30 YouTube Optimization Patterns

Random Observation/Comment #736: Are followers an appreciating asset? Is this the new way of the internet?

Why this List?

I watch more YouTube than TV nowadays, and I subscribe to a number of channels that are doing some fairly clever things to increase view count and cross between networks of viewers. I love noticing these patterns in case one day I start a YouTube/TikTok side hustle like every Gen-Z-er out there.

For this exercise, I’ll add my comments to how this would look with a YouTube channel that looks at Blockchain/Ethereum education and engagement.

  1. Know your audience – Your content is likely going to be enjoyed by a particular persona. If you do some persona mapping, you should be able to figure out why they like your content and why they want to come back to view other material.
    –> Crypto/Blockchain/Enterprise space is made up of business, devs, architects, investors, general technologists, futurists, and a younger crowd that might want to get into it as a career.
  2. Fit your style to your audience – Each audience has differing attention spans and may just want the core talking points. Others might want to see a better production value or event a highlight reel. For example, sports fans may want to see top goals by certain players.
    –> Content might focus on market insight and tutorials on live and upcoming products.
  3. Iterate your style and format – Depending on the type of IP you own and what you’re allowed to post, it’s important to think through what content is easy to stitch together.
  • “Best moments of” – I’ve seen this with seasons of shows that are just funny clips. I’d like to see this as a summary for all of those hackathon ideas.
  • “Top 5” – Useful for sports in specific types of points or for a particular top player
  • Recaps – For upcoming series new seasons that require a quick user-created recap of the previous seasons
  • Explainers – For those complicated movies, I’ve seen a lot of great explanations for Tenet when it first came out
  • Tutorials – Especially for coding or quick starts with making money on NFTs
  • Interviews – Recordings of podcasts with visual aid is also a great way to populate the YouTube channel with content. This is a popular format for blockchain material.
  • Latest news and Technical analysis – There’s a lot of channels that just talk about price pumps. It’s not a great look when every starting legal saying is “this is not financial advice”
  1. Collect data and Run campaigns – Take a strategic approach to marketing your content. Any of the ideas on this list could be considered a “campaign”. Be specific about the campaign you’re running and who you’re targeting to increase viewership and then review the data results. YouTube dashboards should be able to help you narrow down which topics, formats, or platforms are giving you the best results and references.
    –> We may find that shorter formats may get higher view counts and certain Q&A or webinar structures might be better off created with summaries.
  2. Consistent posting – The YouTube algorithm takes into account consistent and posts that haven’t been visited in a long time. A consistent channel will just be easier for people to expect some timely or earnest updates.
    –> Posting weekly for higher quality content is normal. We can also take chunks of quotes from our webinars.
  3. Optimize the length of your videos – Unless you’re Joe Rogan, you probably want to stay within a 10-15 minute commitment. I feel like the more focused the video for answering a particular question, then the easier people will commit a 3-5 minute opinionated response instead of a 10-15 minute rant on the topic.
    –> Finematics does a good job with short explainers on DeFi topics using easy-to-produce animated whiteboard drawings. I think this is more entertaining to follow than a slide deck. Deep tutorials and hands-on for these topics may be better than longer content.
  4. Ask people to subscribe and smash that like button for the YouTube algorithm – This is the most YouTuber thing to do and it’s so cringe-y to see. I think it’s true though. The more you establish your base users then the more other similar users will be recommended your content.
    –> This may only work if we have a “front-person” for the channel. Maybe it’s the narrator that doesn’t have a face, but this voice guides people
  5. Cross YouTuber collaborations – Guests can bring their viewership and also double the content created. The collaborations across these networks are very powerful for reaching extended audiences and merging interests. You may even look at competitors to be partners.
    –> If we have more followers or viewers, then we can provide incentives for lifting up other channels. These can be directly with interviews of hosts of other channels or just funding joint research/reports for the creation of material posted to their channel. In either case, the content can drive the conversation.
  6. Cross social network posting – Most YouTube video posts are also amplified by pushing them in other social media settings. You can use automated posting services to push a batch of posts to individual accounts and their smaller networks. Posting about a video from multiple accounts referencing the same video will also increase the likelihood of a recommendation.
    –> We do this well across our multiple branded social media accounts. Whatever is relevant for the brand can be amplified with comments and views from those accounts.
  7. Prize giveaways for activity and participation – You would be surprised how easy it is to get a few viewers to add a comment and engage with the content created. Comments really help surface the video, but also gives individuals a sense of a caring community. Always respond to them from the posting account or use another account to dig deeper / start a conversation.
    –> Giveaways don’t take a lot of budget and can be opportunities to provide free trials to some of our existing products. For example, we can giveaway a free ConsenSys Academy bootcamp spot or a few months access to Infura ITX or credits to developers for starting their Quorum Blockchain Service (QBS) account.
  8. Live streaming with recordings – Most live streaming management apps today will push directly to the YouTube channel and immediately process with recordings. Attending a live streaming event will also add recommendations to static videos from the channel.
    –> Consider live streaming our webinars to YouTube at the same time as Zoom. This may reduce our overall measurable gated content sign-up sheets, but could be an upside to growing a YouTube following.
  9. Multi platform live streaming – I believe crowdcast and other platforms can simultaneously stream to Zoom, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Live, etc. It’s probably overkill.
    –> I think a LinkedIn Live type of feed might be more interesting for the target of our audiences
  10. Shorts posting – Some users have created dedicated channels just for posting Shorts video clips of larger shows. This is just another way of viewing and filtering similar content. If you have a good editing team, then this could be a separate approach.
    –> Consider existing training videos and walkthrough of slides as a consistent posting of shorts videos
  11. Click-baity video names, but also just general title SEO and tagging – I actually rather have YouTube videos that are descriptive about the topic rather than click-bait. Initial users might be more drawn to explore your channel and get caught in within the first 2 minutes, but longer term subscribers may want to just filter through material by the main topic/purpose of the video.
    –> Consider an evolving strategy mapping out a narrative for early videos to more mature ones. Earlier videos may look at tutorials with the developer relation team specific to Enterprise Ethereum dev ops.
  12. Professional thumbnails with purpose – Add text that is easy to read in smaller format. Keep it simple. The thumbnail often becomes the drawing factor for clicking through to the video.
    –> Keep a consistent thumbnail with an easy way to create text about the video (this text could be different from the title). I would use some simple colors and easily distinguishable images.
  13. Embed your videos in other sites like traditional medium or blogposts – These could even just be transcriptions of the video or key points in summary for the video in blogpost form. Consider different existing networks of viewers and try to keep it consistent.
    –> Write a blogpost for every webinar and embed the YouTube video link into it
  14. Playlists – This might just be me, but I love watching full playlists. It’s like binging a series. Especially if the topics and formats are consistent, this is a really easy clickthrough and leave running while I fold some laundry.
    –> Create playlists by categories, formats, or topics. I think Product Launches, Demos/Tutorials, Fireside chats, and Market Intel could be interesting starting points
  15. Multi Playlist signaling – The more your published video is added to a playlist, the more the YouTube algorithm will also recommend it. You can use separate accounts or ask your speakers to cross post and cross add these newly launch videos into their own playlist/watch later.
    –> Work with teams to coordinate replays and cross posts of these videos (especially adding to their personal playlists)
  16. Content sections and links in description of videos – It’s best to look at examples from consistent posters. Their descriptions are often easy to read with links to other material for following/subscribing. This is a big part of optimization, but also just kind to split up the video between different topics or sections.
    –> Consider splitting up long webinars with sections so people will know what high level topics are being discussed at set times. This is especially important for long hackathons and sets of presentations.
  17. Reaction videos to popular viral content – This is so brilliant. Some people will just take popular content and have a split screen of them commenting on that video. It’s literally just you watching existing content and responding to certain areas.
    –> It’d be great to do some comments on popular Defiant videos
  18. Reacting to own videos – Especially for YouTubers with large followings, there’s often a call-back to a successful post in order to create more views piggy-backing on the same topic.
    –> People can be drawn to self criticism or additions to previous stories. I hear this on NPR podcasts revisiting classic topics all the time.
  19. YouTube drama – Starting “fights” with other YouTubers should be a genre by itself. It’s an interesting and engaging clash between two different fan bases. Even better when there’s a literal fight involved. I’ve seen apology and responses videos that draw fans to both channels.
    –> This might be too “day-time-TV” for a professional channel
  20. Partnerships with affiliates – Affiliate marketing is this dark force of the internet that takes advantage of market arbitrage and personal brand creation. It’s essentially marketing for the gig economy. Anyone can endorse or create a video about a product in order to sell more of that product through their recommendation links. If you create compelling videos of new gadgets through unboxing videos that gets millions of views then your affiliate paycheck will likely be higher than your YouTube one.
    –> There are two strategies we can consider. 1) Use our existing followers as a voice for growing partnerships across Ethereum training programs or other tools. 2) Incentivize affiliates with personalized links in order to give them a reseller buy-back for helping with advertising/sponsoring our products.
  21. Do a preview / trailer for your channel – Imagine this is the one video you want people to see after they visit your channel. This video gives them an idea of your key coverage topics.
    –> Might be a good idea to reflect on what type of content we want to show and focus on
  22. Create a quick catchy intro – A short and consistent 5 second intro always gets me excited about a good video. For example, I love following Wolf in VR because he has a simple way of starting the games and playing live with funny comments.
    –> We can consider something like we have for podcasts
  23. Multiple parts and sequels – Similar to the playlists, it always makes sense to break up longer videos into shorter segments and post logical split points for smaller chunks of data. Consider what a full narrative arc might contain and how it can flow so people tune in next week. Make sure to tease the next week’s video to get people subscribing and revisiting the channel when new videos come out.
    –> I can see arcs following classes or different use cases per industry. We can even create a narrative around multiple startups building on Ethereum that want to showcase their work separately. We can also just interview hackathon participants on their project and ideas for short videos.
  24. Copy competitors in their keywords and existing posts – On the optimization front, research which videos are surfaced frequently and how they use their keywords. These keywords and little settings really make a difference.
    –> Look at different Ethereum-based videos that might have high view counts and subscribers. Review their strategies on metadata and run a campaign.
  25. YouTube ads – Paying for viewership through ads is not a bad thing. Consider what people are looking for when they are searching for content. Are they typing in keywords or questions? Are they looking for a how-to or a particular event recap?
    –> Depending on the narrowed topics, we can consider ads for the most engaging topics and webinars.
  26. Status updates on upcoming events to get community engagement – YouTube dashboards of scrolling pages has different “posts” that just share a thumbnail with upcoming events. Most of mine are about Table Tennis players winning certain places in their tournaments.
    –> Highlight customers, hackathon winners, or Academy bootcamp presentations
  27. Get emotional responses – All good content is touching in some way. We like feelings. Whether you’re sharing good vibes or some suspense/excitement for upcoming releases, it’s good to tap into the emotional side.
    –> Craft stories that help with engagement

~See Lemons YouTube (It works as a verb, right?)