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Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Youtube has become the de facto video platform of the 21st century. How do you make sure yours stands out within billions of uploads on thousands of channels out there? In this article, we’ll dive into the best practices for crafting a unique, distinguished brand on YouTube by creating engaging, original content, using Video SEO to get found, and improving your video presence on other social platforms.

We’ll discuss the following:

Gain Exposure

Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube Aesthetics

Profile Picture

Channel Description

Banner Image

Follower Engagement

Be Responsive

SEO Driven Content

Don’t Forget To Ask

Post Videos at the Best Time

Embrace the Power of Video Playlists

Cross-Promote Your YouTube Channel

Run a Contest or Giveaway

Embed your YouTube Videos

Try Live Streaming

Swim With The Fishes

Let’s start with the basics. Branding is about creating an identity. It’s about making yourself visible while (hopefully) standing out from the crowd. You can apply it to anything from a business to a product or even an online presence. As YouTube has grown in popularity and dominance over the past decade, the demand for branding services for YouTubers has followed suit. It doesn’t matter if you have one channel or five; learning how to brand your YouTube channel will help it become a powerhouse in your online strategy.

Gain Exposure

Your online video presence is critical to the success of your business – and YouTube is one of the best ways to reach and convert more people searching for products like yours. Its unique feature makes it conducive to establishing your brand identity. At the same time, its ability to incorporate video hosting allows you to develop a personality and connect you with viewers that other marketing methods may not be able to reach.

YouTube’s reach on a global level is advantageous to all businesses, no matter the industry. The opportunity to share your brand message with any target audience for free is an amazing service that should continue to grow in popularity as it stands alone from other marketing tools.

With over a billion monthly users, YouTube is an incredibly powerful advertising and marketing tool. The platform has opened up the world to video content, giving brands a place to reach viewers and consumers that otherwise never heard of you. YouTube is where your customers will be; you should be with them.

Adding a YouTube channel to your website allows you to create professional video features with a touch of creativity. Google+ allows you to link your YouTube account, which makes it easy for your viewers to connect with you through Google’s social network. Whether you sell products or are a service-based company, YouTube can be a powerful tool for building your brand and authority. The ability to create original video content can give you a marketing edge over the competition.

Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube’s channel manager gives you access to tons of features that help you build a strong subscriber base. You can create separate channels for each area of your business, manage and add videos, and share your video creations with the world.

With your branded account, you can link several YouTube channels together. It means you could have one channel for comedy sketches, another for news, a third for opinion pieces and reviews, and a fourth to link to each blog written by contributors. The possibilities are endless!

Once your channel is confirmed, you’ll be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes and create custom thumbnails. Uploading high-quality thumbnails for every video is also a must, as it’s what users will see in their search results before deciding whether or not to watch any of your videos. Think about the color pallet you are going for and your logo, if you have one, and make sure they represent the look of your brand.

YouTube Aesthetics

Profile Picture

Viewers can see your profile image when they visit your channel page directly or when it is used in the suggested videos sidebar on YouTube. As this is the first thing viewers see when visiting your channel, it should represent your brand and personality, so choose wisely.

Though many larger companies and brands opt to use their logo (or a stylized version of their logo) as a profile image to maintain brand consistency across all social media channels and websites, human influencers and micro-businesses are often more likely to post a fun headshot that captures their personality or the personality of the brand.

Keeping a consistent brand identity across all social media platforms and your website may be the most important but challenging thing a brand must do. How, for example, is your Twitter feed represented on other platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram? Is it done by maintaining a single logo with subtle differences in coloring (more reds on Twitter than Instagram?) or with more drastic changes (Twitter uses more intense colors and is more playful, whereas Instagram is softer but maintains the same font and color scheme to keep brand recognition strong)? You need to ensure that your images are not just relevant to the platform they are being used on but also look good in each setting.

Channel Description

Your channel description is one of the most important pieces of real estate on your channel page. Your viewers are looking here to learn more about you, so be sure to fill it with valuable information that will capture their attention. I find that just a few sentences can do the trick. Think about telling a short story that briefly explains what your content will be about and your posting schedule. It’s also a great spot to add relevant keywords and links to your website and social accounts.

It should entice people to subscribe. Your content is exciting, and your viewers need more! Mix a little humor, some fun facts, links to your social media accounts, and a call to action to increase subscribers.

You want the first image a viewer sees to be consistent with the rest of your site. You can achieve this by using your style sheet and brand color palette on your channel banner image. This way, it’s integrated with everything else, aligning with your brand identity. You may also want to place an important message on this banner — maybe something like your posting schedule or a tagline.

Follower Engagement 

One of the most important parts of a social network is relationship-building with your followers and fans, and vice versa. If you build a relationship with your audience, they will likely come back and watch your latest videos. You can do this by conversing with them, responding to any comments they leave, or sending out surveys asking for ideas on future videos.

Be Responsive

Being part of YouTube means you are free to share information. Your users leave feedback and comment on things they like and dislike. You can also build connections with other people and businesses using the YouTube platform. But the best reason for wanting a large list of engaged followers is because they are immediately receptive to your content. They already follow or subscribe to your channel, so if you publish something, they will see it immediately and, more than likely, watch it.

SEO Driven Content

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website in organic search results. The higher your videos rank, the more viewers you attract and the better chance you’ll have of gaining even more viewers. Improve your SEO by adding the right keywords and writing engaging titles. Remember to craft eye-catching video thumbnails that reflect your video’s content.

Target the Right Keywords

YouTube does act as a search engine, and it’s one of the most popular globally. Creators upload 500 hours of video each minute, which means the competition is high. Unless you optimize your videos for success, people won’t be able to find them if you’re not already well-established elsewhere.

Use powerful target keywords in your profile, titles, and descriptions to capture more clicks from monthly searches that don’t have as much competition. It can be easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible.

First, find keywords with promising search volume by using a keyword tool and being very specific with the options you’re looking at. Next, you’ll want to evaluate its potential competition with another analytics tool. You want keywords that sit right on the line of high search volume and low competition.

Optimize Your Profile

Optimize your profile with the keywords you found. Fill in your data fields and include keywords in the right places, such as your YouTube Channel name. For instance, if you’re looking to attract book review viewers, you’d want to name your channel something like Mike’s Fantasy Book Reviews, and not Mike’s Corner.

Now, fill in your “About Us” section and insert relevant keywords, particularly in the first 48 characters. Those are what viewers will see in the search results. Your profile page is also a good place to show new visitors the focus of your channel. You want to tell them exactly what type of content you make because they won’t go through your entire list of videos to figure that out.

Don’t Forget To Ask

People are more than willing to subscribe to a channel if they feel you’re helping them out. You might even want to put a call to action in your video, mentioning how viewers can follow you on social media and by subscribing to your channel. You don’t have to do it rudely. Just politely remind folks that it’s there for them if they’d like!

Post Videos at the Best Time

There’s no single best time to post. YouTube is a worldwide platform, and top times change from place to place, industry to industry. Experiment with different times and check your analytics to see when you get the best engagement.

For a starting point, Frederator Networks suggests Thursday and Friday, with 3 pm leading to the most engagement. Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube’s recommended videos don’t come from a traditional feed, so you don’t need to upload your video seconds or minutes before your audience visits the site for them to see it.

Along with timing goes consistency. You need to post on a consistent basis to keep your channel in front of your target audience. That doesn’t necessarily mean daily, but on a regular basis that your viewers can depend on.

Embrace the Power of Video Playlists

Don’t neglect the power of playlists. Even some of the best channels don’t organize their videos into playlists to create a better viewing experience for their visitors.

Playlists are a powerful tool, though. They can encourage your viewers to stay on the channel and keep watching similar videos, driving up your engagement and views. A series or similar-themed videos can be grouped together into playlists.

And when viewers engage with your content longer, YouTube will rank your channel higher. It wants people to stay on the platform, so if your content makes that happen, they’ll put you in front of more people to encourage that behavior.

Cross-Promote Your YouTube Channel

Boost your YouTube channel’s audience by cross-promoting through:

  • Email: Always alert your email list about your newest videos.
  • Social Platforms: Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest about your latest release.
  • Blog: Embed your YouTube videos into your blogs. You can also dedicate a blog post to the video’s subject, provide a transcript, or offer a behind-the-scenes.
  • Quora: Answers questions with a bit of text and then link to your relevant YouTube video.

Run a Contest or Giveaway

Everyone loves giveaways, especially YouTube viewers. You can encourage people to subscribe and share your videos with a giveaway or contest. You can make it as simple as having viewers like your video, leave a comment, and subscribe to enter.

Some best practices for offering any social media contest are:

  • Follow YouTube’s (or wherever you’re posting) policies.
  • Keep your gifts and prizes brand related. You want to attract interested parties who’ll stick around.
  • Employ user-generated content and other non-traditional entry requirements.

You’ll want to avoid going overboard. It’s important to get results from your efforts and not spread yourself too thin or waste time, money, or resources. Once your giveaway has ended, watch for an inevitable subscriber drop-off and lower engagement. When things are stable once again, you can try another one in the future.

Embed your YouTube videos

Promoting your videos outside of YouTube can be beneficial. Video content also improves conversion rates and creates lower bounce rates when they’re on your site. To encourage visitors to stick around a product page or blog post, embed a video. Any opportunity to direct your on-site or social traffic to YouTube is a win.

Try Live Streaming

Live video is a huge social media trend and will likely stick around for the long haul. With Facebook, Periscope, TikTok, and Instagram making it easier than ever to stream live, an ever-increasing number of companies and creators on jumping on board.

YouTube has only recently started seeing live streaming growth. Check out other channels’ lives who are in your niche to see how they do it. It can be a smart move for brands looking to offer more improvisational, laid-back content.

You can use YouTube Lives for:

  • Webinars
  • Tutorials
  • Q&As
  • Product demos

The candid, organic nature of lives is the appeal in these cases, so don’t worry if they go a bit off the rails.

Swim With The Fishes

The new wave of online video means more opportunities than ever for brands to engage with their customers. So swim with the fishes and take your brand to a new level by capitalizing on the amazing reach YouTube has provided brands of all sizes. 

The bottom line: Be original. Be relatable. YouTube has changed the game, and now the effortless sharing of videos has allowed brands to reach customers on a scale that wasn’t possible just a few short years ago. It’s important to remember that the art of video creation is only valuable if you’re willing to share it with the world. So take the leap, dive in, and learn all you can about the power of video content creation. You won’t regret it.

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