Monday, 12 March 2012

6 keys to promoting a YouTube channel

Hello loyal readers,

Today I present part two in the series on how to increase viewership on your YouTube channel.  Last time we talked about content, and how to make it engaging.  This time we will focus on promotion: how can you get your channel seen?
The funny thing about social media is that it's social. In the early days of YouTube and Facebook, funny content spread on its own like wildfire, but not anymore.  There is so much content out there that you've got to be creative with promotions. So here are some keys to getting views on your YouTube channel.  These keys may or may not be applicable to blogs.

The Man with a Million Views

In the course of my research for this article I found some tips someone posted on a forum.  This gentleman has a YouTube channel where he posts highlights from UFC matches.  His content is interesting, and he has managed to get over a million views. You may notice there is overlap with last week's post on content, but nevertheless, here is what he had to say:

1. Make different content

If you're going to stand out from the crowd you can't do exactly what everyone else is doing.  Mix it up, and do something a bit different than the rest:
When I came up with the idea for the "25 Greatest Insults" vid, it was because I had seen all sorts of MMA videos be about knockouts or fights. Never did I see it made for fun stuff like threats or insults. Doing something different makes you stand out.

2. Newsworthiness

It's important that the people share your content with your friends, link to it, submit it to forums, email their co-workers, etc.
By selecting things that are controversial, funny, or just plain out there people wanted to show it around. You won't get views from the people who browse youtube, you get views from those who spread it to everyone they know.
So keep the content easy to relate to. If you're filming a party and everyone is saying "hi" to the camera, everyone at the party might care, but someone who doesn't know you can't relate and won't care.

3. Select an intriguing title

Your title is what will bring people to click the play button. My titles represent a "list" in the sense that it is 25 or 20 or 30. No matter what the number is, people want to see if what they had in their head has made the list. 
I personally am tired of top 10 lists, but that doesn't mean everyone else is.  I think my most-read article was the 4 Ps of Marketing. But that doesn't mean everything you create has to be a top 5 whatever.  Just make sure the title is intriguing enough to click on.

Getting the content out there

Thus ends the advice of the man with the million views.  These keys seem to focus mostly on organic views - that is, people finding your channel from browsing YouTube or Googling the title of your videos, and then sharing it with friends.  But there are other actions you can take to promote your content as well.  These actions help on their own, but will have more impact if the content is interesting, different, the type of content people want to share, and bearing an intriguing title.

4. Joining the conversation

People don't phone you just because you have a phone number. Going to a party doesn't mean people will talk to you. Similarly having a YouTube account (or Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn, etc...) doesn't get you views. You actually have to get to know people.

Comment on other people's videos. Find people with similar tastes and talk to them. Post video responses to people. People care about people who care about them. If you want them to see you as important, treat them as important. The more you expand your network, the more likely you will know people who are movers and shakers. If you've got or can make the connections and get a celebrity to talk about your videos, that will really drive up traffic.


Some people spend a lot of time on YouTube. Others spend more time on Facebook, Twitter, or online forums.  Find out where people who would be interested in your content are hanging out, join the conversation there, and tell them about your channel. You'll have more success if your content is appropriate for the forum you promote in.

bottoms up, gents!
Don't promote how-to-bartend videos in an Alcoholics Anonymous Forum

Actively participating in multiple forums and promoting there is time consuming, it's true, but getting viewers takes time. I learned that from doing this blog!  Oy!

6. Partner up

Cross-pollination can be more than just going to different forums and telling them about your channel.  You can also do content swaps with people in the same way that bloggers will write and host guest articles.  It's a great way for people to get interesting content and expand their circles of contacts. 2 heads are better than one, and online collaboration means there is no geographical limit to where you can find a cohort. The collaboration could be as simple as donating a video to each others' channels or more involved, like a virtual interview or joint commentary on a news item.

Now this list is far from exhaustive, as I am far from being a YouTube celebrity.  But if you give these methods a try, when you become a YouTube celebrity remember your old buddy Nathan and give a shoutout to my blog!


Unknown said...

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