Imagine standing in a room full of people and bustling. There is hardly room to sit still, much less move. The atmosphere is loud with countless competing voices: men, women, young, old. The bony arms and elbows are nailed to the sides as you push yourself through the position.
“I have something to say,” you whisper meekly. Nobody listens, and if they do, nobody looks.
They are too busy paying attention to a handful of other people, bathed in searchlights, scattered around the room, who really seem to have their things together.
I’m pretty sure that if YouTube were a physical place, it would be.
We all know that there is an audience there. We all know that there is an inherent value in creating video content that captures and attracts attention.
But there is also a ridiculous amount of competition. Frequently used statistics suggest that up to 300 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
In that context, the trite threshed as “create excellent content” are no longer enough. You should also be on to make sure your content is easy to find, attractive to click and offers incredible value every time.
So, it’s 2019. How do you get more YouTube views? Let’s find out…
Optimize for search
YouTube is not just a video sharing platform. It is also the second largest search engine in the world.
This means that you should invest the same amount of research that you would put into blogging ideas. It begins with the creation of content around topics in which people are demonstrably interested. Of course, you can come up with content based on your own notion of what is entertaining or interesting, but it is a risk.
A good starting point here is to search for a keyword related to your brand or profile and check out “suggested searches” on YouTube. These are incredibly valuable because they are based on the terms people really search on YouTube.
Even in this simple example, many of the suggested searches could make interesting video themes.
The Chrome extension, Keywords everywhere adds another layer of data. This tool extracts the monthly search volume, the average CPC and the level of competition (from 0.00 – easier to 1.00 – more difficult). This data is extracted from Google, instead of being specific to YouTube, but it is still a really easy and perfect way to obtain this data and compare the general level of interest in the chosen topic.
Once you’ve decided on a search term to target, you should also take care of the “basic” optimization tools available through YouTube. At a minimum, you want an attractive title and a thumbnail that stands out on the search engine results (SERP) page.
SEO expert Brian Dean talked about what he calls the “Skyscraper Technique”: the idea that the best way to create successful content is to identify the best piece of content that currently exists, and then make sure to create something even better. This philosophy definitely becomes good on YouTube.
Run your chosen keyword through YouTube and take a look at the search results. The challenge is to make sure that your title and miniature, at a minimum, are the biggest, best and most attractive. This will optimize your clickthrough rate, which can help you move up the ranking. After all, if your video is clicked more frequently than others on the results page, it is likely that YouTube’s ranking algorithm will eventually assume that your video answers a question or explains a topic better than your rivals, and classifies it accordingly.
The really important things to pass the time are:
Title: Look for obvious opportunities. Can you improve the number in a list of videos? Can you make a title easier to understand? More generally, certain titles are better for capturing attention due to their length and the words they use. We have written a complete article about a CTR experiment that we run in our title tags: How we increase organic blog traffic by 53% (in 5 minutes …), which has some transferable lessons.
Thumbnails: Your eyes will always be attracted to the most elegant and elegant videos; There is an implicit credibility here. We make a quick judgment about which video will be the best use of our time, and first impressions really count. This means taking the time to create professional thumbnails, instead of using the random video frame that YouTube chooses for you by default, it will surely be worth it. Particularly when you see how unflattering YouTube defaults can be … I mean, what is number 3? It seems that I am about to perform an exorcism.
Ideally, you want to try and keep the style consistent across all your videos. Take YouTube sensation The Body Coach, for example. His thumbnails are clear, consistent and clean – and, since they include the video title, we know exactly what to expect without even bothering to read the text underneath the thumbnail.
Description: This super important writing helps YouTube and Google understand the context of their video. Be sure to include your keyword in the first 25 words, make a complete description of at least 250 words and include your keyword 2-4 times.
Tags: This is probably the least important basic optimization setting, but be sure to include your target keyword as your first tag, and then use all the relevant tags you can think of, with “relevant” as the keyword!
ADDITIONAL TIP: Thanks to YouTube’s automatic transcription tool, which we will cover in more detail shortly, the site can scan the actual content of your video, as well as all these pieces of information you provide. Many experts suggest saying your keyword, and at the beginning of the video, for this exact reason.
The video itself
I know I promised to avoid talking about “excellent content”, but, although I’m about to touch the content of your videos, I hope it’s much less crazy than that!
Simply put, its content is important.
In particular, there is much evidence that YouTube likes longer videos. Experts argue that “Total observation time” is THE most important classification factor and, well, that makes sense. After all, the main objective of YouTube as a site is to keep viewers interested in YouTube. Consequently, the YouTube algorithm values the total playing time in the same way that the dwell time is valued by Google. It’s about your ability to offer results that do the best job for your search engines.
Of course, you still need to keep your viewer interested, so do not change it for the simple fact of doing so. But if you have the option of making a series of 10 x 3 minute videos, or a complete 30 minute super video, there is a good chance that you will see better results with the latter.
Likewise, you must get to the point quickly. Again, to review Brian Dean’s advice, he recommends following a simple “PPP Formula” during the first 15 seconds of his videos. This means “Preview-Test-Preview” and it looks like this:
Preview: Talk about the content of your video. “In this video, you will learn XYZ …:
Proof: Tell your audience why they should listen to you. “I used the lessons in this video to achieve ABC …” or “The lessons I will share with you are based on extensive research and experience …”
Preview: Talk about something specific and particularly interesting that the viewer will learn. “And I will share a particular advice that you will not find anywhere else,” or “One of these lessons is based on new and exclusive research and will DEFINITELY surprise you.”
Thanks to YouTube’s automatic playback functionality, we rarely end up watching a video these days. Once you have captured the interest of a viewer, you are very likely to be interested in other content that you have created. Playlists are a good way to direct them to your other videos. The auto play feature can be worth thousands of visits per month, so use it to your advantage.
Identify some of your videos linked by common themes and throw them as playlists. We have done this with our series of useless facts on YouTube, for example. You can find a useful step-by-step guide on how to set up a playlist here.
Check your transcripts
YouTube gets smarter all the time and now automatically transcribes your videos. Of course, computers still sometimes make mistakes, especially if you have a regional accent! So be sure to verify the transcript. This will ensure that YouTube has an optimal understanding of what you are saying in your video.
(For the record, I was saying, “Hi, I’m Adam, content manager here on Wyzowl,” instead of “or I’m out of content manager here on Wiser.” :))
Most of the time, we are so excited about advanced marketing tips that we forget the really basic things. Think of some of the super easy and completely free ways you can generate views just by publishing your video content. For example, you could paste a thumbnail into your company’s email signatures; Research suggests that the average office employee receives 121 emails a day and sends around 40. In a company with 100 people, those are 4,000 people per day who receive a link to their video. Newsletters via email, social promotion, share your video content with potential sales customers: these are all incredibly easy ways to make the “See” counter go forward.
Paid advertising sometimes has a bad reputation simply because traffic, in theory, stops when you take your budget. But in reality, if you are confident in your content and feel that it really adds value, a paid advertising campaign may have what we sometimes call a “kickstart effect.” Thanks to the magic of organic exchange and subscriptions, excellent video content that really helps people can come to life quickly.
If your goal is to simply watch your videos, then a video ad campaign might be a good idea. You will use Google AdWords to configure this. Start by pasting the link to your video and determine what your ad text will say.
Decide whether to route people who click your ad through to your YouTube channel, or your website. If video views are your metric for success, then the former is probably going to make more sense.
Set your daily budget and then choose a target audience. Initially, you can target by age, sex, geographic location and web activity, but once you are in the initial configuration stage, it can be much more detailed.
Our advice with PPC is always “trial and error”. Start with little; Make small changes and let them develop. Use YouTube and AdWords analytics to understand what works and what doesn’t. And most importantly, avoid instinctive reactions. If you’re just looking for a starting point, “YouTube Creators Academy” has a brilliant step-by-step guide to set up your first campaign.
Calls to action in each video
There is a reason why most of the main YouTubers remind people in EVERY video that they like, comment, share and subscribe: it is because these participation factors play a key role in the success not only of the video they are seeing only the channel itself and all its content. Simply asking people to do these things is usually more effective than you think.
Cards and final screens
The basic interactive functionality within YouTube can really help create great experiences for your viewers, and encourage them to stay on your channel.
Here are two options: cards and final screens. Both offer the possibility of linking videos, channels, websites and related surveys within the videos. The only significant difference between them is that the final screens appear at the end of your video.
Cards can pop up at any point during your video, which means you can be contextual with them. For example, if you make a point within your video – which you also happen to have made a full video about – you can reference that fact, and have a clickable thumbnail link pop up for your viewer.
YouTube is still a tool of great influence to show your brand, reach a large audience and monetize the content you create. To generate the views your content deserves, remember:
- Create videos on topics that people really want to know.
- Optimize your video to find out: spend the comparatively short time it takes to write an excellent description, create a solid title and create
- beautiful eye-catching miniatures. It will be worth it in the long run.
- Publish your video wherever you can: email signatures, mail shots. Whatever works!
- Make each video part of a playlist to take advantage of “AutoPlay” views.
- Consider paid advertising if you are looking for a “kickstart effect” for your video content.
- Use Cards and final screens to increase participation and retention in your channel.
- For some amazing tips on how to use video on social networks, check out our free ebook here.