YouTube has become so much more than a source for videos about adorable babies and hilarious animals. In fact, in the 15 years since its launch, this Google-owned website has evolved into the most popular video-sharing social network in the world.
Second only to Google itself, YouTube receives a staggering 14.3 billion visits every month and has 2.1 billion unique monthly visitors. But when you’re creating content for your own YouTube channel, you simply can’t reach all of those one billion-plus people – and you shouldn’t be trying to, anyway.
Whether you’re trying to learn how to use YouTube for marketing, creative pursuits, or professional endeavors, you’ll need the right people to find your content. These are the people who are interested in what you have to offer, and they are the viewers that make up your niche YouTube audience.
How to Promote Your YouTube Channel to Reach Your Unique Audience
Of course, the most valuable tip for building an audience on YouTube is to create original, engaging content. Ideally, your YouTube videos will be thoughtfully planned, shot, and edited, so that viewers can immediately tell that they’re watching something that stands out from the “usual.”
But beyond that, there are also many different ways to get more viewers for your YouTube channel, including plenty of effective techniques that are 100% free.
1. Use descriptive, concise video titles.
When a user finds your video, the first thing they’ll see is its title. And if it doesn’t catch their eye – and communicate exactly what they can expect in the video – you can bet that they’ll click right on by. Here are some useful guidelines for writing YouTube video titles:
- Make it short and sweet, with 60 characters or less.
- Place keywords in the first half of the video title, so you can be sure online users see them right away.
- Don’t waste time with clickbait; instead, stick to genuine titles that grab users’ attention the right way.
2. Make custom video thumbnails.
Even though YouTube automatically produces a thumbnail for every uploaded video, there’s no guarantee that it will be a high-quality or interesting image. And yet, many YouTube users will immediately pass judgment on a video based on its thumbnail… so, it’s more than worth your time to make sure you’re making a great first impression.
Create your own custom thumbnail for each video, incorporating key details such as text, colors, and close-up photos when possible. Be consistent with your thumbnail designs, so that your channel has a cohesive look and feel overall.
3. Don’t forget to fill out your profile details.
It can be tempting to skip right over your profile information and jump right to content creation. However, your profile is a key component in promoting your channel and making sure it shows up in search results.
When you’re setting up your profile, make sure to:
- Optimize your YouTube channel description using a few carefully-selected keywords.
- Stick with a consistent style that’s in line with your branding (that includes writing style, layout, colors, etc.).
- Let viewers know when to expect new content, so they’ll keep coming back for more.
- Include contact information, because you don’t want to miss out on partnership opportunities.
4. Optimize YouTube video descriptions.
Writing outstanding YouTube video descriptions is somewhat of a science, especially because descriptions have a major impact on how easily your audience can find you. Keep these tips in mind:
- Put keywords in the front of descriptions/titles.
- Put the most important info in the first 100-150 words, so they aren’t hidden by the “Show More” button.
- Set up links to related playlists, so viewers can check out similar videos.
- Use timestamps to serve as a guide to the video contents, so viewers can get straight to the content they’re most interested in.
5. Don’t underestimate the value of metadata.
YouTube provides handy video metadata guidelines, emphasizing the importance of aiming for quality over quantity – and of being completely honest about the content of your video. This means that, rather than simply adding as many video tags as possible, hone in on the ones that actually apply. Don’t place tags in the video description, and label each video with one or two categories to help YouTube guide the right viewers to it.
Get the Digital Media Production Skills You Need to Be Successful on YouTube
When it comes to leaders in social media, content creation, and video sharing, YouTube takes the crown. And although there are millions of people uploading YouTube videos every day, only a small percentage of those actually receive a well-rounded audience – so, what should you do to make sure your videos get their well-deserved views?
Above all, building a solid foundation of media production skills will make a world of difference in your success online. And at the BeOnAir Network of Media Schools, our students get the real-world experiences and classroom lessons that prepare them for the career they want. Get more information about our media schools in Chicago, Miami, Ohio, and Colorado, including program details and career outlook, when you contact us today!
Image Source: amenic181 / Shutterstock