As you’ve probably noticed, online video is quickly emerging as one of the most engaging forms of content online. In fact, it’s expected to make up 74% of internet traffic by the end of 2017.
No wonder marketers are flocking to YouTube in droves!
Although this represents a fantastic opportunity for you, it also means that standing out on YouTube is become increasingly more difficult.
Not to worry…
In this post, I’ve highlighted the four essential tips that you need to implement on your YouTube channel in order to grow your audience and keep them coming back for more.
1. Optimize Your Channel
The first tip is to start by optimizing your channel. Many users start by uploading videos on an empty channel and start to question why their videos aren’t performing. If you don’t brand your channel, the chances of users subscribing are slim.
Similar to Facebook, you want to choose a recognizable profile picture and a well designed banner. This is the first thing that viewers see when they visit your channel so make it unique and memorable.
You also want to come up with a channel description that gives viewers a good idea of the content they’ll be viewing.
Alex Aiono is a very popular cover artist on YouTube who has seen a ton of success. His channel is a great example of what an optimized YouTube page should look like. His YouTube banner is well designed and his description tells you exactly what type of videos you will be getting out of his page. Alex provides ways to contact his management and he provides all of his social links.
2. Research Content Ideas
Having a well-branded channel is important, although a channel without content is also useless. Coming up with engaging content is a difficult task, but there are ways you can reverse engineer the search to find topics that are in demand. The YouTube search engine runs very similarly to a typical Google search and there are ways that you can use Google search to come up with content ideas that users are looking for.
To do this, use the Google Keywords tool within AdWords. This will allow you to check the search volume for terms going through Google each month. While this doesn’t give you what people are searching directly in YouTube, it does act as a fairly good proxy.
For example, if you’re a pet store owner looking to create a YouTube channel, some terms you might put in are “pet products” or “dog toys.” If the search volume is high for the “best dog toy in 2017” then it might be a good idea to have a video solely on that.
Additionally, the Google Keyword Tool allows you to search new keywords based on a phrase, website, or category. By typing in “pet products” as your phrase, the tool gives you a large selection of keywords based off of this phrase and the search volume of each. This gives you a better idea of what keywords you should be targeting based off of search popularity.
If you want to take keyword research to the next level, you should check out KeywordTool.io which provides keyword suggests specifically for YouTube. Just be aware that you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan in order to get the search volumes.
Another way to research content ideas is to look at what is working with your competitors or other channels. If other major YouTubers are creating pet tech review videos (continuing with the example above) that receive millions of views, then that would be a good concept to consider for content.
Finally, while the Google keyword planner and KeyworTool.io can help you find specific keywords, you may need to find broader topics. An easy way to find topics is to use a free tool like BuzzSumo. This will help you find the most shared, or most popular content based off of selected keywords or categories.
3. Stay Consistent
When it comes to YouTube, staying consistent across your channel is very important.
The first way to stay consistent is to post regularly. If you’ve ever followed large YouTube stars such as Casey Neistat, you begin realize that he posts daily and typically at the same time every morning.
This isn’t to say that you have to post daily. However, having a consistent schedule makes it easier for viewers to familiarize themselves with your content. Figure out how often you can post videos and stick to it. Evidently, the more frequent the better assuming you can maintain the quality.
In terms of branding, it’s important to create consistent YouTube video thumbnails that look professional. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to be a graphic designer. With free tools like Snappa, you can create consistent youtube thumbnails for your videos without any design skills.
Having custom branded thumbnails will help your videos stand out in the “Suggested videos” feed and will ensure your videos are automatically recognized by your audience.
4. Create a Sharing Environment
I often come across YouTube channels that have amazing content but lower view counts and subscriber counts than what I would expect. On the flipside, I often see YouTubers who have mediocre content with huge viewership and a large following. I realized that the individuals who have the mediocre content have built a sharing culture within their channel and they have built a small community of raving fans.
You can build this sharing environment in several ways. First, you can ask engaging questions at the end of videos and encourage users to comment and respond. What this does is create a conversation within the comment section and the more comments and likes on the video, the higher YouTube will rank the video.
Below is an example from the YouTube group WOLVES who actually got their audience to ask them questions through their other social channels and they answered these questions with a new video. This is a great example of how you should interact with your audience and create a conversation with them. Q&A’s are also great because you help the audience learn more about you by addressing things that they did not know before.
Another way is to hold contests, which gives your audience the incentive to like, subscribe, or comment on your video content. You would be surprised how far a “T-shirt Giveaway” would go. Leveraging your other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to direct your fan base to your YouTube channel can be very effective.
An example of an effective contest run by large YouTuber Casey Neistat was his drone giveaway. He encouraged his large audience to comment in order to be entered to his contest, where he would randomly select a comment to win.
Changing the format of your content can be very effective. As users begin to use video for their marketing needs, YouTube is quickly becoming the hotspot for video marketing. However, to have a strong brand presence on YouTube, there are several factors that contribute to a successful channel.
Optimizing your channel to be clear and concise will carry many benefits and will help Google categorize your channel accordingly. Doing a bit of research and analyzing the content of other channels will help you improve your content and will help you gauge what works and what doesn’t. Staying consistent will familiarize yourself with your audience and will help new viewers recognize your channel. And finally, creating a sharing environment will help you build a community of raving fans, but will also help you grow organically at a much faster rate, while keeping your audience engaged.
Nick Le is a content marketer at Snappa – the software that helps you create online graphics in a snap.