Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in views per month and counts about three-quarters of U.S. adults as viewers, according to Hootsuite.
These numbers are astounding. By some measures, YouTube is more popular than Facebook, the otherwise undisputed king of social media in North America.
Influencers, brands, professionals keen to build thought leadership — none can ignore the power of YouTube.
Many aren’t. But far fewer are taking YouTube for all it’s worth. They’re not “doing YouTube right,” as they say.
Are you among them? If so, it’s time to kick off the training wheels and invest in your YouTube presence. Use these seven beginner-friendly strategies to up your YouTube game this month.
- Open Your Videos With a Bang
YouTube viewers decide within the first few seconds whether they’ll watch a video to the end or tap out. Therefore, every YouTube video needs a hook.
This is true whether you’re hawking home improvement how-tos or complex financial derivatives. You need to grab your viewers’ attention and give them a reason to stick around.
Your channel needs a hook too. Wordstream’s channel trailer guide says this should include an introduction to your channel’s topic and audience, a highlight reel of your top videos, a peek at your content schedule, and a call-to-action to encourage signups.
- Give Your Audience Actionable Information
What happens after the hook? If you don’t want your viewers to drift off after the first half-minute, you’ll need to give them what they came for. That’s actionable information — something they didn’t know before.
The YouTube channel for Asiaciti Trust shows how this is done. It leverages Asiaciti Trust’s expertise — trust and financial services with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region — to produce high-quality content that informs its target audience and compels them to take the next step.
- Use Keyword Research and SEO Best Practices to Improve Your Videos’ Search Position and Algorithmic Performance
As a Google property and one of the most-visited web properties in the world, YouTube’s SEO value is impossible to overstate. Yet many channel operators overlook SEO best practices. As a result, their videos, and indeed their channels, don’t perform up to their potential.
The solution is the same as elsewhere. Use keyword research and SEO best practices to find relevant, high-ranking search terms related to your video topics. Then work those keywords into your video captions and metadata to improve your performance on both web-wide organic search and internal YouTube ranks. (Remember, YouTube uses its own internal algorithm to rank and recommend videos.)
- Make Sure Your Viewers Know Who You Are and Where to Reach You
Speaking of metadata, don’t overlook your YouTube channel’s identifying information. Your viewers need to know how to get in touch with you if they want to take the next step in your budding relationship. Which means your channel should have a link to your website, key social media handles, and perhaps a contact email or even phone number.
- Customize Your Thumbnails
As a medium, YouTube is good at many things. One exception seems to be choosing default video thumbnails. Taking the extra time to customize your thumbnails is an easy way to make your videos pop out of a lineup and encourage more clicks, views, and engagements.
- Collaborate With Fellow YouTubers
Collaboration isn’t just for YouTube influencers. No matter what you or your brand does, or what your motivations for using YouTube are, you can benefit from collaborations with fellow people or brands in your niche.
Don’t overthink your collaboration strategy. Something as simple as a well-edited two-way interview can attract off-the-charts engagement, especially if it’s scripted to mimic a podcast. That way, it’ll draw engagement from busy people who can listen but not watch.
- Enable Embedding and Encourage Sharing
Sharing is caring. Make it easy for satisfied viewers to push out your videos to their networks by enabling embedding and encouraging sharing in your videos’ calls-to-action.
You Need a YouTube Plan
YouTube is not a “build it and they will come” platform. Building a YouTube presence that attracts engagement and generates leads (or whatever you’re after) takes some time and a lot of hard work.
That work is much easier when you have a coherent YouTube plan. That plan should include keyword-optimized videos with attention-grabbing introductory hooks, actionable information, customized thumbnails, and enabled embedding. It needs a sharing and promotion component too. And a little collaboration never hurt anyone.
You can conquer YouTube. Just look at how many have done it before you. Time to step up and see what you’re capable of.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked