YouTube Shortcuts to Make Your Videos Stand Out

Posted on July 13, 2020 | Updated on January 13, 2021

YouTube is still the best platform for getting your videos to the masses. Not only will you reach people on the social media site, but you can also embed videos on your website, share them easily and even send with your email newsletters. There are many YouTube shortcuts you can use to stand out from the competition.

You might be surprised to learn YouTube has over 2 billion active monthly users, putting it right behind Facebook. YouTube reaches more viewers in the United States than any of the TV networks.

Once you gain a following, you might become an influencer or team up with micro-influencers to get the word out about your videos. Here are our favorite YouTube shortcuts to save time and make your videos the best they can be.

1. Fill in Metadata

Your video’s metadata is what YouTube and search engines use to match your content to searches. A lot of people skip over the metadata and descriptions. However, this is one of the YouTube shortcuts you should never miss. It takes only a few minutes of your time to add in some details and benefits you with more traffic. Make sure you use your keywords in your descriptions.

2. Pay for Transcription

The State of Video Marketing 2020 states 66% of consumers prefer watching videos over reading text. As with anything, there are exceptions. Transcribing your video reaches those who want the written version. People with vision impairments may also rely on a text reader to give them the information contained in your video. For better accessibility, use YouTube shortcuts such as adding a link to the full script and alt tags where appropriate.

3. Choose a Theme

If you decide on a theme before starting your videos, you can make sure they all have a similar tone and look. YouTube shortcuts aren’t always about how you advertise your videos to your target audience. They can also be about the impression you leave with those who view them. If your company already has a cool, hip vibe, your videos should reflect that attitude. On the other hand, if you handle people’s finances, you might want to take a more serious tone.

4. Use Video Editing Software

There aren’t necessarily YouTube shortcuts to good editing, but some software choices are easier to use than others. If you’re a beginner, you’ll enjoy programs such as:

  • iMovie: This is available for iPhone users. You can shoot the video on your smartphone and edit it all in the same place. Split portions, delete sections, make parts silent and speed up or slow down parts of the video. You can even upload to YouTube right from your phone.
  • Shotcut: This free, open-course video editing app has been around since 2011. It lets you edit, add special effects and turn the entire thing into a movie you can upload to YouTube. Adding titles and overlays allows you to brand your videos.
  • Final Cut Pro X: Created by Apple, this video editing option puts out videos in high resolution. It’s perfect when you need stunning images, such as for a travel-related industry.

These are just a few of the options for software. The secret is finding the one you understand and meets your needs as a brand.

5. Pay Attention to Tags

Tags work in the same way they do on other social media platforms. YouTube shortcuts should point users interested in your content to your videos, and that’s precisely what tags accomplish. Look at videos that are similar to yours and what tags those creators use. Which ones are the most popular? How do they match up to keywords? Think about user intent. What would you search for if you wanted to view a video like yours?

6. Customize Your Thumbnails

YouTube gives you a default thumbnail based on the content in your video. If you want your upload to stand out from others, you need to add your thumbnail. Look at the other videos in your category. How can you add a splash of color or something more defining? You’ll discover most people use the default thumbnail, so creating a custom one is a quick YouTube shortcut for success.

7. Watch the Length

Pay attention to how long your video is. You may have a wealth of information to share, but if your video is too lengthy, people won’t watch it. The average person has a short attention span, especially online. While editing, cut ruthlessly. Keep only what you need to share your knowledge. Speed up sections as it makes sense. The length of your video impacts how much of it viewers watch.

8. Seek Other Promotional Channels

YouTube gives you access to potentially billions of users, but you can gain additional views by building your list of followers on other social media sites. Share your video on your Facebook business page. Start an Instagram account and point people to your lessons on YouTube. Send out an email to your customers and ask them to share your video with people they think might be interested. The more traffic you generate, the higher your video ranks and the more chances people see it in search results.

Other YouTube Shortcuts

The eight YouTube shortcuts above are a great place to start to get eyes on your videos. As you work with the platform, you’ll learn other tricks to draw viewers. Pay attention to what your competition does and study the most successful videographers online. With a little creativity and a lot of hard work, you’ll soon gain new customers from your efforts.

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About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at

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