7 Ways to Grow Your YouTube Channel

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Social media is a major tool for getting more leads and customers as well as increasing engagement with existing customers. You may already have business accounts for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and possibly a couple of other social media platforms. There is, however, one social media site you should not overlook, and that site is YouTube. Let us take a look at how to grow your YouTube Channel.

Why You Need a Successful YouTube Strategy

You might not even think of YouTube as a social media site. Many of us consider it a place to amuse ourselves while looking at cat videos, but it’s so much more. YouTube is both a social media site and the world’s second-largest search engine. It has over two billion users, which makes it second only to Facebook among social media sites. It encourages people to watch media and then leave comments and share opinions, which is what puts it firmly in the realm of social media.

If you don’t have a YouTube account set up specifically for your business, you’re leaving a potential gold mine untapped. Perhaps you already have a branded YouTube channel for your business and are looking for ways to exploit it to its maximum potential. We’ll go over a few ways to augment your YouTube channel growth so that it becomes a powerful tool to expand your business.

1) Study Your Competitors

With over 500 hours of video uploaded to it every minute, as of May of 2019, YouTube is an incredibly competitive space. For this reason, you should start by finding the biggest channels on the platform that are competitors. The simplest way to do this is by searching within YouTube under those keywords related to the products and services you sell. You can also filter the search results by channel to speed up the process.

Identify Opportunities

You want to watch as many videos from competing channels as you can to get an idea of what kind of content they are uploading. Focus on those videos that have high numbers of viewers. Try to determine if you can identify an angle or idea within the subject of these videos that your competitors have not touched on. Focusing on general subject areas that you know others are succeeding at while introducing your own unique take or value proposition, is a recipe for success.

2) Learn From YouTube Channels You Enjoy

This is similar to the idea above except that it doesn’t have to be about competing channels. With over two billion YouTube users, you are undoubtedly one of them. What channels do you like to watch? Figure out what it is about them that gets you to watch them. A particular channel being about a topic that interests you is a common theme. That said, there are probably any number of channels on any given topic. You need to discern what it is about these particular channels that you like.

Beyond your favorite channels, take a look at those that are generally popular on the platform. They are popular for a reason. Do the people in the videos have a certain style of presentation? Do they have a compelling personal story that they interweave into the content? Figure out why others find their channel’s content compelling, and you’ll be on the way to producing engaging videos for your own channel.

4) Optimize Videos for the YouTube Algorithm

Remember that, beyond being a social media platform, YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the planet. This means it will have a search algorithm that you need to keep in mind when creating and posting your videos. This will involve a lot of the same steps that one does in traditional SEO.

  • Use a Target Keyword in Your Video Title and File Name
    • As with Google’s search algorithm, YouTube’s algorithm can not “watch” a video to pull out keywords you may be using in your content. It can, however, read the file name of your video and see the text in your video title. So, if your video is about tips for planting flowers in your yard, try using “flower planting tips” in the title and file name. Just make sure to address the next point below before using this exact keyword phrase.
  • Find the Best Keywords to Target
    • Keyword research will be just as important in YouTube SEO as in Google or any other search engine optimization. You don’t have to worry about trying to stumble across good keywords on your own. There are keyword research tools that can help you do this.
  • Craft a Good Video Description
    • Unlike the title or file name, you’ll actually have some room to work within your video description. It can be up to 1,000 characters. There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First, when your video is loaded, people only see the first two or three lines of text unless they click on the “show more” link. Make sure the first couple of sentences grab their attention.
    • Be mindful of the formatting of your description. No one wants to read a wall of text. If you’ll be using anywhere close to the maximum character limit, have sufficient white space between sections of text. Also, don’t forget to link back to your website.
  • Select the Best Category for Your Video
    • One of the ways YouTube selects videos to recommend to others is by what category it’s in. This will result in it being in some playlists and not others.
    • Typically, you’ll want to put it in whatever category is most relevant to the subject matter of the video. However, don’t just blindly do this. Look at the most popular videos within a given category, and see what they are about. Also, examine the production value, format, and other patterns between videos in a category, and see how well yours line up with them.
  • Use Tags in YouTube
    • Effectively optimizing the use of tags on YouTube could be its own article. Still, there are some basic pointers to maximize your benefit from using them. Tags are important because they are metadata that the algorithm uses to figure out what your video is about.
    • Since YouTube gives a heavier SEO weight to your first few tags, your main target keyword for the video should be your first tag. Also, use tags that are about two to four words in length. This will allow you to make them more specific to the topic of your video. If you have a video about the health benefits of vitamin D, for example, instead of using “vitamin D” and “health” separately, you might try “vitamin D health benefits.” Third-party tools such as TubeBuddy are great to assist with tags and more.

5) Create a Captivating Thumbnail Image

While it is important to optimize videos for the algorithm, it’s also critical to optimize for the user. The biggest thing that will potentially catch someone’s attention when perusing a page of YouTube video search results is your thumbnail image.

The thumbnail image and the title text are what will determine if they click on and watch your video. There are excellent tips on creating effective thumbnails. Because thumbnails are small, you should use close-up images. Also, having a face in the image can be helpful.

6) Promote Your Videos on Other Sites

A high-quality video can take quite a bit of time and effort to put together. You will need to do a storyboard to plan out the whole thing. After this, you have to write a script, create any graphics or animations and line up any voice-over talent. For this reason, you should do everything you can to get a maximum number of eyeballs on each video.

Create blog posts for all your other social media channels talking up this latest video you just posted on YouTube. Link to it on any relevant product or service pages on your company’s website.

7) Transform Your YouTube Channel Into a Knowledge Hub

Whatever industry you find yourself working in, you’ve certainly got some specialized knowledge that others could use. If you’re in landscaping, you might try producing videos that highlight certain landscaping projects you’ve completed. You can talk about what makes these particular landscapes come together to complement a customer’s yard. You might also produce tutorials on when and how to plant grass and shrubberies. Other videos could be about what fertilizers are best or what homeowners can do to help their landscape endure colder months.

You can adapt this line of thought to whatever your industry or field is. Ask yourself what others might want to know about certain aspects of what you do that can help them. You can give helpful tips and advice and suggest that they contact your company for more involved work that they may want to have done.

By using this approach, people will start to see your channel as a place of expertise in your field that they can come back to repeatedly for helpful information. For this business-building strategy, it is useful to produce content on a fairly regular basis. This way you have a steady flow of people continually checking out your channel, and you’ll have links to your company website in each video description. When applicable, you should have a link to a specific page on your website that covers the products or services that a given video is about.

The Power of YouTube Marketing

YouTube is the largest video platform in the world. Are you fully leveraging video content to market your business? If not, you should be. Video content is known to increase brand engagement compared to static text and images. This, combined with YouTube as a platform to showcase them, represents a marketing arena you dare not ignore for a high return on investment from your marketing efforts. Please utilize the above tips to help you propel your YouTube channel growth to the next level.

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Billy Bates

Senior Web Developer

Billy is a Wordpress Developer with an eye for design. His knowledge will help our company website and client sites meet their goals. Billy and his young family have just moved to Ashland Oregon, and are looking forward to exploring the area’s amazing beer, wine, and food. He also has a passion for synthesizers and drum machines.

Lucas Sant'Anna

Senior Developer

With a background in Operations Research and Data Analysis, Lucas is a Brazilian programmer that likes to get stuff done quickly and reliably. In previous jobs, he implemented industrial job scheduling, fleet management and detailed long-haul route optimization – among other data-driven processes – to reach objectives of increased profit and reduced wasted resources. His goal is to make Zoho fully automated and with more meaningful data for spot-on decisions.