It’s estimated that video will account for up to 74 percent of all online traffic in 2017.
That means if you aren’t using some kind of video marketing strategy, you’ll be missing the potential of nearly three-quarters of all online visitors.
Of course, merely creating videos isn’t enough to guarantee success. If you want your video marketing strategy to grow and flourish, you need to be able to build and maintain an audience and getting views will help you achieve this.
Keep in mind that every view you receive is another chance for a visitor to become acquainted with your brand. Plus, the more views you get, the more likely your videos will be to appear in relevant searches, making it easier to grow as you get more popular.
This is why campaigns like Dollar Shave Club’s launch video are capable of getting 23 million views—achieving virality relies on this snowball effect.
The problem, of course, is attracting those first views when you’re still new to the game, with almost no reputation to call upon. How can you get those views?
Top Strategies for Initial YouTube Views
Try taking these steps, one at a time, to attract more YouTube views:
Analyze the situation.
First, take a look at what you’ve done already and see if you can find a cause for your lack of views. If you only have one or two videos, it could be that you simply haven’t put enough time into your campaign. If your content is inconsistent or looks amateurish, you likely won’t attract an audience. Make a list of three or four reasons why you aren’t getting views, and consider steps you could take to resolve those points.
Next, take a look at some of the most popular YouTube videos and channels that are currently running, especially if they fall into your niche or industry. There’s a reason why videos go viral, even if they’re as nonsensical as water bottle flipping, and studying what makes them unique can help you find your own rhythm when you create new content.
Optimize your channel and videos.
Next, you’ll want to take the time to optimize both your YouTube channel and your videos for search. Search is one of the best ways to help your videos become discoverable for new audiences, so be sure to include target keyword phrases in the titles, descriptions, and even in the tags, you assign your videos. Beyond that, search rankings largely depend on the audiences you can draw, so funnel your efforts to the other steps on this list.
Be more consistent.
How often are you producing new content? How consistent is the quality of that content? If you want your viewers to keep coming back for more, you need to give them a reason to do so. Adhere to a set schedule—such as one new video a week—and make sure you use a consistent tone and video quality, so you don’t alienate any of your growing number of visitors.
Syndicate your videos on social media.
Even good videos can fail to get views if too few people know of their existence. Rely on your social media profiles to distribute your videos further, and to audiences who don’t regularly peruse YouTube for new content. Showing your video to even a few thousand followers can help you net a few hundred additional views, and if your video is shared and distributed further through social channels, you could gain even more.
Engage your audience.
Next, don’t leave your audience unattended. Engage them regularly; this not only keeps your most loyal users coming back, but it also encourages new users to start watching and participating with your channel. “Engaging” here means responding to their comments, starting discussions, asking them questions, thanking them for their viewership, and maybe even reciprocating by checking out their content.
Take and apply feedback.
Finally, gather as much feedback as you can about your video. Talk to your users and conduct surveys to find out what they like and don’t like about your content. The more you learn, directly from the source, the more you’ll be able to improve. Plus, you’ll show that you listen to your users—which will attract even more people to your brand.
A Note on Shortcuts
If you’re desperate to get your view counts up, you may be tempted to pay for views and subscribers directly. However, these tactics are almost always a bad idea. They may look good as a fluff statistic, but they won’t represent real people interested in your brand, and they won’t be able to grow your organic audience. On top of that, if you’re caught buying fake views and subscribers, you could get your video or even your channel banned from YouTube entirely.
Instead, rely on the above strategies to organically get the views you need to build momentum. With enough patience and investment, your efforts are bound to pay off.