Written by Ana Gotter

November 19, 2019 at 10:23 am

How to Write YouTube Descriptions That Capture Attention

 

Capture more YouTube views and clicks by crafting well-written YouTube descriptions. Get started by using these eight easy social content writing tips right away!

When brands create YouTube videos, they typically go all-in on the videos. This is completely understandable …  If the video content isn’t great, then the results won’t be, either. But the video isn’t the only thing that matters.

Social content writing tips hold a lot of weight in the success of your content.

In addition to stellar video content, you also need great headlines, thumbnails that accurately represent your video (and draw attention), and spot-on YouTube descriptions.

Let’s take a look at some tactics to create YouTube descriptions that snag attention and get more clicks.

What Your YouTube Description Should Accomplish 

Your video description is one of the most significant factors that influence viewers to watch your videos.

Your description serves as a tool to entice users to watch your videos, tell them what to expect, and point them toward the next steps in your funnel.

A well-written YouTube description …

  • Captures a potential viewer’s attention. For example, people who might not have clicked on your thumbnail alone might be intrigued by your description and click through because of what they read in the description.
  • Informs people what the video will be about. Your description gives you an additional opportunity to add a detailed explanation of the content and entice the user to watch. People unsure of whether to watch a video will take a look at the description before they decide.
  • Shares all relevant information pertaining to, and mentioned in, the video. In addition to describing the content, your description can include any links or other items mentioned in the video. For instance, if you feature a third-party product and want to share that with your users, you can include the link in the description. You can also feature links to your various social media channels.
  • Invites viewers to engage in a discussion. Whether you want viewers to leave a comment on your video or reach out to you via email or social media, you can use the description to prompt engagement.
  • Drives viewers to the next steps. Including a link to your website, landing page, or a third-party site is a great way to prompt your users to go where you want them to go next. Do you have an affiliate link that will help you earn passive income? Drop it here. You can also promote your service, product, blog, or additional content this way.

Copywriting Tips for YouTube Descriptions 

Strong, concise, optimized copywriting will get your YouTube videos on users’ radar, inspire them to watch, and prompt them to take the next steps.

Let’s take a look at a few copywriting tips to help you take your YouTube descriptions from good to great.

1. Grab their attention from the beginning

Start off with a strong lede in your description.

Much like a news story, you want to tackle the most important information right from the outset. Front-load your video’s main idea in the first sentence or two, before you include anything else.

Take a look at the way Pat Flynn introduces his video description:

social content writing tips YouTube descriptions

Right from the beginning, a viewer understands that Pat Flynn is going to talk about the implications of making the bestseller lists and what happens when an author’s book doesn’t make a list.

This lede makes the video’s content crystal-clear and piques viewer’s curiosity, especially viewers who have written books, are prospective authors, or are interested in the process of publishing and releasing a book.

2. Use simple, concise but still-interesting sentences 

In writing your YouTube descriptions, the simpler, the better.

Snappy, concise social copy is attention-grabbing, easy to read, and easy to scan. If your copy is clunky, rambling, or complex, users will scroll right by.

This video description from marketing gurus Andrew and Pete is a great example of simple, concise, and interesting copy that’s fun to read and easy to understand:

social copywriting tips YouTube descriptions

The copy is conversational, fun, and lighthearted … all while it explains the value their video will deliver to the viewer.

3. Incorporate keywords into the mix 

Including relevant keywords in your YouTube description will help your video rank better in search engines and help people who are searching for those keywords to find your video. You can conduct keyword research on pertinent words and phrases that describe your video’s content and weave those into your description.

Keep in mind that over-saturating your copy with keywords will be detrimental to your results, so keep it natural. Even when optimized for SEO, your copy should still flow well.

The keyword research brand Ahrefs demonstrates this technique well in their video descriptions:

ahrefs example of youtube descriptions

Note that the video title is “YouTube SEO: How to Rank Your Videos.” Now, notice that the description contains several related phrases like “video SEO,” “YouTube SEO,” and “YouTube keyword research.”

A user who types “YouTube keyword research” into a search engine is more likely to find this video because the keyword is included in the description.

4. Tell viewers exactly what to expect 

People are busier than ever these days, and many prospective viewers want to know what to expect from a video before they invest time in it. Telling them exactly what they can expect raises the chances that they’ll actually watch your videos.

In this video description by Amy Porterfield, she tells viewers that this video contains a podcast interview. She explains the topics covered in the interview and describes the value listeners will get from it.

social copywriting tips YouTube descriptions

5. Opt for a friendly, conversational tone 

One of the hallmarks of social media is the friendly, conversational tone so many individuals and brands adopt in their communications.

YouTube descriptions function well when they don’t feel too formal or corporate. Conversational copy helps the user feel more like a person is communicating with them, which also helps inspire them to engage.

This YouTube description from book reviewer Katytastic feels more like reading an email from a friend than reading an impersonal, keyword-stuffed piece of marketing copy:social copywriting tips YouTube descriptions

Your copy’s level of formality depends on your brand, of course, but this is a fantastic example of an influencer who showcases her personality in her description and keeps the tone light.managing social with agorapulse

6. Add links at the end 

Adding links at the end of your video description will help your viewers take the next steps after they watch. If you want to encourage them to check out your product, service, or other content, this is a great place to do it. Plus, adding the links at the end of your description helps you avoid sounding too salesy.

In the video description below, holistic coach Meredith Miller includes links to her website and book, a third-party referral link to BetterHelp where users can seek counseling from a licensed therapist, and links to her various podcast feeds so viewers can subscribe to her content on their platform of choice.

social copywriting tips YouTube descriptions

7. Explain what’s in it for them 

Some users want to know exactly what value they’re going to get from a video before they watch it. Use your description to explain what your viewers will learn or what other benefits they’ll get from your videos.

Vanessa Van Edwards demonstrates this well in her video descriptions. In the description below, she explains that this video will teach a viewer a few easy-to-implement tips to fine-tune their conversational skills.

example of youtube descriptions

Vanessa also prompts the viewer to get additional skill-building content related to the video via a link in the description.

8. Break up the description into distinct sections 

Breaking your video description into distinct sections helps users navigate the description copy easily. Doing so makes it easier for users to see different actions they can take and makes it more likely that they’ll take them.

Open your description with information about the video, then include sections specifically labeled for the actions they prompt or the information they contain.social copywriting tips for youtube descriptions

Tim Schmoyer’s YouTube descriptions start with a few paragraphs about the video, followed by sections like “Subscribe,” “Free Guide,” “Become a Member,” “Let’s Connect,” Subscribe,” and “Let’s Review Your Channel” that contain relevant links the user can follow to take specific actions, such as signing up for a one-on-one consultation or downloading a lead magnet.

Conclusion 

You have so many ways to optimize and customize your YouTube video descriptions to get more attention on your videos and your channel. When crafted strategically, your YouTube descriptions are bound to get more clicks, views, engagement, and actions.

* * *

Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts. 

Ana Gotter

Ana Gotter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant specializing in social media and content marketing, though she writes on a variety of other niches and subjects. She can be contacted at anagotter.com.

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