- Identify And Keenly Observe Your Competitors
YouTube is easily one of the most competitive platforms online today. According to a study conducted in May 2019, more than 500 hours’ worth of video content is uploaded on YouTube every minute. It is thus very easy for your video uploads to get swamped or even fail to get the reception/viewership it should. Studying your competitors and some of the biggest channels on YouTube can help you learn a thing or two on how to boost your channel’s performance. The trick is to use keywords related to the product or services you sell to see which other channels sell the same and how they do it.
Don’t just identify the competitor’s channels; watch as many of their videos as possible. One of the best ways to do this would be to visit the main channel, identify videos with the highest viewing, and start watching those. Analyze each video to see how they introduce, how their message is crafted, and other angles in their content delivery. While you don’t want to copy their style, this should give you an idea of what might help your channel grow.
- Learn from your favorite YouTube channels
What are your favorite channels on YouTube? Why do you follow them or find yourself eager to watch their next video upload? Some of the best channels on YouTube have more than a million followers from across the globe. There sure is a reason why this many people have subscribed to these channels. If you can wrap your mind on why you subscribed to these channels or like watching a particular one, it will be easier to see how you can improve your content for improved performance. More YouTube likes are easy when you do the research.
- Study Trending Channels
Take time to study the latest and trending channels on the platforms as well. There’s definitely a reason these channels are trending – they have to be at least doing something right. Try unraveling the mystery with these trending or popular channels. Is it how they deliver the content, their presentation style, or interweave the content with current/trending topics? If you can find the answer to this, you stand a better chance of running a successful YouTube channel.
- Optimize Your Videos for YouTube’s Algorithms
YouTube is supposedly the second most popular search engine (after Google), and one of the biggest social media platforms today. This alone should mean something to anyone looking to use the platform to build a brand. Like Google, you want to ensure your video content is visible and optimized for YouTube’s search algorithms. Some of the ways you can optimize your videos for YouTube include:
- Include Target Keyword in Video File Name and Title
Like Google’s, YouTube’s algorithms (bots) cannot read video content to understand what its context is and how to categorize it when indexing. It thus relies on information provided in the video file name and title to determine the subject matter for easy indexing. Properly labeled video names and titles thus get a higher priority/ranking than poorly optimized ones. It would thus be advisable to use your main keywords in the video file name and file when uploading.
- Proper Keyword Research
Keyword research is equally important for YouTube SEO as is with Google, another reason you want it done carefully and exhaustively. With lots of ‘nice’ keywords to use in your video content, identifying the most converting ones can be daunting for most YouTubers. There are however plenty of free (and paid) tools you can use for keyword research. Use these to your advantage.
iii. Create A Catchy Video Description
YouTube allows users to input a short description (up to 1000 characters) under the video content when uploading. The description is what audiences will see before clicking on the video. That said, you want to make maximum use of the video description by providing as much information as possible in just a few words to grab the audience’s attention. You also need to ensure there’s enough whitespace between sections of the description as well. Lastly, you can end the video description with a link to your website.
iv. Choose The Appropriate (Best) Category for Your Videos
YouTube uses a complex algorithm to recommend videos to users. You can thus improve the chances of your video showing up on relevant/related playlists by choosing the right category. This is mainly based on your niche and the subject matter. Take time to watch videos in a certain category and note the similarities. Some of the things to watch out for include the format of the videos, production value, and patterns between the same. If you can find a pattern, it then means the videos are related or share certain parameters. Selecting the correct category also increases the chances of reaching the target audience.
v. Make use of Tags
Tags provide crucial metadata needed for the YouTube search engine to identify and index video content accordingly. Optimizing your videos with tags can help boost visibility and even rankings on the search engine. It would however be advisable to use the most converting (or main) keyword as your first tag. You also do not want to use tags that are too long – stick to two – four-word tags for the best results. Using short phrases in your tags makes your video seem specific to the subject matter, which search engines give more weight than generic ones.
A good example of this is anyone creating/posting a video on ‘the health benefits of Vitamin D.’ In this case, it is best to use a 4-phrase tag, e.g., Vitamin D health benefits, than split them into ‘health benefits’ and ‘vitamin D’ tags. There are also plenty of tools you can use to create tags easily and faster.
- Create A Catchy Thumbnail
The main aim of creating YouTube videos is to satisfy the consumer, not YouTube algorithms. It would help if you give your target audience a reason to want to watch your content and even come back for more. In addition to creating unique and quality videos, you need to create an eye-catching thumbnail to woo audiences into clicking it. Coupled with a well-crafted video title, a catchy thumbnail almost always attracts viewers your way. You can either use close-up images or a sneak-peek of the video as a thumbnail, among several other options.
- Cross-Promote Your Videos
It takes a lot of effort and time to put out a high-quality video. You not only need to come up with a storyboard, script, create animations or graphics, or even voice-overs, but also ensure every shot is perfect. All this will be for nothing if you don’t advertise your work to get as many people watching the video as possible. What better way to promote your YouTube videos than cross-promote across other platforms, especially social media and blogs. Share the videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and even link back to your website and blogs. This will go a long way in channeling traffic and eventually more subscribers.
- Build A Knowledge Hub Out of Your YouTube Channel
Although you might have been a novice at first, running and managing a YouTube channel has its perks, even for a few months. For starters, you will no longer be a newbie and will be more experienced in your niche. That said, you want to start creating impactful content for your audiences, especially projects that have shaped you to be who you are now. Your channel should have accumulated subscribers within just a few months when done right. Use the platform to create tutorials to help your audiences and other YouTubers wherever possible. If you have been running a gardening channel, for example, you can then create videos on how to address certain issues in the garden and how to boost your yields.
As long as you continue uploading insightful content for your audience, your subscriber base will grow, and so will loyal followers. Consistency is also crucial when running a YouTube channel. Audiences will be expecting a video upload at least once every week and on a specific day and time. Thus, this means you need to make time to churn unique and informative videos continually without letting your audience down. Producing fresh content regularly is one of the things that will make your channel grow pretty fast. It also means working harder and having clear goals.