Reach beyond YouTube
With more than one billion unique users a month, YouTube is a powerful place to reach new fans. But in this multi-platform world, viewers have so many other ways to discover, engage and interact with video. This multitude of options not only impacts how you present and create content, it requires you to expand your horizons to other forms of distribution. Successful YouTube creators actively scope out new audiences on blogs, social media and other communities while navigating the whims of an ever-changing media landscape.
Reach beyond your channel to foster relationships on social media. Be innovative as you recruit new fans.
Where to begin
With all these choices, where do you invest your time and energy? First, find out where people are currently watching your videos aside from YouTube, and then prioritise which blogs or platforms to target. You can find this information in YouTube Analytics by checking the traffic sources and playback locations reports.
In the traffic sources report, you can learn how much of your video traffic comes from the embedded player and external websites like blogs and social media. Pay attention to "average view duration" as well as "view counts" to better understand which sources drive the longest engagement.
In the playback locations report, click "embedded player on other websites" to determine which websites are frequently promoting your videos. The results should help inform your community and outreach efforts.
Don’t forget to track mentions of your brand to identify where people are talking about you. You can set Google Alerts and use social media monitoring dashboards to track public mentions of your channel name, show names, talent or other keywords specific to your brand.
Senate spectators voice disgust with rulingThe Texas Tribune’s live stream of an 11-hour filibuster during a legislative session went viral as a result of social media sharing and blog embeds. (Video in English)
Get the word out
Websites and blogs – not to mention the average Joe – are always looking for great videos to highlight. Keep track of the blogs and websites that often feature your work and drive the most views. Create a blog roll – a list of sites, blogs, online influencers and niche communities – that you would consider sharing your videos with first. Make sure that you pitch the right videos to them and let them know they’re getting an inside scoop. Keep in mind that topical or trending content is usually most valuable to these sites. If you have a few videos, create a playlist about a relevant trending topic that would appeal to blogs.
If you aren’t getting noticed enough, think about whether you’re targeting the right people. Build relationships with editors and only share videos that you honestly think they’d want to put in front of their audience. Learn more about their core demographics and familiarise yourself with their most popular content. This strategy will also come in handy when you need to promote super-specific content to niche sites.
While YouTube is an incredible platform to reach a large audience, the power of other social media platforms cannot be underestimated. 500 years' worth of YouTube videos are watched on Facebook every day; on Twitter, 700 YouTube videos are shared per minute. "Gen C" describes the mindset of YouTube’s core audience – an audience defined by connection, creation, community and curation. Nearly 40% of this audience share videos on an additional social network after watching on YouTube. That activity is multiplied out to their groups of friends – in fact, more than half are connected to 100 or more people on social networks. Here are some ways to tap into this valuable group:
- Consider setting up accounts on various social media sites, and focus on those that are most relevant to you and your audience.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. Less is more if it means commitment and consistency.
- Be sure your branding is also consistent across each of the media outlets you engage with.
- Try promoting your YouTube channel on social media profiles and vice versa.
- You can automatically post and share videos to different social media sites during the upload process.
- Tailor your video posts for each platform, and include prompts or questions to encourage audience interactions like comments, shares and reposts. You can moderate comments on the go from the YouTube Studio app.
- Experiment with eye-catching titles and thumbnails to frame your video in a compelling way. Hint: consider how viewers would look to their friends if they were to share the video (e.g. smart, hip, informed, socially conscious).
- Quote or spotlight the most intriguing moment from the video to pique curiosity.
- Create build-up, but don’t trick or mislead people to click on your post. Always deliver on the promise.
To summarise, harness the portability of YouTube’s embedded player so that your best work can travel to other audiences on social media, blogs, mobile apps and other websites. Extend your reach off the YouTube platform to give viewers the freedom to watch your video anytime, anywhere.
See it in action
Social media sprung Convos with my 2-Year-Old into the public eyeThe channel, Convos With My 2-Year-Old, catapulted to popularity through the social network reddit, even making its front page several times during the channel’s debut. (Video in English)
How do I know where my audience is watching my content off of YouTube?Try it now
View the Traffic sources report in YouTube Analytics and identify external websites driving traffic to your content. You can also look at the Playback locations report to see where traffic from embeds of your video come from.
How can I track the effectiveness of my videos posts on social media?Try it now
One way to track click-through rates for different social media channels is to assign a different short link to your video for each platform. When you make a short link with the Goo.gl URL shortener, you can monitor the number of clicks that it receives