The Case for Having a Multilingual YouTube Channel
Being the second largest search engine in the world, the reach of YouTube cannot be denied. There are over two billion monthly users who watch around a billion hours of YouTube videos every day. It has become one of the best marketing channels, and if you use it correctly, you can build your brand’s engagement and authority. However, before you can start making content and use it to engage with your audience, you have to consider the large amount of content that is available on YouTube. Every hour, there are thousands of videos uploaded. So, how can you start to stand out?
YouTube has been committed to language diversity. In fact, it is because of this that the platform has had huge support in terms of the number of users the content that has been created. Thanks to smartphone adoption and increased use of the internet all over the world, more people, including outside the major cities, are online now. From the perspective of an advertiser, it is important to note that you can take advantage of this and publish content in multiple YouTube languages to get this large following.
One way to do this is by being careful about the language you are creating your content in. YouTube operates in 80 languages, including Spanish, German, Armenian, and Azerbaijani. If you are planning to have a multilingual YouTube channel, there are a lot of things you have to consider. Read on to learn about what you need to do in order to have a successful multilingual channel on YouTube:
1. Automatic captions should be turned on for the channel
Even if you have been using YouTube for a long time, it is highly likely that you have never used the closed captions or ‘CC’ button that can be found on the YouTube player. However, the truth is that these video captions offer a lot. Now, depending on the country you are watching YouTube in, the term CC, which comes from TV, might say something different. However, the one thing that is common for users all over the globe is the choice of switching them on and off for every video or having them on by default for every single video that you watch. If you are not fluent in English, you might have this on while watching English videos.
When it comes to channel optimization, it is your responsibility to ensure that YouTube creates automatic captions for your videos by default. For most English videos, YouTube does this automatically, unless they have confusing audio or are very long. The automatic captions are generated by Google using the voice recognition software by Google that is also available for Android.
You might wonder why YouTube does this. The answer to this question is simple. By closed captions, YouTube is able to get more information about your video. Using this information, it can recommend your video in Suggested videos or in search. Also, it automatically translates your video’s automated captions into other languages so that viewers who don’t speak the language can understand your video as well.
Currently, there isn’t any button that turns automatic captions on. However, if you want to increase the chances of your videos getting automatically captioned, you have to go to the upload defaults of your channel and select “This content has never aired on television in the U.S.” present under the Caption settings. You have to double-check this option for every single video under the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab. Another great part about this functionality is that after the automatic captions have been created, you can go in and change the misspelled words. However, this can be a time-consuming process.
2. Write captions manually
One of the main issues with YouTube’s automatic captions is how often they are wrong. And, you don’t want them to miss a word that is an important point of your video. Thankfully, YouTube has the option where you can upload manual captions which can be more precisely written. There are two ways you can go about this. You can either write yourself or pay a service to do this job for you. You should get this all done before making your video public. This will ensure that right from the start, your video is able to get the most possible traffic. If your captions are cued up to the exact place where the topic is discussed in the video, you might get special treatment in Google searches.
Also, users will be able to tell whether your captions are automated or manually written because automated captions don’t have capital letters or punctuation. To check which languages have manual transcriptions in a video, you can click on the gear icon. Another thing that you have to keep in mind is that if you are creating manual captions in foreign languages, you create them in English as well. If you don’t do this, the YouTube player will automatically play the manually-captioned foreign language.
3. Consider time zones while scheduling releases
If you have a multilingual YouTube channel, you will have target audiences living in different time zones. So, finding a video release time that works for everyone will be a bit tricky. What you can do is try selecting a time that is optimized for all the target regions. This way, you will have multiple audiences instead of one, driving the ranking of your video in YouTube’s algorithm. It will lead to more video views as well. You won’t get the time of day information through YouTube Analytics. You can use a third-party tool for these insights.
Apart from this, you should also publish a social media post promoting the video where you select a relevant time for your global subscribers. It is important that you promote your video at an optimal time that gets you the maximum number of views and thus take advantage of YouTube diversity.
4. Translate title and description
Another feature offered by Google is enabling you to translate your video’s titles and descriptions into different languages. You can even create a customized link for each language. You will have to insert the link manually under the Translations tab into each video. This will give you a huge increase in your international viewership. If hiring a professional translator to do the job for you is way too expensive and out of budget for you, or you think that you won’t get a lot of traffic from these languages, you can always use Google Translate and paste the translated title and description in the fields. Even if this is not precise, it will give you a modest increase in viewership from these countries.
5. Reply to fans in their language
YouTube engagement is an important part of growing your channel and brand. If you offer multilingual content on your channel with viewers from all over the world, it is crucial that you make them feel the same as your English-speaking audience. Now, no one is telling you that you have to make long conversations with them in their language. However, even a small acknowledgment in their language will go a long way. It will encourage them to make comments on other videos and prompt others to do the same. You have to show your viewers that you appreciate them and are willing to go the extra mile to convert viewers into subscribers and even customers.
6. Crowdsourced captions
There are some big channels with loyal fans that use this option. Through this, you can encourage your subscribers to translate your videos into their native language. You will have to make your upload defaults to “Allow viewers to contribute translated titles, descriptions, and subtitles/CC.” which is present under ‘Community Contributions.’ You will also have to provide a link in the description to help them with the same.
7. Hire a professional
Some multilingual creators will have a huge following in a secondary language. In such cases, you can spend some money and hire a professional to write the manual captions. You will be able to find many people offering this service on Fiverr and Upwork. For example, if you have a huge Spanish following, you can hire a translator to work on your captions. It will not only increase your reach but also show your Spanish viewers that you care about them.
8. Acknowledge your international audience
YouTube is currently dominated by the English language. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t recognize your viewers who don’t speak the language. Even if you are not creating YouTube content in multiple languages for pleasing regional audiences, you can still give them a quick nod by including them in giveaways and competition, giving shout-outs to global commenters, recognizing their national holidays, etc.
You have to understand that compared to other forms of content like posts, video is much more intimate. You have to be relatable and likable to the audience to be successful on this platform. Your audience should not only like you but trust you. If you speak directly to them and let them know that they are being recognized, it will go a long way. Giving the nod to your regional audiences will help you a lot.
When it comes to increasing the visibility of your content, the most important factor is creating content that is valuable to your viewers. If your audience watches your video in its entirety and subscribes to your channel, your channel will be rewarded by YouTube. Language is an important part of it. It can be a bit challenging, but with the above-mentioned points, you will be able to create quality content for your viewers. However, if you need some help with this, you can take the help of SubPals that can get you free YouTube subscribers and free YouTube likes. With SubPals’ delivery network, you can get an edge over your competitors. Other services offered by SubPals are channel evaluation, video SEO, optimization, and graphic design.
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