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How to Win at YouTube

Jan 29, 2020News

So you’ve got strong video content for your YouTube channel. Nice. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting eyes on your channel, creating quality content is only half the race. The good news is, you’ve already got the car. You just need to fine-tune the engine. 

Ok, so we’re not mechanics. But we do know that making a few tweaks beneath the bonnet of your video vehicle can have a huge impact on your view count. Here’s where you should be looking to improve:  

  1. Metadata 

YouTube is the world’s second most-used search engine (it’s true, we Googled it). 

Metadata is the written information that tells people and search engines what your video is. Employed correctly, metadata helps your stuff show up in search results and allows your potential customers to find it. To optimise your video’s metadata, you’ll want to address: 

  • The title 
  • The description
  • The tags 

Your title should contain keywords. Research these by typing something related to your video in YouTube’s search field and seeing what autocomplete suggests. This gives you an indication of what potential viewers are searching for. You can also compare keywords using Google Trends. 

But remember – you’re writing a title to encourage actual humans to click on and watch your video. Aim for an easily readable title that provokes curiosity and sets an accurate expectation of what your video is about. No one clicks on meaningless strings of keywords. 

The description should sum up your video in one or two succinct sentences. Again, include keywords but use natural language. The start of the description should be about this specific video; use the ‘show more’ section to get into what your channel is about, with links to your website and social platforms. 

Stick to tags that are relevant to your video. You’re not trying to indiscriminately hook viewers, but rather ensure your specific target audience can find it. Use the entire 270-character limit, and list tags in order of relevance. It’s a good idea to update them when new search trends emerge. 

2. Interactive Features and Playlists

Interactive cards and end screens can be added to any YouTube video. Use these clickable elements to recommend your other videos, encourage channel subscriptions, provide additional information about featured products or services, or lead viewers to your website. 

After all, you’ve invested time and money in this video content for a reason. Now it’s time to add an easy-to-follow call to action and drive viewers wherever you need them to go. 

Interactive elements can also promote playlists. Once you’ve uploaded a couple of videos, curating them into playlists is an effective way to keep viewers engaged on your channel for longer. Netflix-style binge-viewing for your brand, here we come!

Don’t forget that playlists have their own metadata, which should be optimised for keywords and readability. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

3. Thumbnails

Yes, YouTube automatically selected a thumbnail for you when you uploaded your video. No, you shouldn’t use it. 

The best-performing YouTube videos have custom thumbnails. This is your opportunity to present a visually enticing preview that stands out in the search results, instantly tells potential viewers what your video is about, and works hand-in-hand with your optimised title to deliver a cohesive brand message. 

No pressure then. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Try a shot from the video with text and a logo added, a photo that represents the video or your company as a whole, or a title slide assembled by a graphic designer. Experiment. What would encourage you to click, if this weren’t your own video?

If you want to optimise the performance of your video content, it’s worth giving each of the above areas a little love. Remember the car? Neglecting your video’s tags is like forgetting to check your tyre pressure. Probably. Like we said, we’re not mechanics. 

Of course, all the optimisation tips on the internet can’t take you to the top if your videos aren’t top-notch. That’s where we come in. 

To chat about your video requirements, drop us a line at info@lightboxfilm.co.uk  

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