Since its birth in 2007, YouTube has become a daily pastime for millions, and its popularity has brought a unique opportunity for people who create videos. They are able to not only share their content with others around the world, but also make a living using the website. Whether you are a new vlogger or a business trying to market your product with video, here are some of the best practices for marketing a YouTube channel:
1. Use SEO.
One method YouTubers and businesses alike implement to market a YouTube channel is search engine optimization. Practicing SEO optimizes the visibility of your videos and channels on search engines as well as makes them more user friendly for your viewers. Just like optimizing websites for search, the process of YouTube SEO begins with keyword research. One thing that is important to understand is how to optimize for video results in Google, which will help you get targeted traffic from Google.com as opposed to just from people searching keywords on YouTube.com. Google gives YouTube videos an advantage in the SERPs, but only with certain keywords. Google typically uses video results for the following keyword types:
- How-to keywords (“how to shave a cat”)
- Reviews (“Bluehost review”)
- Tutorials (“Setting up WordPress”)
- Anything fitness or sports related (“Cardio kickboxing”)
- Funny videos (“Cute animals”)
The goal is to find keywords on Google that have YouTube video results on the first page. In order to find these first page keywords, one method is to search using a keyword yourself on Google to see if there are videos on the first page. If there are, the keyword you searched is one you should consider using because it could get your video ranked on both Google and YouTube.
Another tip for YouTube SEO is to have long, well written video descriptions for your videos that contain relevant keywords. Currently, YouTube and search engines like Google are not able to watch or listen to videos. Instead, they rely on “the text surrounding the video to understand your video’s topic.” It’s important to write descriptions that are at least 200 words in length, are search engine friendly and also appeal to your audience while maintaining your voice.
When optimizing for both Google and YouTube, it’s important to understand that the search engines have differences in how they rank your content. There are two main categories in YouTube ranking factors: video content and user engagement. For its video content specifically, YouTube’s search engine uses 6 elements when ranking its videos:
- Channel Authority
- Content Delivery
Understanding how to optimize these elements for your video content will significantly help your rank on YouTube’s search engine.
2. Build Your Community.
A key tactic for marketing a YouTube channel is to engage with and build your community. This is done through interacting with your audience, promoting your content using other social media platforms and collaborating with others in the community. When promoting your content on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to remember to connect with your viewers at the same time. Connecting with your viewers builds trust and can therefore lead to a loyal following for your channel. Engaging and building relationships with people that comment on your content shows your viewers that you hear and care about what they have to say. YouTube is not just a place to upload video content, it is a very powerful social media network as well. Engaging with your audience through YouTube “is a critical part of earned media that allows brands to engage back, a critical method for driving views and action.” It’s important to respond to viewer comments and manage the reputation of your channel. Interaction with viewers and others within your community can also lead to collaborations and other opportunities down the road. Engaging and building your community can significantly increase the amount of people who come across and view your videos and YouTube channel. Combine community building with SEO and you’re on your way to a great strategy for marketing and running a successful YouTube channel.
Have you started a YouTube channel recently or are you a seasoned pro? We’d love to hear your experiences on running a channel on YouTube and any tactics you’ve found that have proven to be successful for you!
Written by Jennifer Mower
Jennifer Mower is a Digital Media Coordinator at Venerate Media Group. Based in Minneapolis, she recently attained a masters in Interactive media and specializes in social media campaigns, email marketing and graphic design. When not working, Jennifer enjoys researching the latest trends in internet marketing, spoiling her two Alaskan Klee Kai dogs, and eating chocolate chip cookies (there is no other kind).