70% of what people watch on YouTube is determined by its recommendation algorithm
73% of U.S. adults use YouTube
500 hours of video are uploaded every minute
The majority of Americans watch videos on YouTube, so if you’re not using it to advertise for your business, it’s definitely something you should look into. YouTube is highly competitive though. 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute. So, how will your business stand out?
Lucky for you, most of those 500 hours uploaded are not doing it in a way that maximizes their views. They’re just putting their content out there and hoping it catches people’s eyes.
YouTube has a very complex algorithm that they use to recommend videos to users and unfortunately, how it works is somewhat of a secret. It wasn’t always like that. Up until 2012, the algorithm only worried about view count. But as the site grew and people began to exploit the system, the algorithm was switched to rewarding view duration – or how long someone watched your videos.
2016 is when things got complicated, and if you don’t work for Google, it’s impossible to figure it out. That doesn’t mean there aren’t tactics you can follow to increase traffic though. And if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, we’re here to give you some tips.
1. Make Content Your Viewers Care About
This one should be pretty simple, but you’d be surprised how many creators on YouTube don’t follow this suggestion. If you’re a business, you need to figure out what your potential viewers care about. If they don’t care, they won’t watch.
Even if you find that topic people are interested in, your job won’t be getting any easier. You need to keep them interested. While that confusing algorithm doesn’t solely rely on view duration anymore, it’s still part of the system. If people find your video boring, they’ll leave quickly to watch something else, telling the algorithm that their demographic might not be intrigued by something like that.
2. Use Hashtags
Using hashtags is a somewhat new feature on YouTube and it’s actually hidden pretty well. When you write your video description, you can use up to three hashtags which will then magically appear right below your video once it’s published (You can actually include up to 15, but only three will appear below the video).
Viewers will be able to click on these hashtags, which will take them to a list of videos also using that hashtag. You could create one that’s specific to your brand, or you could use a more common one in hopes of people finding your video when searching for that hashtag.
There’s no specific space for them, so it’s best to just include them at the very end of the description since they will automatically rise to the top.
3. Upload Consistently
While quality content is important, quantity is as well. YouTube takes notice when a channel consistently uploads. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to upload every day. In fact, there’s a possibility that could even hurt you, unless your channel gets millions of views per day (Yes, the algorithm is very confusing).
Try uploading on a certain day once or twice a week and see if you notice a difference.
4. Check Out the Analytics
How can you find out if it’s making a difference? The analytics! YouTube has an extensive analytics section that can be used to track everything you could possibly want to know about your viewers. You can see their age range, gender, like to dislike ratio, and more. Here are some other statistics you can find:
Average view duration
Videos suggesting your content
Top search terms
Views at different times of day
That’s just a small sample of all the available statistics for you to keep an eye on. If one video does better than most of your other videos, find out why. Does it do better with a certain demographic? A certain upload time?
5. Title, Description, Tags
Your title is extremely important. You need to be able to catch the eye of a potential viewer. General search engine optimization (SEO) tips are very useful with this stage of video creation. Related YouTube content will show up in Google search results, so keep that in mind.
You should also think about SEO in your video description. Consider it a small blog that explains your video. Use keywords and be concise. Links to your website or other relatable content should be included too.
YouTube also has a tags section that is invisible to viewers. Here, you can list off numerous keywords and phrases that relate to your video.
6. Put Effort into the Thumbnail
No matter how good your video is or how relevant your title is, your thumbnail (the image people click on to watch your video) says a lot about the quality of your content. There are some rare times when this won’t matter as much, but most of the time it will.
You want to be able to capture the attention of your potential audience. You also need to take into account what exactly will attract the audience you’re looking for. An extremely flashy thumbnail might not be the best for a law firm, but it would be perfect for a water park or an ice cream shop.
7. Call to Action
While views for many YouTube channels will tend to lean toward views from suggestions rather than subscribers, it’s still important to hang on to viewers for future videos. During your video, whether it be at the beginning, end, or both, remind them to subscribe to see more of your content. If they liked that specific video enough, they might oblige.
Also let them know that they can hit the little bell icon, which will notify them each time you upload a new video.
8. Share on Other Social Media
A great way to spread your content around is to post it on your company’s social media accounts. This is a simple, yet effective way to get more eyes on your content. You can post links to it on:
Instagram (Stories and bio only)
Ready to Boost YouTube Traffic for Your Business?
Starting out on YouTube, or even trying to improve your content, can be a little intimidating. But, it’s worth it when your effort helps get more eyes on your business.
If you feel like you might need some help, we have a team of experts ready to assist you at Digital Resource. Contact us today to help increase your marketing presence!