Marketing, Podcast

Ep 64: How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos with Stephan Spencer

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Ep 64: How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos with Stephan Spencer

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Did you know that YouTube is the number two search engine behind Google? This is a valuable resource that most business owners and entrepreneurs are missing out on. 

YouTube tends to get neglected by a lot of marketers, by business owners. It’s such a great opportunity.

The Steps to Building and Maintaining a YouTube Channel for Marketing Purposes

Today, marketing and SEO expert Stephan Spencer talks about how to utilize and optimize YouTube videos for your business or podcast. If you have a brand, you can use YouTube to help generate interest (or revenue) in your brand.

Step 1: Don’t neglect your thumbnails

If you look on Evan Carmichael’s channel, you’ll see that all of his thumbnails look similar. Creating a template for your thumbnails ensures that your style will stay the same, so your audience knows what to look for in order to watch your videos. In addition, Stephan suggests having a thumbnail that has an image of you (and an image of the guest) as a prominent portion of the feature image. Make sure to also use a still from your video rather than a headshot that was taken before the video, in order to make the thumbnail look more natural.

These [thumbnails] are your secret weapon.

Step 2: A-B Test the thumbnails

If you can create a compelling, tension-filled thumbnail with your text, people will want to click on your video because they want that tension to be relieved. It is also important to have a contrasting color for certain words in your text, which you want to stand out. Consider playing with the font as well: use a different font for the thumbnails, as you do with the title. For testing, Stephan suggests using a tool like Tubebuddy, which is an inexpensive way to see how your thumbnails are performing. 

I wouldn’t have, like, ten or twelve words in the thumbnail. That’s too much to read and you’d have to make the text too tiny.

Pay attention to your audience retention as well. People have a tendency of wanting meatier, longer videos that are 10-minutes or longer. If the views drop off after the first couple of minutes (which is a common problem), consider reworking the video. Take a valuable takeaway from the video and put a small segment of it in the beginning, then reupload and watch your stats to see how it performs.

It’s your job to transform them. Not just inform them but transform them. You have much more of an opportunity to do that if they’re a part of your tribe.

Tools and Resources for YouTube

  • Tubebuddy – a tool to help analyze the performance of your videos and thumbnails
  • Canva – a tool to help you create interesting thumbnails
  • Studio 1 Design – Stephan’s go-to design team for his various websites

Other important YouTube tips

Optimize your YouTube page as well as the videos

There are plenty of missed opportunities on YouTube pages as well: the About tab, the Community tab, etc.

It’s about getting a conversion event out of somebody being on your channel. So, once they’re already there, what action are they going to take? 

Have the right mindset

YouTube is a great tool for any brand. Whether you’re running a podcast, a business, or anything in between, having a YouTube channel can help you build the momentum you need and can help you engage with your audience. Remember that it’s not always about money. Remember your mission and how you want to interact with your potential listeners, customers, and other people in your audience. 

Last week I had just broken through to a thousand subscribers and that means that I can turn on monetization on my channel. That means I get additional momentum and velocity of growth. Really exciting!

Directing people to your YouTube page

An easy way to direct people to your YouTube page is to send them to the short link with your name or brand. If you’re wanting to promote your page or make it easier for your audience to watch your videos, you need to make sure your videos are accessible. Stephan suggests a number of different ways to do this, including:

  • When linking your channel, link directly to a playlist of your videos which allows the viewer to binge watch a number of your videos.
  • Stop embedding videos onto your website. Instead, link to your YouTube video. Directing people to your page will make it so the YouTube algorithm will be more cooperative with your page.
  • Adding a special code to your “Play All” playlist to any YouTube video link (even videos that aren’t yours) will create a playlist of the target video and all of your videos as well.

Send your users a link with a question mark at the end with sub underscore confirmation equals one (?sub_confirmation=1). What happens then, if somebody clicks on that link, they get the popup on Youtube– So the channel loads, but a popup comes up and it says, “Confirm that you want to be a subscriber”.

Show up to an interview prepared

If you are interviewing a guest, keep in mind that this is a possible business relationship that you might be able to use in the future. Before you actually record, try to add some value to their experience. You might do this with a “shock and awe” box of gifts or you can do this by helping them using your specific niche or expertise.

Have a higher intention

Make sure you add value, not only to your guest but to your listeners, viewers, and your potential clients or customers. For Stephan, that means that he tries to bring a little light into the conversation, video, or podcast episode.

Do livestreams on platforms other than YouTube

YouTube knows that no one watches livestreams after the livestream is over, so they have a tendency of burying those videos. If you want to do a livestream, consider doing it on Facebook or Instagram instead. Then, save the video and edit it (take a punchy or value-heavy snippet to put in the front, edit the video to make it shorter, make it more visually appealing), and upload the edited video on YouTube.

Favorite Quote: Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

This interview is part of the How We Solve podcast. To hear more from industry experts who are solving everyday business problems, check us out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and on our website.

About the guest

stephan spencer

Stephan Spencer

Stephan is a 3-time author, international speaker, blogger, and consultant on all things SEO. In over 20+ years of his career, he founded his own SEO agency and a unique pay-for-performance SEO technology. He loves sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, and he usually does it on his podcasts - Marketing Speak and Get Yourself Optimized.

How people can people reach the guest:

Coaching and Training Website:

Podcast: Get Yourself Optimized

Podcast: Marketing Speak

Book: The Art of SEO

YouTube: Stephan Spencer

Website Optimization Website: Netconcepts

5-Day Challenge Page: 5-Day Challenge

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