The landscape of YouTube has changed drastically over the years — and it has moved on from its 2010-2015 culture. During this period, gaining views was a matter of having a personality that kept people coming back, and the content didn’t matter as much as the person. In 2021 this could not be further from the truth — to increase your views, you need to appeal to both your existing audience and an entirely new one. There are more creators than ever to watch, and convincing viewers that they should spend their time watching your own channel is increasing accordingly. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to refresh your YouTube channel’s strategy, we are here to share some strategies on how to get more views on YouTube.
SEO — Search Engine Optimisation — ensures that your videos are likely to be found by YouTube and Google. The benefit of YouTube over other video sharing platforms — both long and short form — is it utilizes Google’s search capabilities, which are arguably the most sophisticated available. SEO is your best friend when it comes to getting more views on YouTube.
Making it specific
While your existing audience may know what to expect when you title a video “My Apartment Tour,” this isn’t appealing to a cold audience and fails to capitalize on the opportunity to title it something more SEO-friendly. Keywords for this example can be anything from the style of your home, its location, the price point or the people you’ll be living with — ie partner, fellow students, etc. “Minimalist NYC Apartment Tour” is more likely to attract new viewers through SEO while also being a more engaging title for your existing audience to click on, even though the video contains the same content as “My Apartment Tour.”
To take this further, use tools such as Google Trends to search for popular times that topics within your niche are searched for. This not only allows you to view related keywords (which can be used in other videos, or spark ideas that branch out from your usual content), but it also shows when demand for each topic spikes from an SEO perspective. “Halloween Makeup” predictably peaks in October, but searches for it begin in August, so uploading before October gives you an advantage against those missing the start of the wave. This can also help to validate ideas, as you can determine if people are even searching for the topic you plan to cover.
When thinking of potential keywords for your video, try typing some in the YouTube search. The list of suggested videos will give you a great idea of what people are searching for.
Grab their attention
A great first impression is a surefire way to get more views on YouTube. First impressions are everything, so make sure your title and thumbnail are not only attention-grabbing but also attract the right type of audience. Great thumbnails for a gaming channel are — or at least should be — very different to successful thumbnails designed to lure in an audience for meditation content.
There are many tips you can try, from bright colors to a person making eye contact and text to lure viewers in, but the most important element is that it aligns with your content specifically. When creating thumbnails, remember that you’re not aiming to attract people who already know and love your content — you’re making a first impression on complete strangers. Keep that perspective in mind, don’t make it too busy — remember how small thumbnails are for the average user — and take inspiration from popular creators in your niche to nail it every time.
Create quality content & a community
Creating quality content works in a number of ways. The most obvious one is that the audience will remember you as the person who made that video they loved, but on a more strategic level, it also assists the algorithm in promoting your videos to the right people. The subscription feed has long been replaced by the home page, and users typically decide on what video to watch from there.
If a user has a high watch time on your videos, or engages with it through liking, subscribing or commenting, then the algorithm will push your content to both them and more users. To encourage additional engagement, be sure to ask your audience to subscribe in the first few minutes of a video. Where it feels natural in the video, include a CTA to hit the like button or share their thoughts on the comments section.
Don’t just share on YouTube
To get more views on YouTube, it is important to focus on only one or two platforms for growth, but being active on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook can benefit your YouTube channel. On Twitter, it’s a lot easier for users to share your content to their own audience with features like Quote Tweets and Retweets, while TikTok’s complex but laser-sharp algorithm allows you to target the right people for your content.
Keep in mind your skillset and differing algorithms before diving in. Once you’re established on other platforms it’s a great and easy way to let your audience know when you’ve uploaded a new video, and a dynamic new opportunity to engage with, and grow, your existing community.
Competition has never been higher, but viewer watch time, influencer marketing and new niches are also on the rise. Utilise these tips to grow your views, your channel and your impact.