16 ways to promote your YouTube channel for more views
16 Proven tips to promote your YouTube Channel
1. Write engaging, must-see titles
YouTube marketing is all about presentation.
Titles are make-or-break when it comes to your video’s performance. Ask yourself: are you presenting your content as “must-see” or “meh?”
The key to crafting killer titles is grabbing your audience’s attention without resorting to clickbait headlines. People crave content that’s entertaining, and they likewise want to know what your video is about from the word “go.”
For example, you can take a page out of the playbooks of YouTube giants like BuzzFeed and WhatCulture. Such videos often rely on listicles, question-based titles or hyperbole (“insane,” “…of all time”) to rack up the views.
Athlean X’s fitness-based videos are another good example. The channel’s content manages to sneak in relevant keywords in its titles while also coming across as conversational.
“Best-of” lists and “how-to” titles are always a safe bet, too. Here are some click-worthy titles from Disney Food Blog:
The takeaway here is that you should definitely spend time mulling over engaging titles rather than sticking with the first idea that pops into your head.
In terms of specifics, an oft-cited study from Tubular Insights notes that YouTube video titles should stick between 41 and 70 characters. Meanwhile, tools such as CoSchedule’s headline analyzer recommends 55 characters for an engaging headline. CoSchedule’s tool isn’t specifically meant for video titles but is awesome for brainstorming YouTube-friendly titles to help promote your YouTube channel.
2. Optimize your videos for visibility
Here’s some food for thought: YouTube videos show up in 70% of the top 100 Google search results.
Heck, see for yourself. Any given product or “how-to” query on Google will return something from YouTube.
In fact, YouTube results sometimes even pop up before traditional blog posts or websites.
Listen: YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world in and of itself. Just like people search for products and need problems solved via Google, the same rings true on YouTube.
Think of your YouTube videos like any other piece of content that needs to be optimized in terms of keywords, tags and so on.
In order to increase your chances of showing up, you’ll want to follow some of the best practices for YouTube SEO:
Titles and description: Include target keywords in your titles and descriptions. You can use a tool like Keywordtool.io to help you find keyword ideas.
Mention keywords in your video: According to Brian Dean of Backlinko, saying your target keywords in your video can help YouTube better understand what your video is about.
Engagement: YouTube uses engagement (likes, comments, views) to help determine where videos rank in its search results.
Categories: Use categories to help YouTube get a better understanding of who to show your videos to.
Tags: In addition to categories, you can also add tags to your videos to give YouTube more context about your content. You can use quite a few tags, so add as many as you can think of.
Just like with SEO for your website, don’t keyword stuff. Use keywords when it makes sense, not just for the sake of having them.
3. Figure out what your audience wants
With any type of content you produce, you want to make sure it’s aligned with what your audience wants. Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating a video, start by getting to know your audience and what type of content they want to see from you.
If you’re just starting to promote your YouTube channel, take a look at your competitors or other video creators in your industry. Look at which of their videos get the most views and engagement. This will give you an idea of what topics your audience wants to learn about and what style of videos they prefer.
Another solution is to look at your YouTube Analytics if you’ve already uploaded videos. YouTube gives you detailed information on audience demographics, location, engagement and other helpful stats. You can also take your strategy a step further with YouTube reporting in Sprout Social and see how your content stacks up to other social video you’ve produced.
4. Engage with the YouTube community
Although you might not think of YouTube as a social network per se, the platform does represent a thriving community where users are engaging via content via profiles, “likes” and comments.
Sounds pretty “social” if you ask us.
As noted earlier, any sort of interaction with your viewers is seen as a positive signal to YouTube. If nothing else, engaging with your subscribers can help you foster a stronger connection with your audience. “Liking” comments only takes a few seconds, as does pinning a top comment as a sort of personal note to your subscribers.
For example, music channel Artzie Musik regularly “likes” and responds to comments on its recent uploads. The channel’s creator regularly goes back-and-forth with subscribers to show appreciation and answer questions, too.
Just as you’d respond to comments and engage with your followers on any other social network, YouTube is no different.
5. Customize your thumbnails
One of the simplest yet effective tactics to promote your YouTube channel is creating custom thumbnails.
Think of your title and thumbnail as a sort of one-two punch to grab a viewer’s attention.
By default, YouTube snags a screenshot from any given video and uses it for the thumbnail. Unfortunately, sometimes the image it grabs will be a blurry shot of you adjusting the camera or a transition.