04th May 2018
When we think of social media tools best suited to grow a business we think of Facebook, right?
Or perhaps, Instagram. But what about YouTube?
That’s right, the video platform giant is not just a website to watch crazy cat videos or the newest remix of the Yodel Kid (Little Hank). When executed correctly YouTube can be a powerful tool that can help your brand.
In this post, we have explained 15 ways to help you promote your YouTube channel. You can also check out the video version of the post here.
1. Optimise your titles
Use the keyword in the title. Google crawlers don’t watch videos the way that they read blog posts. By putting the keyword in the video title Google bots will know what your video is about.
Keep the title short. The ideal video title is recommended to be no more than 50 characters.
Make the title descriptive. Let the audience gain a clear understanding about what the video is without watching it.
Choose your words wisely. Don’t use the word “video” in your title. This will only waste characters and won’t help your video rank higher in YouTube’s search engine.
2. Brand your channel
YouTube allows you to decorate your channel. Make sure you do! Use a custom background header to promote your brand.
If you have a website or blog with an established identity, make sure you incorporate the style into your header image. You want to make sure you are easily recognizable across all platforms.
3. Personalize video thumbnails
YouTube will automatically generate a thumbnail for your video if you do not do it yourself.
Using a custom video thumbnail can increase your videos CTR (click through rate). Have a look at the thumbnails below, they can often tell you what the video is about before reading the title.
Make it easy for the viewer to want to watch your content.
A custom thumbnail can also enhance the branding of your channel and make you seem more professional. YouTube thumbnails must be less than 2 MB in size, also the recommended resolution is 1280 x 720.
Be sure to embed your logo in one of the bottom corners. If you need help with this, here are some graphic design tools to get you started. Just make sure to be consistent with your brand.
To upload a custom thumbnail, go to Creator Studio and follow the steps.
4. Create a channel trailer
YouTube has a great feature called channel trailers, this feature automatically plays a video when someone opens up your YouTube channel.
This video should be highly engaging and should show what your channel is about.
Remember, this is the moment when you have the chance to catch your audience’s attention and lure them into your channel.
You can check your viewer retention rates to see if your videos are working and gaining subscribers with your channel trailer. This information can be found in YouTube’s Channel Reports.
To create a channel trailer:
- Click your avatar in the top right of your screen.
- Click My Channel.
- Click the Edit Layout button.
- Under your channel’s banner, click the settings icon .
- Toggle Customize the layout of your channel to on.
5. Add end screens to promote your videos or website
End screens are those (sometimes annoying) graphics that pop up during videos. But they are a dream for content creators as they allow you to keep your viewer engaged as your video is coming to an end.
Try to keep your video content engaging as the end screen appears. The trick is to make the viewer continuously browse your channel from one video to another. Keep them hooked.
Adding an end screen is really easy to do. Go to Creator Studio, open Video Manager, and select End Screen & Annotations.
Be sure to check out our YouTube Hacks article to get a more detailed breakdown of the process.
6. Interact with your fanbase
Remember to show your fans that you care about them and what they have to say. Interact with your followers and listen to their comments. Replying to your comments will build a loyal fanbase with your viewers.
7. Increase your uploading frequency
This can sometimes be difficult, so it is important to have a content plan so you have enough steady content to maintain regular uploads. Consistency is key with social media platforms, especially YouTube.
People subscribe because they like your content and they want to see more of it. Find a pattern that works for you and stick to it. If your fans know that on Tuesdays you upload a new video they are fare more likely to stay engaged with your channel than if you were to upload videos sporadically.
8. Be sure to cross promote your content on other social media platforms
Yes, we know that YouTube and Facebook have a weird relationship. When you share YouTube videos to Facebook it doesn’t always look the prettiest but it is still a great marketing tool to promote your channel.
Twitter is also a great tool to promote your YouTube channel with an estimated 82% of users who will watch videos on Twitter. If you have just created your YouTube channel and you have a following on Facebook make sure you use the platform to build some excitement for your videos.
9. Create playlists for your videos
Once you have uploaded a handful of videos be sure to create a playlist. This makes it easier for your audience to remain on your channel and requires little effort to keep them watching.
10. Incorporate your videos into your blog posts
If you have a blog be sure to try to incorporate your videos into the posts. If your blog is getting high traffic this is a great way to encourage users to access your YouTube channel.
Your blog posts could also be great inspiration for more video content. Through analytics, find out what are your best performing blog posts and create a video about it.
Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. We want to win championships, right? Don’t be afraid to partner up with another brand or personality on YouTube, especially if they are in the same field of work as you.
Collaboration can be mutually beneficial for both parties. You have the chance to engage with a whole new group of fans who are interested in similar work that you do.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good crossover?
12. Make it easy for people to find out more about you
YouTube has an option to link up with your website. To do this go to the channel settings on your YouTube page and add your website or blog to your channel.
(Don’t forget to add a ‘subscribe’ button on your blog too, so you encourage your readers to check out your YouTube channel.)
13. Turn on Channel Ads
If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to pay for advertisements be sure to turn on channel ads. The YouTube feature gives permission for your videos to be used as a pre-roll ad for free. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your videos will be used, but it’s free to turn on. So why not?
Just go to the Creator Studio, select the channel tab and then status and features. From here select your channel ad.
14. YouTube Live
According to Livestream (2018) live video is outpacing the growth of other videos online, with a 113% increase in ad growth yearly. We’ve all seen Facebook live videos explode in popularity, and YouTube is hot on it’s trails. Perhaps you could offer a live tutorial to your fans, or a product demonstration. Check out YouTubes live streaming guide here to get you started.
15. Paid Advertisements
There is nothing like paid advertisements to truly promote your YouTube channel. YouTube has a variety of ad formats you can choose from:
- Display ads
- Overlay ads
- Skippable video ads
- Non-skippable video ads
- Bumper ads
- Sponsored cards
A more detailed breakdown of YouTube advertising formats can be viewed here.
Note that for your ads to be approved you must confirm that you have all rights to the visual and audio elements of selected videos.
The Wrap Up
We all wish we could make a viral video that garners millions of views overnight. But realistically, that’s not the case.
By continually implementing the above strategies your viewership will slowly and steadily increase. Remember to engage with your viewers and create content that they want to see.