It’s no secret that YouTube is a great social network for video, though its value is slowly being overshadowed by Facebook. The thing is, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from using both platforms for video. Too many people are setting YouTube aside because the results are mediocre, never realizing that a few simple tweaks to their videos and their channel will boost the traffic they see from the site a hundred fold.
Before you launch a new business, you investigate the market and look for demand. Before you write a new blog post, you search for a topic you think will perform well and keep people interested. Why would you do anything different when producing videos? In fact, video takes so much more effort than a blog post, you’d be crazy to go into it without research.
The first thing you need to do is come up with a general topic for your video. Once you have that topic, you can come up with a list of keywords that might go along with that topic.
Once you have a list of keywords, run searches on both YouTube and Google. On YouTube, you’re looking for competition. If the competition is slim, you might have a good niche to jump into. If the competition is fierce, you need to make sure you have what it takes to be competitive.
When you search for your video keywords on Google, you’re looking to see if the search results include videos. If not, you might end up as the only video result, which can be highly beneficial. If there are video results, make sure yours will be better, so you can outrank theirs.
Once you have an idea for a video and a keyword to target, you can move on to producing the video itself.
There’s a lot to consider with your video production.
The Script – When you’re writing a script for your video, you need to make sure it’s conversational, not too formal. Just reading a blog post aloud doesn’t quite work. Videos tend to benefit from a casual style. Don’t forget to save a final copy of the script to upload as a transcript!
The Video Style – Are you going to shoot video and edit it? Are you going to narrate over still images or a slideshow? Are you going to animate something? These are decisions you need to make based on the actors and software you have on hand. In every case, your video needs to be high quality, HD if possible.
The Audio – Your audio needs to be crisp and clean. If the viewer can hear the clicks of a push to talk mic, or static over your audio, or the levels are poorly adjusted, you’re going to lose viewers. When it comes to music, make sure you either have the license to use the music you include, use royalty free music, or make your own music.
The Title – Your title should include your keyword and should be as descriptive as possible, while keeping it short. Long titles will be truncated in search results and do you no good.
The Description – Your description should start and end with links to your site. The middle should be a descriptive paragraph about the contents of the video. Include any credits you deem necessary.
The Tags – Never include a list of related keywords in your description; that’s what the tags field is for. Include them here.
Playlists – If you’re making several related videos or an ongoing weekly series, link those videos in a playlist. Whenever you share a video, share the playlist version, so the next video in line plays automatically when a viewer finishes the one they’re watching.
Endcap Call to Action – Dedicate the last 5-10 seconds of your video to a quick call to action, including using annotation links to link to other videos, other profiles or other websites.
Your channel page is a hub for your content and can be branded quite easily. Here are a few things you can do to optimize it.
YouTube is a social network, which means you have fans commenting on your videos. As content creator, your responsibility is to moderate these comments and respond to the best comments. If you find your videos flooded with vitriol, it can be worthwhile to disable comments entirely. Otherwise, simply remove the worst comments, respond to the best and engage with your followers.
You can share your videos throughout the Internet. Bring views to YouTube, which brings people to your site or your social profiles, in a cycle that repeats endlessly.
If you have videos that specifically answer questions, search out places where people are asking those questions. Quora is a good site for this. Post your video as part of a response to the question.
Share your videos on social media. The one exception to this may be Facebook; you can earn more Facebook engagement by uploading the video to Facebook directly. You can get the best of both worlds by uploading the video to both sites, sharing the Facebook version for a while, and once it dies down, repost the link to your YouTube version.
You should also write a blog post to accompany any video you create. This allows you to embed the video, so readers can watch it. Edit your video description to include a “featured in X blog post” line with a link.
There are dozens of other ways to promote your videos, some of which might be more difficult if you have limited resources, but all of which can help spread awareness of your brand.
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