

Effective content planning is the backbone of every content marketing strategy — and scheduling your videos in advance is a key part of that.

Here’s how to schedule a YouTube video on desktop, mobile, and (spoiler alert) even more conveniently with Hootsuite.

Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your YouTube following fast, a daily workbook of challenges that will help you kickstart your Youtube channel growth and track your success. Get real results after one month.

How to schedule videos on YouTube (Desktop)

Step 1: Log in to YouTube

Of course, you need an active YouTube account before you can schedule a video. Set up your YouTube channel first, if needed.

Step 2: Go to YouTube Studio

Head over to YouTube Studio. Find it by clicking on your profile photo at the top right of your screen, or go to www.studio.youtube.com.

YouTube Studio option under profile photo on right side of screen

Alternatively, you can click the camera icon at the top right anywhere on YouTube to get to the same video upload screen. If you do it this way, skip to Step 4.

YouTube Studio also has a bunch of advanced tools, so I recommend sticking to using it, though.

Step 3: Click Create

Click Create at the top right of your Studio dashboard, then select Upload video(s).

Create button on Studio dashboard

Step 4: Upload your video

Whether you got to this screen from YouTube Studio or another page on YouTube, the rest of the process is the same. Drag and drop or click to select your video file and it’ll start uploading.

Important: If you upload a video that’s under 1 minute (and in 9:16 format), it’ll be classified as a YouTube Short. This means it will live in the Shorts area instead of the main video browser. However, it will still publish to your channel as a video.

YouTube Shorts are a great way to grow your channel, but they work quite differently than regular YouTube videos. Check out our complete guide to YouTube Shorts for the best results.

Upload videos drag and drop video files

Step 5: Add your video information

While it uploads, you can add a title, description, and more.

Add video details including title description and thumbnail

Your video is private until you choose to publish it so no need to rush to finish this page.

Make sure to fill out the following required information:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Thumbnail
  • Whether the video is made for kids under 13 or not
  • Paid partnership disclosure (mandatory, if applicable)

And consider completing these optional, but highly recommended, items:

  • Playlist
  • Tags
  • Recording date
  • Location (can help with local search results!)
  • Turn remixing on or off (on by default)
  • Category
  • Whether to show how many people like it or not

Wondering how to get those awesome chapter breaks — also called “YouTube timestamps” — that let people easily skip around your video? (Thereby increasing overall watch time.)

In the description box, simply write the minute and second where you want a chapter to begin followed by a chapter title. Like this:

timestamps in description of Hootsuite Labs video

Source: Hootsuite Labs on YouTube

Spend some time fully optimizing these fields for the best chance at getting more video views, even for small channels.

Once you’re finished adding all your video info, click Next.

Step 6: Add captions

Here you can add subtitles, end screens, and info cards. These are all optional but have benefits.

First up: subtitles/captions. Click Add.

Video elements add subtitles end screen and info cards

On the next screen, you can choose to either upload a properly formatted captions file (usually in .srt or .sub format), a basic text file with captions, or play the video and manually type out captions.

Select how you want to add captions upload file auto sync or type manually

Not keen on spending hours typing out captions or paying for professional transcription? There is another option: YouTube automatically captions videos in some languages, including English. Although these may not end up 100% accurate.

To ensure you’re producing inclusive content, I recommend investing money in professional captions, or your time to type them yourself.

Step 7: Add an end card

In YouTube lingo, an “end card” is the final shot of your video and usually where you’re directing people to either subscribe, click a link, or watch another video. End card graphics allow you to put in these call to actions.

Clicking Add from the video elements screen brings up a tool to add and position your end card content. You can add your own element, like a video or playlist, by clicking + Element. Or use one of the suggested templates.

End screens element import from latest video

You can have YouTube decide which of your videos to feature here depending on the viewer’s preferences, or pick your own selection. You can also move the cards around so they don’t block your face, or just fit into your video better.

End screens video element most recent upload

Step 8: Add other cards

During your video, you may mention a product, website, or another video of yours. In the Cards section, you can add these precisely where you want to within your video. The process for adding them is similar to adding end screen cards above.

Click the plus icon next to the type of card you want to add.

Note: To use the link card for external website URLs, you must be in the YouTube Partner Program (A.K.A. monetized).

Select type of card to begin video playlist or channel

For a video, channel, or playlist card, pick the video, channel, or playlist you want to link to.

Choose specific videos search your videos or search videos from other channels

Customize your card text and you’re done!

Video card teaser text

To add more cards, click + Card at the top, then add as many as you want. When you’re done, click Save at the top right.

Step 9: Fix any issues

After clicking Next from the video elements page, YouTube tells you if it found any copyright claims or other things that need to be addressed before you can publish your video.

Take care of anything here, if applicable, then click Next for the final step.

Check video for issues including copyright

Step 10: Schedule your YouTube video

This is it! First, choose Public as the visibility setting for your video (unless you want to keep it private). Then pick your date and time in the Schedule box.

Optionally, set your video as a Premiere. This makes it seem sort of like a webinar in that it’s a countdown-timed event. For the duration of the video at launch time, there’s a group live chat area for everyone who’s currently tuning in.

select date and time to schedule YouTube video

Select Schedule at the bottom, and your video is good to go.

How to schedule videos on YouTube (Mobile)

I’ll show you how to schedule YouTube videos in the iOS version, but the same process applies for Android.

Step 1: Open the YouTube app

Tap the plus icon in the middle of the navigation bar at the bottom.

plus sign on YouTube navigation bar

Step 2: Choose to post a video or Short

YouTube Short will be selected by default but if you want to schedule a regular, long-form video, tap Video instead.

tap video or Short option on bottom of screen

Step 3: Choose your video file

Tap on the video to upload. YouTube brings up a barebones editor where you can either click Next to proceed with the upload, or edit the long-form video into a Short.

tap video of dog to upload or edit into a Short

Step 4: Add your video details

The mobile version has many of the same video options as the desktop process, including the most vital ones like adding a title, description, choosing a playlist, and setting a location.

Add details including title description visibility audience and location

Notably, adding tags isn’t available when scheduling from mobile. They’re not critical but you could edit your video on desktop later to add them in before the video goes live, if you wanted to.

Step 5: Add a custom thumbnail

Thumbnails are the main reason people click to watch a video. To add a custom one on mobile, tap the photo icon at the top left, then choose an image from your phone’s photo library.

Tap photo icon on top left of screen

Step 6: Schedule your video

Tap on Visibility then Schedule.

Set visibility to public unlisted or private

Choose your date and time then tap the back arrow to return to the video details page.

select date and time to schedule video

Step 7: Upload your video

Once you’re happy with the title, description, scheduled date, and other settings, tap Upload and you’re done.

Add details including title description and audience and upload

How to schedule YouTube videos using Hootsuite

Step 1: Add your YouTube Channel to Hootsuite

If you haven’t already, add your YouTube Channel to Hootsuite.

Oh, yeah, and all your other social media accounts so you can plan, schedule, and publish content across all your platforms from one easy dashboard. But you knew that already, right?

Step 2: Upload your video

Click on Composer on the left side menu, then select YouTube video.

Hootsuite Composer select YouTube video

Choose your video and it’ll start uploading.

YouTube Upload drag a video or choose a file to upload

Step 3: Fill out your video info

Similar to YouTube, you can edit your video’s title, description, tags, and category while it uploads in the background.

YouTube video upload add title description tags category thumbnail and privacy settings

Step 4: Select your thumbnail

Once your video is finished uploading, you can choose from several thumbnail options with the forward and back slider, or upload a custom thumbnail image by clicking the camera icon. (This appears once it’s done uploading.)

Video thumbnail add custom image

Step 5: Schedule your video

Clicking Publish Now will do exactly what it says. To schedule your YouTube video instead, first change the privacy to Unlisted.

Change privacy settings to Unlisted

Then click the slider to on for Schedule to go Public.

Schedule to go public turn slider on

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Choose your date and time then click Schedule at the top.

Bonus: Create social media content before your video goes live!

After you schedule your YouTube video in Hootsuite, you get a link you can use to promote it right away. Simply copy it, or click Share via Hootsuite, to schedule social media posts directing people to your new video once it’s live.

Your video has been scheduled Share via Hootsuite

This saves a lot of time by letting you schedule a YouTube video and all its associated promotional content across all your channels from one place all at the same time, without having to wait for the video to launch first.

Do you need Hootsuite to schedule YouTube videos? Nope. YouTube’s built-in scheduler provides more settings and options. But personally, I find the uninterrupted workflow of being able to schedule YouTube alongside my other platforms, plus scheduling promotional posts for the video I just uploaded, priceless.

Or, suit yourself: stick to YouTube’s native video scheduling but use Hootsuite for all the rest of your social media planning and publishing.

How to delete a scheduled video on YouTube

Step 1: Log in to YouTube Studio

Go to the Content section, then either Videos or Shorts, depending on the type of scheduled video you want to delete.

Channel content videos or Shorts tab

Step 2: Hover over the video you want to delete

Hovering over a video reveals a menu. Click the three dots. Alternatively, if you just want to change the scheduled date or time, click the pencil icon to enter the edit screen instead.

Select three dots option

Step 3: Choose delete forever

YouTube will ask you to confirm, and that’s it.

Channel content delete forever option

Make sure to check the box, then click Delete Forever.

Permanently delete video check box

Tips for scheduling YouTube videos

Work out a consistent schedule

Consistency is important for all social platforms but is rewarded especially well on YouTube. There are a lot of factors that go into the way YouTube recommends videos to people but having an active channel with regularly posted videos only helps that.

That’s a big deal since YouTube algorithm recommendations drive 70% of all viewer watch choices.

Promote your scheduled videos on other social channels

Another basic-sounding tip here but difficult to keep up with sometimes. We get it. But rather than going after a brand new audience on YouTube, you have a better chance of converting your followers on other platforms into YouTube channel viewers since they already like you enough to follow you.

And naturally, Hootsuite makes it easy to promote your YouTube videos on all your other social media platforms with scheduling, analytics, and engagement tools all in one place.

Check out everything Hootsuite can do to save time and help you grow faster on YouTube in under 2 minutes:

Try a YouTube Premiere

As you may remember from earlier, you can choose to set a scheduled YouTube video as a “premiere.” This shows a countdown to your audience in places like the Home feed and other areas and, if they click into it, they can get notified when the video launches.

Videos currently “premiering” get this red badge in Home and search results too:

Happy Christmas Night Lofi everyday premiere

Even previously recorded videos get treated to the “livestream-like” experience since every YouTube Premiere video has a chat room for those watching in real-time once it is published.

After the video has played through, it becomes like any other video on YouTube and the chat room feature is disabled. Besides for actual livestreams, YouTube Premieres are a great way to build momentum for a particularly exciting and/or important video, or to use for an event or announcement.

Plan and schedule YouTube videos alongside content for all your other social media platforms from one easy-to-use dashboard with Hootsuite. Analyze performance, respond to comments and DMs with a unified Inbox, and save time with AI tools like Best Time to Publish and OwlyWriter. Try it today.

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By Michelle Martin

As an ex-agency strategist turned freelance WFH fashion icon, Michelle is passionate about putting the sass in SaaS content. She's known for quickly understanding and distilling complicated technical topics into conversational copy that gets results. She has written for Fortune 500 companies and startups, and her clients have earned features in Forbes, Strategy Magazine and Entrepreneur.

Read more by Michelle Martin

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