Episode 57 – Lesser known TubeBuddy hacks for getting your videos ranked on YouTube
Philip is the founder of Verhaal Brand Design, a brand strategy design and marketing agency based in New Jersey, USA. Philip helps entrepreneurs and small to medium sized businesses with their branding. He’s a thought leader, and he shares his expertise in marketing design and entrepreneurship on his amazing YouTube channel, which has hit 185,000 subscribers.
Philip’s One Hot Thing
- Grow your YouTube channel with TubeBuddy
How to connect with Philip
Why is TubeBuddy your preferred add-on?
As we were talking about before the show, I’ve had a YouTube channel for about three and a half years, and I’ve grown it from 100 friends and family subscribers to 185,000 subscribers. And I have to say that TubeBuddy has been instrumental in making it possible for me to keep my weekly content coming out. And most importantly to optimise the metadata and make the process of uploading it as smooth and simple as possible.
So, it’s something that I highly recommend, and I really wanted to share it with your listeners.
How does TubeBuddy work with YouTube?
For those people out there who haven’t had any experience whatsoever with TubeBuddy, it’s basically just an add-on. You don’t need to log into a separate piece of software. You can just add it onto their browser. You go onto the TubeBuddy site, you subscribe to it, and you pay a monthly subscription fee. There’s a couple of different levels. You then install it, and give it your YouTube channel information, and it connects with YouTube. So, when you go on your creator page on YouTube, TubeBuddy layers into the interface of the YouTube interface. So, you see all the windows, and selection boxes, etc. of TubeBuddy within the YouTube interface. It’s very seamless. I use Chrome. I’ve used it with Firefox, and also Safari, and I know it works with all of them.
What are the benefits of TubeBuddy?
When you’re uploading a video, you have to select a number of things. You have to create a thumbnail, and you can either do this via the YouTube interface or you can create your own and upload it.
Then there are also things called cards and end screens. Cards appear during the video, they pop up on screen that people can click, and they can take you to a website, or they can take you to a download, or something like that. End screens are what happen toward the end of the video, where it has suggested videos, or it has other links, or subscription links. You can design these, and layer them onto your video whenever you want.
In YouTube doing this each time you upload can be very time consuming. You have to do it every single time you upload a video. You have to do it again, and again, and again. One of the great things about TubeBuddy is that it has the ability to create templates. So, you can create three or four cards, or an end screen that contains three or four different elements, and save that as a template. And so, when you upload a video, you can select the end screen template you want, or you can select the cards template you want, and it will lay it right onto the video all at once. You don’t have to create the cards, you don’t have to create the end screens. You basically have to do it once, and then layer them on. If you don’t use the tool, you have to do them originally every time, and it’s going to add 20 minutes to half an hour to every upload that you do.
It was the thing that sold me on TubeBuddy. I don’t know that I would keep going with YouTube if I didn’t have TubeBuddy because it is so laborious to upload things and create all the metadata, and tags, and end screens, and all that sort of stuff, to optimize your video. Sure, you can upload videos, and just throw them up there and have a thumbnail, and not put end screens on them, or cards, or metadata, or tags, or any of those things. But the problem is is that your search, your organic search on YouTube, is going to suffer greatly.
If you’re going to put all the energy into doing a video and exposing your knowledge, and your life, and your face, and putting it up there, you want to have it be worth it.
Can you create more than one template on TubeBuddy?
You don’t want to have the same cards appearing, and same end screen on more than a few different videos and alternate them. You can create multiple different templates.
For instance, I do interview shows which are longer format. Generally, my videos are anywhere from six to ten minutes long, but then I also do interview shows that are 45 minutes long. So, I’ll have a template that’s set up for an interview video that has different cards, and a different end screen. And you can also place the cards at certain timestamp of your video. Your template will reflect that timestamp of where you want to insert them. So, when I have a 45-minute video, where I place those cards in the middle of the video are very different than it would be for a ten-minute video.
How to optimise YouTube videos using TubeBuddy
There are so many great features it’s hard to know where to start. But one of the key things to know about YouTube and how to optimize to get more views is descriptions and tags.
Your descriptions are the free text box that you have to enter information in. And one thing to know about descriptions is that the YouTube algorithm reads the first three sentences of your description, and it will make suggestions around keywords, or tags, around those three sentences, and around the title of your video. Descriptions are how YouTube categorizes your video to promote, or to serve up, to people in search. And TubeBuddy has some functionality around descriptions and tags that is super super helpful. Number one, it will read other videos that have similar titles and similar descriptions, and serve up possible keywords that it is suggesting that you use for your video that you never would’ve thought of.
Also, you can copy tags and descriptions from other videos. So, if you use the same tags all the time, you can copy tags from other videos of yours without having to re-select them all.
There’s a little feature on it with a button that says, “Explore.” And if you click the explore button, it will, again, read some of your description and the title of your video, and it will serve up a whole range of different possible keywords that you might want to consider, that you can then add in. And a lot of times, you’ll see words or phrases that you never would’ve thought of to add, or very popular keywords that you hadn’t thought of. It will also rank those keywords in terms of whether they are heavily used, and therefore harder to show up in search. Or when they’re under-utilized, and easier to show up in search.
There is also the option to bulk replace descriptions in TubeBuddy. For instance, on my descriptions, I have all of the tools that I use for producing my video. All my cameras, my tripod, my microphone, all that sort of stuff. All the equipment that I use. And I have Amazon affiliate links within my description. Using bulk replace I could select the text of my equipment and say, “Replace this text in every description, in every video I’ve ever posted, and replace it with this text,”. If I wanted to do that manually it would take me weeks.
How do TubeBuddy analytics work?
When you use TubeBuddy, it gives you a kind of an analytics screen. It will compare your video to other videos of its type in terms of how many views it gets, how many subscribers it gets. If you go on your channel page, it will also compare your channel to other people’s channels.
So, for example, say there’s somebody that you follow, a YouTuber that’s similar to you, they are in the same space, and you’re curious about their stats. Obviously you don’t have any kind of access to their analytics other than his subscriber count, right? But if you go on their channel page, it will compare all of your stats to all of his stats. Their subscribers, views, number of videos posted, average watch time, all of this stuff. So, you can see what other people are doing.
Another one is that you can see what keywords other Youtubers have used in their metadata. Which is completely invisible if you’re not using TubeBuddy. And so, it’s a way to have kind of a magnifying glass and see behind the curtain of your competition, and be able to leverage best practices for your own videos in a very kind of sneaky way. It’s true competitive research, essentially. And you’re leveraging best practices for your own videos.
Individually, these things are just saving you little bits of time, which cumulatively, save you a huge amount of time.
How did you grow your channel to 185,000 subscribers?
When I started YouTube, I said, “I’m going to make a commitment to do a video a week for six months.”. I treated it like a job. And I posted the same day of the week, same time every week, no fail.
And then after six months, I made a commitment to do it for another year. And so, consistency on YouTube is everything. The algorithm knows when you’re posting, and it knows if you skip a week. It knows if it skip a day. And so, posting consistently a specific time is really helpful.
Also posting around a particular topic within a range within that topic is also helpful. If you bounce all over the map, and do something on design, and then you do something on fashion, and then you do something on makeup, and then you do something on dogs, YouTube doesn’t know how to serve you up to people. So, a level of consistency around what your YouTube videos are about is also something that you should pay attention to. So, consistency, quality. Again, using tags that are around the same type of topic.
Another thing I do is I promote my videos across all my social platforms. So if I do a YouTube video, I will have it transcribed, and I will post it on LinkedIn with transcriptions, because when people are on LinkedIn and they’re going through their feed, they don’t turn the audio on. They read. So, they read the transcriptions. I’ll post them on Twitter, I’ll post them on my company Facebook page, I’ll post them on Instagram. So, cross-purposing and making sure you’re getting the reach that you want on your YouTube videos will drive in new viewers.
I also publish a newsletter every two weeks. If you’re interested in subscribing, you can go to philipvandusen.com/muse, M-U-S-E, and subscribe. Comes out every two weeks. I don’t spam in between. And it’s a branding and design and entrepreneurship newsletter. And I’ll promote my video of the week in that newsletter, as well.
So, getting your stuff out there outside of the YouTube platform is also a good practice. Consistency and promotion is key.
Why YouTube thumbnails are so important.
A lot of people don’t understand the importance of thumbnails and it’s just insane. In branding, everything comes down to three Rs. Being recognized, being remembered, and being revered. Being recognized is the first one, meaning every time that you show up in someone’s feed, you want them to very easily, quickly be able to recognize that it’s you. So, if they’ve watched one of your videos, and they liked it, next time one of your thumbnails show up, you want them to quickly know that this is from you.
How that happens is through color. Comes through layout consistency, comes through legibility, comes through font choices. So when you’re starting a YouTube channel and developing your thumbnails, you want to pretty much develop very consistent thumbnail design. Usage of color, usage of fonts, size of the photo. And make sure that it’s, number one, legible, because most of the time, over 50% of the time, people will be searching and seeing your thumbnail on a phone. So, your thumbnail’s going to be about 1/2 inch by 3/4 of an inch. It’s going to be tiny.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people use tiny point sizes of fonts on YouTube videos, and expect people to be able to read them. Because they won’t. And so, you got to use big, bold fonts on your thumbnails. And have a consistent point of view color-wise, layout-wise. The more consistency that you can establish within your thumbnails, the easier it is for people to be able to recognize you. And then that’s the next step in getting repeat viewership.
You have real estate on your thumbnail, which you can use a very punchy, eye-catching, click-baity type of title. But then your text title that you actually add can be very different. Your video title can be long. And in it you can think about how YouTube is algorithmically reading your metadata and classifying your videos, and take every advantage that you can to show up in search somehow. But that whole title is not going to show up on a phone. So you can use something different on your thumbnail to attract attention.