Three Tactics that Will Keep Viewers on Your YouTube Page
One of the challenges with YouTube is getting viewers to stay on your channel to watch more of your videos. Viewers are bombarded with thousands of other videos trying to get their attention. Viewers are especially distracted by features like “suggested videos” and flashy ads.
You work hard to create great videos and want viewers to watch more of them. Surely, you wouldn’t want viewers to skip your videos and watch the videos from the next guy on the list.
It is even harder to get viewers to engage with more of your videos in 2015, with the introduction of new features like “up next” and “Autoplay”. Autoplay automatically leads viewers to the next suggested video without any action on their part. As Figure 1 clearly indicates, YouTube sends viewers away from your videos automatically once they’ve finished playing.
So what can you do about it? Here are three tactics to get you on the right track:
1. Use Strategic Keywords & Keyphrases
I know a professional video marketer who inserts a special keyphrase into all of his videos. He adds that keyphrase in the “tags” section of his videos. Why does he do that? This tactic increases the chances that his own videos will show up in the “suggested videos” section for all of his videos. If you can “own” your suggested videos, you will come across as an expert, and viewers will more likely stay to watch more of your videos.
Put it into action: Go to your YouTube Video Manager, insert a unique phrase that only you would know as the last tag in all of your videos.
2. Create Strong Custom Thumbnails
If you have not used custom thumbnails yet, do it now! Basically, you can create a mini advertisement for your YouTube video. Post the title or use an interesting image to capture the viewer’s attention. Make sure it is an image that represents your video and engages your target market. [See Figure 2]
Put it into Action: Create an image that’s 1280 x 720. You can use a free image site like Canva.com (@canva) to create amazing images for free. If you don’t have any graphics to use as a background, clip an interesting moment from your video using screen capture on your computer. Then, just add attention-grabbing text and you’re done! Upload it as a custom image from your video edit page on YouTube.
3. Start Using YouTube “Cards”
YouTube Cards can create an environment that encourages viewers to stay on your page and explore more videos. Unlike annotation (which pops up in transparent boxes and doesn’t work on mobile devices), cards stay on your video. They are more visually appealing, and can utilize graphics; hence you can brand them the way you want them to be. (You can read YouTube’s official blog introduction to Cards here.)
Put it into Action: Go to your video. Click on the “i” with a circle around it. It should bring up the Card editor. It works much like annotations. Create a card for your webpage with a title (Ex: “Visit Us on the Web” or whatever keyword phrase works best for your brand). Play with these cards and make them strategically fit each video.
Conclusion: Don’t Forget Great Titles, Relevant Descriptions, and Great Content
There are many other tactics you can apply when uploading YouTube videos. Your goal should be to optimize your videos, compelling viewers to watch more of them and fulfill your end objectives. While using keywords, custom thumbnails, and Cards should keep you in front of your target audience, don’t forget the basics of adding good titles and relevant descriptions, as well as uploading great video content.
Feel free to ask questions in the Comments section below, and I’ll give you tips that will help you think more strategically about YouTube. Follow me as an author if you want to be the first to find out new tips, tricks, and strategies to help you with your video and online marketing.
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