Brands, businesses, and video marketers all want to know how to get more views on YouTube.
Given that YouTube’s algorithms have evolved significantly over time, it’s critical to make sure your optimization strategy is up to date.
You may get strategic thoughts and practical guidance from 20 video marketing and SEO specialists in this column to help you increase the number of views on your own YouTube videos.
As the panel’s moderator, I’ll add a few of my own advice at the end of this piece.
1. Look for assistance on YouTube
The general manager of VidCon, Jim Louderback, claims that asking YouTube for assistance is one of the finest strategies to get more views on YouTube.
The YouTube Creators Channel is the best way to get information about what is currently effective and how to use new YouTube features directly from the internal team. If you take advantage of new opportunities earlier, your odds of succeeding rise because Big Red has been known to give new things, like Shorts, priority in the algorithm.
The YouTube Creator Playbook is “packed of interesting concepts to explore and implement for businesses and creators.”
2. Produce a Sustainable Product
There are many excellent tips available, according to Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer of Mekanism. The significance of building something that is sustainable is one topic that is rarely discussed.
“The chances are that either you or the brand you’re working with want to accomplish something fun, fresh, and creative. It’s likely that you’re also chewing on too much at once. Not a sprint, but a marathon.
“Ask yourself if you can do this every week without it becoming to be so onerous that you give up.”
3. Adjust and apply what you’ve learned
Recognize that not every video will be a success, Gahan continues. Instead, consider each as a chance to learn. Make sure you have enough time to reflect, change, and use what you’ve learned. Your success can compound as a result.
4. Comments are a veritable goldmine.
The comments on your videos may be an amazing treasure for content ideas and feedback, according to content marketing manager Carla Marshall.
Take the time to go through as many comments as you can and listen for any questions or any suggestions regarding material that you could make after your filters are in place to mute (at least some of) the trolls and keyboard warriors.
Speaking of comments, interacting with your viewers by answering their questions is a great approach to create a sense of community for your channel. Simply avoid feeding the trolls.
5. Consider Tentpole Events in Advance
“Consider tentpole events or seasonal customs that you could write content about,” advises Marshall. In how-to or educational videos, this strategy works incredibly well since you can address the queries that viewers have by providing the answers they need.
When you conduct the necessary research and make advance plans for special occasions, athletic events, and other milestones, you have the chance to provide evergreen content that can keep the views coming in year after year.
6. Maintain Focus
Stay on topic, urge CinemaSins creators Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson. Observe the fads and stay current with the conversation.
“What are those suggested videos on the YouTube page’s side? They relentlessly promote views. The easiest approach to be recommended to a viewer is to discuss a topic that many other channels are also covering; this is part of the reason why there are an increasing number of news and news-commentary channels.
Therefore, if you are a cover artist, cover recent or current songs. If you discuss movies, bring up recent and forthcoming releases that people are talking about.
7. Be Reliable
Be consistent, Scott and Atkinson continue. When your schedule for producing videos fluctuates frequently, it is challenging to grow a following and generate views.
How frequently have we seen television programmes cancelled because the network kept moving the programme about on the schedule and it never attracted a viewership? With YouTube, the idea is the same.
It is demonstrated to increase audience size to teach viewers to anticipate new content at roughly the same time and interval (day, week, month) on a regular basis.
8. Make Your Title and Description More Effective
The power of text cannot be ignored if you want to increase the number of viewers who visit your channel, according to Bree Brouwer, a B2B copywriter and content marketer for video/tech. “While YouTube is inherently a visual medium because it was designed as a place to share videos, the power of text cannot be ignored,” she says.
“After all, YouTube is a sizable search engine that still employs words to identify videos that match your search criteria!
This means that in addition to having titles that include at least one relevant word or phrase from your video, you also need to provide a thorough explanation of it in the description box. You have 5000 characters, or about 800 words, to describe your video in depth on YouTube; take advantage of this chance at all times.
“Your material is more likely to appear in search results and increase your views the more text YouTube, Google, and other search engines have to scan about your video.”
10. Submit Closed Captions
“Likewise, don’t forget to upload closed captions for each and every one of your videos,” continues Brouwer.
You can also use YouTube’s automatic closed captioning option, but getting closed captions written is a superior approach to guarantee that your material is understood exactly as it is stated in the video if you have the time or the money to do so.
“Again, the more language that YouTube and Google’s algorithms can use to classify and recommend your work, the more probable it is that they will do so.
Closed captions are also just a nice way to let the hard of hearing know that you’re considerate of their requirements and that you want them to enjoy your material despite the audio (this audience also makes it easier for you to gain more views).
11. Carry out keyword analysis
According to Tom Martin, a consultant for YouTube growth at Channel Fuel in the UK, “I’d consider YouTube keyword research to be the hidden weapon of anyone running a YouTube channel because it’s incredibly powerful and it’s highly rare that your competition are using it.
In order to determine precisely what people are searching for on YouTube, the precise language they are using, the size of that opportunity, and how competitive (or not) it may be to appear for that keyword in the search results and suggested sidebar, YouTube Keyword Research uses search data.
Martin continues, “Once we have that information (obtained from either a specialised third party tool or from free sources like YouTube’s autocomplete suggestions), we can then use it in a variety of ways.
First off, by basing our content strategy on the keyword data, we can create content for which we have a guaranteed audience rather than relying on assumptions about what people would find interesting.
Second, we may be sure to optimise for the keywords we want to target at the time of upload by including them in the titles, tags, and descriptions of our content.
“We may also tweak our channel keywords, about section, and playlists to target our most lucrative keywords.
Although there is no silver bullet for drawing attention to subpar content, when used appropriately to excellent content, keyword research and optimization can play a significant role in a video’s potential.
12. Recognize your target market.
After posting his first video to YouTube in 2006, Tim Schmoyer immediately expanded his channel and started working on YouTube strategy projects for companies including Disney, Warner Brothers, eBay, Budweiser, HBO, and more.
The cornerstone of every successful YouTube development strategy, according to Schmoyer, is knowing precisely who your target audience is and what they ultimately desire.
“Knowing only their overall demographics is insufficient; you also need to be aware of their challenges, aspirations, worldviews, and other factors. The rest of the statement that your most ideal audience uses to describe what they genuinely desire must be a direct match to what your channel offers.
This increases the possibility that a first-time viewer in your target demographic will be drawn to your content, watch more of your videos, subscribe, and do so in the future.
As a result, Schmoyer continues, “YouTube’s search and discovery systems start to figure out who connects with your videos and who doesn’t. The more they know, the better they’ll be able to predict who else will find your films compelling.
Soon, YouTube will begin displaying your videos on their main page and in their suggested videos column to the appropriate people even when they are not actively searching for them.
“When this occurs, your channel is primed for rapid expansion. However, targeting a particular audience comes first, not using keywords. If you optimise for people rather than robots, you’ll succeed on YouTube.
13. Avoid teasing
One of the biggest mistakes committed on YouTube is running paid media teasers that link to a full video, according to Rob Davis, Head of Digital at Ogilvy NY. Users must take a significant additional step because they weren’t asking for your stuff in the first place.
Run the entire video as a skippable True View unit instead. All the user has to do to stay hooked is to continue watching. You do not pay for the view if you do not hook them. Win-win.”
When creating a YouTube video title, Davis continues, “We frequently emphasise the significance of excellent SEO technique, but we are communicating to humans, not just search crawlers.
“Titles must captivate readers just as much as the opening five seconds of your video. If you don’t get the click, you’ll never get the view. Clicks are drawn to titles and thumbnails (see below).
14. Keep an eye on your thumbnails and consider cards with links as friends.
We’ve grown to think of thumbnails as representative video frames, but they are much more, adds Davis. Your business card are the thumbnails.
In reality, YouTube provides thumbnail CTR data in the Creator Studio since thumbnail efficacy is so crucial. The ideal thumbnails feature clear text, vibrant colours, and an uncluttered image (usually a human).
Check it out. You’ll transform those uninteresting frame grabs with a 3% CTR into considerably more powerful poster graphics.
“Everyone is aware that most people don’t view an entire video. Adopt carefully placed cards that point to your other films rather than striving to do the unattainable.
“This provides the tired viewer with a direction that keeps them engaged with your information. If you don’t, they won’t use the search or suggested videos.
15. Encourage users to post the video on their websites
“There are several strategies to boost the number of views to your YouTube videos,” explains Eric Enge, Principal of Perficient. The creation of excellent content is, of course, the first and most important component of any of these concepts. If you don’t do that, no strategy or approach will help.
“This is one of my favourite suggestions: ask others to embed the video on their websites. It’s quite simple to embed videos on your website thanks to YouTube, which even gives you the necessary code.
The secret to making this work is to produce content that the potential embedding site will find appealing. Knowing your target audience before you start producing your video is the first step in accomplishing this. From the outset of the process, this was the subject of an intense laser focus.
Prior to producing their videos, advanced publishers identify the target websites for embedding them and make tweaks to their content to appeal to those audiences.
16. Buy YouTube Google Ads
Also from Enge: “Buy Google Ads for YouTube. This is one of my favourite ideas. This is really efficient, and depending on your category, you may get a lot of views for just a few hundred dollars.
Although there are many other kinds of video advertisements, I favour using pre-roll commercials. These may appear before, during, or after a user-selected video, and users may choose to skip them.
In actuality, there is no fee unless the viewer watches your advertisement for at least 30 seconds.
The establishment of the proper targeting is essential to your campaign’s success, continues Enge. For instance, you can choose various market sectors, which you ought to do. Even one just for SEO and SEM services exists!
Additionally, Google Ads for YouTube provides basic audience targeting with the ability to filter by age, gender, and income. These filters can be configured to completely exclude or simply include specified audiences.
To get things optimised for your needs, it probably will take some experimenting, but it will be worthwhile.
17. Produce excellent content
The aim of YouTube is to increase the number of videos that users watch so that they return frequently.
This means that you should match your objectives with those of your audience and produce more engaging content so that they return to your channel frequently.
OK, I see. So, how do you go about doing that?
So here are three strategies I’ve learned to get your audience interested in and engaged with your content:
Encourage the audience by telling affecting and relatable tales
For instance, take a look at RoadTripOK. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department developed a weekly YouTube series that showcases the wonder of the state through a socially isolated road trip in order to encourage people to travel responsibly.
Engage the audience’s attention by surprising, making them laugh, or sharing exciting content.
Check out Match Made In Hell, for instance.
Match chose to laugh at and empathise with the turbulence of 2020 rather than trying to avoid it. In a YouTube advertisement, Satan and 2020 fall in love using Match’s dating service. The video received 14 million views in its first day and saw a 40% boost in consideration compared to previous efforts.
Give the Audience Useful Information to Educate Them
Check out Breaking Barriers, for instance.
GoDaddy replied with a YouTube docuseries chronicling real-life entrepreneurs who overcame the odds, along with tutorial content where viewers could delve deeper, with a core audience of small company owners seeking advice to survive the pandemic.
GoDaddy gained subscribers by 300% and organic viewing time by more than 250%.
18. Lengthen your videos so they make a point.
Consider YouTube Shorts. Will they aid or hinder your efforts to get YouTube views?
In fact, when determining audience involvement, YouTube’s discovery system considers both absolute and relative viewing time as signals.
YouTube encourages content producers and video marketers to make their films the appropriate length based on the topic because, in the end, they want both short and lengthy videos to succeed.
In general, absolute watch time is more significant for longer videos than relative watch time for shorter ones.
To determine how long viewers are willing to watch, you may use the audience retention reports in YouTube Analytics and modify your content accordingly.
There you have it—17 professional advice from 11 different video marketing gurus on how to increase YouTube traffic.
I now hope that has provided you with more tactical and strategic guidance than you can shake a stick at.
However, I should note at the end of this piece that these suggestions work best if applied prior to December 2021.
Why? because YouTube changes so frequently.
In fact, based on my research into the rate of change, roughly half of the 17 suggestions listed above will be obsolete in 18 months.
So, set a reminder and check Search Engine Journal again at the end of the year for a revised collection of professional advice.