Getting people to watch your YouTube video creations first requires you to understand why they watch videos in the first place. In the broadest sense of this, they are curious about what you have created because your title or topic has intrigued them or someone has sent it to them to take a look at which raises their curiosity level and they choose to check out your creation because of this curiosity. So knowing this, you will be wanting to employ strategies that will encourage people to share your creations and the easiest way to do this is through a “Call to Action” – ask them to share it if they like it or make it visibly easy for them to do so.
Regarding your topic, the best bandwagons to get on when creating a new video is to create something that relates to something that is currently trending. Using tools like Google Alerts helps with this, watching what people are tweeting about or posting to Pinterest or Facebook gives you insights as well. If what you are about on YouTube is general or flexible enough, you can jump on these trends and as people search voraciously online for new currently relevant content, you have a good opportunity to catch a piece of the action.
This is the kind of content that can go viral if you manage to catch the right waves. The trick is to be able to jump in ahead of the curve on a creation. Hit the early adopters/viewers who are looking to be the first kid on the block to know something and are then anxious to share their discoveries with Facebook friends, real friends, co-workers, etc. Videos of this sort are often short-lived view-wise but while they are “hot”, they fly high and fast.
Next comes the more self-serving, learning types of videos. People want to increase their knowledge in certain areas so they can be more successful themselves which can include finding ways of making more money, being better at their jobs, wanting to find new online tools to teach their children with, wanting to get to the next level in currently trending online games (overlaps with the bandwagon principle of what is trending as well). Here you can put out content that will continue to have audiences over the longer term. Your informational videos will be viewed again and again over the years by ever growing viewing bases if you have created content that is timelessly relevant. You don’t fly as high or as fast as you would by creating trending topic videos, but your growth should be steady over time as more and more people become aware of your content.
Now that you have selected the direction for the videos you wish to create, to get people to watch them you have to create quality content that people want to watch. There are several elements you need to work on to ensure this quality exists.
Entertainment Value: You need to ensure you capture their attention quickly and then keep if you are striving to reach them on an entertainment level. You have to continually throughout your video push interesting or visually appealing content at them or they will click off and go elsewhere. And this takes up front planning to achieve.
Apparent Content Value: If your goal is delivering solid knowledge improving value, you have to make sure your content is deep enough to give them real value that is actually useful to them or you will lose them as a follower – so every creation you build has to have depth. Do not put something superficial out there or you may lose them and never get them back.
Emotional Value: The very best video creations on YouTube all contain a good level of emotional value that reaches the viewer. For entertaining and/or trending videos, you want to hit certain emotional buttons in a person such as laughter, sentimentality, bonding with people, pets, children, etc., desires – such as living wealthy, living healthy, living skinny, travelling, etc. For knowledge videos, emotions include having money to pay bills, travel, retire, etc., getting more popular, famous or even noticed, solving a nagging problem – succeeding or achieving something, etc. The better you can relate emotionally to people in your creations, the more what you create will get watched.
Titles: Take time to create good titles for your creation. Don’t just create a title that is bland or just describes your content in some “vanilla” manner, try to create something that can catch a person’s eye. For example, a vanilla title for improving your website might be “Improve Your Website for SEO”; a better one would be “Get Your Website Righteous with the Google Search Engine”. The second one will catch more viewers’ eyes. Great adjectives help to improve viewing results.
Branding and Consistency: Get a theme going so people know what to expect each time you are putting out a new video. This goes for Branding as well – build a recognizable brand that people can remember and spot easily as they are surfing for content to watch. Consistency of Brand and Theme will get those that like your content to view the next release in a series. It’s also a good idea to create different playlists for your creations so that each playlist can remain consistent within a theme and new releases appear in each playlist as the next installment in the series. If someone finds a video labelled “Episode 9 – Content Title” for example and they like it, they will want to go watch episodes 1-8 also to be sure they haven’t missed anything in the series. So build well defined playlists consistent to a theme and release videos in a series – it helps get earlier videos watched and gets people anticipating the next release in the series so they can watch that also upon release.
Call to Actions: Make it easy for people to view other videos in your series. Strategically place YouTube “cards” and annotations in your creations that point people to your playlist so they can view all your related creations or to the next video in the series. Note: I like to always use the “Open in Another Window” option when adding these to give people the opportunity to finish watching the existing creation as well. This by the way, also has the added benefit of improving your per video viewing statistics.
These are just a few ideas in overview that will help you improve your video viewing statistics on YouTube. Couple these strategies with effective video promotion techniques, and your created content will get good exposure on YouTube.