You’ve already spent significant time to brainstorm, shoot, and produce a great video but how will you get your audience to discover it once it’s live online? Writing a video description may be the last step in your creative process, however, it plays a significant role in generating visibility for your work. An effective description not only provides a detailed overview of your video content but also offers you a great opportunity to engage with your viewers and rise in search rankings. Before you hit ‘publish’ for your next video, consider the following best practices for writing an effective video description:
Tip #1: Capitalize On Keywords
Search is a super tool for building your audience on social media and video descriptions play an integral role in how your video is ranked. Before you draft a description, it is important to do your research to identify 1-2 keywords that accurately describe the content you have created and are relevant to the audience you intend to reach. Once your keyword(s) are selected, you will want to feature them prominently throughout your post. Keep in mind, the main purpose of your video description is to inform your viewers about what they are going to watch. Keep it simple and avoid excess industry jargon. Instead, write your description in natural language and incorporate the keywords in a seamless way. For further optimization purposes, place your main keywords at the beginning of your video description. You will also want to avoid irrelevant words that can create a poor viewing experience for your audience.
Tip #2: Take The Two-Fold Approach
Video descriptions, especially on YouTube, can be broken down into 2 parts:
- What a viewer sees before they click “Show More”.
- What a viewer sees after they click “Show More”.
When writing an effective description you must prioritize your information accordingly. The first 2-3 sentences are the most important because they will appear next to your video thumbnail during searches. Utilize the first few lines of text to accurately and concisely describe your video in a compelling way. Keep the content original and be sure to write a unique description for each video to make it stand out during search. Don’t forget to include keywords in this part of your description for improved ranking.
While the first half of your video description should focus on describing the video itself, the second half is more general. This section should be dedicated to additional key information about your channel including links back to your creator website and social media accounts where viewers can learn more about you. Once your description is published, take the time to check back appears on the search page, watch page, and mobile devices to ensure the most important information is clearly displayed.
Tip #3: Get Social
Video descriptions don’t have to be dull and can actually be a great way to engage with your audience. Keep your viewers coming back for more by integrating interactive features into your text. Be sure to include links to your other social networks so viewers can access your content at any time on the specific platform they prefer. If your video features another creator don’t forget to give them credit! This tactic will allow you to tap into a new targeted audience through cross-promotional opportunities. You can also leverage hashtags in your video description to boost discovery and engagement with your audience. Hashtags are most effective in your description when your content is about trending topics. Before careful to not oversaturate your description with too many hashtags because it could negatively impact your ranking.
Tip #4: Keep It Advertiser-Friendly
If monetization is part of your content strategy as a creator, it is imperative that your video description is advertiser-friendly. On platforms like YouTube, advertisers choose what content they want to run ads on. In an effort to connect with the audience they value, advertisers will look for videos with specific keywords, titles, and descriptions that align with the products they are trying to sell. In order to write an advertiser-friendly video description, there are two things to keep in mind: accurate metadata and keeping it clean. Be sure that the description you write actually represents and describes the content you have created. You will also want to avoid using any profane, controversial, or sexually suggestive language in your video description.
Tip #5: Make It Memorable With Time Stamps
If you are posting a longer video, another great way to interact with your audience is to include timestamps in your description. Timestamps are an effective tool to help your audience skip to the most important parts of your work. Timestamps can also help boost your viewer retention rate. By directing your audience to the key points of your video they actually came to see, they will often time watch for longer periods.
Before you publish your next post, take the time to carefully craft your video description to boost your content discovery and success on social channels. For more tips and tricks about optimizing your content strategy, check out our blog page.