4 Best Practices for Building Your YouTube Brand
By Hillary Adler
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When it comes to video marketing, YouTube outranks them all. Using the platform properly can be an effective channel to grow your network, gain credibility, and even generate new leads.
Next to Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine, surpassing the combined traffic from AOL, Bing, and Yahoo. What does that mean? It means an awful lot of eyes landing on your content. It also means YouTube’s DNA behaves like a search engine.
Here are 4 ways to make sure you’re creating a YouTube channel that’s going to get the looks and rankings you deserve.
1. SEO for YouTube
This is a big one, and it starts when you hit record. Shoutouts at the end of your recording with call-to-actions are meant to increase engagement and increase the number of subscribers. Phrases like, “If you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe,” or, “If you have any questions for me, leave a comment below and I’ll answer,” are easy ways to drive growth and engagement.
Just as you would for a flat piece of content, making sure your titles, descriptions, transcripts, and tags include your SEO keyword(s) is critical.
That said, our own in-house SEO expert, Lindsay Valdez, suggests, “The most important rule of YouTube SEO is to create high-quality videos.”
According to Valdez, competition is steep and one of the biggest ranking factors for a video is completion rate — that is, how many people watch it from start to finish.
“The best titles and descriptions in the world won’t help you rank if you don’t have a great video,” said Valdez.
2. Timing is Everything
You know what they say: Time is of the essence. And in this case, timing your YouTube posts is paramount. While audience size spikes on the site during weekday evenings, posting a video earlier in the afternoon gives YouTube plenty of time to index the video and deliver it to subscriber feeds.
As a general rule, YouTube Analytics recommends the following post times for maximum viewership:
Monday/Tues./Wednesday: 2pm-4pm ET
Thurs./Friday: 12pm-3pm ET
Sat/Sun: 9am-11am ET
Posts on Thursday and Friday tend to have the largest reach, with peak times occurring on Saturday, and tapering off into Sunday afternoon.
3. Cross Collaboration with Others
We were super lucky to have big-time YouTuber, Megan Batoon, at #BlogHer18 to do a lightening talk on YouTube best practices. Her very first recommendation was to cross collaborate with creators on the platform.
“Cross collaboration is the best,” she said. “If you collaborate on your channel with a creator who has a similar size audience, and post at the same time, you’re going to see really good results.”
Key point here: If you collaborate consistently, it’s a super fast way to grow AND diversify your audience.
4. Utilize YouTube’s Analytics
I’m a *huge* analytics nerd, and YouTube Analytics offers a top notch database for users to track their viewership. The service offers great tools for improving viewership and engagement rates.
The easy-to-read analysis factors in not only demographics, but includes those important viewing times for your specific audience.
Additionally, it also does side-by-side A/B comparisons with multiple video performances to help you decide which videos your audience likes more.