YouTube is a must-have social network these days. This robust platform is the second most popular website behind Google. And, because it’s owned by Google, YouTube videos receive top priority in searches. Interviews, video book trailers and more can bring life to your words in all new ways to build a serious fan base using YouTube.
7 Ways To Grab Reader Attention Using YouTube:
Let’s go right to the YouTube source, highlighting each idea with a video where it’s already been done. Below, a look at some clever videos that illustrate seven great ways to approach the YouTube challenge:
- Videotape of you at a book signing or conference. If you haven’t yet booked a reading or signing, you might want to talk to an area bookstore and offer to do one; then make sure they’re taping it, or bring a friend. Here may be the ultimate book signing video from One Direction – we should all have such throngs of screaming fans!
- Answer book club member questions. Or, create a list of questions you think readers may ask and answer them on camera. Author Neil Gaiman shows us a VERY clever example of this:
- Share your expertise. Do you have an area of expertise you’ve written about? You may want to videotape yourself speaking about that issue and/or offering tutorials. With today’s tablets and smart phones, making a quick video is as easy as taking a photo. Here, a bonus bit of author marketing advice with super author/marketer Jeff Goins. (Read on for a link to his YouTube channel)
- Get interviewed on camera. Grab video from actual interviews you do in mainstream media, or set up your own! This is just one of many author showcases that has the author speaking about their book:
- Produce a video book trailer. Not only can you post it front and center on YouTube, but doing so will let you easily share it on other platforms, including your website, your social media networks, even your Amazon and Goodreads author profile pages. More on this in an upcoming installment, but meanwhile, just one great example here from author Bruce T. Jones.
- Connect with Booktubers. There are tons of book reviewers talking up books and book promos on YouTube these days. (We maintain a list of top booktubers or “vloggers” in the Winner Circle.) Many also interview authors, as show in this example with TheBookTuber and author Rick Riordan.
- Use your sense of humor. For example, not all book signings are fun. Those videos can be even funnier. Check out author Rachel Hollis’s hilarious entry about the characters you may meet at a book signing. Hint: The funnier or more unique/outrageous your video, the better chance of it going “viral” meaning lots and lots of shares!
Other Uses for YouTube
No matter how active you are with your own videos on YouTube, there’s still plenty to take advantage of at this huge site. Here are a few more ways to interact and connect with readers, even without video of your own:
- Build a “playlist” and share your favorite videos (i.e. videos that deal with issues your own writing deals with) and link or embed the playlist on your website.
- Find a video that illustrates or enhances the blog post you’re writing. You can visit the “share” button under any video on YouTube and get a link or the embed code to include it on your post (as we’ve done above!)
- Connect with those vloggers! There are hundreds of avid readers vlogging about books; some may well want to talk about yours! When they do, make sure you include the link on all your social media.
- Advice and research: If you’re looking for advice on marketing or even starting your own BookTube channel, it’s on YouTube. Scenes from WWII, it’s on YouTube. Travel insights for your next book signing (or scenes from a location in your book you haven’t yet visited live), it’s on YouTube.
- Keep videos short and sweet. Two to five minutes is more than enough. Just as blog posts are often “drive-by” reading, videos are drive-by viewing. Keep your most important message near the beginning of the video.
- Longer videos can be busted up into segments. Free video tools exist to do this (one we like on Macs is 4Media Video Converter). YouTube also offers a free editing program: http://www.youtube.com/editor.
- Don’t skimp on lighting. If you’re producing your own live action video, make sure the setting for your video is light and bright!
- Create Your Own Channel – When you log in to YouTube (same as your Google log in), you can create your own channel free. Be sure to completely fill in the profile with your bio and website link, and upload a custom background for your channel page, in example the header for your website, to keep branding consistent. A great example of a YouTube channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/goinswriter with author Jeff Goins.
- Use keywords and descriptions. When you upload your video, you can give it a title, add tags, and a description. Take advantage of these tools to improve your discoverability.
- Share and comment. Like any other social media platform, you’ll develop a following faster if you’re connecting with others and not just slapping up videos in a vacuum. And of course the more likes and comments you can glean for your own videos, the more they’ll be found, too!
Have a video or YouTube channel to share with us? Include it in your comment below – we LOVE sharing author videos on our social media sites!
- Market Your Book with YouTube
- Ready for Your Close-up? What YouTube Can Do for Writers
- 7 Reasons Why Writers Need To Start Using Video For Book Promotion
- How to Get More Views on YouTube
- Elements of a Great Video Book Trailer (And How to Use It Once You Have One!)