So you’ve made a video to post on your YouTube Channel… Now what? Take into consideration these 9 tips to optimize your video’s potential on YouTube.
1. Your TITLE is important!
Believe it or not, your title can make or break your video– when people are searching for things to watch, you want your video to appear in search results and have a title that entices them to click on your video!
Keep it focused! Try this format (as applicable):
[Song Title] [Short Description] [Original Artist Name] [Your Band Name]
For example, if you have done a cover song of “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, a great title would be:
In My Blood Shawn Mendes Cover by (insert your band name)
Think of what people might ask when searching for something. Be sure to include these keywords in your title to increase your SEO (search engine optimization) and have your video on the first page of search results.
These are some of the results that appear when you search “In My Blood”:
FUN FACT: There are times when official artist videos are not licensed to view in other countries. Where the official video is not available for viewing, yours may be the first (or only) option for a fan in that area to listen to the song!
2. Include relevant information in the description!
While your description is important for increasing visibility in search results, you don’t have to write a lengthy paragraph detailing everything in your video. That’s what the video is for. Instead, include enough information containing relevant keywords that improve the chances of your video getting stumbled upon. Video descriptions with good SEO will also help you get your video in the suggested videos sidebar.
Only the first two to three lines of the description are visible before viewers have to use the drop down to continue reading so keep important items at the top, such as links to your socials and website to redirect fans to more of your content.
3. Tag and Categorize your YouTube video!
Tags are descriptive keywords and short phrases that describe your video and are a part of the equation to better visibility. Including tags on your video will help YouTube’s algorithm figure out what your video is about and improve your video rankings. Start by including tags relevant to the content of your video, then move on to adding some broader keywords so you’re included in general searches as well as more specific keywords for more refined searches.
YouTube will auto-generate some from the way you titled your video but feel free to use a keyword tool, such as Keywordtool.io, to help generate some ideas if you’re stuck. Make sure your brand or artist name are also tagged.
Choosing a category for your video is just another way to increase visibility because your video will be grouped with other similar videos on YouTube. The best way to go about categorizing is to look at what the top creators in a category are doing and figuring out what’s working in each category. Knowing this information can help you tailor your content and search optimization to choose the best category for your video.
4. Choose An Effective Thumbnail
YouTube is a visual network, so having an eye-catching thumbnail to your video can significantly impact the number of clicks and views you get. Choose an image that gives potential viewers a taste of what they might see if they clicked on your video.
YouTube will present you with a few options from your video to choose from but a better option would be to upload a custom thumbnail to further support your brand. It’s important to note that your channel must be verified in order to upload a custom thumbnail. You can verify your channel here.
5. Add Cards to promote a Call to Action!
Cards are the notifications that pop up while you’re watching a video or can access by clicking the “I” button in the top right corner of the screen. You can create up to five cards per video to promote your brand and the other content on your YouTube channel. These are most effective when they serve as a call-to-action. For instance, if you mention you released some new merch, you can time a card to appear with a link to your merch store so fans can have the option to be redirected to your website.
Here is an example of one of Pentatonix videos where they used cards to promote their album.
You can also add an end screen to your video to promote a call-to-action and extend watch time on your videos. End screens are an extra 5-20 seconds at the end of your video where viewers can be redirected to other videos, content, etc. You’re allowed to promote up to four different elements and can choose from video/playlist cards that link to other content on your channel, link cards that redirect viewers to external links to your website, merch, etc., fan funding cards to ask viewers for donations to support your creations. Another idea is to fill this space with teasers for upcoming videos, music projects, or additional content.
6. Monetize Your Video!
As long as you own the rights to the music used in your video or have licensed the song you have covered, you can monetize your video. Monetizing your videos with YouTube means your videos will have ads, thus creating another revenue stream to fund your music career! YouTube has started to crack down on what types of content are eligible for monetization so just make sure your videos follow YouTube’s guidelines. You can find YouTube’s policies and guidelines for monetization here.
7. Publish Your Video & Start Engaging with Fans!
Once you’ve optimized the metadata on your video to make sure your content can be found, now you can publish your video and start sharing it with your fans. Share your video with communities who share similar interests, as well, to find new fans. Engage with your fans in the comments section by replying to comments they leave on your video. Creating a conversation with your fans on YouTube just opens up more places for your to build relationships with your audience. This can be a place where you can receive feedback from your fans to hear what types of content they want to see and improve your content creation to gain more views and subscribers.
8. Create playlists to increase views!
Playlists on YouTube function similarly to music playlists in that you can create a video playlist with a certain theme in mind to make it easier for viewers to find content they are interested in. Make playlists with your video(s) other videos similar to your content to be featured in the suggested video section and in more search results.
Playlists are another way for you to share your personality with your fans by curating your favorite YouTube content in an easily digestible package. Creating playlists with your own content can increase your watch time because once a video ends, another starts playing seconds later.
9. Analyze and adjust!
If your video isn’t getting the views and audience engagement you expected, you may have to take a look at the elements we’ve discussed, such as your title, tags, and description, to see where you can make edits to improve these numbers. YouTube’s Analytics are also a good way to gain deeper insight into your video and channel stats, audience demographics, audience engagement, and how much revenue you’re making on your monetized videos.
FUN FACT: We have a list of ideas to help you brainstorm on new content to try:
You can also check out the YouTube Creators Academy page for more tutorials on how to improve your YouTube game!
It may take time for you to find your rhythm on YouTube but just be patient, listen to your fans, and create content consistently and you’ll see your channel start grow.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Cross Promote your YouTube Video On Facebook!