YouTube attracts over 1.9 billion active users each month, making it the second most visited site on the web. So if you have plans of promoting your business on the internet, you may as well add YouTube to the list of platforms to promote on if you haven’t already. YouTube can become the master digital marketing tool, but only if you know how to go about it.
Paid advertising is one way to go about promoting your channel on this platform. There are numerous other valuable and free methods of optimizing and promoting your channel.
We’ve put together the best practical and effective ways to drive traffic to your YouTube channel to increase your views and ROI rate.
In This Article
- Use Concise and Engaging Titles
- Improve Your YouTube SEO
- Target SERP
- Create Great Customized Thumbnails
- Optimize Your Profile
- Optimize Your Descriptions
- Build On Metadata
- Figure Out Your Audience’s Interest
- Offer Quality Value
- Create High-Quality Videos
- Engage With Your Audience
- Build an Interactive Community
- Run Contests and Rewards Programs
- Show Up in Your Niche Community
- Collaborate with Similar Brands
- Follow Community Guidelines
- Start a YouTube Series
- Categorize into Playlists
- Use YouTube Live
- Include CTAs Always
- Cross-Promote Across Other Platforms
- Promote Channel Not Videos Alone
- Work on the Big Picture
- Analyze Your Data
- Run Paid Ad Campaigns
- Maintain Consistency
How to Drive Traffic to Your YouTube Channel
This article has been put together to take you through the necessary practical steps to promote your YouTube channel and get the ultimate result you desire.
Use Concise and Engaging Titles
One of the best decisions you can make for your YouTube videos is to use attention-grabbing and descriptive titles as much as you can. The title, more often than not, is what makes a visitor decide to view or not to view your video in a matter of seconds. And if it doesn’t call his attention, the latter is likely to happen.
To get the ideal titles for your videos, there are three general rules:
- Make it concise: titles within 60 characters are the most ideal because part of the title wouldn’t cut off while on display.
- Include the keywords in the first half of the title: this is important because users’ focus is at the beginning of the sentence. So if there’s anything you need them to see, put it where they’d quickly see it.
- Don’t clickbait: click-baiting may seem like a good option at first, but in the long run, it can lessen the trust people have in your channel and damage your reputation.
Coming up with a title is more than just going with the first thing that comes to your head. It’s more about being strategic and picking out engaging titles that’ll draw and keep viewers’ attention.
Improve Your YouTube SEO
YouTube searches go beyond YouTube itself. In fact, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world next to Google. Just like people search for products and keywords on Google is the same way it happens on YouTube.
Besides, people search for YouTube content straight from Google. As a result, Google puts the focus on video content than any other form of content.
What all these mean is that you need to increase your chances of showing up in your target audience’s searches for you to optimize your YouTube content.
To do that, here are some of the best ways to improve YouTube SEO;
- Identify the feasible keywords with tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner or Keywordtool.io.
- Mention the keywords in your video and add them to the video title in a way that suits your content.
Search Engine Results Page is another aspect of SEO you need to pay attention to. What it means is that for each keyword, you search in Google to see if it’s a top-ranking video or written content and tweak it into one that ranks well.
For instance, if you’re dealing with product reviews or ‘how-to’ tutorial videos, you capitalize on trending buzzwords and add them to your videos.
It’s possible to have keywords and not use them the right way, but you can make your videos turn up more video results with targeted SERP.
Create Great Customized Thumbnails
Despite their sizes, thumbnails are a big deal. YouTube advertises other videos by thumbnail in its sidebar, so a perfect and suitable thumbnail makes your video stand out from the rest. We tend to be influenced by what we see first, and that’s why it’s essential to invest in an eye-catching thumbnail.
More so, YouTube searches are influenced by the CTR rate of thumbnails. A video that combines a catchy title and a fascinating thumbnail will most likely rank higher, irrespective of the content. So if your video has great content, then why not make it more eligible for higher clicks?
Every video on YouTube gets an automatic thumbnail, but you get the opportunity to customize it (which you should).
To get the best thumbnails, here are some basic rules you should follow:
- Use a resolution of at least 1280 x 720 px (16:9 aspect ratio)
- Use either a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG format
- Restrict the size to the 2MB limit
- Use high contrast images
- include text and colors
- Pick a close-up image, preferably
- Make use of stock photos if you can’t create yours.
- Use thumbnails consistent with your brand
Increase your CTR and video visibility with brighter, appealing, and consistent thumbnails.
Optimize Your Profile
Don’t go straight ahead to creating videos for your channel without completing your profile. One thing many YouTubers don’t realize is that a complete and optimized profile boosts your channel SEO. It’s the easiest way to promote your channel.
Create a compelling YouTube profile by doing the following;
- Include contact information and links to other platforms
- Remain consistent with colors, fonts, and layout styles on all your platforms
- Include a couple of keywords in your channel description. Usually, YouTube detects tag stuffing, but it’ll be great to find a balance.
- Inform viewers about your video schedule, so they know when to come back. Please encourage them to subscribe also.
Optimize Your Descriptions
There’s a need to emphasize the need to optimize channel and video descriptions. While an enticing title and thumbnail can call viewers’ attention to your video, it’s a good description that’ll determine if they can get the content they need from your channel.
Here’s how you can optimize your descriptions;
- Rationally front-load your keywords in your video and channel descriptions.
- Use less than 5000-characters.
- Create timestamps in your content page.
- Add links to relevant videos on your channel.
- Follow the YouTube hashtag guidelines and use some relevant hashtags.
Build on Metadata
Metadata can help you narrow your videos down to the right audience, but only if you use it the right way. YouTube pays attention to keywords and is quite particular about honesty and quality.
For your tags and categories features, only include those that are relevant to the videos. You can use as many tags as you wish, but you shouldn’t overexploit the categories feature.
Figure Out Your Audience’s Interest
You may think that you already know the kind of content you want to produce, but it’s important to check with your audience to understand how they’ll like to receive your content. You need to make sure the content aligns with the interests of your audience.
If you started your channel already, you could make a video dedicated to helping you navigate the kind of content they want from you. Writing blog posts, guest featuring a few followers are other ways to go about this.
You can also look at your thriving competitors to see how they’re creating and what style the audience prefers.
YouTube analytics is another way of gaining statistics from your video engagement, helping you discover your audience’s interest.
Offer Quality Value
After figuring out what your audience’s interest is, the next step is to present them with the best content, so they’ll keep coming back for more. YouTube ranking is based on user experience, and user experience is measured by how frequently subscribers visit your channel, watch your videos to the end, and so on.
So, before creating and publishing a video, it’s important to outline the problem you’re looking to solve if it’s informative and entertaining, and valuable to the viewers.
Sometimes, you may have lots of value to offer your audience, but the style you present can make the difference between the two videos that offer pretty much the same thing.
Create High-Quality Videos
We can’t discuss how to promote YouTube channels without mentioning the need for high-quality videos. Having a professional shot and high-quality video is a perfect way to maintain your audience’s attention, not just for a particular video but for the entire channel.
Use a decent camera to shoot your videos, make sure the sound is balanced, and edit the entire video properly. The internet (and YouTube) is littered with many tutorials that can take you through the proper filming, editing, and uploading process.
Engage with Your Audience
Even though YouTube may not usually be categorized as a social media platform, it still involves the right interaction level to thrive. Creating and uploading content is one part of the process. Making sure your fans and visitors are kept engaged is another.
Viewers interact with your videos through ‘likes’ and ‘comments.’ Make sure you continuously monitor these interactions and respond to those you can. Reply to comments and heart your favorite comments. This is a way of showing your audience that you care about their interactions and to keep expanding your reach.
Build an Interactive Community
One blogging marketing strategy that’s making waves right now is engaging your audience way beyond the comments and likes section –it’s building a bond with them by involving them in the video production process.
This can be done by organizing Q and As, guest-starring your regulars, or giving shout-outs during some videos. You can ask viewers to drop questions for you in the comment section or any other way you can interact with them.
Periodically making videos that are solely dedicated to your subscribers is a way of showing them that they’re an important part of the process. It’ll build more interaction, watch time, and engagement between subscribers. All these add up to the entire goal of promoting your YouTube channel.
Run Contests and Rewards Programs
Another aspect of involving your audience community is by running different reward programs like contests. This way, it’s most likely to attract an audience that has probably never visited your channel before. With contests, you can reward current subscribers, gain new ones, and boost your visibility.
However, your reward program needs to be channeled in the right direction to bring everyone the best value. Take the following into consideration when planning any form of rewards;
- Have a clear goal in mind.
- Follow all related YouTube guidelines and restrictions.
- Use valuable prizes that’ll attract the viewers.
- Promote your contest on different social media platforms.
Show Up in Your Niche Community
One key feature with YouTube is that you’re going to find people who have very similar content and audience as you do. You can use that to your advantage. Find these similar channels and build a community with them.
Finding your niche community and showing up there constantly is useful when promoting your channel. Here’s why – engaging those that run similar content to you through comments and mentions means that you’re in one way or the other reaching out to their audience.
The chances that their audience will be interested in your content is very high. When you do this, you’ll also understand how your niche works and how you can navigate it.
Collaborate With Similar Brands
Asides from showing up in your community, you can collaborate with these similar brands and create joint content to serve your audiences. When this happens, you can tap into each other’s audiences and help each other create more high-quality content.
However, don’t be in a rush to collaborate with just any brand. Look out for a brand that reflects your goals and your audience’s needs. Collaboration shouldn’t take away from you alone but should provide value to your viewers and your brand.
Your collaboration with any brand should attempt to tick off the following: engaging, informative, relevant, and useful.
Follow Community Guidelines
While you can make YouTube into whatever you want, you should never forget that YouTube has specific guidelines that have been put together to regulate community engagement and the entire user experience process.
Always check out the community guidelines on the policy page before proceeding to create content. If your acts don’t follow the guidelines at any point, your video will get flagged down and eventually removed from the site.
To avoid this, don’t upload inappropriate and plagiarized content and follow the community guidelines.
Start a YouTube Series
Take advantage of the YouTube series feature and start one or two. A series would mean that you’re going to have consistent video uploads on a particular topic or style as time goes on. It could be daily, every other day, weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Whatever you decide to make your series about helps your audience navigate your channel and come back for consistent content.
Build your series with the same rules we’ve used so far: the short and catchy series name, custom thumbnail, and SEO consistency.
Categorize into Playlists
Even though you can’t make your entire channel into a series, you can take advantage of another feature – playlists – to categorize your video content. Playlists help viewers get a better experience using your channel. Playlists usually have videos play once one ends. It’s a way of getting people to stay glued to your channel without trying so hard.
It also helps with general discoverability. Videos in the same playlist will usually appear together in the suggested videos column.
Also, you can use them to add relevant keywords to your channel.
To create great playlists, you can either create them on your channel or make them in collaboration with similar brands and influencers. When you do the first, you group existing videos into common themes. With the latter, you collect videos alongside others and put them out to your viewers.
This option can give you a wider reach if used appropriately.
Use YouTube Live
The ‘going live’ culture is taking over most social media platforms, but it’ll be surprised to know that YouTube was one of the first platforms to offer live streaming.
If you’re blogging for business, you can use the live streaming feature for product demonstrations, webinars, Q & As, live tutorials, and any other live event. Create content that’s engaging to keep your viewers in the loop.
The difference between a live video and a pre-recorded one is that the former can be quite unpolished, organic, and unexpected. But that’s what makes it more compelling.
To get around it, check out other YouTube live and the guidelines to know how to go about live streaming.
Include CTAs Always
You can do all the right things and attract the right audience to your channel, but you may not get the most out of it if you don’t do one thing –include call-to-actions in your content. CTAs are how your audience knows the next step to take and how they can help you.
So, your CTA may be for them to like, share, or subscribe to your channel or to have them click through to a website. Be specific about the action you want them to take; make it compelling but still outstanding.
You can include CTAs through direct mentions during the video shooting, in the video descriptions, or through YouTube end cards. YouTube end cards can be used to add additional recommendations, screenshots at any point in the video. The visual cues help add more punch to your CTA.
Cross-Promote Across other Platforms
On the issue of promoting your YouTube videos, this step is one of the most important ones you’ll make. You need to reach out to an audience beyond YouTube and continue to build your community. Websites, blogs, email newsletters, and other social media accounts are some of the platforms you can work with.
You can get creative with your cross-promotion and devise new means of promoting the same content differently. Here’s how you can widen your reach on these platforms:
Different social strategies work well for other platforms. The best social media to promote a YouTube channel is every social media platform. You only need to find a way to ensure that the strategy adopted suits the channel.
For instance, Twitter isn’t the platform for too many details. Instead, you use interesting ways like GIFs to promote your channel. On how to promote your YouTube channel on Instagram, you can include snippets of the videos and include links that direct your audience back to your channel.
Instagram is more accommodating with stories, so you can take that advantage to share the ‘juicy’ parts of your video.
It can be quite a task having to maintain consistency through these other platforms, but you can take advantage of content marketing tools to manage and optimize your cross-promotion.
If you have a website, you can constantly write blog posts with embedded videos in each post. This will increase your chances of page and video views.
Blog posts can also create new content for your channel and figure out which ones work best and which ones don’t.
The email has been a relevant and effective marketing means for over a decade and may still be the same way as the years go by.
Find ways of collecting your audience’s email addresses –either through gifting, discounts, or any means that works and turn them into a mailing list. With this mailing list, you can creatively notify them whenever you have new content on your channel and encourage them to view them. It can also be a way to connect with your viewers and keep them in your corner.
Keep your persuasion as simple as a link to your new videos and see how far it can go!
Promote Channel, not Videos Alone
Don’t forget that individual videos make up the entire channel, so when promoting a video, ensure you have the whole channel in mind. Through all your promotions, push for subscribers and link to your account as much as you can.
The higher your subscribers, the higher your chances of ranking higher in Google and YouTube searches.
Work on The Big Picture
Since you may want to work with what’s in trend right now, it’s important to remember that having a channel that people can refer to months, years, and ages from now for their needs is a great goal. Having content that still ranks high and attracts traffic is the kind of content you should gun for.
So, as you gain subscribers, gather likes, build an audience, be sure to drop in videos that will outlive the current situation and keep you relevant as the times go on.
Analyze Your Data
You can only know your strategy by the results you get. Sometimes, those results may not be as obvious as you’ll assume. You may need to look deeper and gather data. YouTube Analytics is a handy tool in this respect, and you can use it to understand the activity of the audience your content is attracting.
Use it to figure out who your audience is, their age bracket, where they’re from, what videos they watch and enjoy more, and so on.
Analyzing data can help you figure out what’s working and how to keep doing more of it.
Run Paid Ad Campaigns
You also have the option of promoting your YouTube channel through paid ads. There are a couple of ad formats available to you.
From display ads and overlay ads that are only available on desktops to skippable and non-skippable video ads that show up before, during, or after a video, you can work with whichever one fits into your advertising plan for your channel.
We also have non-skippable 6-seconds bumper ads that have to be watched before watching their video.
You can promote your channel with existing videos or an ad-specific video to effectively pass the message across.
YouTube ad campaigns allow you to target the right audience for your channel.
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning having a YouTube channel that you only put up videos whenever you feel like may not be the right way to promote a channel. Having a schedule that you stick to is a good way of promoting YouTube videos without paying.
Meeting the expectations of your subscribers can help them build trust in you and the content you produce.
Stay up on your YouTube game by maintaining these practices. If you have any other technique that’s helped you promote your YouTube channel, we’d love to hear about it!