More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.
The surprising part? Only 9% of small businesses use the site for marketing. It is time for you to increase your YouTube traffic and I am going to show you how.
Most don’t immediately associate YouTube with marketing. But that’s beginning to change. Because when it comes to social media marketing, YouTube is an undeniably powerful force. After all, more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day. The surprising part? Only 9% of small businesses use the site for marketing. And we get it. For many, video is unfamiliar territory. And when it comes to video marketing, filming is only half the battle. So we’ve put together a list of tips and tactics to help increase the traffic to your YouTube channel.
Facts and Stats
Before we dig into tactics, let’s take a look at the numbers:
- YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
- The 25-34 (millennial) age group watches the most online videos and men spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than women.
- Teens’ emotional attachment to YouTube stars is 7X greater than their traditional celebrities such as Seth Rogen or Jennifer Lawrence. (Variety, 2015)
- Among teens, YouTube stars are perceived as 17X more engaging and 11X more extraordinary than mainstream stars. (Variety, 2015)
As you can see, the audience is already there. You just have to find a way to tap into it.
Of particular note is the audience makeup.
While not all businesses are going for YouTube celebrity status, it is important to note that younger generations are extremely engaged with the channel. This means that they’ll be more likely to rely on YouTube for information in the future.
But here’s the best part: businesses that use video have seen major differences in their ROI.
- 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
There’s no denying these are some impressive numbers, so let’s talk traffic and how you can get more of it.
1. Killer Content to Increase Your YouTube Traffic
All the promoting in the world won’t save a YouTube channel with lackluster content.
Sure, you may get some initial views, but in order to gain and retain an engaged audience, you need to make sure you routinely deliver informative, high-value content.
The kind of content will depend on your business and what appeals to your target audience. The key is to find a way to separate yourself from the pack.
What is your unique selling proposition, and how can you showcase it through video?
Then, it’s a matter of designing a content strategy specifically for your YouTube channel. Decide what subjects you want to focus on, and lay out timeline for filming, uploading and promoting each video.
Interestingly, in a study done on the top 100 brands on YouTube, Pixabliity found that the most successful brands varied their content:
“Short form content targeted consumers closer to the top of the marketing funnel, while longer form content maintained engagement with those farther along in the buying journey.”
So don’t be afraid to experiment with kinds of content and video length.
2. YouTube SEO (Yes, It is A Thing)
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine by volume, second only to Google.
Which means that all your content needs to be optimized for YouTube the same way it would be for a Google search.
SEO alone is one of the easiest and most reliable ways of increasing your traffic youtube videos and overall ROI.
Start with your video title and description.
Choose one keyword and make sure you work it into your video title, descriptions and tags. Make sure you use your primary keyword at the beginning of the title, with any secondary keywords or variations used later in your copy.
- Select a keyword
- Make sure it shows up in YouTube auto suggest
- Do keyword research in Google Keyword Planner
- Double up on keyword research with Keywordtool.io, keywordkeg, SerpStats or TubeBuddy.
- Add tags
- Write unique YouTube copy (500 words)
- Create custom YouTube image
- Add link inside of content to web page
- Create end screen subscribe and view more videos
- Create card on each video linking to product or web page
- Ensure video settings are correct
- Update and optimize your playlists
3. Upload Frequently
More videos = more views, right?
Right, to an extent.
Generally speaking, you want to upload as frequently as possible, without sacrificing quality.
So if you have the time and tools to upload multiple videos a week, by all means do it.
But, if you begin to notice a decline in quality, you’ll soon be seeing a decline in viewers too.
I recommend setting a schedule. Choose whether you want to upload once a week, every other week or once a month, and stick to it.
Choose a schedule that is realistic for you, and remember, you can always tweak the frequency as you become familiar with the platform and the kinds of content that attract your ideal audience.
4. Edit for Quality
To be clear: high-quality video doesn’t necessarily mean high-quality production.
So don’t worry if you don’t have all the top-of-the-line video equipment or thousands to pour into your video strategy, especially when you’re just starting out.
You do, however, need to make sure your videos are professional. That means clean, well-lit and well-scripted.
So start simple. For example, the classic “floating head” video, which features one person on screen, is an easy and effective strategy. You will want to make sure your on-screen personality is well-rehearsed, engaging, and the background provided is clean and not distracting.
Make multiple recordings, and edit together only the best parts for the final product.
5. Use Tools to Increase YouTube Traffic
While the editing process can take some time, there are tools to help.
A few of the more popular are Adobe, YouTube Editor, and iMovie (also Sony Vegas and even Windows Movie Maker work).
But editing software isn’t the only tool that comes in handy for YouTube.
Anyone serious about growing their channel should take a look at Tubebuddy, a tool designed specifically to manage some of the smaller tasks associated with running a channel.
It breaks its tools into five categories: Productivity tools, Bulk Processing tools, Video SEO tools, Promotion tools, and Data and Research tools.
For more information, check out this Q&A with founder Phil Starkovich.
6. Choose Custom Thumbnails to Increase Clicks
First impressions are important.
Which is why you need to make sure the first thing your viewers see catches their eye and attention.
Luckily, it’s easy to do that with custom thumbnails. Rather than letting YouTube randomly select an image, make sure you select one yourself that demonstrates what your video is all about.
YouTube lets you choose from three intervals — the ¼ mark, ½ mark and ¾ marke — so you can choose the one that works best, or customize your own using a design site like Canva.
Bonus tip: Add an annotation to your video. An annotation is a text box that appears in your video or thumbnail, and allows you to add further detail and improve your click-through rate with a CTA.
When you look at these videos, which stands out the most? The one who took the time to create a thumbnail (and yes, I like Linkin park and my kids watch Baby Einstein videos :).
7. Use a Call-to-Action (CTA)
Something as simple as a CTA can have a big impact on your overall growth.
Remember to always tell your viewers what you’d like them to do – whether it be subscribing to your channel, liking your video or clicking the link in your description.
8. Interact With Others
Like any other social site, your interaction with other users will have a big impact on your overall popularity.
So subscribe to similar channels. Comment on others’ videos, and if applicable even include a link to one of your videos they might find useful.
One effective way to use this interaction is to ask your viewers to leave video recommendations in the comments. Not only will this further their engagement, but create a sense of community as well.
And as always, make sure you’re active in your replies to anyone who leaves comments or questions on your uploads.
9. Look at Livestreaming
Thanks to apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories, live streaming has become on of the more popular ways to communicate.
And of course, YouTube offers something similar. Its livestreaming option allows you to connect with your viewers on a real-time basis, and is perfect for spur-of-the-moment announcements or big industry news.
10. Experiment With Ads (They Really Work!)
Though they’re notorious for their skippable previews at the beginning of videos you would rather be watching, YouTube ads can be extremely beneficial for business.
In fact, 43% of new customers buy something they saw in a YouTube ad.
There are three types of ads to choose from: TrueView In-Stream ads, True-View Discover Ads and Bumper ads, and generally fall into the skippable or non-skippable categories.
To learn more about YouTube ads and how they work check out this in-depth guide.
11. Timing (under 5 minutes) Can Help Increase YouTube Traffic
Timing is everything, even when it comes to YouTube.
With the average attention span on the decline, it’s more important than ever to deliver your content in a timely fashion.
In YouTube time, that means less than 5 minutes. In fact, HubSpot reports that they’ve found the most engagement with videos that run 2 minutes.
While it isn’t a ton of time, it’s enough to deliver enough information on the given topic without the threat of losing viewers’ attention.
Keep in mind, as mentioned above it can be beneficial to experiment with different video lengths.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to hook them in with a shorter video, and present them with more information-heavy, longer videos once they begin exploring your channel.
12. Create Playlists (And Optimize Them)
Make things easier for your viewers by creating playlists.
You can separate your videos by subject or popularity and create a custom playlist that will make it easier for your audience to sift through past uploads.
13. Include an Intro Video to Increase YouTube Subscribers
People don’t necessarily know what kind of channel they’re getting when they happen across your video.
So introduce yourself.
Here is the video I made for our channel. I have seen an uplift in subscribers since adding.
On your channel homepage, YouTube allows you to set a channel trailer. This should serves as your channel’s “about me,” and tell your viewers who you are, what they can expect from your videos and why they should be listening to you.
14. Consider Collaboration
One of the best ways to get noticed is through influencer marketing.
For YouTube, you’ll want to identify the top players in your niche (who gets the most views and engagement), and reach out.
Ask them to work with you on a project for the chance to expose yourself to a new audience.
Similarly, contact popular bloggers to see if they would consider featuring your video in a related post or their social media channels.
When it comes to YouTube, promotion is just as important as production.
Make sure you are promoting each video through every channel at your disposable — social media, your blog, newsletters, even your website.
Create blog posts specifically for each video, and email them to your subscribers.
Just like a blog post or other piece of original content, you should spend as much time promoting it as you do creating it.
After all, one-third of online activity is spent watching video, and 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter.
Seems like a shame not to take advantage of those numbers.
Get Started Increasing YouTube Traffic Now
Just like any marketing channel, your work with YouTube doesn’t end when the camera stops rolling.
But by incorporating the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to a bigger and more engaged audience.
One more thing, make sure to take the time to review your YouTube analytics each month. Here is an example of our channels YouTube Analytics.
This data can be really helpful in understanding how to increase YouTube traffic in the future.
Questions about YouTube? Ask below. What is is working for you?