The popularity of YouTube has become truly astonishing, and with more than 1.9 billion active monthly users, it has quickly become the second most popular site on the entire Internet. That makes it fertile ground for digital marketing personnel, simply because of the availability of so many potential buyers all in one place.
The trick of course, is making good use of the platform in order to promote your brand and achieve your marketing objectives. There are a number of possibilities for paid advertising which can go a long way toward promoting your channel, but there are far more options than the ones you have to pay for. Some of the methods described below have proven extremely effective for optimizing YouTube content and promoting your channel, and better yet, each one of these tricks and methods is 100% free.
Optimize your titles
When any user finds your content on YouTube, the first thing they’ll see is its title, so you need to make it concise and descriptive so that it quickly gets attention. The best YouTube titles are those which are short and sweet, consisting of 60 characters or less, so as to avoid having any part of the title truncated during display. Make sure to include your most important keyword in the first part of the title, so that no valuable information is lost. It has been proven often that the average reader will only pay attention the first part of the title and skip the rest.
The most effective titles you can create are those which provide an obvious benefit to the user, or which evoke an emotional reaction. If you are having difficulty creating a good title, you can make use of YouTube’s autocomplete feature, so as to identify the most popular keywords being used on the platform. Start by typing in a popular topic, and let YouTube autofill in some suggestions.
Choose keywords that are Google-friendly
If you really want to set up a great YouTube channel, you have to make good use of SEO, and that means you need to have an understanding of what users are looking for. Searchers don’t look for videos right from within YouTube all the time – it happens quite often that users will search for videos from Google. For that reason, YouTube ended up being the second most popular search keyword used on Google for all of 2018. This is one reason why Google prioritizes video over any other type of content for searches.
In order to find the most Google-friendly keywords that you can use for your videos, there are a few things you can do. First, you can use Google Ads Keyword Planner to identify potential keywords, and then google some of those options. You can also scan the Search Engine Results Page to find keywords, noting whether the top results consist of written content or videos. Then you can alter your keyword and try searching again adding words such as ‘Tutorial’ or ‘How-to’ if you don’t immediately get results which are video content. You should always choose a keyword which prioritizes your video, and is appropriate for the content you’ve written.
Use custom thumbnails
You’d be surprised how effective the usage of thumbnails can be, and if the truth is known, they’re probably even more effective than titles are. A big reason for this is that people’s brains are hard-wired to react to visual images before text. YouTube automatically produces thumbnails for all videos, even if those thumbnails are somewhat blurry. In order to boost viewership, it’s to your advantage to create a custom thumbnail which has instant appeal for any of your video posts.
When you do create your custom thumbnails, they should ideally have a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, and they should be a file type of either .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .PNG. Make sure not to exceed the 2 MB size limit, and use only high-contrast images, while also selecting colors and fonts which encourage more clicks. A close-up image is the best type to use, and when in doubt, use stock photos to be sure you’re not infringing on copyrights. Your thumbnail should also be consistent with any other branding which you’ve posted on the Internet.
Optimize your descriptions
YouTube provides a really good tutorial on the best ways to compose video descriptions which will have an impact and engage users. Some of the most important points included in this tutorial include the fact that you should front-load your keywords in the title and in your description, staying within a 5,000 character limit. You should also add links to appropriate playlists and include a few relevant hashtags, making sure that you adhere to YouTube’s hashtag rules. Finally, you should create a Contents Page which assists users in finding exactly what they’re searching for.
Fill out your profile completely
Some YouTubers make the mistake of diving straight into content creation, and don’t bother to fill out the Profile section of their account. However, a really compelling profile is one of the best ways to promote your YouTube channel and to enhance your SEO. There are a number of best practices which you can adopt when you are filling out your YouTube profile, starting with adhering to a consistent writing style, layout, and color palette which matches your other social media channels, as well as your website.
This will help with identifying your brand more easily and connecting this channel with all your other channels. When you’re creating your YouTube channel description, you should include keywords without over-stuffing them, because the platform will penalize you for excessive use of keywords. It’s also a good idea if you post your new content according to a set schedule, and make users aware of that set schedule. This should leave your users always looking for more content from you, and it will also help with providing a measure of consistency and reliability that users appreciate.
Another good idea when filling out your Profile is to make sure that you’ve included contact information, because you never know who might be trying to reach you. By making it easy for users to contact you, you can at the very least, establish some great networking, and you may even end up with some additional partnerships from like-minded individuals or businesses on the platform.