The Fundamentals of Promoting Your Content on YouTube
In a world of short attention spans, YouTube presents opportunities for brands and businesses to develop content strategies that will resonate with 21st-century consumers. The trick is that as more and more ads become content that people watch on YouTube, the noise level for individual users increases. Content is being uploaded and shared through YouTube at record rates.
To really stand out from the crowd, your channel and videos must be remarkable, interesting and add value. In particular, your channel is like a storefront – give it the right look to show off your style and brand it like a pro.
How to Promote your Content on YouTube
1. Schedule your Content
How to decide which video to publish on YouTube and when? That’s the question, isn’t it? And yet, the answer is ridiculously simple. The first thing you need to do is define what your channel stands for. The idea is that each video you release should fit into the larger vision you have for your channel.
Once that’s established, you can then plan the different types of videos to publish and the best times to publish them for maximum reach and impact.
In general, your YouTube content marketing strategy will revolve around three main types of content: help, hub and hero. The best practices for the different types of content include:
– Help content
Help content, which includes things like tutorials, is your channel’s quintessential videos that answer high-volume search queries pertaining to your industry and/or area of expertise. Avoid hard sell tactics and answer the queries as clearly and simply as possible. You can, however, extend an invitation for viewers to subscribe to your channel later in the videos.
– Hub content
Hub content, on the other hand, refers to episodic and scheduled content that gives viewers a reason to keep coming back for more at regular intervals of time. To build a loyal audience, use a strong and distinct editorial voice. Ideally, you want a single, recognizable personality to appear across all your videos. This maintains a visual language that’s consistent.
– Hero content
And finally, hero content, which includes things like streaming of a live event or cross-promotion with another fellow YouTube influencer is also important to promote your channel and content. To successfully promote your hero content, release teaser videos ahead of the event. You can also contact relevant blogs to create buzz around your video, ask your audience to participate in the event and/or talk about it on social media.
2. Optimize your Content
Creating high quality and interesting content is essential to finding success on YouTube but it’s only half the battle. You also need to make sure the content gets discovered by using metadata, collaborations, captions and promotions.
YouTube uses metadata to index your video correctly. This includes your video’s title, tags and description. To maximize your visibility in search, make sure that your metadata elements are optimized. The description, for example, should accurately and concisely describe your video. It should also drive viewers to subscribe and link to your channel page and/or other episodes. Titles, on the other hand, should be compelling to grab views and include keywords.
Thumbnails show up in different sizes and formats across YouTube and the web. Therefore you need an image that grabs eyeballs no matter what size it is. The image should also be a high-resolution one. Use visual cues consistently with your brand that accurately represent the content of the video.
With annotations, you can layer text, links and hotspots over your YouTube video to enrich the video experience and add opportunities for interactivity and engagement. Just make sure you don’t obstruct the actual content and bombard the viewer. YouTube also lets you choose from 5 different types of annotations: speech bubble, spotlight, note, title and label. To help aim you in the right direction, measure the effects of your annotations in YouTube Analytics to see how your audience is responding to them.
And finally, Playlists allows you to group a set of videos that you want viewers to enjoy in a particular order. This increases watch time and creates an asset that will appear in search results and in Suggested Videos.
3. Cross-promote your Videos and Engage your Audience
To cross-promote your YouTube videos, you can:
- Promote your content and channel on blogs, forums, newsletters and the other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+
- Create YouTube badges for your website and link to your YouTube channel
- Allow embedding to make it easy for people to share your content
To engage your audience:
- Speak directly to your YouTube community and ask viewers to subscribe
- Encourage viewers to Like your videos in the description
- Enable Comments
- Use YouTube’s Playlists feature to collect and organize your content by theme. This makes it easier for users to find your videos
- Respond to frequent commenters
- Respond to comments in the first few hours after posting a video
- Engage your audience by spurring conversations, asking questions or soliciting opinions to make people feel important and intelligent