YouTube is one of the biggest social networks – in fact, it’s even surpassed Facebook in Alexa’s list of the world’s biggest websites. And in this age of visual marketing, YouTube is also one of the best platforms for promoting yourself, your business, or your blog.
In this blog post, I’m going to share 5 useful YouTube tips to help you grow your channel.
Let’s get started!
1. Create awesome visuals for your channel and videos
Just like with any social networks, your accounts’ presentation is extremely important. You want your channel to look great and your videos to have thumbnails that make people want to click on your videos.
You need two types of YouTube channel art:
- A YouTube banner for your channel, like Trip Advisor’s below:
- And custom thumbnails for all the videos you publish:
And luckily, you can use Venngage for both.
For your channel banner, head over to Banners and click on YouTube to see your banner template options:
Then, simply customize the template to your liking to reflect your channel’s topics: upload your own images, add text, change the background and so on – there are literally a plethora of options.
To create custom video thumbnails – aka those video previews you get in YouTube search results – start with a blank canvas. To set the right dimensions, click on Settings and enter the following: 1280 x 720 pixels.
Then, add an image from your video – or something related to your video – add text to make it clear what the video is about, and make any other customizations you want. You can then save your thumbnail as a template so you can re-use for any new video you post on YouTube.
2. Create a posting schedule
How often do you post new videos on your channel?
Do you have a set schedule that you follow or do you just post when you have the time?
Ideally, if you want to grow your channel, it’s very important to keep a schedule and post new videos on set days and at set times.
For one, more videos means you’ll reach more people and generate more engagement – all of which also helps with your YouTube search engine ranking. And two, if people know when they’re getting new videos from you, they’re more likely to come back – especially as not everyone is going to subscribe to your channel, even if they do watch your videos frequently enough.
Take the time to put together a YouTube plan, together with a posting schedule – not just the days you’re posting, but also the times.
This will also help you make sure you’ve got your videos ready in time and that you’ll be able to properly research your topics and keywords for each video.
Keep in mind that the more frequently you post, the more views and subscribers you’re likely to get; in fact, Social Media Examiner recommend you post to YouTube at least 3 times a week. That might be a bit grueling for most, but it’s not set in stone. Take on as much as you can handle, but make sure you’re respecting your publishing calendar.
3. Create a series of videos to get people to keep coming back for more
One of the factors that count towards your YouTube search engine ranking is your watch time.
So, the question is…how do you get people to spend more time watching your videos?
One of the best ways that you can do this is by creating a series of videos on specific topics.
For example, Gary Vaynerchuck has several series on his channel, like his DailyVee show where he documents his life as an entrepreneur:
Or the AskGaryVee Show, where he talks to top marketers, entrepreneurs, and the like on marketing and entrepreneurship-related subjects:
These types of series give people a reason to keep coming back for more. What’s more, if they watch and liked one episode, they might stick around and binge watch the rest.
Another great example of a YouTube series is Evan Carmichael’s top 10 rules for success; every Wednesday at 8pm he publishes a new video in the series to encourage people to come back week after week:
4. Encourage viewers to engage with you
In order to grow your channel, you need to actively engage your audience – it is, after all, a social network and the social aspect is quite important.
There are several ways that you can encourage engagement; for example:
- Ask questions and ask for opinions in your videos. For example, if you’re making a how-to video explaining how to create custom video thumbnails for YouTube, you could ask your viewers what other questions they have, what tools they use, or what else they want to learn.
- Ask questions in your video descriptions – including if you’re asking them in your video as well; you should repeat the question in the video description to further encourage people to leave a comment.
- Post updates in your Community tab (located on your Channel’s page) – you can post images, GIFs, video previews, text updates, and polls. For example, you could poll your audience on what topic to cover in your next video, post previews of your upcoming videos, or post behind-the-scenes images from filming a video:
And of course, once you do get comments, it’s extremely important to respond to them in a timely manner – it encourages views, subscribers, and engagement. To help manage your channel, you can use a tool like Agorapulse for responding to comments more easily and quickly.
You’ll have a social inbox where you’ll be able to see all of your comments and respond to them, as well as assign comments to other people who are collaborating on your YouTube channel. What’s more, you can save replies that you find yourself typing over and over (like responses to a complimentary comment, for example) to save more time.
And plus, you also get the benefit of YouTube monitoring so you can catch any mention of you on YouTube and take action as soon as possible.
5. Improve your video SEO
YouTube search engine optimization is very important as a lot of people find videos via the search engine. And if you want your videos to pop up in their search results, then you need to properly optimize them with tags and keywords.
To help research keywords and tags, you can use the YouTube-certified browser extension, TubeBuddy. There are numerous other options, but the best part about TubeBuddy is that it has several video SEO features that come in very handy, such as best practice audits (to find out whether you’re following all of the YouTube recommendations), suggested tags, a tool that allows you to see what tags your competitors are using and copy them, as well as a tool for creating video A/B tests, among others:
You should always research keywords and tags before creating or publishing any new content on YouTube. Spend time to find out what topics interest your audience and create content accordingly, based on specific long-tail keywords.
And just like with blogs, use the keywords as close to the beginning of your video title as possible and make sure to include them in your video’s description as well.
YouTube can be a very powerful promotional tool if you make the most of your videos and YouTube features:
- Create awesome visual content to help promote your videos and channels
- Post new videos more frequently and respect your schedule
- Create a video series to encourage binge-watching and get more people to come back for more
- Encourage engagement with viewers and subscribers to help grow your channel
- Optimise your videos for the YouTube search engine to reach a wider audience