Susan Gilbert
June 9, 2020

How To Craft YouTube Headlines That Stand Out

YouTube Headlines Screenshot

According to an article on Oberlo, YouTube is the second most popular social media network today with over 2 billion users. If your brand is producing videos, you will want to ensure that your content gets noticed in the midst of thousands of other competitors.

It may be time to revisit how you craft your headlines and discover which ones reach your viewers the most. According to YouTube, there are 1 billion hours of video being watched each day. And Om Malik reports that 300 hours are uploaded per minute. (That translates to over 2 years worth of videos uploaded EVERY HOUR!)

An attention-getting title will capture your audience’s attention right away and compel them to want to find out more. Clear, concise, and original content is important. But words that appeal to their emotions is the magic ingredient to giving your visitors a reason to want to dive deeper and subscribe to your channel.

Who Is Your Audience?

Getting to know your target market is the first step to creating great headlines.

Here’s how to write influential content:

  • Let the viewer know right away what the topic is about
  • Don’t mislead or trick people into viewing a video that is nothing to do with the title
  • Focus on who your audience is
  • Find out what your niche is attracted to the most
  • Cut down on the length of your headlines
  • Include numbers and statistics
  • Keep in mind that you need to optimize for the search on YouTube and Google

Once your business learns more about your target market, you can create videos that will garner your audience’s attention. But then you have to get them to make the jump from just searching to actually watching until the end. When your brand offers a personalized approach, you will also be much more effective in meeting them on their level. People want to know that you care about their needs and have the answer to their questions. By creating very specific and targeted titles in your uploads, you are making your viewers feel that the video is about them.

How To Create Great YouTube Headlines

In order to help you capture a larger audience, I’ve put together a few writing tips:

1 – Use The Right Keywords For Each Video

Use Google’s Keyword Planner in AdWords or YouTube’s advanced search options to find a relevant word or phrase as it relates to your video. For example, if you have a health food channel you might want to search for “healthy dinners” or “quick healthy meals.” There are many different options to choose from and the level of competition for each word and phrase can be discovered in the keyword planner tool.

2 – Avoid Long, Wordy Headlines

Choose a clear, concise, and simple description that your audience will understand. Many of your viewers are using their mobile devices and you will want to keep this in mind. Catchy phrases are very effective in getting their attention, such as these examples:

“This is Why Your Startup Isn’t Growing”
“How to Ask for a Raise Without Losing Your Job”
“I Couldn’t Stop Crying When I Read This Diet Story”

3 – Go Beyond the Spam or Click-Bait Titles

Phrases that are used often online blend into the thousands of other videos that never get watched. You’ve seen headlines like these before:

“Start An Online Business Today”
“Work From Home Making $2,000 a Day”

Not only do these appear like spam — they can be a real turn-off for the viewer. Go beyond a sales message and write headlines that present a problem in a unique way:

“These Sales Statistics Will Make You Change Your Mind”
“Your Lead Generation Will Never Be the Same”

4 – Find Out What People Want

People love to share their opinions, which is why polls are now so common — especially on social media. Asking your audience’s opinion in your video and in the comments section will engage them and provide valuable insights you can use in your business. For instance, ask questions at the end like:

“Can You Guess…”
“Are You Afraid…”
“What Would You Do If…”

Prompt your audience to leave a comment, subscribe, click the notification bell, and share your video on social media.

5 – Why Should They Watch Your Video?

A simple “watch this” or “how to” won’t generate much of a response. Instead, provide a specific number and/or why such as:

“10 Things You Should…”
“This is Why Your…”
“5 Reasons Why You…”
“This is How to Fail at…”

These phrases are often related to questions viewers ask in the comments section — pay attention to these on your own content as well as on other channels similar to yours.

6 – Create an Urgent Deadline

When people see a specific end date they naturally want to find more and take action before it is too late. This can work for a historical reference as well as something coming in the future such as an important event, product release, etc.

By providing a deadline they will be more likely to read about why they should take action:

“Get These Video Secrets Before…”
“How Social Media Has Changed From…”
“Do This by ___ And”

In Closing

As you follow these guidelines you can take your video content to the next level and start experiencing more interactions and growth on your channel. It’s important that your videos get seen above the mundane content that is often produced.
Catchy titles can go a long way in building the right audience for your brand as well as getting seen in YouTube’s search results.


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Featured image: Andy Capaloff (screenshot)

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Online Marketing with Focus - Let Susan Guide you to Online Success. Especially loves to help Authors, Speakers, Coaches & Entrepreneurs. Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs. Author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: