YouTube is second on the internet with over 1.8 billion monthly active users. Digital marketers must master it. There are many smart and effective ways to promote your YouTube channel. This will increase your views and increase the ROI of your YouTube strategy.
How can you get the most out of this rapidly-growing platform? Advertising is one option, but it’s not the only way to promote your channel.
These are my top tips for optimizing YouTube content. These tips are simple, efficient, and, even better, completely free.
1. Use Short, Descriptive Titles.
To avoid losing important information, include your keyword(s). Online readers tend to focus on the first sentence and ignore the rest.
When users find your content, the title might be the first thing they see. These are some tips to help you create strong YouTube titles.
Keep it short and simple. The shortest titles are the most popular YouTube videos. Keep your titles to 60 characters. Otherwise, some parts of your title might be truncated when displayed.
Engaging doesn’t mean clickbait. The best headlines have an obvious benefit and evoke an emotion. Although clickbait can be tempting, it can endanger your channel’s reputation over the long haul.
Are you still having trouble coming up with a title for your video? YouTube’s autocompleted function is a great tool to locate popular keywords. You can start by searching for a specific topic, and then see what YouTube suggests.
2. Optimize Your Descriptions.
This guide will help you write effective YouTube descriptions. It includes tips for individual videos and channels. Here are some crucial takeaways.
- Create a “content page” with timestamps to help viewers find the information they need.
- Use a few Hashtags that are relevant. Before you publish, make sure to adhere to YouTube’s hashtagging guidelines.
- Front-load your keywords into the title and description.
- Add links to playlists that are relevant (more details later).
- Keep to the limit of 5000 characters.
- You can include keywords in the video. However, just as with text, people can lose their attention very quickly. For best results, use a few keywords in a short intro.
3. Choose Google-Optimized Keywords.
Great SEO is the key to a great YouTube channel. It begins with understanding the needs of users.
As it turns out, people use Google to search for videos not just on YouTube. In 2018, “YouTube”, was the second-most searched term. Google now gives preference to video when searching for content.
There is no standard for keywords that will rank your YouTube video high. However, a little reverse engineering can make a big difference.
Here are some ways to find a Google-optimized keyword that will work for any video.
- Use a tool such as the Google Ads Keyword Planner to identify possible keywords.
- For each keyword, scan the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Is the top-ranking result written content or videos?
- Try tweaking your keyword again. If you are having difficulty getting video results, try adding words such as “How to” and “Tutorial”. Select a keyword that is relevant to your content and prioritizes video.
4. Make Custom Thumbnails.
Which thumbnail are you more likely to choose from? The blue graphic is more appealing, easier to click, and more eye-catching than the rest.
Thumbnails aren’t as significant as titles, but they do matter. Because our brains are wired to see visuals first, this is why thumbnails matter so much.
These are the “rules” that I recommend for best results.
- Keep in line with other brands
- Resolution: 1280×720 pixels (but any 16/9 aspect ratio should be acceptable)
- Size: Please respect the 2MB limit
- If you are able to, take a close-up picture
- Format: .JPG or .GIF
- To encourage clicks, add text and colors
- If in doubt, use a stock image
- High contrast images are a good idea
YouTube automatically generates thumbnails for every video, but they may be blurry or out-of-focus. Make sure you have a custom thumbnail that is eye-catching for each video you upload to increase views.
5. Interact with Your Fans.
Respond to all comments, even the negative, and “heart” your favorites. Upload response videos. You can use Analytics to identify your top followers and give them extra love.
It will be a great gesture thatwill make your viewers and subscribers happy.
Content creation is not the end of the engagement. Successful YouTubers are always in touch with their followers and monitor them.
6. Offer Value.
Ask yourself these questions before you post any video.
- What problem solves this video?
- Is it entertaining?
- Will it make viewers’ lives better?
You should help viewers learn a new tool by breaking it down step-by-step. Real value will get you real engagement.
Great content is the best way for viewers to stay engaged and the best way to rank high in search. YouTube’s ranking system places the viewer’s experience first.
7. Complete Your Profile.
Keep viewers coming back for more! What time and how often will new content be posted? Tell your fans what you are doing and make sure to stick to it.
Be consistent. Use the same color scheme, writing style, layout on your website as on other social media channels.
Many YouTubers skip the profile section to get straight into content creation. A compelling profile is a great way to promote your YouTube channel and boost your SEO. These are the best ways to create a YouTube account that is effective.
Include contact information. You never know who may want to reach out to you. You could make it easier for them, and they might be interested in forming great partnerships.
Optimize your YouTube channel description. This is a great area to include keywords. YouTube punishes “tag stuffing,” but a few keywords can make a big difference.
8. Utilize Metadata!
YouTube’s metadata guidelines stress two things when it is about keywords:
- Be honest.
- Choose quality over quantity.
These rules apply to tags and categories, too. You should only include tags in your upload’s “tags section”, not the video description. YouTube will recommend your video to people who have added one or two categories.
9. Figure out What Works (and make the most of it).
To understand your audience better, take a deep dive into your data. What age are they? Which languages are they fluent in? What video formats do they prefer? You can use this information to create content that really captures their interest.
YouTube analytics are very powerful. Make sure to use it sparingly.
10. Do a Q&A.
You can show your fans you care by increasing their engagement, watch time, and view counts. Q&As are a great way to get fresh content ideas.
A 13-year old YouTuber held a Q&A in celebration of reaching 100,000 subscribers. With a sweet non-alcoholic toast, she gets things off to a good start.
Q&A with your audience is a great way to build a strong community. Ask your subscribers to email or comment with questions. Create a video to answer them.
11. Run Contests.
Another great way to engage your audience is through contests. You can gather viewer data, encourage comments and likes, and even gain subscribers with a single video.
You can read a blog post on how to make the most of YouTube contests. But some quick takeaways include:
- Selecting a prize that your viewers will enjoy
- Conforming to YouTube contest rules and restrictions
- Using Hootsuite to upload videos directly to YouTube.
- Maximizing your reach through other social media channels
- Setting a clear goal and starting to work towards it
12. Participate in the Community.
Subscribe to channels that are similar to yours. You can like, share, and even comment on their content. Ensure to leave thoughtful comments and mention them in your videos. This will give you an idea of your competitors and can help you reach new audiences.
YouTube is about building your audience and finding your niche.
13. Go Live.
Live webinars, Q&As, and events work great. Another great way to be inspired is to visit YouTube Live.
YouTube is the most used live streaming platform. This is a great opportunity to create content that engages viewers.
14. Promote both Your Videos and Channel.
Promote your channel as a whole and your individual videos. Push for subscribers, and link to your account whenever you can. This will increase the rank of your videos in YouTube and Google search.
Do you know how page authority is affected by domain authority? The same applies to videos.
15. Publish High-Quality Videos.
Not everyone is a natural filmmaker. If you aren’t familiar with these best practices, it is worth learning.
Before you publish your content, make sure it looks professional. Be sure to have a good camera and sound-check your recording before you start editing.
16. Cross-Promote Your Channel.
Cross-promoting doesn’t have to be about posting the same message twice. To build a community around your channel, reach out to people outside YouTube. These include other social media accounts, your blog, and email newsletter.
Make an email list of YouTube subscribers. You can then send them an email alert each time you publish new content. This is a great way to get more views for your videos early. This will make YouTube recommendation algorithm to improve your video.
Although email may seem old-fashioned, it is still very effective. 66% of marketers believe email is worth the investment.
You can use your email signature. It’s a simple way to get subscribers. Instead of a long URL, I recommend that you use a simple icon.
You can use your blog to generate content ideas for your channel. Google Analytics can help you determine which posts are getting the most traffic. Is it possible to make a video about this topic?
Is your website equipped with a blog? Include searchable transcriptions and embed videos in your posts. This will increase page views and video views.
Incorporate the final result in the post. This will increase the value of your blog and encourage readers to visit your YouTube channel.
Learn the video specifications for each platform and optimize your video accordingly. Make sure that your brand’s look and feel is consistent across all platforms. Be sure to use different captions for every post.
Different social strategies work for different platforms. Hootsuite, a tool that streamlines this process, can be a great help, especially if you use a lot of social media.
17. Maintain a Balance between Evergreen Videos and Trending Content.
Upload some timeless videos that your subscribers will enjoy again and again. You will find a lot of popular evergreen content such as how-to guides, resources lists, stat collections, and tip roundups.
This type of content is long-lasting and can rank well over time, increasing traffic and SEO.
18. Collaborate with Brands.
Keep looking if you don’t see the answer. Inauthentic videos can cause more harm than good. The collaboration must be relevant, fun, and very useful.
Find brands that best reflect you and your audience. Is it worth partnering with them? Will it be of value to your viewers?
One rule is essential to any partnership that succeeds: Be authentic.
Partnering with brands is another way to expand your reach. You can also use them to help you create new content if you are stuck for ideas.
19. Add a Call to Action.
Perhaps you want to encourage your viewers to share or like your video. Or maybe you want them clicking through to your site. No matter what the “ask”, the best CTAs are always simple, compelling, and immediate.
To make the most out of your hard-earned audience, include a great CTA in your video.
YouTube has just released a new extension to its call-to-action feature for in-stream ads. Here are free options to add CTAs in videos:
- End cards / Screens: You can add customizable screenshots at the beginning, middle, or end of your video. These powerful visual cues give your CTA some punch.
- Video Descriptions: Invite viewers to comment on, like, and share your video description.
- Direct Host-Mentions: Simply look into the camera and tell the viewers what you want.
20. Respect Community Guidelines.
You should not post anything that you don’t want your little brother or sister to see. YouTube’s recommendation system may flag and remove your video. You can always double-check the community guidelines if you are unsure.
YouTube is taking action against inappropriate content because of a growing number of users who are underage.
21. Create Playlists.
Playlists can be helpful in enhancing discoverability. They are more likely than videos in the YouTube Suggested Video column. You can use Playlist titles to add keywords.
Playlists can also be a great way for people to see more of your content at once. These collections can be addictive. The next video begins as soon as the previous one ends.
There are two ways to create playlists that are effective:
- Gather videos from relevant influencers and partners: This will let your viewers know that you are “in the know” which encourages them to share your playlists.
- Group videos under the same topic on your channel page: This will keep viewers focused on your channel, not the competitors.
If you are interested in building engagement through videos, upload and schedule all videos using it. You will see a significant increase in readership, relationships, and pageviews.