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How to Get Your Videos Seen

Video content doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  Its crucial to have a strategy for publishing your content in the right place, at the right time, with optimized supporting content. Here are some key things to consider before hitting publish.

Choose the Right Platform

YouTube is a popular platform for video content, although it is also an extremely competitive environment and may not be where your audience hangs out. You might also consider Vimeo for hosting video content on your website. Vimeo offers paid plans that allow you to create a branded player and it won’t recommend videos from other sources. We prefer Vimeo to directly posting video on your website because it adapts to your user’s bandwidth and will collect analytics information (audience retention, for example).

Create an Awesome Thumbnail

It can’t be overstated how important this is. Professional YouTube creators will spend thousands of dollars creating a single video thumbnail. The thumbnail is important for CTR or click-through rate. If people are not enticed by the thumbnail, they won’t even start watching the video. Ideally, you would have considered this from the beginning of the process (see: T-sheet in “Developing Your Idea”.)

Write an Enticing Title

Enticing titles are typically short and pique the audience’s interest. It’s recommended that video titles for YouTube are less than 60 characters which equates to about four or five words. You can add additional information using the “|” symbol. For example, “Title | Series | Brand.” However, the less you can clutter up your titles, the better.

Generate multiple title and thumbnail variations

Platforms like ChatGPT make it easy to generate multiple titles for your video. Just plug in the topic of your video and see what pops up. If you are using YouTube as your video host, it’s a good idea to create several variations of your thumbnail image. YouTube doesn’t yet allow thumbnail A/B testing, although we’ve heard it’s on the way. One way to pre-test thumbnails is to run a Facebook campaign, which uses A/B testing, and see which design is the winner. Alternatively, you could use a small focus group with characteristics similar to your target demographic. If your video isn’t performing well, consider swapping out the thumbnail or title for one of your other variations.

Pick the best times to post your video

Platforms like YouTube and Instagram are used differently and have different peak traffic times. Based on our research, the best time to post on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is midday between 11am and 1pm ET. For video-centric platforms like YouTube and TikTok it’s recommended to post later in the day, between 2pm and 5pm ET.

Optimize Metadata

Every platform is a little different, but for YouTube, the most popular video platform,  the most important metadata are the title, description, and a compelling thumbnail.  For other platforms, metadata such as cover image, tags, hashtags, links also play a role. 

Paid vs. Organic Reach

Organic reach is the number of views  your video gets on social platforms and is dependent on the platform’s ranking algorithm. Typically, only a small fraction of your followers will see your content and it will be invisible to new audiences unless there is a lot of engagement. Therefore, depending on your goals and who you are trying to reach, it might make sense to pay these platforms to boost your content.According to the social posting platform Hootsuite, there are a couple of rules of thumb when it comes to paid campaigns: 

  • Post organically to reach your existing audience to further build their relationship with your brand. Use paid ads to raise brand awareness, attract new audience, promote specific offers, and generate leads. 
  • Post your video organically first. Only use money to expand your reach if the content has already performed well with your existing audience. 
  • If you know that your want to run the video as a paid ad, do extensive A/B testing first to optimize the content and metadata. 
  • Target your ads at a demographic similar to your existing audience. 

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