Do you think Youtube is for gamers only? Think again.
Youtube is the second most visited website in the world, with 2 billion monthly active users.
In today’s world, we spend up to six hours a day consuming video. We need to cater to the binge-watching habits of our customers.
For any digital marketer, mastering Youtube is a must.
Why should they choose to watch your videos? How are they going to find you? If you are asking these questions, you are ahead of the game.
Below are some of our favorite YouTube content optimization strategies. Every single one of these tips is effective with a little bit of work.
20 Tips To Promote Your Channel That Work
1. Pick Google-friendly Keywords
A good YouTube channel starts with good SEO. Good SEO begins by knowing what users are looking for.
People are not only searching for YouTube videos; they’re also using Google. In 2018 the second most common search word was “YouTube.” Google now favors video for several searches over other content.
Here’s how to look for keywords that are Google-friendly:
- Identify possible keywords with a tool like the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
- Google one of your options.
- Scan the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for each keyword. Are the top-ranking results in videos or written content?
- Tweak your keyword and try again. Try adding words like “How to” or “Tutorial” if you’re having trouble getting video results.
- Choose a keyword that prioritizes video and suits your content.
For example, “LinkedIn Tutorial” turns up more video results compared to “LinkedIn Tips.”
2. Write attractive, must-see titles
The title will be the first thing users see, when they discover your content, it’s all about presentation after all. If it’s not punchy, it could be the last.
Here are some quick tips to write strong YouTube headlines:
- Keep it short and sweet: Popular Youtube videos tend to have shorter titles. Maybe stick to 60 characters or less or part of your title may get cut off when displayed.
- Include your keyword(s) in the first half of the title to avoid losing valuable information. Most online readers focus only on the beginning of the sentence and disregard the rest.
- Engaging doesn’t mean clickbait. The best headlines offer an obvious benefit or create an emotional reaction. Clickbait is tempting but can damage your channel’s reputation in the long term.
Unable to come up with a title? The autocomplete function on YouTube is one of the best places to find popular keywords. Begin by searching for a particular subject or theme, and see what the YouTube title indicates.
3. Offer Real Value
This may sound super obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Quality content is the best way to keep viewers engaged — and the most efficient way to rank high in search. It’s because the ranking system on YouTube prioritizes the experience of the user.
Before you upload a video ask yourself:
- What problem does this video solve?
- Is this video entertaining?
- Will it improve my viewers’ lives in any way?
4. Create high-quality videos
Not everybody is a natural film maker, of course. Low video quality can sabotage even the very best content. Before you publish a video, make sure the content looks professional. Use a good camera, do a pre-record sound test, and learn some simple editing skills if you can’t afford to higher a video editor.
5. Make Custom Thumbnails
thumbnails sometimes matter more than titles. This is because our brains are structured to notice visuals before anything else. We process visuals in under 13 milliseconds.
Follow these simple “rules of thumb” for best results:
- Resolution: 1280 x 720 px (but any 16:9 aspect ratio should work).
- Format: JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG.
- Size: Respect the 2MB limit.
- Use high contrast images.
- Add text and colors to encourage clicks.
- Choose a close-up image, if it’s possible.
- Use a stock photo when in doubt.
- Be consistent with branding.
Creating a thumbnail doesn’t need to be too complicated you can even make one with creative tools such as Canva. For all videos, YouTube creates automatic thumbnails, but they may be blurred or not focused. Design an eye-catching custom thumbnail for each video you share, to raise views. See below how popular Youtube channel Epicurious thumbnails are clear and have close-up images of the recipes.
6. Complete Your Profile
Many YouTubers ignore the profile section and head directly to creating content. Yet one of the best ways to promote your YouTube channel — and improve your SEO — is through a convincing profile.
Here are several ways to build a successful profile on YouTube:
- Be consistent. Use a similar color palette, writing style, and layout as you do on your website and other social channels.
- Optimize your YouTube channel description. This is a great place to add keywords. YouTube penalizes “tag stuffing,” but writing a few keywords can go a long way.
- Keep viewers coming back for more. When and how often will you post new content? Let fans know your schedule—then make sure you stick to it.
- Include contact info. You never know who might want to reach out to you. Make it simple for them and you might have some great partnerships.
7. Optimize Your Video Description
Here a few ways to write effective video descriptions:
- Front-load your keywords in the description and title.
- Stick to the 5000-characters limit.
- Create a “contents page” with timestamps that help viewers find what they’re looking for.
- Add links to relevant information.
- Include a few relevant hashtags. Be sure to follow YouTube’s hashtagging rules before you post.
Even keywords can be said in the video itself. Just as with texting, people easily lose focus. For better performance, using a few keywords during a short intro.
Here’s an example of Youtube channel Bon Appétit’s video description that links the recipe, uses popular keywords, and has a nice description of what happens in the video.
8. Interact With Subscribers
True engagement does not stop at creating content. Popular YouTubers are actively monitoring and engaging with their followers.
Respond to feedback from viewers — including the negative ones — and “heart” your favorite comments. Post videos responding to fans. Utilize analytics to find and demonstrate some extra love for your top fans.
9. Encourage Viewers to Follow Your Video Series
A clever way to promote your YouTube channel is by creating a similar series of videos covering a recurring theme or subject.
Making a series is a win-win for creators, as well as viewers. Creators keep themselves responsible for producing fresh YouTube content. For the audience, they have plenty to look forward to and have a reason to keep coming back to your channel.
10. Create Playlists To Organize Videos
The more videos you make, the harder it gets for people to search through your site. For that reason playlists are so critical.
For example, popular workout channel Chloe Ting currently has a number of different playlists that make it easier for users to find workouts they want to do.
11. Try A Q&A
Q&As are one of the most powerful forms of creating a community. Ask your subscribers to comment, email, or tweet questions. Then you can create a video to answer the top questions.
You’ll raise watch time, improve view count, and show your fans that you care. Furthermore, Q&As can be lifesavers if you’re out of ideas.
12. Contest Or Giveaway
Youtube users love giveaways. Run a YouTube contest or giveaway to motivate people to subscribe and connect with your channel.
Have users like your video, post a comment, and subscribe to your channel to enter, to keep your contests easy.
Follow these best practices when you run a contest or giveaway:
- Have a clear goal in mind.
- Make sure to respect YouTube’s contest policies.
- Choose a prize related to your brand and that users will enjoy.
- Use social media channels to maximize your reach.
Be cautious about having contests frequently on YouTube. You want to make sure your actions are producing results or you will end up wasting time, money, and energy. Wait a while once you have done one contest and look at your subscriber drop-off rate and number of engagements. When you don’t pull in active subscribers, you may simply be drawing in people who want free prizes.
13. Collaborate With Other Brands And Creators
Brand and creator partnerships are yet another way of expanding your reach. If you’re struggling with ideas, they can inspire you to come up with creative content.
Yet any good partnership has one golden rule: Be genuine.
Find brands that represent your personality and the needs of your audience. Would it make sense to collaborate with them? Does it give value to your audience?
Buzzfeed’s Tasty and Sun-Maid collaborated to make a relevant and fun video for viewers that isn’t overly promotional.
14. Respect Youtube Community Guidelines
Due to the rapid number of underage users, YouTube is cracking down hard on inappropriate content.
If you post a video that violates the community guidelines, your video will get flagged and deleted from the recommendation feature of YouTube, and you could lose monetization.
15. Youtube Live
YouTube is the top live streaming channel. Make the most of this by creating videos that truly engages viewers.
You can do webcasts, Q&A’s, tutorials, and activities. Look at YouTube Live to get inspiration.
Do not stress if your live streams do not run as smoothly as you would like. Part of the live streaming fun (and risk) is that you never know exactly what’s going to happen. What makes live video convincing is the unpolished, raw essence of it.
16. Cross-promote Your Videos
Reach out to non-Youtube viewers to create a community around your channel. Focus on integrating your videos into email updates, social media profiles, and your blog. Cross-promote your older videos when it makes sense to get more views.
There are several innovative ways of cross promoting that don’t require sharing the same exact message over and over again. To get you started here are some ideas:
Different strategies work for different platforms. Make sure the overall look and feel of your brand is consistent everywhere. Then each time you make a post use different captions.
Using GIFs on Twitter is a fun way to promote your Youtube videos.
If you are looking for help with social media engagement or design, check out our Social Media Agency.
Do you have a blog on your website? Embed videos and searchable transcriptions into your blog posts. It would increase video views as well as page views.
You can use your blog to come up with new ideas for content on your Youtube channel. Use Google Analytics to discover which posts are receiving the most traffic. Then find out if you can create a video on that topic.
Email may not be the newest form of communication but it is effective.
Generate an email list of your subscribers on YouTube. Then each time you post new content, send them an update. It’s an easy way to boost your view count. In addition, this will initiate the recommendation algorithm for YouTube.
You can also take advantage of an email signature. A simple link underneath your name to your YouTube channel is a non-pushy way of attracting subscribers. For more on emailing marketing read this blog post and check out our email marketing agency.
17. Youtube Creator Academy
One mistake that most Youtube marketers make is they only focus on publishing videos and not learning.
You should use Youtube’s Creator Academy to learn pro tips for making the most out of your Youtube videos. You will learn several growth tips and ticks that otherwise are overlooked.
18. Call To Action (CTA)
Users need to be told on social media platforms what actions you want them to take.
You should ask viewers to like and subscribe to your channel in the middle or at the end of the video. You may even ask them to share the video with anyone who may benefit or be interested in it.
Many famous YouTubers use the tactic of “Call to Action” to enhance their video reach with current subscribers. If you’ve never done this before, start doing it in your next video.
You’ll be surprised to learn that the number of shares increases simply by asking your current subscribers.
19. Run A Paid Youtube Ad Campaign
You always have the option to promote your YouTube channel through ads. YouTube provides a wide range of ad formats:
- Display ads: These advertisements appear on the right sidebar of videos, and are visible only on desktop.
- Overlay ads: These are semi-transparent advertisements that show up at the bottom of a video. It is only available on desktop.
- Skippable and non-skippable video ads: These ads appear before, during, or after a video. Skippable ads can be skipped after five seconds, but with non-skippable ads the user has to it all the way through before the user can watch their video.
- Bumper ads: These are non-skippable ads that have to be watched before the viewer can watch their video. They can be a maximum of six seconds.
- Sponsored cards: These are cards that get displayed within relevant videos. You can use them to promote your products or other content.
You can either use an existing video for your ad creatives or make something new for a campaign. Using an existing video has the advantage that you can select a clip that you know has been successful in the past. When a video has already had a lot of organic views and interaction, running paid ads will improve your outcomes. You can learn more about ad formats offered by Youtube here.
On the other hand, making a new video for your ads, you will be able to produce a more focused piece of content that you have more control over.
20. Youtube Analytics
The analytics of YouTube are powerful. Using it wisely!
Dive deep into your data to get a better understanding of your audience. How old are they? What is their gender? What languages do they speak? Which styles of videos do they prefer? Use this knowledge to make content that will truly catch your audience’s interests.
Growing your Youtube audience will not just happen over night.
Having several advertising tactics in your back pocket pays off. However, some of the above tips take more effort than others, each will help you get more eyes and subscribers on your channel.🤩
Reach out to SH1FT’s Youtube Ads Agency for more information.