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Success on YouTube demands that creators produce engaging, high-quality content for viewers to enjoy. That’s the recipe that thousands of YouTubers use to earn six and seven figure incomes. In fact, the number of channels earning $100,000+ was up 40 percent year over year. Video, audio, and editing tools support creation and production processes. I use Camtasia, a video editor/screen recorder, and YouTube offers a basic video editor. There are many free and paid video editing applications including:
- Filmora Video Editor
- HitFilm Express
- AVS Video Editor
- Adobe Premiere
- Pinnacle Studio
- Final Cut Pro (Mac only)
- Sony Vegas Pro
Video editing software and recording equipment are only half of the battle. You must also understand YouTube search engine optimization (SEO), analytics, marketing, branding, channel management, and monetization to succeed. Here are several tools, services, and resources to help you in these areas.
YouTube Certified Tools
TubeBuddy’s browser extension adds a layer of functionality on top of YouTube’s website. Their features cover several categories including productivity, workflow, SEO, promotion, and analytics. Some of the many things you can do with TubeBuddy are:
- Track your videos rankings, and your competitors, across YouTube and Google search
- Get and copy video keywords and tags and understand which ones rank the highest
- Test titles, thumbnails, tags, and descriptions to find what works best for channel growth based on video performance and analytics
- Schedule unlisted videos to be published and added to playlists at a future date/time
- Schedule videos to be hidden and removed from playlists at a future date/time
- Quickly find demonetized videos on your channel then bulk submit them for manual review
- Make bulk updates to your videos including description section contents
- Create professional quality thumbnails using still frames from your video and text/image overlays
- Promote one of your videos in the descriptions of all your other videos
- Reach out to your YouTube subscribers across multiple social networks
vidIQ is the first YouTube audience development and management suite that helps individuals, brands, networks, and agencies grow their channels, views, and subscribers. Their end-to-end solution includes analytics and reporting, YouTube SEO, influencer identification, comment management, and competitive intelligence tools. vidIQ’s professional services include brand strategy and channel optimization. vidIQ’s free Vision Chrome extension enables you to:
- See video and homepage keywords and tags used by others
- Review search term metrics such as views and keyword scores
- Track character counts for your titles, descriptions, and tags
- Manage, copy, and paste tags from one video to the next
- Get a snapshot of YouTube, Facebook, and engagement metrics for the top search results
- Get comprehensive channel statistics in a single panel
Hootsuite is one of the premium tools I use to run my online business, and they’re the most widely used social media management tool. They offer multiple plans including free, pro, business, and enterprise and a 30-day trial. Users can schedule and post updates to pages and profiles for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, and other sites from a dashboard. Hootsuite offers 160+ free and paid apps through their directory including apps for VK, Tumblr, and other popular applications. With Hootsuite, you can do the following on YouTube:
- Upload, edit, schedule, and share YouTube videos across all your social networks
- Manage and monitor multiple YouTube accounts without the risk of sharing passwords
- Measure subscriber growth, analyze engagement, and identify traffic sources
YouTube Tutorials, Insights, & Tricks
The Creator Hub is a destination for resources to help you make great videos, find your audience, and grow your channel. The Creator Academy has a vast catalog of tutorials to challenge and inspire your creativity. The lessons will give you the inside scoop on how to shoot and edit amazing videos. Also, they have a YouTube channel featuring tips and tricks. It is an excellent place to learn about all things YouTube channel development.
Tubefilter is a leading digital entertainment media company covering the online video industry. Of note is their post, Reverse Engineering The YouTube Algorithm, which covers YouTube’s video distribution model. I highly recommend reading this article.
Tubular Insights (formerly ReelSEO) is a leading resource for analysis, tips, and trends for the online video and internet marketing industries. They offer expert advice and commentary about online video to guide internet marketers and video content producers. Tubular Insights is the only company that tracks all video content cross-platform, all-device, and globally. Furthermore, they offer one of the most extensive blogs about video and YouTube topics and provide how-to guides. Lastly, you can search for the top video creators and publishers on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
YouTube SEO, Keywords, & Tags
YouTube isn’t just about unboxing videos; it’s the second largest search engine on the web behind Google. I often search and watch how-to videos anytime I want to know something about WordPress. Like Google, appearing on the first page of YouTube search results is critical to attracting clicks and views. To rank well requires knowledge of YouTube SEO factors. So far, I have done quite well to get many of my videos listed on the first and second pages of results. It’s critical to understand SEO in its entirety, and I recommend several SEO tutorials and courses. Also, you can visit SEJ for their advanced guide to YouTube SEO. Tools for YouTube SEO and keyword research include:
Keyword Planner is available through Google Ads, an online advertising service. While it was created to support ad campaign planning and research, many people use it to search for keywords and see how a list of keywords might perform. You can find new keyword ideas for your videos that are relevant to your brand, product, service, and target audience. Keyword Planner will show you historical statistics such as search volume data and competitiveness for these keywords. Users can target keywords by geographical location, including countries, territories, regions, and cities. Furthermore, users can customize results by date, seasonal trends, and device.
SEMRush offers a keyword tool that is driven by its massive dataset of search data from 26 different countries. SEMRush provides keyword ideas, estimated search volume, estimated CPC, keyword difficulty score, and current rankings for a keyword.
Keyword Tool scrapes and suggests keyword ideas for Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and other prominent search engines. Keyword Tool allows you to select the country and language that you want to use for keyword generation. It will reveal 750+ long-tail keywords from YouTube autocomplete by appending and prepending the term that you specify with various letters and numbers.
- YouTube’s Autocomplete Feature
As you type into YouTube’s search engine, you will see suggested search terms and queries. These results indicate demand for these topics. YouTube autocomplete, just as Google autocomplete, was created to make the user experience better. It helps users to find videos faster by recommending appropriate keywords when they start typing in their search query. I use this method frequently to brainstorm ideas for videos and content.
Channel Data & Analytics
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 platforms combined will give you a comprehensive view of your channel’s performance.
Note: YouTube will be replacing Creator Studio with YouTube Studio. Analytics and reporting are presented differently but contain much of the same information.
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.
You can link your channel to Google Analytics to better understand your traffic sources and results. Follow these 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.
Social Blade is one of the longest-running YouTube statistics tracking websites and allows you to see your channels growth with ease. They also offer Instagram and Twitch statistics too, enabling you to monitor your reach across multiple social media platforms simultaneously. Here’s what they offer:
- Track your YouTube progress with subscriber and view statistics
- Compare YouTube metrics of up to three creators simultaneously
- Discover what multi-channel network or management agency a creator belongs to
- Estimate how much money YouTubers are earning
- Watch your subscriber and view counts update in real-time
- Tutorials for beginners and experienced content creators
- Consult with them to build your channel
Live Subscriber Count is a free tool that displays your channel’s subscriber count in real-time. If you are running promotions or live streams, it provides instant gratification for your growth efforts. You can adjust the color of the Live Subscriber Count to match your channel and add sound. Some creators make it visible to live viewers to encourage channel subscriptions.
Vidooly helps online video publishers, advertisers, media companies and agencies to succeed in digital video across all platforms through its best-in-class insights. Their products include YouTube and Facebook analytics, audience and market insights, benchmarketing, content acquisition and strategy, and more.
YouTube Subscriber Counter provides channel data. Search for the channel that interests you and get:
- Data on views, subscribers, and video count
- Estimated revenue
- Charts and weekly statistics
Monetization & Funding
Google AdSense is a service run by Google that allows publishers to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted at viewers. These ads are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google. Publishers can generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis.
YouTube earnings are added to your AdSense payments page before the 15th of each month and included in your payment if your total earnings exceed the payment threshold. However, your estimated AdSense earnings will not include your YouTube earnings. Alternatively, revenue reports are available in the Creator Studio on the Analytics drop-down menu.
Super Chat is a way for fans and creators to interact through live streams. Fans can purchase Super Chats to highlight their messages within the live chat stream. Super Chats stand out from other messages in two ways including by color highlight and position. The color of your Super Chat, the period it stays pinned, and the maximum message length are determined by the purchase amount.
Channel memberships allow viewers to join your channel through monthly recurring payments. Subscribers get members-only perks like badges, emoji, and other goods you offer. Program eligibility starts at 50,000 subs to a channel plus other criteria.
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 creators create content, for example, on YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud.
Thumbnail Design & Freelancers
Thumbnails are crucial to capturing the attention of viewers and increasing click-through rates. You can create thumbnails yourself with free design tools or outsource to freelance graphic designers.
Pixlr Editor is a fantastic photo editor for all your editing needs. You gain full control over your images including layers and effects. Their web apps are powerful and provide an array of photo editing options to make your photos beautiful.
Canva enables you to design presentations, social media graphics, and more with thousands of beautiful layouts. Enrich your chosen snapshot with text and design elements or create a clean-cut thumbnail design for your video.
There are many freelancers on Fiverr to help you with your graphic design and other YouTube needs. Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for digital services starting at just five dollars. Check out their top YouTube gigs.
Other YouTube Channel Building Tools
- URL Shorteners
Many YouTubers shorten links to keep their description sections tidy. Hootsuite (ow.ly) and Bitly (bit.ly) are two popular services.
- Grammar, Spelling, & Punctuation
I use Grammarly to check my YouTube titles and descriptions for errors. Grammarly is free and comes highly recommended.
- Chrome Extensions
TubeBuddy, vidIQ, Hootsuite, and Socialblade are available in the Chrome Web Store. These extensions are excellent and much better than one-off tools like Tags for YouTube.
- Facebook Apps
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.
- Smartphone Apps
Channel development apps are few and hard to find on Google Play and Apple stores. What you’ll mostly see are video creation and editing apps such as Flipagram and VivaVideo. Your best bet for channel management is YouTube’s Creator Studio app, which makes it fast and easy to manage your channel on the go. Its features include:
- Monitor channel and video performance with robust analytics
- Filter and respond to comments
- Get notifications when something important happens
- Update video details and monetization settings
- Manage playlists
Do you know of other amazing YouTube tools or apps? Contact me on LinkedIn with your suggestion.