So…you have a YouTube channel and you’ve created your first YouTube video. Now you want to know how to promote your YouTube videos to receive more traffic? You have to spend some time actively promoting your channel and videos — the right way, if you want them to be effective. But exactly how and where do you begin?
If you’ve been struggling with this issue, we know how you feel…we’ve been there. So rest assured we can help. Not only can we help, but we can teach you what to do, what not to do, and the steps you need to take if you want to skyrocket the success of your YouTube channel and videos.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
“Mistakes show us what we need to learn.” Peter McWilliams
How to Promote Your YouTube Videos
There are many different ways to promote your YouTube videos and channel, so using as many options as you can, will increase your chances of getting more views, watch time, and subscribers.
Here are 19 great ways to promote your YouTube channel and videos.
1. Produce High-Quality Videos
The quality of your YouTube video’s is what could make or break them. In fact, things such as your video stories, their ideal structure, and even the length of your videos all play an important part in whether or not those videos will succeed and perform up to and beyond your expectations.
Write a quick brief of what questions need to be answered. Then develop the goals for your video. Next, flesh out the topic, who is your audience, and the key takeaways. Just remember to write your storyline for humans and always use the proper SEO tactics, which we’ll discuss below.
The Ideal Video Structure
The ideal structure of a YouTube video should be something like this:
- Write an intro.
- Develop your content by framing the problem(s), explain why such problems might be happening, how those problems could be hurting the viewer’s situation, then offering solutions to those problems along with examples of what you are saying.
- Add a hook in the intro or while framing the problem. The hook is what entices a viewer to keep watching through to the end of your video.
- Add a strong call to action (CTA).
- Write an outro.
The Ideal Video Length
The ideal video length will depend on the topic of your video. For example, if you are developing a “how-to” video, those will usually be longer than a general information video. Additionally, Google has some new video requirements you have to meet before allowing you to join the YouTube Partner Program. So there’s that. However, when it comes to generalities, the longer the video, the fewer people will watch it all the way through. Therefore, most marketers find that the ideal length of a YouTube video should be around 3-5 minutes. For example, 75% of viewers will watch a two-minute video all the way to the end and about 60% of viewers will watch a five-minute all the way to the end. And the longer the video gets, the more people you will lose along the way.
“If your message is more complex, feel free to give it the time it deserves, but understand that a major chunk [of] your audience won’t make it to the end of the video and consider front-loading your video with the most important information at the beginning.” Wistia
2. Build a High-Quality YouTube Channel Using SEO and Other Popular Tactics
If you want to build a high-quality YouTube channel, you have to start building high-quality videos. That means building them with human viewers and the YouTube algorithm in mind. You can do that by using YouTube SEO techniques.
- To gain human viewers you should develop a company brand to use for every video you use across your channel.
- Develop your YouTube channel as a whole, meaning build the content around a related list of keywords. Then organize that content in a way that targets the widest audience.
- Produce high-quality videos.
- Make sure your title tags are extremely relevant.
- Write your video descriptions to include your keywords and use hashtags (three at max).
- Create and use custom professional thumbnails.
- Make sure your video is not too long for the content you are providing (see above).
- Interact with your audience through the comments and reactions to the video’s likes and dislikes.
- YouTube now creates a transcript of all videos; therefore, the words you speak are just as important as the written ones. So keep that in mind when structuring your video’s SEO.
- Add clickable annotations such as a call to action to your video somewhere within the one to two-minute mark.
- Create a playlist or add videos to an existing playlist.
3. Get a Bit Familiar with Media Strategy
In media strategy there are three different media classifications: Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media, which is also known as advertising. When you go for promoting your YouTube videos you should use all three of them!
But what do these terms actually mean?
1. Owned Media are platforms you own and have complete control over. For example: your website or email newsletter
2. Earned Media is when you earn publicity and recognition through word-of-mouth, public relations, and social media efforts. This could include media coverage, tweets, blog comments and mentions, product reviews, and other promotional efforts except for paid media.
3. Paid Media refers to the marketing efforts you have to pay for to get results. These could include pay-per-click advertising, social media ads, branded content, etc. For promoting YouTube videos most often TrueView Ads get used.
This classification model might help you not to forget something when you think about promoting your YouTube videos.
NOW… How to Promote Your YouTube Videos Actively
We are going to show you 16 great methods to promote your YouTube videos actively.
4. Advertising Via Social Media and Email Marketing
Advertising via social media can be done using paid methods or by engaging with your audience which doesn’t cost anything.
– Social Media Paid Advertising Methods
- Google AdWords for video
- Facebook video ads
- Any other social media site where your target audience frequents
WARNING: You should NEVER pay for services offering fake views, likes, etc. Doing so could get your channel banned.
– Free Social Media Advertising Methods
Free social media advertising includes many, many different methods all of which are great not only for advertising, but for building your brand, name recognition, and building a large following of loyal customers. People like to feel as if they belong and engaging with your audience on a consistent basis will do just that. Make your viewers feel as if they are accepted and as if they are a part of your family (company/brand) and they will stay, spend money, and tell all their friends how great you are. Here are just a few of the ways you can use social media to promote your brand, products, and services.
- Facebook pages and groups
- LinkedIn Pulse
- Quora (groups and answering questions)
- Create a Meetup group
- Put your video information into a directory
- Submit your presentations on SlideShare
- Participate in forums where your audience frequents by commenting on a particular video, etc. and including your company’s brand in the forum signature
There are plenty of other free ways to promote your videos on social media. So spend a little time researching where your audience hangs out and which social media sites they visit the most frequently and start there.
– Free Advertising Using Email
Email is a perfect avenue for promoting your YouTube videos. This can be done using several different methods. For example, you can create a custom email signature within your email account that includes your YouTube channel information.
You can also share links to your existing videos with your customers, clients, or via an opt-in email. Another great option is to start an email newsletter so you can send your audience information and other updates using your email. A company newsletter can also serve as a way to tell current customers about your latest new video upload. Just remember to include a link to that video and always ask them to like, share, and/or comment on it after they are finished watching it.
5. Connect and Collaborate with Industry Influencers and Other Brands
Connect with and record a video of you interviewing an influencer within your niche, then submit that video to your audience then see if that person will submit it to his/hers. This is a great way to expand your reach while making you look like an authority in your industry and to help get you more notoriety. You can find others to collaborate with by finding niche YouTuber’s, on industry forums, social media groups and pages, local businesses, or anywhere you can find like-minded influencers.
Here are several ways you can collaborate with industry influencers.
- Collaborate with other video creators on YouTube. This will expand your community by giving you exposure to other communities and them to yours.
- Comment on related videos in the YouTube community. Oftentimes, when you comment on someone else’s video, they will reciprocate by commenting on yours. This opens up a line of communication in which you can approach that person to inquire about collaborating.
- Make guest appearances on other influencers videos, blogs, podcasts, or webinars.
- Produce a video together, equally, with another collaborator so you can each share it with your audiences.
- Ask an industry influencer if he/she would be willing to exchange mentions this will make you both appear as more of an authority.
Additionally, working with other related influencers and collaborators will broaden your knowledge and provide you with new ideas you might not have otherwise thought of.
6. Consider Doing Some PR
Public relations is a great way to promote your YouTube channel and videos. You can do this by using press releases in an effort to contact editors, reporters, TV producers, and other industry related bloggers. This will help you generate free media coverage and additional exposure for your videos.
Similar to the traditional methods of PR, you could also consider using some digital and online public relations techniques. For example, you could connect with online influencers by sharing your quality videos with industry leaders, reporters, and other media personalities. If your video content is good enough, those influencers might be compelled to share it with their audiences or to add it to their website or blog.
7. Develop an Attention-Grabbing Trailer
Just like in the movies, your video trailer is what will either make or break your video, regardless of whether it’s any good or not. If you want to properly promote your video, you will need an attention-grabbing, curiosity invoking, emotion-heightening trailer. If you get this right, you will increase your chances of success and it could ultimately cause your video to go viral.
A good example of a channel trailer is the one on Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube:
8. Use Testimonials
What do most people do before they buy something? They look at the current reviews and testimonials. Therefore, it only makes sense to use your customer testimonials when promoting your videos. People will use testimonials as social proof that you are what you say you are. In fact, oftentimes, random testimonials hold more influence than the testimonials searchers receive from their friends and family.
9. Promote YouTube Channel on Your Blog
Videos can be easily embedded into just about any platform. Therefore, if you want to promote your YouTube channel and videos, consider promoting them on your blog. You can also start a blog that was specifically created for your YouTube channel. This can be easily done using a video-specific theme and plugins to create the perfect video blog format. Or, if you prefer, you can use other platforms such as Tumbler, Weebly, BlogSpot, etc. to do this. Alternatively, you could buy a separate domain name and have it redirect to your YouTube channel.
10. Promote Videos Via Adwords
A great way to promote your videos is to advertise them using Google Ads. This method allows you to choose your pricing, use laser-focused targeting, and will give you plenty of analytics that will help you tweak their performance.
11. Create Playlists
Using YouTube playlists is one of the best ways to promote your videos and boost your channel. Why? Because if your viewers like your video they will want to watch more and share more. And, if you develop them in a series format, your viewers will keep watching one right after the other all the way to the end of the series.
This not only makes it easier for viewers to find your videos, but it will also improve the viewer’s experience. Not to mention boosting your YouTube channel and video rankings by increasing its views and watch times, which will also make your video engagement rates skyrocket.
Additionally, creating custom video playlists that reflect your brand’s voice and provide relevant, useful industry information, will encourage your viewers to like, share, comment, and subscribe to your channel while recommending to their friends and family that they do the same.
12. Run Contests
Contests are a good way to reward your audience while growing your subscribership. People love to win and they love to get things for free. So it’s literally a win-win opportunity to promote your YouTube videos. Not to mention, contests are great share and viral starters.
You can sponsor a contest by:
- Asking for video comments, likes, or new subscribers in exchange for an entry.
- Attaching an overlay call-to-action to click for the contest details.
- Upload a call-to-action video announcing the contest, its rules, and excitement builders leading up to the contest’s roll-out.
- Sponsor a video contest asking your viewers to upload videos of themselves talking about or using your products or services.
- Run a “Where’s Waldo” type of contest and reward the winners with a price. This is a great way to collect email addresses because you have to get their email before you can send them their prize.
Just remember, if you want to run a successful contest, you need to have a contest promotion strategy, offer prizes your viewers will actually want, have a clear, powerful call to action, and share the event across all your social channels.
13. Cross Promotion
You can expand your reach by promoting your YouTube channel and videos across different networks. You can do this by performing the following.
- Commenting on blogs.
- Sharing your videos on industry related forums.
- Always include a link to your YouTube channel on other social media sites, your website(s), blog, and in your email signature.
- Promote your YouTube channel and videos on the radio, TV, related forums, online magazines, etc.
- Use YouTube APIs to design YouTube badges that link to your channel and that can also be put on your website.
YouTube is extremely powerful and using as many promotional tactics as possible will help you engage your customers and build your brand, as well as your social media presence.
14. Create a YouTube Brand and Build Your Community By Interacting with Your Audience
If you want to create an audience, you should start by working on building your brand. To do this you need to make sure when people see your videos, they immediately recognize that it’s one of yours. There are several ways you can do this. The best way is to add a watermark to your videos. This will enable your video to immediately convey your brand with a single image, logo, or other identifying marks. If you add a branding watermark, a subscribe button will be shown when a viewer hovers above it. This will encourage more people to subscribe to your channel. And this, in turn, will make it easier for your viewers to follow you and revisit your channel to watch more of your videos.
Anything else you use to brand your videos needs to be consistent and properly characterize the content you have on your entire channel.
You can also create intros and outros these are three- to five-second clips that are placed before and after your video. They are designed to highlight your brand and make it more memorable.
– Interacting with Your Audience
The easiest way to promote your videos is by interacting with your viewers. This applies to all your social media channels, review sites, and anywhere else your audience is engaged. You can do this by answering their questions, replying to and thanking them for their opinions and comment comments (even if they are negative), offering suggestions, and admitting when mistakes are made and making it known how you are going to rectify the situation.
Another great option for interacting with your audience is to make a Q&A video so you can actively help your audience by answering the questions they have submitted. Doing so shows you care while also creating a sense of community. But keep in mind, it’s very important that you reply quickly and thoroughly. Never leave your participants waiting too long to receive answers to their questions.
Interacting with your audience is critical when it comes to building relationships while building your brand.
15. Use CTAs and Get People to Take Action
Aside from creating good content, a strong call to action is imperative, if you want your video to be successful. This can be done several different ways. You could ask a question, sponsor an “enter to win” contest, a free trial/product/service, sign up for a webinar, or anything else your audience might be interested enough in to want to take action. But whatever you do, never skip the call to action.
16. Use Cards and End Screens
Card and end screens use the last few seconds of your videos to encourage your viewers to engage with your video or channel. Additionally, cards and end screens enable you to cross-promote your channel and your third-party videos. You simply add these to one of your video’s pointing to another one you recommend. You can also do this to promote a playlist or channel, as a reminder to subscribe, promote your website, or refer to your products and services. End screens can be anywhere from five to 20 seconds. Just remember that a video has to be a minimum of 25 seconds to use the end screen feature.
17. Allow Embeds
It’s a good idea to enable the embed feature on your videos so others can use, share, distribute, and promote your videos for you. Just enable the “allow embeds” option then anyone can use the embed URL that comes with your video and place it on their website or blog, etc. to display your content.
18. Work with Analytics
A great website optimization tool for your videos and other content is Google Analytics. You just create a new property in Google Analytics similar to how you set up tracking for a website. Then you enter your analytics ID into your YouTube account and continually review the data Google provides.
19. Use YouTube SEO Tools
Promoting your YouTube channel and videos can be time-consuming and if you don’t do it right, you could be leaving money on the table. The way to get the best possible results from your videos is to use professional YouTube SEO tools such as tubics. This service will become an invaluable part of your marketing strategy because it includes such features as a free YouTube analysis, YouTube keyword and ranking factors, and SEO action plans. They will also provide you with a YouTube tag generator, realtime content analysis, and professional YouTube thumbnails.
Here is a quick summary of what we have learned.
We taught you 19 different ways to promote your YouTube channel and videos, which are as follows:
- Produce High-Quality Videos
- Build a High-Quality YouTube Channel Using SEO and Other Popular Tactics
- Understand the YouTube Media Classification Models and How They Should Be Used
- Advertising Via Social Media and Email Marketing
- Connect and Collaborate with Industry Influencers and Other Brands
- Consider Doing Some PR
- Develop an Attention-Grabbing Trailer
- Use Testimonials
- Promote YouTube Channel on Your Blog
- Promote Videos Via Adwords
- Create Playlists
- Run Contests
- Cross Promotion
- Create a YouTube Brand and Build Your Community By Interacting with Your Audience
- Use CTAs and Get People to Take Action
- Use Card and End Screen Annotations
- Allow Embeds
- Work with Analytics
- Use YouTube SEO Tools
If you have a YouTube channel and are making videos, you need to find as many ways as possible to promote them. If you don’t, you might as well not bother making them at all. Because YouTube videos without any type of promotion are videos that are just taking up space.