How to Promote Your YouTube Videos for Maximum Reach & Impact

Posted on March 19, 2015 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing Strategy
, General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Video Marketing, Youtube

As it stands now, YouTube has over 1 billion users.

  • Everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube
  • Every year, the number of hours people spend on the website increases by 50%
  • Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube
  • The video-sharing website is available in 61 different languages and localized in 75 countries

With stats like these, it makes sense why many businesses and marketers are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon in an attempt to harness some of the benefits of having a presence on a platform, which is as much a community site as a search engine. And while each channel on YouTube has its own approach to publishing, some of the most important actions when uploading a video on the website can be grouped into a simple checklist.


After all, making a video and uploading it to YouTube is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in optimizing the content and engaging with the community to make sure your video reaches the widest audience possible.

The checklist to upload a video on YouTube and successfully promote it is as follows:

1. Upload

This includes proper formatting, writing the metadata and creating an eye-catching and more importantly, a high-resolution thumbnail.

2. Publish

Any video you upload on YouTube should be properly annotated with a subscribe button, community CTAs and/or links to related content. Consider adding the video to a relevant playlist.

3. Engage & Outreach

To increase the reach and impact of your content, post it on Google+. You can also reach out to relevant blogs and/or online communities or you can engage with people in the comments section of social media sites and other online spaces.

Optimizing and Promoting a Video for Maximum Reach & Impact

So you created a video that’s creative, insightful and spot-on in terms of what your YouTube audience wants. Now what? The inclination is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the view count rise. If you do that, you will end up sorely disappointed because creating a great video is only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content. To really get your video out there, you need to optimize it. To that end:

1. Watch Your Metadata

Are you aware of the fact that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine? To help people find your content on it, you need to properly optimize your metadata namely your titles, tags and descriptions. In your title, include relevant keywords and be descriptive but concise. Next up, a video’s description field is valuable real estate. Accurately describe your video and use relevant keywords. And finally, tags play an important role in YouTube’s discovery system so include a mix of video-specific and more general tags.

2. Create a Custom Thumbnail for Your Video

Thumbnails are nothing short of miniature marketing posters for the videos you post on YouTube. So make sure you’ve got a strong, vibrant and custom image that looks good in different sizes and formats. Generally, it makes sense to take shots when shooting the video itself. These make great thumbnails.

3. Think Annotations

By definition, annotations on YouTube are clickable text overlays on videos uploaded to the platform. When used right, they can aid navigation, boost engagement and give more information to viewers. Common users of annotations include asking viewers to like or share a video, making it and making areas of your content either clickable or interactive. The key is to add relevant and helpful annotations and to avoid obstructing the actual content or bombarding the viewer.

4. Channel Optimization

And finally, on a platform like YouTube, it pays to have a well-organized channel page and robust channel metadata. Channels appear on YouTube more often now than ever before. Create a cohesive and compelling channel experience so you are in a position where you can engage with current and potential subscribers across YouTube. In particular:

  • Pick a channel name that is short and memorable
  • Accurately describe our channel using relevant keywords
  • Pick an appropriate channel icon and be creative with your channel art
  • Use YouTube’s “Sections” function as an organizational tool for your videos and channels

5. Building a Community Around your Channel

YouTube is a social and interactive platform that provides a unique experience for creators and viewers alike. This provides you with a distinct window of opportunity to transform your fans into a loyal and more importantly engaged audience; a force you can harness as a social army to promote your content. To that end:

  • Interact with your audience and turn your fans into social advocates. An engaged community is the first step towards growing a dedicated audience, who will come back to your channel time and again
  • Consider working with other creators and cross-promote content between channels. Accessing new audiences on the video-sharing website starts with finding the channels where those audiences hang out
  • Leverage Google+. Google+ can extend the reach of your channel and considerably improve the discoverability of your content on YouTube
  • And finally, share your content with relevant blogs and other online communities. External site traffic can bring significant traffic to your YouTube channel

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