As someone who is focused on YouTube as a content platform, I'm sure that, like me, you're always looking for cool and innovative ways to connect with your audience on YouTube.
What are some of the best tools out that to help you make the most out of your YouTube channel? Here's what I mean by that. I'm sure by now you have uploaded a video or two to YouTube. Perhaps you even created a playlist or learned how to add annotations that link back to your website. Of course you should always try to send people back to your blog from outposts like YouTube, but let's face it, lot's of people will never leave YouTube and head for your home base unless you've given them a darn good reason to do so.
You need to make a connection with the people as they're viewing your videos so that you can grow your audience with the content you're sharing.
Get to know your YouTube demographic and peak their interest so they are compelled to consume even more of your content. But don't just stop at the content of your individual videos, target your audience through some of the other fantastic features that YouTube has to offer. Here are some quick examples for you.
Your Story Starts on Your YouTube One Channel Home Page
Try to think of your YouTube channel as a complete package. Because it stands to reason that anyone who wants to learn more about you, will more than likely visit your One Channel page – especially if they are watching your vides on their desktop computers or tablets.
Back in August of last year I encouraged you to work on your One Channel Design by sharing some examples of inspiring cover art from other successful YouTubers like Marie Forleo and Marquis Brownlee. Question – did you take action yet? Did you invest 15 – 20 minutes or less to put up a YouTube cover image?
Here's an analogy for you. Would you pick up a book in a bookstore that didn't have a cover on it? Of course not. You might even think to yourself that the publisher didn't even care enough to engage you with a book cover therefore the book probably isn't worth your time.
Do yourself a favor and take the time to create some cover art for your One Channel design. There are lots of tutorials out there for using free software like PicMonkey, Canva, Paint.net, etc. Keep it simple if you want – but by just keeping the generic YouTube cover art you send a message to your viewers. It says you don't really care nor do you have the time to engage with them. And I'm sure that is not the story you want to tell about your brand.
Customize your YouTube URL and upload a trailer video as well. At the very least pick one video that shows your personality or represents you in some way and let's people know what kind of videos they can expect to find on your YouTube brand channel.
Fill up the rest of your One Channel page with playlists featuring your best content. Use gorgeous, eye-catching video thumbnails that add visual interest and seem to scream “click me”. Test different layouts and rotate the different sections to keep things fresh.
Google+ Provides the Underlying Theme or Back Story
I know, I know, plenty of YouTubers still have a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to the fact that Google forced them to have Google+ accounts. Don't fall into this mold. If you really want your YouTube channel to be the best it can be, you can't ignore the strong connection between YouTube and Google+. Embracing your Google+ presence can only help you tell your story and forge deeper connections with your fans. It's what separates the “men from the boys” so to speak. Here a few of the reasons Google+ has become the “spine” of your YouTube Channel, you'll need an account if you want to:
- Start or maintain a YouTube Channel
- Send messages and notifications to your subscribers
- Manage multiple YouTube channels
- Associate your website to your channel
- Link from your videos to your website
- Record a live Hangout
- Reinforce your branding
- Click here to learn more
Keep in mind that a link to your Google+ account (Page or Profile) will appear on you YouTube Channel header. The last thing you want someone to do is click on that link and find an “unfinished” profile.
Find Out If Your Strategy is Working
Did you know you can install Google Analytics on your YouTube Channel yet? Set-up is pretty quick and it will give you insights on the performance of the One Channel Page. Take a look at YouTube Analytics for all the super geeky details about how long people watch your videos and which one's are more popular than others. Check to see what devices your videos are predominately being watched on, don't take this for granted. For example, you might be surprised to see that almost 80% of the views on my channel are happening on computers – not mobile devices.But when you think about it, this makes sense because most of my videos are tutorials where I'm showing people how-to do something on their computers (with the lone exception of my Otterbox video). It's important for us to have this type of information so that we can put together a strategy. By checking your analytics, you'll know if people are closing your annotations or if they are clicking them. If most of your viewers are already subscribers or if they are watching on mobile, don't expect people to click your Call to Action annotations – in fact, you might want to get rid of them altogether.
There's another site you can use to get a quick overview of how your channel is doing. I shared this site with you guys in the past, but now they even have a mobile app so you have no excuse not to download it. Check out SocialBlade and take a look at the grade they give your channel. Here's mine (not bad – I got a B but I need to work on getting an A).
The Story Continues With Each Video
As you're creating the actual content for your videos, don't forget to keep the story going. There might be thousands of YouTubers sharing the same message as you, but what makes your videos unique is you. Share your experiences, or why you recommend a specific tip or why you're even making the video in the first place. Don't get carried away and go on and on about yourself, but let your audience know that you're making each and every video for THEM. If you have more that 20 – 25 videos consider NOT giving people a Call to Action every time. Think outside the box and remember that your audience is human and most of them will be smart enough to subscribe to your channel without your blatant demands.
Collaborate with other YouTubers whenever possible so your audience can watch you step out of your comfort zone and make connections with others. Test out different styles of videos too – and remember to just keep going back to those analytics to see how you're doing.
There's another site you can use to track the progress of your individual videos called VidIQ. There's even a Chrome extension that can give you additional insights to what other YouTubers are doing with their channels. Watch this short video I recorded called YouTube Hover Cards and VidIq Stats.
Hey guys I got a couple quick tips for you on YouTube today.
We now have Hover Cards so if someone's looking at one of your videos and they hover over your channel name they will see your YouTube banner and also your description that you have on your YouTube channel so if you don't have your YouTube channel banner art now is the best time to go ahead and get that taken care of so that people will be attracted to your channel and want to subscribe.
The other tip I wanted to share with you is about your YouTube stats and also checking the stats of other videos and other channels that you watch. Well VidIQ – they have a Google Chrome Extension now make sure you install that extension and this is what you'll see. Next to a video that you're watching you're going to see statistics such as how many subscribers they have, how many views, you know the Facebook likes… All the stats but also something that's been hidden from us for a while which is the YouTube tags.
So now this is the way to do your research on the SEO that you're doing on any of your videos. You can check out the tags of the popular videos that you're trying to compete with so go ahead and get that extension from Vid IQ just go to vidiQ.com/vision.
I'll talk to you soon.
YouTube and video marketing provide a powerful way for you to reach the masses with your message. It gives you the opportunity to reach out and make a deeper and perhaps more relevant connection with your audience. It's much easier to communicate your message through video than it is through the written word or even audio. I hope you are encouraged to tell your story and connect with your audience. Please share your experience with using video so that we can all learn from each other and stay inspired.