YouTube is the most popular digital video portal for consumers in the Western Hemisphere. Its numbers are off the charts: 2 billion monthly active users, 30 million daily active users, 1 billion videos watched per day, 1 million paying YouTube TV subscribers — we could keep going.
YouTube, in short, is too popular for any marketer to ignore.
Whether your goal is to burnish your own personal brand or you aim to improve your company’s visibility in a crowded marketplace, you can’t afford to neglect YouTube. Your competitors probably don’t — not the successful ones, at least.
With everything else going on in your life and the world right now, though, taking the time to up your YouTube game certainly does sound like an unwelcome distraction. Important as YouTube is, it would seem that you have more pressing matters to attend to.
What’s to be done?
Well, as is so rarely the case in life, you can do two things at once. That’s because improving your YouTube presence and getting more views is not a particularly difficult prospect. After a considerable amount of work upfront, you’ll be able to take your foot off the gas (modestly) and enjoy the view- and lead-generating machine you’ve built. You’ll still need to attend to your YouTube channel regularly, but it won’t be an all-consuming obligation.
Ready to get started? Here’s our list of 11 strategies to create a better YouTube presence and get more views on your videos.
Research Keywords Likely to Drive Traffic to Your Channel
YouTubers need to worry about SEO, too. While the platform is primarily visual, video summaries, descriptions, and metadata do show up in Google’s text search results. Optimizing this content can really widen your viewer funnel and increase overall views, boosting conversions in the bargain. Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool (or an alternative like Keyword.io) to determine which specific keyword combinations rank best for your videos’ subject matter.
Use Your Channel to Highlight Key Wins
Don’t overthink your content. If a key aim of your organization’s marketing effort is to highlight its successes in the marketplace, make sure some of your videos do just that. The YouTube channel for Asiaciti Trust, an Asia-Pacific based fiduciary services company, is a good example of what works here: no-fuss videos that quietly tout wins without being overly promotional or braggadocious.
Upload New Content As Often As Possible
We already mentioned optimizing your video summaries, descriptions, and metadata. Don’t sleep on the need to optimize your video production processes, either. Prolific YouTubers post multiple videos per week, even more than one per day. You might not have that sort of capacity, but one per week is a minimum that virtually all regular users are capable of.
Create a Variety of Video Types and Lengths
Mix it up! Don’t shoot the same type of video over and over and over again. Interesting and unexpected videos tend to get more views, so post a variety of video types, from short promotional spots to longer how-tos and explainers. Vary your formats as well. You don’t want your viewers to know exactly what to expect from every frame.
Shoot in the Highest Quality Possible
Here’s where that seemingly questionable digital camera investment really pays off. Or where it might pay to, you know, invest in that digital camera you weren’t planning to buy. Look: Your phone is fine for walking-around-town videos and Instagram Lives, but YouTube demands a higher degree of professionalism. Shoot accordingly.
Use Custom Thumbnails to Draw in Audiences
They want to know what they’re about to see, right? Leave them no doubt. Audiences are far less likely to skip over videos if something catches their eye.
Keep Titles Short and Factual
We’re not advocating keyword-stuffing, here. Quite the opposite. Your video titles should be short and factual, well below the character maximum. They should contain the primary keyword you want your video to rank for (or audience to notice, at the very least).
Make the Metadata and Description Informative (And Use Keywords, But Not Too Many)
Keywords are even more important here, as you’re likely aware. But your videos’ meta descriptions and metadata should also be genuinely informative. You certainly don’t want an abundance of keywords to interfere with the message you’d like to convey.
Begin Every Video With a Catchy Hook…
Begin your videos with a bang. Within seconds, you want your audience to be hooked — and more than willing not to relinquish their attention until you say so.
…Then Get Right to the Point
You don’t want to beat around the bush in the service of an opening hook, though. Move right into the heart of the matter as soon as your opening sequence plays out. Editing is your friend here; you always want to use fewer frames to make the same point.
Use Visual Elements to Liven Up the Content and Keep Your Audience Entertained
Whiteboards, onscreen text, GIFs, memes, cutaways: Whatever visual elements you can deploy to keep your audience’s attention, deploy them. Whatever you do, don’t simply film yourself standing in front of a wall and expect your audience to follow along.
Is Your YouTube Game Where It Needs to Be?
Let’s be honest. If you’d already implemented most or even some of these strategies to improve your YouTube presence and get more views on your videos, you wouldn’t be reading this. You’d be…working on your YouTube presence, probably. Or doing something even more fun, secure in the knowledge that you’ve put in the hard work to play a first-rate digital video game.
The reality is, most of us aren’t YouTubing at our full potential. And that’s fine. It’s not the end of the world.
But for businesses and professionals seeking any advantage they can get in an ever more crowded and competitive digital marketplace, an effective YouTube presence can be a game-changer. If you’re among them — and you surely are, if you’ve read this far — then you can’t afford to leave anything on the court when it comes to digital video.
Fortunately, you don’t have to. Implement these 11 tips to up your YouTube game and watch views, engagement, and (fingers crossed!) video-generated conversions increase. You’ve got this — if you’re willing to follow in successful YouTubers’ footsteps and put in the difficult work.