Corey Chappell is a Closing Options Analyst for 181-Close-Now LLC. In his free time he's a professional gamer and YouTuber.
Optimize YouTube Content to Increase Engagement
In my last article about the Real Cash Economy Game Entropia Universe, I mentioned that I have the fastest growing, most popular, YouTube channel dedicated to the game. Today I want to explain how to optimize your YouTube content and why you should start doing so right away!
If you want more subscribers, more likes, more views, and more revenue then this is the information you've been looking for.
In this article, I'll share my top ten YouTube tips:
- Find your niche
- "Like" and "comment" speed are important
- Tell your friends you published
- Make easy thumbnails
- Video length matters
- Video titles
- Use tags
- Embrace the bad
- Add an end screen
1. Find Your Niche
First things first; find your niche. When I started my YouTube channel there were a lot of other players who also posted videos. I noticed that every video looked the same. Just a video of someone playing the game. Boring and uninteresting.
From the start, I dedicated my channel to teaching other players how to play the game smarter and more efficiently. Since this game revolves around real money that's information a lot of people wanted.
Sometimes just doing something in a more entertaining way is all it takes. Give better information or do it in a new way and that's half the battle.
2. "Like" Speed and "Comment" Speed Matter
Once you've posted a video you want to get as many likes and comments as possible as soon as possible. When YouTube sees that a lot of people are liking and commenting on your video it takes it as a signal this is something more people need to see.
I don't publish a video until a time of day I know a lot of my subscribers will be online. I also leave the first like and usually the first comment to kick things off. By doing this I'm doing everything I can to get as many likes and comments in a very short amount of time.
YouTube then gives my video more exposure which results in even more likes and more comments!
3. Tell Your Friends When You Publish
Just because you have subscribers isn't enough. Unless you've got millions in which case you likely aren't reading this article.
For the rest of us, there is a little footwork that goes into it. As soon as I publish a video I immediately post it to the Facebook groups I'm part of. These groups are about the game, the video is about the game and a lot of the people in the group are already subscribers of mine. So why do I do it?
I want them to see the video as soon as possible to get those likes and comments I mentioned earlier. So I share it in the places I know they are most likely to look.
4. Make a Thumb Nail the Easy Way
I'm usually pretty crunched for time. And I'm not big on graphic design or video editing. I shoot all my videos in one take. If I like the playback I publish it. Otherwise, I delete it and reshoot it.
When I first started I didn't make custom thumbnails. Once I did I have to admit it did help. And it's not hard at all. Just take a screenshot via the Print Screen button and then open a simple photo editor like Paint. Paste, make a rectangle, crop, and add some text.
I usually use a special shade of yellow for the text on my thumbnails. It only takes me about 30 seconds to create and upload and I'm ready to publish!
If you're taking the time to make a video then 30 seconds to make a nice thumbnail image isn't much and it can REALLY help your viewership and subscriber count.
5. Video Length Matters: Know Your Audience
Video length matters a LOT. But you also have to know your audience. Make a video too short and people get upset. Make a video too long and they just get bored. You have to know your audience and find the video length that works best for you.
My videos are almost exactly 20 minutes because that's what my views want. In a rare instance, I may make a longer or shorter video but I always shoot for exactly 20 minutes. This is also enough time to get in plenty of advertising so I'm not missing out on revenue.
Some channels may only want a 5-minute video. There are other channels where 45 minutes to an hour is about perfect. It varies based on what you cover and how you cover it. Get to know your audience and you'll be able to find the ideal video time.
This is important because YouTube is more likely to give your video more exposure if your viewers watch the majority of your video. If they only watch a few minutes of an hour-long video you won't get the same exposure as a video that's 20 minutes long with an average view time of 11 minutes.
6. Rethink the Video Title
A video title is likely one of the biggest factors you want to get right. After all, YouTube is a search engine. Just like any search engine you want to be sure you hit the right keywords. Sometimes this takes a little experimenting.
My videos average about 4,000-10,000 views. I have about 1,700 subscribers because my channel covers a very niche game. Imagine my surprise when I saw that one of my videos had over 60,000 views!
The difference? Something I put in the title. It was the only video that had "must do in 2021" in the title. Keep in mind there aren't even 60,000 people in the world that play this game so clearly, YouTube liked the title change.
7. The Description Matters
Again YouTube is a search engine that reads your video's title AND description. So use the description to be as accurate as possible. I try and put as much information about the video as humanly possible in the description. I also try and hit as many keywords as possible.
You don't want to get spammy with it but if there is a word or phrase that is a good fit with the content it should naturally be in the description.
8. Use Tags
When I first started I never added tags to my videos. Big mistake. Tagging your video is a great way to signal what your video is about. This gives YouTube a better understanding of your video and will likely lead to more exposure.
When I tag a video I use tags that are close to what the video is about but not spot-on. I've already for the Title and Description for keyword matching. Tagging I want to be more generalized. So for a video about Entropia Universe, I usually add tags like Entropia Universe, MMORPG, PC Gaming, GameLife, ProGamer, Sci-Fi, etc.
These are all tags that describe the video and its content but in very broad terms. This helps me get exposure to viewers who may not even know this particular game exists!
In fact, I've had numerous players message me to tell me they only heard about Entropia Universe because of my videos. It's not uncommon for them to watch my videos for 2-3 months before they decide to try the game. Those views are due largely to the tagging I use so tagging definitely matters.
9. Embrace Bad
Most people will tell you that to really do well you have to have the highest quality content. This is bad information.
My production quality is decent but it's far from the best of the best. Most of my viewers listen to my videos while playing the game. Very few actually watch the video. I make sure I have good quality audio and I keep my graphic settings on low. This way there is a video to watch; it's not bad quality and it's not super high quality. It's average. But the audio is better than average because that's what they want.
It came to my attention that I tend to smack a bit when I make videos. To solve the problem I just didn't solve the problem. Now I smack on purpose! I made it a catchphrase: "sip, sip, smack, smack" and it stuck.
Remember even if you can shoot the highest quality video your audience may not have the equipment and connection for it to make a difference. What they use to watch the video matters just as much as what you used to make it.
Sometimes embracing the bad can make a world of difference. You need to make a quality product but that doesn't require breaking the bank.
10. Add an End Screen
You want to make the most of what YouTube gives you to work with. This means giving YouTube all the information they want in the form of descriptions, tags, and information about the video. But this also means using the tools they give you.
It takes a few minutes to set up an end screen for your video. After you do it once you can hit a button and just import the setting to future videos. Super easy!
I usually use a double end screen that shows my most recent video AND the video most likely to be of interest to the viewer. YouTube loves this because they want you to keep watching. I've tried videos without an end screen and the ones with an end screen almost always get vastly more exposure.
Final Thoughts on Increasing YouTube Follows and Likes
While this is by no means a complete list of things you can do to optimize your YouTube videos, these are some of the most important. Remember that YouTube is a search engine. The exposure YouTube gives you will depend on a lot of the little things you do after you upload your video.
Give YouTube the little things it wants and you will be rewarded with exposure and new viewers. Your subscriber numbers will increase and so will your revenue.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Corey Chappell