Get the most out of your YouTube channel and attract more viewers with this web-based application. This post will show you exactly what to do and where to go. The internet is ready and waiting for you – now’s the time to make an impact.
Create Compelling Content
It won’t matter how many hacks or ads you use if your videos aren’t good. So how can you create compelling content that will get more views on YouTube? Well, one of the best ways is to create ‘how to’ videos:
Simply identify what your ideal customers most want to know, and then create videos that meet their needs. Does this work? You bet. YouTube creator Graham Cochrane racked up 51 million YouTube views by focusing on how-to content.
Cochrane finds video ideas in the comments of his social channels. If that doesn’t work, he asks his community what they’d like him to make videos about.
Cochrane said, “An amazing thing happens when you ask people what they need and want, and then you go and make it for them — they think you read their mind!” Bottom-line: Consistently create content that solves your ideal customer’s problems or meets their needs. It’s the way to develop a loyal community of fans and get more views on YouTube.
Create Playlists to Keep People Watching
YouTube’s own statistics show that “top-performing brands on YouTube build and promote twice as many playlists as the bottom 25%.”
Why do playlists work so well? Auto-play. It takes effort to pull your attention away from videos you’re enjoying when they just keep playing. In fact, there’s a cognitive bias at work called ‘loss aversion.’
Loss aversion states that the pain of losing something is twice as bad as the pleasure received from gaining something equivalent. For example, loss aversion suggests that people will work twice as hard to keep $100, as they will gain $100. Auto-play uses loss aversion to reframe the situation.
The question is no longer, “Do you want to watch another video enough to actively click play?” Now, the question is, “Do you want to stop watching enough to actively click away?”. It’s subtle but powerful, and if your content is good, viewers will often keep watching. Also, playlists can help improve search rankings, as playlist titles are another opportunity to target keywords.
The easiest way to create a YouTube playlist is to navigate to each video you’d like to add and click the ‘+’ icon underneath the video.
Then you can create a new playlist or add it to an existing playlist. To get more views on YouTube, create a playlist of your best content and start promoting it today!
Add a Watermark to Your Videos
Watermarks allow you to gain more subscribers and free YouTube views by promoting your channel across all of your videos. Essentially, a watermark is just an image that you can set to appear on all of your videos — most brands use their logo. When a viewer hovers their mouse over a watermark, it prompts them to subscribe. Which is why the Shopify YouTube channel has chosen a watermark saying ‘subscribe’:
Once again, you need to verify your YouTube account to be able to upload a watermark. It’s worth pointing out that you can’t pick and choose which videos display watermarks and which don’t — they either appear on all of your videos or none of them.
To add a watermark to your videos head to the Creator Studio and click ‘Branding.’
Then click ‘Add a Watermark’ and upload your image.
In summary, use this simple tool to promote your brand on your YouTube channel.
Tip: Design a watermark that is square, transparent, and above 50×50 pixels. As YouTube shrinks down watermarks when displaying them in the corner of the videos, creating a larger one will help ensure your branding is visible to your target audience.
Promote Your Videos on Other Social Channels
If you have followers on other social channels, let them know each time you upload a new video to YouTube. A good way to do this is with a short teaser video.
To make things easier, try using a social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. But don’t just stick to social channels. You can also embed your YouTube videos in relevant blog posts and pages on your website.
And don’t forget about email marketing. With an industry average open rate of 18 percent and a purchase rate of 66 percent, email marketing is a powerhouse when it comes to sales conversions. It doesn’t need to be too complicated either.
Nurture a Community
YouTube isn’t just a video search engine. It’s also a social network. So to get more views on YouTube, you need to use it like other social networks. In other words, it isn’t enough to just regularly share videos, you also need to actively engage your audience.
How? The best way is to simply respond to comments — especially if someone asks a direct question. Because other viewers will be more likely to comment themselves if they know they’ll receive a response.
It only takes a second, and you can do it while you’re browsing your comments for new video ideas (remember tip number 1?). You should also be an active member of your niche community. Subscribe to other channels in your niche, leave comments on their videos, and share any that your own audience might enjoy. In other words, give before you get.
If you engage generously and authentically, viewers will notice and it will be much easier to establish your brand in a niche of passionate fans. And remember, promoting other videos will score you Watch Time credits, which will help to boost your channel in YouTube’s algorithm. Lastly, you can also involve viewers directly.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to hold a contest or prize draw. For example, you could ask viewers to share your video on Facebook and leave a comment to be entered into a draw to win one of your products. Growing a loyal, active community is a surefire way to get more views on YouTube.
Optimize Your Channel
Let’s quickly run through some of the main components:
Create a strong, consistent brand aesthetic.
Ensure that your YouTube branding is consistent with your website and other social channels. This means using the same logo, images, and colors. Your profile picture should be 800 x 800 pixels. It should also still look good when displayed smaller. Your banner art should be at least 2560 x 1440 pixels, and there’s a template to help you design your banner art in YouTube’s Creator Academy.
Optimize your YouTube channel description.
This is shown on your channel’s ‘About’ tab. You only get 1,000 characters, so make ‘em count. What should you write in your YouTube channel description? Well, start with a quick description of your brand and the benefits of your products.
Then tell viewers why they should watch your YouTube videos. Are you teaching them something? Or is your channel mostly about entertainment? Bottom-line: Tell viewers what’s in it for them. Just like your individual video titles, make sure that you include your targeted keywords in your YouTube channel description.
Add your social channels, links to your website, and a way to get in contact.
In other words, make it easy for viewers to find out more about your brand.
Add channel keywords.
Once you’ve researched and decided on the keywords you want your channel to rank for in the search results, click “Channel,” and then “Advanced.” Then simply input your keywords into the box titled “Channel Keywords.”
Lastly, enable related channels.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see business channels make is that they turn off the ‘related channels’ feature on YouTube,” said Syed Balkhi, the founder of List25 (which has over 2.3 million subscribers and 582 million views).
By turning it off, you remove your channel from YouTube’s recommendations. As a consequence, you’ll lose the network effect that makes YouTube such a powerful tool.
In summary, make sure that you optimize your YouTube channel and that all of your information is complete.
Create Compelling Thumbnail Images
A thumbnail is a video’s preview image. This little image is extremely important if you want to get more free YouTube views. When you upload a video, you can choose one of the auto-generated thumbnail images.
Don’t. Instead, create and upload your own custom thumbnail image. YouTube reports that 90 percent of the top-performing videos on YouTube use them — and for good reason.
(If you haven’t yet, you need to verify your YouTube account to access this feature.)
An effective thumbnail image can help your videos stand out.
YouTube says, “Thumbnails require an art director’s eye for branding, and shouldn’t be an afterthought.”In fact, they recommend that you think about your thumbnail before you start filming. That way, you can make sure you capture the footage needed to create a compelling thumbnail image. A good thumbnail is one that is eye-catching, compelling, congruent with your brand, and accurately represents the video’s content.
In general, try to include:
- Brightly colored backgrounds
- Close-ups of faces
- Text overlays
- Subtle branding — like a small logo or watermark
Okay, what about the technicalities? Your thumbnail should:
- Use a 16:9 aspect ratio, as this is the most used aspect ratio in YouTube players
- Have a resolution of 1280×720
- Have a file-size of less than 2MB
- Be formatted as a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG
You can also use a free image editing and graphic design tool like Canva to create your thumbnails. Remember, thumbnails are one of the best ways to catch the attention of people browsing YouTube, so make sure that yours are effective and compelling.
Publish Your Videos at The Best Time
The best time is when your target visitors are watching your videos. Fortunately, this is no longer a mystery as YouTube tracks the hours and days when your audience is on YouTube. You can dig into your “When your viewers are on YouTube” report to identify peak times and publish content in an hour or two before those peaks. Publishing earlier will give your audience a chance to discover your new videos, resulting in more free views.
To access the report, go to your channel homepage, click Customize Channel, select Analytics from the left-hand tab below your channel profile picture, and click the Audience tab. You should now see the option to generate a “When your viewers are on YouTube” report.
Build an Influencer Community
Following on from guest vloggers, building a strong influencer community that shares community content and works together to help everyone involved is a great way to get more views on your YouTube channel. Being an influencer can be very lonely and competitive. Reaching out to influencers similar to yourself to share knowledge and information can help to build a community of influencers that look after each other and help people who are struggling.
Identifying similar influencers through tools like Unamo or Buzzsumo and reaching out to them will start the ball rolling but be sure to have a goal and compelling reason to maintain contact so that it is a reciprocal relationship and not one-sided.
End your video by teasing what you’re working on next
Subscribing to a channel on YouTube is an act of anticipation. Viewers who’ve just seen what your brand is about are primed to want more if you’ve done your job right.
Hyping your next video, and making it clear why it’s not to be missed, is the most organic way to encourage people to tap subscribe.
Of course, this requires having a good handle on your content schedule, and knowing what’s coming next.
Add a custom channel trailer
YouTube’s customization settings allow you to make the most of the featured video space at the top of your channel page. You can choose to show one video to existing subscribers and something else to non-subscribed viewers.
Source: YouTube Studio
For non-subscribers, create a channel trailer that lets people know what they can expect from your channel and why they should subscribe.
Showcase your content strategically on your channel page
From the layout tab in YouTube Studio, you can add up to 12 sections to your channel homepage. This allows you to feature your best content right up front, so new visitors see your best creations as they think about whether to hit the Subscribe button.
You can also use sections to showcase the playlists you created in the last tip. Use playlists specifically targeted to various viewer needs to highlight right off the top the extensive value you provide.
For example, take a look at these playlist sections on the English with Lucy YouTube channel:
Source: English with Lucy
People likely land on her channel page after searching for English language learning tips. They can immediately see from her playlists that there’s plenty of information there if they want to learn about grammar or pronunciation.
If you’re not sure which sections to include on your channel page, try starting with Popular Uploads. This will automatically collect your top 12 videos with the highest number of YouTube views.
Release videos on a consistent schedule
Many experts confidently cite a rule of thumb as to how often creators should post video to their channels. For instance: one video a week to start, increasing to 3-4 week as your channel grows.
The theory is that more videos = more watch time from viewers. But prioritizing quantity over quality has drawbacks.
If your goal is to convert viewers to subscribers, you need to focus on quality first, and consistency next. (Then you can start worrying about quantity.)
If you upload videos consistently, then people know that more good content is coming, and they’re more likely to tap subscribe.
You can also use a social media management platform like Hootsuite to schedule your videos on YouTube for publishing later.
Collaborate with other creators
This goes all the way back to Tip #4: Build community. Use your connections to find other YouTube creators to collaborate with so you can leverage each other’s audiences. After all, your audience trusts your recommendations, and their audiences trust theirs.
Once you start to build an audience, you might find that your followers suggest potential collaborations. Until then, explore YouTube yourself to look for potential collaborators in your field. If you find someone who looks promising, reach out.
In summary: First, focus on creating great content that your target audience will love.
Then do your best to optimize your content and channel, and promote your content through other channels.
Lastly, get involved in your niche community and nurture relationships with your viewers!