Going viral on YouTube may seem like it happens overnight. One day, you are looking through your social media feed to find some new video with millions of views is the story of the day. It may not be a great video. It may not even actually interest you. But somehow this video is famous... for now. How did they do it? Well, it certainly wasn't overnight. For most, achieving YouTube fame takes time, consideration, and dedication to ensuring your channel becomes popular and your videos become the go-to for a particular topic. Here are just a few things that go into becoming YouTube Famous.
Choose the Right Name
You may want to pick a name that is complex and unique. While this may sound like a great idea, it isn’t in most cases. A simple, easy-to-spell name helps your potential customers find your channel quickly. Plus, you won’t need to constantly correct horribly misspelled variations of your channel name.
Keep Your Audience in Mind
What you ultimately choose as your channel name must resonate with your audience and give them an idea of what to expect if they choose to subscribe to your channel. If your intended audience enjoys learning everything about martial arts, your channel name should reflect that.
Make Your Videos Easy To Find
The same holds true for naming your videos. If you focus exclusively on how to videos and tutorials, include those terms in the name of your video. It may seem like a very small thing, but if you’ve ever been trapped in a room with a mosquito, you know that small things can have an immense impact. In this case, it makes your videos easier to find.
Tell Your Audience What You Want Them To Do
In addition to considering the type of audience you want to target; you also need to consider what you want them to do when they arrive at your channel. Are you looking for subscriptions, views and comments? Are you seeking to raise awareness or attract donations? Do you want to bring in investors to fund your startup? The name you choose for your channel, along with the category, will help attract the right people to your YouTube Channel.
Try to Avoid Duplication
Do a thorough search of your desired name on YouTube. If many channels have a similar name, chances are that your brand-new channel won’t get the attention it deserves. You can still run with that name, but keep in mind that your channel will be in contention with dozens of other channels that have the same name and likely the same audience you want. This could be a good thing, or it could mean you are drowned out by all the channels with the same name. You will need to put in considerable effort to make sure your channel is relevant to your audience and can beat out the competition.
Make it Catchy
You are trying to attract new viewers to your channel and you want them in a specific audience, so this particular tip is important. For example, We Heart Cake – a channel dedicated to promoting easy-to-follow baking tutorials – conveys that the channel owners love cake. This particular industry is very competitive, so a catchy name like this can help bring more people to your channel.
You want people to remember your channel, so they keep coming back. A catchy name is like that song you just can’t get out of your head. You don’t even need to hear it playing – just hearing someone say something like a lyric in the song is enough to make it play in your head all day.
Say it Out Loud & Get Feedback
I don’t just mean that you should say out loud a few times to yourself before you decide. I mean say it out loud to your friends. To your spouse. To your parents. Get their feedback before you officially name your channel. It may be easy to rename your channel in theory, but in reality – once your channel starts attracting visitors, changing your name can be detrimental to your continued YouTube success.
Make Sure You are Happy with the Name
This is probably the most important tip when choosing a name for pretty much anything – you need to be happy with it. If you hate your channel name, you may not take care of it the way it needs to be cared for to gain more followers. Loving the name, however, can encourage you to nurture it and make it grow.
Use Your Descriptions to Your Advantage
Your channel and every video you post has a section for you to create a description. Tell a story with every description you create. At the channel level, use a description that gives viewers a high-level overview of who you are, what the channel is about, and most importantly what you want them to do. If you want subscriptions, ask for them in the description!
At the video level, you will need to get more granular. Often, I see descriptions that are simply a repeat of the channel description – BORING! Who wants to read the same page in a book over and over? The video level descriptions are the perfect place to go into more detail. Tell a story about the video. Share the ingredients list. Encourage questions and interaction. Give your viewers a reason to keep coming back by announcing the next video release.
Don’t Forget the Meta Data
In a YouTube video, your meta data is crucial to making sure your video is found. In this case, you will need to make sure you have applied the appropriate tags, created or chosen a thumbnail for your video, closed-captioning, location, and category. You should also consider adding in an end-screen and video cards to promote related videos on your channel, playlists, and for YouTube Partners – your website link.
Sharing is Caring
Don’t limit yourself to YouTube for sharing your videos. There are many video sharing sites, not to mention the old standbys of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where you can share your videos, links to your channel, and information to generate interest in your channel. Use the channels that make the most sense to your audience then get your share on. Post about your channel, your business, your interests, even items related to your business. You cannot gain new followers by simply putting the video out there and hoping for the best. Even ‘viral’ videos require promotion to gain enough attention to earn that title.
Creating a popular YouTube channel only looks like it happens overnight. For most, it takes a lot of work, trial and error, and a continual flow of new content that their audience wants to share. It is going to take time and effort to get there. With these tips, you can start on the right foot toward achieving YouTube success.