YouTube is a force to be reckoned with. With more than a billion users watching more than a billion hours of video every day, it cannot be ignored. Any digital marketing strategy that ignores video, YouTube in particular, is at a distinct disadvantage. Growing a viable YouTube channel is not easy, however, and will take some effort. You need to work smart.
We will run through ten tactics you can use to grow your YouTube channel to make the process faster and more effective.
First, let’s take a look at why it is so important.
Volume and potential audience
First and foremost, YouTube is the second most visited site on the internet. If you are not there effectively, you are missing out on a massive opportunity to get your message across. Clearly, there is lots of competition but the first step is to ensure you are there and start building from there. With around 400 hours of video uploaded to the platform every minute, you will have your work cut out for you.
A quick scroll through most social media platforms will quickly illustrate that video is the most popular. It is the preferred way people view content. Studies show that video will account for more than 80% of all traffic on the internet as soon as 2021.
Some people simply prefer to learn, evaluate or consume information via video so you need to cater to the needs of your target market.
Boost your SEO
Your website is still the foundation of your online presence and a strong YouTube channel can help boost your search engine rankings or SEO. Google owns YouTube so it stands to reason that the two will complement each other. Having quality videos on YouTube will help with the all-important challenge of getting your website higher up the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Given that Google accounts for more than 90% of all online searches, leveraging the power of YouTube is a critical aspect of good SEO.
Other ways in which a good YouTube channel can boost your SEO include:
- Video suggestions: Well optimized, entertaining, popular and relevant videos will be ranks as suggested videos.
- Backlink building: One of the main aspects of SEO is creating good backlinks. Quality videos that gain popularity on YouTube will help you attain these important backlinks.
- Reduce bounce rate: Good video content will people watching lower which will reduce your bounce rate and improve your website.
Improve Social Media Marketing
This is another important aspect of online marketing and social media loves video. Having great videos on YouTube will give your social media efforts a major boost which is great for getting your message across, increasing brand awareness and boosting your SEO even further.
Just one example of the power of video on social media is the fact that Facebook alone has in excess of eight billion videos views every day. Yes, 8 billion. Video is far and away the most frequently shared format on social media. It also attracts the most likes and comments, something you need if you want to get good reach from your content.
YouTube is an international phenomenon and is available in 88 countries and 76 languages. If you want international exposure, YouTube is a good option.
Low cost and Good ROI
Traditional TV advertising is obviously extremely expensive. Production costs for YouTube videos can be very low. It is better to do a professional job with the right equipment but you do not have to spend a fortune. There are many ways to do quality videos on a budget. Many of the most popular YouTube videos were shot on nothing more than a decent cellphone.
There are no costs to post videos or create a channel but you might want to spend some money optimizing and promoting the content. Either way, it is a low investment with an exceptional ROI.
Growing mobile use
Video works extremely well on mobile. Currently, more than half of all searches are made on mobile devices and this percentage growing all the time. In order to remain relevant to this sector of the market, video is essential.
Now let's run through the 10 ways in which you can grow your YouTube channel.
Create videos focused on one topic or keyword
Keywords are just as important in YouTube videos as are they are in any other form of web content. Don’t water the opportunity down by trying to appeal to a broad audience. Rather focus and hone in on a single keyword, topic and message. That will give you a better chance of being found and noticed. It will make the video more cohesive and powerful.
KeywordTool.io is a keyword tool specifically for YouTube and can assist your keyword selection. There are a number of other good tools you can use to guide and help you.
Start with the keyword and build from there. This will help give your video direction guide you. Again, as with other content, the keyword needs to be incorporated naturally. Optimize the description and title as you would with a blog or other content.
Other useful tools include TubeBuddy and VidIQ.
Make the video engaging
This is a key point with any content you wish to optimize. There is so much competition online, particularly on YouTube that if you do not engage your audience they are unlikely to watch it and they will not be inclined to like or share it.
YouTube is a social media platform so by its very nature and definition it is social. You want to harness the social aspect of the platform in order to create dialogue, comments, shares, likes, and opinions. This will give your video much greater reach and impact. Encourage comments and respond as much as possible to keep the momentum.
Never simply post a video and leave it, you have to keep working it.
Use other platforms to promote YouTube content
There are many social media platforms and they create a perfect environment to leverage off each other. Depending on the content, you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others to promote and boost your YouTube content and channel. You obviously also want to drive traffic from your blogs and website. It works both ways so is a win-win.
Make sure your website has a YouTube button to drive people from the site to your YouTube content or channel. Use widgets on your site to encourage people to share your YouTube videos.
Ask people to subscribe
One of the golden rules of sales is to ask for the business. The same rule applies to growing your YouTube channel. There is nothing wrong with prompting and even pushing people gently to subscribe to your channels. That will dramatically improve the credibility, power, and reach of your YouTube content. Obviously, you cannot do this without good content. New visitors to the channel will be impressed by the subscribers and want to see what they are missing out on, prompting them to subscribe and watch your videos.
There is no shame in reminding people or asking for a subscription. Make it enticing and deliver on the promise of more great content to follow.
Use consistent and professional branding
If you want to get a clear message across to your target audience it is essential you create a strong brand and use it effectively. It is imperative that it remains consistent. It has to be attractive and appealing so if you do not have the skills, get professional help to help you create your brand identity.
Once established, use it consistently without deviating from the original concept. You need to differentiate yourself from the competitors.
Breathe new life into existing content
If you have great content that you have used in the past, there is nothing wrong with updating it or sprucing it up to get additional mileage out of it. Do not overdo this but if it is content that adds value you can get some great extra reach without too much effort from reformatting videos you have had good success with in the past.
Ensure your thumbnails are great
An excellent video will probably attract little attention if it has a poor thumbnail. Take the time and effort to ensure the thumbnail is clear and captivating so that it stands out from the competition. People do not have much patience online and will click on the thumbnail that looks the most appealing. Get professional help if necessary, it is not expensive.
The title also needs to draw the interest of the viewer so pay attention to these details.
Social media is not a static environment and content is often ephemeral. If people do not see it close to the time it is published, chances are they will not see it unless you have done great SEO and promoting. If you want to grow your YouTube channel you need to be as active as possible. One upload every few months will never work. You need to constantly add new and engaging content.
As previously discussed, these do not need to be expensive productions. Sure, the quality is important but the content is what it is all about. Fresh, informative and engaging content will keep subscribers coming back and attract new viewers.
Consistency is also important. Try to post frequently but at the same time every week or day if possible. Use current videos to build anticipation and demand for the forthcoming videos so that people want to subscribe and wait eagerly for it. Many successful channels get angry comments when they are even a few hours late. That is a sign of a good following with great desire and anticipation. Post updates of about release dates for new videos.
Do not fear the “related channels” feature
Many YouTubers turn this feature off for fear of losing traffic to other channels but it works both ways. If you turn it off, others watching related channels will not see yours. Provided you have done your job right, be confident in your content and trust in the recommendations you will receive.
Outsource if necessary
You do not have to do everything yourself. You are busy running a business and might not have the time, experience or expertize to create regular quality YouTube content. There are many freelancers or small companies that can help you without charging a fortune. Accept what you can and cannot do in-house and outsource where necessary.
The power and importance of video is growing steadily and unlikely to change anytime soon. YouTube is the biggest and best platform to launch your video content and building a strong YouTube channel is extremely important. This applies to business large and small. It is a cost-effective and powerful way to engage with your target market, reach new people, promote your business and grow your brand. It has to be an integral part of your online marketing strategy.
Spend some time in developing a plan to enhance and grow your YouTube channel.