Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and the largest video site by a country mile. That means there is plenty of competition in every vertical, and endless ways that your video can fall through the gaps when it comes to views and engagement. However, you may be looking for extra ways for your video marketing campaigns to fail even further? Perhaps you'd welcome even less views, comments, likes, and attention? We've put together a 13-point handy checklist for you to follow to ensure that your promotional efforts result in perpetual disappointment. How many of them can you tick off right now?

Your Handy YouTube Checklist to Ensure Failure

The following isn't a comprehensive guide (after all, we'd much, much rather you succeeded than failed) but there are some important steps that you need to ignore or dismiss if you really want a video marketing disaster on your hands. I hope you are taking notes.

Completely Fail to Optimize Your YouTube Title

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?The title tag of a YouTube video is one of the main ranking factors on the site. But hey, you are Brand X, so people will flock to your channel just because you are you, right? No need to optimize for the keywords that users may actually be searching for. We suggest absolutely no keyword research at all in fact, particularly if you don't want your video to appear high in the search rankings. Furthermore, why not go out of way to make the title tag as unexciting as possible, so even when your video does get returned for a user query, it sounds so boring that they won't even bother clicking play.

Don't Bother Completing the Description Field

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?YouTube provides a Description field so that you can give your potential viewers an idea of what they are about to watch, and provide further information if needed. You are allowed up to 5,000 characters but really, why go to the effort of writing anything here at all. People want to watch a video, not read a bunch of text, so just leave this field completely blank.

Fail to Provide a Link to Your Site/Landing Page

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?If you've gone to the effort of producing a video that promotes your product or service, then why on earth would you provide a link back to your website, or – heaven forbid – a relevant landing page, so that you guide the viewer to the next stage of the sales cycle. That's just crazy talk, right? The viewer has access to the internet so let them look for your details on Google!

Use YouTube as a Dropbox Service

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?YouTube is in no way a social community where the best videos stand out because the creator or brand has listened to their audience and provided content that entertains, or addresses their needs. But that takes a lot of effort over time, so just upload any old footage that you have – TV commercials, in-house training videos, boring Hangouts-on-Air recordings. Whatever, it's not like you want views or credibility anyway.

Don't Select Any Tags & Pick the Wrong Category

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?If you're not going to bother with the hassle of optimizing your title tag or description, then you may as well go the whole hog and fail to pick the right meta tags or the right category. Have an informational video you'd rather people couldn't find? Why not just pop that in the 'Gaming' category – because it doesn't matter, right? And those tags that YouTube crawls to find out any information they can about your video? Just don't bother even optimizing those.

Pick the Very Worst Thumbnail You Can

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?An enticing, colorful, relevant thumbnail acts as an advertisement for your video, so make sure you pick the one that least reflects the content. For good measure, even though you probably have access to the custom thumbnail feature, just let YouTube pick the thumbnail for you. After all, it's a snapshot from the video itself so the site is bound to select the very best one for you.

Forget About Annotations

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?YouTube wants creators and brands to succeed with their video marketing and promotion, and over the years they have enabled certain features that give you the ability to provide strong call-to-actions within your content. But, these take time to set up and blah, blah, blah…..Again, let the viewer make their own choices when it comes to viewing your other videos, and let them guess when it comes to context or further information.

Ignore Closed Captions

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?You know that YouTube (and in fact, any other video site) gets the information it needs to index and return your video in the search results from the data surrounding the video, don't you? As sophisticated as sites like YouTube are, their spiders still can't actually watch footage and make an informed decision on that basis. So, just with other types of meta data (titles, tags etc), closed captions are another great way of giving YouTube the information it needs.

Also, they are insanely useful for international video marketing, and of course, they provide a valuable service to those with hearing difficulties. But, ignore all of those points and don't go to the extra effort of uploading the correct caption file. Even better turn on the automated YouTube captions, and then sit back and laugh.

Turn Off Comments & Refuse to Engage With Anyone Ever

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?Viewers can be so demanding, can't they? Especially if you are a brand in an industry that can attract criticism and accountability, like PayDay loans or other financial services.  And that 17-year-old, fresh out of school intern that you have handed over all responsibility for social media to, well they just continually fail to address the sh*tstorm of comments that your previous videos have attracted. So, why not just turn those comments off so you don't have to bother with answering any concerns. After all. it's not like YouTube can be a powerful asset for reputation management if you handle it professionally enough.

Also, go out of your way to ignore any potential collaborations, and certainly don't reach out to other brands or creators for cross-promotional opportunities.

Fail to Add it to a Playlist

Are You Guilty of Making These 13 YouTube Mistakes?Don't add your latest video to a playlist – that's just going to help YouTube determine its relevancy, and provide a guide for your audience. You haven't got a long-term video marketing strategy in place anyway, so its not like you have to plan ahead for these things.

Don't Worry About Social Media in Any Way

wrongA new video upload makes perfect fodder for your social media campaigns. It's also the perfect opportunity to get your message out there. Just this week, it was confirmed that 42% of social shares for video content occurs within the first 72 hours, but that extra 20 minutes needed to get your video out there seems like such a waste of your time so better to let that slide. Oh, and also remember not to provide any social networking information about you or your brand on your YouTube channel, just to be on the safe side.

Do NOT Set Up a Unique Landing Page/Post on Your Website

wrongWe can't think of any good reason why you wouldn't upload your branded video to YouTube (this list aside) but there is also every reason to place that video on your own website, if you think it will be of benefit to your readers and customers. However, that does mean setting up a unique landing page or blog post, and providing your users with some extra information. Perhaps next time.

Upload Consistently Crappy Content

wrongAll the optimization, and social media pushing in the world won't help you if you consistently upload poorly executed, unenthusiastic, boring video content. That gets tiring very quickly, and viewers WILL vote with their eyes and go elsewhere.

Hopefully we've given you some valuable pointers on the road to video marketing failure. If you consistently follow the above, you are sure to fall well below the potential views, and engagement you could have received.

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Posted in Youtube Marketing
About the Author -
Carla Marshall is the Managing Editor of ReelSEO. She joined the site in 2012 as staff writer and Director of SEO and specialises in video optimisation and organic marketing. She has a background in search and social media. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Danielle Turner

    It's my pet peeve. I can't keep quiet about this anymore. It drives me batty when people call YouTube the second largest search engine in the world. First, YouTube isn't a search engine (implying that it searches the web). Second, you cannot make a search engine large or small simply by using it. What people mean to say is that "YouTube's internal private search is the second most used search engine in all the world." Which, I admit, is quite a feat when you consider that YouTube isn't a search engine at all; not like Yahoo or Bing, etc. I'm done my rant now. Great article, by the way.

    • http://www.JoshRimer.com/ Josh Rimer

      Hey Danielle! Fancy meeting you here. ;-) You know, a search engine doesn't have to be across the entire internet. The definition of one is that it's a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user. Yes, that database is *usually* the World Wide Web, but it doesn't have to be in order for something to qualify under the term of a search engine. I will agree with you though that this is a great article! :-)

      • Danielle Turner

        Hey, Josh! You Rock, my friend. I love that we've tapped shoulders on ReelSEO, one of my favourite sites. I totally hear what you are saying and, in fact, I get your point. I still stand by my words though. YouTube is NOT a search engine. It happens to have a search engine within it. :)

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