With the opportunity to rack up millions of views and attract viewers around the world, it’s no wonder everyone seems to be jumping onto the YouTube bandwagon – whether you’re an individual or a business. Using YouTube is simple. Anyone can create a YouTube channel, record a video and upload it, but the tricky part is getting viewers to notice your content and keep coming back for more.
I started my own YouTube channel back in late 2008, and although my channel has been inactive for a few years now due to other endeavors, it stands with over 37, 000 subscribers and over 4 million views. I’ve learnt a number of things from other ‘YouTubers’ and I’ve learnt a lot from when I was a YouTuber myself. From experience I can tell you that this platform is a window to opportunities, and if you’re serious about a YouTube channel for a business or personal brand, here are some tips and tricks to help you grow an online community and get your videos noticed.
1. Create Great Content: always create useful content that connects with your overall brand. Pick a category, a theme for your videos and what you want people to see you as. If you’re a beauty channel, viewers expect to find tutorials and beauty tips. If you’re a gaming channel, viewers expect to see content around games. If you’re a business, viewers want to see suitable content around your product or service.
2. Be Consistent: find the right schedule and maintain it. You don’t have to upload every single day, once or twice a week is fine. If your audience know when and how often you’ll upload a new video, it’ll keep them interested and keep coming back to your channel every week. If you won’t be uploading for a while, let your audience know and don’t just disappear without any explanation.
3. Be Active and Engage: respond to comments, ask questions for your viewers to answer, do something that will get your audience to participate. Growing an online community is about listening and including your audience, and by creating this bond you build trust.
4. Call-To-Action: people like to get involved. There’s nothing wrong with telling people to subscribe to your channel, to give the video a thumbs up, leave a comment, follow you on other social platforms, or to click a link. Sometimes people need a little push to do something. Include links in your description, or place annotations on your video!
5. See What’s Trending: use popular trends or topics to your advantage. See a topic that’s relevant to your channel? Make a video and enjoy the traffic and views you could gain in the limited time. If you’re a business, choose topics that people will continue to search for now and the next few years.
6. Use Tags and Keywords: YouTube is organised on a tag word basis. Alongside the title and description, tags identify the body of your video. Use tags that are relevant to your video, as viewers will get annoyed when they’ve been lied to and the video they click is completely irrelevant. You’re supposed to gain and retain viewers, not lose them!
7. Include Other Social Platforms: it’s a lot easier to interact and update your followers on Facebook and Twitter than it is on YouTube. Link YouTube to Facebook and Twitter, and automatically send out updates to your followers every time a new video is uploaded. Don’t assume that everyone is on YouTube!
8. Promote Your Video: tweet about it, blog about it, share it on Facebook. The more websites your video appears on, the better chance someone will see it – uploading your video isn’t enough.