When working in a fiercely competitive ecosystem like YouTube, making mistakes is inevitable.
And although the Ignite Visibility YouTube channel now sees hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, there was a point where I almost completely destroyed it.
In this post, I’ll walk you step-by-step through what I did wrong, the lessons I learned in the process, and how you can use my mistakes to launch and grow your own successful YouTube channel.
What We’ll Cover:
- I stopped responding to comments
- I didn’t promote outside of YouTube
- I overlooked checking analytics
- I produced videos that weren’t evergreen
- I didn’t have a strategy when making videos
- I didn’t fully optimize videos
- I stopped scripting videos, asking questions, and engaging subscribers
Why Video Marketing on YouTube is So Powerful
Launched in 2005 by tech entrepreneurs Steve Shen, Chard Hurley, and Jawed Karim, YouTube has become the world’s leading video-sharing website, attracting nearly two billion unique visitors to its platform every month.
To put things into perspective, that makes YouTube Google’s most popular service, boasting even more users than Gmail.
With its unprecedented and ever-growing popularity, YouTube has become one of the web’s most powerful video marketing tools on which business owners and content creators can promote their products, services, and brands.
Not only can video marketing be a powerful way to build trust with clients, but videos appeal to varying demographics and tend to have a higher rate of social shares.
I Stopped Responding to Comments
One of the more egregious YouTube sins involves uploading a video and hoping for the best.
While it may be easy to get caught up in the production side of creating video content, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the community aspect of managing a YouTube channel.
It’s incredibly important to check in regularly to see if people are engaging with your video. What are people saying? Are the comments mostly positive or negative? Is there a widespread consensus on a certain part of the video?
Responding to people’s questions or comments can also facilitate conversations that help your audience learn more about your business and add even more value to your video marketing strategy.
In fact, responding to comments is one of the most important user engagement factors to YouTube SEO.
If someone is taking the time to respond to your video, you should at least do them the courtesy of replying and welcoming their feedback. You can then take that feedback into consideration and use it to adjust and improve future video content, better catering to the needs and preferences of your audience.
I Didn’t Promote Outside of YouTube
Although YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world, with over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, your videos shouldn’t just live on YouTube.
These days, people spend their time on a variety of social platforms, which means posting a video to YouTube alone will not guarantee that it will receive the thousands or millions of views you’re looking for.
In order to get more views from YouTube’s search engine, you need to generate some interest on your end.
Your videos won’t produce the results you want unless they’re embedded on other sites, with traffic coming in from different sources.
To avoid the possibility of going unnoticed, be sure to share your YouTube video across the web on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your company’s website to drive traffic back to YouTube.
Through social media, you can broaden your viewership and ensure that your video content gets exposed to a larger audience. Each time a user likes, comments, or shares your video, their friends and followers can see that activity and choose to pursue further communication.
Therefore, the more content you create to advertise your video, the higher the probability that your video will be seen by their users. This not only promotes your video, but inadvertently increases audience engagement towards your YouTube channel.
I Overlooked Checking Analytics
A common mistake business owners make on YouTube is not keeping up with tracking their channel’s analytics.
Once you’ve started putting your videos out there, it’s important to take note of how people are interacting with them.
If you’re unsure about which videos are generating the most traffic and the highest level of user engagement, you won’t be able to effectively optimize your YouTube marketing strategy.
Therefore, you should start getting in the habit of tracking your video’s analytics on a consistent basis. Getting a regular snapshot of the numbers will help you understand what videos are resonating with your audience.
YouTube video analytics features three main sections that can help you measure your channel’s growth—revenue reports, watch time reports, and interaction reports. Some of the KPIs available within these reports include total views, comments, likes, favorites, audiences, and YouTube honors.
I Produced Videos that Weren’t Evergreen
Evergreen content is content that doesn’t have an expiration date.
It provides useful information, helps you build a loyal following for your brand, and boosts your site’s SEO.
As a good rule of thumb, if you’re able to share the same content a year from now that’s just as relevant to your audience as it was today, it’s evergreen.
When it comes to creating evergreen online content on your YouTube channel, it’s important to avoid posting only topical and trending videos that will lose their staying power after a certain period of time.
In terms of longevity, how-to, educational, and best practices video content tend to outperform other types of content.
How-to videos are a great way to address frequently asked questions about your product or service. They’re designed to walk viewers through a process, usually in the form of a structured tutorial.
Similarly, educational videos can help provide your audience with big-picture context on why your product or service is needed.
And nothing says you know your stuff like a best practices video. By taking a closer look at best practices across your industry and pointing your audience towards resources they can use to get more information, you build credibility and strengthen your brand’s position in the marketplace.
I Didn’t Have a Strategy When Making Videos
One of the most persistent missteps made by companies is not having a long-term strategic approach when making YouTube videos.
Even in cases where high-quality video content is present, a lack of strategy can leave videos gathering dust in the far reaches of YouTube’s library.
Without a long-term vision, you’re more likely to misrepresent your brand and neglect your YouTube channel activity during the most pressing times. You could even end up posting video content with only the potential for short-lived hype, but little continuity.
This runs the risk of getting stuck in a race for the next boost in activity. None of these methods are good for your channel in the long run.
To achieve more sustainable engagement, avoid over-investment in fleeting trends and current hot topics. Make sure you have content that will remain useful and relevant to your audience months and years down the line.
And whatever you do—don’t just make videos whenever you feel like it. One-off videos won’t do as well in the grand scheme of things. Instead, focus on videos that will continue to be pertinent to users over time.
I Didn’t Fully Optimize Videos
Many people incorrectly assume that once you upload a video, viewership will increase organically without any additional interference.
However, with more than 500 hours of video are uploading to YouTube every minute and billions of views taking place on YouTube each day, how can you be sure that your brand is capturing any of this traffic?
You have to take some additional steps to ensure your videos receive maximum exposure. Optimization helps people find your video, while how you present your video determines whether they’ll stick around long enough to watch.
That’s why the first 48 hours are so crucial. Within the first 48 hours of posting to YouTube, be sure to optimize as much as possible. To elevate your channel to the top of YouTube’s SEO rankings, include the major keyword for which you want to your video to rank.
And be sure not to overlook the video description. While it’s common to include only a few sentences in your video description, this can seriously affect your ability to incorporate keywords and communicate with YouTube’s algorithm. This will help you optimize your video for both Google and YouTube.
YouTube tags are words and phrases used to describe and give YouTube context about your video and are considered an important ranking factor in YouTube’s search algorithm.
Like any bit of metadata, your tags allow you to share information about your video with YouTube and Google. This information can include your video’s topic, category, and more. I recommend you use roughly 10-20 tags per video, focusing on general tags first, then more specific tags, and finally, tags that feature certain niche terms.
And when building a video sitemap, you want to make sure it’s configured correctly. Each entry needs to link to a landing page for a video. While you don’t have to include metadata, it is highly recommended.
Before officially embedding your YouTube video in email and sending it out, it’s crucial that you make your thumbnails as engaging as possible.
It needs to communicate to the potential viewer what the video will be about and since YouTube is primarily a visual platform, your thumbnails will help them determine if and when they view your video, not the title of the video itself.
I Stopped Scripting Videos, Asking Questions, and Engaging Subscribers
There came a point during my early YouTube days where I stopped scripting videos, asking questions, and asking for subscribers.
This not only reflects poorly in the analytics, but it relayed the message to subscribers that I didn’t care about them or what they thought about my videos. This shouldn’t be an option as you are solely developing a library of online video content for them to use and learn from.
Don’t forget—YouTube is not just a video sharing platform, but a community in which members like to share their opinions on your content.
The simplest way to start growing your subscriber count is to start asking for it. You should never assume that your viewer can read your mind. In your videos, provide your audience with a compelling call to action (that’s not time-sensitive) and ask them to like and click the “Subscribe” button right above your video.
Requesting that they leave comments is also a win-win.
If your YouTube video’s comments section is very active, YouTube will then elevate your video higher in the videos it recommends to viewers. Plus, it helps keep the conversation going and inspires others to leave their comments since they know that you’re likely respond.
Start Managing Your YouTube Channel Like a Pro Today!
YouTube is still a relatively new phenomenon.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a professional filmmaker or editor to find success on YouTube. When it comes to video marketing, it’s all in the details.
All you need is to figure out how you can offer your audience something of value in a creative way, one that sets you apart from the competition.
This way, they’ll appreciate your effort, engage with your content, and come back to visit your video again and again.