If a YouTube channel uploads a video and no one hits “Like,” did it actually knock down a tree in a forest? In this 2-part series, we discuss 9 simple, effective, and smart ways you can promote your YouTube video (appropriately enough, in video format) to help it reach a wider audience, win subscribers, and influence people. Our main takeaways are:
1. Act Quickly! Know the YouTube Algorithm
Seriously, YouTube video promotion is that simple. The website’s algorithm is looking for action over time. How much love is this video getting over what period of time? If the answer is a lot, that means it should be bumped up in the YouTube world when viewers are searching for relevant keywords.
2. Ask More From Viewers Who Care
After all, they’re real people behind those view counts. You wouldn’t ask for the same gift from your parents that you would from your friend. Know who the true fans are of your YouTube content — your subscribers — and make sure you mobilize them the most. Tier the requests you make of your audience, and make sure to ask more from the folks that love you.
3. Use Annotations and Overlays to Promote Your YouTube Video
Your YouTube channel is basically one giant ad campaign, thereby allowing you to promote your new videos on… your other videos. Think thematically and create user journeys that direct viewers from one video to the next.
4. Create Urgency in your Video Promotion
AHHHHH! You must do this thing by Friday or else the Icelandic hockey team will win, this kitten won’t eat, and the Internet as we know it will end… You get it: You can promote your YouTube video in the same way that Hollywood promotes its films. Create deadlines to inspire your audience to act within a given timeframe. And speaking of time…
5. It’s All in the Timing on YouTube
You wouldn’t go trick-or-treating in July and hope to get candy; at best you’d strange looks. What are the current trends that align with your YouTube page? Would it be possible to piggy-back onto other current trends to reach more potential viewers and subscribers? Think about the wild success of the Puppy Bowl, timed to play at the same time as the Super Bowl.
6. Use Relevant Tags and Intriguing Titles
People judge whether they are going to read or watch things based on the (very quick) titles and summaries they can read. You probably chose to read this article because you were intrigued by the “9 ways” to promote your YouTube video (hope we aren’t letting you down so far!). This tactic is an oldie but goodie — we did it a while ago to promote a set of nature videos that served as mini-fundraisers.
7. Act on Your Referring YouTube Traffic
Do more of what works! We can tell in the YouTube Analytics where traffic to the video is coming from. Say Twitter is sending great traffic to your YouTube playlist. Maybe you can reach out to who shared it, double your efforts to promote the videos on your own channel, or create more YouTube playlists.
8. Embed YouTube Videos on Relevant Webpages
The page you’re reading right now is an example of this: We have created content around a topic, and then embed our targeted video on the page. Hopefully, this will help in the ranking on both YouTube and Google searches so that we can attract more people trying to promote YouTube video content.
9. Design Content to Be Shared
Is there a direct point in your video that you give viewers an emotional reason to share your content? Is it remarkable, cute, shocking, or informative enough for someone who has watched it to share it? These are the kinds of questions to bring to your production team so that they can be baked into the content instead of spread on at the last minute. And of course, when in doubt, just film your cat.
Want to learn more about YouTube for nonprofits?
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