people watch video

Great – you finally finished that video you have been working on for what seems like forever. It’s ready to share with the world! Now, the big question is, “how do I get people to watch my awesome video?”

Sometimes, high production value and a great script aren’t enough. You need to employ specific strategies and tactics to get people to watch your video. Here are ten tips for getting more people to click play.

1. Write an Interesting Title and Description

The title and description of your video are part of your video’s metadata. These important pieces of information appear on video landing pages, in search engine results pages (SERPs), and on most social media platforms.

By writing an engaging title and description, you’ll prompt more visitors on the page to watch the video. Not only will they know what to expect, but they’ll perceive higher value from the content if your writing is effective.

You might also promote more sharing on social media. If the title and description are compelling, more people will want to share your video with their friends.

2. Research Relevant Keywords

Run a keyword analysis on topics directly related to the subject of your video. This will allow you to identify search terms receiving significant search traffic with low or medium competition. Then, incorporate your selected keywords into the video description, title, tags, and other video metadata.

There are many keyword planning options out there. We’ve used the free keyword planner in Google Ads for this purpose, but there are many other tools available.

By using these phrases in your video description, title, and tags, you are enabling people looking for your information to find it more readily by helping search engines to index it properly. That means your video will be more likely to appear in relevant search rankings and reach people looking for the information you’re sharing.

3. Create a Video Sitemap for SEO Success

Generating a video sitemap will also help get your video indexed correctly, and taking the time to do so is well-worth the trouble if you want people to watch your video. Think of a video sitemap as a treasure map that tells search engines where your rich video content is located. Sitemaps also include all of your video’s metadata, like the title, description, and tags (see why we keyword-optimized those earlier?).

If you use SproutVideo’s hosted websites to share your videos, you just have to ensure your video metadata is optimized against your target search terms. We take care of generating your video sitemap and submitting it to search engines on your behalf!

If you are embedding your videos on your website, not to worry – the process is very straightforward. SproutVideo offers all the tools you need to generate and submit a video sitemap for your own website.

4. Customize Your Video Player

Sometimes, standard player controls aren’t optimal for a variety of reasons. For instance, you might want to show a large play button, or just the control bar. Or, you might want your video to autoplay – a great way to get people to watch your video. Just make sure you have captions enabled, since it’s likely to autoplay on mute in most browsers.

Matching your branding with custom colors, and changing which controls are available or the player behavior, will encourage people to watch your video because it will make the video look more appealing. A custom video player can make a big difference!

5. Pick the Right Poster Frame

Speaking of looking more appealing, the poster frame is the main thing people see before they click to watch your video. Poster frames that make it clear what the video is about, while intriguing the viewer, are key to getting someone to click play. Just make sure it’s attention-grabbing – you don’t want to be generic!

If you don’t have a graphic designer on hand, not to worry. In addition to uploading custom images, SproutVideo allows you to pick any frame from your video to use as the poster frame. It takes no time at all to find the right frame to use.

6. Make a Playlist

Sometimes, sharing more than one video at a time can encourage people to watch more of your videos. Especially if you are adding a new video to a series, or have other videos on related topics, sharing a playlist is a great way to get people to engage with more of your content.

Once your viewers are hooked on one video, they might want to keep watching. So, make it easy for them with playlists!

7. Add it to an Email Campaign

Part of getting people to watch your video is distributing it far and wide. What better place to start than your email list?

SproutVideo offers integrations with multiple marketing platforms. This allows you to easily place an email embed code that links to your video landing page in a campaign. It’ll look professional and provide a seamless experience for interested subscribers.

8. Encourage Social Sharing

Another easy way to improve your video distribution is to get your audience to do the heavy lifting for you. Enable social sharing on your video landing pages and within the player to encourage them to share it with their fans and followers.

SproutVideo landing pages come with social cards built in, so your videos will be displayed correctly on each platform.

9. Allow Embed Code Sharing

Similarly, you may want to consider allowing viewers to embed your video on their own websites. This option isn’t for everyone, since you may want more control over how your content is being shared.

However, if your main goal is to expand the reach of our content, allowing your video embed code to be shared on other sites is a great way to connect with new audiences.

10. Make Sure it’s Visible

Don’t bury your video below the fold! SproutVideo’s hosted websites and landing pages put your content front-and-center. Make sure you do the same if you’re embedding your videos on your own website.

We offer customizable video embed codes that allow you to publish your video easily on your own website. Choose from responsive in-line embeds, or pop-up overlays, and design your own player in just a few clicks. Publishing your video embed code is as easy as copy and paste!


You can endlessly optimize your online videos to win traffic and engage viewers, but these ten ideas should help you on your way. Tell us your favorite trick for optimizing videos to increase views in the comments below!

Written by Courtney Purchon

Courtney is the Head of Marketing at SproutVideo.

Posted January 15, 2014

blog comments powered by Disqus