YouTube uses an algorithm similar to that of any search engine (e.g. Google, Bing). This algorithm involves the discovery of a new content (in our case, a video), the selection or indexing of the video that was discovered, and the ranking of the video which had been indexed to display in the search results page as a response to a query. That being said, where does ‘metadata‘ apply, and how can we take advantage of these to help increase our views?
Optimize the use of Metadata
Metadata is the information that surrounds your video (i.e. title, tags, and description). This informs YouTube’s algorithm of a video’s content. By choosing the right keywords for your metadata, you can increase the chances of your video being discovered.
When uploading your video, you should put a title as enticing as possible. Your title will help users in deciding whether they should click on your video over another. For example, you can give it a title like “Easy Steps in Dragon Origami Making”. However, avoid titles that trick users into clicking your video.
Write an appealing description of your video. Make it as detailed as possible. Don’t forget to put the ‘keywords’ relevant to your video (e.g. origami making, dragon). Also include the link to your channel page, and a subscription link.
These are the most important aspect when talking about choosing the ‘right’ keywords for your video. Tags are responsible in telling YouTube’s algorithm whether your video is relevant to a particular search query. It also helps a video to be discovered through any search engine. Basically, all the keywords you have used in the title and description should be inputted in the tags section. Also, you should add more relevant words or phrases (use quotes for phrases) that you want your video to be associated with. However, avoid using misleading tags. For example, you could use origami, paper-folding, “making a dragon in paper”, dragon, easy, steps, “dragon origami,” “how to make origami”, etc. If your video references some popular artists, event, or news, you might as well include the relevant keywords in your tags. Afterwards, you should consider how you order your tags in terms of importance. Remember, if you want a user to arrive at your video by searching a certain query, you must identify with the individual what certain ‘keywords’ will he/she type in the search box.
Create Compelling Thumbnails
Do you notice those little images that appear before you click a video? Those are thumbnails. Like titles, you should select an enticing thumbnail that also must be an accurate representation of your own content. Remember that you’re up against hundreds of videos, so in order for your video to stand out, your thumbnail should be a visually compelling and high-resolution imagery.
What are annotations? These are text overlays that you can place in your video. I guess all of us have noticed while watching a YouTube video, these little text bubbles that are popping up that says “Thumbs up!” or “Subscribe!” Those are examples of annotations. So, how can these help increase your YouTube video views? Firstly, you can use annotations to promote your channel. By using it as a subscribe button, you can make it a lot easier for viewers to subscribe to your channel with only just a click. Also, you can use it promote your other videos. By using it as a navigational tool (e.g. link to Newest video), you can drive traffic to your recent upload; or you can promote furthermore your entire catalogue of videos in your channel (e.g. link to Next/ Previous video).
Boost your Subscribers
Interaction to your subscribers, I think, is the best way to increase your video views. Let’s not forget that YouTube is not only a video hosting site, but also a social network. This strategy can be very useful especially to ‘newer’ uploaders. As you can see, if you’re new to YouTube and you only have three to four videos, what you really need to make sure there are users who would view your videos is to make them loyal to you, a kind of ‘cult following’. How will you do that? You should engage with them like asking their feedbacks, opinions, and suggestions. But, don’t forget to respond, especially in the first few hours after you upload your video. Also, you should ask specific questions which can even more incite viewers’ responses. With these, they can interact with the channel in ways they can’t with television. Make it more like a community than simply a ‘channel’. In the long run, it helps to establish loyalty among your subscribers; and with it, they can be your best promoters. You can actively ask them to promote your video through social media via ‘liking’, ‘commenting’, and ‘sharing’. However, it’s not their priority, is it? It’s you who should do the promotion needed to further increase your YouTube video views.
Promote your Video
This one is obvious. Don’t limit yourself with your subscribers. Promote your video across the YouTube platform, and then through other sites on the Internet. Here’s how:
Make video responses – Any video across YouTube has the option to have video responses. With this, you can post your video to other highly, related videos. So how is it done? First, you will have to search videos related to your own content. This increases your chances of finding other users to watch your video. After selecting a video you’d like to post your video response, head to the comment box and you’ll find the link “Create a video response”. Click and you’ll be redirected to a list of all your videos. Choose a related video of your own, and then, done. This does take time to implement. Nonetheless, this might be a great way of finding other people in your niche who are clearly interested to a similar video and who may click to your video response next.
Share your video to other third party websites – Most likely, you have a Facebook account. You can use it by sharing your videos, and tagging your friends who you think may like your content. However, avoid ‘spamming’. Moderation should be practiced so that your friends will not get bored and will take you seriously. Also, you can do this to other social networks like Twitter and Google+. If you have friends or followers who are interested in your video, they can generate views and can spread your video even more. Then if you have your own website or blog, you should embed your video (if relevant). Just go to your video, click the embed button, and copy the code. Then go to your own website or blog, paste the HTML code wherever you want your video to appear in your site. You can also ask other bloggers or websites if they can feature your video, given that it is relevant with their work. You may also submit it to a number of bookmarking sites (e.g. Digg, Reddit, etc.) Finally, post it wherever you can, just make sure it’s related with the site.