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YouTube is one of the largest video-sharing website today. Since its launch in 2005, there has been an exponential growth in visitors. It’s no surprise that 77% of companies use it for marketing purposes. It can be intimidating to start because it seems as though for every term searched on YouTube, you’re returned with thousands of videos ready to be viewed. While this is true, it’s not impossible to create a successful YouTube channel.

Here are some easy YouTube marketing tips to keep in mind the next time you click the “Upload” button:

1. Images

  • User Profile Image – The images on your YouTube channel are very fundamental, yet they are very crucial. YouTubers are much more likely to click your name and enter your channel if you have a satisfying and clear user profile image. A profile image makes your channel more personable.
  • Thumbnail – Think of each video thumbnail as the gateway to your video. If the gateway doesn’t distinctly show what the video has to offer, then the viewer will quickly navigate and find a more promising video.
  • Banner – The banner on your YouTube page is just as important as the previous two. One of the first things a visitor sees when they are on your channel is the page banner. If it’s missing, pixelated, or just plain unattractive they will more likely leave your channel. The science behind a page’s layout and where a person’s eyes progress is called “heat mapping.” Your job is to make an impression on every inch, or in this case pixel, your visitor sees.
Notice Apple’s YouTube page demonstrates the three point above.

2. Channel Trailer

You can now easily upload a trailer that only non-subscribers will see. This is the sales pitch that will determine whether they will view your other videos. Make the trailer entertaining, yet concise. Studies show there are approximately 8 seconds to grab a YouTuber’s interest before they find another video. The trailer should quickly engage the viewer, while highlighting what your channel/company has to offer.

If you decide not to have a channel trailer, (Which is not uncommon) have your featured video either as: your newest upload, your most popular video, or one of your best videos to demonstrate what your channel has to offer.

3. Keywords

  • Title – Your video’s title should be short but compelling. Try to differentiate your title to separate your video from other generic ones. For instance, if you are reviewing an iPhone, you will see better results with a title such as, “iPhone Review: From an Android User” rather than “iPhone Review.” The titles could be, somewhat, controversial to engage a larger audience. You should also try to capitalize every word in your title, as it looks more professional and noticeable.
  • Tags/Keywords – As tempting as it may seem, do not overload on tags. Google has a tendency to mark those pages as spam. Remember, your keywords are very important because it may determine the user’s search results. You should always research keywords through Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner to determine what terms are highly searched for. Once you have a compiled list of words that are relevant to your topic, use them in your tags.

4. Production Quality

With the vast competition, making “good” YouTube videos have become harder than ever. This makes it very difficult to criticize your own content. However, to be successful in this field you must honestly ask yourself two questions. The first question is, “Would I watch this video from beginning to end, myself?” The second question is, “Would I share this video with someone else?” If the answers are no, then you may want to reconsider unloading that file and instead start fine-tuning it.

  • Length – The length of a video varies depending on your target audience and topic. That being said, shorter videos generally receive more views. If your videos are very detailed and long, you can break them into separate parts.
  • Video Quality – 4k (4096 x 2160 pixels) videos is slowly becoming the standard of YouTube. If you want to succeed in this competitive field then you must stay up to date with the latest technology. There are many affordable cameras out and every day 4k cameras become cheaper to obtain.
  • Lighting – While camera equipment is very important, lighting is arguably even more. Bad lighting can make a good camera look unacceptable while good lighting can make a decent camera look good.
  • Audio Quality – Audio has become a major factor in YouTube video production. Studies show that viewers do not stay to watch videos with bad audio. There should be no friction between your message and your viewer.

5. Scheduling

Keep a regular posting schedule. From my experience, I have seen a steady increase in traffic and subscribers from doing so. Whenever I decided to take a short break from YouTube, I generally lost subscribers. The unsubscribing process usually occurs when you publish a video after being inactive for a long period of time.

6. Call To Action

  • Annotation – It is important to use annotations to describe certain parts of your video, correct any errors, link to other pages, or give viewers the option to subscribe. This offers some interaction with the viewer. Keep in mind that annotations should supplement your video and never get in the way. The first 8 seconds of the video could be used to annotate an important link.
  • Call to Action – You should have a call to action at the end of each video. If you follow successful YouTube channels, you’ll notice they have some type of artwork with a call to action over it. This either directed the viewer to another video, links them back to their website, or allowed the viewer to subscribe. Studies show that this method increases a channel’s subscribers because they are reminding the viewer to take action before they leave.
Subscribe button, annotation and links to other videos

7. Networking

YouTube is a type of social media and with any social media it is very important to connect with other YouTubers. You can accomplish this either by commenting on another video, liking another video or just subscribing to another channel. From time to time, you will see YouTubers create collaboration videos that increases traffic for both parties.

It is also very important to network with other social media. If YouTubers are using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc, why not capitalize on it? If you tell your subscribers that you are active on other networks, their followers potentially becomes your followers. And if you are behind on your uploading schedule, it is better to keep your YouTubers updated with a quick Tweet, than to leave them in the dark.

There are many tactics to be mindful of when trying to use YouTube for marketing purposes. The one’s mentioned above were a few common tips that you should definitely follow. Be patient and the results will show. If you have any questions about YouTube marketing, feel free to send us a message and we will get back to you shortly. Also, feel free to comment on your thoughts below.

Author: Malane Thou was a digital marketing intern with Primal Digital Marketing (now owned by Bbg, Inc.). He graduated from Rhode Island College with studies in advertising, sociology, and computer science.