Are you interested in learning how to build a better user experience for your audience on YouTube? If so, you’re far from alone!
YouTube has exploded in popularity over the past decade. Currently, it’s the second most-visited website in the world, with well over 2.6 billion people using the social media platform. Even more shocking is that creators upload around 500 hours of content every minute.
Business owners and marketers across all industries have turned to YouTube when they want to enhance brand awareness, engage with their audience, and increase sales.
Surveys show that 88% of these marketers who create video content see a positive return on investment. In other words, building an active and relevant YouTube channel will likely help you boost traffic and engagement across many different marketing platforms.
Keeping user experience (UX) in mind when designing your channel and content is vital to your success. If visitors have a poor experience when they check out your videos, they may leave without subscribing or interacting with your content.
Today, I will show you several effective strategies you can use to build a better UX on YouTube.
Research Your Target Audience
The first thing you should do on your journey to improve UX is research your target audience. If your videos are irrelevant to the viewer, they are far less likely to interact with your content.
On the other hand, videos and written content that are laser-focused on your ideal subscribers’ goals, pain points, and interests will see much more engagement. This strategy is especially important if you plan to use YouTube as a lead generation funnel.
Conducting audience research will allow you to build rapport with existing viewers and position your channel to show up in suggested content for users who’ve never heard of your brand. For instance, understanding which tags and topics matter to viewers will result in videos popping up for people with similar interests.
Here are a few actionable tips for researching your audience:
- Read video comments - Look for patterns within the comments section to determine what users want or need from your channel.
- Review YouTube + on-site analytics - Your analytics on YouTube and your website can help you learn about your subscribers’ demographics, behavior, and needs.
- Ask for feedback - Use existing marketing channels to pose questions to your audience and send feedback forms. Gather their responses and look for patterns that you can take back to YouTube.
- Practice Social Listening - Use a social listening tool so you can see what kind of industry-centric discussions are happening on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Create a Channel Trailer
A channel trailer can dramatically improve UX for new visitors. Essentially, a channel trailer briefly introduces your brand and video content to viewers. This video will appear prominently at the top of the page when someone clicks on your channel name.
Capturing your brand identity and explaining your value proposition are both vital to creating a successful trailer. At the end of this short video, people should know who you are, what you do, and, most importantly, how they will benefit from watching your content.
It’s worth mentioning that your value proposition doesn’t need to be exaggerated. If an email marketing SaaS decides to make a channel trailer, its value offer could be something simple like sharing marketing tips. When you try to make your value proposition sound like a life-changing experience (when it’s not), people will take notice and may avoid your videos in the future.
Ideally, your trailer will set the stage and encourage users to continue exploring your channel. I recommend including a relevant call-to-action that directs viewers to some of the most popular content on your channel.
Use Playlists to Structure Your Videos
Playlists are an excellent way to create an engaging experience for viewers. A playlist is a group of related content designed to keep people on your channel. Once the first video on the list ends, the next one begins.
This strategy is important for several reasons. For one thing, every channel typically has several audience segments. Each segment is interested in one or two topics covered by the channel. Playlists help you keep videos organized, which usually leads to longer watch time and more subscribers.
For instance, an online pet supply store with a YouTube channel may have separate playlists for cats, dogs, and birds. If users want to see everything they’ve got on cats, they can sit down and watch the entire playlist from beginning to end without interruptions.
Playlists can also enhance discoverability. YouTube has a feature that allows creators to add tags to their playlists, which means there’s a better chance they will appear when a user types a relevant keyword or phrase into the search box.
I suggest breaking down your content into subtopics and creating a playlist for each group. This seemingly small change will result in a pleasant experience when viewers discover your channel for the first time.
Keep a Consistent Schedule
We are all creatures of habit. People have schedules they follow for everything, including watching YouTube videos. If you’re not keeping a consistent schedule, you’re missing a crucial opportunity to create a positive UX for subscribers.
Let’s say you discover a channel that reviews various software and tech. After watching a few of their videos, you think, “They post some really good stuff! I can’t wait for their next video.”
After a quick look at when they post videos, you notice it’s wildly inconsistent. They posted 3 videos one month, 10 videos the next month, and only 1 video the month after. You wouldn’t know when to look for their next video because there’s no structure.
Imagine you find the same kind of channel, but they post every Monday at 10 am. On their banner, they show their schedule so users know when to expect a new video. Odds are, you’d visit each week to see what they are covering.
Following this strategy requires dedication and communication. If you consistently miss your promised upload date, people will stop checking in.
Optimize Your Channel for Mobile
Believe it or not, 70% of YouTube views come from smartphones. This startling statistic highlights why optimizing your YouTube channel for mobile is important. Visitors are far less likely to watch your content if they cannot get a complete experience from their devices.
The good news is it’s fairly easy to optimize your channel for mobile devices.
I suggest starting by ensuring your thumbnails, profile picture, and banner are responsive. In other words, does your visual content look clean and clear regardless of screen size?
If you don’t know, test your channel on multiple devices. You’ll want to ensure images don’t become distorted or illegible on smaller screens.
It’s also important to keep your titles short and sweet. Video titles don’t show as much text as you’d see on a desktop. The character limit for titles on mobile is about 70 characters. Anything over this number will remain hidden until the viewer clicks on your video.
Another key mobile optimization strategy to remember is the importance of adding in-video cards. Cards allow you to direct viewers to other videos, which makes it easy to improve your watch time while streamlining the experience users have on your channel.
Interact with Your Audience
Finally, finding creative ways to interact with your audience is vital. People want to engage with channels that regularly respond to comments and host events (like contests) for subscribers.
A simple reply can go a long way toward engagement and building a strong UX. If someone compliments you on your content, say thank you! I know this can get increasingly difficult as your channel grows, but answering everyone who leaves a comment in your channel’s early days can help you grow rapidly.
You should also consider the benefits of live streaming. YouTube users like to listen to their favorite creators in real time. This strategy will allow subscribers to ask questions and learn about your brand. If you’re selling a product or service on your website, this is the perfect time to give a product demonstration.
These types of events can help improve on-site sales. Research shows that close to 60% of people turn to social sites like YouTube when thinking about buying a product. If you’re there showing off what your brand has to offer, there’s a good chance attendees will visit your website after the event and continue interacting with your channel.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build a better UX on YouTube. I highly recommend pursuing this strategy because video content is only getting more popular. We found that 86% of marketers say video helps generate leads, while 81% say this type of content has directly contributed to new sales.
I expect to see more businesses invest in YouTube in the coming years. There’s no better time to optimize your channel and create a top-notch user experience.