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How To Avoid The 6 Biggest Pitfalls On YouTube

2016 was a year when online videos dominated the internet, and 2017 has been no different. It seems platforms like YouTube have everything we could ever ask for, from news to ads and digital media content to pique our every interest.

Individuals and brands can now reach out to millions of viewers worldwide through a single video — which means there’s a lot at stake, potentially. Committing even the slightest mistake on YouTube could easily translate to a disaster of epic proportions.

Viewers of today consume videos far differently than they did five years ago. Today, more people are using YouTube to watch live videos — like the recent solar eclipse — for real-time updates on every subject imaginable.

If you want to rise to the top of YouTube, you need to adapt to new trends and sudden changes in viewer behavior as nimbly as possible.

There’s no telling how YouTube will evolve in the next couple of years. As a brand, it’s your job to keep up with it all. That means learning from the mistakes of others and consistently avoiding the most common pitfalls of success.

1. Forgetting About Your Mobile Viewers

The dawn of smartphones has changed how and where people consume online videos.

Back in June of this year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that YouTube has over 1.5 billion logged in users – and people are spending over an hour a day watching video on mobile devices.

These shiny new metrics were trotted on stage at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, to lure advertisers into investing their ad spend on YouTube instead of traditional media. If those numbers are good enough for investors, they should be good enough for you, too.

Failing to optimize your videos for mobile users will mean missing out on a lot of views and engagement.

All monetized videos are automatically available on the YouTube app for mobile. Videos are only taken down from the app if they’ve incurred a copyright violation.

If your video has incurred a copyright violation, visit the Video Manager page and make a claim. Copyright claims are usually processed within five to seven business days, depending on the severity of the case.

Silent videos are also becoming quite a thing among mobile viewers, so you might want to consider adding captions to all of your videos.

In the Video Manager, you’ll find a tab labeled Subtitles and CC (Closed Captioning.) You can select the automatic caption function by clicking on the English (Automatic) button on the top right of the screen.

automatic subtitlesImage credit: NCDAE

The automatic captions won’t be perfect, but usually they’re pretty close. You can play the video back to make sure the captions are accurate, and edit any discrepancies in the Edit and Overwrite tab on the same page.

By adding captions to your videos, you’re giving YouTube’s crawlers a lot of text to consider when evaluating your search ranking, while also making your videos accessible to the millions of mobile users worldwide.

2. Being Too Pushy

YouTube is one of the busiest and most effective marketing platforms of today. That said, there’s a line to be drawn between an effective brand awareness campaign and being too downright pushy.

Ads of today are already invasive as it is and using your channel purely for salesy videos can drive people away. Don’t devote your YouTube channel to product placement, or you’ll be wasting this valuable resource.

If you want your YouTube marketing efforts to kick ass, you need to develop a kick-ass content strategy.

People log in to YouTube to consume informative or entertaining content, and you can’t give them that if you just focus on pushing your products or services.

Disney, one of the most successful entertainment conglomerates, obviously knows how to create videos that add value to their services. Instead of pushing their newest shows, Disney creates bite-size videos that are designed to pique the specific interests of their demographic.

Cut your viewers some slack by keeping your salesy videos to a minimum. Focus your energy on creating meaningful and valuable content your viewers can enjoy.

3. Not Communicating With Your Viewers

You can do so much more on YouTube than just share videos. YouTube is one of the best places on the internet to connect with your viewers, in large part through the comments section.

The comments section is your gateway to viewer engagement. You can keep the conversation alive by responding to everyone’s thoughts and questions in the comments, and also responding directly in your videos.

The best thing about the comments section is the fact that it’s all public — so everyone can see just how responsive you are to your viewers. Although you’ll get the typical trolls you find everywhere on the net, you can learn a lot from the comments section if you put it to good use and keep a good attitude.

To attract more people to the comments section — and to your videos — consider purchasing a few thousand YouTube Views from a reputable provider. Having an impressive number of Views on some of your videos will give you a more credible and buzzworthy reputation in the eyes of YouTube viewers, which is roughly around three billion eyeballs.

If you want to drive more people to your channel, you need to give them good reasons to check you out. A few thousand views will signify a level of virality and relevance that will lure viewers into watching your videos. If they like what they see, they’ll become new fans and subscribe to your channel.

4. Not Using Social Media To Your Advantage

Relying on YouTube alone means losing out on a lot of potential views from users who are not subscribed to you on YouTube. If you want to raise brand awareness through your videos, you have to share your content on ALL your social media channels.

Your existing social media connections are untapped viewers. If you want to turn your connections into viewers, you have to put your videos where they can see them — on their feeds.

Sharing your videos on social media platforms is easy, all you have to do is right-click on the video to get the shareable link and post it. Or, you can click the Share button at the bottom-right and use one of the easy links there.

youtube share videoDon’t miss out on valuable viewership by failing to share your videos on social media. Your potential connections might not be aware that you have a YouTube channel, and now is always the perfect time to tell them all about it.

5. Not Optimizing Your Videos

Aside from having one of the most expansive collections of videos online, YouTube has also earned the title of being the World’s Second Largest Search Engine.

People use YouTube like they use Google. They use the platform to find answers to some — if not most — of their questions and inquiries about every topic under the sun.

If you want your videos to appear on as many relevant search results as possible, you need to start treating YouTube like the search engine that it is.

youtube tagsImage credit: Backlinko

Start by optimizing your videos, from your video title down to your meta description. Use the most relevant and specific keywords at the beginning — both in the title and the tags — and use more generic (but still relevant) ones towards the end.

YouTube’s site crawlers rely on keywords to determine a video’s ranking. Getting your videos to the right audience depends on the keywords you use — so use them well.

If you’re still at a loss with keywords, you might want to check out the guide Robert Dean created for Backlinko. It details everything there is to know about choosing the right keywords for your YouTube video.

6. Not Creating Custom Thumbnails

On YouTube, you only have a split-second to convince a viewer that your video is worth checking out. A custom thumbnail has the power to drive more people to a video by grabbing their attention and refusing to let go.

You need to create a thumbnail that will reinforce what your video is all about in a single frame. Remember, you don’t have all day to convince a viewer your video is worth their time.

Take VICE, a digital media brand that has over eight million subscribers. They cover a broad range of interesting and bizarre topics that keep their viewers hooked — and they make pretty captivating thumbnails, too!

vice thumbnailsImage credit: VICE on YouTube

If you want to draw more users to your videos, start making thumbnails that tell a story with a single glimpse.

It’s All In the Detail, Baby!

Mastering YouTube is all about paying attention to the small details — from your thumbnail down to using the right tags. If you want your YouTube channel to thrive despite the competition, you have to start paying attention to the little things.

Give your channel a good look and pinpoint the areas that need improvement. Don’t be afraid to commit mistakes because you can always learn from them and change for the better later on.

Remember, YouTube pitfalls are only as permanent as you let them be. If you want to rise to the top, you should learn to be nimble and smart about your strategy.

If you want to kick things into high gear, consider buying a few thousand YouTube Views from a reputable provider. An impressive number of Views will improve your social proof and give you a more buzzworthy persona on a highly saturated platform like YouTube.

Learn from some of these common YouTube pitfalls and take your channel to even greater heights, one video at a time.

tube moneyImage credit: NewMediaRockstars

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