How to get the most out of your YouTube channel

Nick Whincup
By Nick WhincupAccount Manager
5 minutes to read

With over three billion searches a month, a community of one billion active users and the world’s second largest search engine, there’s more to YouTube than cute pets or James Corden’s latest carpool karaoke. 

Like all social media channels, the challenge businesses face with YouTube is how to stand out from the crowd when there are over 500 million channels out there? Whilst we're all guilty of endlessly watching our favourite videos (personally, I love an epic fail), not many of us have spent time managing and optimising a channel. Well, we'd like to help ensure you don't you miss out on a huge opportunity to connect with your customers, so here’s our top 10 tips on how to get the most from your YouTube channel.

1. How long should a YouTube video be?

According to a report on the 300 most-viewed brand channels, the most common YouTube video is between 31 seconds and one minute long. However, as you can see from the chart below, the real sweet spot of a videos length is anything between 16 seconds to two minutes long.

Pie chart showing the most commonly viewed YouTube videos by length

2. When should I post my videos?

According to recent data, the best times of day to post on YouTube are:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

2-4pm

2-4pm

2-4pm

12-3pm

12-3pm

9-11am

9-11am

Additionally, the days videos are most engaged with is unsurprisingly Friday, Saturday & Sunday, with view counts significantly higher than the rest of the week.

3. How often should I post a YouTube video?

Our content marketing research consistently points to one simple secret to success on YouTube: consistency. Whilst by no means do you have to post every day or every week, the quickest route to a popular channel is to keep posting regularly.

4. Engage with your community and promote your channel 

It sounds obvious, but engaging with your audience is critical for driving views to your channel. The best way to build a popular channel with a great reputation is by responding to the comments your video receives. Like Facebook or Twitter, you don’t have to reply to every comment, but make sure you are seen to be engaging.

To build your channel, make sure you use your existing social channels or company website to promote new videos and don’t be afraid to ask people to subscribe!

5. Create engaging video titles

Similar to web pages, from an SEO standpoint the title of your YouTube video is the most important piece of content on the page. A good title can vastly affect your video’s click-through from both YouTube and from video results in SERPs. Try to include words and phrases such as; best, tips, how to, tutorial, review and video.

Create engaging video titles

6.  Consider Watch Time

The number-one factor that YouTube values when deciding in what order to rank videos is something it calls Watch Time - which is the average duration for which that video is viewed. YouTube’s algorithm for suggesting videos prioritises videos with longer average viewing sessions over those that receive more clicks, leaving viewers with more enjoyable suggestions and creators with more engaged audiences.

The key is therefore to create compelling content of a snackable length, that people are enticed to watch through your titles.

7. Customise your thumbnails 

The small image (or thumbnail) that shows up when people search for your video doesn’t have to be the intro frame. A clean, nice-looking thumbnail captures attention and lets viewers know what to expect from the video. It entices viewers and allows you to build an expectation of professionalism and expertise before users play the video.

 Video Descriptions

8. Video descriptions

An enticing video description plays a key role in a videos views and yet many channels fail to take full advantage of this basic feature, missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with their viewers, rise in search rankings, and drive conversions. To make the most of this space, make sure you always link back to your website and social media, have a 200-500 word synopsis, strong CTA’s and include a ‘subscribe here!’ link.

9. Caption your videos

It may seem surprising, but a reported 85% of all Facebook video views on mobile phones are being watched without the sound on. Think commuters, or angry spouses on an evening trying to get some sleep.

Whilst this percentage will not be as prevalent on YouTube itself, the sharing of your videos over other social media channels means that video captions are a useful tool to help boost your videos popularity and Watch Time.

10. Optimise for mobile

Our final top tip is to keep in mind that 40% of YouTube videos are viewed on mobile devices, so keep the small screen in mind when creating videos to ensure there are no small objects or messages that are difficult to see.

We hope you found these tips useful

If you are looking to start your own channel or would just like help with an existing channel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as we’re always happy to help.

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Articles by Nick Whincup

Nick is an Account Manager with a passion for all things digital and tech, Nick loves getting under the skin of a project and working closely with his clients to help them achieve their marketing goals.