In this article, I'm going to explain you how to get more views on every video that you upload to YouTube, the secret video promotion. In fact, the promotional strategies that I'm about to share with you have helped my channel grow to 231,000 views per month. When I first launched my YouTube channel, I thought that all you needed to do was publish great videos, and the rest would take care of itself, but I was wrong. Instead of my videos blowing up and getting thousands or millions of views, my channel struggled to get any traction. And eventually, I realized why. I wasn't promoting any of the videos that I published. And as it turns out, when it comes to growing your YouTube channel, video promotion is key.
That's because according to YouTube's own data, 500 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. So for your channel to stand out, you can't just upload a bunch of videos and hope for the best. Instead, you want to strategically promote every single video. In fact, promoting videos is one of the main reasons that my channel went from struggling to rapid growth. So without further ado, let's kick things off.
1. Share your videos on Reddit forums and Q&A sites
Why does this work? Well, if you think about it, people visit online communities and forums for two main reasons, to find new content and to get their questions answered, and your videos can help with both of those things. For example, let's say you just published a video about the keto diet. Your first step is to head over to Quora and look for questions that people are asking about the diet. Then use your video as a way to help people answer those questions. Now, obviously you don't want to start spamming Quora and Reddit with a link to your video. That's gonna do more harm than good. Instead, add some original content to the discussion and then feature your video as a way that people can learn more.
For example, a while back, I wanted to promote video from my channel. So I searched for Quora for discussions about my video's topic, which was link building. And then I added a full answer that could stand on its own, plus a link to my video for people that wanted to dive a little bit deeper, which helped my new video get some key early views, which leads us to our second strategy.
2. Optimize around trending topics
You probably already know that SEO is huge for getting more views on your videos. The question is what key words should you optimize your video around? Well, it's no secret that most keywords on YouTube are super competitive. And if you have a small channel, it's gonna be hard to rank above the big guys. Fortunately, there's a simple way to get around this issue, which is to optimize around new, trending keywords. Here's how.
First type a topic idea into YouTube search. Then take a look at the words and phrases that YouTube suggests. These are all keywords that people are searching for right now on YouTube, which means they might not be super competitive yet. You can also use a free tool called explodingtopics.com. This tool curates hundreds of new trending topics across dozens of different industries.
3. Boost your video CTR
Your video CTR or click-through rate is important for two main reasons. First, a higher CTR means more views. For example, let's say you have a video that ranks in the number four spot for your target keyword. And that video has a click-through rate of 5%. Well, if you can improve that click-through rate to 12%, you'll get 2.4 times more views without needing to rank any higher or do anything else to promote your video. Second CTR is an important YouTube algorithm ranking signal. In general, the YouTube algorithm wants to promote videos that get lots of clicks. In fact, the YouTube Creator Studio states that YouTube recommends videos that people show interest in.
To be clear, I'm not recommending clickbait. That's because if lots of people click on your video and then realize it's clickbait and stop watching it, YouTube is gonna bury that video. I mean, YouTube even States that, quote, "This sort of stuff can hurt your chances of being recommended to new viewers." So it's important that you back up your title and thumbnail with a legit high quality video.
Now, my experience, one of the best ways to click-through rate is to create super colorful thumbnails. In my personal opinion, most thumbnails on YouTube are way too dark, or they only use two or three main colors, which makes them and blend in. Instead, you want to use thumbnails with lots of contrasting colors. For example, you can see that this thumbnail from one of my videos uses five different contrasting colors, which helps it stand out.
4. Collaborate with other channels
This is kind of like guest posting, but instead of guest posting on another blog, you guest post on another channel. And this simple approach can get you in front of thousands of new people. And because publishing a video on another channel is kind of like an endorsement from that channel, people that see your guest video are super likely to subscribe to your channel.
For example, a while back, I did a collaboration with Noah Kagan's channel. And because Noah has a slightly different audience than I do, this video got me in front of a ton of new people and led to lots of new subscribers. The key to a successful collab is to send someone a highly targeted, specific pitch right off the bat. In other words, don't say something generic like, "Hey, I'd like to collab. I think it would help my channel. What do you think." Channels that don't even have a lot of subscribers are gonna ignore lame pitches like this. But when you send a pitch that emphasizes what they get out of the collaboration, they're super likely to say yes. Here's an example of a good collab pitch.
5. The sequel technique
Now I've talked about the sequel technique on my channel before. But I had to mention it here because it's killing it for me right now. Specifically, it's helping me get tons of views from the Suggested video section on YouTube. Here's how this technique works.
First, find a video in your niche that's already super popular. You can easily find these by heading over to a channel page and then hitting Most Popular on the dropdown menu. For example, if you're looking at my channel, you might want to use this video for the first step. Next, take what's already great about that video and improve it. Here are some ways that you can make your video better than any other video out there on that topic. Now, the idea here isn't just to rip off the original video. Instead, you want to build on a proven approach and then push out a video that's 10 times better.
And once your new video is ready to go, it's time to optimize it for SEO. Specifically, you want to add the same keywords that the popular video uses in your videos title, in the description, and as some of your tags. And if you do this right, your video will start to show up next to the popular video. And a certain percentage of people will click over to watch your video.
6. Go back and re-optimize your older videos
Back in the day, I'd upload a video, reply to a few comments and never look at that video again. Well, I recently started to experiment with going back and re-optimizing old videos, and it seems to be helping a little bit. So as you already know, there's not much you can do to edit or change an existing YouTube video. But you can always go back and change the video's title, description, tags, cards, end screen, and thumbnail.
To be clear, this isn't some sort of magic bullet that's going to make an old video go viral, but it can help some of your older videos get a few extra views every month.
7. Ask your viewers to subscribe with a call to action
In my experience, this is a super effective way to turn more viewers into subscribers. In fact, YouTube themselves recommend this exact approach. All you need to do here is at the end of your video, directly ask people to subscribe to your channel. In other words, you don't want to casually say, "Like, comment and subscribe." Comments are nice, likes are okay, but subscribers are the lifeblood of your channel, which is why it's worthwhile to specifically ask people to subscribe.
For example, I always ask people to subscribe at the end of every video that I upload to YouTube. As you can see, it's not a throw away line that's easy for people to ignore. I literally stop the entire video to ask people to hit the Subscribe button. This strong and clear call to action is one of the main reasons that my channel brings in around 7,000 subscribers every month.
8. Use consistent channel branding
When it comes to growing your YouTube channel, your brand's look and feel is huge. And if someone lands on your channel page and it just looks ugly and unprofessional, they're probably not gonna subscribe. But if they see a channel that has a strong brand, they're much more likely to hit that Subscribe button.
For example, I recently helped out my friend Heini Zachariassen, the founder of the Vivino app with his channel. At the time, his channel was struggling to get views, And a big reason for that was his thumbnails, colors and branding was all over the place. So one of the first things I did was get his thumbnails, video intros, trailer, and channel art, all to match up, which helps his channel have a strong and consistent brand.
My channel is the same way. Everything from my channel art, to my thumbnails, to the animations and graphics in my videos have the same look and feel.
9. Uncover untapped keywords in the YouTube Studio
All you need to do here is head over to the traffic source, YouTube search section of your YouTube analytics. And you'll get a list of all of the keywords that you currently ranked for in YouTube search. Now, if you're already using video SEO to promote your videos, a lot of the terms here aren't going to surprise you. But if you dig deep enough, you'll usually find at least a few surprising keywords that you're not even trying to rank for.
So when you find a new keyword here, what's next? Well, you can create an entirely new video around that keyword or you can add that keyword to some of your older videos, either way works
10. Preview new videos in a community post
This strategy is super simple Whenever you were about to publish a new video that's awesome, make sure to let your subscribers know a day or two before in a community post. This builds up anticipation for your upcoming video, which can lead to more views. All you need to do in your post is outline why your video is worth keeping an eye out for. For example, I posted this video preview a while back. Nothing fancy here, just a post that gave existing subscribers a reason to look forward to my video. And people were pumped about the new video. That community post previewed the day before, plus a bunch of other stuff helped that video rank up 24,000 views in its first 11 days.
Before we close out this article, I have a quick bonus tip for you, which is to promote new videos as a channel trailer. You probably already know that a high quality channel trailer can help you get more subscribers. That said, your trailer takes up prime real estate on your channel page, real estate that can sometimes be better used to promote your latest video. So if you have a new video that you really want to promote, consider making that video your channel trailer. In fact, that's exactly what Dude Perfect does. They don't have a traditional channel trailer. Instead, they use the Trailer section to feature their latest stuff.
There you have it, 10 ways to promote your YouTube videos for more views.