The 12 Best Ways to Increase Your YouTube Video Engagement

YouTube receives nearly 5 billion daily views. Worse, if you’re a small business trying to increase views and engagement on YouTube, there’s stiff competition. The good news is that YouTube has over 2 billion active users who are hungry for video.

If you want to use YouTube videos to promote your business, follow these tips to maximize viewer engagement.

1. Create an intriguing title

Write a compelling title that makes people want to watch your video. Assemble a title that includes your main keyword and accurately describes the video. Make use of bracketed numbers and descriptions like [VIDEO] or [HOW-TO-GUIDE], which have been shown to increase click-through. Studies show that shorter titles (less than 30 characters) get more engagement.

2. Make use of a custom thumbnail

Because thumbnails are the first thing viewers see about your video, you need to grab their attention quickly. You should create custom thumbnails for your videos rather than using an auto-generated freeze frame from the video if you want more engagement.

3. Add Hashtags

Hashtags, like other social media channels, make your video more searchable and visible. If your video title doesn’t contain hashtags, YouTube will display the first three hashtags from the description above the title. If you use more than 15 relevant hashtags in your video description, YouTube will penalize you and possibly remove your video.

4. Make use of relevant tags

YouTube tags are keywords or short phrases that inform YouTube about the content and context of your video. The overall category, as well as broad and specific tags should be included in each video.

5. Use closed captioning

Include a written transcript of your audio to help viewers (and search engines) understand your video. Create captions for your videos by uploading a transcript or using YouTube’s automatic captioning feature. (The speech recognition isn’t perfect, so check the captioning for errors before publishing it.)

6. Analyze your audience.

You may think you know your YouTube audience, but analytics can help you confirm your strategy or show you where you’re falling short.

7. Make a good video description

In search results, only the first few lines of your description will be visible, so start with a strong, 2-3 sentence introduction that includes your target keywords. Use the middle of your description to elaborate on the video’s content, and the end to provide links to your website and social media accounts.

8. Make playlists

If someone watches a video to the end, they probably like similar or related videos on your channel. Create playlists to autoplay videos from your channel to keep them watching.

9. Engage your audience

It’s only fair that you reciprocate your viewers’ engagement. Monitor your videos’ comments, respond to questions, and join discussions. Opening up lines of communication with your audience will increase engagement, credibility, and possibly website traffic and sales.

10. Make videos with cards

YouTube cards are mini-ads that you can insert into your videos to make them more interactive. Cards can direct viewers to your website, poll, or another video or playlist they might like. Each video can have up to 5 cards.

11. Promote engagement

Comment, like, and share counts directly affect a video’s ranking, so ask for feedback at the end of your video.

12. Share your YouTube videos on Facebook

Most social media sites dislike links to YouTube videos because they encourage people to leave the site. In order to avoid this, create a short clip from a YouTube video and post it as a native video on your social media channels.

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