Your YouTube viewers and subscriber count isn’t just another vanity metric. Getting more views and subscribers is the best way to promote our favorite virtual sport on the second-largest website in the multiverse. Why because 70% of the one billion hours of video that people watch on YouTube every day is decided by the YouTube algorithm. Which means that our ability to reach new eyes improves when we have subscribers who are bumping up your play counts, watch time, and engagement. I guess I would like some insights into what some of you do. We all put a lot of effort into our production, race tracks, and racing. So help your buddy out and share your success and failures. What works and what doesn’t…and by all means…subscribe, watch, like comment….
And now, here is the “formula” I am following. I don’t feel very successful at it but it is what I am trying to do. This is based on some YouTubery research and is compiled from several different sources. However, I feel like some of you have mastered it and I have not. So suggestions and insights are most appreciated. Help us all get better so the hobby gains more attention and viewer traction.
1. Ensure YouTube basics are up to snuff.
-A consistent visual identity (your channel icon, YouTube channel art, etc.)
-A completed and informative About section
-Up-to-date contact information (so all your potential customers and future brand partners can get in touch)
2. Produce fun, entertaining videos for your niche.
Because we are not making videos for everyone. We are here for someone special: Diecast Race fans. There are several good posts about how to do that in this forum. Let’s face it we all have our niche within the niche. I’ve learned a lot from many of you by reading this forum.
3. Do your research, and improve your video’s search ranking
Yes, YouTube is a social platform, but it’s also a search engine. And all else being equal, one of the top strategies for getting more YouTube views is optimizing your videos for search. I feel like I have not cracked the nut on this one. I feel like I have all the right key words in all the right places (video title, tags, description text, subtitles), but I don’t seem to rank. Any helpful suggestions here?
4. Use metadata to get recommended after a popular video. So basically, this is making sure your own metadata matches that of other popular videos in your niche. As I understand it the algorithm’s job is to feed viewers one incredible video after another. Of course, ‘incredible’ is in the eye of the beholder. A better word might be ‘relevant’ or ‘interesting.’ Thus, the importance of matching metadata.
Well. YouTube has stated that the algorithm recommends in order:
-Videos from the same channel
-Videos that a lot of people like, based on engagement, watch time, and views(we can help each other out here)
-Videos that a specific person might like, based on their viewing history
-Videos with related or similar metadata (i.e., titles, tags and descriptions)
The only point you can control here is that fourth one. But I think we can all help each other out with the second one by being sure to watch, subscribe and like each other’s videos. Sort of in the vein of making a bigger pie.
5. Draw people in with quality custom thumbnails. When your potential viewers are in discovery mode—skimming through search results and recommendations—thumbnails are a major part of how they decide what to watch. Many of you pose cars in very cool photos. I need to do a better job of taking high quality pictures of my races and the cars in them. Thanks for your inspiration.
6. Multiply your views by creating playlists. I think many of us are doing this. But just in case you are not. Organizing and creating video playlists on YouTube is the best way to minimize the chances that a viewer will move on to another channel once they’ve consumed your content. Why? Because playlists do Netflix rules: as soon as one video ends, the next begins.
7. Direct traffic to your videos using cards and end screens. Besides playlists, cards and end screens are two of the only tools that YouTubers can use to bypass the algorithm and directly influence our audience’s next choice. Cards are clickable, interactive areas that appear during the video. They can be polls, but in this case, we’re interested in increasing views, so choose a card that links to another one of your videos (or even better, playlists). Meanwhile, end screens are visual calls-to-action that you can add to the end of your video to encourage viewers towards a next step. They are valuable because you know if a person has reached the bitter end of your video, they are probably pretty interested in your content. Using end screens to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel or visit your website are both good choices. But if you want more views, use your end screen to promote your other videos. (Note that to use end screens, you’ll need to include a few extra seconds at the end of your video when you’re editing it.)
8. Build relationships with your viewers. According to YouTube, engagement is on the rise. Between 2017 and 2018, 70% more YouTube users said they follow a YouTube creator and interact with their channel every day. Audience engagement is just another term for building relationships. The end goal here, of course, is just the realistic, organic, and sustainable path to getting more YouTube views. Ideas for breaking the internet wall, and creating a two-way conversation might include:
-Reply to comments (it’s polite!)
-Run a YouTube contest
-Make reaction videos
-Include other people’s content in your videos (with their permission)
9. Partner up. Crossovers, guest appearances, mash-ups, covers: people love that jolt of unfamiliar familiarity. I know some of you are doing this with each other and it is awesome to see the family growing together.
10. Promote your YouTube videos across all your social media channels. I have not done a good job of this. The GTC Diecast Racing League FB group is a fairly closed set of very focused drivers. Many are simply in the group to keep track of what is happening in our league. However, research suggests we should do the following. Post a short teaser video to your social accounts as native video; and add a link to the full video back on YouTube. Note that you are not going to want to post the same thing across your social channels.
There you have it. This is what I am trying to do. Any thoughts, recommendations and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Oh...and of course...please check out my channel. Watch, subscribe, and help us all grow.
GTC Diecast Racing League