I’m Katie Tracy, a teenager who loves traveling and talking on YouTube! It’s been 3 wonderful, sleepless, and life-changing years since I started my channel and created an online family of 64,000+ subscribers called the alohana. Learning from past mistakes and identifying successful YouTube practices, I’ve finally devised my own little formula to help you maximize the number of views and engagement you receive on every video.
1. Hook Them In!
There are billions of videos on YouTube. How do you make yours stand out? Why does one person choose one video over another? At first glance, there are 2 essential components that are game-changers: your title and thumbnail.
On titles, use emojis and CAPS to grab the viewer’s attention. Make sure the title is clean and concise and if possible, a popular search term which will help your video’s ranking.
Now if you want to convince the viewer to click your video, you have to invest in your thumbnail. Use large, distinguishable text that contrasts with your background. Clearly show items or facial expressions that hint at what your video or is about, or what it will make the viewer feel. It never hurts to make a good thumbnail.
2. Make Them Stay!
Once a viewer clicks on your video, you have to convince them to stay. The first 5 seconds of your video should never be overlooked. Say something funny! Do something crazy! Ask them a relatable question like, “Do you love food but hate exercising?” Then rhetorically answer it and explain your video like, “Well today I’m revealing how you can get a six-pack in only 3 minutes!” I know I’d click that.
A simpler approach that many youtubers resort to is a fancy, editing-packed-green screen-filled montage of clips from their video. Add some trap music, funky transitions, animated text, lots of editing cuts and you’re almost there!
Note that some viewers can get complacent by simply watching the intro and not bothering to watch the rest. I’d say keep the intro to around 10 seconds so you can reveal what your video will be about, but not enough for the viewer to be satisfied and close your video.
3. SEO is Your Best Friend!
Quite frankly, it is the most important friend you need for getting discovered on YouTube. These tags, titles, and descriptions all contribute to YouTube’s algorithm for ranking videos. If your tags, titles, and descriptions share or repeat important key words like “DIY” or “earn money” then yes, it has been proven to help your video rank higher in importance!
YouTube search is one of the best traffic sources and unlike suggested videos, this is one thing you can influence more directly. Don’t miss out on the easy opportunity and harness its glory.
I’m going to tell you a secret app that I only found a few weeks ago but has already changed my entire Youtube approach: Vid IQ. It is INCREDIBLE and I highly recommend every YouTuber to use it. It provides intelligent insights in a super simple interface. For example, it can show you what keywords youtubers have used for their video, the ranking of each keyword, and on which search phrase your video is featured on. It’s freaking insane, and I guarantee it will help you maximize your views.
4. Keep Them Coming Back!
You know what’s overlooked? Playlists. If you ever start binge-watching videos on YouTube (which I’m sure you do), it’s likely because of YouTube’s new auto play feature. Unfortunately, that feature doesn’t always play your video. If you want the next video to play to be yours, you need playlists asap.
Every time I link one of my previous videos on an external website like Facebook or my description, I always use the playlist link. This is clever because when the viewer clicks the link, they expect to just watch the video they clicked for. BUT. They won’t expect that once the video ends, it’ll automatically play another one of your videos in the playlist. Before you know it, they’ll be on a binge-watching spree on your videos! I know, playlists are my other best friend.
5. Show some love.
What would your YouTube channel be without the viewers? I mean, there’s you and all the effort you put in and the joy you get out but still – by uploading it on YouTube, who are you intending them for? Show your viewers some love. Social media is a great outlet to interact with your viewers at an entirely new and personal level. Trust me, it makes all the difference. When I reply to comments and personally thank people for watching, I see so many of the same people come back in my next videos earlier than ever! They fangirl when I reply, and I squeal with delight as I realize I can make people thousands of miles away happy.
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be here with my YouTube passion going strong, talking to Hannah (wonderful #girlboss), and writing this article if it weren’t for the people. Whether its the viewers, creators, or managers, I truly believe that it is the YouTube community that makes YouTube so enjoyable. Some people may define success by numbers and nominations but to me, success is more to do with happiness and inspiring others. This is what makes the YouTube experience so much more meaningful and humbling.
Thanks for reading up until this point! I really hope you found this helpful then. Let me know if you’d want to see more articles about YouTube tips and tricks? I’m listening!
In the meantime, if you found these helpful, I have a whole YouTube 101 series with more secret strategies and tutorials so GO BINGE WATCH: click here (Of course, it’s a playlist. But I promise thousands have found this series worth it).
Best of luck with your channels! I know you can do it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams and remember, the start is always the hardest.
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