‘New kids on the block’, such as TikTok, currently have a huge impact on social media, but one video-sharing platform still rules everyone: YouTube. With over 2.6 billion visitors globally, it’s the second most accessed website on the internet. If you want to use the potential of the platform, you need to learn how to promote your channel.
Here are some of our favorite tricks to optimize your YouTube content to help new people find your channel. Each of these tips is simple, effective, and, even better – 100% free.
Table of Contents
Tactics That Work in Promoting Your YT Channel
Choose Keywords Tailored to Google
Great SEO is the foundation of a successful YouTube channel. And successful SEO begins with a grasp of what users want. People don’t simply use YouTube to find videos; they also use Google. In many searches, Google increasingly favors video over other material.
There’s no hard and fast rule for determining which keywords can help your YouTube video rank higher. However, in the long term, a little reverse engineering can be advantageous. For any video, here’s how to find a Google-tailored keyword:
- Use a tool like Google Ads’ Keyword Planner to find potential keywords.
- Look up one of your possibilities on Google.
- Examine each keyword’s search engine results page (SERP).
- Select a term that emphasizes the video and is relevant to your topic.
Use Concise Video Titles That Describe
When users come across your content, the title is the first thing they perceive. And if it’s not ’hit’, that may be the last thing users see. To write strong YouTube titles, you need some basic tips:
- Keep it brief. The most popular YouTube videos usually have the shortest titles. Stick to 60 characters or less, or a title may be cut off when displayed in SERP.
- Your keyword(s) should be incorporated in the first half of the title. Most online readers focus on the beginning of a sentence and skip the rest.
- Engagement isn’t a lure for clicks. The best headlines offer obvious benefits or create an emotional reaction. The lure of clicks is tempting, but it can damage your channel’s reputation in the long run.
Make Custom Thumbnails
Thumbnails are important, maybe even more than headlines. This is because our brain is ’equipped’ to notice visual effects first. According to one MIT research, we absorb them in less than 13 milliseconds. YouTube automatically produces thumbnails for all videos, but they can be blurry or out of focus. To increase the number of views, create a custom thumbnail for each video you publish.
We recommend these simple rules for best results:
- 1280 x 720 pixels is the suitable resolution (but any aspect ratio should work as long as it’s 16:9 and the width is, at least, 640 pixels)
- Image formats: preferably JPG, followed by PNG and GIF.
- Size: 2,000 KB (2 MB) or under.
- To increase clicks, use text and colors.
- If possible, choose a close-up shot.
- Maintain consistency with the rest of your branding.
Fill In Your Profile Information
Many YouTubers skip the profile section and go directly to content creation. But a striking profile is one of the easiest ways to promote your YouTube channel and improve SEO. Here are some pointers on how to make an excellent YouTube profile:
- Consistency is key. Use a similar color palette, writing style, and layout as on your website and other social channels.
- The description of your YouTube channel must be optimized. This is an excellent spot to insert keywords. The so-called overtagging is frowned upon on YouTube, but a few keywords can go a long way.
- Let the viewers come back for more. Make sure fans are aware of when and how often you publish new content.
- Include your email address or social media account. You never know who might contact you. Make their job easier and you could have great partnerships.
- Optimize Your Video Descriptions
- In advance, add your keywords to the description and title.
- Make sure to provide the most crucial info within the first 100 to 150 words, above the “show more“ button. Also, stick to the limit (5,000 characters).
- To help users find the information they’re looking for, make a “Content“ page with timestamps.
- Relevant playlists should have links added to them.
- Incorporate a few suitable hashtags in your post. Before you publish, make sure to read YouTube’s hashtag regulations.
Keywords could also be given within the video. However, just like with text, people’s attention spans are short. Use a few keywords in a brief introduction for the greatest results.
Don’t Forget the Metadata
YouTube’s metadata guidelines emphasize two things when it comes to using keywords:
- Be honest.
- Quality should always be chosen in place of quantity.
These rules also apply to functions such as tags and categories. Tags should only be used in the upload’s “Tags“ section, not in the video description. To assist YouTube figure out who to recommend your video to, add one or two categories.
Offer Genuine Usefulness
Great content is the best way to engage viewers and the most effective way to rank well in a YouTube search. This is because YouTube’s ranking system prioritizes the viewer experience.
Before you post any video, ask yourself:
- What problem does this video solve?
- Is it fun?
- Will it improve the lives of viewers in any way?
Communicate With Your Fans
Real engagement doesn’t end with creating content. The most successful YouTubers constantly monitor and communicate with their fans. Respond to viewers’ comments – even negative ones – and ’heart’ your favorites. Use analytics to identify your biggest fans and show them extra love. Your viewers (and your subscribers) will be grateful.
Communication with fans is best achieved through:
- questions and answers (Q&A)
- launching a giveaway
- community activity
- working with (real) influencers
- participating in YouTube trends and challenges
Comply with YouTube’s Community Guidelines
Because of the growing number of minors among users, removing offensive content is one of YouTube’s main goals at the moment.
Don’t post anything you don’t want your little brother or sister to see. Otherwise, your video will be flagged and removed from YouTube’s referral feature. The study shows that in 2021, tens of millions of YouTube videos were removed by auto-flagging alone. All the answers to your doubts are to be found in “Community Guidelines & Policies“.
Playlists are an excellent method to encourage visitors to watch more of your material all at once. This is because these collections are a bit addictive. As soon as one video is finished, the next one starts.
Playlists’ titles are a great place to: 1) add keywords; 2) help with discovery; 3) appear in “Suggested Videos“.
You can create effective playlists in two ways:
- On the channel page, group existing videos under a common theme. This keeps viewers on your channel, not your competition’s channel.
- Share video material from other influential people or partners who can help you. This signals to your viewers that you are ’familiar’ and encourages them to share your playlists.
In the long run, consistency is rewarded. Post videos on a regular schedule to keep viewers coming back to your channel over and over again – or even better, publish videos in multiple parts. Choose an eye-catching name for your series for the best results. Create a custom thumbnail to give each video in the series a similar look and feel.
Include a compelling call to action in your video to make the most of your hard-earned audience, make virtual reality videos – and, of course, go live!
Cross-Promotion of Your Channel
Reach out to audiences outside of YouTube to build a community around your channel. Find ways to embed videos in your blog, email newsletters, and other social media accounts. There are many creative ways to cross-promote a YouTube channel that don’t involve posting the same message twice:
- Social media
For different platforms, different social strategies work well. Tools like Hootsuite can help simplify this process, especially if you use a lot of social media accounts.
Repeat the recommended video specifications for each social platform. Then adjust the settings of your video correspondingly. Again, make sure that the overall look and feel of your brand are consistent everywhere. Also, make sure that each time you post, you use a different caption. GIFs are a fun way to use Twitter to promote YouTube content.
Embed videos in your blogs, along with searchable transcripts. Both video and website views will grow as a result of this.
Your blog can also be used to come up with new content ideas for your channel. Use Google Analytics to find out which posts drive the most traffic. Is there a way to make a video on this topic? Embed the end result in the post itself. This will add value to your blog while encouraging readers to watch your YouTube channel.
- Email marketing
Email may seem outdated, but it’s still useful. In 2020, the global email marketing market is estimated at $ 7.5 billion.
Build an email list of YouTube subscribers. Creating a subscriber email list, previously gathering the same, is done through VerticalResponse. Then alert them each time you post new content. This is an easy way to increase the number of views of your video at the beginning. This in turn will trigger YouTube’s referral algorithm.
You can also take advantage of your email signature. A simple link to your YouTube channel below your name is a way to win over subscribers without pressuring them. We recommend using a simple icon instead of a long, nasty-looking URL.
Make evergreen video records – and, yes, promote your channel, not just your videos!
Learn What Works (And Do More Than That)
YouTube analytics is powerful. Use them wisely! Dive into your data to understand your audience at a deeper level: their age, languages they speak, video styles they prefer, etc. Exploit this data to produce material that reflects their true passions.
Rob Kenney’s “Dad, How Do I?“ video posts, for example, have recently gone viral. The new successful Youtuber found his calling – more precisely, his niche: giving dad’s non-judgmental guidance to individuals in need of starting a car, using a camping stove, installing a ceiling fan, and other classic daddy activities.
Publish Teasers on Your TikTok
TikTok is conquering the world, but a maximum of 3 minutes of video-sharing apps can’t be compared to YouTube’s limit: 15 minutes for non-verified users and up to 12 hours for verified followers.
You can use TikTok to promote your YouTube by posting a teaser video or by posting the first three minutes (or 15 seconds, or 60 seconds) of the video and enticing your visitors to watch the rest of your videos on the channel you promote. Keep in mind that your TikTok bio includes a link to the channel of yours on YouTube.
Verify Yourself on YouTube
If you have 100,000 or more subscribers, you can sign up to be verified on YouTube. You don’t have to be verified to be successful on YouTube, but that extra credibility stamp will only help your channel grow.
Also, use a YouTube community post to promote your videos. To get a “YouTube Card“ on your channel, you also need a certain number of subscribers, but unlike the 100,000 needed for verification, only 1,000 subscribers are needed to access the community Card. You’re familiar with Facebook’s or Twitter’s timeline. Your “YouTube Card“ has a similar one where you may publish polls, video announcements, and other material for your followers.