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February 20, 2015

You Won’t Get YouTube Views Until You Pay Your Dues

YouTube is becoming more and more popular every day. The people who are using it are going there to market product, make people laugh, educate about important issues and a host of other reasons.

None of them get any consistent YouTube views until they take their account seriously. I know it looks like PewDiePie mostly goofs around, talks funny, and runs around like an idiot playing video games. And he does. But there’s a side of him you’re not paying attention to — he’s an excellent brander and he has paid his dues in full. Read on to discover more behind the scenes YouTube information.

What is it you want your YouTube channel to do?

There are three basic things that any YouTube channel will do:

  1. Inform — Offering news;
  2. Educate — How-to videos;
  3. Entertain — Make ‘em laugh or cry.

The goal you choose will determine a lot of your YouTube channel’s viewership, and overall look.

To provide you with some examples, here are three of the best YouTube channels for each of the three types.

Informative YouTube Channel: Lego

Lego uses some entertainment videos with the cartoons it makes, but its biggest successes are its videos with hosts who tell the viewers about the newest releases. Here’s an example video:

Yes, the company is adding a touch of entertainment value, but the goal is to inform people about its products.

Educational YouTube video: Home Depot

Home Depot is very popular in the hardware/home improvement world. The above approach, of talking about products, wouldn’t work. How long can you talk about the newest hammer?

What the company does instead is show what you can build with that hammer, and help you do it. Home Depot has helped tens of thousands of do-it-yourselfers get their projects done right through these educational videos. Here’s an example:

A very low entertainment value, but it is full of educational material that people could find very useful for that specific task. This brings in very targeted YouTube views for Home Depot as these are just the people who will buy its products.

Entertaining YouTube video: Blendtec

Blenders have got to be about the worst advertised product of all time. Those who have been subjected to marathon viewings of The Home Shopping Network by their mother or grandmother will certainly agree.

Blendtec decided to do something about that, and have created a highly entertaining YouTube channel. Here’s an example video:

Lots of fun, right? Is it targeted directly at people looking to buy blenders? No. It does get a tremendous number of views and expose more people to the brand. I never would have heard about the company, or ever watched a YouTube video about blenders, if it hadn’t created its ‘Will it Blend’ campaign.

Brand building on YouTube helps you get more views

Even the goofiest of YouTube channels knows to have a style they follow consistently. PewDiePie has his funny voice he uses every time, and a regular schedule. Philip DeFranco has had the same schedule for years, structures all of his shows the same way, and even has a little monkey logo.

Both of these guys have a brand, you know what you’re going to get when you watch one of their videos. Your YouTube channel will need further branding beyond choosing a style of video from above. With YouTube being so visual, be sure to:

  • Have a great header image. Including your posting schedule in this is smart.
  • Choosing a location to shoot at all times with a memorable background.
  • Having a set style for your thumbnail images.
  • Everyone can use a logo.

From the silliest of YouTube channels, to the most serious, don’t underestimate the need for a bit of brand building.

Work on good SEO practices

SEO practices on YouTube are almost as important as making great videos that are branded well. You know who owns YouTube, right? Google. You know that search will be an important aspect of your YouTube video views.

To find those people who are actually going to be interested in your videos, not just click-and-leavers, you’ll need to do some planning. The first step is to pick a keyword that relates directly to your video. The Google Adword Keyword Planner can be a great resource for this.

Once you have that keyword there are three important places to put it. You will see them when you upload your video. They are the:

  1. Title: You want to inform people what the video is about, grab their attention quickly, and use the keyword appropriately.
  2. Description: This is not the place for keyword stuffing. Give an accurate description of your video. Use the keyword once, maybe twice at most, and let your viewers know what to expect.
  3. Tags: You may want to add every single tag possible, but that’s the wrong approach. Use your keyword, use a few variations and synonyms, and be sure to use tags that other videos like yours have in them.

You need a mix of practical SEO work and engaging copy. The SEO work helps the search algorithms find you. The engaging copy in your description helps people decide to click on your video.

User experience optimization on YouTube

The SEO work above does a lot to help your video views with the search engines. The human element of getting people clicking takes a bit more work.

Thumbnail images are important

The best YouTube channels always have great thumbnail images. These are the little images that display next to a video’s title and description after your search. Here is the results for the search “Air Jordan shoes”:

Jordanthumbnail

Out of those videos, do you want to guess which has the most views? If you guessed anything but the one with the lady’s butt you clearly don’t understand how important thumbnails can be. The real secret: nowhere in that video do you ever once see that lady, or any woman, wearing Jordans.

Having a tagline

Once you get people watching your video you need to have a tagline. This auditory cue can back up all of the SEO work you did in some way if you want. The best thing you can do is use it as an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. Here are some examples from actual YouTube users:

  • Phil DeFranco: “S’up nation? Today is (date), and this is the Philip DeFranco show. This is the show where I talk about newsie type stuff and things that matter to me today.”
  • PewDiePie: “How’s it going bros? It’s <sillyvoice>PewDiePie</sillyvoice>.
  • Kaushal Beauty: “Hello, my angels!”

There are exceptions to this. But even those who do not have a tagline that they say, still have something at the beginning of every video. Smosh has its “SHUT UP!” Jenna Marbles has her squeaky duck. HolaSoyGerman has his musical introduction.

These are all branding moments for the user, and help to let people know what they’re expecting. The best thing they do is build a relationship with their viewers. When all the brand building is done, once the SEO is done, once the user experience work is done, having people come back again and again because they have a relationship with you is what is going to get you the most YouTube views.


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Ernest is one of the people behind Buy Views, a business that helps YouTube viewers build their YouTube viewership through brand building, promotion, and SEO practices. He work with influencers to actually promote your video, and help you with your search ranking goals.

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