How to Promote Your YouTube Channel in 2018: 25 Awesome Tips
Sure, cat videos and music videos attract their share of clicks, but many people who search for content on YouTube or in the search engines are looking for something they want to learn. If you’re not serving up the solution, you’re missing out on Knowledge Commerce sales.
You already know to use video for your online courses, but what about for attracting a bigger audience and generating sales? That’s where these 35 YouTube promotion tips come into play.
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Learning how to promote your YouTube channel can result in more subscribers, views, and revenue. Let’s dive into these tips and make sure your YouTube channel doesn’t disappear into obscurity.
1. YouTube SEO: Optimize Your YouTube Content So That it Ranks in Search Engines
When someone mentions search engine optimization (SEO), you probably think of text content. After all, Google can’t “read” a video.
However, if you’re not optimizing your videos for SEO, you could be missing out on traffic. You might have noticed, for instance, that YouTube videos often pop up in the search engine results pages (SERPs), which means that they have some SEO value.
There’s even a “video” category in Google search. But how do you show up reliably for keywords related to your videos?
Titles and Descriptions
Start with the title or headline you give your video. Make sure to include your target keyword in an intriguing way.
Questions work well for video titles. So do lists (if your video includes a list of tips or steps) and bold statements. Focus on catching viewers’ attention as well as ranking well in the SERPs, and if you can, put the keyword at the beginning of the title.
You can include your primary keyword as well as LSI (related) keywords in the description. Provide some background on the video so search engines and viewers can better understand what they’ll get from the content.
Video transcripts can also help. They provide a text version of your video so people (and search engines) can read if they don’t want to watch and listen.
We’ve already discussed keywords briefly, but keep in mind that you can’t just choose any keyword related to your video. Instead, you want to focus on keywords that your viewers are searching for.
For instance, if you’re creating a video about how to tie your shoes, you wouldn’t want to optimize it for a keyword like “best shoes.” People who search for “best shoes” want to buy shoes — they aren’t looking for instructional information. Even though that keyword might have a high search volume, it isn’t appropriate for your video.
Get people talking in the comments section of your video. Answer any questions or comments that you see, and make sure to participate in the comments sections of other videos. High engagement levels can boost SEO.
Make sure your video shows up in relevant categories on YouTube. Otherwise, Google (and people) will assume that it’s about something irrelevant to the topic.
For instance, let’s say that you create a video that teaches people crafts. YouTube might automatically put it in the DIY category, but maybe it would get more views (and be more relevant to searches) in the How-To and Style category.
Appropriately tagging your videos will make them more accessible to search engines. Tags tell viewers and Google what your video is about.
Start by including brand-specific tags, such as the name of your business. You can also use tags that identify the subject (your name, for instance), the content (such as “how-to,” “education,” or “fitness”), and the long-tail keywords (such as “how to tie your shoes”).
2. Create Magnetic Video Titles
Video titles are the first thing people and search engines will see. Other than the video content itself, it’s the most important part of uploading your videos to YouTube.
We’ve already covered keyword optimization, but what about the rest of the title? You don’t just want to name your video a keyword.
Inspiring curiosity can make your videos more appealing. For instance, you could title a video “How I Prepped for a Marathon in Just 30 Days.” Not only does it imply a how-to guide, but it also grabs curiosity by including the short time span.
3. Choose Clear and Compelling YouTube Thumbnails
The YouTube thumbnail is also important. You don’t want YouTube to grab a random thumbnail from your video because it might not be appealing to viewers.
Try to make the thumbnail as descriptive as possible. If your video features you, for instance, try to grab a close-up of your face as you make eye contact with the viewer. You could also use a dramatic still from an action-oriented video.
4. Optimize Your YouTube Channel Description
The video description shouldn’t just contain keywords. In fact, attempting to fill your description with keywords will simply get you kicked out of the SERPs and potentially penalized by YouTube.
Instead, you want to make your descriptions compelling. Let them stand alone from the video itself.
Think about the copywriting you do for your landing pages. Apply those same strategies to your video descriptions:
Introduce the video
Explain how the viewer will benefit from the video
Pose insightful questions
Use bullet points to break up the text
Just as you want users to convert based on your landing page copy, you also want viewers to convert by watching your video.
5. Include Contact Links
Since you don’t own YouTube, you don’t want it to be your viewers’ final contact with your Knowledge Commerce business. Instead, you want them to contact you in other ways.
Including clickable links to email you, visit your Kajabi website, subscribe to your blog, or buy your online courses can help boost conversions and make your videos more effective.
You can include links in the video itself as well as in the description. Just make sure not to spam links throughout the video. You want every link to serve a specific purpose.
Additionally, use links that are relevant to the video content. For instance, if you talk about learning more about your industry or niche, you could link to your membership site signup page and invite viewers to check it out.
6. Take Advantage of Email Marketing
Email marketing isn’t just for sharing your latest blog posts or providing a coupon for your digital products. Indeed, you can use it to promote your YouTube channel to people who are already brand-aware.
Include one of your favorite videos in your next email newsletter, for example. If you don’t want to embed the whole video, take a screenshot and link it to its home on YouTube.
Make sure to include some context. Explain exactly how your email subscribers will benefit from the video so they’ll click through more reliably.
Existing Email List
Start with your existing email list. When you publish a new video, consider sending out an update that links to the content. You could even promote it as a perk of subscribing — those people get notified first about new videos.
Don’t discount videos as a source of lead magnets. Consider linking to your email signup page from the video and offering a second video as a free download to subscribers.
You could also use videos as lead magnets before you submit them to YouTube. People who want to get them first can sign up. Plus, you’ll send them out to existing subscribers so there’s always a benefit to staying subscribed.
Don’t neglect playlists as a way to keep your email subscribers engaged. Maybe you’ve produced several videos on a particular niche topic. Send out a playlist so your subscribers can view them all together.
Alternatively, offer special playlists as a lead magnet. Of course, you’ll also want to group videos into playlists on YouTube, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Calls to Action
Many entrepreneurs assume that their calls to action should always lead to a landing or sales page. This isn’t entirely the truth.
Yes, you want to direct people to buy your digital products, but only when they’re ready to buy. If your prospects are still in the decision-making phase, you want to point them to resources that help establish your credibility.
Consider segmenting your email list and using your YouTube videos as your CTA destination link for people who haven’t entered the bottom of the sales funnel yet.
7. Get Active in the Community
Just like your neighborhood or town, YouTube has its own community. It consists of people who make videos and people who enjoy watching video.
If you’re not involved in this community, people will be less likely to watch your content. They won’t hear about your channel as readily or recognize your name or business name when they see it.
Commenting on other people’s videos, for example, might seem like a waste of time. After all, that activity doesn’t directly boost engagement on your own videos.
However, when people see that you’re consistently providing value to the community, they’ll start to seek you out. YouTube channel promotion doesn’t always have to start on your channel.
8. Promote Your YouTube Channel on Your Blog
Don’t forget to use your blog to amplify your YouTube channel’s reach. You can include a static link in your blog’s sidebar, for instance.
However, we also recommending embedding your videos in blog posts when they make sense. Expose people to your videos as often as possible.
9. Run a Contest
We’ve mentioned before on the Kajabi blog that contests are among the most effective marketing strategies. A contest or giveaway incentivizes people to consume your content, whether it’s a blog post, an Instagram account, or a YouTube channel.
Consider running contests for your YouTube subscribers and viewers. For instance, maybe you’ll draw a number corresponding to the comments section of your YouTube video. The comment that corresponds with that number will win a prize, such as free access to your latest mini-course.
10. Include a Link to Your YouTube Channel in Your Email Signature
Even when you’re not writing specifically to your subscribers, you can promote your YouTube channel via email. Include a link and a brief CTA in your email signature to compel recipients to click.
For instance, your CTA might look something like this: “Check out my daily three-minute fitness tips on YouTube to strengthen your body and your mind.”
11. Create a Weekly Video Series
Video series often attract more engagement than single videos. A series implies a long-term commitment and promises your viewers that there’s more to come.
Often, you can’t cover a complex subject in a single video. Research shows that shorter videos tend to get higher engagement and more views. The sweet spot tends to be around two minutes long.
However, that doesn’t mean you should go light on the details. Instead, spread a complex topic out over 10 or even 20 videos. Cover a small portion of the content (such as answering one specific question) in each installment.
12. Build Playlists
We mentioned playlists in conjunction with email marketing, but they can work just as well as on-platform YouTube channel promotion. When you take the time to create playlists, your subscribers can more easily find the content they want.
Let’s go with the fitness example we’ve used before in this article. You might create videos for beginners who have no fitness experience as well as for marathon runners who are in better shape than most NBA players.
Videos likely won’t appeal to both audiences.
So you add your videos to the appropriate playlists. You could create a playlist for exercises, another for stretches, and one for marathon preparation, for instance.
13. Promote Your YouTube Content on Other Channels And Social Networks
Remember that YouTube is, at its most basic, a social media platform — just like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, it has a unique, specific focus.
You might have fans on Instagram, for instance, who don’t use YouTube. If you let them know that you create original content there, they might check it out.
Don’t miss opportunities to cross-promote your YouTube channel on other social networks. Keep promotional posts to a minimum, but remember that you can broaden your audience significantly if you try to reach people in other ways.
14. Cross-Promote Your YouTube Channel Everywhere
You can also cross-promote your YouTube channel on forums, blog posts, live or pre-recorded webinars, and dozens of other places online. Just make sure that linking to your YouTube channel or an individual post makes sense in context.
In other words, you want your link to deliver real value to people who might click on it. Otherwise, you’ll just annoy potential customers.
15. Create Q&A Videos
There are numerous ways to carry on conversations with your fans and followers online. One way is to collect questions from your audience, then answer them during a single YouTube video.
It’s more personal than a simple FAQ section on your blog. Plus, it conveys the illusion of a one-on-one conversation. As you read questions and deliver your answers, you create a dialogue with everyone who watches.
Even though you might have received a question from just one person, others probably want to know the answer, too. Later, you can direct people to this resource when they ask similar questions.
16. Work With Other Brands
You might have noticed that, here on the Kajabi blog, we often recommend partnering with other Knowledge Commerce professionals. There’s a good reason for that.
When you engage in partnerships, you gain access to an audience you might never have reached otherwise. Plus, you align your brand with someone else’s — and, if you did your homework, a brand that can help build yours.
Imagine, for example, that you teach people how to perfect their golf game. Now imagine that Nike approached you for a partnership. You’d be ecstatic, right?
That’s how all partnerships work, albeit on a lower level. Consider recording videos with other Knowledge Commerce professionals and posting those videos on both channels.
17. Use Calls To Action
Don’t forget to add CTAs to the ends of your videos. Give people a reason to subscribe to your channel, leave a comment, and like your video. If you don’t ask, they won’t deliver.
18. Add Custom Subtitles
YouTube automatically adds subtitles to videos for people who are hearing impaired or who prefer to watch and read than to listen. However, they’re far from perfect.
Sound quality, accents, and other factors can impact subtitles’ accuracy. To avoid incorrect rendering, consider adding custom subtitles. You’ll make sure that your audience understands exactly what you meant to say.
19. Use End Cards or Screens
End cards and end screens can also help promote your YouTube channel. These additions have replaced annotations on YouTube because they’re interactive and viewable on mobile. You can use them to provide a CTA, to link to related playlists, and to ask for subscriptions.
You can also use end cards or screens to link directly to your Kajabi website. Include a thumbnail image to make the content more dynamic.
20. Allow (And Encourage) People to Embed Your Videos
Yes, the videos you create and submit on YouTube are your personal property. You don’t want anyone to steal them.
However, refusing to allow people to embed your videos on their website is like saying “no” to potential traffic and leads. Don’t do it.
In fact, instead of denying people the ability to embed your videos, encourage it. Actively invite your viewers and fans to embed your videos all over the Internet. You’ll get tons of exposure.
21. Ask For Engagement
It’s been long established that you can’t expect consumers to do things on their own. Sometimes they will, but it’s hardly reliable.
Instead, you need to ask them for what you want. If you want viewers to leave them a comment, ask them to do so. Add, for example, that you’ll be there to answer any questions left in the comments.
You can also ask people to like your videos and subscribe to your channels.
22. Interview Influencers in Your Niche
A great way to promote your YouTube channel is to give it a bit of star power. Consider interviewing someone who is an influencer or established expert in your industry.
That person will likely promote the interview with his or her audience. Plus, you’ll get views from name recognition alone. You can conduct the interview in person or by marrying your screens in post-production.
23. Try YouTube Live
We’re slowly (but surely) seeing a shift toward live video. Everyone is doing it these days, whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.
Going live allows you to interact with your audience in real time. Instead of watching a pre-recorded video, your followers can watch you speak to them in the moment. They can also ask you questions or leave comments.
It might seem intimidating at first, but it’ll get easier with practice. Plus, you won’t be sorry when the subscriptions, click-throughs, and likes start climbing. If you try YouTube Live and dislike it, you don’t have to try it again.
24. Target Google SERPs
SEO isn’t the only consideration when it comes to Google SERPs. In addition to targeting primary keywords and keeping your copy search-engine friendly, you also want your videos to appeal to people.
Keep your headlines or titles at about 55 characters. That way, the full title will show up in the SERPs instead of getting cut off. Additionally, optimize the first sentence or so of your description for Google’s meta tags.
Here’s a good example of how a YouTube video might appear in the SERPs:
You can see the entire title, the thumbnail is attractive, the video is a desirable length, and the meta description makes sense.
25. Advertise Your YouTube Channel
Advertising your YouTube channel can give you a huge boost in exposure. However, you don’t want to break the bank with advertising costs.
- Promote Your Channel With AdWords For Video: Use Google AdWords to promote your specific videos. Choose your most high-quality content for this type of promotion.
- Target Your Audience: Choose a custom audience that will benefit from your video. Widening your audience will result in unqualified leads and higher advertising costs.
- Make the Most of Ad Formats: Peruse the different ad formats and test your options to see which ones offer the best ROI.
- Create Ads That Attract Clicks: Channel your inner copywriter and marketer to update your ad creative and make it compelling enough for clicks.
- Apply a Proven Strategy: Read articles by people who have successfully promote their YouTube channels using advertising. Always replicate a proven strategy when you can.
- Understand Your Results and Optimize Your Campaigns: Keep monitoring your advertising efforts. If you get dismal results, change it up. Keep making changes until you perfect your campaign.
Use Kajabi To Turn Your Knowledge And Content Into Products You Can Sell
Did you know that your knowledge could translate into dollars? That’s what we help entrepreneurs achieve at Kajabi. Our goal is to help you transform your knowledge into products that you can sell for passive and active income.
It often starts with promotion, whether you’re blogging, posting on social media, or creating YouTube videos. After all, nobody can buy your digital products unless they know you exist.
Fortunately, Kajabi offers tons of built-in functionality to help you promote your business. From email marketing campaigns to social media integrations, you’ll find it on the Kajabi platform.
You can also create other types of videos, such as webinars, and host them on your Kajabi website. We make it easy for you to share your knowledge with the world.
Learning how to promote your YouTube channel can make your channel more popular and more accessible via search engines. It starts by optimizing each video for search as well as for people who might want to watch it.
Make sure to spend time crafting the ideal headline and description. You also need to select the appropriate categories and tags for each video.
With that accomplished, start promoting your YouTube channel through as many avenues as possible. From email marketing and commenting on other people’s videos to running contests and cross-promoting your videos on other channels, you have myriad ways to get the word out.
Consider creating a weekly video series, interviewing an industry influencer, or creating Q&A videos. You also need to ask people to like, subscribe, and return. Otherwise, they might forget about you as soon as they click away.
You could also try YouTube Live and advertise your channel. Both of these endeavors can result in significant increases in engagement.
What’s your favorite way to promote your YouTube channel?