Maybe I need to level up and take the next step in my online journey/empire. First start with blogs/online magazines, but I know video content is very trending to.
YouTube has become one of the most popular platforms for sharing and watching videos online. With over 1 billion users visiting YouTube monthly, it offers a massive opportunity to reach a large audience if you can create videos that captivate viewers. But how exactly do you make videos that stand out on YouTube and get lots of views and engagement? I’ll walk you through the critical steps to making perfect YouTube videos in this detailed guide.
Develop an Idea that Connects with Your Audience
The first step is developing a solid video idea that will genuinely connect with your target audience. Think carefully about who you want to reach with your videos. Consider their interests, pain points, and what type of content they would find entertaining or helpful. Once you have a target audience, brainstorm video topics and formats to benefit them.
Some ideas for developing strong YouTube video ideas include:
- Creating tutorials to teach a skill related to your niche
- Providing tips, tricks or hacks that solve a common problem your audience faces
- Reviewing or comparing products they’re interested in
- Creating commentary videos on trending topics in your niche
- Sharing your own experiences related to their interests through vlogs
- Compiling funny bloopers or viral moments into compilation videos
- Make list videos like “5 Common Mistakes Beginners Make.”
Look at what’s currently performing well on YouTube for your target audience and put your unique spin on those videos. Think about how you can create something even more interesting or helpful for your niche.
Craft an Intriguing Title
Once you settle on a specific video idea, you need an appealing title to grab attention and persuade viewers to click. Your title should highlight the benefit the viewer will get from watching your video.
Some tips for titling YouTube videos:
- Include your target keyword phrase for better discoverability
- Make it curiosity-sparking by asking a question or pointing to a benefit
- Use words like “You won’t believe…” or “I can’t believe…” to create intrigue
- List the reasons to watch your video, like “5 Reasons You Should…”
- Try adding numbers like “10 Baking Tips for Beginners.”
- Use emotional words like amazing, laugh-out-loud, jaw-dropping, etc.
- Keep it concise but compelling. Short titles of 60 characters or less perform best.
Keep experimenting with different title options and see which ones get the most clicks when you promote your video.
Optimize Your Video Description
The video description box under your title is valuable real estate for convincing viewers your video is worth watching. You have up to 5000 characters to describe the video and highlight critical details.
Some tips for optimizing YouTube video descriptions:
- Start with a hook sentence that grabs attention, like a question or shocking fact
- Summarize what the viewer will learn or experience by watching
- Include your target keyword throughout the first paragraph
- Break it up into short paragraphs for easy reading
- List chapters with timestamps if it’s a long video
- Add links to other related videos of yours they might enjoy
- Ask viewers to like, comment, share and subscribe
- Credit any music, resources or tools you used
The first 2-3 sentences are the most important, so make them compelling and click-worthy. Use 5000 characters to expand on the video topic and incorporate SEO keywords.
Engage Viewers with Custom Thumbnails
YouTube thumbnails appear next to video titles, so they play a significant role in viewers choosing what to watch. Take time to create custom thumbnails that pop up and convince people to click on your videos.
Tips for creating clickable thumbnails:
- Use high-quality, attention-grabbing images relevant to your video
- Show yourself or examples of what’s inside the video
- Include text like the video title or other key phrases
- Target faces and emotions tend to perform better
- Use contrasting background colors that make the subject stand out
- Add graphics, numbers or arrows that highlight the value
- Make sure the text is large and easy to read on small screens
You can also test different thumbnails to see which drives more views. Change the image, text, or layout and apply A/B testing to determine the optimal option.
Structure Your Video for Maximum Impact
The content and structure of the video will determine if viewers stay engaged or lose interest. Follow these tips to maximize the impact of your YouTube videos:
Open Strong to Hook Viewers
Start your video with a strong hook to capture attention right away. Some options include:
- Ask a provocative or curiosity-sparking question
- Share an interesting fact, statistic or backstory
- Tell a brief personal anecdote or story
- Set up a scene with a humor sketch or demonstration
- Show off an ambitious result viewers can achieve
You only have a few seconds to grab their attention, so make your opening compelling.
Outline Your Video into Sections
Structure your content into clear sections that make it easy to follow along. Short segments are less overwhelming than one long section.
Some elements to include:
- An introduction explaining what the video is about
- Overview of agenda listing what you’ll cover
- Each key point, lesson, tip or step in its section
- B-roll footage or graphics relevant to each section
- Recaps or summaries of what was just covered
- Call-to-actions reminding them to like and subscribe
Pacing your sections with graphics, text overlays, and b-roll will keep viewers engaged.
End with a Memorable Call-to-Action
Wrap up your video with a strong call to action. Tell viewers directly what you want them to do next:
- Invite them to subscribe to your channel
- Suggest other relevant videos of yours to watch next
- Encourage them to share the video if they find it helpful
- Ask them to leave their comments and feedback
- Please direct them to your site or social channels to connect further
A clear CTA leaves viewers with a specific action in mind after watching.
Shoot High-Quality Footage
Ensuring your video and audio quality is on par with top channels is essential to stand out on YouTube. Invest in a decent camera like a DSLR to shoot crisp, clean footage.
Tips for recording quality YouTube footage:
- Use adequate lighting so the footage isn’t too dim or bright
- Choose an exciting background related to your niche
- Make sure the audio is straightforward by using an external mic
- Get a tripod for stable, shake-free shots
- Record B-roll clips to edit into your video
- Change angles and move the camera to add visual interest
If showing your face on camera, ensure you’re well-framed and polished.
Optimize Your Video for Maximum Discoverability
You want to make it as easy as possible for your target audience to find your YouTube videos. Use these tips to optimize your video:
- Include a relevant keyword phrase in the title and description
- Add a full transcript to your video for text-based discovery
- Fill out the details under the advanced settings tab:
- Relevant video tags
- Channel category and language
- Copyright info if using licensed content
- Create a playlist for your video to live within
- Link out to your website and other videos in annotations
- Promote your videos on your other social channels
Proper SEO optimization and promotion will help surface your videos in YouTube searches and suggested videos.
Engage Viewers in Your Video and Description
Keep viewers watching by inviting them to be active participants rather than passive viewers.
Ways to engage viewers:
- Ask questions and encourage comments during and after the video
- Run polls asking for their opinions
- Request video topics or content ideas for future videos
- Tell them to share a specific moment or takeaway from the video
- Suggest teachers use it for educational purposes
- Ask viewers to subscribe if they want to see more content like this
The more engaged your audience, the more YouTube will recommend your videos to others.
Interact with Your Audience in Comments
Staying engaged with your viewers after uploading videos is critical. Make sure to respond to any comments on your videos in a timely manner.
Best practices for YouTube comments include:
- Thank viewers for commenting and any compliments
- Answer any questions thoroughly
- Ask for video suggestions they’d like to see
- Apologize for any criticisms and ask for details
- Private message commenters if help is needed beyond a comment
- Heart or pin, especially relevant viewer comments
- Stick with a professional and positive tone even with negative comments
Interacting with and responding to your audience helps build a community that will continue engaging with your content.
Analyze Metrics and Continuously Improve
YouTube Studio provides a wealth of data on how your videos are performing. Analyze these metrics regularly to inform how you can improve.
Key YouTube metrics to assess:
- Traffic source: Where views come from, like YouTube search, suggested videos, etc. This can help you focus your SEO and promotion efforts.
- Audience retention: Shows if viewers are watching your entire video or dropping off at specific points. This can reveal weaker sections that need improvement.
- Click-through rate: Measures how many impressions your thumbnail and title get versus actual clicks. A low CTR means your titles and thumbnails can be more optimized.
- Audience demographics: Details like age, gender, and location help you understand who your content is resonating with.
- Traffic Playback locations: Seeing where views come from geographically can guide future content considerations.
- Engagement: Likes, dislikes, comments, and average view duration show how engaging your content is.
Continuously monitor what’s working well and what can be improved. Make data-driven decisions to create even better content in the future.
Promote Your Videos to Relevant Audiences
While YouTube will surface your videos through search and suggested videos, you can accelerate growth through promotion. Reach beyond YouTube to share your videos:
- Create posts on social media pointing back to your video
- Embed your videos on your website, guest posts or online publications
- Promote through email lists, forums, groups or communities relevant to the niche
- Run video ads on YouTube, social media and ad networks
- Collaborate with others in your place to cross-promote videos
- Build an email list to share your newest videos with subscribers
Leverage both organic promotion opportunities and paid advertising to expose your videos to more of your target audience.
Develop a Consistent Content Schedule
The most successful YouTubers post new videos frequently on a consistent schedule. This trains audiences to expect and look forward to your content.
Determine a sustainable posting schedule, like:
- 1 video per week
- Two videos per week
- New video every Tuesday and Friday
Space your videos evenly while giving yourself enough time to produce quality content without burnout.
Notify viewers of your schedule through your channel homepage, video descriptions, or social media. As you build an audience, they’ll learn when to expect new videos from you.
Collaborate with Other Creators
Collaborating with others in your niche can introduce your channel to new audiences. Look for opportunities like:
- Appearing as a guest expert on other channels in your niche
- Co-creating a video with another YouTube creator to cross-promote
- Interviewing influential people in your industry for your channel
- Joining collaborations or podcasts as a recurring guest
- Sharing each other’s videos and tracks with your audiences
Choose creators who align with your channel and audience. Collaboration should feel natural and win-win for everyone involved.
Stay Relevant with Trending Topics
While evergreen content is great for long-term growth, you can tap into trending topics and news events to create timely videos.
Explore what’s currently popular around your niche:
- Look at Google Trends for rising keyword searches
- See what hashtags are trending on Twitter
- Check out ranking lists on YouTube for popular videos
- See what current events tie into your niche
- Piggyback on awareness days, weeks, or months
Please share your perspective on trending topics while they’re still hot to attract immediate views and traffic.
Provide Value Consistently Over the Long Term
YouTube success requires regular, long-term effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get famous overnight. Stick with a consistent schedule and continue improving your content.
Ways to continually provide value for your audience:
- Consistently improve the quality of your videos
- Ask your audience what content they want more of
- Show appreciation and interact with commenters
- Keep an eye on emerging trends in your industry
- Monitor metrics to see what’s resonating most
If you focus on serving your audience month after month, your subscriber base and viewership will grow. Remain patient, persistent, and focused on value.
Creating perfect YouTube videos requires understanding your audience, optimizing based on data, and relentlessly providing value with your content. Use the strategies in this guide to help you engage viewers, improve your video production quality, and grow your YouTube channel over the long term. With consistent, high-quality content that captivates your audience, you can build a thriving channel on YouTube.