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How to Upload a Video to YouTube on Mobile & Desktop

By effectively uploading your videos to YouTube, you can reach a wide audience and strengthen your brand’s content marketing strategy.

Video has become one of the fastest-growing channels for sharing information. This includes personal videos posted on social media channels, short clips highlighting something entertaining, and marketing videos posted by businesses. With many people accessing information via smartphones, videos are watched anywhere there is an internet connection. Learning how to upload a video to YouTube on your mobile device and desktop opens up new ways for you to share your ideas with the world.

Don't be intimidated. You can get started with YouTube marketing with just a few clicks on your desktop or your mobile device. This post will walk you through the steps to take in order to upload a video on YouTube from your computer and your phone. You will also learn how to optimize your uploaded video so it will show up in YouTube search and Google search. With the right approach, YouTube can become a significant part of your digital marketing strategy. Let's get started.

Preparing to Upload Your YouTube Video

Knowing how to upload a YouTube video is invaluable in reaching new contacts and growing your audience. In fact, a survey by Wyzowl found that 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and 92% of marketers value video as an important part of their marketing strategy.

Learning how to prepare to upload your YouTube video will save you time when uploading. This is the first step in learning YouTube advertising for beginners. Here is how to prepare:

1. Come up with a great title

Before you start uploading your video, here are some video marketing tips that will save you a lot of time. It's much easier to have these things done before you upload. The first tip on the list is to come up with a great title for your video. Just like other types of social media content, video content can be optimized for search engines. Optimizing your video content will help you promote it to the right people.

The two biggest search engines for video are YouTube and Google. It seems odd to think of YouTube as a search engine because it's a platform for watching and sharing videos, but it's also the biggest search engine for videos at the same time. With that in mind, coming up with a good title will help optimize your video so it will be more easily found.

2. Create a complete description

For search purposes, YouTube considers keywords in this order.

  1. Keywords in the title
  2. Keywords in the description
  3. Tags

What this means is that you need to create a description that contains keywords, especially in the first two lines of text in your description. This part of the description appears with the video when you search on YouTube.

Next, your description should have a short introduction to what the video is about, including any links you have in the video.

Links to include:

  • Links to music used to credit music resources
  • Links to related videos
  • Link to your YouTube channel
  • Links to tools used to make the video
  • Links to any resources that you mention in the video
  • Links to your website and social media channels

You can create default page settings so you don't need to repeatedly put the same information in each video description.

3. Create descriptive tags

The internet has developed and grown since the beginning of YouTube. Search engines today can pick up the topic of your video from how you describe it in your description. That means your tags should be long-tail keywords like "how to upload a video" or "how to upload a video on YouTube."

You don't need to create generic tags like "video" or "YouTube." The search engine already knows it's a video on YouTube. You can take a look at other videos that come up when you search for your title. If they come up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for your keywords, they may have better tags that you can also use.

4. Choose a thumbnail

Your thumbnail will appear in search engines with the title and description, so it's an important factor driving people to click on your video. Selecting a simple thumbnail is best because many viewers watch videos on their smartphones.

A thumbnail should have a distinct look that's consistent with all of your videos. They can be headshots of the person in the video or the product you are selling. Don't clutter the thumbnail with too much text because it's hard to see in the search engines, especially on mobile devices.

To edit the thumbnail, you can use a service like Canva or Adobe Illustrator. When you know how to upload a YouTube video, your thumbnail will be ready to upload.

5. Edit your video

Before you can upload your video, you need to ensure that your video is the best version it can be. This means using a video editor to finetune and polish it. If your video is for marketing, you want to put your best foot forward. You only have a very short time to capture someone's interest, so making sure they see a concise, powerful video is important. Learn more about how to edit YouTube videos in order to refine your skills and create better content.

Okay, now that you're prepared, let's start uploading.

How to Upload a YouTube Video on Mobile

Follow these steps to learn how to upload a video to YouTube from your phone or another mobile device.

1. Open the YouTube app

If you don't have the YouTube app but you want to upload videos easily from your phone, you need to download the app from Google Play for Android or Apple store for iPhone.

2. Log in to your YouTube account

If you're not already logged in to YouTube on the app, log in now. You need a YouTube account in order to upload any videos to YouTube.

3. Tap the video icon

To start the upload, tap the video icon at the top of your phone screen. It looks like a silhouette of a video camera. If you haven't uploaded from your smartphone before, you may need to authorize the app to access your phone's camera and photo library.

4. Tap the video you want to upload

Your next screen gives you the ability to record a new video, "Go Live" (livestream from your phone) or select a video in your library to upload it to YouTube.

5. Tap "next"

Tap "Next" to get to the next screen.

6. Add the title and other information

The next screen gives you the fields to add the information you have already prepared before you started to upload. This is where you add the title, description, privacy settings, and location. You can do all of this right from your mobile device.

7. Publish your video

Now that you've entered all of the proper information and uploaded the video, you are ready to publish the video. Once you've learned how to upload a video to YouTube right from your phone, you can publish the video to YouTube by tapping "Upload."

How to Upload a YouTube Video on Desktop

Follow these steps to upload a YouTube video using your computer.

1. Open your browser

The first step in uploading a YouTube video on desktop is to open your browser. You can use virtually any internet browser you’d like for this step.

2. Navigate to YouTube using your browser

Once you've opened your browser, navigate to YouTube.

3. Log in to YouTube

When you reach YouTube, double-check to see if you're logged in. If you don't have an account, you need to set one up. If you do, you should see your avatar in the upper right corner of your screen. If you don't see the avatar, you need to log in.

4. Click the "Upload a video" icon

On the top right of the screen near your avatar there is a small icon of a video camera in black. It has a little "plus sign" in white in the center. If you click on the camera, you see a submenu that says "Upload a video" and "Go live." Click on "Upload a video."

5. Select options on the "Upload a video" page

The next screen is the video upload page. Go to "Select files to upload," and then click "Public" to choose which level of visibility you want the video to have. Your choices are:

  • Public - Anyone can see your video
  • Unlisted - Publicly available to anyone with a direct link
  • Private - Only you have access
  • Scheduled - It will go live at a later date

6. Choose the video file

Next, choose the video file by clicking the large arrow, or click and drag the file onto the page.

7. Enter video information

While the video uploads, you can enter the prepared information like the title, description, and tags.

8. Publish

Click on "Publish" to finish publishing the video. You can wait until the video is uploaded or click publish when you're done entering the information. The video will not appear online until you click "Publish."

9. Process

When you upload the video, it doesn't process immediately. It takes a bit of time, especially if it's a longer video. You can check back to see when it is completely processed.

Once the video is uploaded, it will take a few minutes to process. The time it takes to process will depend on how long the video is.

Optimizing Your YouTube Video

Once your video is uploaded, it's time to spread the word so people will watch it. Some people will find your video by searching on Google or YouTube. Since you prepared your information before uploading, much of this work is done. However, it’s worth keeping the following things in mind so that your videos can achieve maximum visibility.

1. Are your title, description, and tags optimized with your keywords?

With the melding of traditional television with live streaming, movies, and streaming channels, how we watch videos, TV shows, and movies is in flux. Because of these factors, YouTube has continued to gain in popularity as a way to watch video content. But the platform is so saturated with content that you have to make sure your title, description, and tags are optimized so that your videos will appear in response to relevant searches.

2. Add new videos to a playlist

To stay relevant, YouTube is letting you create playlists so that a viewer can click on a playlist, and then sit back and relax like you would with a traditional TV station. Encouraging this behavior can boost your YouTube videos because it increases total watch time. If you have a relevant playlist, you can add the new video when you upload it.

3. Add cards and end screens

You can add YouTube cards to your video. YouTube cards are notifications that you can add to your video that viewers can see and click on. They appear on the top right corner of your video, and you can add up to five cards to each video. You can use the cards as CTAs to direct viewers to another video or landing page.

End screens appear at the end of a video to tell you what to do next, and you can add CTAs to them. These actions can:

  • Direct the viewer to another video
  • Refer the viewer to playlists and channels
  • Invite the viewer to subscribe to your channel
  • Feature your website, merchandise, or a worthy charity

4. Increase your audience

There are several ways you can increase the audience who watches your video.

  • Include accurate closed captions - While YouTube automatically transcribes all videos, the automatic captions are only 70% correct. That leaves a lot of room for error. Incorrect captions can potentially harm your video's SEO. Correct captions help promote higher search ranking, better user experience and engagement, and improve video accessibility.
  • Add a transcript to your description - The YouTube description field has space for 5,000 characters, which generally is enough for a transcript. If not, you can shorten the transcript and link to the complete version elsewhere. You can also use the transcript to create other content later.
  • Offer subtitles in more than one language - Implementing multiple language subtitles allows non-English-speaking viewers to watch your video, and the translated files add your video to search engines in those languages.

5. Improve and track user experience

When users engage with your video and enjoy that engagement, they like, share, comment, and subscribe to your channel. These actions improve your video's SEO. Other factors also affect UX, including:

  • YouTube watch time - The actual time spent watching a video (not the percent it is watched).
  • Session watch time - This is the total time spent on YouTube before leaving the site.
  • User intent (UI) - Matching your video title to answer a question helps YouTube deliver better results to searchers.
  • Increasing subscriber base - Growing the number of subscribers to your channel helps improve watch time and session watch time. Regular posts help your viewers know when you'll post.
  • Creating playlists using subcategories - Short playlists of 4 to 6 videos helps improve your user experience and engagement, and makes it easy to share multiple videos.

Other Ways to Use Your YouTube Video

There are multiple other ways to share your video and increase the number of viewers. Simply embedding your video on your website or blog, linking to it on your social media channels, or showing it on TikTok or Instagram will send curious followers to YouTube to view your latest video.

Blogging is a good way to share the video and transcript to your audience, but you can also link it to questions customers ask if it's relevant. Every time your video is shared it helps boost your watch time and session time.

Monetizing Your YouTube Video

There are several ways to monetize your video. Similar to other types of content, you can run ads on your YouTube channel. This strategy works best if you have over 100,000 subscribers or views. Other ways to monetize your video include:

  • Links to your merchandise store
  • Links to affiliate partners
  • Sponsors for each video
  • In-video links to products
  • Selling supply kits for a DIY or how-to video

Monetizing techniques can vary from industry to industry and the best strategy depends on the content of your video.

Manage Your YouTube & Social Media in One Place

Mailchimp offers a lot of ways to promote your YouTube video. For instance, you can add your videos to your email marketing campaigns. This is a great way to get your current customers to see other ways to use your products or services. Another option is to create landing pages and embed your videos on each landing page.

A third method is to promote and share your video on social media in a planned and focused campaign. Mailchimp can help you manage your social media channels to improve your results from your social media marketing campaigns. For instance, you can create a social media campaign to all of your channels to make your audience aware of your new video.

It can be tough to keep up with all of your social media channels, especially if you're an entrepreneur with limited time. Mailchimp makes it easy when it comes to social media campaigns and social media management, automating your posts, and repurposing your content.

Mailchimp can create order out of chaos, and organize when and how to post to your channels. Try Mailchimp today to kickstart your social media marketing strategy and create and share outstanding content.

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