Picture this: You and your team have spent weeks making the perfect video. The script is perfect, the music is decided on, and the editing is razor sharp. You can’t wait to put it out and let the clicks roll in! But all you get is a whole bunch of nothing.
It can certainly be demoralizing to spend weeks and months on video content only to have you views stay stagnant, especially considering the amount of effort and commitment it takes to produce video content. In order to get the level of engagement their content deserves, content creators need to use slightly different strategies. But where to start? We put together this list of tips and tricks that you can implement to maximize views and engagement on your video content
Before you even start to think about putting out video content, it is important that you think carefully about the video you will put out. After all, people can’t watch your videos until you put them out, so you want to put a lot of thought in to the creation of your videos. Here’s some tips to get started!
Video searches are crowded with hundreds of results, so it’s important that your video stands out before people even click on it. Getting it in front of potential viewers isn’t even half the battle- you have to make them want to see your video. An attention grabbing thumbnail image is a surefire way to increase your chances of getting eyes on your video. Around 90% of YouTube’s top videos feature custom made thumbnails, so it is definitely a strategy you should be considering!
A custom thumbnail will make your video look interesting and enticing to potential viewers. You could opt to simply use a single frame from your video itself as a thumbnail, but this is often hit or miss; you could end up with a blurry or confusing thumbnail. Although it takes extra time, take a few photos during the filming process specifically to use as a thumbnail- this will guarantee clear, aesthetically appealing thumbnail photos. Adding additional text over the image to preview the content of the video.
With today’s short attention span, viewers often decide to keep watching your video within the first 30 seconds or so. This means you only have a little bit of time to grab their attention. Make sure that the beginning of your video is engaging and makes the viewer want to finish the video; don’t save the best part for the end, because chances are nobody will even make it that far. This better viewer retention, just like on your own website, will boost your channel’s rankings on YouTube.
When it comes to video content, consistency is the name of the game. No matter where you post your videos, whether it is YouTube, Facebook, or your own website, it is crucial that you put them out on a consistent schedule. Post a similar amount of videos each week, and try to put them out either on the same day or in the same part of the week. This does two things; one, it increases your reliability in Google’s eyes (which is key to your site’s rankings) and two, it lets viewers know when to head over to your site for new videos.
Always put your videos at the very top of your page. You don’t want to make potential viewers search for your content; chances are, most of them will give up before they even track down your video. Putting it at the top of your page or in another noticeable place will help boost your views.
Once you have multiple videos on your page, it is important that you highlight your best one. Since Google typically indexes a single video for every website, you will want to put your best content in the most prominent position.
Transcripts and Captions
Even if people are watching your videos, that doesn’t always mean they are listening to them. After all, more than 80% of videos are watched without sound; when we look at mobile devices, that figure jumps to over 90%. This makes subtitles and close d captions crucial to your videos. By including them, you will be able to cater to viewers with hearing problems as well as people who simply need to view your content quietly.
A transcript also helps with this. After all, not everybody likes videos, so they might want to take in your content in a different format without investing time in a video. A written transcript of your video will also keep people on your site, even if they don’t watch a video. And isn’t getting people to your site the goal? A transcript will also provide more text for web crawlers to use to index your site. Using SEO keywords in your transcript will provide a valuable boost to your site’s search ranking.
But transcripts and subtitles take a lot of work. It is probably worthwhile to use a site to automatically generate subtitles for your video, such as Kapwing. You can always double check these auto-generated captions before you post the final video.
YouTube is certainly a giant in the online video market, and it comes with its own set of rules and strategies. If you want to maximize potential views, its a good idea to post videos here, so here are a few tips to keep in mind when making content to post there.
Research your keywords
It’s important to do keyword research for YouTube specifically, rather than just a general one. This is pretty easy to do; simply search a common keyword on YouTube and take a look at the topics that the site suggests to you. Doing this for keywords related to your business/content will give you invaluable information about how people will find your content on the platform.
You can also use third party programs to do this. Chrome extensions like TubeBuddy can let you know keywords and tags that are commonly used by your competitors that are ranking them in the search results. Use these tags to sneak your videos into feeds of people watching your competitors videos. You probably will not be able to beat them in terms of search ranking-especially if they are an established creator- but you might be able to snag a spot in viewers “suggested videos” feed. This is a great way to funnel viewers to your channel.
Title cards and end screens
These are great places to encourage your viewers to engage with your content as well as promote other videos that you have already posted. You can also use cards during your video that encourage viewers to either visit your website or other videos- you can easily link to other sites using cards. You can even set up a poll to get audience feedback about your current videos as well as the content they would like to see in the future.
End screens typically pop up in the last few seconds of your video; they are often used to provide links to other videos as well as to encourage viewers who haven’t already to subscribe to your channel. These tools are great ways to engage with your viewers while they are watching their videos, and if used properly, they can also point users to your website where you will hopefully make a sale.
Search Optimization for Youtube
As we mentioned earlier, it is important that you post videos consistently and on a regular schedule. And remember to create an interesting custom thumbnail that will help your video stand out in a sea of competitors. When you post your content, be sure to carefully fill out the fields that YouTube provides to you, paying special attention to your keywords and tags. If it doesn’t sound forced, try to create a title for your video that contains keywords relevant to your field. Make sure to tag your video appropriately and put it in the proper category.
Your description shouldn’t be longer than a few hundred words laying out the purpose of your video and the content you will focus on. Make sure to set up your description so that viewers can see any links or calls to action without having to click the “Read More” button.
Be sure to upload your transcript as well as your subtitles/captions. Not only will this help beef up the word count of your video description, it will also help with your videos search ranking. You shouldn’t count on YouTube’s auto-generated closed captions- it will doubtlessly have errors that could turn viewers off of your content.
Tips for Sharing Videos
Putting out the content itself is only half the battle. Once your content has been uploaded to your website or YouTube (or, both, hopefully!), its promotion time. It goes without saying that you should be sharing your videos on your other social media platforms. But that certainly isn’t the only way to promote your videos.
If you have an email newsletter set up, send one out with a link to your video. It shouldn’t be too wordy or in depth- simply announce your video and what it’s about, and point your readers in that direction. And be sure to explain the ways the video will be helpful to them. After all, your viewers should be your main focus.
It can also be a good idea to embed your videos in your site’s blog posts. This does two things; one, it will help boosts your blog’s numbers, and two, it will give your video a very helpful backlink. Talk about two birds, one stone!
One last option- try to include your video in an answer to a relevant question on Quora. Although this may seem too niche or small scale, you never know where you will find viewers. The more places potential viewers can see your video, the better!
Your video needs a fighting chance!
We don’t need to tell you that the market for online video content is more crowded than ever. This means that if you optimize your content well, it could potentially bring in a huge number of viewers; all it needs is a chance. By following the tips in this article, you will give your video the best possible chance!