With a massive global audience and an algorithm that can create overnight viral sensations, YouTube needs to be part of every marketer’s playbook. With that said, it’s not an easy platform to master by any means.
That’s largely because YouTube is part a social media network, part a video host, and part a search engine. This makes marketing on the channel a complicated process.
But fear not, we’re here to help. We have little-known “hacks” that can help your videos stand out on YouTube. Think of these hacks like counting cards inside a Las Vegas casino or chart analysis on stocks. That is, success isn’t guaranteed, but your odds of winning shoot up if you follow these techniques — level the playing field per se.
Consistent & Similar Video Uploads Are Key
We’re going to be talking A LOT about the YouTube algorithm so buckle up. First things first, you can’t drop a one-off video and expect a boatload of views. Nope, you’ll need to create a true content strategy and repeatedly upload new material.
It’s best that your videos all revolve around a similar topic — this is your “niche.” In simple terms, you must become an expert in this topic. That’s how you build a subscriber base that eventually becomes the lifeline of your channel.
If you were to create videos on completely-separate topics, say fashion and travel, you’ll likely just end up splitting your audience apart. Finding viewers that have an overlapping interest in both topics is more challenging than one. Again, audience building is the key here.
Optimize The Video’s Metadata For Discovery
YouTube is an uber-competitive platform. More than 500 hours of content is uploaded to it every single minute. Therefore, having your content be discovered is a challenge unless you optimize for the algorithm.
Remember earlier when we said YouTube was part of a search engine? Well, as a matter of fact, it’s the second most-used search engine in the entire world. After all, search is the bread and butter of Google, who owns YouTube.
Thus, you’ll need to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to populate in YouTube search results. In fact, this is just as important as the actual creative of your video.
SEO can be a long-winded topic, but it starts with finding keywords with high search volume that relate to your video. Then you must pepper these keywords in your video’s title, description, tags, captions, and other metadata. From there, YouTube crawls that text-based information and the algo decides to feature the content on certain search queries or not.
Of course, the video wording not only has to appeal to algorithms, but everyday users, too. The title of the video is especially crucial. With a catchy title that stands out, you can lure users to your content over competing videos.
Eye-Catching Thumbnails Get Clicks
Say your video appears on YouTube search or recommendations — which it can if you follow the metadata advice from above — it’ll be alongside several other videos. From here, the user has two pieces of information at their disposal to click your content over the others: the title and thumbnail.
We already covered titling videos, but thumbnails are equally important. Look, the YouTube website is pretty vanilla with its mostly dark grey design. A well-crafted thumbnail can stand out against that background and draw eyeballs to your content.
What makes for a well-crafted thumbnail? Welp, that’s not an exact science. But including faces and text in the thumbnail are good starting points.
Naturally, the human eye is drawn to other faces, whether on YouTube or in-person. So showcasing a person’s face in the thumbnail is an instant attention grabber. If the face is making an exaggerated expression, the trick works even better.
Text is another eye-catcher. Our suggestion is to not re-use copy already used in the title. Treat the in-thumbnail text as a subhead to provide extra context about what’s inside the video.
The three tips above aren’t the end-all, be-all tricks for success on YouTube. However, they are the building blocks to a good marketing strategy on the platform. Perfect every single one and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful YouTuber.