Youtube is the world’s second most popular website. There are over two billion users every month – one-third of the entire internet population. Over 74% of American adults watch videos there.
With this guide, we’ll highlight all the simple things you can do to amplify your brand’s message on YouTube, as well as some of the more advanced strategies the pros use.
What counts as a view on YouTube?
As long as a viewer watches the video for at least 30 seconds after intentional playback of the video, it counts as a view. It’s that simple!
Playing your own video counts as a view.
Each viewing of your video counts as a new view if a viewer views it more than once. However, you will be detected by Youtube if you keep refreshing over and over again in an attempt to game the system.
YouTube videos embedded on blog posts or Youtube videos shared on Facebook will also be counted.
YouTube counts live views as well.
In YouTube Analytics, you’ll see a reflection of your activity in a matter of days. If you’re not seeing it immediately, check back later.
What doesn’t count as a view on Youtube?
YouTube’s algorithm ignores plays that appear to be automated. It just counts how many times a real person watched your video.
A single user or bot repeatedly refreshing a video or a website auto-playing a video does not count towards your total views.
16 Tips to Get More YouTube Views
YouTube is watched every single day by over one billion people worldwide. You can stand out from the crowd and get attention if you do these things:
1. Review your YouTube basics
You should keep your YouTube account clean by:
- Consistency in your visual identity, including your channel icon, YouTube channel art, etc.
- Complete and informative About section
- Provide all potential customers and future partners with your most up-to-date contact information
2. Focus on a specific niche
It’s important to define your YouTube marketing goals clearly and be selective with the content you create for your target audience.
Your videos aren’t for everyone. You’re here for a special group of people: your audience.
Adriene’s yoga videos have flourished because she makes videos with titles like “Yoga for Joy” and “Yoga for Courage,” and she even releases Spanish-language versions. Her super-inclusive concepts and attitude have made her one of the most popular yoga instructors on Youtube – she has almost 10 million subscribers.
Successful creators of content understand their audience and what their audience expects of them as creators. In fact, they’ve nailed down who their audience is based on so many details about their needs. This intimacy is what keeps their audiences engaged and coming back for more content.
You may have heard it referred to as buyer personas or target customers, but the concept is fundamentally the same. The idea is to segment your audience into different personas that you would like to target using different marketing initiatives.
3. Improve your YouTube SEO
YouTube is a social network, but it’s also a search engine. YouTube SEO is one of the most effective methods for getting more views, i.e. optimizing your videos for search engines.
If you input your chosen keywords into YouTube’s search engine, you want your video to appear near the top of the results. Knowing what your audience wants, whether it be inspiration, entertainment, or tutorials, is key.
The best way to get brand new eyes to your videos is to rank in search results – not just subscribers and existing viewers.
However, it isn’t easy to do. Is there anything you can do to improve the search ranking of your YouTube videos?
Do some keyword esearch. Using Google Keyword Planner, you can do two things:
- Look at search patterns and see what keywords have a lot of search queries, but few videos, a.k.a. low competition, to get inspiration for your next video.
- Put those relevant keywords into your metadata (e.g., video title, tags, video description text, subtitles)
Learn how the YouTube algorithm works now if you haven’t already. In addition to search results, AI also determines recommendations for the “what’s up next” suggested videos sidebar.
You need to keep in mind that the algorithm isn’t concerned with the quality of your video, but rather with who is watching it. Having said that, people prefer to watch high-quality videos.
4. Use metadata to get recommended after popular videos
Get inspiration from the most popular videos in your niche if you want to get more YouTube views.
Check out the most popular video of your top competitor. Click on their video library, then sort by “most popular.”
YouTube’s main goal is to keep subscribers on the platform for as long as possible so they can see as many advertisements as possible. The algorithm’s job is to present viewers with a stream of videos.
What does YouTube do to determine what people might like? The algorithm considers the following factors:
- Videos that are commonly watched together
- Past videos viewed by the user
- Videos related to your topic
You can only control the third point here.
Consider choosing keywords in the same way a librarian would. The topic and category of your video, as well as other search terms a person might use to find that video, should be described.
Looking for some guidance? Right-clicking on a competitor’s webpage and selecting View Page Source will allow you to see what keywords they use. You can then search for “keywords” by pressing CTRL-F.
Be cautious before copying and pasting the metadata of a more popular video onto a similar video: your audience will not want to watch the same video again. There might be a new question raised by the first video, or there could be an interesting tangent to explore. What can you do to make your video more valuable than what they just saw so that they’ll click on it?
5. Get more views with custom thumbnails
While your potential viewers are searching for videos and reading recommendations, thumbnails are a huge part of their decision-making process.
Although much of the advice out there is a graphic designer’s nightmare – screaming fonts, cluttered information – let’s take a step back and examine objectively: what are the properties of an effective thumbnail?
- In terms of the video that it describes, the thumbnail is clear and accurate. Your watch time will go down when the viewer gets annoyed and stops watching your video if your thumbnail misleads them into clicking. That will upset the algorithm.
- The thumbnail catches the eye.
- The thumbnail works in conjunction with the video’s title.
Picking a color that stands out can make you stand out. Put your giant hi-res face in good lighting so that it makes a strange expression. You can also appear calm and minimalist if your niche is filled with shrill, high-key visuals, and you want to stand out by being the voice of reason.
Check out this guide on how to add a thumbnail if you don’t know the basics.
6. Create playlists to increase your views
You can minimize the chances that viewers will move on to another channel by creating and organizing video playlists on YouTube.
The playlist works the same way as Netflix: immediately following the end of one video, the next begins.
Your viewers have already done the hard work of finding your video, clicking on it, and watching it, so it makes sense to help them find the video content they’ll want next.
McCullough’s YouTube videos cover a variety of cultural commentary, so he’s grouped them into thematic playlists. His fan base will be served hit after hit about world leaders.
7. Use cards and end screens to direct traffic to your videos
The only tools that YouTubers have besides playlists are cards and end screens, which bypass the algorithm and directly influence our audience’s choices.
During the video, cards are clickable, interactive areas. You can use them for fundraising, selling merch, but in this case, we want to increase views, so choose one that links to another of your videos or a playlist.
For videos identified as for kids, cards cannot be used.
A card is a pop-up, so it’s crucial that they add value. No one wants to be spammed. You ought to link to videos or playlists that are relevant at the time and provide additional information or entertainment.
Try inserting a link card at a specific point of your video if you notice that your audience is dropping off.
In the meantime, end screens are visual calls-to-action you can add at the end of your video to encourage viewers to take a next step. They are valuable because, if someone reaches the end of your video, they are probably very interested in what you have to say.
Subscribing to your channel or visiting your website are good ways to encourage viewers. In order to get more views, it’s best to use your end screen to showcase your other videos or playlists.
For end screens, you’ll need to edit your video with a few extra seconds at the end.
The end cards of SssniperWolf’s videos link to four more videos. You can choose whatever her shtick is as you go along.
8. Create videos with unique content
There is a lot of search volume for how-to content, so chances are you’ll find a lot of “how-to” search terms as you research your target keywords.
As you must seek out new eyes, you also want to take time to preach to those who have already converted. You can add value to your brand on YouTube by putting out content that is meaningful to your fans.
Tabitha Brown, for example, does more than just share her vegan nachos recipe. She sat down with her husband to talk about their relationship and gave fans an intimate look into her personal life. Would it surprise you if they got inspired to make their own batch of guac in the process? That would be awesome.
9. Establish relationships with your audience
Relationship building is another term for “audience engagement.”. Ultimately, of course, the goal is to get more YouTube views in a realistic, organic, and sustainable way.
So, engaging with other YouTubers will increase their chances of caring about your brand, subscribing to your channel, and watching more of your videos.
You might consider breaking the fourth wall so that the conversation is two-way:
- Response to comments
- Run a contest on YouTube
- Create reaction videos
- With their permission, incorporate other people’s content into your videos
10. Invite your viewers to subscribe to your channel
The number of subscribers you have corresponds to your organic reach on YouTube. When you hit publish on your video, you will get more views right off the bat the more subscribers your channel has.
This is especially true if their notifications are enabled.
Subscriber growth has its own challenges and tactics but is intertwined with increasing your views as well. This is why we have a complete guide on how to get more YouTube subscribers.
As a sign-off, it’s common practice for YouTubers to ask viewers to “like and subscribe,” but some – like beauty expert Patricia Bright – include this action as a visual as well.
11. Enable embedding
Enable embedding for your fans so they can help spread the word about your work. You will earn more views and maybe even snag a few new subscribers if more people see your video.
Go to Youtube Studio and click Content to enable embedding. Tap Edit to select your video. Enable or disable embedding.
12. Make the watch time longer
Youtube counts anything over 30 seconds as a view, but if viewers stay longer you have more to gain.
You will be able to convince Youtube that you have some quality content if you can get people to watch your video for a longer amount of time. YouTube’s algorithm rewards videos with longer Watch Times, giving you an edge on the recommendation engine.
13. Transcribe your videos
By including captions in your videos, you make your content more accessible to hearing-impaired viewers, as well as the 69 percent of mobile video viewers who watch videos without sound.
Transcribing your video also allows for translation, opening up your video to international audiences. Reach a global audience! Think about it!
YouTube’s help page will guide you step-by-step through how to prepare a transcript file – you just need a text file.
14. Partner up
People love that jolt of familiarity that’s unfamiliar. Crossovers, guest appearances, mash-ups, covers. To your brand’s She-Ra, find He-Man, and to Lil Nas X, find Billy Ray Cyrus.
Your brand should have a budget, so hiring a creator who has their own following is an obvious choice. For creators or aspiring influencers, getting more views is the first step towards making money on YouTube, not spending it. You’d be better off partnering with like-minded creators.
Ideal partners should have similar values, popularity, and charm. They should also be likable. Together, you have fun, and people are happy to see you happy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Sounds easy, right?
A super crossover video in which two drag queens, e.l.f. cosmetics, and Chipotle all get involved. By our count, the chances for cross-promotion have quadrupled.
Create a playlist to compile it all so that interested viewers can share it all, as you might with a crossover that involves several videos — perhaps one from your partner and one from you, and maybe some supporting outtakes, any necessary background, etc.
15. Use all your social media channels to promote your YouTube videos
Your YouTube channel will benefit from social media promotion.
You shouldn’t, however, do the following if you want more YouTube views:
- Post a text or image with a link to your YouTube video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok. It makes sense objectively to link to YouTube, but the problem is that social networks want to retain users on their platforms (just like YouTube does). Therefore, their algorithms will not promote an off-platform link in a text-only post. So your impressions, click-through rates, and YouTube views will be low.
- Upload your entire video to those platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all want you to do this (IGTV is directly competing with YouTube, so don’t @ me). On those platforms, posting your video in its entirety will probably bring you good engagement and reach. However, the organic views on Facebook videos aren’t monetizable, are they? They won’t get you views on YouTube, either.
Instead, promote your video this way:
- Include a link to the full YouTube video in your social media accounts as a native video.
Remember that you won’t want to post the same thing across all of your social media channels.
For example, you can use Instagram to showcase a trailer of your video, and your bio links to the full video.
16. Post your video at the right time
Having your video go live right when your biggest audience of subscribers is online guarantees that they will all receive that sweet, sweet “new post” notification when it is live.
However, what if that happens at night? What if you’re on vacation? The power of a scheduling tool comes into play here. Schedule your video to go out at the exact predetermined time that suits your content calendar, and then go about living your life.
Use a scheduling tool if you don’t want to hire an assistant to craft and schedule posts for your followers.