Internet Explorer doesn’t work well with our website. We recommend using a different browser like Google Chrome.

Increasing the Popularity of your YouTube Videos

Now let’s take a look at video Popularity. The other factor that helps drive views.

Note – this is part 6 of a series of resources about marketing courses on YouTube. To start at the beginning click here: Part 1 – Online course marketing with YouTube – Part 1

If you find this post useful, check out our full guide on creating YouTube videos.

Just like in high-school, the popular kids get picked first. Except on YouTube the popular videos get found and watched more.

Audience Research Workbook

I’ve put together a short summary / checklist as a reference for you. Get the Checklist here.Our popularity attributes include: Views, Ratings, Comments Views – the number of times your video has been watched. Views is a funny one as it is your goal is to drive this up and the higher it gets the more easily you get new views. A video with even 10 views will get more views faster than one with zero views. And one with a million views will acquire the second million much faster than the first. Here’s a few steps to get your initial views:

Seeding – when you first launch your video, get a few quick views. Share it with a few friends to get those first few quick views.

Sharing – share you video with your audience or list. You’ve put the work in to create a great video – now’s the time to share it out. You should be ready to do this almost as soon as you launch so set this up in advance. Email it to your mailing list, post it on twitter, share it on your blog, post it on your company Facebook page. Get it out on all your channels.

Ask for more shares – wherever you share your video, ask people to share it with others.

Ratings – the rating of your video is the total of the thumbs up and thumbs down given to your video by viewers. Oddly, videos with really bad ratings can actually perform very well on YouTube – I’ve seen videos with far more thumbs down do extremely well in terms of views. It appears that YouTube is more concerned with videos that generate an emotional reaction, even if it’s bad, than curating good content that users enjoy. So you can succeed with plenty of thumbs down, but I would NOT RECOMMEND this approach. You should go for positive reviews.

Positive reviews will come in two main ways:

Content – The first way to increase your YouTube video’s rating is by providing good quality content that viewers value. As part of this, ensure that your video title accurately describes your video content. Mislabeled videos are the number one reason for bad reviews (thumbs down).

Ask – Ask your viewers to rate your video. “If you enjoy this video please comment and give me the thumbs up below! Thank you!” – If you don’t ask they won’t do it. I’ve seen plenty of videos with lots of views and very few reviews or comments. Mostly because no one asked the viewers to thumbs up or comment on the video.

Comments – The final popularity attribute to your video is Comments. Comments are left by your viewers below your video and signal to YouTube and to other viewers that your video is inspiring engagement and interest in your viewers. Comments on your video are great for driving more views to your video. To get more comments – ask viewers to comment on your video, but also give them something specific to comment on. Ask for their opinion on something, ask them to ask you a question for your next video. Here are a few examples of comment inspiring statements you can make in your video:

  • “If you enjoy this video please comment and give me the thumbs up below! Thank you!”
  • “I really hope you enjoyed this video, it would mean the world to me if you left me a comment below.”
  • “I’d love to hear what you think about X, please let me know in the comments below.”
  • “What else would you like to learn about from me? Please let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to include it in future videos.”

Or if you’ve given then advice on how to do something or you’ve taught them something ask them to comment on their situation or view on this. For example if you’re teaching them how to make YouTube videos, ask them to comment with:

  • “I’d love to hear about what kinds of YouTube videos you want to make or how you’re using YouTube. Please let me know in the comments below.”

Respond – Hop back into YouTube regularly and respond to as many of the comments as you can. This has a few benefits.

  • It signals to other viewers that you care and may respond to their comment so they are more likely to leave one.
  • It signals to viewers that you are still active – if they see a comment left two years ago and no responses to any comments they may think you’re no longer active or possibly even out of business. This could reduce their interest in your course or product.
  • It increases the total engagement and number of comments on your video which increases your exposure on YouTube.

Also, if you only have time to respond to a few comments, pick the compliments to respond to. Research has shown us that the people who leave positive compliments as comments are the ones that care most about getting a response. Even more so than those that leave their opinion, they often just want to be heard. Ideally you should also answer questions that are asked. This can even be an opportunity to refer people to your course for more resources or answers to their questions. Don’t get into a battle with commenters. You may get negative comments, and it can be useful to address them, but do so politely and professionally. Think about writing not for the negative person, but for the thousands of others who may be reading this. You want to appear as the professional positive person. Winning the battle doesn’t matter and can often lose you potential customers if you come across as very argumentative or rude.

Check out this free series on marketing online courses using YouTube! Click To Tweet

Be sure to grab the short summary / checklist I created as a reference for you:


This is the end of our 6 part series on marketing your online courses using YouTube! Can I ask you for a favor? I’d love it if you could share this series with your friends! 

– Greg