YouTube is one of the most important social media tools that we use and as the second biggest search engine in the world, it presents a wonderful opportunity for brands and businesses to have their content seen by a large audience. The only downside is that with billions of videos on the site, getting attention is not easy and YouTube is packed with brilliant videos that only have a few hundred views.
Today, we've compiled a huge list of tips and tricks that will help you get more out of the biggest video sharing site. The amount of views that your content ultimately gets will come down to the quality of the content because people will start sharing it then.
One of the most obvious ways of getting views is to simply pay for them, but it is amazing how few people know that advertising is an option on YouTube. One of the best ways of getting views is by making it appear in the sponsored videos section of the site. YouTube offers a wide range of advertising, but by simply appearing at the top of search results in the same manner as on Google Adwords, it means your video can get highly relevant clicks.
Pretty obvious that the more places that your video is embedded in, the more views that you will get. Have a look at some of the stats on videos and you'll see that the main place people see them is when they're embedded on third party sites. Don't just expect people to find your content on a whim though as you will have to proactively go out there and ask people to feature it, submit it to sharing sites and generally find sites where your content will be relevant to their audience.
Increasing Interaction On Videos
The more people who comment or click on the like button, the better your video will perform in the rankings. YouTube uses these as a metric to see which videos people are liking and engaging with to show better results to future people searching on the site. This doesn't mean that you should try and game the system, but if you find ways to encourage people to like the video or leave comments, it will definitely help you in the long-run.
Making People Watch The Videos For Longer
This is one of the most recent changes to the YouTube algorithm and it's one that makes a lot of sense in terms of determining the quality of videos that get watched on the site. The longer that people spend watching your video, the better it will perform in future search results. There is absolutely no way of gaming this or trying to come up with little tricks because the best and only way of making sure people watch your video for a long time is making sure the content is so compelling, they simply don't want to click on to the next thing.
Leave Annotations And Captions
You can easily add captions and annotations to your videos and you will often see these on some of the most viewed videos on the site. The idea here is that you can prompt people to do things such as like, comment or engage with your videos in subtle ways. You can also turn annotations into clickable links so if you have a video that is getting a lot of views, you can point people to another video, channel or playlist to help drive traffic to that video too. You are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to annotations and captions on YouTube so come up with innovative ways to help them increase your video views.
Choose Your Best Thumbnail
The thumbnail pic is what appears when people are searching for it and the image that shows when the video is embedded on a third-party site. Therefore, you want to make sure that the image used best represents your video. While YouTube's video editor gives you the choice of many screenshot thumbnails, you do have the option to upload a custom one, which can make your video stand out more when you're looking through the search results.
Attracting subscribers can be difficult if you don't have a plan, but thankfully there are a number of ways to boost that number. The most straightforward method is to do it in your own videos. Provide a call-to-actions in your video by asking them to subscribe, why they should do it and how to do it. Other places you can promote your video content include your own blog, your different social media channels and embedding a subscription widget on your site.
Fill In The Meta Data
It might seem boring to fill in the titles, descriptions and tags but they work. YouTube's search engine needs ways to recognise relevant videos and by filling these out, you increase the chances of your video being discovered so take the time to come up with relevant keywords, phrases and tags.
Create Timely Content
People always look for content that is timely and relevant. So if it's coming up to Christmas, release something that ties in with that. Is Apple releasing a new product? What are the big news or sporting events at the moment? If you think what people are most likely to be searching for and make content specifically for that, you have a much better chance of appearing in search results.
Add a YouTube Widget To Your Blog
Another way of directing people to your YouTube site is to add a subscriber's widget to your site. This is a box that will contain your username, logo, and number of videos and subscriptions your account has. What you need to do is to place the widget's embed code into the source code of your site or blog the same way you embed a YouTube video. YouTube itself has a more detailed post explaining how to do it here
Interact In The Comments Yourself
YouTube comments are a wild place that seem to attract a particularly nasty group of commenters. While they might have negative things to say about your video, one of the best ways to get people coming back is to have an active discussion thread. Jump in as your own channel profile and engage in the comments as much as you possibly can. Don't be scared to disagree with other people and say things that could encourage more comments. The more people involved in the discussion, the more people that are coming back to your video to see what's going on.
Nobody is going to come back to a channel if they don't know when the next video is going to appear so put a schedule together that ensures you're producing content consistently. When you're scheduling, it's best to know what you're going to be covering for the next four or five videos and if it's possible, create them long before they're due to go up. That way, not only are you ahead of schedule, but if you want to produce a video that deals with something current, you had the leeway for it.
If it is a case that the next new video isn't going to appear until later than usual, then highlight it at the end of your latest video or on your site. Your viewers will appreciate it and there won't be any confusion when it happens.
Don't Create Long Videos
When you're getting started, short, snappy videos are the best way to get people hooked. Preferably, four to five minutes would be the longest video you want to create since people want to watch as much as they can in the short space of time they have. The shorter it is, the easier it is to finish and the better chances you have of getting your message across. When people become more familiar with your content, you can lengthen it if you wish.
Playlists are a great way of grouping brilliant videos you like and uniting them under the one common theme. While many create them for their own personal fun, you can use them to help increase your own video's views. Simply create a playlist that follows the same theme as the video you want to promote and then slot your video in with them. Playlists usually appear near the end of a search page so you won't get immediate views, but if you share the playlist around and it grows in popularity, your video may get a number of views on the top of its success.
Get Personalised Recommendations
There are numerous commerce studies which shows that personal recommendations are more effective so why wouldn't the same apply when promoting your video. If you have a number of friends online, find out whether they would mind sharing your video on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn. The aim is for the post, update or share to be genuine and for it to be shared by other people for the same reasons.
This should only be a once-off however, as your friends would probably get annoyed if you ask them to promote your latest video again and again. Also, don't beg. There's really nothing more unappealing than that.
Use YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool
If you're struggling to come up with the appropriate SEO related words for your video, YouTube's Keyword Suggestion Tool
is a great way to discover key phrases that you can use for your video. You can also copy in your video URL to get suggestions for your video.
Upload A Transcript
While it's usually overlooked, you should provide a transcript whenever you get the chance as it will give you a major advantage when it comes to SEO. If you have a script for your video, uploading it up is simple, but if you haven't one, transcribe the video and upload one as soon as you can. YouTube does offer an automatic transcription tool for videos, but most of the time it's hilariously inaccurate so provide your own when you can.
Use Video Responses
If there's another popular video out there, you can potentially piggyback off it by creating a video response. Normally, users upload a video in response, but you also have the option to choose a video that you've already uploaded. The reason why this is useful is when you scroll down, video responses are the first thing you will see. The possibility of your video appearing there is dependent on how popular the video is and how many other users posted responses.
Be warned though, each video in your account can only be used as a video response one so choose wisely.
If you want your video to be more prominent in Google's search rankings, then you need as many high-qualities links as you can get. Try and get as many links to your content as possible through social media sites and blogs and share it with other sites who might be interested in covering it.