YouTube gets around 1.9 billion logged-in visitors per month, who view billions of hours worth of video every day. So firstly, if you want to watch all of it, you should probably cancel your other plans, and secondly, if you’re a marketer, it’s a potentially great way to learn more about your target customers and your current customers, and, more importantly, generate leads.
We’re uniquely positioned to provide these services. Not only can we make high-quality videos – handling everything from concept creation to filming to editing – we’ll help you promote them too. Our team has experts in video distribution and YouTube SEO, which can be seen in practice over at 4 Minute Tech: our very own YouTube channel, and one that received over 200,000 views in its first year. Check out our portfolio of live-action and animated content below, and keep reading for more YouTube video marketing tips. When you’re ready to get started with your YouTube video promotion strategy, contact our managing director, Jamie Field, to get the ball rolling.
We are an award-winning producer of videos – and an award-winning promoter of videos, too. We use a highly creative and strategic approach that also hews closely to set KPIs: if a great idea isn’t going to lead to tangible improvements, it isn’t a great idea.
Our team has everything you’d expect from a production company: directors, editors, camera operators, scriptwriters, and more. But we go way beyond making the videos, because we’ve got the experts you find in excellent marketing companies – PR specialists, SEO bods, and content marketers, among others. And because they’re obsessed with the latest and greatest marketing, they’re also obsessed with video, and can make sure yours gets the attention it deserves.
Our YouTube marketing tips
Optimise your channel page
Getting the most out of your video means making the most of your channel page. Use up all sections (PlayLists, Liked Videos, Latest Uploads, Most Popular Uploads, and Other Featured Channels) design custom thumbnails and catchy social, and web links (though make sure you stick to sites that you own, are relevant, and regularly update), and don’t underestimate the value of quality banner art. Be sure to also turn on the “Popular/Recommended Channels” feature and create a trailer for unsubscribed viewers – it’s an easy way to explain how they can follow all your content and watch it the moment it’s published.
Creating watchable, sharable content
The Wadsworth Constant is a maxim that states that the first 30% of any video can be lost, and the rest will still make sense. It’s a rule you should actively try to defy: a strong, focused, and intelligent start that hooks the viewer immediately and provides a taste of what’s to come is hard to craft, but worth the effort. And it’s a philosophy you should cling to while making the whole thing. Structure it accordingly: grab the viewer’s attention with a snappy, creative title; give them a reason to keep watching in the first few seconds; teach them or tell them something they didn’t know; and then use your end screen CTAs to tease something new. Don’t forget to include bloopers at the end, and interact with them in the comments – rewarding posters with Creator Hearts and shouting out their contributions in later videos can help you build a strong community on your channel.
The fundamentals of titling
It’s a dirty little secret of video marketing, but we’ll share it anyway: often, whether someone watches your film isn’t about how good it is. They don’t know that yet! It’s about what it’s called. And figuring out what to call your video can be tricky. In reality, your best bet is to keep it simple. If it’s about iPhone security best practices, call it “X iPhone Security Best Practices” and put the name of the channel in there as well. If it isn’t connecting with viewers, experiment with different titles and see if that makes a difference. Think about the kind of title that would grab your attention if you were halfway interested in the topic, and try to create it.
The art of tagging
Tagging is an art form unto itself. The best thing you can do is create default tags for each upload to save yourself time and energy – they’ll auto-populate the relevant fields every time you create a new video. In terms of the content of your tags, create tags that include your channel keywords (channel names, presenter names, etc.), and subject keywords along with any that are specific to the video. If you don’t know these keywords, research them and refresh them to look at new trends; your competitors’ tags can also provide a good starting point. Use as many tags as necessary, but as a rule of thumb, try to keep it to 6-10, and don’t bother with misspellings, synonyms, or splitting terms up into separate tags.
It’s easy to think that uploading content is as simple as, well, uploading content, but it’s more complicated than it might seem. To make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible, you’ll want to select the ‘optimal’ category, make sure it goes directly to the public, enable embedding, and publish it in high definition – it can be downscaled easily, but not upscaled – and carefully select your release time. Nobody’s browsing at 2am on a Thursday, so don’t publish it then: if you notice an uptick in viewers who are watching on their commute, time it accordingly. Add it to playlists wherever you can, allow non-monetised platforms, and if you have the time to add closed caption subtitling, do so – accessibility is important! Add annotations to encourage subscriptions, and above all, do not use misleading metadata.
The thing about YouTube is that it’s a good place to upload your video, so long as you understand that it’s never just about your video. Each clip exists in relation to others – often, thousands of others – and will be judged not only on its own merits, but for what it contributes to a wider discussion. So create a playlist, and be sure to make your video the first entry. But don’t shy away from the fact that your video is one link in a chain of many others: direct viewers to clips that complement yours, contradict it, or otherwise do something interesting in the same subject area. You get rewarded for session time anyway, and it never hurts to do the work for the audience.
Understand YouTube’s ranking factors, and you’ll have a better idea about how your videos are performing. The most important is viewer watch time, which is exactly what it sounds like: the amount of time viewers are typically watching your video. Session watch time, which chronicles how many YouTube sessions your video starts, is also important. Beyond these factors, obvious things like engagement, shares, and tags help your video move up the rankings – as do descriptions, tags, titles, and closed captioning.
Optimising your video
Once you’ve uploaded your video, you’ve really only just begun. With YouTube, as with so many things, what’s past is often prologue: historical performance and analytics can often be an excellent guide to future performance. Audience retention can give you insights into your watchtime, and you should compare it to the YouTube average to see how you’re doing. But the best way to judge the overall success of your channel is subscribers: the more of them, the better. If you can hold on to your audience and grow it between uploads, you must be doing something right with your YouTube video promotion.
Rules of thumbnail
There are a surprising number of rules for YouTube thumbnail uploads. Some are restrictions imposed by the platform; others are simple best practices that will help it get seen and shared by as many people as possible. The best thumbnails typically include close-ups of faces, visually compelling scenery, anything well-framed, well-composed, in-focus and directly related to the content. When you have the right hi-res thumbnail, think about including graphics that match your colour-coding and your channel logo – and make sure it looks good in both small and large sizes.
Descriptions can help sell your viewer on what they’re about to see – and how it will benefit them. Again, make it as easy as possible for them to engage and you’ll be rewarded for it. So each description should be keyword rich, especially in the above-the-fold section. It should also link to your other videos, social platforms, and playlists wherever possible, including those of your competitors; in fact, linking to other content, both within the platform and to outside websites, is a ranking factor, and will create positive associations. And don’t forget the bigger picture – include a description of your channel as well as your video.
I only have positive things to say about TopLine. We pushed the team hard on timelines to animate a new video explaining what Carfused (part of Confused.com) is and we are really happy with the results. The team are easy to work with, responsive to feedback and love the creativity they bring to the table.