In theory it is easier than ever before to become a YouTuber especially if we don’t want any specific persona attached to the videos. In practice though, it means there are more people participating in creating YouTube content, providing a variety of videos that were never seen before, with over 400 hours of videos uploaded on YouTube each minute according to Marketwatch.
This can cause multiple issues for aspiring YouTubers in terms of exposure, video views or subscription numbers being too low for them to make continuing their adventure worthwhile. Let us take a closer look at those issues and possible solutions.
First, it is important to differentiate between two groups of problems. One is obviously the content itself, and we will touch on that too. But even more important is the way of organizing our content, so it is more accessible, easier to find and more prevalent on the net. There are multiple tools that can help with that, if used properly. We will look at video metadata such as tags, titles, descriptions and at ways to organize a YouTube channel so it attracts more viewers.
Video metadata: tags, titles, descriptions
What strikes as an obvious thing to do, is to upload videos with an accurate title. Surprisingly enough this isn’t done all that often, as people tend to try using “clickbait” titles. While it can work in a short term, it doesn’t do much good for the channel in the long run as people get tired or annoyed with such practices. A good way of improving your titles is to search for videos on similar subjects and see what titles appear in search results and have a view count high enough for your current goals. On a similar note it helps greatly, if a thumbnail of the video is related to its’ content.
Equally as important is proper use of tags and descriptions for every video. Whether the channel in question is focused on a specific topic or if every video touches on something different, it is important to set a default set of tags associated with either videos or playlists. This allows for videos to appear together in search results, exposing more content to the viewer. Using generic tags such as “vlog” or “guide” if applicable also helps with listing videos.
Descriptions on the other hand should be concise, but provide a relevant context for the video. It helps with engaging the viewer with the channel that uploaded given video. At the same time description should contain links to YouTuber’s Tweeter account, Facebook or Instagram page – any social networking site that could help with attracting viewers.
The videos itself should come with a decent amount of annotations. For longer videos, they should provide the viewer with an ability to skip to the part that could interest them the most. While this is basic, it really does help with keeping someone from clicking on another video. Two other ways of using annotations tie into properly organizing a YouTube channel, so we will talk about it in a moment. The last thing to note here is that, if possible, providing closed captions also does help with listing a video in search results. Especially if the video itself contains language different than English.
Organizing a YouTube channel
There are a few ways to set up a YouTube channel to make it more attractive for viewers. Most importantly, if there is a variety of topics taken up in the videos, they should be organized into playlists. Not only does that provide a faster and more approachable way to navigate through the content, playlists also show up independently in search results, increasing your exposure.
As briefly mentioned before, using annotations can come a long way in terms of gaining viewers. Providing them with an ability to instantly jump to your next video on similar topic is a great way of keeping them invested. At the same time do not hesitate to put an annotation up allowing them to easily become your subscribers. If the video includes you talking to your viewers, don’t be afraid to ask for shares, likes and subscribing to your channel. Most people don’t really think about those things while watching content, but they might just help you out by clicking a few times if reminded to do so.
It also helps to engage with your viewers in the comment section. Ask for feedback, video ideas, set up subscription-based contest, acknowledge your viewers’ effort to contribute to your channel.
It is important to remember that YouTube does not operate in a vacuum. Make sure to use other social networks to let people know about your YouTube content. Together with links to those websites provided in your video descriptions or annotations it will help you with promoting your content and yourself. The work doesn’t end with uploading the video, it is only the beginning of that videos’ lifespan in the net, it is important to sustain it.