So you’ve taken the excruciating steps it takes to express yourself visually and made yourself a professional video. Your next move is making sure that people see it. Below are 8 ways to optimize your video’s potential on YouTube.
1. Titles Are Everything
Having a short and sweet title is key. If you are titling a video of a cover you did, try this format (as applicable):
[Song Title] [Short Description] [Original Artist Name] [Your Band Name]
For example, if you have done a cover song of “We Are Never Getting Back Together”, a great title would be:
We Are Never Getting Back Together, Taylor Swift Cover by Sasha
Think of what people might ask when searching for something. Questions begin with Who, What, When, Where and Why – so when applicable, answer these questions right in the title!
On August 28th, when I YouTubed We Are Never Getting Back Together in the search bar this is what I saw:
First you see Taylor Swift’s official video, followed by two other videos before her official lyric video!
TIP: There are times when official artist videos are not licensed to view in other countries. Where the official video is not available for viewing, yours may be the first (or only) option for a fan in that area to listen to the song!
2. Write a description to your video that has RELEVANT INFORMATION!
It’s important for your video description to have keywords that improve your ability to show up in fan (and potential fan) searches. While it should be thorough enough to include all necessary information, avoid wordiness.
FUN FACT: There’s a tool that helps you come up with relevant keywords; available straight from the source! CLICK HERE TO USE YOUTUBE’S KEYWORD SUGGESTION TOOL
Remember that only a portion of your video description is displayed before your viewer has to press a drop-down menu for more information, so list the most important information at the top.
3. Tag and Categorize your video!
Choose a category that best fits your video for most of you – most likely, it will be music. Tags further support your search rank and are a part of the equation to better visibility. Use short phrases and descriptive keywords here– YouTube will auto-generate some from the way you titled your video. Add and remove as you feel necessary. Make sure your brand or artist name is a tag, also.
4. Is Your Thumbnail Amazing?
Keep in mind that the thumbnail is the total visual representation people will see first when you share your video onto socials. An interesting image will compel people to click and view. YouTube allows you to choose from 3 thumbnails. Select the one that is the most compelling. If your channel is verified, you can upload a custom thumbnail. Make sure your thumbnail has some text, and a clear image that conveys what your video is about.
TIP: Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to research what people are searching for before you write your descriptions and title your videos – https://adwords.google.com/
5. Use the Annotations to promote a Call to Action!
The reason you make videos is not simply to get views. The purpose is to get people to take an action, whether that action is to listen to you on Spotify, follow you on socials, donating to your crowdfunding campaign, or buying music. Always include one Call to Action (CTA) in every video you post. A CTA could be “Donate to my campaign,” “follow us on Twitter,” “subscribe,” “ or “visit our site.” Include only ONE CTA in each video you post, so you don’t confuse your audience.
6. Monetize your video!
If you own the rights to the music used in your video OR have licensed the song you have covered, you can MONETIZE your video. Just be careful to make sure you are legally allowed to collect money for your content. For guidelines on what is and is not appropriate to monetize, check out YouTube’s Guide.
7. Publish and start promoting your video!
You have spent all this time optimizing the metadata (yeah you have created metadata– bet you didn’t even know that is what you were doing!) to make sure it can be found, now it is time to publish your video and start sharing it with your fans. Share your video with communities who share similar interests, as well, to find new fans. Is your video similar or inspired by another YouTube video? Add a positive comment in that video and ask viewers to check out yours, too!
8. Analyze and adjust!
Is what you have uploaded not meeting your goals or expectations? Take a look at your title, tags, and description and make edits, if needed– you can edit these items any time you want! Maybe try a different type of video for your next upload.
TIP: We have a list of ideas to help you brainstorm on new content to try: 8 Killer, Cost Effective Videos to Add To Your YouTube Strategy