Knowing how to market Youtube videos before uploading them is perhaps the most important part of being a content creator. Video content has become more and more significant, making it the best thing to implement in your marketing strategy to get more views from your target audience.
But be aware that Youtube is an extremely competitive platform!
Since 2017, the number of YouTube content creators that earn five figures a year is up by 35%. Whereas those who earn six figures a year are up by 40%, with the majority of that money coming from advertising.
So the platform has a lot to offer.
How to get started with Youtube? – Marketing Strategy
Before we get started, you must know the market you’re about to enter. Youtube is a business after all. Being a viewer is fun, but a content producer who wants to make a side income or a living from the platform is a different store. That is why in order to succeed you need to provide content that is not valuable for your viewers but also optimized for Youtube’s algorithm. Why is that?
Approximately 20% of the people who start your video will leave after the first 10 seconds.
So it’s important to optimize the right content to the right people before you start publishing out videos to the point where you burn out. This tutorial is meant to help you with that! 🙂
YouTube is currently available in more than 90 countries. This isn’t surprising since there are more than 1.9 billion monthly active YouTube users as of mid-2018, climbing up to 2.6 billion in 2022. That equates to about one-third of all internet users. These are definitely Youtube statistics worth paying attention to!
It is the second most-visited site in the world, opening doors to reach an even greater audience. But not everyone can trend or get the attention of potential subscribers. And that’s because very few people understand the algorithm behind Youtube’s search engine.
Indeed, even videos require as much optimization as ordinary web pages do on Google. Optimizing your videos will not only result in higher YouTube rankings but also significantly raises chances of appearing in search results on Google.
So if you want to get more views than your competitors, here are some tips you should follow to maximize views and increase your chances to get more subscribers!
Keyword Research to Explore Search Intent is the key to market Youtube videos
Before you turn on your camera and shout “Action!” or ask your viewers to “Subscribe to my channel!” you need to understand the importance of keywords. Just like many other things in SEO, video optimization starts with keyword research.
Keywords are basically a few words that help Youtube or Google or any other search engine understand what your video is about so it can rank your content. This is logical. If your channel is about cooking and one day you do a cooking video on vegan pancakes, people have to find you somehow. If a Youtube or Google searcher types “vegan pancakes” into the search, they should be able to find you, right?
But it’s not that simple I’m afraid. You need to be very specific with your keywords because there are just millions of videos out there with huge channels that will squeeze all the smaller channels down.
So how do we make sure, people can see us?
First, you need to find the most relevant keywords for your niche and keywords that users tend to use while searching for a product or service similar to yours. One of the most reliable tools for this activity is Google Keyword Planner. This tool supplies you with tons of keyword variations along with their competitiveness rates based on the seed terms you type in. You need to go to discover new keywords options.
Analyze Search Trends
You need to find powerful target phrases to boost the visibility of your videos. This gives you an idea of search trends in your industry to utilize YouTube’s autocomplete feature. This method is really helpful since it lets you collect keywords that people actually type into YouTube.
Let’s imagine my Youtube channel is about healthy foods. In my next couple of videos, I will use “veganism” as an example to explain how keyword optimization and search engines work to satisfy viewer satisfaction.
You can head over to the most popular videos that are similar to yours and copy the keywords they are optimized for. What’s more, with the help of YouTube’s autocomplete feature, you can collect a wealth of ideas for future videos.
I would also suggest taking a few glimpses at Google Trends. Why? Simply because it’s a brilliant tool for analyzing search trends and comparing keywords based on their popularity. To make the tool provide you with YouTube-specific data, you just need to switch from the Web Search option to YouTube Search.
Google Trends comes in very handy when you’ve come up with a list of keywords and want to compare them against each other popularity-wise. This gives us an understanding of what’s trending in your niche at the moment in a specific region. Once again I took the example of veganism and did a comparison between what is trending more: veganism, or vegetarianism.
As you can see, veganism is a more popular term in the US and has a higher monthly number of search changes over time.
Collect Video Keywords before Shooting
I’m sure you quite often notice YouTube videos appearing among Google’s result pages for particular keywords. In 2021, this trend will keep growing and you will see more videos. In fact, currently, about 20-40% of YouTube traffic is generated from organic search. That’s why collecting and optimizing videos for such keywords can significantly raise your videos’ chances of fighting for a place in Google’s organic search results, not only on Youtube’s. So you’ll have a chance to appear in two search engines.
By entering your target keywords into Rank Tracker or Ubersuggest and see if result pages include any videos, you can spot keywords that are more likely to bring about a video in organic search results. Rank Tracker has a 10-day free trial. Their basic plan starts at $8.
With Rank Tracker, you can set YouTube as a preferred search engine and track your rankings as well as monitor your video results in SERP features. The tool also allows you to collect keywords with 23 keyword research methods, including YouTube autocomplete, and then compare them according to the most important SEO indicators.
On the other hand, Ubersuggest has limited free search options to find the search volume, number of clicks, and competition around a specific keyword. Also, it’s very user-friendly and easy to understand. However, it is limited to a certain number of searchers. So after a few words, they’ll want you to sign up for their paid packages, which start at $29.
Optimize Video Metadata
Your metadata consists of your title, description and tags. This used to be a vital part of searches, but since Google and YouTube implemented machine learning for object recognition, YouTube can now identify objects in your video while estimating its relevance to a particular search query. This made your metadata less relevant. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be optimized. And that is why we’ll go through each one of them to help you type in relevant keywords to help the algorithm target a specific audience.
Despite its decrease in its relevance, metadata is still important for your visitors because that is the first thing that they take into consideration when deciding whether to click or not on your video. So this remains more of a marketing factor for searchers.
IMPORTANT! You should upload a video with its metadata already optimized rather than 48 hours after it went live, according to Searchengineland.com, because the algorithm will mark it as unworthy.
So here is how you can optimize your videos’ metadata to satisfy both searchers and YouTube.
Write a Keyword-Rich Titles
A video’s title is the very first and sometimes the only thing searchers look at before clicking. When thinking of a title, you should include keywords that you want to rank for as well as summarize the topic of your video. Try to make it look interesting but avoid overhype promises that fall face-forward. People hate clickbait and will avoid your channel in the future.
Another good idea is to look at your competitors’ video titles for inspiration and try to copy their style (not their words.) Your titles shouldn’t exceed the limit of 60 characters because otherwise, it’s just dull and simply because they’ll be cut off.
Optimize your Video Description
A video description can be up to 1,000 characters long. But let’s be honest, we rarely read the entire description, unless we desperately search for something. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the importance of Youtube descriptions entirely.
The fact is that a handful of people do read the first 2 to 3 lines of text. Therefore, the first 100 words are the most important. This is because if the first few words are interesting to a searcher, they have to click on “Show more”. That’s why it’s important to place your target keywords and links to your social accounts closer in the first 100 words, specifically in the 1st line.
Custom Thumbnails for First Impressions
Thumbnail is the very first thing that gets into searchers’ interest. A thumbnail is the first image, the first visual information perceived by searchers and it works a lot faster than text. Why is this more important than anything I’ve mentioned before?
Simply because quite often people do judge a book by its cover and decide whether to watch or neglect your video based on the visual quality and aesthetical look of your thumbnail. That’s why I wouldn’t advise picking from a selection of thumbnails YouTube automatically generates.
Design Thumbnails with Canva
Canva is something I’d highly recommend for designing YouTube channel arts and thumbnails. It is a freemium graphic app, which offers a huge selection of templates for all sorts of visuals, including custom video thumbnails (and motion pictures if you want to implement them into your video). The app has a free version, which is slightly limited in terms of the number of templates and members.
However, if you decided to invest in a business-class account $9.95 per month.
How to get started with Canva?
Simply search for the term “Youtube” and you’ll get a ton of beautiful thumbnails prepared for you.
Before you decide to pop out thumbnails on your own, make sure it satisfies the below-listed technical requirements:
- 1280×720 pixels
- 16:9 ratio
- < 2 MB
- .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png format.
Thumbnails by Canva fit these requirements perfectly. But once again, I must highlight the importance of making eye-catching visuals to make the searcher want to click on your video. It’s also a good idea to add some text to your thumbnail to make it more informative.
Video Tags are a Must
Optimizing your video tags helps searchers discover your videos. How? They will appear as a “keyword” in your source code. The best way to get an idea of what tags do to your videos is to see what your competitors are using.
I’d suggest installing TubeBuddy, to show you the exact tags a video is optimized with. Just don’t forget to include people featured in your video as well as your brand name in the tags.
TubeBuddy is a free extension that eases the job with everything that comes to YouTube channel management. With the help of TubeBuddy, you can monitor live video stats, track social shares, as well as get video optimization tips.
The best thing about the tool is that you can see how your competitors optimize their videos and analyze how your videos stack against your competition.
When you get to optimization itself, it’s better to start with longer and more specific tags (such as “how to make delicious vegan food”) and then narrow them down to broader phrases (such as “vegan diet”).
In my case, when I had my first Tedx video, I wanted to upload it myself on my own channel and share it with the world. So I pumped the video with my own related tags that would encourage more views.
Don’t hesitate to add Hashtags
Using hashtags is another way to boost the searchability of your videos. All you need to do is add them to your video descriptions, and they’ll appear above the video’s title. Just be aware not to make more than 15 hashtags, or Youtube will ignore all of them!
As always, it’s crucial that the hashtags you add reflect the content that users would expect to see. Misusing hashtags (hate speech, profanity for example,) will result in a penalty or removal.
If you have existing videos that are older may not be optimized with them. So I’d suggest you make sure to head over to them and fix it.
Improve User Retention and Engagement
Youtube watch time has been increased to 10 minutes since watch time and audience retention have become key ranking signals. YouTube rewards videos that keep people for a longer period of time because they meet their criteria for quality content better. In fact, according to Backlinko, the average length on the first page of YouTube is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.
In addition to that Likes and Comments also have a strong correlation with YouTube rankings. So here’s how you can boost watch time, user retention, and engagement of your videos.
Optimize for Watch Time
The best thing to start watch time optimization with is analyzing your Watch Time reports on your channel. This tool can give you priceless insights into average view duration, average percentage viewed, and audience retention. These metrics will help you understand how engaged your viewers are and identify the weak spots in your strategy.
If you see that viewers don’t get past your intro, it may signify it’s too long. If that’s the case, try to cut off all unnecessary context and jump straight to the point.
To increase your overall channel sessions, consider promoting your other videos straight in a video or description. It’s also a good idea to combine videos that cover similar topics in one playlist – they will be auto-played every time someone watched a video from the series.
You’ve probably noticed a lot of Youtubers asking you to like and share, or “Please subscribe” or “Make sure you give a Thumbs Up!” No wonder they do this. They help their channel get a massive boost if people actually do these things.
Just like watch time, likes, subscriptions, and comments have a very strong correlation with rankings. This can be the first step to encourage viewers to interact with your videos if you believe you provide the videos your audience deserves.
To encourage your viewers to comment, think of asking them a direct question at the end of your video. And of course, make sure to respond or give likes to them to provoke further discussion and make your audience feel heard.
Another way to do it is with the help of YouTube Analytics. It allows you to see your performance, what exact videos drive subscribes and unsubscribes as well as places where particular video content is the most popular.
Improve Your Video Visibility
One of the best ways to improve your channel and add interactivity to your videos is by implementing Cards. YouTube cards are the interactive cards you see in YouTube videos that let creators share clickable links to relevant content throughout a video. You usually see these at the end of a video.
End screens can also help a lot if you want to direct viewers to some other videos. As you can see I have circled to the left, the video of a friend. I would recommend you to add end screens to the last 10 to 20 seconds before your video is over and encourage viewers to subscribe.
Millions of Youtube videos get shared across social media. Having 85% of Facebook videos with the volume off, adding subtitles and closed captions has become more a necessity rather than just a luxury. You can also expand your number of viewers with subtitles by providing your content for people with hearing impairment or those who have a difficult time speaking another language.
How to Promote Your Videos
We have gone through keyword research, metadata optimization, thumbnails, and improving user retention. But all these will hardly bring you any profit if your video is nowhere to be seen. So here’s how you can promote your videos and win extra views.
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about content promotion is social networks. And it is a good way to start since social media channels can skyrocket your traffic, giving you instant gratification for your work. However, the views will decrease a few hours after you’ve shared your content.
According to Forbes, around 500 million people were watching videos on Facebook every day in 2018, whereas video Tweets are retweeted 6x times more often than photos or screenshots.
With that said, social networks are still a very powerful platform for video promotion. And if you want to track what sort of buzz your videos are surrounded with, consider using a social media monitoring tool like Awario or Brandwatch.
Share your Videos in Communities
One of the best places to promote your videos are those where people are actively searching for answers. So think of placing your videos on Q&A sites like Quora. Search for a question that you think your video can cover and place it at the end of your answer. Be careful to avoid spammy content. Make sure you provide helpful content instead of promotional ones!
Other communities like Quora can be, Yahoo Answers, Fluther, or Stackexchange.
Create a Website to Double your Views
Another highly effective video promotion strategy is embedding videos in blog posts if you happen to own a website. This can nearly double your traffic! How? Because you open doors to Google’s enormous market.
With about 6.9 billion daily Google searches, it is a remarkable possibility to expand your audience. This is because Youtube is owned by Google, and nowadays video content is starting to get more visibility. For example, if I were to type into Google “Cooking vegan food” you will see many videos come from Youtube.
Just remember, Youtube is extremely competitive, with 1.3 billion videos! So you must take every measure in order to succeed, especially if you are starting out small.
So if you want to launch your website to promote more videos, simply go to Bluehost.
Follow the steps and you’ll have your own domain in less than an hour. Videos + content is a win-win. But it might require some additional work and writing. But the pay off is tremendous and will be worth it over time!
With a website, you can get more eyes on your videos by creating an email subscription with Mailchimp and attaching your videos to your newsletter before sending them out. The thing is, such people are already your paying customers and are more likely to at least click on a link to your video.
If you want to inform them about an upcoming sale, you may add a video on how to use your product or why it’s better than one of your competitors, for instance.
Youtube can be a powerful tool for reaching your target audience, building an enormous fan base, and making a huge profit in various ways. If everything is done right, you can crawl through the barriers of competition, where millions of other videos are uploaded daily.
Not many people create Youtube videos and websites. So by doing both and optimizing your keywords for Google and Youtube, you’ll be two steps ahead of your competitors.
Do you have any other YouTube marketing tips or tools you could share? Leave them below in the comments.
Robert is a part-time blogger and internet entrepreneur. Join Robert and thousands of other monthly readers to learn how to build and scale up the next-gen of online entrepreneurship. While running this blog, Robert is the founder of his media company, Times International, and a PR Team Lead at Lensa.