When people do mention video marketing, which video platform immediately comes to mind? I’d bet my million dollars — if I had it — that your first thought flitted to YouTube. Yes, the second largest search engine in the world. And if you plan to market on YouTube, a large part of the success lies in creating a catchy YouTube headline.
I won’t delve into the basics and the importance of doing video marketing for your small or corporate business. The prominence of video marketing is very much apparent. Seriously, almost every digital marketing guide to 2019 features a segment emphasizing the importance and the advantage of utilizing video marketing.
There is one big takeaway to all of those guides however. And the major point is that you need video marketing to generate revenue and continuously boost sales.
And as I’ve established earlier on, a large portion of your video marketing success depends on you creating a catchy YouTube headline that gets you all the views.
What’s in a video headline?
Take a minute to deviate away from this page and check out some of the biggest names on YouTube, and look at the way they create their titles. And while you’re at it, check out the amount of views on each video.
So, what’s in a right YouTube headline, you ask?
There are the clicks, the attention, the engagement, the views, and the big dollar signs.
So, it’s not far-fetched to say that creating a catchy YouTube headline is perhaps one of the most essential elements of video production that you need to carefully consider. Certified studies published across the web have estimated that 5x the amount of people that watch your content would read your headlines.
People’s attention spans nowadays are notoriously short. Where before, you would have caught someone’s attention with a lengthy headline that’s — basically — unassuming, you’d have to go to great lengths to catch your audience’s wandering eyes nowadays.
Marketers are facing the fact that people skim through content on social media. It’s no different on YouTube…
Give them a generic and boring title, and you’ll end up going unnoticed (unless of course you’re a big YouTuber like Jeffree Star or Shane Dawson and you can get away with it, but even then, these people go to great lengths in creating a catchy YouTube headline).
Your target audience browses through your content and make snap decisions on whether or not they’ll check it out.
5 Tips for Creating a Catchy YouTube Headline
According to expert marketers, writing the perfect YouTube headline requires some consideration. You need to:
- Create a unique headline: This is so there is no misunderstanding between you and your target audience.
- Evoke urgency with your title: Give your audiences a reason to click. Convince them to watch your video now, rather than later.
- Communicate the video’s value: Make it clear from the headline. Tell your audience what they get when they click on your video.
- Nail your audience’s interest: Pay attention to what kind of content your viewers want.
Meeting all of the above is close to impossible unless you’re operating in a very specific niche. But try to aim for at least two to get the job done.
#1 Understand how YouTube ranks your videos
Yes, digital marketers create content for humans and not search engines, but let’s not rule the latter out so quickly. Because if you want your video to rank, and if you want to pull in the big bucks, you need to understand how YouTube ranks your published videos.
Remember that video views, though they are attractive, isn’t your measure of overall success. You can truly define your video marketing success when you see desired outcomes. You can see it when people are opening up discussions in the comments section, watching your videos from beginning to the end, and YouTube recommending your videos to other users.
If you’re new to the YouTube video marketing landscape, you should work on improving your average view duration and your click-through rate. Observe the upside-down pyramid just below this paragraph.
You see, YouTube suggests your video to people via the home screen and the suggested tab. And after someone clicks on your video, YouTube proceeds to measure the amount of time your audience spends watching the videos.
This is the reason why YouTubers utilize clickbait thumbnails and titles, and long-form videos. It’s all about acquiring all the CTR, and drawing out videos for the sake of retention time. You can blame the algorithm for that.
But as it is, you have no choice. You need to find a way to get your impressions, CTR, and retention time up while maintaining a good image in front of your target audience.
It’s actually a good topic for discussion, but at the moment, it’s not the main focus of this article, so we need to move on.
#2 Make use of keywords and keyphrases for video SEO
Let’s get one thing straight: keyword research will never be out of the loop.
Aside from making use of SEO tools to find the right keywords that people are searching for, you can also make use of YouTube’s and Google’s autocomplete functions.
Keep in mind, however, that not every Google or YouTube suggestion is title-worthy. Simply take note of your options and use them later to create the best headlines you can come up with.
Another surefire way of being discovered on both Google and YouTube is to use the word ‘video’ in creating a catchy YouTube headline. It would make sense, right? People who look for videos on Google usually type the word ‘video,’ duh.
Also, you should consider tried-and-tested keywords. I don’t mean keywords that will instantly grant you a ranking. I’m referring to the list of words that have been tested and proven to be a steady source of CTR on videos, no matter the industry or the niche.
For this reason, the following words are very popularly used for a lot of YouTube creators. They explain the purpose of the video, and attract users to click.
- What is–
Again, it’s not a good idea to rely solely on these suggestions, because businesses differ. What you need to do after gathering ideas from this is to also do a bit of competitor research.
Look at what your competition is putting on their headlines, and if you feel like they could work, extract those keywords and see if they’ll work for you.
The purpose of your ideally thorough keyword research is to think about how people are going to be searching for your videos and the ones that are similar to yours. You want your YouTube videos to rank on SERPs, right? Then, for sure, you can’t shrug off the significance of keywords and keyphrases in creating a catchy YouTube headline.
#3 Provide benefits and value
Innate human nature has led us countless times to mostly partake in deals that we can benefit from. It’s no different when people choose to watch your videos.
Your viewers won’t click on your video when they know there’s nothing in it for them. Or in other words, if it doesn’t appeal to their interests, it’s not a video worth watching. People’s intent for needing things on the internet are different; whether that’s information, entertainment, transactional, etc.
So, in creating a catchy YouTube headline, you need to ensure that you include a benefit somewhere in the title for your would-be viewers. This is especially apparent when you’re producing a video for educational, inspirational, or informational reasons.
#4 Keep it short yet descriptive
Imagine reading a YouTube title that looks like this:
“Top 10 Brands Who Nailed and Have Come Up with Awesome Social Media Marketing Strategies.”
I’m a bookworm, and I have a hard-on for long-form textual and valuable content, but even that potential YouTube title is eye-glazing enough to give me a headache.
But aside from giving your potential viewers a headache and a reason to stop reading your title even when they aren’t halfway through it, you’re also hurting your chances of ranking high on Google’s search results.
The giant search engine gives you around 66 characters to display an uncut headline in their search results. Knowing this, it’s also worth noting that all videos on search results have the word “YouTube” tacked to the end. So that limits you to around 56 characters.
You have to ensure that every word of that YouTube headline is available for reading to your viewers.
#5 A/B Test Your YouTube Headlines
A marketer looking to bring in the big revenue knows that data and constant testing is everything.
Because if testing headlines are very applicable for textual content, then shouldn’t it even be more so when it comes to creating a catchy YouTube headline? In fact, statistics reveal that 80% of people never make it past the headline.
This consists of formulating several title variations for the same YouTube title, and finding out which one performs the best.
In the case of videos however, you can try creating two pieces of video content with different titles to see which one performs better.
But if you think that might lead to too much confusion, you can upload a YouTube video with one variation of a headline, and keep that around for perhaps a week (or a month, if you want). In the next week, change the YouTube title and see how much engagement that generates. Will it bring more or less?
And as you conduct your A/B testing on YouTube headlines, monitor your video analytics data too. This is so you know what to adjust and what to correct in the future.
The process (yes, it’s a process) of creating a catchy YouTube headline isn’t as simple as chucking a few good words around. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of tactic either. It takes planning, careful strategizing, and meticulous monitoring even after it’s been published into the world wide web.
So don’t rush into it… Remember to:
- Understand how the YouTube algorithm works
- Use of keywords and keyphrases for SEO purposes
- Make value and benefits very clear
- Keep it short and descriptive
- A/B test your YouTube headlines
Plan your titles out, get creative, and see just what kind of clever headlines you can come up with. Hold a captivated audience, and get the bucks, I say.