This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
Marketers who use YouTube are often in search of tactics for generating more views for their videos.
While not the only metric that determines the success of a YouTube marketing campaign, generating a decent number of views for your videos is something that you should definitely try to achieve on this social media platform.
After all, what’s the point of uploading a video, if nobody is going to watch it, right? Especially your target audience.
So, if your videos aren’t getting enough views, there’s a good chance that you’re missing something, as competition isn’t at peak levels on this media platform just yet.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at tactics that you can use in order to generate more views for your YouTube videos.
We’ll cover some of the fundamentals that will help you over the long term, but also some unique tactics that you can put into action that will help generate quicker results with your target audience.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a high level of confidence, when it comes to knowing what needs to be done in order to generate more views for your YouTube videos.
Great Video Content Gets More YouTube Views
This might sound obvious, but it’s something a lot of people ignore in social media.
If you want your videos to get more views and greater search results, you first and foremost absolutely must create great content.
If you can do that, generating more views for your videos will be a heck of a lot easier.
Go over to InVideo and check out all of the different solutions they offer for people looking to quickly and easily edit amazing videos. You don’t need to have experience as a video editor in order to leverage their tool. It’s easy to use and should be part of any marketer’s arsenal of tools.
People will share your video content on social networks if it is good, so your viewers will end up doing a lot of the promotional work for you.
Since I don’t know your business or your audience – I can’t tell you exactly what you should be doing, in order to create great content.
What I can tell you is this – great content is often content that provides exceptional levels of value.
It’s important that you don’t get caught up in the wrong things, when looking to create great content in getting more YouTube views.
People often worry about content length and production quality.
Sure, content length might matter, to a certain extent. But, are you really going to stop watching a 1-hour video, if it’s providing immense value?
In fact, it’s worth remembering that the average viewing session on mobile is 40 minutes.
Value trumps everything for search results, especially high production quality.
I’m sure that you’ve experienced this for yourself – where you’ve watched a long YouTube video that wasn’t overly produced, right to the end, because it was so informative.
You may have even done that for a webinar – which, in a sense, is similar.
In fact, the video below ranks near the top in YouTube search results for ‘how to make a website.’
It is highly rated, and get this… it’s over 2 hours and 30 minutes long!
It’s not overly produced, it’s just high value that meets the need of its target audience.
Here is its ranking.
If you look above it, you’ll notice that the other video is also very long.
So remember, content length isn’t something that you should obsess over on this social network.
The same goes for the production value of a video.
YouTube Views Don’t Depend on Video Production
More and more marketing companies are investing in YouTube, which means that there are many highly produced videos out there, but you don’t necessarily have to join that pack just yet.
YouTube is a forgiving media site if your content is good.
When your videos start to get some traction, then think about investing in fancy production and camera equipment to help you get more YouTube views.
To begin with, just make sure that you cover the basics with this social media platform.
If you’re creating a ‘talking head’ video – make sure that everything is well lit and that the audio is clear.
If you’re creating a screen capture video, ensure that the resolution is high and the audio is easy to hear.
If you’re creating a slideshow, create something simple and visually engaging. Use strong images and minimal text on your slides. You can use a tool, like Haiku Deck, for this. A custom thumbnail also helps people remember your brand.
For More YouTube Views, Focus on Value Above All Else
Remember – providing value should be your guiding principle.
If you want to learn how to provide value, you have to learn more about your audience – and, more specifically, what they like.
If you want to learn what content your audience likes, then take a look at the existing content that belongs to your niche.
There are two approaches you can take.
The first is to take a look at blog posts that have done well in your niche.Then, create incredibly informative videos, based on those blog post topics.
You can find such blog posts, using Buzzsumo.
Or, you can just take a look at other YouTube videos that have done well in your niche and create better videos that provide more value and deeper levels of insight.
If you’re an expert in your niche, then it shouldn’t be hard to create better videos, when using other videos as inspiration.
If you find yourself struggling, however, just take a moment to assess what could have been done to improve the other video.
- Did it ignore something that was actually important?
- Did the video fail to fully explain certain sections?
- Did the video fail to provide actual results/case study information?
- Was the pace too slow –or was it too fast?
- Was there too much information on the screen – or not enough?
- Could diagrams have been used to better illustrate a point?
- Maybe some data could have been used?
You may even want to review the comments about that video. See if there’s anything that the audience felt was missing.
You can also use the YouTube Search engine to help you come up with content ideas.
Say I’m in the business of teaching people ‘how to build a pond,’ or building it for them and I’m looking to do some content marketing.
I can just type ‘how to build a pond,’ into the ‘YouTube Search box.’ Then. I’m presented with content ideas.
Not all of the ideas are relevant, so I might select the first option and see what else comes up as a result of ‘Autosuggest.’
If I go with the option of ‘how to build a pond in your backyard,’ I’m presented with some helpful ideas.
I can then repeat that process, using other keywords, if I want to come up with even more video ideas.
It might also be a good idea to cycle through the alphabet, after having chosen a ‘base’ keyword.
So, this time, I type in ‘how to build a pond a’
And, as you can see, there are plenty of video ideas here that look relevant. I can use those to create super niche video content that will resonate with a certain demographic in the social media platform.
If you have an existing audience on YouTube, consider asking your audience what they’d like you to cover next.
More often than not, your audience will provide you with ideas that you can use.
The great thing about these video ideas is that by acting on them, you can be sure that there will be an audience for them.
If you have done a good job with creating great content that meets people’s needs, you’ll find that organic views will be easier to come by.
Remember, YouTube is a media site that wants to improve the user experience.
The best way that they can do that is by presenting their audience with content that is great.
If your content is great, it will achieve an increased number of comments, shares and positive ratings.
Following all of that, there’s a good chance it will rank higher in search results. There’s no official word on this, but it’s definitely part of the mix.
After all, as mentioned by Brian Dean, YouTube doesn’t have to rely entirely on Backlinks to rank videos in the YouTube Search engine – they also have a ton of detailed user experience data to help them.
This user experience data is arguably much more powerful in letting YouTube know where it should be ranking content.
So, if your videos produce a great user experience, there’s a good chance that they will perform better in the rankings, too.
Optimize Your YouTube Video to Get More YouTube Views
Optimizing your video can help make it so that your video appears when it should and where it should. This includes the search listings and the ‘related video’ suggestions.
If you want to optimize your video, there are four things that you must take care of.
It’s easy to over-complicate this and over analyze everything. Try to keep it simple.
Write Better YouTube Titles
For the title, it’s important that you don’t try and make it like ‘clickbait.’
If you’ve created your video around a keyword, make sure that your title clearly explains that your video covers the keyword in question.
So, if I created a video, based on the keyword ‘how to bake a chocolate cake for beginners,’ my title might be…
How to Bake a Chocolate Cake for Beginners – Spent $5 and 5 Minutes cleanup
Note: If you want to write great titles, you might want to work out what it is that your audience doesn’t like or fears, in relation to the topic in question.
In the example above, people might worry that it costs a lot to bake a cake and that cleaning up is a pain. If I address that in the title, the video then becomes that much more enticing.
Use YouTube Tags
For the tags, provide some keywords that relate to the topic of your video.
Try not to use more than 10-12 tags with this media site. You’ll lose your target audience and dilute search results data.
Picking the right tags will help your video appear in the ‘suggested videos’ section when someone is watching a related video.
Now, let’s take a look at the description.
Create an Accurate, Optimized YouTube Description
When writing the description, it’s important that you don’t try to ‘outsmart’ Google. Don’t keyword stuff and don’t rely on any ‘tricks,’ that you might come across.
You could end up over-optimizing your video, which can have the opposite effect.
Your aim with the description is to clearly describe what the video is about and what people will learn as a result of watching it.
If you look at the top results returned for a YouTube video search, you’ll notice that there will be a wide variation, in terms of what the descriptions look like.
That’s because, as mentioned above, user experience also plays a big role in ranking the video. So, while your description is important, don’t get too stressed out about getting it ‘right.’
That being said, if you absolutely need a checklist for writing your descriptions, here’s one that you can use, courtesy of Brian Dean.
Here’s what an example description looks like.
But, as I said, the top-ranking videos all tend to have varying styles that they use for their description. You don’t necessarily have to follow what is above.
Just provide the story behind your video, what it covers, and what people will learn as a result of watching.
Note: If you want to do something that will improve user experience, consider providing ‘timestamps’ in your description, so that people can quickly get to interesting sections of a video.
YouTube Thumbnail Optimization
For the thumbnail, there are a number of approaches that you can take. I’ve covered how you can create engaging YouTube thumbnails in this post. A custom thumbnail becomes part of your media platform branding.
For the most part, you can experiment with the following.
- Use images of people in your custom thumbnail
- Edit your thumbnail to include text overlay, using a keyword, based on the topic your video covers
- Include an image that reveals an interesting section of the video – for example, the end result of a ‘how-to video.’
You will tend to find that you’re able to generate the best results when you combine some of the above.
Here’s an example of how you can use an interesting image and relevant text overlay.
As you can see, the custom thumbnail isn’t overly dramatic. It includes some text, related to the video keyword and an image of an interesting section of the video.
Here’s an example of using the image of a person, with text overlay and even possibly the ‘end result’ that is to be achieved, too.
You’ll want to experiment here, of course. But, those two examples and the tips provided should be enough to let you know what tends to work well.
Experiment With Ads to Drive YouTube Views
Ads might sound like a little bit of a cop-out here. I get it; you might not want to pay to play the YouTube view game.
Running YouTube Ads is definitely one of the best ways to generate the right kind of views for your videos.
YouTube Ads lets you target your ideal audience and make sure they find out about your video.
It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the whole process on this social media platform.
Running ads allows you to get some real-time feedback, in terms of how good your video is, speeding the process of working out whether or not you have an engaging video on your hands.
If you find that people are watching your video to the end and sharing it a lot, then you know you’re on the right track, in terms of the strategy that you’re using to actually create videos.
So, where to begin?
Note: I’ve covered in detail here, how you can create YouTube Ads.
When it comes to YouTube, there are essentially two kinds of ads that you can run.
- Ads that appear before, or while people are watching YouTube videos – ’Instream Ads.’
- Ads that appear in the YouTube Search listings – Search listing Ads.
I recommend that you experiment with both.
Using YouTube Search, find videos in your niche that are related to your specific video topic and jot down their URLs.
Then, target those videos, using the placements option.
So, let’s say that I was starting a business that taught people ‘how to bake’ and I’ve just created a video, based on ‘how to bake a cake.’
I head over to YouTube and type in ‘how to bake a cake.’
I then note down the URLs of these videos, in a Google doc.
I then enter in these URLs, when setting up the targeting for my ads.
Of course, not all of the videos list have ‘monetization’ enabled, meaning that you won’t be able to show ads on all of them.
But, if you start with a list of 10-15 videos, you should have good delivery to your target audience.
If you want to target within the YouTube Search listings, then you obviously need some keywords to target.
To find relevant keywords, use the YouTube search box.
Enter in a keyword that explains what your video covers. Then, write down other relevant keywords that are provided by ‘autosuggest.’
As you can see below, if I enter ‘how to bake a cake,’ I’m presented with relevant keywords worth targeting.
I’ve highlighted some that are potentially worth my while.
Note: The assumption here is that I’m teaching people how to bake a simple cake. That is why I’ve chosen those somewhat basic keywords.
If I want even more relevant keywords to target, I just select one of the ideal keywords and then press the ‘spacebar.’
And, I’m presented with even more keywords to target.
As I mentioned above, you can also cycle through the alphabet to find other relevant keywords.
Then, I just need to note these keywords in a Google Doc and input them, when setting up my ad targeting.
Promote Your YouTube Video Everywhere
Just because you’ve created a YouTube video doesn’t mean that you can now only promote on YouTube.
Post links for your YouTube content to all of your other digital assets, including your email list or your Facebook page, and other social media sites.
If you know of some influencers who might find your video useful, you may even want to let them know, via email, that you’ve created something that they might enjoy.
Consider posting a link or snippet in your Instagram stories.
Don’t be afraid to let the world know that you’ve got something new to offer.
Increase YouTube Views By Building a Subscriber Base
You’ll also want to focus on building a subscriber base for getting more YouTube views on future content.
If you can get subscribers, your videos will automatically get a good chunk of views, as soon as you post them. If these views represent a good user experience, your video might also do a better job at ranking, too.
Here, I’ve covered how you can get more YouTube subscribers.
Aside from creating good content, there are some key steps that you can take, to get more subscribers.
Mention, at the beginning and end of your video, that subscribing helps get the video out to more people in your social network.
By actually saying it, people may be more inclined to take action.
You can also make an effort to create content consistently.
Creating more videos will ensure there are more ways for your content to be found. This, of course, can help improve your subscriber count.
It also gives people a reason to become subscribers, as they’ll want to know when you publish new content.
Note: If you can create ‘Evergreen content,’ then the content you create will pay dividends for a long time, as it will still be relevant for people in the future.
This means that the video will drive subscribes, long after its creation.
For many, getting more YouTube views sounds complex and obscure.
Hopefully, you now have a better sense of how to get more viewers to your videos.
There are many avenues that you can go down. The most important step is to create good quality content about topics important to your viewers.
If you can take care of that, everything else you do to get more Youtube views will be much more effective.
Do you have any tips when it comes to generating more YouTube views? Share what works for you in the comments section.