1. Create a plan (and script) for your videos.
The first step in getting started on your YouTube journey is to plan what your channel is going to be all about.
Then you need to plan the structure of the videos.
Decide what it is that you love creating and focus on developing related skills. Do not mimic trending YouTube channels. Doing what you love is more important for success on YouTube (and in life).
Videos tend to perform better if you write a script because scripts help you in organizing your videos efficiently and keeping you on track. By sticking to a script, you’ll be able to stay on track without veering off to an unrelated topic. This script will also ensure a perfect flow of events resulting in a well-focused video.
Include as many details as possible into your video script:
- The exact words you are going to say.
- The actions you will be taking in the video.
- The main points you need to stress.
- Any necessary calls to action (click on this link, subscribe to my channel, etc.)
Also, identify your target audience and write your script based off of their understanding.
2. Produce highly engaging content (obviously).
It should go without saying, but you need to create content that is engaging, informative, and entertaining. Make sure it stays that way for the entire duration of the video. Losing the hook in the middle will cost you a lot of viewers.
Content that works the best is content that is either entertaining or informative. The content that really works the best is content that is entertaining AND informative. This is pretty standard with any kind of content marketing, but in particular, videos that inform and entertain are usually the most successful.
Specifically, you should be uploading a combination of burst and evergreen videos. Burst videos will be all the rage for a limited time, getting you instant hits, but will fade away as time passes by.
Evergreen videos are the ones that will get you archived views and will remain relevant irrespective of time. Ideally, if possible, you should try to create mostly evergreen content.
If you fear the wrath of the camera, you can try publishing ‘Screencasts‘. You can still make screencasts entertaining and informative.
Whatever you do, before you hit the publish button, make sure your videos are highly engaging and will be of value to your audience.
3. Increase your uploading frequency.
Now this is easier said than done, but you cannot ignore its validity. The main reason someone subscribes to a channel is because they love the work of the publisher and wants to see more of their videos.
YouTube subscribers usually do not like channels that don’t produce regular content. Especially in today’s digital age, consumers want continually more and more entertainment. You need to be able to keep up with your subscribers’ demands.
Consistency is the key to developing a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.
Release your videos in a timely, recurring, and structured fashion. Try to publish one video per week… or at least one or two per month.
Stick to your schedule and do not upload videos off of this schedule. This will hurt your reputation. It’s like watching your favorite TV series; a new episode comes out according to a regular schedule. This consistency helps you stay engaged as a viewer.
4. Learn how to optimize your titles.
Being distinguishable is the most important aspect of YouTube success.
One great way to do this is to give your videos offbeat names. This way, you’re going to be getting a lot of people coming to your channel based on curiosity alone.
Having quirky titles will play a major role in getting the views that your channel needs to benefit from the social proof factor.
But to get a maximum amount of views, you will also need to dive into the SEO part of YouTube marketing.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your YouTube titles for greater reach:
- Use the keyword in the title. This had a larger impact on SEO in the past, but it still has a pretty large effect on video. Google crawlers don’t watch videos the way they read blog posts, so putting the keyword in the title will let Google bots know what your video is all about.
- Use Google Adwords to identify what people are searching for on the web. Try to tackle videos with a perfect blend of high volume searches and low competition.
- Don’t make the title too long. Google truncates the length of the video down to 66 characters and adds ‘YouTube |’ before the video (taking an extra 10 characters). Your ideal video title should be no more than 50 characters.
- Make the title descriptive. Give the audience a sneak peek as to what the video will be about.
- Make the title engaging. Like I said above, having a quirky title will get more people to click. The more clicks you have, the higher it will rank.
- Don’t use the word “video” in the title. This will only take up space and won’t help you rank higher on YouTube’s search engine (though it may have an effect on normal search engines).
5. Make the most of channel customization.
If you are going to get visitors to trust your brand on YouTube, you have to make the most of the customization options that YouTube has to offer.
Make yourself appear professional, and viewers will be sure to respect and trust you.
If you already run a blog with a bit of a following, make use of similar branding elements for your YouTube channel. This will make you easily recognizable across all platforms.
Having some well-crafted, custom channel art for YouTube will help you establish yourself as a brand. You can use this pretty cheap (Only $19) YouTube channel art service which lets you create your own optimized YouTube channel art.
Use a custom background header that includes some design elements from your blog.
Make the most of the YouTube channel bio and custom URL to finish up your channel customization. Keep the bio short and to the point. You can always link to your blog’s URL in the video description for a more detailed bio.
6. Personalize video thumbnails.
Here is something many YouTube creators agree upon.
Create a custom video thumbnail for each video instead of letting one be randomly generated. This only makes sense.
Using annotations and relevant images as custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos will increase your videos’ CTR (click through rate). A custom video thumbnail with a minor annotation will tell your users what your video is all about.
YouTube currently offers a selection of thumbnails from three intervals – at the 1/4th mark, at 1/2 mark, and at the 3/4th mark. Choose the one that best illustrates what your video is about.
7. Let people find you.
YouTube provides an option to link to your official web page, and if you’ve got one, make sure you do it.
This makes sense, and there’s no reason for you not doing it.
The efforts you put into getting visitors for your YouTube channel can be capitalized on when you direct your most curious visitors to your website. Moreover, your channel will also become verified as an authentic representation of your brand on YouTube.
Under the channel settings of your YouTube page, add your website/blog URL to your channel.
You may also consider adding your website/blog URL in the channel description itself.
Similarly, add a ‘Subscribe’ button somewhere on your blog to drive more subscribers to your YouTube channel.