Feature it on your YouTube page. Right after you’ve added your video to YouTube, make sure your video the featured video on the front page. People looking at your organization’s YouTube page should be seeing your most current video. It makes your organization look up to date, current and relevant, and puts the video at the center of the YouTube user’s attention.
Choose a good thumbnail. If you allow YouTube to automatically choose your thumbnail, it probably won’t be very interesting. Use your computer’s screenshot feature to capture an image from your video that is emotionally compelling, and upload it in your video settings.
Make your title short and interesting. Your video title should not necessarily describe your video in a way that makes sense to your administration. Make your title viewer-centric, and think about what would make you want to click on a video. (Upworthy headlines are a good source of inspiration.) And try to keep it brief – a shorter title that doesn’t get cut off is better for click-throughs. Here are a few good title examples from YouTube star PewDiePie for Charity Water and the Sierra Club.
Pick tags that will be good for SEO. Your constituents are using YouTube as a search engine – so you should be too! Think about what your supporters are searching, and make sure those keywords are included in your video tags. Keep in mind that what people are searching aren’t always an accurate description of the video.
Write a good video description. In your video description, consider telling people a story instead of describing what’s happening in the video. Be entertaining, and remember that the description area is not the place to hit messaging points. PETA does a good job of video description storytelling in their video “Circuses in 60 Seconds Flat.”
Take advantage of the nonprofit annotations on YouTube. It’s amazing how many people don’t know about video annotations – we were telling nonprofits how to use them all the way back in 2009! Annotations should come up at least 30 seconds in to your video and right before the end of the video, and should provide a link where people can take action. And don’t forget to check your links to make sure they’re going to the right place!
Upload a transcript of your video in English and Spanish. About 38 million people in the United States speak Spanish. By uploading transcripts of your video in both languages, your video will start appearing in English and Spanish YouTube searches. Transcripts alert YouTube of what keywords are featured in your video, and greatly increase the likelihood that your audience will find you via YouTube search.
Post early and often. People don’t click on every link that’s posted by on an organization’s social media platforms. Make sure you’re continuing to post your video regularly for at least a month, and keep your posts fresh by changing the headlines and images you feature. This will include your viewership dramatically by increasing exposure to new audiences.