YouTube remains an amazing and durable platform for creators and viewers alike. Viewers get a chance to tap into a library of more videos than you could ever watch in a thousand lifetimes; creators produce videos that might be seen by millions.
However, even if your videos are top quality and specifically targeted to an audience that matters to you, there’s no guarantee you’re going to attract any views. The vast majority of content on YouTube is rarely if ever seen.
If you’re struggling to get views on YouTube videos, what are the best strategies to reverse your momentum? What steps could you take to get more hits on your videos?
Views: The Ultimate Goal?
First, you should consider whether views are truly the ultimate goal. Video creators tend to look for one or more of the following:
- Measurable actions. Some YouTube videos are created to drive specific, measurable activity, such as getting people to visit a specific website or purchase a particular product.
- Overall impact. Other YouTube videos seek to make an impact in a little easily definable way, such as urging someone to consider a different line of reasoning or raise brand awareness.
- Subscriptions. Certain YouTube channels are interested in building a subscriber base, so that base can be monetized in other ways in the future.
- Ad revenue. Many YouTube creators are most interested in making money through advertising. The average YouTube channel makes about $18 for each 1,000 ad views generated. That’s about $3 to $5 for each thousand views you attract.
No matter which of these goals you’re targeting, the total number of views is going to be important to you. The more views you total, the more likely you’ll be to achieve each of the above in turn. In other words, even if views aren’t your ultimate goal, they probably constitute a path to it.
Getting More Views on YouTube
What are the core strategies you can use to amass more views on YouTube?
- Carve out a unique niche for yourself. Too many YouTube creators attempt to make generic, broadly relevant videos in an attempt to tap into YouTube’s immense user base. But this presents two problems. First, you’ll be jumping into an arena against heavy competition. Second, you’ll be creating content that isn’t particularly relevant to any person. It’s much smarter to carve out a unique niche for yourself, and target a specific group with highly particular and relevant content. Look for gaps that aren’t being filled by other creators.
- Understand your target audience better. Once you’ve defined your target niche, shift your focus to understanding your audience. What is the type of person who would watch your content? How would you describe them? What are their perspectives and values? What types of videos do they want to watch and how do they usually view them? Once you get “inside the head” of your average viewer, you’ll be prepared to create much more relevant content. This is a prerequisite if you wish to drive more views.
- Optimize your titles and descriptions for search engines. Most people are at least vaguely aware that one may optimize a website for search engines like Google. But did you know you can optimize your videos for search engines on platforms like YouTube as well? Use keyword research to figure out which terms a person might search to find content similar to what you’re producing. Then incorporate those popular keywords into the titles and descriptions of the videos you upload. You may add further keywords and make them more relevant by adding specific tags. If you do this properly, your video should appear more prominently and often when people search for the key terms.
- Choose compelling thumbnails. Your video might be popping up in search results and recommendation feeds, but it’s only going to attract clicks if it features a compelling thumbnail. Don’t just select a still frame from the middle of the video; you may create a thumbnail from scratch that incorporates bright colors, catchy taglines, and preferably, an excited or surprised reaction shot of a human face. You could also experiment with various thumbnails to see which types work best with your audience.
- Master the art of timing. Once you’ve built a reliable base of subscribers and loyal followers, you should think about when you release your content. The time and days of the week when you upload your videos may have a noticeable impact on how your video is received and whether people click to view it. Pay attention to the habits of your target audience so you can optimize your timing specifically for them.
- Publicize new videos actively. Take the trouble to promote your latest work. Whenever you publish a new video, make a formal announcement on social media, share the video on forums where it might be relevant, and ask your top fans and followers to share it as well.
- Send your video by email. Once you have created a video on YouTube, use other tools and channels to distribute it, for example, email marketing. With Viewed you can embed your video within the email template so that it plays automatically when your subscribers open their email, thus arousing the curiosity of your recipients to visit your YouTube channel.
- Think about giving paid advertising a try. If you’re still struggling to generate views, consider investing in paid advertising. Paying for an ad could be exactly what you need to guarantee an initial stream of traffic to your video. Once you have that, if the quality of your video is sufficiently high, users will begin to share and popularize it on their own.
- Network with other influencers. Spend time networking with other influencers in the video production business, especially if they share your niche. It’s a great way to learn about the tactics and strategies used by other creators and it opens the door to the potential for collaboration in the future.
- Engage with commenters. When people comment on your videos, engage with them. Respond with an immediate reaction or a thoughtful message. This will encourage these people to return to your videos in the future and add to your credibility as a creator.
- Conduct surveys and adjust your strategy. Don’t just presume to know what your viewers want to see; conduct surveys and ask them. Performing ongoing surveys will help you understand better what your viewers are thinking and feeling, so you can create content that’s more suited to their needs.
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