The world is online every day. YouTube has become the second largest search engine in the world, second only to Google. And more than one billion users are on YouTube each month. Free traffic for your website can be obtained through video marketing or simply by posting videos of your products or services. The larger the number of views for your content, the greater insight you will also get into the interest of your viewers. As it becomes even easier to detect bots and robots, you should not take any risks by using these tools to promote high volumes
Ensure your YouTube basics are up to snuff
First we walk, then we run. Take a look at your fundamentals and make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes. Read our list of beginner tips for YouTube, then come back to dig into our advanced tactics.
Your basic YouTube housekeeping includes:
- A consistent visual identity (your channel icon, YouTube channel art, like in the Rupaul’s Drag Race example below, etc.)
- A completed and informative About section (unless you are a breakout YouTube star like Joana Ceddia)
- Up-to-date contact information (so all your potential customers and future brand partners can get in touch)
Use Descriptive and Keyword Rich Titles
This is where your keyword research will come into play. A descriptive and interesting title will do two things: provide keywords for the algorithm to sort for relevancy purposes and attract users and inform them about what the video is about. To conduct keyword research, you can use typical SEO methods like using keyword planner or other keyword research tools.
To check keyword popularity on YouTube, go to keyword planner and select YouTube search on the far right. Optimizing your video content for the right keywords will help gain organic views by informing users and the search engine just what your video is about.
Do your research, and improve your video’s search ranking
Yes, YouTube is a social platform, but it’s also a search engine. And one of the top strategies for getting more views is YouTube SEO, i.e. optimizing your videos for search.
In other words, when your ideal viewer types in your chosen keywords, you want your video ranking near the top of YouTube’s results list. That means you need to know what your audience is looking for—tutorials, inspiration, or entertainment.
Ranking in search results is the best way to get brand new eyes—not just subscribers and people who are already interested in your channel (although we’ll talk more about them later) — on your videos.
But, this is easier said than done. So, what can you do to improve your videos’ search ranking on YouTube?
Research. You’re going to want to use a tool like Google Keyword Planner (note that you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account) to do two things:
- Find inspiration for your next video based on what people are already looking for (i.e., take a look at search patterns and see what keywords have a lot of search queries, but few videos, a.k.a. low competition)
- Take those relevant keywords and use them in your metadata (i.e., your video title, tags, video description text, subtitles)
Pro tip: If you haven’t already, now is the time to familiarize yourself with how the YouTube algorithm works. This AI determines not just search results, but recommendations for that important “what’s up next” suggested videos sidebar, too.
Just remember that it all comes back to your ideal viewer: the algorithm doesn’t care if your video is “good,” it cares if a specific user wants to watch it. That being said, users typically want to watch “good” videos.
Have Quality and Keyword Rich Descriptions
The video description is where you can better inform the search engines and users just what exactly your video is about. This will help increase the click-through-rate and thus the views, as users will know what to expect in your video.
Try to both stand-out and remain generic; you should capture interest while still trying to rank for short-tail keywords. Entice users above the fold with your descriptions and optimize them correctly for the YouTube search engine as you would with a normal SEO meta description.
Increase your views with custom thumbnails
When your potential viewers are in discovery mode—skimming through search results and recommendations—thumbnails are a major part of what they decide what to watch.
While a lot of advice out there is a graphic designer’s nightmare — screaming fonts, cluttered information — let’s get objective: what are the properties of an effective thumbnail?
- The thumbnail is clear and accurate about the video it’s describing (if your thumbnail misleads people into clicking, YouTube will know because your watch time will go down when the viewer gets annoyed and stops watching. The algorithm won’t like that.)
- The thumbnail stands out.
- The thumbnail works in tandem with the video’s title.
‘Standing out’ can be as simple as picking a bright color. Or making sure your giant hi-res face is making a weird expression in good lighting. Or, if your niche is full of shrill, high-key visuals, and the best way your channel can stand out is by being the calm, minimalist voice of reason.
YouTube video tags further help distinguish what your video content about and helps the algorithm understand what users will view when they see your video. These, along with your description and title, should reflect the core of what your video is about. Think short-tail SEO again.
If you need keyword help, you can use keyword planner, as mentioned above.
Direct traffic to your videos using cards and end screens
Besides playlists, cards and end screens are two of the only tools that YouTubers can use to bypass the algorithm and directly influence our audience’s next choice.
Cards are clickable, interactive areas that appear any time during the video. They come in a variety of formats that can be used for things like fundraising or selling merch, but in this case, we’re interested in increasing views, so choose a card that links to another one of your videos — or even better, playlists.
(Note: cards aren’t available to use on videos identified as for kids.)
Cards are pop-ups, so it’s very important that they add value. You don’t want viewers feeling spammed. The videos or playlists you link to need to be relevant to the moment and provide additional information or entertainment.
For a super-meta example, check out how this All About Cards video has a card itself about learning about different kinds of cards.
Pro tip: If you have a noticeable retention problem with significant audience drop-off at a specific point in one of your videos, try inserting a link card at that moment.
Meanwhile, end screens are visual calls-to-action that you can add to the end of your video (in the last 5 to 20 seconds) to encourage viewers towards a next step. They’re valuable because you know if a person has reached the bitter end of your video, they are probably pretty interested in your great content.
Using end screens to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel or visit your website are both good choices. But if you want more views, using your end screen to promote your other videos or playlists is the best choice.
(Note that to use end screens, you’ll need to include a few extra seconds at the end of your video when you’re editing it.)
Youtuber SssniperWolf features end cards that direct to four more of her videos. It’s like a choose your own adventure for… whatever her shtick is.
Provide Content that Educates or Entertains or Both
Your video content should provide value to the viewer; whether it’s teaching them how to do or understand something, or simply keeping them engaged and entertained. When users find your content valuable, they’ll return for more and increase the views on your other future video content.
Build relationships with your viewers
“Audience engagement” is just another term for building relationships. The end goal here, of course, is actually just the realistic, organic and sustainable path to getting more YouTube views.
That is, engaging with other YouTubers (creators or commenters both) will increase the chance that they’ll care about your brand, that they’ll subscribe to your channel (see #12), and watch more of your videos overall.
Ideas for breaking the fourth wall, and creating a two-way conversation might include:
- Reply to comments (it’s polite!)
- Run a YouTube contest
- Make reaction videos
- Include other people’s content in your videos (with their permission)
Piggyback off of Viral Trends
Create video content that piggybacks off of already existing viral trends. There’s already a built in market desire to view content within the context of a viral phenomenon, so you should tap into it.
A good example is all the YouTube videos that were made in response to the United Airlines PR fiasco.
It’s not always easy or possible to tie your video content in with ongoing trends; however, if you can find a clever way to do it, you can boost your views on YouTube with the help of a hungry public looking for more trending contextual content.
Promote your YouTube videos across all your social media channels
You’re going to want to leverage all of your social media might to promote your YouTube channel.
But, if you want more YouTube views, DON’T do the following:
- Go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok and post text or an image with a link to your YouTube video. Linking to YouTube makes objective sense, but the problem is that social platforms want to keep people on their platform (just like YouTube does). So their algorithms will not promote a text-only post with an off-platform link. In other words, your impressions and CTR are going to be low, and so will your YouTube views.
- Upload your entire video onto those platforms. This is what Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter want you to do (IGTV is a direct competitor for YouTube, don’t @ me). Posting your full video will probably get you great engagement and reach on those platforms. But organic Facebook video views aren’t monetizable, are they? And they aren’t going to get you YouTube views.
Promote your video by doing this instead:
- Post a short teaser video to your social accounts as native video, and add a link to the full video back on YouTube.
Note that you are not going to want to post the same thing across your social channels.
Financial counsellor Max Mitchell puts a little trailer for his money-themed Youtube videos on his Instagram feed to pique interest, and links to the full video in his bio.
Pro tip: Short of hiring an assistant to handle your social media, a scheduling tool like Hootsuite is the best way to craft and schedule those posts for your followers.
Use Guest YouTubers
Similar to guest posting for blog content, guest YouTubers, industry influencers, or persons of note with their own following can do wonders for boosting your views. Similar to influencer marketing, guest YouTubing can entice your users with household industry names and provide a different and unique perspective to your industry’s sphere.
Offer a link to one of their videos or websites in your description and you can form a beneficial relationship built on reciprocity.
Give your fans a chance to help spread the good word about your work by enabling embedding. The more fresh eyeballs see your video, the more views you rack up (and maybe even snag a new subscriber or two in the process).
To enable embedding, go to Youtube Studio and click Content. Select your video and tap Edit. Select Embedding, and toggle on or off.
Be Present Within Your Niche Community
Promoting yourself as an expert in your own videos is one thing, but being an active member in your niche community is another. Comment on other videos and offer your advice or feedback, and if there’s video content that is missing some vital information, link others to your content to provide them with more information.
Try to be as helpful as possible and you’ll be rewarded with more users to increase your subscribers and ultimately, your video views.
Transcribe your videos
Adding captions to your videos helps hearing-impaired viewers follow along, and makes your content more appealing to the 69 percent of people who watch mobile video with the sound off.
Having a transcript also makes translation an option, opening your video up to international audiences. Global views! Can you imagine!?
Youtube’s help page can walk you step-by-step through just how to prep your transcript file — you just need a .txt document.
Find Niche Communities to Share Your Video with
There are a wide variety of places you can share your content. Different subreddits on Reddit or Quora topics that are relevant to your video’s interests and share target audiences are a great place to share your content.
There are even places just to share your video with YouTube enthusiasts to increase it’s views like the subreddit /r/GetMoreViewsYT. On this subreddit, people post videos and vote on the ones they like the best. The winner gets stickied to the top of the subreddit for the next week for people to visit and watch.
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