Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the past twenty years, you’re probably aware that there’s a website called YouTube.com which is kind of a big deal.
Here at Stone’s Throw we’re very hot on popular culture, which is why we’ve been writing blog posts about YouTube for at least two years now. Don’t ever accuse us of being slow on the uptake.
On the subject of using YouTube as an uploader rather than as a viewer, you may have noticed that as the site has grown into the global behemoth it now is, so too has the desire of many to get their videos viewed by as many people as possible.
This, plus our experience in creating and uploading videos of our own, is why we’re frequently asked this fiendish poser:
It’s a good question, so, for this article, we wanted to re-visit the world of YouTube once more to tackle it!
As my father likes to say to me (with depressing frequency), ‘there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and the right way is the right way for a reason.’
We know that that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but for this question it’s strangely relevant, as there’s a right way and a wrong way to get YouTube views.
You may have noticed that recently a worrying trend has sprung up on YouTube – that of the misleading title and image.
You’re probably already familiar with the term “clickbait” (content put online designed to entice users to go to a certain webpage or website).
Sadly, it seems that “clickbait” is now spreading onto the world’s favourite video site to sucker poor, unsuspecting viewers in to a video which is either slightly misleading or just a downright fib.
Here’s a screengrab of a (now removed) video to explain a little more:
As enjoyable as watching a video of Conor McGregor being punched in the face by Brock Lesnar would be, there’s a problem – it doesn’t exist.
This image has been Photoshopped. UFC fans will know that McGregor has never fought Lesnar, mainly because they competed in different weight divisions.
We watched that video so that you don’t have to, and we can confirm that not only was the image misleading, so too was the title. The video itself is footage of Conor McGregor inside/outside the ring, and doesn’t seem to contain any “instant karma”.
So why do people do this? The answer to that question can be seen in the information underneath the title – that video was on the site for a month and had already racked up 8.4 million views. 8.4 MILLION!
We can’t argue with those results, but we certainly can argue about the approach. Going for the “clickbait” route is going to lead, in the long term, to a lack of trust in your brand and a poor reputation.
People might watch that video, but how many are going to watch others from that channel when they know they’re not what they claim to be?
How many people click on that video, watch a few seconds, think “well this isn’t what I thought it was” and then go elsewhere?
It now seems that that particular YouTube channel has vanished. We’re not surprised.
There are a number of things you can do to get YouTube views without rocking down to Clickbait Avenue.
Firstly, upload original, honest content. Make sure your feature image is relevant (and from your video itself, preferably) and that your video’s title isn’t misleading.
Doing this will increase your reputation on the site, and should lead to an increase in YouTube subscribers, which in the long run will lead to more views.
Secondly, dip your toes into the world of SEO – it isn’t as scary as it sounds, we promise!
Your video’s description box is the perfect place to elaborate on your video.
Use it to include more information about yourself, and see if you can include a relevant keyword in there too e.g. if you’ve created an animation for a corporate endeavour, why not include the phrase “corporate animation” or “business animation”?
Struggling to think of a relevant keyword? This is where Google Keyword Planner can be your friend – a great site designed to help you “reach the right customers with the right keywords”.
Don’t forget your video’s tags, either! You can include as many tags as you want, but do try and keep them relevant.
Finally, do you have an established web presence elsewhere? If so, use it!
Link to your videos on your social media channels, in your e-mail marketing, on your website, and (if they can help answer a question) on websites such as Quora. Every little helps!
Doing all these things won’t lead to 10 million views overnight, but it will lead to a reputation for good, honest, video content.
Now that sounds good to us!