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According to YouTube’s blog, the video sharing site has over 1 billion users – that is almost one-third of the people on the internet (YouTube is sure to point out this fact), and “everyday people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.”
Let’s write that out in big letters, so it hits home, and you grasp the opportunity…
“HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF HOURS OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS WATCHED EVERY DAY
BILLIONS – NOT MILLIONS, BILLIONS – OF VIEWS GENERATED EVERY DAY”
In case you don’t quite get the picture as to how massive and the potential for your brand on YouTube is, take a look at this infographic from SociallyStacked.com:
With access to a network this size, with all the figures stacking up into the billions, you may think that just by creating a “cool/sweet/hot” video and uploading it to YouTube that it will somehow be found among all of the zillions of other content that’s eternally pinging around on the platform, you need to think again.
You Need A Strategy – YouTube Video Marketing
No, you can’t create, upload and hope for the best with your video.
To get discovered on YouTube, you need a clear and focused strategy.
Along with a few tricks up your sleeve to ensure that you are optimizing your content for maximum views.
And, lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place – for that’s exactly what I’m going to show you here.
Let’s get started:
Ranking On YouTube
Just as with the biggest search engine in the world – Google, YouTube has algorithms that determine the search results and the ranking order in which videos are shown in search results.
This means that just as the effort you put into creating written content for your website, you need to repeat the process and play the SEO game when publishing YouTube videos.
You need to understand a little bit about how the YouTube algorithm works and how videos are ranked.
Critical YouTube Video Ranking Factors:
Your number of subscribers
These are the key ranking factors that you need to capitalize on if you want your videos to perform well in YouTube search.
The tips that below will help you do this.
I want to take a moment to take a deeper dive into the last item on the list in more detail – watch time.
Here’s what YouTube has to say about it (on a specially created page dedicated to the subject for content creators):
“Watch Time is an important metric to promote videos on YouTube. The algorithm for suggesting videos includes prioritizing videos that lead to a longer overall viewing session over those that receive more clicks. Viewers benefit from more enjoyable content being suggested to them, and creators benefit from more focused, engaged audiences.
“If you’re making videos that people are watching well beyond the first click, those videos will be suggested more often.”
Indeed, for me, this summarizes the one real goal of YouTube video optimization – to get people to watch your videos.
It sounds simple – apparent, even – but the YouTube game aim is to get as many views as you can.
The tips below will aid you in forming a strategy as to how to increase the watch time of your content and optimize YouTube videos for the maximum possible views.
How To Optimize YouTube Videos To Maximize Views
1. Create Compelling Content, Not Average, but Compelling Content
This is the most critical thing of all.
No matter what you do on the technical side of things (see below) to optimize your videos for YouTube SEO, no one is going to watch your content if it’s – for want of a better word – par and stellar.
So, what makes compelling content?
Like all content marketing – blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram stories – it’s all about adding value to your customers.
The worst thing that you can do is continuously pump out videos that are all about you, your brand and your product.
People don’t go to YouTube to watch your product advertisements – they want to be moved emotionally and educated.
Consumers are smart; they know that you will be using YouTube for promotional purposes. However, there are bad promos, and there are good promos.
The bad ones make no sense to anybody except consumers familiar with your brand.
The good ones are those that appeal on a much larger scale because they are entertaining emotionally.
Good promos allow you to cover a range of emotional responses.
The emotions that you may extract can be myriad – inspiration, shock, horror, thankfulness, gratitude, empathy – a good video will appeal to one or more of these emotions generating the most views.
It doesn’t take a celebrity to elicit an emotional response from your customers.
2. Write Keyword Optimized Titles, Descriptions And Tags
As I say, optimizing YouTube videos for maximizing views is a lot to do with good old SEO. And I do mean good old SEO.
YouTube optimization still has a significant emphasis on keywords, just like the good old Google algorithms of search.
And this makes sense.
You want consumers to be able to find your videos on YouTube.
This requires that you ensure that you are choosing the right keywords and using them in your titles, descriptions, and tags that visitors are likely to use in their search strings when searching YouTube for the content you have to offer.
So, let’s say you’re in the business of selling pet food, and, to add value to your brand, you produce a series of pet nutrition videos, showing beginners how to measure food based on the age and weight of their pet.
For these videos, you want to optimize your titles, descriptions, and tags for the phrase “pet nutrition,” or, even better, “[all natural] dog food.”
Getting a little more technical, you should also do some keyword research.
As we outlined, you will have an excellent idea of what keywords and phrases people are using to search, and from these, you can dial in your keywords to optimize for the ones that resonate with your target audience.
About keywords, the worst thing that you can do is embark on practices of “keyword stuffing,” as YouTube is wise to this, will treat it as spam, and penalize your video ranking accordingly.
3. Promote! Promote! Promote! Did I Say Promote!
No one will watch a video that is a boring product advertisement; no one’s going to watch a great video they don’t know exists either.
Once you’ve optimized all your tags, your titles, and descriptions and you’ve uploaded a compelling thumbnail, now is the time to get to the real work, which is the distribution to encourage views and ideally social shares.
Tip: I highly recommend that you can paste a transcript of your video in the description field to help the YouTube search bots with what the video is about, be sure to work in your keywords and longtail keywords a couple of times. This is well worth the effort since not everyone will watch a full video. However, they may read the transcript.
This means that you need to post your video on YouTube and links to the video everywhere.
This includes, on your social networks, ideally generating clicks with a brief, enticing description that catches your target audiences attention. Don’t hesitate to spend a few dollars boosting the video on Facebook to generate views and clicks and ideally traffic to your website.
Don’t forget to embed the video on your blog and company website, on Medium use it to answer a question in forums and continue to share the video everywhere it’s appropriate.
As with written content, creating a great video is 20% of the effort. The other 80% and your focus should be on distribution.
The next thing to do is to make sure that you engage with viewers of your video. A customer or potential customer who leaves a comment take the time to respond to it, you are building a community.
Anyone who likes or shares your video be sure to take the time to thank them.
Viewer engagement is a critical YouTube ranking factor, so you want to encourage this and watch your video and channel climb up the ranks
About Carol Forden Freelance Writer & Customer Experience Marketing at Outsell Digital Marketing
Carol Forden is a Content Writer and Content Marketer for Outsell Digital Marketing. Outsell Digital specializes in Creative Content Marketing Strategies for Auto Dealerships, Cut through the noise. Drive results with content marketing campaigns powered by Outsell Digital's industry-leading. Content Creation, Strategy, and Distribution