How To Get More Views On YouTube
surprisingly, artists and music brands have lately come to view YouTube network as one of the most critical pieces of their
digital marketing strategies.
Not only is video content one of the most valuable tools available for
increasing engagement and building an artist’s brand, but it has also proven
capable of breaking new acts (just look at Psy and Justin Bieiber) in the rare
event that a video goes viral.
is absolutely dominated by music. Of the top 20 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of
all time, 19 are music videos. Obviously YouTube users love music content—so
how can you best position your videos to reach a higher proportion of that
massive (over 127 million unique visitors in May 2012 alone) audience?
there’s no simple answer to that question. YouTube is undeniably one of the
hardest social networks to crack for any artist trying to build an audience.
Eight years’ worth of video content is uploaded to the platform every single
day, which means your latest music video or behind-the-scenes clip is competing
against a nearly endless pool of other pieces of content. What most YouTube
users don’t realize, however, is that there are several simple tricks any
content creator can use to easily increase their visibility on the platform,
simply by understanding how YouTube ranks its content.
course, the first and most important step is to create high quality,
entertaining content that people will actually want to watch. But once your
video is ready to go live on the platform, make sure to follow these simple
steps to ensure people will actually find it:
1. Optimize your tags. You may be surprised to learn that your
video’s title and description has virtually no correlation to how YouTube
assesses your video. Instead, tags are what tell YouTube’s algorithm
whether your video is relevant to what a particular user is looking for—as well
as what determine which videos show up in Google’s Video Search results. When
building out your list of tags, make sure to include keywords from the title
and description of your video, as well as broader terms that relate to your
content (e.g. “pop rock music” or “hip-hop music video”). If your video makes reference
or relates to themes from the news, popular culture, or other artists, make
sure they are also included in your tags (e.g. “2012 presidential election”).
Generate a list of go-to keywords—both specific and broader terms—that you can
use as tags for every video you publish, but also make sure to update tags from
existing videos on a semi-regular basis to include relevant trending topics in
your keywords. Think about what terms users will search for if they’re looking
for content similar to yours, and make sure those terms are included in your
don’t forget—you need to use quotation marks around your
multi-word tags for them to register as a single tag.
2. Use captivating titles and select the most compelling
thumbnail available. While your titles won’t dictate where your video
shows up in search results, they will help users decided whether or not they
want to click on your video over another. Which thumbnail you use also
has a big effect on how appealing your video is in search results. Make sure to
choose one that is visually appealing and an accurate representation of what
users are going to see when they view the video. If viewers stop watching your
video after a few seconds because it’s not what they expected to find, YouTube
will give your video a lower quality score and decrease its ranking.
3. Whenever possible, don’t upload your video until you’re
ready for it to go live. YouTube prioritizes fresh content, so if you
upload a video as private and later make it public, it loses any initial
momentum it could have garnered if it were pushed live when first uploaded.
While promotional schedules sometimes dictate having a video pre-uploaded so
that it can go live at a precise time, and while it may seem like you’ll save
yourself precious time by having videos ready to go ahead of time, it’s worth
the extra time and effort to only upload videos when they’re ready to be pushed
live, if you can.
4. Upload fresh videos on a consistent, regular basis. Doing this
will keep your channel active, which means all your videos will be ranked
higher than if you have no fresh content at all. Not all of your videos need to
be the highest quality production. Save time and money by shooting
behind-the-scenes videos on available equipment (an iPhone works great), and
you’ll not only offer your fans a more intimate experience, but also keep your
video rankings healthy.
5. Use your description and annotations to
build call-to-actions into your videos. Once you have a viewer, give them
clear instructions for what you’d like them to do next. Every video you upload
should include in-video links to Subscribe to your channel. You can create
these by editing your videos’ “annotations,” and control their size, font, and
appearance to ensure they don’t negatively impact your content. Annotations can
also be plain text, which can correspond to further details or links within
your video description. For example, you can advertise “Now available on
iTunes” with an annotation, and then include a hyperlink to the iTunes store in
your description. In every video description, make sure to include relevant
information and hyperlinks to your website and key social media profiles, and
always include the full URL (“http://…”) to make the link active.
are many other tips and tricks you can use to increase the effective reach and
quality of your YouTube presence, but the above are some of the most
critical—and some of the most frequently overlooked. Ensuring your digital team
understands the specifics of how YouTube ranks and profiles its content is
essential for building a successful YouTube Channel. Overlooking these details
can leave even the highest quality content unwatched.
Katonah Coster is a Marketing Manager at Fame House, where she helps artists manage and grow their digital businesses. Prior to this role, Coster handled marketing and development at the the non-profit Weathervane Music and served as a management assistant at Whitesmith Entertainment.