Last updated on October 21, 2020
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I previously owned two Facebook groups that allowed members to promote their videos and channels daily. Before we assess Facebook and other ways to promote YouTube videos, any serious conversations about marketing start with how to monitor and analyze your promotional activities.
Promoting your videos on Facebook could very well be worthwhile, and you’ll be able to track your results with Google Analytics (GA). Google Analytics is a free web service that provides statistics for website management and performance. If you’re new to Google Analytics, I recommend taking Google’s official course for beginners. I use Google Analytics daily to review my website’s performance. I find the mobile app to be more user-friendly than the web app, but both are useful.
Google Analytics tracks many data points including traffic source, user location, device, language, browser, time on page, and more. Regarding traffic sources, GA monitors six channels, i.e., organic, direct, referral, social, email, and paid. For instance, if someone clicks through to your video from Facebook, GA will attribute the visit to social. Learn more about traffic sources.
Connect your YouTube channel to Google Analytics to better understand your traffic sources and results. Here are the steps to link your account:
- Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
- Copy your property’s tracking ID. If you don’t have a one set up, learn how to set up a property in Google Analytics.
- Go to your YouTube Advanced Settings
- At the bottom, paste your tracking ID into the Google Analytics property tracking ID.
- Click Save.
YouTube Studio is another useful tool and differs from GA. YouTube Analytics provides real-time metrics and reports. Reports are grouped into three buckets, that is, revenue, watch time, and interaction. There is some overlap between YouTube Analytics and GA, but GA is arguably better for measuring your offsite marketing activities and external traffic. The use of both tools will give you a comprehensive view of your channel’s performance.
Ways to Promote YouTube Videos
Encourage Viewers to Subscribe
It may seem like a no-brainer to tell your viewers to subscribe to your channel, but many YouTubers don’t. YouTubers that do typically mention subscribing at the beginning or end of their videos. The final frame in my videos features a subscribe image, and I add call-to-actions in my descriptions, e.g., “Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and let’s succeed together.” The more subscribers you have, the more returning visitors you can expect, and new visitors will be tempted to subscribe as your subscriber count increases (social proof).
Promote With YouTube Premieres
YouTube premieres is a feature that lets you and your viewers watch and experience a new video together, much like a movie or TV show premiere. Premiering your video allows you to schedule it for upload and create buzz around the video before it’s available.
Add End Screens to Videos
An ending screen is an excellent way to keep viewers focused on you. End screens are a part of a video and show during the last 5-20 seconds. Your video must be at least 25 seconds long to have an end screen. You can add up to four elements to promote your content, channel, and website. You can:
- Promote other videos, playlists, or channels on YouTube
- Call for subscriptions to your channel
- Promote your website, merchandise, and crowdfunding campaign
Add Cards to Videos
A card directs a viewer to a specific URL (from a list of eligible sites) and shows a customized image, title, and call to action, depending on the card type. You can add up to five cards to one video. For promotional purposes, you’ll want to use video, channel, and playlist cards. Monitor the performance of your cards in YouTube analytics.
Add Links to Other Videos in Descriptions
Many creators take the “link tsunami” approach and put ten to fifteen links in their descriptions, for example, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on. Placing too many links is likely to produce inaction rather than action. Alternatively, I use a goal-oriented, less is more approach, and place no more than five links in my descriptions. Secondly, if promoting your channel is your primary goal, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to direct viewers off of YouTube. Instead, list three to five videos in your descriptions to keep people on your channel. The more you keep people focused on your channel, the better the chance you have of getting them to view, watch, and subscribe.
Add Hashtags to Descriptions
Hashtags have gone somewhat unnoticed on YouTube, but they can help viewers find your videos. There are two ways to find videos using hashtags:
- Search YouTube for a hashtag
- Click on the hashtag in a video’s title, above a video’s title, or in the video’s description
Suppose you add the hashtag “#SEOtips” to your video’s description. A viewer who clicks on the hashtag from some other video or searches for it may stumble on your video. Learn more about how to use hashtags.
Optimize Videos for Search
Being on the first page of search results (without paying) is free marketing at its best. High search rankings are how I attract steady traffic without being very active on YouTube. To optimize your videos, you should develop keyword strategies for:
- Video titles
- The first 160 characters of your descriptions
- Keyword tags
- Channel keywords
- Channel about section
TubeBuddy is one of the many excellent tools to identify keywords. Learn more about YouTube SEO in these two articles:
- YouTube SEO 101: How to Build a Profitable YouTube Keyword Strategy
One of the easiest ways to promote your videos is to enable others to distribute them. To enable embedding, follow these steps:
- Go to your Video Manager.
- Go to the video you want to turn on embedding for and click Edit.
- Under the video, click Advanced settings.
- Under “Distribution Options,” check the Allow embedding checkbox.
- Click Save changes.
Blog & Embed Videos
Many Tubers post their videos on their blogs. They either write full-length posts, summaries, or embed their videos to mimic social media feeds.
Add a Link to Your Blog’s Menu
I control what appears on my website menus, for example, “home,” “tools,” and “about.” You can add a menu tab for YouTube and link it to your channel. Also, you can promote your videos/channels in widgets, popups, and notification bars.
Include a Link in Emails
Add a call-to-action and link in your email signature, for example, “Watch my latest video on YouTube.” or “You won’t believe what I just uploaded to YouTube.”
I hope you’re not one of those Tubers who relies entirely on YouTube for subscribers. You should be building an email list for other things you might do or promote later. Moreover, you’ll have direct access to your email subs (you can’t access your subscribers directly on YouTube).
I use MailerLite for my email marketing. Instead of sending an email for each new post/video, which could annoy my subs, I send a monthly recap of my latest posts. You can experiment with a free email marketing service and do the same with your videos.
Push Notifications to Subscribers
Another way to build subscribers is with a web push notification service. A push notification is a brief message that pops up on a device such as a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet. It’s an interactive, clickable message that leads to a website. A message can consist of a title, text, URL, image, and call-to-action (CTA) button. If you have a website, you can add a push notification service and alert your subs about new videos.
Promote on Facebook
Facebook is undoubtedly the king of social media despite organic page reach losing steam, continuous privacy issues, and executives jumping ship. Creators frequently promote videos on their profiles and pages, but pages allow you to monitor and analyze performance. If you don’t have a page, it might not be worthwhile to start one (evaluate the pros and cons). If you do have a page, there are a couple of apps to help you promote. The YouTube Tab app and Woobox are fantastic options.
Promote in Facebook Groups
Promoting in a popular YouTube-themed Facebook group isn’t efficient because right after you post, many posts will follow, and you’ll fall out of sight. Although frequent posting may feel productive, it’s usually an ineffective way to grow your channel. Alternatively, you can start a YouTube promotional group, manage it, and pin your video/channel to the top for optimal visibility. You must control a group and content flow to achieve desired outcomes.
Promote on Social Media
Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are viable networks to promote your videos. I recommend using a social media marketing service, like Hootsuite or Agorapulse, to post to multiple networks simultaneously. Those tools will save you time and boost your productivity.
Cross-Promote on Patreon
Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you already create (videos, songs, whatevs, etc.). Fans pledge a few bucks per month or item released, and the money goes to the creator. It doesn’t matter where you create content, for example, on YouTube, Vimeo, or SoundCloud. Thousands of YouTubers use Patreon to attract fans, cross-promote, and earn money.
Pay to Advertise on YouTube
Free marketing methods can be advantageous. However, spending a few dollars monthly to advertise your videos/channels could give you the boost you need.
YouTube offers various advertising models and tools. For instance, use TrueView ads to reach your desired audience and only pay if they show interest in your ad. Learn more about advertising on YouTube.