YouTube is currently the second-largest search engine and the third most-visited website on the internet, after Google and Facebook. When discussing the idea of expanding the reach of your video content, this is one of the most under-utilised platforms to do exactly that.
With over 2 billion monthly active users on the platform, this is the perfect time for marketers to find ways to get their share of that traffic.
If you’re interested in ramping up your YouTube video marketing strategy, then read on to discover some of the most effective tips to increase the reach of your videos.
How does YouTube rank video content
But first, before you can start improving your YouTube reach, it’s important to know how YouTube ranks video content.
The platform ranks videos based on these factors:
- Video quality
- Video watch time
- Channel keywords
- Viewer count
- User experience metrics
Among these factors, one of the most important things to note is that the platform strongly ranks video content based on audience retention, which is the length of time users watch a video.
When users tune into your videos longer, YouTube views the content as being relevant and high-quality and therefore ranks it higher in the search results.
As a result, it is ultimately discovered by more people.
So, now that you understand how videos are ranked on YouTube, let’s take a look at the different ways you can start improving your organic reach on the platform.
1. Build up your YouTube channel reputation
Before you can begin taking steps to increase the reach of your YouTube videos, you must first ensure that your channel basics are up to snuff.
Channels with complete information tend to stand out and rank high on YouTube. So, once you’ve ticked all the boxes, you can then proceed to the other tips outlined in this article.
Basic YouTube housekeeping includes:
- Consistent visual identity: This includes your YouTube channel art, channel icon, etc.
- Complete “About” section: This is prime real estate to tell your brand story and describe your channel.
- Include up-to-date contact information: Make sure all your potential customers and brand partners can easily get in touch with you.
In essence, fill in as much information as you can, including your website and social profile links. Make sure you implement market keywords wherever possible and use keyword meta-tags when describing your channel.
2. Repurpose your video content
Today, video is the most popular media format in content marketing, above blogs and infographics.
Video content comes with a ton of benefits:
- Increases engagement
- Improves user experience
- Supports search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Evokes emotion
- Conveys more information in less time
But it’s also more costly to produce videos compared to written content, which puts more pressure on marketers with limited budgets and resources. That’s why repurposing your video content is such a great idea.
If you’re creating any type of content, your goal is to use that content to establish a brand identity, market products or services, provide instructions, or otherwise attract and retain customers with your brand message.
Coming up with new ideas to distribute existing video content in new formats can also help you save time and money while boosting your position on search engines and increase exposure. Every video you create can be repurposed on your website, social media, and other platforms.
With the following tips, you’ll be able to extend the reach of your existing video content so you can maximise your investment:
- Create iTunes podcasts with existing videos
- Convert videos to slides and share on SlideShare
- Turn videos into blog posts and embed the video on the page
- Convert your video into an e-book or mini-course and share through email newsletters
- Chop up long-form videos into smaller clips
Reusing the same video for different purposes helps to keep it relevant for longer among your target audience and you will end up with multiple solid pieces of content for a lot less.
This is a sustainable practice that will help you save time and money, but you’ll also never have to worry about content and ideas drying up.
3. Focus on YouTube SEO to improve your video’s ranking
YouTube SEO refers to the process of optimising your YouTube channel and videos in order to increase its ranking on the platform. Just like the on page optimisation of your website that is vital for improved rankings and better customer experience, optimising your videos is another critical aspect to keep in mind.
Here are some of the things you can do to help YouTube’s intricate algorithm show your videos higher in the search engine rankings.
Conduct proper keyword research
Your first step in improving your YouTube organic reach is to do thorough keyword research. This goes for both your channel and the individual videos you upload.
You must target the right keyword phrase, as well as additional variations of the target keyword, and use them in the different aspects of your video optimisation which we’ll look at below.
Tools like Answer the Public, Google Keyword Planner, and KeywordTool.io will help you find relevant keywords, determine search volume and how competitive the keyword is.
Use descriptive and keyword-rich titles
Once the keyword research is done, you’ll be able to create titles for your videos that are not only descriptive and interesting but also infused with relevant keywords to make it easier for the YouTube algorithm to sort your videos properly and suggest them to your target viewers.
This goes for your video descriptions as well. People often type keywords when searching for videos, and with the right keywords in your titles and descriptions, you’ll easily attract the right viewers to your content.
Optimise your thumbnail images to increase views
Custom thumbnails are like hero images and can work wonders in helping you expand your YouTube reach.
You must optimise high-quality images with facial close-ups whenever possible, as well as readable and engaging fonts. This list of graphic design tools can help you choose what’s best to edit these correctly. This will help to boost your reach and increase video views whether your content is shown on the organic results page, suggested videos section, or any other place.
4. Promote your video on other channels
We’ve already looked at how to repurpose a video for different purposes. Now it’s time to see how you can extend the reach of your YouTube videos by promoting the same video on different channels.
After posting your video on YouTube, you can also embed it on your website. But, as a general rule of thumb, you should not stop at just your site.
If you want to reach as many viewers as possible, you must also distribute your video on as many other relevant channels as possible.
Here are some ways you can promote your video on different channels in order to reach more viewers.
- Promote your video on social media: Post a short teaser video on Facebook, Instagram, and other social accounts as a native video and then link to the full video on YouTube.
- Post links to videos in relevant Facebook communities: This type of cross-platform promotion can work wonders for increasing your YouTube video views.
- Embed your videos on relevant forums and blogs: This will help you to significantly increase traffic to your video content – particularly if you’re sharing your content with niche communities.
- Include links to your best-performing videos in your email signature: According to many digital marketing agencies, the email signature is a piece of marketing real estate that is underused but it’s a great place to market your new video (with an interesting title) and get more views.
- Work with influencers to promote your video: Influencers already have an audience that you can promote your content to and get an instant increase in your video’s reach.
5. Optimise videos before and after uploading them
This is yet another important aspect of boosting your YouTube video reach. There are certain things you must do before and after uploading your videos to optimise them and make it more likely that the YouTube algorithm will rank them high so you can successfully increase organic video views and be found by your target audience.
Tips for optimising video content before uploading:
- Use high-quality videos and premium editing
- Include a primary keyword when naming your upload file
Tips for optimising video content after uploading:
- Use metadata to get recommended after a popular video
- Write a title with 1-2 keywords. The title should be 70 characters or less
- Include relevant, on-topic tags on each video
Yet another great way to boost video views on your channel is to create playlists. For each video you upload, consider creating or choosing a playlist on your channel that relates to the target keyword phrase of that video.
6. Boost engagement for your videos
YouTube’s algorithm works constantly to show the most relevant videos to users who are searching for that information on the platform.
The algorithm is extremely complex and focuses on a lot of different factors.
But one of the most important factors (that you can influence) has to do with audience engagement.
The higher your YouTube video engagement metrics, the more reach your videos will have in the 6 different places your content can surface via YouTube.
- YouTube and Google search results
- YouTube recommended streams
- YouTube’s homepage
- Trending streams
- Channel subscriptions
- Subscriber notifications
So how do you boost engagement to increase your chances of showing up in these places? By finding smart ways to engage your audience.
As previously stated, YouTube’s algorithm looks at how engaging your content is when ranking your videos. It considers factors like comments, likes, and watch time. The more engaged users you already have, the more your videos will be shown to other interested users.
But what are the specific actions you can take right now to grow your audience and expand the reach of your videos?
Here are three unique ways to engage your audience and keep them watching your videos for longer:
- Live stream: YouTube is arguably the most popular live streaming platform so give live streaming a try to help you boost your reach. You can use YouTube Live to share different types of content, including webinars, live tutorials, product demonstrations, Q&A sessions, etc.
- Interact with your fans: Any sort of interaction that happens between you and your viewers is perceived by YouTube as a positive signal. This can be through responding to comments, running contests, doing Q&As, or being active in the community. The more you engage with your audience, the higher your videos will be ranked.
- Incorporate humour: The most successful YouTubers are those who are personable and constantly interact with their fans. They incorporate humour into their content as a way to make themselves more relatable, friendly, and give off an agreeable personality.
7. Follow a consistent upload schedule
Getting lots of views on YouTube can take time. You need to be consistent in your efforts to grow your audience, you need to regularly post interesting, high-quality content.
Whether you post once a day or once a week, consistency is key. Your audience will come to expect videos from you so do your best to maintain a steady flow of communication and try to post your videos at the same time each day or week.
In addition to having a consistent upload schedule, consider increasing your upload frequency. YouTube recognises and rewards active channels with more views. So, the more videos you upload, the better. The algorithm will view your channel as active and engaging, especially if you post at a time when your audience is most active on the video-sharing site.
Pro Tip: When posting content on YouTube, make sure to balance evergreen videos with trending content. Post a few timeless videos that your viewers will want to watch again and again. These can include how-to guides, product tip roundups, and resources.
These are the seven steps you need to help you increase your YouTube views organically. Implement them right now so you can stand out on the platform and get your message across to more people.
What other tips are you using to help you increase your video reach? Let us know on Social.
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This is a guest post by Prof. Ron Stefanski. He’s an online entrepreneur and college professor who helps people create and market their own online businesses. Learn more about Ron by visiting OneHourProfessor.com
You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin, or on his Facebook Community.