Anyone who’s posted a video to YouTube before knows that having a channel is more than just filming and posting it online. Each video you post is an opportunity for new subscribers and fans to find you, but it’s up to you to make sure that they’ll click and stick around. There are a ton of ways to make your videos look professional and inviting to viewers. Here are some of our top tips for maximizing your video’s potential:
1. Clear visuals and audio
It may seem like a no brainer, but keeping your video focused and well lit and making sure that your audio isn’t fuzzy is the best way to make sure that people will stay tuned. Most phones now shoot high-resolution video and have good quality built in microphones, so you don’t need to upgrade to fancy gear (although if you’re in the market, [we have some suggestions!]). The best way to make sure you’re keeping your video in tip top shape is to plan ahead – making sure that you’re in a quiet space with no background noise, and that the light isn’t casting any distracting shadows.
2. Titles and Descriptions
When thinking up video titles, put yourself in a potential viewer’s shoes and think about what words they would search to find a video like yours. Got it? Now make sure those words are the first thing in the title. You want video titles that are concise, fun, and most importantly, searchable.
For descriptions, don’t be afraid to load up on more searchable terms. Write 2-3 descriptive sentences with any related brand names, challenge tags, etc. Below that, include a description of your channel, and other relevant links (to your channel, a playlist you made, your other social media profiles.) You can put this second part of the description on all of your videos, which will help the YouTube algorithm recommend more of your videos to somebody already watching.
Thumbnails are all about being first to grab a viewer’s attention. You can do this by using big, bold, and easy to read graphics, and utilizing bright colors and interesting photos. When you think you’ve got a good thumbnail, try shrinking it down and overlaying it onto a screenshot of YouTube to see if your text is still readable and if your image is still clear. You can check out some great examples of thumbnails [here!]
You know the little “I” pop ups that appear in the upper corners of a video? Those are cards, and they’re super useful! They’re a great way to link to related videos and playlists in the middle of a video so viewers know that you have more related content. So if you make a slime video, you can use a card to link to a playlist of other slime and DIY videos you’ve done. You can also use cards to link to collabs on other channels, or even your own personal website.
5. End Tags
This is your last chance to direct viewers where you want them to go next! You can add up to three clickable elements in the last 20 seconds of your video, so use them wisely. A solid formula is to use a subscribe icon that leads back to your channel homepage, a link to your most recent video, and a playlist link of a related topic or your top viewed videos. These icons will appear while your video is still playing, so if you plan ahead, you can time your outro and point out what each of the buttons leads to.
6. Ask & Respond
Building a community is a huge part of having a YouTube channel. In your video, try asking a question for viewers to leave a comment on. It can be anything from “What’s your favorite color?” to “What are you being for Halloween?” to “What kind of video should I make next?” These questions are a great way for your audience to interact with you and leave feedback, and also for you to speak to them! You can even comment on your own video with the question you asked and pin it to the top of the comments section so people have a place to discuss. And of course, make sure you reply to their comments!