Organic Growth Techniques for YouTube
Youtube has outgrown its platform. Being famous on Youtube doesn’t just mean getting a large viewership. With channels like DudePerfect who turned their channel into a featured show on CMT and Nickelodeon, to David Dobrick who has amassed a net worth of 7 million dollars thanks to ad revenue on his channel, Youtube is a place for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their career.
With all this opportunity at your fingertips, you want to know how you can take a brand new channel and organically turn it into a trending page. If building a successful Youtube channel was as easy as creating content, everyone would do it.
I’ve created a step-by-step guide for you to follow as well as a free Youtube Content Planner to help you plan a campaign that will drive results.
How to Grow your Youtube Channel Organically
- Plan your campaign
- Plan your content
- Optimize your page
- Keep a consistent posting schedule
- Drive Engagement
- Share your videos
- Track your analytics
Plan your campaign
Imagine trying to drive to a new store or restaurant without using your GPS, or for the slightly older crowd, printing out directions from mapquest. Much like driving without directions, starting a Youtube channel without a pre-determined plan means you may be tempted to take any road that looks promising, even if it doesn’t end up getting you to your goal or destination.
The planning stage is one of the most important parts of any campaign or project. This is when you cast your vision for the channel, set your goals, define the audience you are communicating with, decide what you want to be known for online, and determine how to measure the success of your campaign.
Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals will set guidelines for you to follow, help to measure how effective your Youtube campaign is, and keep your content relevant to your target audience.A SMART goal stands for:
- Specific – Your goal should be unambiguous and communicate what is expected, why it is important, who’s involved, where it is going to happen and which constraints are in place
- Measurable – Your goal should have concrete criteria for measuring progress and reaching the goal
- Attainable – Your goal should be realistic and possible for your team to reach
- Relevant – Your goal should matter to your business and address a core initiative
- Timely – You should have an expected date that you will reach the goal.
I’m sure you’ve heard before that trying to speak to everyone will result in reaching no one. Without clearly defining what you want to be known for, you are more inclined to make videos covering a wide array of topics. Some may say this will help you reach more audiences and that is partially correct, but succeeding in one-time viewers is not how Youtube works. You want to build an audience of raving fans who continually watch, like, comment on, and share your videos. To achieve this you must create content that consistently addresses a specific topic or group of topics, guaranteeing your audience when they subscribe to you they are subscribing to the content they enjoy.
Understand Your Audience
Imagine going on a blind date for the first time. What are you going to talk about? What if this person is only interested in things you know nothing about? Trying to create a Youtube channel without defining your Buyer Personas is like a blind date, but instead of one meal, you are spending time creating an entire channel that will not translate.
Take the time to get inside the head of your audience and map out what your Buyer Persona looks like. Working through this exercise will help you generate ideas for valuable content that your audience is actively searching for. This will also help you understand the tone and energy you should portray in your videos.
Create a value statement for your channel
People engage with content on Youtube that they care about. To create a successful channel you must understand that it is not about you, it is about the viewer. Why should your viewers care about your content? How does it benefit them? Why will it benefit their business and how will it educate them? You should be able to quickly and confidently answer these questions.
If you are creating a Youtube channel hoping to sell a product or service, take the time to think about the pain points your audience may have. In one to two sentences, summarize how your channel will benefit people enough to outgrow those pain points.
If you are creating a Youtube Channel for entertainment, take the time to think about how your channel will consistently provide content of value. In one to two sentences, summarize how your channel will bring entertainment to your audience.
Plan your content
Now that you have set your goals, determined your niche and audience, and created a value statement for your channel, it is time to get down to why you came here, planning your content and optimizing your channel.
Planning your content will save you time and reduce the stress of creating videos on the fly. Start by taking what you want to be known for and turn it into topics. For example, a Medical Spa could have topics based on the services they provide and the products they sell. Under each topic create a list of content you believe will perform well based on the information you have by creating your Buyer Persona.
Each sub-category will become a playlist on your Youtube channel, making it easy for viewers to locate content relevant to their needs.
Algorithms are what makes the internet go round. Much like optimizing your content on Facebook for their EdgeRank algorithm, knowing how Youtube functions will help you organically grow your Youtube page faster.
Be very specific with the names of your playlists. If you offer SEO for dentists title your playlist SEO for dentist offices. Create a playlist name for each topic and dedicate a color-coded section on the planner provided to each topic.
TubeBuddy is a free Google Chrome extension that will show you the overall volume of specific search terms as well as the competition for those terms. The overall opportunity score, from 0-100, will measure your opportunity at being found for videos within that search term. The higher the opportunity score the better.
Using this plug-in, you can create a list of target keywords that apply to each video in your content plan. Take the time to search slight variations of each term, looking for ways you can raise the opportunity score while keeping the search volume high.
Add the keywords, their TubeBuddy scores, and their monthly search volume to your Youtube Content Planner under the respective rows.
Using the keywords you are targeting, create a video title for each piece of content on your topic lists. If you are targeting businesses, including their type of business in the title will help to focus your efforts and better reach your target audience. Add each title to the planner in the playlist it belongs to.
Establish Your Intro & Outro
The goal of your intro is to concisely greet your audience and assure them your video has the information they are looking for. It can be hard to accept, but people don’t click on your video to see your title slides or b-roll intro. If they did they would’ve searched, “How to make a b-roll video intro.” In under 10-15 seconds, share with your audience what the topic of the video is, and your one to two sentence value statement. Add this to each video on the Youtube Planner.
The outro is an opportunity to drive viewers to the next video in your series. Verbally acknowledge what you will cover in the next video and insert end cards they can click on to view the video. Add this to each video on the Youtube Planner.
Optimize Your Page
You’ve planned your campaign and your content. Now its time to learn more about using Youtube specific tricks to increase your viewership organically.
Create engaging thumbnails
You are not the only creator on youtube making videos for your audience. Create a unique and engaging thumbnail that tells a story or adds a level of intrigue to the video title. Creative thumbnails help to set you apart from the crowd and will drive click-through rates.
Your profile banner is prime real estate to share your value statement and familiarize your audience with who you are. Create a banner using tools like Photoshop or Canva, and be sure to check that the mobile version is not cutting off a portion of your graphic.
Make sure your video description is optimized to match the target keyword. You can pretty much copy the video intro as the first paragraph in every video’s description. Add as much additional information as you would like, links to offers or your website, links to other videos, and add a maximum of 3 relevant hashtags. (EX: Title: Top Local SEO Tips For Medical Spas | Get More Clients! – Include: #medicalspaseo #localseotips #localseo)
Don’t let your desire for success cause you to rush and post all your content in one month. Youtube wants to drive traffic to channels that provide quality content consistently. If you have enough content to post two videos a week for a year then do that, but if you only have 52 videos planned, posting one video a week would be a wiser decision.
When it comes to creating your playlists, I find it is a best practice to publish all the videos for one playlist before beginning another playlist. This will help to reduce the amount of time one video sits without active end cards.
Don’t be afraid to ask viewers in your video to subscribe and turn on post notifications. It takes 5 seconds to ask, and often viewers who want to see your content can forget to subscribe if you do not ask.
After your video is published, leave a comment on the video and pin it. I like to pin other videos, but you can also use this to ask a question for engagement, or drive them to an offer page.
Share your videos
Building awareness for your Youtube Channel will require getting some dirt under the nails in the beginning. Take advantage of other resources you have like social media and an email list to update your audience when new videos come out.
Distribute your video and aim to get as many YouTube views as possible in the first 24 hours. Youtube considers “View Velocity”, or how quickly a video gets views, as one of its algorithm ranking factors. Distribute via email lists, across all social media, targeted Facebook groups and subreddits each time you post a new video.
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” – Pearson’s Law
Track your analytics
About every 7-28 days I will look at the overall performance of the video thumbnails CTR and see how they are doing for individual sources like Search, suggested and browse. (2%-10% is average. The higher and consistent the better)
Metrics like watch time or retention will give you an idea of the value you are providing and the interest viewers have in your content. If you notice a large drop off at the beginning of every video, you may want to re-evaluate your Buyer Persona and try to better understand what content they are looking for.
You have the drive to become successful on Youtube and after reading this blog you now have a better understanding of how to get there.
The next step is to take these tools and apply them to your Youtube channel! By defining your goals and audience, understanding what you want to be known for, and knowing how to optimize your efforts to score well through the Youtube Algorithm, you are on your way to taking your career to the next level.