Each day, almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube. If you’re a business trying to get more views and engagement on your YouTube channel, unfortunately, that’s a lot of competition! However on the plus side, YouTube has nearly 2 billion active users on their platform, and the thirst for videos is growing daily! So there’s a lot of market share to go for.
If you are using YouTube to promote your business, here’s a few helpful ideas to make sure your channel and videos are gaining maximum reach and creating engagement from your viewers.
1, Give the videos a title that gets people clicking. The title of a video is the one thing that determines whether someone decides to view it, so write a compelling title that makes people want to watch. Make sure the title includes your main keyword and accurately describes the content of the video. Consider using a number (either the year or the number of things you cover in the video) and description in brackets, like [VIDEO] or [HOW-TO-GUIDE], both of which have been shown to increase click-through. YouTube allows up to 70 characters in a title, but studies show shorter titles of fewer than 30 characters get more engagement.
2, Write a good video description. YouTube gives you a whopping 5,000 characters (about 800 words) for your description, but only the first few lines will be visible in search results, so start with a strong, 2-3 sentence introduction that includes your target keywords. Use the middle section of your description to provide more detail on the contents of the video, and at the end, provide links that users can click to get more information, such as your website and social channels.
3, Use a custom thumbnail. Thumbnails are usually the first thing viewers see about your video, so the thumbnail image you choose needs to get their interest quickly. If you’re looking for more engagement, take the time to create custom thumbnails for your videos rather than using an auto-generated freeze-frame from the video—according to YouTube, 90% of the most-viewed videos on YouTube use a custom thumbnail.
4, Tags, tags and hashtags. YouTube tags are keywords or short phrases that give YouTube information about the content and context of your video and function as important ranking factors for YouTube searches. Add 5-8 tags to each video, including your main keywords and variants, the overall category, and a mix of broad and specific tags.
As with other social media channels, hashtags make your video more searchable and increase visibility. You can include hashtags in your video title and/or description—if there are no hashtags in your title, YouTube will take the first 3 hashtags in the description and display them above the title. You can include up to 15 relevant hashtags in your video description—if you add more than 15, YouTube will penalise your video by ignoring ALL the hashtags in your description and may even remove the video.
5, Use analytics to understand your audience. You probably think you know who your YouTube audience is, but YouTube’s analytics—which can tell you the demographics of your audience, which videos they prefer, and how engaged they are—can be very valuable for either confirming your strategy or telling you when you’re missing the mark.
6, Optimise for suggested video. YouTube uses your video’s title, description, and tags to determine when to suggest it to someone who just watched a related video. To increase your chances of appearing high in suggested video rankings, identify the most popular videos with content related to yours, and use the same tags.
7, Interact with your viewers. If you ask your viewers to engage with your video content, you should return the favour. Monitor viewer comments on your videos, reply promptly to any questions and join discussions. Opening the lines of communication with your viewers will encourage more engagement, boost the credibility of your channel, and could even translate to more website traffic and sales.
There is a strong correlation between how many comments, likes, and shares a video gets and how high it ranks, so at the end of your video, be sure to ask people to comment, share the video, or subscribe to your channel.
8, Use playlists. If someone likes a video enough to watch it all the way to the end, chances are they might like similar or related videos on your channel. Keep them watching by creating playlists to autoplay several videos from your channel.
9, Add cards to your videos. YouTube cards are sort of like little ads that you can insert into your videos to add an element of interactivity. Cards can direct viewers to your website, ask them to take a poll or link to another video or playlist they might be interested in. You can add up to 5 cards to each video.
10, Promote your YouTube videos on social channels. Most social media channels don’t like it when you post a link to a YouTube video, because you’re encouraging people to leave the social channel. To get around this, create a short clip from a YouTube video and post it as a native video on your social channels, then put the link to the full video in the comments.