Marketing

5 Ways to Continuously Expand Your Online Following

Try these five methods for drawing more and more viewers to your business's YouTube videos and growing your business in the process.
5 Ways to Continuously Expand Your Online Following
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5 min read
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The following excerpt is from Jason R. Rich’s book Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

There are many ways to increase viewer/subscriber loyalty on YouTube. Many of these activities will require time to manage but are free or inexpensive to use.

1. Include accurate and relevant keywords in your video's title, description and tags

As you're uploading and publishing each new video, compose a creative, well-thought-out, informative and captivating title for each video, as well as a detailed description that's short, direct and enticing. Equally important are the tags you associate with your videos.

Every word in a video's title, description or tag(s) becomes keyword searchable -- not just on YouTube but through search engines like Google. Ideally, if someone is interested in a topic that's related to one or more of your videos (or your YouTube channel), they should be able to discover your content easily by entering appropriate keywords or a relevant search phrase into the YouTube or Google search field.

You'll be pleasantly surprised by the number of views you can achieve based on random people using a keyword search to find your content. Thus, it's essential to incorporate as many keywords as possible within a video's title and description, and also associate relevant keywords as tags. This is all done when you upload your video, but it can also be updated at any time via your YouTube channel's Video Manager menu to reach a broader audience.

Related: 10 Proven Ways to Make Millions on Social Media

2. Take advantage of social media

Social media can become a powerful tool to promote your company, products/services and your YouTube channel (and its content). Social media also provides another informal way to interact with your viewers and subscribers.

In today's world, it's essential for companies to have a presence on social media. This can be accomplished for free. However, managing various social media accounts (including your YouTube channel) can get time-consuming. You can also use paid advertising on many social media platforms to quickly reach a highly targeted audience relatively inexpensively. This is a popular way for companies to quickly grow their YouTube channel audience.

If you have a budget to promote your videos, consider using keyword advertising on Facebook. These ads are inexpensive, highly targeted, flexible and easy to create and launch. You can begin advertising on Facebook for as little as $50 and begin reaching potential viewers in just minutes.

3. Post comments about videos produced by others

Yet another way to promote your videos is to find the most influential people who are also targeting your audience and become active on their respective YouTube channels, Facebook pages and other social media feeds. This can be done by posting your own comments to their videos and by engaging in online conversations. Comments you post to other videos and channels can help boost your online popularity, assuming the comments you post are constructive and insightful. Never be negative, unprofessional or rude within the public comments you post that relate to content created by others.

Related: 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

4. Host live, interactive real-time video chats

Another way to interact with your viewers and subscribers is to occasionally host live video chats or video conferences and invite your target YouTube audience to participate. This can easily be done using YouTube Live functionality, or you can use a third-party service, such as YouNow (www.younow.com), Twitch.tv (www.twitch.tv) or GoToMeeting (www. gotomeeting.com), that allows you to host free or low-cost live video conferences or to broadcast live -- to an audience comprised of a handful of people to thousands of viewers. You can then publish recordings of the live conference or chat on your YouTube Channel so other people can access this content on an on-demand basis.

A live video broadcast gives your viewers and subscribers a chance to interact with you in a real-time and safe online environment. Many businesses and successful YouTube personalities host weekly or monthly live broadcasts to interact more directly with people who share an interest in them, their company or their products or services.

During a live broadcast, a text-based chat allows people to pose questions to you, the host, which you can respond to. Some live broadcast services also allow you to "guest" people watching your broadcasts. Using their webcam and computer or mobile device, they can be seen and heard using a split-screen video format so the guest can see and hear you, you can see and hear them and your entire audience can see and hear both you and your guest.

Keep in mind, there's no time limit for live broadcasts. However, you'll want to monitor your audience in real time, and based on whether the audience is growing, stagnant or shrinking (because people stop watching the live broadcast), make an educated decision about when to end it. Some YouTubers and YouTube channel operators promote an ongoing schedule about when they'll host live broadcasts, so their viewers and subscribers can plan to attend. Others go live at random days and times, based on their availability or when they have something to say.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

5. Organize your channel with playlists and categories

By organizing groups of relevant videos with similar types of content or that relate to the same topic into playlists, you'll encourage viewers to watch multiple videos back-to-back in the order you determine is most beneficial to both you and them.

Using Cards and an End Screen within your videos, as well as links to other content within the descriptions for your videos, you're easily able to promote other relevant content that your channel offers. Encourage viewers to watch multiple videos during each channel visit.

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