First impressions really count, and on YouTube, they start with a single video on your channel.
The first days after you share a video are critical to its overall popularity, so make sure you present your video with maximum visual and search appeal.
If your video is centered around a current event or trending topic, be sure to catch the wave and release the video as soon as the event happens.
Below are Youtube channel best practices to attract viewers, get discovered, and encourage viewers to watch more.
- Upload a Video in the Proper Format - Be sure you export the video from your computer editing program (iMovie, Adobe Premier, Smartphones) in a format that will easily upload to YouTube. Check these supported YouTube file formats to ensure the format. We recommend using .mov for upload ease, under 20 minutes is best and 1-3 minute videos will get the most viewings, if applicable.
- Grab Viewers with a Great Video Title + Thumbnail - Review your video and use the most appealing and shareable segment (aka screenshot) to create your title, thumbnail, and description (use Photoshop to add text). Make sure they all accurately depict what is in your video, or you may lose potential viewers right away if they feel misled by what these introductory elements promised.
- For example: Top 10 Tips for Getting More Traffic, versus Learn how you can get more traffic with our 10 steps guide from X company. Short and sweet is best try to limit it to 5-8 words max. People love top #'ed lists now, easy to digest content.
- Create an Identity and Brand - Build a feeling with your viewers and create consistent elements (like the logo overlay, graphics, tone, and voice) use your channel icon, videos, and video thumbnail to do so. Also use a consistent set / background for your videos, if the location for the videos is unappealing, try easy green screen usage. You can think of the background like an online talking business card also.
4. Optimize for Maximum Discovery - Play back the most shareable part of your video, and list out the words that come to mind. These words should be what you place into your tags field. Use a mix of broad and specific keywords so people interested in this topic can find you easily.
5. Drive Viewers to Your Other Videos - Think about what action you want the viewer to take during or after they watch your video. A simple "annotation or card" at the end of the video can get viewers to watch another video, build a playlist of videos, or guide viewers back to your home channel. Youtube has found that annotations and cards work best when accompanied by a scripted "call to action" in the video. A basic title at the end with your website and contact info is also advised, but not as impactful. Be sure to link your website (verification needed) to have people click it at the end.
6. Easy Steps to Sharing Videos- Upload your videos as "unlisted" which means only you and who you share the URL link to can view them. Next add a great catchy title, that has wide or niche appeal, then add a custom thumbnail and accurate video description (add linkable URLs in the first 2 lines with http://yourwebsite.com). Also, add key terms in the tag fields, so people searching can find you easily. Add annotations over the video to subscribe to your channel, or send viewers to your connected website (a pre-requisite step as site verification is required). Once you have reviewed and privately shared your video (for editing ideas and overall feedback), finally change the video to public and watch the views increase!
While these steps can never guarantee that your videos will "go viral", these are simply best practices for sharing them specifically on Youtube. After you have published your new videos you can do the following to share them even further, for more views:
- Add the "custom thumbnail" image into an email newsletter, linking email subscribers to watch the video (FYI, these videos are not watchable inside of email).
- Embed the videos onto your website and blog, as you see below, this extends the reach of the videos and add interest to your website.
- Share the link on social media channels and upload the video file to your Facebook company page also, ( Hint -You can use the same info on the Youtube page).
- Add the thumbnails and reference these videos in Powerpoint presentations and other marketing materials, so viewers can learn more about you, the company or products.
- Lastly, some people add links in their email signature to watch a video about the company or them personally, this can have huge ROI benefit!
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tags: Youtube, videos, creator academy, video details, video steps, video discovery, drive viewers, increase views, upload videos, subscribers, building subscribers