YouTube for Small Businesses — Part 2 of 2
The second installment of our list of YouTube tips and tricks coincides with the media giant’s most recent news splash — the dislike tally a video racks up will no longer be visible to anyone but the creator of the video. Legacy clips such as Justin Bieber’s “Baby” music video and Rebecca Black’s “Friday” visualiser, both known for having held the record for being the most downvoted on the platform at different points, are now confirmed to be the last of their kind.
It may be the end of an era, but did you know that even dislikes on your videos used to count as engagement? The odds of the YouTube algorithm giving your clip a boost even if you just had a shockingly high number of dislikes was pretty high. There really is no such thing as bad publicity, huh?
Scroll till the end for more of our sneaky hacks to getting your small business noticed on the website that sees 500 hours of content uploaded onto it every minute. With competition like that, we could ALL do with a helpful hint (or five).
Get the title just right
The age of the clickbait title is over. Unless you’re doing it to be ironic, audiences don’t find themselves as drawn to videos with several exclamation points, expressive emojis and an impossible statement or two as before.
Instead, titles that are more on the conversational side are gaining traction. Make sure it captures the essence of the video, but don’t make it overly technical. Even if the account your running is a business one, it’s important to engage with your viewers at a personal level and this can start even at the name of the video.
Make your own thumbnails
YouTube allows you to upload any image file as the thumbnail of your video so use this feature to your advantage.
More often than not, people decide whether or not to click on a video based on the image that accompanies the title. If you make sure your thumbnails pop, making them creative, high resolution and memorable, you can be sure that your views will see a corresponding increase.
Avoid letting the auto generated still that YouTube automatically selects remain the video thumbnail. It’s easy to keep it as it is, but so unappealing to potential viewers. Instead, use simple, bold text layered on a thoughtful image that captures the essence of the video and you’re golden.
Give, give, give to receive!
Giveaways are a popular method of getting people to watch your videos and engage with your channel in a way that could really boost you through the algorithm.
How they generally work is that you announce the giveaway and list certain criteria that the viewer has to meet in order to be eligible to win. For example, you could say that anyone who has subscribed to your channel and liked ten of your videos is in the pool of participants. As long as your conditions aren’t too intense, you should see a spike of people trying their luck, which only means more views for you!
Of course, you’ll have to set an end date to the contest and randomly pick someone to win whatever prize you decide on. YouTube has some policies in place for what you’re allowed to award, etc. so make sure you pore over this list before you set your plan into motion: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1620498?hl=en
End the video with calls to action
The results are in: people generally listen when they are told to do something. We are a lot more obedient than we’d like to think, and sometimes all it takes is a command to get us moving.
Design an end screen graphic for all your videos and include specific directives in them.
“Subscribe for a new video every week!”
“Like this video if you learnt something!”
“Send this to a friend and join our community of learners!”
Get creative with your calls to action but remember to keep it simple. Barking too many orders at once only results in chaos.
Get onboard YouTube Shorts
The bite-sized video option that YouTube recently rolled out makes so much sense for short messages that you want to get across to an audience with shorter and shorter attention spans.
Face it, people just don’t have the time or the inclination to listen to a 10 minute long spiel on why your product is ahead of the game. Shorts gives you a chance to condense all the relevant information into a minute and increases the odds that people will see it with the kind of infinite scroll interface that TikTok and Instagram Reels have employed.
Although it’s important to get your message across, ensure that the video is fun and enough to keep a viewer curious to check out the rest of your page.