As the second-biggest search engine (after Google), and the second-biggest social network (after Facebook), YouTube can be an extremely valuable marketing investment for almost every industry. The key to getting a dependably high number of views is to generate a channel with a persuasive offering. But unluckily, very few businesses succeed in this attempt.
Nevertheless, when curated thoughtfully and tactically, YouTube channels can bring a lot of brand value in the long run. They can help you build a target audience. An audience that you can turn into consumers and promote your products and services via word of mouth. So what differentiates the best from the rest?
A strong value proposition for subscribers
All of the best YouTube channels offer a flawless and simple motive to subscribe. By the subjects covered, the style of the videos, and the name of the channel. It should be very easy for a viewer to work out what’s in store for them if they hit ‘subscribe’.
If I subscribe to Marques Brownlee, I know I am getting in-depth and well-produced tech hardware reviews. If I subscribe to Grant Cardone I am getting real estate advice. And if I subscribe to Gary V, I am getting interviews and tips around entrepreneurship.
All killer content and no fluff
The best YouTube Channels are power-packed, without unnecessary or low-quality content. Not only does this mean guaranteeing everything that you publish on YouTube is regularly meeting a high creative standard. It also means certifying everything on the channel is contextually applicable for a new user discovering your brand channel without prior understanding of your brand or products.
This means eliminating esoteric product or sales videos and guaranteeing everything on the channel delivers value to the average user interested in your area of attention. Frequently audit your YouTube channel to see which content has been performing below par. Remove those lower-quality videos so that users discovering your content library will always find your very best work.
As a universal rule, any videos that have lower than 30% average retention, or those videos getting reasonably few views from YouTube search and recommended videos are the ones that you might want to think about eliminating.
Highlight sections on the home page
When you reach a YouTube channel for the first time, you’ll naturally browse the home page. This is where you imagine seeing videos prearranged into playlists, based on either media type or subject. YouTube allows you to include 12 “Featured sections” which can be playlists, other channels, subscription links or live streams.
Create stunningly designed and consistent thumbnails
Thumbnails are one of the most vital parts so the infrastructure on YouTube. The most serious mistake many companies make is just using the default options provided by YouTube when putting up a video. Don’t depend on automatically selected frames from the video. Make and upload custom thumbnails that let you bring an element of consistency and brand identity to each video, while also drawing more clicks.
The best YouTube channels also wisely consider and optimize their titles, with more of an editorial/news lens than an SEO lens. Titles need to entice clicks more than show keyword relevancy, and should always be written with this objective in mind.
Remember that constructing a great YouTube channel takes time. You will need YouTube marketing and you need to be ready to commit for the long run if you want to see significant returns.
In most cases, I would imagine it to take a year or two of steady quality publishing for any channel to really gain some major traction. So strap in and delight in the ride!