How to get more YouTube channel views

On January 29, 2008, we launched SESConferenceExpo’s Channel on YouTube just before Search Engine Strategies London 2008. So, we’re approaching its second anniversary just before SES London 2010.

Over the holidays, I spent some time reviewing what we’ve learned optimizing and promoting 403 videos that have 166,198 received views over the past two years and thinking about how to get more YouTube channel views in the year ahead.
Yes, yes, I know 166,198 views is no where near the 146,417,150 views that “Charlie bit my finger – again!” has received. But there are other marketing objectives beyond creating “viral videos.”

The primary marketing objective of SESConferenceExpo’s Channel was to “putt butts in seats” as they say in the American entertainment business or to “put bums in seats” as they say in the British theatre.

Butts in seats at SES London 2009.jpg So, we focused as much attention on promoting videos of speakers before the events as we did on shooting more videos at the events.

And considering that the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo series remained must-attend events on both sides of the pond during the worst recession since the Great Depression, I think it’s fair to say that SESConferenceExpo’s Channel helped.

So, what have we learned? And more importantly, how will this help you get more YouTube channel views?

One of the first lessons that we learned was the best way to build views and subscribers is uploading frequently. It’s better to upload one video per day than seven videos every Monday.

So, instead of uploading a big batch of videos during an event, we uploaded an average of four a week. This helped us get twice as many views in 2009 as we got in 2008.

We also learned that video optimization is important, but blogger outreach was equally important.

For example, 30 percent of our total views in December 2009 came from the “embeddable player,” which enables YouTube videos to appear inside other webpages and blogs. By comparison, 16 percent of our total views that month came from YouTube search and 15 percent came from Google search.

So, engaging what Google calls “the buzzing blogger community” is just as important as optimizing your video watch pages.

And we haven’t hesitated to share what we’ve learned with others. We aren’t trying to create tricks to improve search engine rankings. We’re trying to share industry best practices.

How can you tell the difference? As Google says, “A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you.”

For example, Li Evans interviewed me at SES San Jose 2008. Evans was at KeyRelevance back then, although she’s at Seregenti Communications now.

VSEO – Video Search Engine Optimization – with Greg Jarboe at SES San Jose 2008

And Byron Gordon of SEO-PR interviewed Greg Markel of Infuse Creative at SES San Jose 2008.

Video Search Engine Optimization Panel Recap, Greg Markel

Evans interviewed me again at SES London 2009.

Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR discusses YouTube and Video Marketing at SES London 2009

At SES New York 2009, I interviewed Matthew Liu, YouTube Product Manager, about YouTube Insight and Promoted Videos, which were then called Sponsored Videos.

YouTube Product Manager, Matthew Liu on YouTube’s Insight and Sponsored videos at SES NY 2009

At SES San Jose 2009, I interviewed Michael Fisher, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Coldwell Banker.

Michael Fisher of Coldwell Banker discusses Coldwell Banker’s successful viral marketing campaigns

I’ll be teaching the YouTube and Video Marketing Workshop on the Friday after the SES London 2010 conference.

YouTube is popular with British users, with over 18.5 million Brits watching 2.4 billion YouTube videos a month. More Brits visit YouTube than visit the BBC Homepage, according to Hitwise. And more Brits will visit YouTube this year than will watch the World Cup.

What began as a small video sharing site has evolved into a platform fit for the Queen of England. Check out The Royal Channel, the official channel of the British Monarchy.

I want to personally invite you to attend the training workshop. I promise that you will learn how to get more YouTube channel views. Okay, maybe not as many as BritainsSoTalented’s Channel, which has 271,919,247 views.

But there are other marketing objectives beyond discovering the next Susan Boyle.

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