Guest post by Mitt Ray.
There are so many platforms for marketing your business with videos, including Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But the biggest and best video network is YouTube. This is because it began as and remains solely a video network. 1.78 billion people visit it every single month to watch videos.
And that is why users upload 500 hours of videos every minute on to YouTube. If you want your videos to get maximum exposure, this network is essential.
Use these top tips to help you get started with YouTube and create outstanding videos that generate views and subscribers,
Check which videos get the most views:
There are two factors that can help videos generate more views. One is shares. If you create viral video content that people like to watch, more of them will share them on social media.
Another factor is SEO. YouTube might appear like a social network as you can like/dislike videos, comment on them, and subscribe to channels. But it is actually a cross between a social network and a search engine. A lot of users visit the network and search for videos.
So, you need to do both kinds of research (SEO and social) to see which videos are doing well.
You simply go to their home page and add the URLs of videos similar to the ones you want to create in the field provided and hit search. You will then be able to see how many shares they got.
If the videos are getting shared a lot and the shares are driving views, you can create content on similar topics.
Just type in the topic you are researching and the tool will show you all the relevant keywords.
You can then search these keywords on YouTube to see which videos turn up at the top and have the most views. An example would be these search results for ‘how to increase productivity’.
This will give you an idea of what topics and videos do well for this keyword and help you strategize on what to create. You can play around with the filters to find better results based on view count, rating, etc.
While you do the keyword research on YouTube, you might also want to do some keyword research on search engines to see which videos rank at the top for relevant keyword searches, as search engines can help drive views as well.
Another factor that can help drive views is the algorithm that suggests videos to users. But there isn’t much you can do to directly affect that.
If you create engaging videos and optimize them for the right keywords using the tips I have shared above and below, your videos will show up more often in YouTube’s feed and recommendations.
Create video content on those topics:
The next thing you need to do is create video content on the most popular topics. Make sure you study the videos you already watched. You need to take in factors like the length of the video and the types of comments people leave on them. That will give you a better idea of what works on YouTube.
Here are some tips for creating better YouTube videos.
Keep them short:
You don’t need to create long videos on YouTube, as those that are around two minutes in length get the most engagement as found by Hubspot.
So, create short videos. A great example is this video from IBM.
That doesn’t mean you have to create two-minute videos every time. You can keep varying the length to see what works best. For some topics, longer or shorter videos will get more engagement.
Use good equipment:
When you’re starting out and have a tight budget, you can make do with simple equipment. But after you start having success at attracting viewers (or already have a big budget), you should buy better equipment.
This should include cameras, lighting, microphones, and video editing software. They will really make a difference in how professional your videos look and sound.
The better your videos look, the more you will stand out. An example is the above video from IBM. It was professional looking. Another good one is the Brandwagon show from Wistia.
If you watch the above video, you can tell they’ve invested in some high quality equipment for their videos.
According to one recent study, 69% of people watch videos in mute. So, make sure you optimize your videos for silent viewing by adding subtitles. The same study found that 80% of people are more inclined to watch the entire video when it has captions.
To quickly add subtitles, you can use a tool such as Screencast-O-Matic. It analyzes the speech in the video and automatically places them as subtitles.
This can save a lot of time.
An example of a channel that regularly adds subtitles to their videos is The Dodo. Here’s one of them with subtitles…
Optimize for mobile:
70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices, so make sure your videos are optimized for it. Watch them on your own mobile device before you publish them. If they aren’t up to the mark, you can make changes.
Hire an editor (or learn the skills):
It is important to edit your videos and cut out all the fluff. Doing it by yourself it can be hard as you created the video yourself. So, you may want to hire an editor to help you out. They have more experience with this, are less emotionally invested in the content, and will do a better and quicker job. This will give you more time to create.
After your videos are edited and ready, you can upload them to YouTube.
Optimize videos with SEO:
When you upload your video to YouTube, you should optimize it for search to ensure it ranks highly for the keywords people are searching on. To find these keywords, you can use Keywordtool.io again.
You can then add the keywords to the video. Three great places you can add them to are the title, description, and tags. In the title, you should only use the primary keyword. In the description and tags, you should use a combination of primary and secondary keywords.
Here’s a good example of a video on home offices.
You will find the keyword in the title.
Optimize the videos for views and conversions:
When you search optimize (SEO) the video, you will drive views. But there are other techniques you can use to attract even more watchers.
Add a thumbnail:
YouTube lets you add thumbnails to your videos. An attractive thumbnail can grab attention in the YouTube feed and search results. And if your thumbnail also generates curiosity, more people will click on the play button and watch your videos.
An easy way to do this is by taking a still from the video and then placing more images and/or overlay text over it that will attract attention and pique interest.
An example is this video from Athlean X.
He took a still from the video (or a photo), removed the background, and placed it on another image, and placed a headline as overlay text.
You too can create a thumbnail like this. Just take a still from a video or a professional photo. Then use a free Background Remover to remove the background.
Promote videos in the art image:
You can also promote videos by taking stills from them and placing them in the channel art/banner image.
Another way to promote videos is by informing people when you usually publish videos, like Appsumo did here.
The banner says that they publish videos daily. Fans will look forward to them.
Share playlists and videos in end cards:
Another way to drive views is by adding playlists to YouTube end cards. You can also promote individual videos here. End cards appear at the last five to 20 seconds of the video. If people watched a video to the end, they probably liked it and they will want to watch more.
So, adding these two elements can help drive more views to your other videos.
Here’s an example of an end card with two recommended videos from Ted.
Now that you know how to optimize your videos for views, here’s how to optimize your videos for conversions.
Note: I am referring to subscribers as conversions in this post, as this post is focused on driving views and subscribers. If your goal is lead generation, conversions would mean something different.
Add watermark to videos:
YouTube lets you add a watermark to the videos. This could be your logo or another image. It appears on the bottom-right corner when the video starts playing. When people hover over it, the subscribe button will appear and they can click on it and subscribe to your YouTube channel.
Here’s an example from Thinkific.
Add the subscribe button to the end card:
Along with recommended videos and playlists, you can add a subscribe button to your YouTube end cards. You should add it if you want to turn the views to subscribers as BBC Ideas did here.
Share links to your channel in the description:
You can also promote your channel in the description by adding the link to it. Include a call to action next to it that asks people to subscribe.
Promote the videos:
By using the tactics above, you will begin generating some views and they will convert to subscribers.
But to get a lot more views, you’ll need to promote your videos. Promoting will not just drive an initial wave of views, but will also help in the long term, as views are a metric YouTube takes into consideration when ranking videos.
Getting more views early on will help you move up the ranking quickly.
Here are a few tactics you can use to promote your videos…
Share on social media:
The simplest way to get views is to share your videos on social media. You can schedule posts on all the networks where you are active. You can also create live videos to inform people that your latest video is up.
There are actually several webinar platforms that let you broadcast live videos to Facebook and YouTube at the same time. You can use them to reach more people.
Paid ads are a great way to quickly generate views for new videos.
Reach out to influencers:
You can also work with influencers and get them to promote your videos. Some will do it for free, while others will charge.
If you decide to go the paid route, make sure you check out their video performance metrics. You should only work with them if the videos get sufficient views and engagement. You need to see an ROI.
To find YouTube influencers, you can use a tool like Shoutcart.
It’s a marketplace where you can quickly find influencers related to your niche. You can view audience metrics and contact influencers directly on Shoutcart.
There are so many other ways to promote your videos. These include sharing it with your email list, promoting it on forums, sharing it on YouTube stories, etc.
This step-by-step process can help you create YouTube videos that generate views and subscribers. It’s a lot of work. But if you want to stand out from all the videos uploaded every minute, you need to put in the extra effort.