YouTube has changed the online landscape and dominates the web, with more than 1 billion unique users each month. Over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and YouTube now reaches more US adults ages 18 – 34 than any cable network. Just to put that into perspective, if YouTube were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, just after China and India. With that kind of reach, YouTube represents an enormous opportunity for small business owners to get significantly more visibility and exposure. However, with billions of videos on the video channel, it’s very easy to get lost in the YouTube jungle. In fact, 53% of YouTube’s videos get less than 500 views, and about 30% have less than 100 views! Meanwhile, a miniscule 0.33% have over a million views. Granted, it’s not all about the numbers, but you do want your video to be seen by as many people as possible. More video views means more engagement, and more engagement means more potential customers! Fortunately, there are several little-known strategies to optimize your videos on YouTube to give you the “YouTube Booster” effect: Begin With the Basics – It all starts with the upload and your title, description and tags. Be sure to use a descriptive, keyword-rich title. “How to Get More Video Views on YouTube” is pretty good, but “My cool video” won’t cut it as a title. Next, your description should also contain your keywords and should include your full URL. So one of mine might start with http://www.loubortone.com presents how to get more video views on YouTube... YouTube gives you a ton of space for your video description, so take advantage of that real estate. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is a great example of how to crush it with the basics. They do a great job optimizing their videos. Lastly, use the tags section to once again use your keywords. Capitalize on Keywords – The importance of keywords cannot be emphasized enough. This is how people find your videos on Google and other search engines, so make sure you’re using your best keywords and consistent keyword phrases. This will also help to “connect” your videos so your other videos show up as related videos. Add Awesome Annotations – Video annotations are a powerful, but under-utilized tool for making your videos more interactive and guiding your viewer to take the desired actions. Annotations can be text, overlays, speech-bubbles or notes, and can be live links to your other videos, playlists, a subscribe link, or even a link back to your main website. Nail Your Thumbnails – YouTube gives you a choice of three thumbnails to represent your video, but you can also add a custom thumbnail to better display what your video is about. Since the three thumbnails YouTube offers are typically pretty random and lame, you’d be crazy not to add a custom thumbnail, where you get to decide what the viewer sees. Create and upload your own thumbnail to take advantage of this option. Many potential viewers will decide whether or not to click on your video simply based on your thumbnail image! Show Up and Share – Finally, be sure to share and distribute your video for maximum reach. Look for the “share” button, which will open up a menu of social media icons and platforms where you can share your video directly from YouTube. You will have to “connect” your accounts first, but once that’s done, it’s easy to share your video to your social media sites with just one click! Taking the time to optimize your videos with these five steps will help you make the most of YouTube and put you way ahead of your competition. And who knows? With a little luck and persistence, you may even go viral!
Lou Bortone is a long-time marketing consultant and branding coach who helps entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet. As an online video branding specialist and award-winning marketer, Lou provides services such as video production, brand development coaching, creative support and video coaching. Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles. Lou is an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach. His website is at www.LouBortone.com