So you’ve finally managed to create your YouTube channel, but have soon realized that getting more views on YouTube in 2020 is harder than you think? You’re giving your best by painstakingly creating content for your channel- but aren’t getting the results to reflect the effort you put in? Well there are a couple of things you must learn right away, if you want to increase your YouTube views in 2020!
YouTube is a search engine, and like google, it strives to give users what they want first. This it measured by the number of likes, views and reactions that videos have received. But if YouTube doesn’t show your video to anyone in the first place, how can it tell if people like them or not?!
To get more views on YouTube in 2020, you will initially have to put in a lot more effort, in order to get the ball rolling. Once you have built a decent community, and your videos have started getting a good response, things will become easier for you.
Ask any YouTuber and they will tell you that getting your videos to gain traction initially is the hardest part of the YouTube journey. That is why we have created this list of the steps that every YouTuber has to take in order to kick off the channel. Continue reading to learn how you can hack the YouTube algorithm to get yourself more views.
1. Create Captivating Content
You already know the basics of video creation- you need to create content that your audience wants to see. You must have heard this a million times over. But the question still arises; what does your audience want to see? Well this depends on your specific niche.
One thing is certain. Whichever niche you are in- be in fashion, DIY or travel, you have some skill or knowledge that your audience doesn’t, which is why they watch you in the first place. So you actually already have valuable knowledge that your audience doesn’t, and would want to learn. You can make these how-to videos alongside your regular content for a boost.
Additionally, you can ask your audience for their inputs and what they want to see on your channel. Whenever you make a video based on their suggestions, be sure to credit them at the beginning of the video. This will encourage your other viewers to give you valuable suggestions and grow your channel!
2. Inspire Viewers to Subscribe, Like and Share
Marketing students are taught that “It costs twice as much to sell to new customers as it does to old customers.” People who already know you and your backstory are more likely to be attracted to any of your new videos, compared to YouTubers who have never seen any of your videos. This is because having watched your videos in the past, makes people feel like they know you. This triggers FOMO or ‘The Fear of Missing Out’. People will then watch your videos because they don’t want to miss out on the new things you are doing.
In Short- YOU NEED TO CREATE AND KEEP A LOYAL COMMUNITY.
To ensure that your viewers watch your new videos as soon as you launch them, ask them to comment, share, like and subscribe. After all, if it makes even a few of them do it, there’s no harm in asking right?
3. Encourage Viewers to Turn Notifications On;
YouTube’s algorithm shows your videos to new audiences based on the response that it is receiving from its own community. If your video is receives a large number of views and reacts as soon as it is uploaded, YouTube will promote it more and it will appear as ‘recommended’ to new audiences. This is how videos become viral. Once you’ve given them the push, they gather momentum and you no longer need to promote them.
But constantly begging for likes is not attractive will only irritate your viewers. To avoid this, come up with fun and quirky ways to ask them to turn their notifications on.
Also, don’t just ask them to subscribe. Mention something your channel can provide or some free resources. E.g. subscribe to get more fun informative videos about etc topics!
4. Create Playlists to Keep People on Your Channel Longer
YouTube claims on its website that, “top-performing brands on YouTube build and promote twice as many playlists as the bottom 25%.”
- Its not rocket science that playlists help your channel, because people will continue watching your videos one after the other. The more videos that they watch, the more likely they are to subscribe. It requires effort to click on a thumbnail and select a video from the ‘recommended’ list. Most people, when idling about would be happy to let YouTube play videos for them. This is based on the concept that most people are loss-averse. Loss aversion has shown us that people will work twice as hard to avoid losing something than to gain something.
Clicking away midway through a playlist would be akin to clicking away in the middle of a video.
- Secondly, you can create SEO-Optimized names for your playlists, which could separately help improve your ranking.
5. Add a Watermark to Your Videos
Watermarks are an image that appear in your videos. YouTube has its own watermark feature that you can use so you don’t have to edit all your individual videos. However, if you turn it on, it will appear on all your videos. You can’t specify which ones.
Most brands simply use their logo, but you can get creative. Maybe put up a short tagline that your channel is known for? For example, Shopify has a watermark that says ‘subscribe’.
6. Encourage Viewers to Watch Your Other Videos Using Your End Screen,
You can create your own end screen using a photo editor/graphic creator such as Adobe Illustrator if you have it. For a free and easy option, you have online sites like canva.com. You can also download a customizable template, like the one below from http://www.snappa.com
However, end screens are an advanced feature and to access them, you will first need to verify your YouTube channel. Verifying your YouTube account has many benefits. For example, it allows you to access the following features;
- Upload videos longer than 15 minutes
- Add custom thumbnails
- Live stream
- Appeal Content ID claims
We suggest you do it as soon as possible since it doesn’t really take that long either. To verify your channel, you will have to enter your phone number. Google will send a verification code by text or voice call to that phone number.
Now getting back to how to create a custom end screen for your channel.
To access the advanced options, first click on your profile picture in the top right, and then click ‘Creator Studio’. Next click on the ‘Status and features’ tab. From here you can access the advanced features of YouTube and set up a custom end screen and card. To add end screens and cards to the end of your videos, go to the Creator Studio and click ‘Video Manager,’ then click ‘Videos.’ Click ‘Edit’ on the video that you want to add the end screen card to. Once video editor page opens up, you can add end screens and cards by clicking the menu items at the top of the page.
An End-Screen is a dedicated image that you can place at the end of your video. It is used to warp things up and display links, Calls-to-action and cards. Cards are links to your other YouTube videos. You can have them display on your end screen or pop up at any time throughout the video.
Figure 3Source; Andrew Macarthy
End-Screens are a powerful method to keep people watching your videos for longer, similar to a playlist. You can link up related videos on your end-screen, or mention your other videos during that video and link them at the end. Be sure to link them in the description box as well, along with links to your other platforms.
7. Promote Your Videos on Other Sites and Social Media
The initial 24 hours after the release of your new video is a prediction of how your video will play out during the rest of its life. Therefore, you want a good response immediately after your video is uploaded. Aside from having a large subscriber base on YouTube who have their notifications turned on, the second-best method is to have people convert to subscribers form your other social media sites.
Marketing doesn’t start when your video is uploaded, it starts as soon as you get the idea. Let your fans know as soon as you are planning something, and keep them updated about the progress using Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or YouTube stories.
- Create a short teaser video:
After filming, select a few of the most interesting clips to create a short teaser video. Don’t give away the game in the teaser! Just combine a few sentences/shots to create a 20-30 second clip and post it with the caption; Watch the full video here! *insert link*
- Create a countdown to the release of the video, and when it is up, post the links on all your social media platforms.
- And don’t forget about email marketing!
Email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media, according to a study done by McKinsey & Company. According to surveys conducted by the Channel Preferences Survey, 91% of people access their email at least once a day. Although this can be questioned for YouTube marketing, the fact remains that even if you have an open-rate of 20%, it still means that those 20% of people are reading about your channel. Even if they all do not click on the link, they do see your YouTube channel name and your name gets imprinted on their minds. This makes them more likely to convert the next time.
8. Create a Trailer for your YouTube Channel.
You can use this trailer video in your email marketing campaigns, by embedding the link into the body of the email. (People are more likely to watch an embedded video than click on a link to be redirected to the site.) Make a super catchy thumbnail to convince them to click ‘play.’ Including a CTA to subscribe at the end of the video and watch as your new subscribers come pouring in!
You can also post this trailer video on your social channels and advertise them there.
For inspiration, check out this fantastic teaser-trailer from the Slo-Mo guys. How can one not subscribe to their channel after watching this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np68FhljCb8
But of course, the best use is to use it ON your YouTube channel. To set up the video you created as a trailer, click the For New Visitors tab. Click the + Channel Trailer button in the center to place your novel video as the trailer to your YouTube channel, then click on ‘Save.’
Now your trailer video will play whenever someone new visits your channel and (hopefully) get them to subscribe!
Learn more about creating your YouTube channel trailer from this video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pHPHhD3g-o&feature=emb_logo
9. Know the Importance of ‘Watch Time’ and ‘Audience Retention.’
YouTube’s algorithm is like google. It’s intelligent. It learns over time what users prefer watching and promotes that content. For this it uses a number of tactics, but two primary metrics that it has made available to producers to measure and compare are audience retention and watch-hours.
Although they are common confused in YouTube lingo, both measure different things but both are important factors in ranking your channel.
- Watch-Hours; Watch hours (Sometimes called watch-time) are the total accumulated minutes that your audience has watched your videos. This includes replays. To monetize your YouTube channel, you need a minimum of 4000 watch-hours. YouTube also promotes channels that have a greater watch-time (thereby promoting older channels.)
- Audience retention or Average Watch-Time; Since YouTube wants users to create quality content instead of just uploading more videos to include watch time, it has created a metric called watch-time. Watch time or audience retention, as it’s commonly called, is the total amount of time on average that viewers spend watching your videos. Ideally, you’d want a longer watch-time which would mean that your viewers watch your complete videos, instead of clicking away halfway through.
To increase your watch time, try to shorten your videos by cutting away any unnecessary bits and speeding up repetitive actions. This will ensure that your audience doesn’t get bored and click away.
10. Create a Sense of Community
You may repeatedly hear ‘quality trumps quantity’ when learning about social media marketing, and this is especially true for YouTube. A small loyal base of subscribers who are interested in your content and who watch and actively comment on your videos as soon as they are launched, are better than a large subscriber base whom your video does not reach.
Think of your YouTube channel subscribers and community from a long-term perspective. You want them to grow along with you. So putting in effort in creating a sense of belonging will pay off in the long run. It isn’t even difficult. You can do the following three things to build an active community;
- Respond to comments; This is even easier to do if your channel is new. People will be more likely to comment if they see you have responded to other comments too. If your channel is large and you’re unable to do so, make a rule such as responding to the comments within 1 day of launching, and liking the rest.
- Mention fans in your videos; Notice the users who are most active on your channel, and every week, give a shout-out to the top 3. This will encourage other users to engage more, in the hopes of getting a shoutout. If you make a video based on a suggestion, be sure to mention the user too!
- Hold a lucky draw or contest;
The amount of response that giveaways get are overwhelming! You could ask users to create content and upload it on social media with a hashtag, if you are holding a contest. Or ask them to like/comment/share to enter the lucky draw.
11. Create Catchy, SEO-Optimized Video Names
Remember, YouTube is a search-engine just like google, and it uses the titles to rank the videos in response to search queries. For this, you need to know which search terms your viewers are typing into google. This is incredibly important, because your target audience could be using synonyms and you would never know. We suggest you use Google AdWords to find out the relevant keywords that you need to rank for. The ideal keywords would be those that have a medium-high search frequency with low competition. The best thing about AdWords is that it is free and very easy to use. Create your Google Ads account from here https://ads.google.com/ to access the KeyWord Planner.
Although longer titles generally perform better, YouTube penalizes creators for including keywords that aren’t relevant to your video. And remember keep your titles between 60-70 characters long.
Note; Don’t sacrifice the appeal of your titles to stuff in keywords. If users aren’t attracted to the title and don’t click on the result, your video’s ranking will drop!
12. Create Clickbait Thumbnails
We don’t mean literal clickbait. Your thumbnails mustn’t be misleading as that will cause users to click away and reduce your audience retention. But thumbnails are even more important than the video title in determining whether users will click on your video. You may have heard that the brain processes images faster than text. This is true. Infact, our brain understands images instantly, while we work to process text. As a vlogger, you must be aware of this! In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it processes text. And it’s more familiar with processing images—90% of the information that is shown to the brain is visual.
So how do you create thumbnails that your audience wants to click on? Generally thumbnails with the following features perform better;
- Bright colors (But stick to one color spectrum or filter)
- Close-ups of faces with expressions
- Text with good typography
- Elusive branding — like a small logo, watermark or color theme.
Pay attention next time you are scrolling YouTube and notice which videos you click on. You can take screenshots of the thumbnails and compare them later on, to see which features attracted you, and incorporate them in your next videos.
13. Optimize Your Channel
Optimizing your channel means creating a strong identity, branding and aesthetic. Initially when you’re starting out, you may want to experiment with different things to see what works for you. If you’re too picky in the beginning, you may not get around to having anything published.
But as soon as your niche is established, you will want to focus more on creating quality videos that go with your theme.
Your YouTube homepage firmly reflects your brand and lets visitors know what they can expect from your channel.
To optimize your homepage, do the following;
- Create a smooth aesthetic and color-scheme
Use the same filters and color grading on ALL of your content, including thumbnails, profile images and cover photos. Include your watermark and logo on all your content.
- Add links to your social channels and business contact info
Make it very easy for viewers to learn about you and your brand
- Upload your trailer with a short catchy description
Write a description that encourages visitors to play your trailer
- Add Keywords
To insert the search terms you want your channel to rank for, click “Channel,” and then “Advanced.” Simply type in the terms in the box titled “Channel Keywords.”
- Enable related channel recommendations.
By turning this on, you gain the network effect which is what makes YouTube so powerful.
14. Create Vlogger Friends and Invite Them!
You may have heard the phrase, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ This is actually an African Proverb and it holds a lot of truth. Being an influencer can get very tough and having influencer/vlogger friends to discuss tactics with, share hacks, create content and simply hang out with can make the process a lot more fun and easier.
Inviting guest vloggers onto your channel can help you get exposure to their followers and vice-versa. Remember the key is to think long-term and collaborate with those whom you share similar passions with.
15. Hop onto Viral Trends
Keeping up to date with what is trending in your line of work can be the difference between becoming famous or sinking into the background. Having a good network will enable you to know about viral trends as soon as they emerge. Keep your eyes and ears open for what users want. Keep following the relevant channels and above all, never stop learning!
We’ve highlighted fifteen fantastic methods to get your channel up and running on YouTube in 2020. How many of these do you already implement? Which ones work best and which other methods do you use to get more views on YouTube? We would love to hear you out, so let us know in the comments section below!
Remember, becoming successful takes effort and time. Rarely does anyone achieve success overnight. Focus on taking small steps every day, make it hard work a habit and you will see the results roll in slowly but surely.