Are you looking to get more views and engagement out of your YouTube videos?
YouTube is a great platform for getting exposure. While some social media platforms have come and gone, YouTube has remained a consistent presence on the internet.
But because of its popularity and revenue-sharing features, there’s a lot more competition on the platform now. And if you want to get more views out of your videos, you’ll have to take a more proactive approach.
In this post, we’re breaking down the best ways to promote your YouTube videos. These tactics will help you get more views, subscribers, and revenue.
Let’s get started:
1. Write optimized video titles
Those that want their YouTube videos to rank will have to master the art of writing optimized video titles. Optimized video titles are those that manage to include important keywords while being catchy at the same time.
At this stage, you also want to think about what video tags you’re going to use.
You want videos to have optimized titles because it’s one of the factors that Google uses to rank videos in search results. Optimized and descriptive video titles rank higher in user queries which leads to more clicks and views.
If you’re in a competitive field, your titles will determine which video users will end up watching. So make sure your titles stand out from everyone else’s.
2. Use eye-catching thumbnails
While video titles are very important, users will likely see your thumbnails first. So you’ll want to invest in great thumbnails. If you lack graphic design knowledge, you might want to hire a professional to do your thumbnails for you.
A great thumbnail will result in views. They are especially helpful in categories where the content is often the same such as in gaming. When you play the same game every day, your thumbnails can help keep your followers interested.
A good thumbnail can also set the tone for the video. A serious thumbnail will let users know what type of content to expect. And if users see a funny thumbnail, they’ll know that they’re probably in for a good time.
3. Add video descriptions
Having helpful video descriptions is good for both you and your audience. You can do a lot in a YouTube description. You can use it to provide additional context. It can clarify certain things that you could have glossed over in the video.
Recently, creators have used the description section to add timestamps. It can even have links to sources if you’re in the news industry.
The description field is a great place to insert keywords that you weren’t able to add in the title. And you can link to other videos on your YouTube channel. And if you want to, you can add hashtags in the description too.
4. Upload high-resolution videos
There’s no excuse for taking low-resolution videos today. Even entry-level phones have cameras that are capable of recording videos that are suitable for YouTube content. So if you’re going to upload content, make sure that you set your camera to use the highest settings possible.
There are some drawbacks to uploading too high of a resolution though. Editing 4K and 8K footage can be tricky if your computer can’t handle large file sizes. Storage can also be an issue.
Also, cameras that can shoot 8K are quite expensive. And not all viewers will benefit from it anyway since most users watch videos on their smartphones. So stay between 1080p and 4K and you should be fine.
5. Have a call to action
Do you notice how some YouTubers always remind people to like, comment, and subscribe? Well, they do that for a reason. While a video can have thousands of views, you’d be surprised to learn that those viewers aren’t subscribed to the channel. And if the viewer is passive, they won’t like or comment on the video.
Suggesting that users subscribe to a YouTube channel increases the chance of users watching your future videos. That means more channel views down the line.
A call to action can go beyond YouTube though. For example, you can ask people to go to your website.
6. Respond to comments
The comments section is not only there for viewers to interact with your video. It’s also there for you to interact with the community.
More people will watch your YouTube videos if they see you interacting with them in the comments section. You don’t have to make long replies. Even a simple thanks will show that you care about what viewers think.
You can also try asking questions to keep the conversation going. You can tell jokes, ask for recommendations, or just say hi to everyone participating.
If you can’t manage the comments section by yourself, you can hire a social media expert to help. Just make sure everyone involved uses the same tone when answering comments.
7. Try live streaming
YouTube live streaming isn’t for everyone — not yet anyway. Discoverability on the platform for live streaming content isn’t where it’s supposed to be compared to Twitch. However, it can work for certain types of content creators.
But why would you want to live stream?
There are several reasons why it can help. Not only does it give people another way of discovering your channel, but it’s also far more interactive than posting recorded videos.
You also get the advantage of YouTube’s live chat feature. And as a bonus, viewers can donate to you if they want to.
8. Promote on social media
Just because people follow creators on social media doesn’t mean they are also subscribers to their YouTube channels. Use your social channels to promote your YouTube channel every time you upload new video content.
You can even promote a YouTube video in advance. Let everyone know when your video content will drop. And give your followers a taste of what they’re about to watch.
Also, try uploading older YouTube videos on your social channels as a way of repurposing them. Not only will this give your old videos new videos, but it will let everyone know what to expect should they become YouTube subscribers.
9. Run contests
Who doesn’t love free stuff? You can promote your YouTube channels by running contests or giveaways. Ask users to subscribe to your channels as part of the mechanics for joining. This will help you gain more subscribers and views.
Just make sure that your contest won’t violate YouTube policy. After all, you don’t want to get into any trouble and risk getting banned on the platform.
You can also ask viewers to submit user-generated content that you can use in future posts. Feel free to be as creative as you want. Get people to join by offering a prize that they won’t be able to refuse.
10. Work with influencers
YouTube is known as one of the best platforms for collaborations. To this day, it’s still one of the best ways to get everyone to watch a video. If you work with an influencer that has a ton of subscribers, there’s a good chance that some of them will eventually come and check you out.
If you’re an influencer yourself, you might find it difficult to collaborate with YouTubers that have way more subscribers than you. But it is still possible. You can ask them directly or you can start an online campaign or petition to make it happen.
But the best way would probably make friends with content creators offline and ask to collaborate with them once your relationship reaches a certain level.
11. Get YouTube verified
Getting YouTube verified is more about building trust than anything else. Say a person uses YouTube search to look for an instructional video. If the search results show videos made by verified users, the searcher will prioritize watching those.
They’ll only watch videos from unverified users if they’re not satisfied with the earlier entries.
Not everyone can get verified though. You’ll need to have at least 100,000 subscribers. If you’re just starting out, you’ll have to grind hard before you’re eligible for verification. But that extra boost of credibility that verification gives you can lead to getting more views. So it would surely be worth the wait.
12. Experiment with video formats
You can experiment with different video formats to see which type would best suit your audience. For instance, some YouTube channels perform better when they upload vlog-style content. Others get more views when they produce documentaries.
There are also creators that thrive in publishing instructional YouTube videos.
What video format to use will depend on your style as a creator and your target audience.
It might take a while before you find the right format for you. You’ll need to pay attention to your analytics to see how your changes are affecting your viewership. You can also refer to the comments section to see how your subscribers like your new video format.
13. Post short-form videos
It’s no secret that YouTube is trying to compete with TikTok. That is why it introduced YouTube Shorts.
The advantage of using YouTube Shorts is that you’re able to upload video content that’s easy to digest. You can also use Shorts to repurpose older YouTube videos. Shorts are also shot vertically, meaning they play well on mobile devices which is how most YouTube videos are consumed anyway.
If you’re mainly targeting younger viewers, YouTube Shorts is probably the best way to engage these users. It helps that viewers are more forgiving about video quality when they’re Shorts. The primary focus is the content itself.
14. Start a video series
Standalone videos are good but creating a video series has a bigger potential. A series is a collection of videos that center around a theme.
Why would you want to have a series on YouTube?
If a viewer watches a video of yours and happens to like the concept, that person will look at all your YouTube content to see if there are others like it. And if you don’t, the viewer will leave your page and go on to another video — probably from another YouTube channel. That’s such a waste.
Create a series so that people would have something to look forward to on your channel.
15. Create playlists
You can compile different videos into playlists to make it easier for your subscribers to search for the content they want to watch.
Not only will it help keep your YouTube channel organized, but it will let your viewers choose which of your videos they can consume in succession. Think of it as presenting viewers with a menu of videos. It just makes it easier for them to find content that could otherwise be buried deep in your library.
You also get the benefit of videos possibly getting played automatically. It’s a small thing but the autoplay feature can stop a user from clicking away after watching a video sometimes. That means an extra view for your channel.
16. Embed videos on websites
Yes, you can embed a YouTube video on a website you own. So if you have a blog post, you can use it to promote your YouTube channel page.
Having your video ready to play on your website can result in additional views. Why? Because it means the viewer won’t have to go to YouTube to discover your content. Instead, they can stay on your site and watch it from there.
But there are other places you can embed your videos.
Some forums, for example, allow users to embed YouTube videos. And even if you can’t embed them, you can always link to the videos. Posting on Reddit can help bring traffic to your YouTube channel.
17. Stay focused
Your content needs to be consistent. If you’re a gaming channel, stick to that. Do you upload movie reviews? Then don’t talk about beauty products. Stick to your lane.
Vloggers have more flexibility since their content revolves around their lifestyles. But they can’t afford to switch up their style whenever they want. Otherwise, they’re going to risk losing viewers. And they surely don’t want that to happen.
Remember that your subscribers are there for a reason. They like the content that you bring. If you switch it up too many times, they’ll have a hard time remembering why they subscribed to you in the first place.
So stay focused. Don’t make sudden changes, especially if what you’ve got is already working.
18. Promote videos via email
If you have email leads and are currently running an email campaign, you can always make your YouTube videos a part of your newsletter. You can use the opportunity to introduce your leads to your YouTube channel. Just make sure that your content is something they want to see.
But what if you don’t want to send your videos via email? What if you want to be more subtle about it?
Well, you can always add your YouTube channel to your email signature. That way, people who notice will have a chance to check it out in their own time.
19. Think about your branding
Knowing your online persona will help you build your YouTube audience. People have to know who you are. Do you see yourself as a presenter? Or do you want to act casually when there’s a camera around? Are you the type that cracks a joke whenever possible? Or maybe you prefer a more serious approach to your videos?
The most successful YouTube influencers are the ones that have the best branding. They remain true to themselves and their content reflects that. And that is the reason why they have a huge number of subscribers and videos that go past the 1 million mark.
Think about what kind of YouTube presence you want to have.
20. Make a channel trailer
Channel trailers are videos that play automatically when a user checks out YouTube channel profiles. Most creators use it for YouTube video promotion. You can use your YouTube channel trailer to talk about yourself. You can explain to everyone what the channel is all about.
You can use it however you want, really. But since it’s displayed in a prominent area of your profile, you’ll want to use it for YouTube promotion.
Channel trailers seem to have fallen out of fashion as of late. YouTubers are choosing to use that space to promote their strongest or latest video uploads. You can go that route too. But you should at least consider making a channel trailer because they help introduce new channels to the world.
21. Review your analytics data
You can use analytics data to better understand how well you’re performing as a content creator. For example, it will give you a chance to see what keywords people are using to find you.
Use this data as your guide to figure out which topics your subscribers want you to make videos about.
22. Participate in trends
Trends are great for content creators. If there’s a trend that gets everyone’s attention, you can join in on the fun by either talking about it or participating in it yourself.
Challenges are perfect examples. If the challenge is popular enough, there’s a chance you’ll get discovered by those searching for those videos.
Just don’t do challenges that could hurt people. Use your judgment. If you become careless, it will backfire on you. Instead of getting views, your followers might call you out instead for publishing dangerous content.
23. Do a podcast
There’s a reason why podcasts are so popular on YouTube. Even creators with millions of followers will still produce podcasts. Why? There are several reasons. Podcasts tend to generate a lot of views. It gives the host a chance to plug other video content on the channel. And it’s a good way of interacting with the community.
Some podcasters will use their show to sell merchandise and promote upcoming projects. Users also listen to podcasts while they’re on the go or as background noise while working. So people can play your videos and not even have to watch them — which is great for you.
So if you have the time and resources for it, promote YouTube videos through a podcast.
24. Post teasers
If you have an upcoming video that deserves special attention, you have to make a teaser video or trailer to properly promote it. YouTube marketing works best if you have something to show people before the final video is out.
Teasers are a good way to bridge that gap.
You can share your teaser on your social media channels including TikTok. If you have a website, you can have it auto-play there. Teasers are also useful for those that are trying to get their YouTube video made through fundraising platforms.
25. Have a banner art
The banner art is the first thing people would notice when they check out your YouTube channel profile. It’s a horizontal image that you place on top of your page. Ideally, you’ll use your banner to show everyone what the channel is about as briefly as possible.
You want your banner art to be visually pleasing and informative at the same time. So hire a professional if you need to.
It would be best if you keep your banner clean. You don’t want to add unnecessary elements. Add links to your social media channels while you’re at it.
26. Use the YouTube Premiere feature
For the unfamiliar, the YouTube Premiere feature is a tool that lets you schedule a YouTube video in advance. What makes it so useful is that it lets viewers wait for the video to go up. Think of it like getting inside the cinema before the movie starts.
The Premiere feature gets YouTube users excited for the video to begin. And because scheduled videos appear in someone’s feed, your followers will know that you’re going to debut a new video a couple of hours ahead of time.
27. Add subtitles
Not a lot of YouTube creators add subtitles to their videos. And that’s the reason why you should. There are plenty of people who want to watch content but are unable to because they are hearing-impaired or just prefer to watch on mute.
By adding subtitles to your own videos, you’re giving new users a reason to subscribe to your channel. You’re adding extra value. And you’re putting the needs of others first.
Even those that watch with the volume on can benefit from subtitles. Subtitles make sure that you’re able to get your message across.
28. Ask the community for feedback
If you’re wondering what type of content will bring viewers to your channel, then why don’t you go ahead and ask them?
You can do polls to get your followers’ opinions on what videos they want to see on your YouTube channel. Or you can just upload a YouTube video and ask viewers to comment on what topics they want you to cover.
If your community sees how receptive you are to suggestions, they’ll stick around for sure. The YouTube community loves supporting creators that take their feelings into consideration.
29. React to other creators
When viewers find content that they like, they sometimes like to search YouTube for other creators who uploaded a reaction video to the one they just saw. If you’re open to it, you can try reacting to popular videos so long as they’re related to your niche. Otherwise, it would feel like a huge disconnect.
You have to be careful when you’re doing reactions though. You want to make sure that your videos are at no risk of getting taken down for any reason. It would be best to get the permission of the content creator you’re going to be reacting to.
There are YouTubers who only do reactions. And they do get a lot of views and subscribers from doing just that.
30. Get viewers from Twitch
There are Twitch streamers that use that platform to get their audience to follow them on other social channels including YouTube.
It’s also part of their strategy to stream on Twitch and upload the full stream on YouTube afterward. They’ll either upload the whole video or split it up to get more content and views.
This strategy is especially popular with gamers. They’ll break up a day’s worth of games and come up with witty (sometimes clickbaity) titles to generate clicks.
It can also work the other way around. There are YouTube creators that do well on YouTube but also want to explore what Twitch has to offer. In this case, they will invite people on YouTube to check them out on Twitch.
31. Work with a good editor
People now expect high-quality YouTube videos — not just in terms of resolution and content but in editing as well. If you’re not great at editing videos, consider taking a class or hiring someone who can do the job for you.
Basic editing is tough enough. But if you want to add special effects to make your content better, you will need all the help you can get. You can focus on other tasks like researching, scriptwriting, and hosting while someone else takes care of the post-production work.
Having an editor also means you get to produce more videos. You can shoot the next video as the last one gets edited. It’s just a more efficient way of doing things. There are plenty of YouTubers that have their own editors or work with agencies that do.
32. Upload consistently
Youtube creators need to upload videos consistently if they want to sustain the type of traffic they’re getting on the platform. If you don’t upload for a long time, either your audience forgets about you or unsubscribes from your account.
There are exceptions, of course. But these YouTube creators have a following that understands why their uploads take so long.
If you’re just new to the game, don’t expect your followers to be lenient. Work hard to make sure that you’re able to serve them content on a regular basis.
You don’t have to upload every day. Even once a week is fine if that’s the best you can do. But you want to upload your videos on the same day and time. If users are used to you uploading new videos every Friday at 9 AM, then always upload around that time.
This way, people know when to come back to your YouTube page.
33. Promote YouTube videos through ads
If all else fails, you can always get more views by promoting your YouTube channel using YouTube ads.
Paid campaigns should be your last resort because you want to use your money to improve your videos. But the reality is that sometimes you’ll need all the help you can get. If you have money to spare, run a video ad campaign to get people to notice your channel and content.
You can also try using display and overlay ads. Bumper ads are also an option.
There are ad agencies that you can approach if this is your first time running a campaign. They should be able to tell you what strategy is best for your channel.
Statistics show that YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform and the second most popular search engine.
But there’s a lot of competition. You’ve got to put in the work and get creative.
So, pick a few of the tactics we’ve discussed above and get started. Some tactics may have an instant impact on your channel’s growth, others will take longer.
Be sure to check your YouTube analytics to give you a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work.
Some YouTubers have been building up their channels for years. These things take time. But as their success shows us, it can be worthwhile.