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Why You Should Be Publishing Your Videos to YouTube — & How To Optimize Them With ChatGPT's Help

After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Because of the opportunity for discovery, most people and organizations that are producing videos and podcasts should be publishing to the platform to extend their influence and sales. In this post, I'll dive into the benefits and provide some direction on how to optimize YouTube videos for maximum exposure.

If you only have a few videos and don't plan to create more, I would recommend not creating a YouTube channel. But, if you have a library of content, work on getting it all published on YouTube. If your video library content is years old but still relevant, either add it or create a new version and publish the new one instead.

Why Should You (or Your Organization) Publish On YouTube?

There are multiple benefits to publishing on YouTube. If you want to make your video content freely available, here are the top three reasons to publish on YouTube.

  • Expand Discoverability: Video views require that you have an audience to drive viewership. By publishing on YouTube, you lessen the burden and expand the potential viewers who can discover the video by people searching for the relevant phrases. Share the burden of sharing the video.
  • Free Video Hosting: Videos are large and require a lot of space, especially if you create a lot of them. This video hosting often requires a paid service to host those files. YouTube is one of the few places you can host your videos for free, get the benefit of their reach, and also embed the videos on your website.
  • Direct Viewing on Some Platforms: For some social media and communication platforms, like Discord and Slack, YouTube videos can play right inside of their platform without the user having to leave. This increases the likelihood of getting people to watch your video content in those places.

There are downsides to utilizing YouTube, such as people leaving your site for YouTube if they click away. YouTube will also try and get them to watch other videos that are not yours after it is done playing. And, the YouTube video is not always brand-consistent with the experience and look. In the cases where this control matters, it'll be ideal to publish to YouTube but embed the video locally for sharing on your website.

Additional Distribution Channels

To diversify the risk that comes with being overly dependent on a single channel, I recommend publishing video content across channels. While other channels have significantly less viewership, you do have less competition and opportunity to reach different types of audiences. And, if you're producing content on controversial topics, you'll have more options should certain content or your channel, in its entirety, become censored.

Ideally, we want to set up a video distribution process to publish your video across video channels.  Outside of Youtube, here are several channels to consider.

  • Vimeo - Vimeo is a high-quality version of YouTube. You can expect a higher level of content on this platform and tends to be used more often by companies and organizations. It's also a favorite of video professionals. The free layer is limited, so expect to pay to fully utilize the platform. I've got some videos associated with Path of the Freelancer hosted on my Vimeo account here.
  • Social Media (X, Facebook, Threads, & LinkedIn) - Most social media and communication platforms allow for the uploading and sharing of video content. In many cases, it's often better for reach and viewership to publish your video on the platform than it is to post a YouTube link because social media platforms are not inclined to help people leave the platform they are currently using to consume content.
  • Odysee - This app is built on the LBRY blockchain file-sharing system, an open-source platform, that Odysee is set on top of. I've not yet published any videos, but the framework on which the platform is built is intriguing.
  • Rumble - This is an alternative video distribution platform. On my channel here, Rumble automatically grabs videos when I publish them to YouTube and adds them to Rumble. Because I didn't have to do anything, and the distribution was automatic, I started using it a few years ago to distribute the Share Life podcast. It's recently received additional reach with the online streaming of the Republican presidential debates. It's more of the Wild West with the content and viewers so look into the platform's history as you consider it.
  • DailyMotion - It's been forever since I've used DailyMotion, but it's still active and a place to publish. I've got a show called Pasta Salad from 2008 that you can see on my old channel here.

If you have a podcast, there are also additional channels to push your episodes and extend your reach and viewership. You can explore those on my podcasting guide here.

Archived Content For Speakers and Podcast Guests

When you do guest appearances as a speaker or podcast guest, I'd recommend requesting access to the video content. In many cases, they will publish and share it freely, but sometimes they won't. In other cases, they may lock the content behind a  paywall or they may disappear and the content goes unpublished.

Ideally, you want to piggyback on their publishing and promotion versus running with it on your own, but its at least good to have a backup copy so should you need or want to use it later, you're not limited by a lack of access.

YouTube Optimization

Once you've got the video, here is how you can optimize your YouTube videos for optimal search visibility. You can do this manually, but I highly recommend leveraging AI to do the heavy lifting and simply optimize what it gives you.

Optimization Checklist

First, get your videos transcribed.

  • A great paid service > Temi
  • A wonderful free option > Riverside

With the help of Chat GPT, about the transcription, you'll want to generate the following elements.

  • Video Title
  • Description
  • Tags
  • Hashtags
  • Video File Name

These are all the content elements that can improve your video visibility and search reach. I also recommend including a link in the description of your video back to your website where you have the video embedded.

In the case of my podcast, I create a page for every episode and embed the video into it. I then link to that page in the Youtube video description. This makes it easy for people to visit my website. 

Chat GPT Prompt For Optimizing 

Bookmark this page so you can easily copy and paste the following prompt (for ChatGPT or Google Bard) for when you need to optimize your videos.

Based on the following transcription, create the following elements.

A compelling video title.

A concise and compelling video description.

A list of 7 tags that are commonly used phrases, separated by commas.

A list of 3 hashtags based on phrasing found in popular topics separated by spaces.

A file name for the video, as a variation of the video title.

[Insert transcription]

If you're unsatisfied with anything, either ask it to change that part or manually rectify it. 

If you have access to an SEO keyword research tool like SEMRUSH or AHREF, research additional keywords to use for tags and hashtags. include them with the transcription when you send the prompt or manually add them after you get your content.

Now, go to publish your video on YouTube and add all your elements. Hashtags can go anywhere in the description. I usually add them at the end.

YouTube Video Promotion

Once the video is published, you'll want to promote it. While I've not personally tested this idea, I have heard from multiple people that the number of views you get on the YouTube video within the first few days determines the reach of the video beyond publishing. So, if you've got a substantial platform (email, RSS, and social media) to promote the video, coordinate a promotional campaign during the first 24 hours of publishing. Leverage all your channels at once to get the most views as quickly as possible.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I create a home base page for every one of my podcast episodes (which is audio and video) on my website. You can see examples here. A major reason I do this is to optimize the content for the search engines. As I do with my clients, I also optimize my page URLs, title tags, headlines, and other factors to ensure these pages will show up on Google for different search phrases. I get a good number of evergreen traffic from people finding my content via Google weeks, months, and years after it was published.

Creating and Publishing Video Reels

I've been slow to tap into the power of video reels, made popular by TikTok and Instagram, but which are now available on just about every platform. If you are in growth and outreach mode, chopping up your video content into reels is essential. My podcast episodes typically get between 50-100 views on average, but a set of reels from those same podcasts can easily generate over ten thousand views.

There are a few problems with this reach. It does not necessarily translate to followers, subscribers, or sales, but I've not taken the process far or deep enough in my experimentation to understand how to effectively accomplish this, which many have figured out.

Secondly, there is also an aesthetic problem with reels because the video is vertical. This is why I prefer to frame the vertical videos and have the video itself be a square shape which also provides an opportunity to convey a secondary message with the visuals. Check out my reels to see examples.

What I'm actively seeking right now is an AI platform that automatically creates killer reels from video content. Riverside is experimenting with this, but it's not yet where it needs to be for easy use. But it, or someone else will figure it out.

Wrapping Up

YouTube's massive audience and discoverability make it essential for content creators. Utilize ChatGPT to optimize your videos with compelling titles, descriptions, and relevant tags. Diversify distribution across platforms like Vimeo and social media, and actively promote your videos for maximum impact. If you're up for it, embrace video reels to expand your reach further. 

And, if you'd like to check out or subscribe to my YouTube channel, click, here.

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