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How to get more video views on YouTube

Posted by: Thomas Harrison-Lord on 30 April 2018

Wait. There is no silver bullet. There isn’t one easy fix. Gaining an audience and an increased number of video views on YouTube takes time, effort and skill. Sadly, so many B2B organisations ignore this, try one or two videos, get a total of 23 views and then call it quits.

This is the wrong approach.

A good video doesn’t automatically mean you will get thousands of views. Similarly, just because you think your content is interesting, doesn’t necessarily mean your target market will find it entertaining.

Here are a few important steps to at least put you in with a chance of succeeding on YouTube.

Create an attention-grabbing video title

“Brand Video 2018” just doesn’t cut it. The video title has two important purposes. One, it is used as an incentive to click or tap. Two, it counts towards search results, both within YouTube itself and on Google.

The key is to include what the video is about, in an interesting way. Going back to my “Brand Video 2018” example. If you are a business that creates Manhole Covers then “The Best Manhole Covers On The Market | 2018 Update” would be a better option — covering the keyword ‘manhole’ for search purposes, and placing it within an exciting heading.

You may have seen many popular vloggers using questions as a video title, and even including exclamations and emojis. Those are ideal if you are going down the individual vlogging route, should a prominent individual within the company be creating video content, or if you are utilising influencer marketing outreach. For a business account, you take that same philosophy and tone it down slightly.

Add a custom YouTube video thumbnail

Along with the attention-grabbing title, the video thumbnail is a key component in persuading someone to watch your video.

Sized to 1280×720 and with a 2mb file size limit, I cannot stress how important the thumbnail and video title are in combination. By default, YouTube uses a caption from the video as the thumbnail. At the very least, you can select from three captions in the video settings as the thumbnail. Sadly, many videos don’t even bother to select on of these.

The ideal set-up is to add a created video thumbnail to the upload. This can include interesting images and additional text to really hook someone in.

Below is an example. It may seem like additional time, and additional cost to create an image, but without one your video has fewer chances of being watched.

Take time on the video description

This is another crucial step. Once you have your title and thumbnail sorted, you need to do some writing. You may think of YouTube as a video platform, or a form of social media — both of which are true — but in reality it is one big search engine.

When people search a term on Google or YouTube, algorithms determine which results you see. One factor taken into account is the video description. Thinking again of the Manhole brand video, there needs to be a description that talks about manhole covers, the advantages of the range and includes links back to relevant website landing pages.

It doesn’t need to be war and peace, but it does need to be two or three paragraphs that genuinely describe and relate to the video subject matter. It helps those looking for more information, and also those search algorithms.

Add video tags

Back in the day, an old SEO trick was to add a load of Meta Tags to a landing page. These were related keywords to a product or service, and added to the backend of a website. They weren’t visible to website visiotrs, but search engines could pick them up when they crawled your website.

These are no longer relevant for websites, but they still exist on YouTube. For every video you upload, you need to add YouTube tags. Each individual tag has a 120 character limit, and there is no clear numerical tag limit in total, other than a “reasonable limit”, but I recommend at least 20.

Once again, I look to my Manhole business example. Video tags would include such things as “Manhole”, “Manhole Cover”, “Manhole Covers”, “Drains”, “Grates”, “Roads”, “2018”, “Range” etc.

Reply to comments

Once your video is optimised and placed live, if you are lucky enough to receive any comments, be sure to reply as your brand.

Liking, loving (a new love-heart feature for comments is now active on YouTube) and replying to all comments shows that you care about your YouTube channel. Being active also helps the big overseeing YouTube algorithm know that a particular video is interesting. The more comments on a video, the more likely it is to be pushed out across the platform in the form of recommended and autoplay videos.

You can also be extra on point by adding a comment yourself, then pinning that comment to the top of the comment section. This once again shows control and an authoritative nature — also making sure your brand name appears at the top of the charts.

Create and add to video playlists

If you channel now has more than one video, you can create video playlists. Say you have a few videos on individual Manhole covers, then create a playlist entitled something like “Manhole Cover Range, 2018” and add all the relevant videos to it.

Playlists appear in search results. The title of the playlist helps towards keyword recognition, and each playlist also has a description. Make the most of the description, attracting views by being persuasive and including important terms. These are 60 extra characters to help the visibility of your content.

That’s not all…

You need to do all of the steps mentioned above as the minimum for each and every video added to YouTube. From a B2B video marketing perspective, yes your client base may be smaller and more focussed than a B2C brand such as Mars, so to expect a million views per video is unreasonable, but that’s not to say YouTube isn’t important.

I could go on about YouTube channel layouts and fixes, regular video content uploads, AdSense linking to enable YouTube cards or even YouTube advertising — the possibilities are many and varied. One thing’s for certain, not spending time optimising your YouTube content is throwing away extra views, across both the video platform itself and on Google result pages.

As an example, here’s a rather shoddy video I filmed and put together of a recent rallying WRC event. Fully optimised, it now has over 34,000 views.

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