The 20 Most Effective Ways to Distribute Your YouTube Video
To get maximum views and ROI from your YouTube video, you need to give it the right kind of exposure and promotion. In this article, we look at 20 of the best ways to distribute your YouTube video. We have divided them into sections: 1) use the tools provided, 2) spread the word, and 3) some creative ideas.
USE THE TOOLS PROVIDED
1. Get the SEO right
To begin with, utilize the tools that are available straight through YouTube. One example is providing a precise and detailed title and description for each video and providing directly relevant keywords (tags) too. The title should be intriguing, one-of-a-kind.
How long should your video descriptions be? It is advisable to have a minimum of 200 words in the description inclusive of long-tail keywords and phrases. This would help both YouTube and Google comprehend your video’s topics. The description is the key for your brand to be noticed by search engines so don’t neglect it.
2. Incorporate a call to action
Subscribing, liking and commenting are the most powerful user experience signals utilized by YouTube users to weigh videos. So, your call-to-action should encourage viewers to subscribe, like or comment. You might also want to consider using annotations asking them to “sign up” or “learn more” by clicking the link to your channel or website.
3. Utilize annotations
These are clickable links incorporated into the video and that take the viewer to your website. To make an annotation, start by verifying you’re the owner of your YouTube account. After this, enter your website as an associated website in Google Webmaster Tools and finish the verification process to confirm you’re the owner of the domain.
Lastly, go to the Video Manager section of your YouTube account. Look for “Channel Settings,” and within that, the Advanced Section. In the box close to Associated Website, add your website’s URL. Once it’s verified, you can incorporate the link straight into the video and modify its format and text.
4. Put it into a playlist
A playlist is a group of videos created by yourself or another person(s). Whenever a person finishes watching a video from a playlist, he is taken to another video in the playlist. Thus, there is an increase in watch time. Playlists enable you to group videos as a bunch and, therefore, get an increase in channel views. You can read more about creating a playlist here. Just as you would do with video descriptions, ensure that your playlists are organized and keyword-rich.
5. Use hashtags
A hashtag is an unspaced phrase or word prefixed with the number sign or hash character (#). Though you may initially wonder what’s so great about using it, don’t! In Twitter, for example, the character converts the group of words or single word that comes after it into a searchable link. So, whenever someone enters the particular hashtag you used, in their search box, they’ll find your post along with any others that have used the same tag. This increases your exposure. Make it a point to use hashtags not just on Twitter, but also on Facebook, Google+ and other social media platforms where it is supported. However, don’t overuse them.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind with respect to hashtags.
- First of all, don’t use spaces. To differentiate between words, utilize capitals. This is an example of a hashtag if you’re providing guitar lessons: #GuitarLessons even though #guitarlessons is also fine.
- Numbers are supported but don’t use punctuation marks. Using the @symbol in front of a person’s Twitter handle means you’re tweeting directly at him, and he will come to know of this by way of the @Connect tab.
- Make sure your hashtags are relevant. If you’re using trending hashtags, make sure they’re pertinent to your video.
6. Enable embeds
When you’re uploading YouTube videos, you can decide whether to allow them to be embedded or to disable this option. Visit “Distribution Settings” under “Advanced Settings” in the “Video Manager.” See if the “Allow Embedding Option” is checked. If it is not, check it and click the “Save Changes” option located at page bottom. So now your video can be embedded by anyone who wishes to share it. To do so, they just have to copy the embed link and paste it into their blog or website. The more times your video is embedded, the more exposure it gets.
7. Collaborate (with other YouTube creators)
Here, collaboration means the owners of two or more channels join hands in developing a video. Whoever uploads the product of collaboration to his channel would typically provide a mention of the participants and a link to them. If considering collaboration, as far as possible do so with brands who are already using YouTube successfully and have the same target audience but are not your direct competitors. This would enable you to grab the attention of your collaborators’ subscribers and viewers. You being a partner, your name, or your business name may be mentioned on their company website and/or social media profiles.
8. Try the Adwords for Video program
If you have a budget to advertize your videos, consider developing video ads for your channel using Adwords for Video. These are video advertisements of short duration that would be played before a YouTube video loads. Some advertisements have the option of allowing the viewer to choose the “skip” option after 5 seconds. You would only be charged when a person views an obligatory duration of the advertisement.
9. Put referring traffic to more use
When you check out YouTube analytics, you can find out the key sources of traffic to your video. The sources may include a certain webpage or Twitter. If feasible, you may want to consider doubling your promotional efforts on these sources.
SPREAD THE WORD
10. By Word-of-Mouth
What could be easier than this? Spread the word about your YouTube video by telling everyone you know about it, including how it and/or the channel is titled. If possible, give them the link. Request them to watch the video and to go a step further by sharing the video on their social media profiles if they like it. Otherwise, you can just suggest they tell people they know about it. The more people discuss your YouTube video or channel, the more views you can expect. The word-of-mouth doesn’t have to be restricted to family, friend, colleagues and acquaintances. Consider attending networking events so you can engage with others and thereby get an opportunity to talk about your video and/or channel.
11. Through social media
Taking advantage of social media is a great way to spread word about your video fast. Create profiles on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and SlideShare and with your online presence on these media, promote your videos. Each post, status update, and tweet can contribute to more views.
Create a Facebook group, whether invitational or open. Starting such a group will assist you in developing a community that’s interested in your YouTube channel. An engaging community for your videos will help boost growth and popularity of your channel.
Note that it is essential to make a different account for your professional YouTube channel so that it stands separate from your personal profile. This enables you to post things that are applicable to your audience. If you want, you can provide a link to your personal profile.
You can also take advantage of social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and Redditt to distribute your videos. Each site has a feel and community of its own so it is essential to carry out some research prior to submitting your content. You can also see which site is giving you the best results. Users who enjoyed your video will vote for it. The more votes you get, the higher the rank you’ll get for your video.
12. Email marketing
By collecting email addresses, you can send email notifications to your viewers, fans and/or followers of new videos and updates. You can consider developing a newsletter that incorporates videos and updates from the last week or month. This kind of email marketing would work magic for your video channel and brand. To help with the marketing, consider utilizing a program such as Aweber. Just one email sent to your subscribers could help you gains thousands of views for your video(s).
13. Promote in your printed marketing material
Contrary to what many people may believe, traditional marketing continues to be an effective medium for promotion.
There are websites such as Zazzle and CafePress with which you can make personalized T-shirts. Give your T-shirt a distinctive appearance and don’t forget to include the name of your YouTube channel and its URL in the T-shirt design. Distribute these T-shirts for free or sell them to family, friends, colleagues or anyone else who would like them. The more the number of people having your T-shirt on, the more the number of people who will come to know about your channel and possibly check it out.
Create a custom design on your PC, print and hand out the flyers. You can even keep some of them in busy areas so that passersby check them out. It may be a good idea to provide your social media links in the flyer design.
For optimum outcomes, your business card should capture attention and carry the name of your YouTube channel, its URL and links to your various social media profiles. Hand them out when networking with people or events. You can even give your card to acquaintances if the situation seems right for it.
Other places to promote: brochures, printed catalogs and in the newspapers.
14. Embed the video on your blogs or website
Click the “embed” option for your video and copy and paste the embed link on relevant pages of your website or on your blog. That way, you increase the chances of your video being seen by those who have not already seen it on YouTube.
15. Comment on blogs and other videos
Commenting on the blogs and videos created by other people is a great way to draw attention to yourself and what you have said. You can share a point you would like to make or post feedback in this section. The majority of blogs call for entering details in two fields – name and email – when you are furnishing a comment. Sometimes, there may also be an optional field for “website.” If yes, you can provide your channel URL here. So, whenever someone sees what you have written and clicks where your name is, he will be taken to your YouTube channel. There is also another possibility with respect to viewers visiting your channel. If visitors like your comment for a video, they may give it a thumbs up which may lead to your comment appearing higher up in the comments section. This in itself may encourage new viewers to take a look at your profile and see your video content.
Try to restrict yourself to commenting only on those blogs that are related to the topics/theme of your videos.
16. Use podcasts
Podcasting will enable you to develop a following distinct from that you have for your YouTube channel. It also enables you to make more content available to your present YouTube followers and fans. Most important of all, it will help you convert listeners into subscribers of your channel. You can begin a podcast on topics similar to or related to your channel.
17. Participate in Forums
Forums are the place where discussions take place. Comprised of message boards, these online media are a wonderful avenue to post questions or answers on various topics. Before jumping into just any forum, remember that you must only join those forums concerned with topics related to your YouTube video or channel. So if your blog is about cookery, join a cookery forum or something similar.
The majority of forums call for a registration. So you have to create an account and make a profile page. Try to promote your channel in your profile page but don’t do it in such a way that it appears like spam. Talk about your channel, why it is unique and why people should check it out.
If the forum provides an option for personal signature (a line of text that would come under all your posts in the forum), place the URL or link of your channel here along with a sentence that describes your channel.
The last point to remember is to be active in the forums you join. The more active you are, the more the number of people who will come to know about your channel, and the more visitors you’re likely to get.
SOME CREATIVE IDEAS
18. Conduct contests
Contests have many takers! If you can come up with a contest idea that revolves around your YouTube channel and offer a cool prize for the winner, you would surely attract a lot of attention to your channel. Ideas for a contest include requiring participants to: pen a blog with your channel as the topic or share your video on one or more social media platforms. The prize doesn’t necessarily have to be something you spend money for (though this would be better). Instead you can offer as prize: personal thanks presented in video form or a mention in the next video you bring out.
19. Head to VidCon
VidCon is the biggest gathering of YouTube lovers and web-based creators. Attending VidCon would give you an opportunity to meet and network with makers of other channels and those associated with your industry. There are three kinds of registration for VidCon 2015 – creator, community, and industry. So you can apply for the pass that suits you, provided they are not already sold out.
If lucky, you may be able to make a video jointly with another YouTube creator. This is a great way to increase the extent of your audience. The hosting of speaker panels will enable you to benefit from better comprehension and knowledge of what’s needed to market your channel. Attending VidCon will also help you meet your followers and viewers. You can engage with your supporters, by that increasing the likelihood of your long-term success.
20. Host a webinar
A webinar is a great way to provide information online, and very popular too. You can utilize it to develop relationships with people keen to know more about your industry, provide lessons, communicate with your viewers and, of course, promote your YouTube channel as well. The benefits of this medium are the same as those you would get from a workshop. Following a webinar and in the course of it, you can interact with your audience in the form of a question-answer session. Solutions for engagement include ChatRoll, Google+ Comments, Facebook Comments, and TweetChat.