Businesses need to decide how they want to use YouTube. Is it a video storage site or a social media site? Most companies treat it like it’s for video storage. It is ok if this is how you are going to use YouTube, but you can’t grow your YouTube channel if you are using it this way.
The internet is over saturated with information. It is hard to get anything that you create and put online found and YouTube is no exception. There are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and counting. It used to be that I could create a video for a client and get their video on the first page of Google in 24 – 48 hours.
Now it takes months even for a small-town dentist to have their video show up in a search. YouTube is a long-term strategy. It takes time. It is hard to be an overnight success. Not to mention that good video is hard to create. Here are some tips on how you can grow your channel.
Post to YouTube multiple times per week
The channels that are getting the best results are posting videos three or more times per week. This is important when you are trying to build an audience. The content needs to be about a related topic to do better on YouTube. The more you can narrow down what you are going to talk about, the better.
For example, you could talk about pets, but a better topic would be to narrow that down to a specific animal, such as dogs. You could take that a step further and just talk about a certain breed of dog. No matter how many videos you upload in a week, you need to be constant: the same day and time each week.
Don’t waste the first 10 seconds
Your video shouldn’t start with an opening logo. Start your video with a hook, some way to get them interested in your video. A hook could be a story or a bold statement. If you need to show your logo, do it after the hook.
On TV, this is called a cold opening. It’s where the show starts without the logo. If you play your logo first and it takes 5 -10 seconds, you have lost 5-10 seconds that you should have been using to get the viewer interested in your video.
I personally believe you shouldn’t even introduce yourself because that is taking away time that you could be using to draw people in. Put your name in a lower 3rd graphic and if they really care to learn your name, let them read it. If you must introduce yourself, do it after the hook.
I took a lot of flak when I created a 30-minute reality show and put it on YouTube because people said it was too long but since then, everyone is jumping on the longer video bandwagon and internal reality-type episodic video. Unfortunately, this type of video is very expensive to create. That is why we have only been able to do one episode so far.
Create valuable content
One of the things that have caused this oversaturation of YouTube videos is companies trying to take the easy way out and flooding YouTube with cheap videos that provided no value to anyone. These videos are nothing more than a checkmark on a marketing and sales ‘to do’ list. There was no strategy that led to their creation.
So, how do you stand out? The key is to be different. Make creative videos. Make videos that tell a story. Make videos that provide value. Don’t look at what your competitors are doing because they are probably doing the wrong thing. The reason this is important is that the most important metric to YouTube is the percentage of the video the audience is actually watching. Keep them watching your videos and YouTube will show more people your videos.
Create videos based on one topic or keyword
Part of your video creation process is trying to figure out what topic people are searching for. This should be done before you create any videos. This will help you plan your content better. Here is the problem I find a lot of companies running into … the problem that you solve, the problem that people actually need help solving, is not what they may be looking for.
So, if that is the case, you need to create the video for what they are looking for and then, in that video, teach them about the problem they don’t realize they have. Keyword research is also important before you write your script because you should be using those keywords in your video script.
Keep people watching
We spent years teaching companies to make short, 2 – 3 minute long videos because that was what worked best in the past. Well, things have changed. The videos that perform best on YouTube today are 7 – 15 minutes long. What has not changed is that the content for those longer videos still needs to be good.
Keep in mind that the length of the video also depends on the style of video. Videos with some type of advice are a good example of this 7-15 minute video. A video about how to assemble a table should only be as long as it takes to tell them what they need to know.
The rules for video length are different for your website and other social media sites, such as Facebook. It also depends on the type of video, so make sure you understand the platform, the viewer and the type of content when talking about video length.
Optimize your tile, descriptions, and tags
Your title, descriptions, and tags should all include your keywords. Your title should be catchy and should be something that makes people want to watch. Your description should be at least 250 words. You need to be careful, though. Don’t overdo it by stuffing extra keywords in. Overdoing it will have a negative effect.
While you should add tags, even YouTube has admitted they are not as important as they once were. So, while you shouldn’t ignore them completely, they shouldn’t be your main concern.
Thumbnails are the number one thing you can do to grow your channel. This is because clickable thumbnails are key to standing out in suggested videos. YouTube wants people to watch more video so having your thumbnails stand out is a win for everyone. Don’t try to trick the viewer with a thumbnail that doesn’t represent the video.
Because the viewer will click away as soon as they realize what you have done. They will feel misled and this will hurt your watch time. You don’t need to put the full title of the video in your thumbnail. It just needs to be clickable. The rest of the information about the video can be in the title.
Having the thumbnail and the title work together can help your video get more views. Remember that people won’t see your thumbnails in the original size so optimize them to be seen small. Also, make them a consistent style so the viewer can quickly identify which videos are yours from a list with a click glance. Thumbnails with real people where you can see the whites of their eyes also get better results.
End Screens are graphics that YouTube allows you link to videos, playlists, channels or website. You can also use it to invite someone to subscribe to your channel. As a matter of fact, YouTube won’t let you add an end screen if you don’t include a link to a video or playlist.
Businesses who don’t take advantage of this feature are leaving money on the table. This is one of the easiest ways to get people to interact and watch more videos or visit your website. You should have a plan for what you want people to do at the end of your video, so you can help reinforce that at the end with end screens.
End screens work best if the person talking on camera is still talking while the end screens appear on the screen. Keeping the viewer watching through an end screen is great for your channel’s ranking. Make sure you add some kind of text around where the subscribe button is going to be because, the way YouTube has it currently set up, it doesn’t let the viewer know what the button does. I hope they fix this in the future.
Create binge-able content. This is one of the most important things you can do this year. Show up in your own suggested videos on the right side of your YouTube channel.
Plan your videos as part of a series, put them in a playlist, and have cards and end cards that lead people to the other videos in the series. A playlist is great for keeping people viewing longer. Playlists are a way of grouping your videos together by topic.
Collaborate with other companies on YouTube and create a video for each other. You could do this with a supplier or a vendor. I realize that you don’t want to collaborate with your competitors. Trust me. I get it.
You may not be able to collaborate with someone who has a bigger audience than you. To get their attention, you might need to consider an influencer agreement; which would be a paid arrangement.