Haulix Advice: 3 Tips For Maximizing Your Exposure On YouTube

Hello, everyone. Another afternoon has arrived and we’re prepared to inform/distract with an all-new Advice column that aims to help give you the leg up when it comes to promoting your videos online. If you have an idea for a future installment of this column, or if you have a question you’d like us to tackle, please do not hesitate to email james@haulix.com and share your thoughts.

There are endless possibilities as far as creative ways to promote new video content is concerned, but none of that matters in the slightest if you do not understand the basic ins and outs of YouTube. Yes, we’re all aware sites like Vimeo and DailyMotion are on the rise, but for the sake of today’s column we’re going to address those posting content to the crown jewel of Google’s user-generated media empire. Thousands of hours of content are uploaded daily, and in this article we’re going to provide some basic tips for maximizing your exposure.

My career in music largely involves writing and artist/event promotion, so when people began asking about help with video content I knew it would be wise to consult with someone far more active in that area of the business. I reached out to recently featured blogger Joshua Weilding, founder of Digital Tour Bus, and he was kind enough to assist me in putting together today’s list. If you have any questions, please comment at the end of this post.

Before we begin: If you have been skipping YouTube in your promotional efforts for any reason up to this point, stop reading immediately and create an account. YouTube is the most popular site for video online by a wide margin, and while that means fiercer competition it also means it has the biggest pool of potential new fans. Now, onto the list…

1. Use relevant tags (aka ‘you’re not a cute kitten – get over it’)

After you upload a new video, YouTube allows you to add as many tags as you would like. The goal of this tool is to help the site better service your video to people searching related criteria on their site, but all too often young artists use this section of the site to attempt at cashing in on popular tags (kitten, sex, Drake, etc.) in hopes of grabbing a few extra views. This promotional method rarely, if ever works, and for as long as you leave these irrelevant tags attached to your video they will be visible to those checking out your page. Do you want tricked clicks, or do you want the attention of people searching for new music? Choose wisely.

2. Reply to people who comment on your video

In an age where bands have fans contacting them from at least 3 social networking sites (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook) at all hours of the day it can be hard to wrap your head around the notion of adding a fourth to the list, but YouTube comments should be a priority for every member of your group. Especially if you’re just starting out, damning or negative comments can have a severe impact on the way people engage with your content. By talking with people, both the supporters and haters, you begin to forge bonds with listeners that can have unknown returns in the days, weeks, and months that follows.

If none of the above appeals to you as a solid reason to engage this audience, consider the fact YouTube’s algorithm for ranking on search pages takes the interaction rates of videos into consideration. The more you communicate, the higher you rank. There are not many places in the social networking landscape where that is the case, so use YouTube as a way to gain a foothold with new listeners and over time it will extend to other areas of your online presence.

3. Sharing is caring, and that goes for press coverage as well.

No one was ever discovered without doing something to promote themselves first. If you want your video to succeed you’re going to have to promote it, and that includes doing whatever you can to gain the attention of blogs/journalists. The more backlinks a video has, the better it will rank.

Tumblr is especially useful as far as social sharing is concerned. Whenever a video is reblogged it counts as a separate backlink, and that number can grow significantly in a small amount of time of posted to the right account.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.