How to Leverage YouTube to Maximize User Engagement

Image courtesy of

YouTube is addictive and time consuming. We can view anything from dancing cats to “How to” videos with a few clicks of the mouse. There is no wonder why YouTube has achieved success. The popular website and application has over 1 billion users worldwide. With the increased popularity of YouTube, and with increased traffic, how can brands increase viewership?

Pay attention to detail
YouTube is the world’s largest video Social Media platform and the second largest search engine. Over 100 hours of footage is uploaded every hour. Every day, there are over 4 billion video views. With this many videos being posted and watched, marketers need to find ways to make their videos more accessible.

One way to increase the viewer success rate of a video is to choose an appropriate thumbnail for the video. When browsing YouTube, look at some of the recent videos posted and see if you can figure out what they are about by looking at the thumbnail. Is it just a random frame? Or is it appropriate? YouTube will automatically choose a random frame from the video to post as a thumbnail, however that can be changed manually. The image should be relevant and interesting to the story, so that viewers will want to watch the video.

Image courtesy of

Another detail that is commonly overlooked is the video description. The video description is short, but helps viewers know what they are going to be watching. Many posters leave the video description empty, which causes more users to leave the page before viewing the video. Imagine browsing YouTube from a potential audience member’s perspective. They do not want to sit through multiple minutes of video to figure out what the video is about.

The title of the video is also important. Successful titles usually spark curiosity. If you can create a sense of curiosity, browsers are more likely to click on the video. For example, Target’s video titled “It comes from the heart” sparks interest without revealing too much information. The only way to satisfy the curiosity is to click on the link.

Make high quality videos
Nothing will make you cringe more on YouTube than a brand posting low quality videos. Lower quality videos are constantly being posted onto YouTube by everyday, average users. Because the number of videos available is very high, brands interested in marketing on YouTube need to separate their videos from clutter. One way to do this is to create high quality videos. Most users do not have the time, skill, or resources to create a high quality video. Common attributes that cause the quality to drop are lighting, resolution, audio, transitions, special effects (if applicable), and editing. When looking into posting on YouTube, visit the pages of successful brands. Compare their videos to less successful videos on YouTube. Note those differences in video, editing, and audio quality. The last thing that a marketer wants to do is post something that makes the brand look cheap.

If you plan to create a video on your own, there are many video tutorials on how to make a professional video on YouTube. However, if you have the money, hiring a professional may prove to be worth the investment.

Don’t focus on making a viral video
No one will complain when their video goes viral. Why would they? Viral videos transfer from user to user for free, which can give a brand or company increased exposure. Although increased exposure may help, it doesn’t necessarily help with sales of products or services. In fact, less than 1% of all YouTube videos achieve viral success. Why hinder your message because of a very low chance to achieve viral success. Focus on the quality, story, and message of the video.

Find ways to boost views and subscriptions
One possible way to increase views on a video is to pay for advertising on YouTube. The YouTube advertisements allow for the poster to distribute the video based on demographics like age and gender. These can help assure that videos are reaching the right demographics.

Many big brands like to create content that can will be broadcasted on television. The problem with posting commercials on YouTube is that they are not unique to the platform. Companies that find clever and unique ways to advertise on YouTube will see more user involvement.

YouTube offers brands a unique opportunity. That is, the opportunity to receive channel, brand, and product endorsements from popular YouTube celebrities. Although endorsements are not a new idea, or unique to YouTube, the way users listen to popular YouTube figures is unique. Many popular channels are run by regular people, not celebrities charging millions of dollars to endorse. They are influential because of the media that they post to their channels. Subscribers of these pages are interested in the information being posted and will be more likely to accept a marketing attempt by someone they regularly watch.

The takeaway
YouTube receives over 4 billion views every day. Of those views, 1.6 billion are generated on mobile devices. Audiences are constantly on the move. Often times they are viewing a video while waiting in line or while taking a small break from their daily activities. They will only search for a video for a few seconds before they select a choice. Presenting viewers with the right information upfront will increase the success of videos and the channel.  Keep in mind, audiences want to be entertained, so give them a video that is unique, creative, and of high production quality.

Latest Blog Post


More Blog Posts (FPO)

Incitrio provides stronger
Brand Intelligence for B2B

Free Strategy Consultation.
Meet with a specialist to talk through your specific challenges and discover if Incitrio is right for you.