YouTube is one of the best social media platforms for brands to take part in. Video marketing is on the rise since it's gaining popularity and accessibility for brands. Granted, there are other popular sites out there, like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook - ones that you should invest in - but YouTube remains the ultimate place to be. Especially when it comes down to people spending A LOT of time watching videos. YouTube is often referred to as the world's "second largest search engine. This means that your content is found even faster - complete with true engagement - if you know a few tricks! Below are ten ways that you can effectively grow your YouTube channel.
How To Effectively Grow Your YouTube Channel
1. Build Your Videos Around A Keyword or Topic
It might seem obvious, but it's a good idea to build each video around a single keyword or topic. Honestly, it's one of the best ways to grow your audience with the right type of traffic. However, a lot of people are unaware of SEO best practices and skip this crucial step. Therefore it's important, especially if you want your video to get as many views as possible. Go ahead and try using a keyword tool like KeywordTool.io to get you started. This tool is specific to YouTube and it can help you find the most searched keywords in your niche.
The best way to construct information around a specific topic is to pick your keyword before you even build your video's content. It also doesn't hurt to remember to include your keyword naturally throughout your video. That way YouTube can pick it up whenever closed captions are added. Once you've chosen your specific keyword, you can check out the videos that currently rank for that topic. That way you can make sure you're on the right track.
Don't forget to optimize your title and descriptions too! The most successful videos on YouTube are ones that are typically less than 5 minutes long. So don't feel like you have to make a long-winded video with content that can be broken up into other videos. Keep it short and sweet and you're good to go. Besides, you'll have even more topics for future videos!
2. Engage with Your Audience
It's really important to remember that YouTube is a social media channel and that means that it requires social interaction. If you're just posting videos without encouraging discussion and comments, you're missing the point. YouTube rewards channels with awesome engagement include overall time spent on the channel, likes and dislikes, watch time, and most importantly, comments. Try your best to respond to every comment you receive - I know, it takes time. It also doesn't hurt to ask users to engage with audio/visual prompts too.
3. Reformat Your Existing Quality Content
Did you know that 67% of Millennials agree that they can learn anything they want from YouTube? This the main reason you need to build great content - it's one of the easiest ways to grow your channel. But that content isn't always something that you have to build from scratch. Sometimes your best videos can be built from engaging, useful, valuable, and actionable content that you already have.
Keep in mind that a lot of people turn to YouTube to find answers and how-to tutorials. So content that solves problems is the perfect route to pursue. Take a look at blogs and other high-performing pieces you currently have and think about how to turn them into awesome videos.
4. Thumbnails Matter
Thumbnails might seem unimportant, but they can have a huge impact on people choosing to watch your video. Why though? YouTube advertises other videos using a thumbnail in its sidebar and if you have a really good thumbnail, your video will stand out. The same thing goes for YouTube search. Videos that have a catchy title coupled with an appealing thumbnail, typically rank higher. Even if the content isn't that valuable. This is all thanks to a higher click-through rate (CTR). In order to get your CTR to where it needs to be, you need to use the following tactics:
- large text
- highlighted areas
- unexpected/unique images
5. Promote Your YouTube Videos On Other Social Media Channels
One of the best things about social media is that you can cross-promote on different platforms to your heart's content. Using other social media platforms are one of the easiest ways to grow your audience too. So what channel are you on? Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram? There is a lot to choose from. And if there's a channel you post videos to directly, you can always do a sneak-peak of the full-length YouTube video. That way you have maximum engagement on all channels. Don't forget about your blog either. You can post your videos there too.
6. Get Branded
Okay, so you have awesome content, but is your channel itself visually appealing? If you want visitors to take your YouTube channel seriously and have people subscribe to your channel it needs to look professional. Branding your channel is great for helping users immediately recognize your content. If you have a website or blog, you more than likely already have a look, so it only makes sense to use the same branding on your YouTube channel as well.
Take a look at Warby Parker's YouTube channel:
In addition to visual branding, you also need to add a custom URL to your channel header. Don't forget to write an interesting bio about your brand and what your videos are about.
7. Put A Face To the Brand
It's in your best interest to show your own face in your videos. This applies to small brands too. Whenever you put a face to the brand, your audience will feel more connected to you as an individual. This is extremely important for bloggers, small brands, business coaches, etc. But don't worry, not every video has to have you in it. However, it is crucial for you to personally reach out to your audience every couple of videos. If you are a solo operation, you should also use a photo of yourself on your channel - not your logo.
8. Leverage those YouTube Cards
You already know that YouTube rewards channels that keep viewers on their pages longer. And the longer watch times means that people are genuinely engaged with your content. But if you want to get even longer page views it's a good idea to add YouTube cards. This gives you the ability to add even more recommended videos at the exact point where users drop off. Don't get me wrong, they may abandon that recommended video, but users will be taken to your other content. This will get them to stay on your channel even longer and as a result, it will increase your channel's ranking.
9. Get Those Subscriptions
The best way to know for sure that your viewers are engaged with your content (and subsequently your channel) is when they subscribe. If you aren't sure what that exactly is, it means that they'll see whenever you post a new video. You can even take it upon yourself to ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel at the end of each video. Just don't forget to stay engaged with your current subscribed users. You can see your list of subscribers here.
And please, please, please don't ever pay for subscribers. This will do nothing more than lower your engagement and hurt your authenticity. Remember, if you don't ask your viewers to subscribe, you might be missing out on a lot of potential followers.
10. Increase How Often You Upload
This might sound intimidating a first. I get it, you're busy running your social media accounts, responding to comments, running marketing campaigns, sending out e-letters AND actually running your business. But trust me, it's worth it! You don't need to design a fancy advertising budget for this either. Smartphones offer some decent video recording and tools like Animoto make editing videos easy for everyone.
Here's the most important thing to remember: consistency is incredibly important to the success of your YouTube channel. Try to post at the same time each day or week (depending on your frequency). And don't forget to let your subscribers know when the new videos will post. It doesn't hurt to share this information on your channel's main page. Then just make sure you actually stick to your schedule.
We know YouTube can be both daunting and exciting, but the trick is to be yourself and use the tips mentioned above to your advantage. Driving engagement with high-quality content is what creates a dedicated following and future advocators of your brand. Be true to your brand and don't forget to communicate with your audience along the way. Are you new the to whole YouTube scene? If not, how long have you been making videos? Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss!