If you have followed our blogs to date you have surely heard us mention that video marketing has been on the rise and is growing ever more popular and accessible for brands. There is no denying it. With popular sites such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram dominating in video content, a YouTube channel might be one of the best places to promote your brand. After all, individuals spend one billion hours each day watching videos on YouTube, giving it the name of the world’s “second-largest search engine”. YouTube can help people find your content quickly and drive engagement if you know a few tricks and understand the fundamentals of making creative videos. So how exactly do you build and grow your channel successfully?
Build Your Videos Around a Single Keyword/Topic
Building your video around a single topic or keyword is the best way to drive traffic and grow your YouTube audience. Businesses and marketers that don’t know SEO (search engine optimization) risk missing this step to rank videos. But this step is crucial to include it if you want your videos to get the maximum number of viewers possible. It’s important to pick your keyword before you craft your video content as it helps you construct the best information around that specific topic. It also helps you remember to include your keyword naturally throughout the content. YouTube will pick it up when closed captions are added. Once you choose a keyword, check out the videos that currently rank for that topic to make sure you’re on the right track in terms of intent and always optimize your title and descriptions. By doing this, you will generate more search traffic with SEO on YouTube.
Reuse Existing Popular Content
This is a point you have heard us use when it comes to social media content as well. Of course, the best way to grow your YouTube channel is to create and distribute great content. But that content doesn’t always have to be built from scratch. Some of your best videos can be created from engaging, valuable, useful, and actionable content you already have at your side. Many people go to YouTube to find answers and how-to tutorials. During the COVID-19 pandemic people binge-watched 4 billion hours of ‘how to’ videos in just one year. So taking that into consideration, content that solves problems for your audience is a great way to drive traffic. Audit your existing content to discover the blogs, guides, and other high-performing pieces you currently have. Think of ways to repurpose them to create relevant and engaging videos. An interesting and helpful point to keep in mind is that the most successful videos on YouTube are typically between one to five minutes long. Don’t feel you have to make an hour-long movie or write a novel. Keeping it short and sweet works the best.
Engage with Your Audience
Another common point with social media content, and for that reason it\’s important not to overlook the fact that YouTube is actually a social media channel. With it being a social media channel, it’s going to demand social interaction. If you’re just posting videos without encouraging comments and discussion, you’re missing a crucial step. YouTube rewards channels with great engagement, including the total time spent on a channel, watch time, likes and dislikes, and most importantly, comments. For this reason, it’s important to try to respond to every comment you receive and encourage users to engage with audio and visual prompts. Take the time to visit other channels and engage as well. They could be a brand similar to your own or simply one you admire. Post questions or comments that drive engagement by asking questions relevant to the content or even just asking what content they like to see on your channel or would like to see more of. And of course, don’t forget to thank people for sharing on YouTube and other channels.
Brand Your Channel
Now that your content is great, ask yourself, does your channel look appealing? If you want viewers to take your YouTube channel seriously and subscribe, you need to look professional. Branding your channel will help users immediately recognize your content. Most businesses already know there brand going in, so it makes sense to carry that over to your YouTube channel. In addition to visual branding, don’t forget to add custom URLs to your channel header and write an interesting bio about who you are and what your videos are about in your profile. Include links to other socials, website and contact info as well.
Promote Your Videos on Other Social Channels
One of the wonderful things about social media is that you can cross-promote content on different channels. Promoting your YouTube videos on your other social channels is possibly the easiest way to grow your audience. There is a significant overlap in users across social media platforms with YouTube seeing huge engagement of over 90% amongst users of all the top channels. This means that it’s a dominant platform when it comes to marketing and engagement. Review what channels you are currently on. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Instagram or TikTok, there are so many to choose from and lots of great ideas for social media videos. For example if you post videos directly to TikTok, you can always do a teaser for the full-length video on YouTube so you get optimum engagement on all channels. Feel free to redirect people across all of your platforms. The more engagement and interaction with your brand and content, the better.
Post Great Thumbnails & Leverage YouTube Cards
For a real small feature, thumbnails can have a huge impact. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it’s the small image the video uses which is what you see before clicking the video. YouTube advertises other videos via thumbnails in its sidebar. So really it what could be attracting people to your video, so you want yours to stand out among the others. The same goes for YouTube search. Videos with a catchy title and appealing thumbnail usually rank higher. YouTube rewards channels that keep viewers on their pages longer. These longer average watch times mean that people are engaged with your content. By adding YouTube cards, you can include links to other videos or relevant content at the exact point where users drop off. You can feature 5 cards per video that appear as a rectangular box or teaser in the right-hand corner of the video. Although users may abandon the video they are watching, they can be directed to your other content and remain on your channel, increasing your ranking.
Push for Subscriptions
One of the ways you know for sure that viewers are engaged with your channel is when they “subscribe” to see you new videos when they are posted. Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel in each video that you upload and keep engaged with your existing subscribers. Never pay for subscribers! This will bring down your engagement and hurt the authenticity of your account in the long term. If you don’t ask your viewers to subscribe, you may be missing out on a lot of reach. The more subscribers you get, the more chance you have of increasing watch time on YouTube.
Viewer engagement and YouTube channel growth go hand-in-hand, but keep in mind that as you start a new channel, engagement is less about what your audience wants and more about building your audience up. As you continue to grow your channel, create similar content because content created outside of what an audience member is interested in, will likely be unseen. By following these steps, you can propel your channel to a top-ranking spot in the YouTube search results and suggested videos. But keep in mind that like everything this process can take time. The opportunity to reach your audience on YouTube is massive, with 2 billion users worldwide. Wouldn’t it be nice if they took a look at your content while they were there?