There’s much more to creating a successful YouTube channel than just filming a couple of quick videos and posting them all over the internet.
YouTubing takes time to produce high-quality content and consideration to ensure that you’re delivering precisely what your audience wants so that you build your subscriber list.
So, what are the tricks to getting great, sincere engagement on YouTube?
Bright & Engaging Thumbnails
Thumbnails are the small images that your potential viewers see before clicking on your video to watch. It’s the first thing that draws their attention, and you need to ensure that the picture looks fantastic.
There are many excellent thumbnail design apps out there for you to use to ensure you’re getting the brightest and perfectly filtered image to display as your first picture.
Typically, inexperienced YouTubers will leave the thumbnail to be auto-generated. When this happens, the image usually appears as the very first frame of your video.
If that first frame just happens to be a black picture before anything happens, then that’s what your audience will see and will probably ignore.
Always ensure that your thumbnail image depicts one of the most exciting and colorful aspects of your overall video. This will pique your audience’s interest and get them to click.
Interesting & Persuading Titles
After your thumbnails, the next thing that your potential viewers will see is your title. You need to ensure it fully reflects what your video is about so your viewers won’t be disappointed when they click to watch.
You should aim to provide the most detailed title in just a few words to ensure that your audience is getting exactly what they expected when they clicked on your channel.
Adopting a few choice keywords throughout your title, description and tagging should boost you up the search results too.
Never use your username or brand name within the title of your videos. Although people might subscribe to your channel, they probably won’t immediately associate your brand name with your videos. This will come later when they become more of a hardcore fan.
Keywords & Tags
Keywords and tags are a great way to ensure your audience finds your videos. It would be best to consider what your target demographic is likely to search for on YouTube and then put those words right into your description.
- Don’t use jargon.
- Don’t add the same word repeatedly.
- Consider keyword strings (words that naturally fit together and that your audience is likely to type into the search engine together).
YouTube will also let you tag your videos with keywords that are relevant to the subject. Choose your words carefully and ensure you update them regularly along with the changing trends. This will keep your video relevant and searchable.
If you’re struggling with finding great keywords to bring people flocking to your channel, look at similar YouTube channels and see if there are any keywords in their titles or descriptions that might be relevant to your own.
Call to Action
Make sure there’s a call to action (CTA) in your description. If you don’t tell your viewers what you want them to do, they usually won’t do it. There are a few possible things that you want to gain out of your engagement:
- Increase your subscribers to benefit from YouTube Ads.
- Buy a product through your affiliate marketing link.
- Purchase your merchandise.
Alongside your keywords in the description, make sure you put a link to the place you want them to visit after watching your video, AND make sure you tell them that the link is there within your video too.
The more you ask someone to do something, the more likely they are to do it.
But ensure your CTA is only politely pushy. Demanding that they do something will immediately put them off and might mean they don’t watch your future videos either.
Engage in Comments
If your viewers ask you questions in the comments, answer them. Try to keep it on the topic of the video and be light and humorous where possible.
You’re trying to create a culture here, and you need to show your fans that you’re there to speak to them.
Your personality will come out in your comments, and if people like you, they’re more likely to tell their friends so you can develop organic growth within your target market.
Generally, people will watch YouTube on their mobile devices as they’re on the move, or casually if they’ve got a spare minute. People aren’t usually on YouTube for a feature film, so keep it relatively short.
Around 3 minutes is the optimum time to ensure the best watch rate.
Once you’ve gained a small following, you need to reward their loyalty. They’ve gone out of their way to subscribe to your channel, so make sure you provide the content when they expect it; otherwise, your subscriber will lose interest.
Look at the times you typically get the most engagement and try to aim your posts for around that time.
This is likely to reflect when your target audience is available, and if you’ve aimed yourself at a target demographic, you’ll probably notice a pattern.
It might be that you’re aiming at working professionals; therefore, you might notice most of your engagement on the commute home at 6 pm, so post then to pull in the most viewers.
Try to create videos a few weeks in advance to ensure you never miss a posting appointment. Once you start to slip, your subscribers will too.
Understand Your Audience
Select your target audience carefully and cater specifically to them. You need to understand their interests, hobbies, and reasons for watching your type of content on YouTube.
Don’t try to please everyone by creating videos for the broader spectrum of people, hoping to get lucky that at least some of them will like it.
You will, undoubtedly, get some subscribers using this scattergun approach. However, to get honest, quality engagement going, you’ll need to focus down on one specific target market and provide high-quality content just for them.
This way, you know that they’ll like your content, and they’re likely to recommend you to people they know that it will also appeal to.
You’ll grow your subscriber base organically this way while also ensuring that you reach the people who’ll love your content and support you.