There’s no sense in creating YouTube videos if no one is ever going to see them, right? Well, unless of course you just like seeing yourself on the screen.
But we’re here to get our videos in front of real viewers, prospects and future customers.
Thus, rule #1 of getting views is simple – do not BUY views. No one will be impressed, including YouTube.
Here’s how you get real people watching and liking your videos:
1: Pay for Views using AdWords
“Pay? Oh no, I don’t want to PAY for viewers!”
I thought I would get this one out of the way first, since many people don’t like to pay to get their content seen. And I understand that, too.
If you don’t know your numbers, or your funnel isn’t even in the black yet, then maybe paying for traffic is something you should do later, once you know for a fact that the traffic will make you money.
But if you have a well-honed funnel system, then your goal is to get qualified prospects into that funnel at a price that is lower than what you will eventually earn.
In other words, if you can pay $1 to make $2, then paying to get your videos seen is a great idea.
And the only way Google and YouTube approves for a pay for view structure is through AdWords. Gee, I wonder why that is…
When you use AdWords, you can get your video to appear in the search results before competing videos. Your video will also appear more often in search results, as well as showing up in the sidebar of “related videos” section on YouTube.
The key is to target the people most likely to become customers. You don’t want to pay for just any viewing audience – you want the folks who will one day spend money with you (and hopefully one day SOON).
Once you determine how to target these exact people with your videos and your AdWords, you are sitting on a perpetual goldmine.
2: Use Social Media
Share your videos on each social platform where you are active.
I know, I know, this one is so obvious. But I see marketers forget to do this all the time.
Be sure to include a message that asks your audience to share the video.
And by the way, there is more to “like, comment and share” than just getting your video to go viral.
Search engines such as Google and YouTube pay attention to the “social signals” that tell them which content is important, engaging or worth sharing.
The social signals and backlinks pointing to your video content can help you rank higher in the search engines.
3: Use Video Tags and Keywords
Be sure to tag specific people or places in your description. If you’re targeting a local market, use your city name and state.
Use popular keywords that are appropriate to get your video to show up in the search results.
Use the names of popular YouTube channels that are related to your video’s content. This will help your video to show up in the ‘related videos’ section for those channels.
Also write a compelling description of your video. Google can’t “read” your video content in the traditional sense, but it can index and understand the text associated with your videos.
And don’t forget your keywords. While ranking for a short, super popular keyword can be difficult, ranking for a longer one is much easier.
Choose a popular keyword phrase (long tail keyword), and then create your video around that keyword. Place the keyword in your title, and your video will likely show up when anyone is searching for that keyword.
4: Add Closed Captioning
Search engines can and do index the closed captioning file you upload to YouTube along with your video. That’s why videos with captions rank higher.
When you upload the optional closed captioning file, the hearing impaired can watch your video, as well as people in noisy environments and those who speak a different language.
This gives an overall better user experience, makes Google happy and gives you better rankings.
5: Get Your Viewers to Subscribe
Every time you upload a new video, your subscribers will be notified, giving you more automatic views each time.
Just don’t use click farms or any of that nonsense. Fake subscribers will hurt your ranking or even get you banned.
6: Swap with Other Channels
Find YouTube channels that are related to what you’re doing and invite their experts or spokespeople to appear in your video.
In return, you appear in one of their videos and now you can cross-promote each other’s channel.
7: Use Attention Grabbing Thumbnails
YouTube lets you choose the image people will see that acts as a video preview in the YouTube search results.
You can either choose an image straight from your video or use something else entirely. It’s good if you can keep consistency from one video to the next, so they all have the same basic look.
For example, a cooking channel might always use a brightly colored graphic art border with the food front and center. A vlogger might use a split image, with a screen capture from the video on one side, and her name and / or the title of the video on the other side.
This way when someone finishes watching one video, it’s very easy for them to pick out more videos in the sidebar listings.