YouTube - and many others - allow you a platform to gain some exposure, and with a little work, A LOT of exposure. So let's discuss some ways to boost your profile and get your work seen by your soon-to-be fans. Some of the things we'll look at are: strengthening your network, partnering with others, descriptions and tags, cutting the fluff and finally, quality and consistency.
We all hear the word but seldom do people realize the power of having a strong network. In every business type, there are countless groups whose goal is to ensure that it's members have the resources they need to make their businesses work. Well, in content creation, especially short-form, the idea of networking is unbelievably important and it serves two purposes. The first is to let you rub elbows with other content creators which is great for teaming up. More on this in the next segment. The second is to develop your fan base. We all know that mom and dad are our first fans, but with social networks like Facebook, your reach becomes exponentially larger. There are millions of potential viewers worldwide.
As stated above, networking with potential business partners is a great idea for so many reasons. Not the least of which is having a second set of creative eyes. Often the people you meet may have more resources, a piece of equipment, an existing viewership, etc. that you may not have access to yourself. Many people think of content creation as a competitive sport rather than collaborative art form. This way of thinking keeps people locked in their studio, living room or garage making videos that are never seen outside their close friends or family. I tell you now, break this cycle. The benefit is that each collaborator gets to share their fans and develop new fans of their own.
3. Appropriate Descriptions and Using Tags
This is more of a "nuts and bolts" tip. When uploading your videos, YouTube gives you the opportunity to title the article, add a description and provide tags. This serves two purposes. The first is to give potential viewers some info about the video prior to watching. Second, it provides search terms that help people find your video via search engines. Title and description are fairly self explanatory, but tags might be a bit less apparent. Tags are terms that relate your video's content in single words or short phrases. For example, if you are uploading a video about a a winning dog show, some tags might be: Dog, Show, Dog Show, Champion Breed, Blue Ribbon, Lhasa Apso. Hint: If you title the video first, YouTube will offer several suggestions for tags and then you can add your own.
4. Cutting the Fluff
One thing that is critical to creating entertaining videos that people will subscribe to and pass along is keeping your videos tight. What does that mean? Editing. Now this is important. If your video has parts that lag, trim it. The videos that receive the most views are typically very short. Somewhere in the neighborhood of two to five minutes seems to be the optimal time for online videos and almost mandatory to achieve a high view count. Plus, it shows respect to the people who will ultimately become your fans.
5. Quality and Consistency
This is a big one! Putting some thought and quality into your projects is a sure fire way to keep people coming back and spread the word about your videos. According to YouTube's Press Page, [LINK!] there is approximately 72 hours of viewable content uploaded every minute and 4 billion views per day. It's important to stand out. Creating the highest quality video possible is also a great way to track your growth as a filmmaker or content creator. Additionally, being consistent about uploading videos also helps to attract new viewers. Most vloggers who have any type of following will upload 1-2 videos per weeks. This kind of activity boosts their YouTube channel's profile and draws people in.
By now you are starting to see where these ideas can help you get more views on YouTube. This list is by no means exhaustive. Do this... Brainstorm some other ways to get your work out there, but start by using your friends and family to promote your work. Then use the above tips to grow your viewership. In no time you will start to see your video views numbers start to increase and eventually you will become a YouTube partner, potentially make some money and who knows, maybe even become the next internet sensation. Best of luck!
Steve Everson holds a Master's in Motion Picture and Television Producing and works as a freelance producer.
(Image courtesy of Bigstock).