8 Ways To Increase YouTube Views And Retain Your Audience
Everyone uploading video wants to increase YouTube views. More views, more audience, more visibility, more opportunities to monetize. While views are still important, YouTube is starting to give much more importance to audience retention. This means that minutes watched is as important, and in the near future, maybe even more important than views. Regardless of what's more important, views or retention, the bottom line is we want people to watch our stuff for the longest amount of time possible. We increase YouTube views by producing great video content, link building and optimization. Each one of those points requires strategy, planning and goal setting. Right now we'll see 8 ways I recommend to increase YouTube views.
How to Increase YouTube Views
- Engage off the bat
- YouTube Analytics Engagement Reports
- AdWords Keyword Tool
- Twitter stalk influencers
- Link build from the bottom up
- Produce video from your awesome posts
- On page video SEO
- Content circles
Engage off the bat
The first 15 seconds of a video is crucial. This time frame is where the majority of the audience abandons watching a video. So we have to pay particular attention to those first seconds in our pre production planning to increase YouTube views and decrease abandonment. Whether you produce video blogs, sketches, tutorials, whatever it is, make those first seconds "pop". How to engage? That's a whole blog post unto itself but here's are a couple of ideas. Catchy music that's energetic and vibrant, much like television news casts. Stating what the viewer will learn, experience, feel, etc. by the end of the video, this is very similar to the heading of a blog post, if it doesn't describe a benefit, it's not likely to retain.
YouTube Analytics Engagement Reports
YouTube Analytics is chock full of great information about you channel. The problem is that if you're fresh onto YouTube, there won't be much data to interpret. For now, let's assume you have some data. The Engagement Reports section of YouTube Analytics offers you a peek into the psyche of your audience. Every section: subscribers, likes and dislikes, favorites, comments and sharing gives you a top 10 list. To increase YouTube views with engagement reports all you have to do is produce more of what's listed in your top 10 lists. These top 10 tell you what your audience likes. For example, favoriting and sharing a video requires much more effort on behalf of the user, it involves a couple more clicks than a like, and in my opinion, it's a much more valuable indicator of your audiences taste's and preferences. So produce more of those top 10's, give them more of what they like and increase YouTube views.
AdWords Keyword Tool
Another crucial factor to increase YouTube views is content has to be valuable to the audience. The value of a video can be determined by seeing if it answers questions, solves problems and/or satisfies a need of the viewer NOT you the producer. To help us produce more relevant and valuable content for our audience, we can use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to do some research into what our audience is searching for and with that information produce videos that answer questions, solve problems and/or satisfy needs, of the viewer.
Twitter stalk influencers
Careful, this does no mean Twitter Spam, it literally means stalk (be present while staying out of sight). So what's an influencer, simple, someone who can easily influence a group of people, generally into taking some sort of action because of the credibility this person has gained. By Twitter stalking these people's timelines you can get a feel for what they like, don't like and most importantly you can develop the insight into what are their questions, problems and needs you can answer, solve or satisfy. What you want is to discover what they need and haven't found an answer to, then you swoop in, produce a relevant video (obviously coherent to your brand/company/mission) and tweet it at them in the hopes that it scratches their itch, gets you retweeted to their audience and in turn helps you increase YouTube views.
Link build from the bottom up
I've seen great success in my work to increase YouTube views by asking for collaborations with other YouTuber and links from relevant sites. Not rocket science I know, but we normally go after the people and channels with the most massive audiences, not a good idea. Reaching out to these people is like finding a needle in a hay silo. Their inboxes are always full, time is scarce and you're petitions just never get onto their radar. Who you should contact are people with just a little bit more influence, if not the same, as you. These people and channels are mucho more accessible because they have a similar mission as you: increase YouTube views. So they tend to answer emails, messages, comments, Tweets, fan mail and even their cell phones. This is all about incremental growth from the bottom up through accessible channels.
Produce video from your posts
Another way to increase YouTube views is to produce video that's complementary to your own blog posts. This diverts traffic from your blog to your YouTube channel. Video as complementary to your posts can add a dynamic a audiovisual component that can engage to those who aren't big readers. Maybe you could make quick 2 minute video summaries for those who are on the go, or you can go all out and describe through video complex ideas not easily understood in text through.
On page video SEO
The titles, descriptions and tags you enter while uploading your video should be treated in the exact same way you would the ones on your website. To increase YouTube views people have to be able to find your content and titles that say SAN003498.mov or Video Blog 027.mov will never, ever get you anywhere. Do some keyword research for each video's topic. Once you decide on a frase, us it early in your title. This is no different than the your title tags on your site. The description could be viewed as the meta description, a great place to add some more longer tail frases and keywords. If you have the ability to transcribe your videos, the description is a great place to put that text. The tags are another area where you can place some more researched keywords and frases.
One of the simplest and least used ways to increase YouTube views is to never let your audience abandon your channel. This is achieved through planned out content production and an annotation strategy. The idea is to place annotations within one video that, at some point, offer you the ease and visial cue of "click here to watch the previous", "click here to watch the next", "click here to watch the making of", "click here to watch the... ", you get the point.
We want to design an ecosystem where the user doesn't have to make an effort to keep watching you.