There’s really only one way to increase your views on YouTube, and that’s to get recommended. However, the process of getting recommended has always been shrouded in secrecy, making it hard for the average creator to understand what they need to do to get on that list.
But, taking a closer look at your recommendations you’ll notice the “secret” to getting more views has been right in front of you.
— Only use trendy topics when that target audience is similar to your own. This way you’re able to capitalize on the topic’s reach, and YouTube will continue recommending your videos to these viewers because they share the same demographics as your own.
— YouTube is starting to penalize clickbait, and this is only going to become more rigorous as time passes. Rather choose to be upfront and honest in your video titles and thumbnails to achieve long term results.
— Spend a significant amount of time creating an eye-catching thumbnail. Your thumbnails should be unique and enticing because a viewer only has a split second to decide whether to click on your video or not. If your CTR is low YouTube will stop recommending your videos.
Secret #1: Use Trendy Topics In The Title and Thumbnail
When Logan Paul had his scandal in 2017, any video with his name in the title would easily receive upward of 100,000 views, even from creators with less than 10k subscribers.
The reason these videos got more views was that they included something trendy at the time, from a very popular creator.
Anyone looking for information on Logan Paul or looking for information on his scandal would get these videos recommended to them.
However, this strategy doesn’t lead to long term results.
Savvy creators, on the other hand, know that to achieve lasting results from these trendy videos you would need to ensure your video has “overlap.”
“Overlap,” can be described as having the same target audience as the trendy topic you’re creating content about. Meaning, the audience you’re targeting with the topic would also be interested in your regular content, finding it amusing and, ultimately, leading them to subscribe.
This can simply be referred to as capitalizing on someone else’s popularity to gain an audience of subscribers similar to theirs.
Example Of This Secret In Practice
One very prominent example of a YouTuber capitalizing on “overlap” is Joanna Cedia. She used the popularity and reach of more prominent creators to launch and grow her channel.
She started by including Emma Chamberlain in her content.
At the time, Emma Chamberlain’s audience was upset at her because they believed her merch line was overpriced, and when Joanna – who shares characteristics similar to Emma – created a DIY version of Emma’s merch, subscribers of Emma’s were instantly hooked.
She then extended her relevance by using Brad Mondo’s reach. Not only is Brad Mondo known for shouting out smaller creators when creating “Hairdresser Reacts” videos, but he and Joanna also share a similar audience.
Within a year, she has amassed over 3 million subscribers using this tried and true secret.
Bottom line, using overlap serves two purposes. When a viewer searches the term on YouTube your video will appear as recommended as well. Even if they don’t choose to watch your videos, but there’s a significant overlap between your viewership demographics and the demographics of the trendy topic, YouTube will continue to recommend your video until a viewer clicks.
Secret #2: Create Intriguing Thumbnails
You have to remember that the moment someone sees your thumbnail you have less than a few seconds to entice them to click. If your thumbnail is mediocre or is similar to other creators, no one is going to find it enticing enough to click on your video. You can avoid this by spending some time working on your thumbnail art to find a unique thumbnail style that doesn’t mimic or resemble other creators.
You also want your thumbnail to serve as a preview for the content within the video because not everyone reads video titles or descriptions.
Example of This Secret In Practice
Shallon Lester, a commentary channel that offers advice relevant to a 20-something female demographic, uses both the previous secret and this one to capture the attention of her audience. Although she’s a smaller creator, she’s created a very unique thumbnail style that’s easy to recognize, while giving the viewer accurate information about the video.
Her large bold fonts describe the video perfectly and are easy to see on any device – which is what you want when creating thumbnails. While she uses simple colors and bold statements to intrigue viewers to click.
Secret #3: Avoid Clickbait
Everyone knows that you should avoid clickbait, but not everyone is aware as to why you should avoid clickbait – besides alienating your subscribers.
Avoiding clickbait has more to do with YouTube’s algorithm than with upsetting your audience.
Although bigger YouTubers use clickbait all the time to get views, they can afford to take a knock now and then. Smaller creators can’t. If you’re thinking about using a clickbait title or thumbnail to entice views, know this; people will click off your video, and that will drive your stats into the ground. YouTube uses these stats to determine whether a video gets recommended or not.
This affects both your notifications for subscribers and the recommendations on YouTube itself. Subscribers won’t get notified because, essentially, everyone that’s clicking off the video is signaling to YouTube’s algorithm that the video isn’t worth watching, meaning it’s not worth recommending – not even to existing subscribers.
If you’re found doing this too often, eventually YouTube will penalize your channel and you’ll have to work hard to get any momentum back. Better to avoid this route altogether and stick to safer options if you’re interested in clicks.
Example of This Secret In Practice:
Best-dressed, a twenty-something thrifting and fashion YouTuber with nearly 3 million subscribers is an excellent example of how avoiding “clickbaity” titles and thumbnails is the best strategy for long term growth.
Starting her channel 4 years ago, she’s managed to consistently grow her audience and subscribers using thumbnails and titles that accurately describe what she’s doing.
Even if you’ve never watched a video of hers you’ll instantly know what her content is about from one of her videos.