1. Be branded
The power of first impressions can never be underestimated. Your YouTube channel is like a storefront, providing the right look to show off the essence of your business. Branding is what you are, which should always be clear for your audience to understand. Distinctive and synergetic style helps to stand out from the crowd, as well as to be recognized. Visual brand identity is a major part of your branding strategy, telling your audience what your brand stands for and what voice it has.
Let’s, for example, look at the YouTube channel of Xbox. It maintains a consistent color combination of white, black, grey and neon green throughout the entire channel. If you would be shown similar visuals with the same color scheme, layout, and typography, it would still create an association with Xbox. The reason is that the company has been consistent with its branding for a while to be now recalled on a subconscious level. The truth is, it’s easier to sell when people are already aware of your presence. Building a strong online brand presence helps to get more qualified traffic that can be easier converted into sales.
Customize your thumbnail
You can witness a consistent branding style kept on Jimmy Fallon’s YouTube channel, especially in relation to video thumbnails used. It’s not enough to simply pick a shot from your video, because it won’t be as effective. Why? Custom YouTube thumbnails always outperform the ones simply picked from a video. They help to increase your click-through rates, and therefore, boost the ranking of your content.
To prove this point, simply enter some keywords in YouTube search and see which videos are showcased as the highest performing. The ‘Google rank’ search has suggested videos, and look closer, the ones ranked top are those with customized and very distinctive thumbnails.
It’s time to put more effort into things that get people to click. For people to find your content faster, there is another idea to implement. You can add your logo or the brand name on the same spot in each video thumbnail. It could, for instance, be done the same way as BMW does. Now, every time you see such a format, you will be able to recognize original content by BMW. Be original and distinctive!
And before we finish discussing the tricks of YouTube’s visual branding, remember to keep your YouTube thumbnails in high resolution. Google stated that YouTube thumbnail resolution should be exactly 1280×720 (with a minimum width of 640 pixels). If you upload a thumbnail in the right format, you won’t have to resize it, and therefore, it won’t lower the image quality.
2. Be findable
Just as you can use tactics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve the online visibility of your web pages, you can optimize your videos to make them more visible on YouTube.
Conducting keyword research will help to both develop relevant content and make your current one more findable. In order to find a sweet spot, where a keyword is highly searched but not over-competitive, it’s helpful to use free platforms like Keyword Tool and Google Trends to get a clear idea of what people search for on YouTube. Video content with strategic keyword optimization will help you rank much higher.
Use your focus keywords in your title, while prioritizing the ones with the highest relevance to your brand or a topic. Another trick is to add a colon after your first mentioned keywords and rephrase the title and enhance the description. For example, “Affiliate Marketing: leverage winning partnerships”. Moreover, a good title length is usually between 50 and 60 characters.
Need more ideas?
- Use an episode number in case your video is a part of a series, for example: Part 1 – Episode 3 – Season 4, etc. This helps YouTube to recommend your videos better and add more relevant suggestions on what to watch next.
- Add an expressive language. Would you be interested to click on a video titled “These 6 ideas might work”? Probably not. Instead, bring more emotions to your title. For example, “Top 6 Ideas for Creating a Successful Video”. One more aspect to pay attention to is to not go as far as clickbait titles. Such titles can grab attention, but also lead to a high disappointment in case of a poorly related video content.
- Connected to the previous point, numbers do work! You probably have seen this technique being used widely, and there’s a reason: it truly works. Whether it’s “5 Facts…”, “10 Ways..”, “4 Things..”, it will bring the audience to your video.
Start your YouTube video description with a full URL link to the page you want viewers to go to. It might be a connected blog, a subscription page, an FAQ and so on. Don’t be stingy with your keywords either, and include both focused and semantically related words. External links – e.g. affiliate links – can also be added into your video description.
Always stay relevant and specific with your tags. Let them reflect the topics your video content is focused on. Use between 10 and 15 tags, to not scare away YouTube.
Closed captions (subtitles)
To make sure the efforts to heighten the ranking of your YouTube channel are exploited, closed captions increase the chances of getting your video content noticed. This technique will open up your content to a much larger audience, which will further boost your view count and ranking. Closed captions are read and indexed by Google and YouTube, and therefore, will help you become more findable.
3. Video length: important or not?
Marketers have never stop debating about the perfect YouTube video length. Yes, people have an extremely short attention span nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that only short videos perform the highest on this platform. Keep your video as long as it is interesting and not a second longer. Whether it’s a minute or half an hour, the only thing that matters is that people stay tuned, which leads us to another finding.
To be seen, you also need to satisfy YouTube itself. The YouTube Algorithm has made Watch Time to be a #1 ranking factor. Attention: Watch Time isn’t directly about the length of your video, but about the length of your users’ viewing session. YouTube Creators explained it this way: “Your content benefits when it leads viewers to spend more time watching videos — not just on your channel, but anywhere on YouTube.”
The following length suggestions will contribute to a higher watch time of your videos.
The 2 and 7-13 minute marks
After analyzing almost 600.000 videos, Wistia has concluded some interesting findings. They can clearly see a huge engagement drop-off by audiences after 2 minutes of watching a video. A few seconds won’t make a difference for your short-form video, as long as you keep it under the suggested 2-minute mark. After 2 minutes, however, every second counts!
For long-form videos, sweet spot #2 is between 7 and 13 minutes. After 12 minutes, audience attention spans drops again. So, what to do? While short-form videos stick to maximum 2 minutes, for longer explanatory videos you can be flexible. However, try staying within the 7 to 13-minute limitation. Obviously, the content will be your real decision factor, but taking into account video length suggestions will help you in your video making process.
4. CTAs: Make viewers remember you
Using YouTube’s CTA options is easy and very effective. In-video CTAs have a great potential in driving people back to your site and converting them into customers. If you want someone to check out your other videos, subscribe to your channel, “like” a video or follow a link, you have to invite them explicitly. Viewers are too busy watching your video, and to actually trigger an action it’s necessary to remind them of what you want them to do.
End screens & annotations
In order to motivate people to subscribe to your channel, you can add an element ‘Subscribe’ and position it at the time and place it should pop up.
To mention another video or a playlist you want a viewer to check out next, add an element “Video”. At the top of this video editor, YouTube provides the option “Use template..” with a suggestion of locations for your CTA elements.
Moreover, there are two other elements to add: “Channel” and “Link” to promote another channel or follow a link, respectively.
To suggest another video that will notify a viewer at the top right corner of the video screen, add the card “Video or Playlist”. Moreover, you can even gather some data: add the card feature “Poll” to create a short survey on the same left side.
Let your CTAs help you convince and convert your viewers!
5. Consistent content production
Consistent publishing schedules have helped many channels to stay on top of viewers’ minds. It’s definitely up to you to decide the strategy you follow, whether you are a pop-up entertainment channel or an established provider of regular content. If you do want to grow a loyal and engaged community of supporters, you better choose the latter option.
Besides a clear benefit for your audience, consistency can have a big influence on the YouTube algorithm. As an active video publisher, you will encourage YouTube crawlers to visit your channel more often and track your content for a higher ranking.
Still figuring out whether you should invest in video? Don’t hesitate any longer! Video marketing is a necessity for modern businesses. Start utilizing YouTube’s potential to help you drive conversions and increase your sales faster than ever. OnlineVideoEditor not only helps you to create professional videos but provides actionable tips on how to succeed with them.