So many business owners and online marketers are doing their best to improve their organic search results on Google. At the same time, these marketers are also doing their best to develop a large audience based on Facebook and Twitter. But relatively few are focusing their online marketing efforts on YouTube. In most cases, YouTube is seen and used only as a platform for uploading video content and then embedding it on websites or sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t you know that if you’re not maximizing the use of your YouTube channel (or if you don’t have a channel at all), you’re missing out?
YouTube is the world’s third most prominent website. It has over a billion active users. It is the second largest search engine in the world and the second largest social network! Yes, YouTube is more than just a video hosting site; it is also a search engine and a social network. Consider as well that Google, the world’s largest search engine, now shows YouTube videos in their general search results. So, you see, YouTube is a powerful you just cannot and should not ignore! Allow us to show you how you can improve you YouTube channel’s organic reach and hopefully grow your audience in the process.
What Is Organic Reach?
Okay, first things first. What does improving organic reach mean where your channel on YouTube is concerned? Well, it primarily means reaching the most number of people through the organic development of an audience base and the retention of that audience base. Improving your organic reach also involves increasing the number of your YouTube channel subscribers and increasing the watch time of your YouTube videos. Note that you have to succeed in all if these to truly say you have improved your YouTube organic reach.
Tips and Tricks
Now that you have a clear understanding of what you need to work on in terms of improving the organic reach of your YouTube channel, let’s have a look at some tips and tricks.
1. Know Your Audience
You will never succeed at developing an audience base and extending your reach unless you know exactly who you’re trying to reach. After all, how can you hit the target if you don’t know exactly what and where it is, right? So, you need to start by defining what kind of people you want to reach with your YouTube videos.
If you’ve already set up a YouTube channel and uploaded a few videos, find out what your target audience is saying about your videos so you can determine how to improve your videos and your strategy as a whole. If you haven’t, then find out what your target audience is saying about similar channels, so you’ll know what you should avoid and what you should focus on when you set up your own channel.
Keyword optimization is also very important for improving your organic reach. Therefore, a good part of getting to know your audience should be spent in finding out what key words and phrases they use when they search for videos similar to what you plan to create. Once you’ve drawn up a list of keywords commonly used by your target audience, determine the amount of competition and search volume for those keywords so you can decide on which ones will work best for you.
2. Establish Your Channel’s Reputation
You can’t just set up a YouTube channel and then upload videos as they come. You have to work on establishing your channel as an industry authority. People are more likely to watch videos and subscribe to channels if they’re from an industry leader, so you have to work at developing that image. And the best way to start doing so is by making sure your channel is complete in the same way you’d make sure your Facebook profile is complete.
Your profile photo and your YouTube channel art are among the first things people will see, so make sure they’re good. You should also make sure your channel trailer is strong because it is the one video that introduces your channel and your brand to the world; it has to convince people to subscribe. Your profile information—description of yourself, of your business/brand, and of your channel—should also be clear and complete. And don’t forget to link your channel to your website and major social network profiles.
Once you start putting up your videos, you have to make sure your Metadata is optimized. Your video titles should be catchy and self-explanatory, and it should match the thumbnail image. All video files should also be named accurately. Your video descriptions should be in-depth, easy to understand, and keyword-rich. Note that only 160 characters from the description appear in search results. Hence, make those first 160 characters count!
You should also consider the importance of playlists, which help organize your videos and make it easy for viewers to find similar or related videos on your channel. You may include related videos from other channels—provided they aren’t competitors—in your playlists, if you feel that they will help cement your reputation as an authority in your niche. It is also wise to add a watermark to your own videos, so people will always be taken to your channel, even if they click on the videos from other websites.
3. Create a Programming Schedule
You DO NOT want your YouTube channel to become a one-hit wonder. What you want is for your viewers to keep coming back. So you have to consistently provide them with good content. One of the best ways to make sure your YouTube performance does not fluctuate too much is to set up a programming schedule. Think of yourself as someone creating a TV show; you’ll want to have all the episodes ready for airing and then schedule their release dates such that your audience will always have something to look forward to.
Uploading a new video once each week should work well enough. But don’t just twiddle your thumbs while waiting for the next upload schedule; use the in-between periods to post strategic comments and likes, instead. Browse the comments section of your videos and respond to a few of them so you can keep the interest alive. This should help guarantee a steady and sustainable growth in your YouTube analytics.
You can’t just expect people to find your videos; you have to help them find those videos, and you have to make sure the right people find your videos. This is why it is important to optimize your videos, and you have to start doing that before you upload them. When you choose a file name for the video, for example, you need to use your target keyword for that video. Additionally, you’ll need to include as much information about your video as possible in the file itself. It pays to have a potential viewer know what a video is about even before he clicks on it.
Once you have uploaded a video, there are still a few things you can do to further optimize it. Perhaps the most important is to make sure the basic information is all there—title, description, tags, etc. DO NOT forget to include your target keywords in these sections. You should also include a Meta description (160 characters or less) that includes the target keyword, along with a detailed video description.
You may also use the Advanced Settings tab to provide additional information; be sure to categorize your videos accurately. Choose a good thumbnail for your video and share it with your social media audience. Furthermore, you can harness the power of annotations and YouTube cards so you can enhance the viewing experience of your audience. And as mentioned earlier, it is always wise to add each video to a playlist to keep your channel organized.
At the heart of YouTube is a social network. Every time you upload a video, people get to talk about it. And whenever someone shares your video on social media, people talk about it even more. The more people talk about your videos, the better it is for you, of course. But you can’t just settle for having people talk about your videos; you have to participate in the discussion as well. In fact, you could get the conversation rolling by promoting your videos as they get uploaded.
Post the videos on your website, your blog, and your social media pages. Send them to your email list. Reach out to non-competitors whose content is similar or complementary to yours and then try to get your videos posted on their site. Respond to comments on your video to show viewers that you aren’t just providing them with content, you are actually communicating with them. This is an excellent way to build a community around your YouTube channel.
In the same manner you’ve worked at mastering the art of SEO and social media marketing, you should start mastering the art of YouTube marketing. By following the tips and tricks discussed above, you should soon start seeing a marked improvement in your YouTube channel’s organic reach as well as in the size of your audience base. Good luck!