YouTube is the second largest online search engine – only their owner, Google is bigger. It has over a billion users (that’s about a third of the internet) and is a crucial channel for any brand looking to make video content. The problem is, getting more views, subscribers and clicks on YouTube can be a little tricky. Thankfully, we have a few vital tips that can help. Here’s how to get more views on YouTube.
Optimise Your Brand Channel
So you’ve probably already registered a channel for your brand. However, It’s not enough to simply create a brand channel, it needs to look seamless, engaging and professional too.
Brand Channel Checklist
- Ensure your cover art is on-brand and relevant (ideal dimensions are 2560 x 1440 pixels)
- Any text featured in your cover art should be within the ‘safe area’ – this is the area where it can be seen on all devices (safe area is the 1546 x 423 pixel space at centre of image)
- Include links to other social media profiles, apps or websites on your channel
- Add a clear logo as your channel icon (should be 800 x 800 pixels)
- Make sure the brand description is clear, accurate and engaging with relevant keywords and enticing calls-to-action
- Add contact details so they’re visible on the ‘About’ page
The above may sound basic, but you need to get it right before you do anything else.
Plan You Brand’s Video Marketing Strategy
You can’t just produce a video and call it a day. Everything you do should be part of a bigger picture. What is your strategy? If you’re stuck with this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you creating video content?
- Who are you aiming your content at? Who is your target consumer?
- How and when will your video reach them?
- Why will they watch your content?
- What do you want to get out of this?
You should look at brand video content with a three-pronged approach:
- Research and strategy
- Quality content creation
- Intelligent distribution
You may also like: What Video Should I Make?
Optimise Your Videos
Just as you did with your brand channel, every video you produce needs to be optimised for SEO. Remember, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world – SEO still matters here. We could write a whole article on SEO alone but here’s a quick guide to get you started.
You should aim to target a keyword with high search volume but low competition wherever possible. Sometimes this means looking to more ‘long-tail’ searches (longer search terms). Once you’ve done your research and settled on a key search term, ensure this features pride-of-place in your title.
Be careful about clickbait strategies. You don’t want to mislead your viewer – it can seriously devalue your brand’s proposition and reputation.
It’s vital to add a few high value tags to your video. These should be keywords you’ve found in your research. This will help your video appear is YouTube’s suggested results. Don’t overdo this though – between 8 and 12 is a reasonable number.
Your description is important but don’t try too hard with it. Give a brief explanation of the video using the same high intent keywords that feature in your title and tags. Ensure it looks naturally written – avoid keyword stuffing!
When writing your description, include a strong call-to-action with relevant link to your site.
Your thumbnail is vital to the performance of your video. If it looks boring, it won’t get clicks – if it’s arresting but unrelated, you’ll have a high bounce rate. Above all, your thumbnail will become part of the general branding of your YouTube channel. Use interesting and highly relevant images that match the general tone of your video.
Your thumbnail should have a resolution of 1280 x 780 pixels where possible.
Call-to-Actions & Annotations
We’ve already mentioned it a few times but calls-to-action should feature everywhere and not just on End Boards. One of the most effective places to have a CTA is within the video itself. Annotations can boost engagement, increase your view count, assist your click-through rate and grow your subscriber figures.
Not sure about this? KISSmetrics has actually found that a video with a simple CTA gets 380% more clicks than those with the CTA just in the description.
In an article on boosting subscriber figures, Hootsuite highlights some key uses for annotations:
- Allowing viewers to skip ahead to key sections
- Suggesting other similar videos
- Linking to your site
- Linking to a subscribe button for your channel
Having said this, overusing annotations can look spammy and distracting. Here are a few best practices:
- Make sure they’re small
- Position them around the borders
- Keep them on screen for only a short period of time
- Ensure they’re transparent
Tip: Encourage people to subscribe to your channel wherever possible. This means they’ll get a notification every time you upload a new video.
Make Use of Playlists
Your content needs to be discovered. Playlists are a great way of grouping videos that share a similar theme. These come up separately in search results and will automatically lead your viewer from one video to the next.
Playlists are a great way to help you organise your video content, especially if your YouTube channel is rapidly growing.
Cross-Promote Your Videos on Social Media
When you post a new video on YouTube, promote it on all other social media accounts. It’s also worth remembering that you don’t need to share your video just once. If it’s evergreen content (content that will remain relevant with age), you should keep sharing this regularly on your social media accounts.
Remember to implement social media best practices such as including relevant hashtags and posting at the right time of day to ensure you reach the maximum number of users.
Different social media platforms will work better for different brands. You may not be able to leverage them all. Put more emphasis onto the platforms where you get the most engagement, reach and click-throughs.
Stop Thinking About Viral Content
Many companies expect to go viral when they invest in branded video content. It rarely happens and should never be ‘expected’. It’s incredibly rare for content to go viral.
Producing content with the intention of going viral is the wrong thing to do. Instead, produce content that resonates with a specific audience and take a hustling mindset to get your video in front of those people. You can’t upload a video and wait for it to be seen. Employ a few growth hacking techniques to attain small wins wherever possible. This will soon snowball.
Putting a paid campaign behind your video is a great way of driving relevant traffic to your clips. YouTube allows you to specifically target who you’d like to see your video to ensure the audience you get is highly relevant.
There are two key types of ad on YouTube:
- Instream – Ads that play before other videos
- Search listing – Ads which appear in the results for specific search terms
When it comes to instream ads, it’s vital to target the right kind of video. There’s no point targeting an unrelated video where users are unlikely to convert.
When considering search listing ads, you need to ensure you’re targeting a highly relevant and searched key term.
When running any paid media campaign, ensure you run a split test to see what works best. Play around with different ad variables and see what gets the most desirable results. Don’t get carried away with this though – find out what works and go for it.
Above All, Create Exceptional Content
There’s no parallel to this. If your video isn’t up to scratch or doesn’t resonate with your target audience, it’s never going to be successful on youtube or anywhere else. With high quality content, getting more people to watch and to watch for longer will be a far easier task.
Thankfully, great video content is something we know a lot about. Whether you’re looking for strategic advice or help with production, we can help. Find out more about how you can create great branded video content here.