How To Get More Views on YouTube

0 – 150,000 Views in 12 Months [Case Study]

Today I’m going to show you how to get more views on YouTube.

Why should you listen to me?

I created a brand new YouTube channel and took it to 150,000 views in 12 months.

With just one video.

But this wasn’t just about views…

The video generated visitors and sales too.

I was able to do this despite:

  • No prior knowledge in the market (it was not in the digital marketing space)
  • No big existing audience to kickstart views
  • No prior video / filming skills
  • No presenting skills (and I’m NOT a natural in front of the camera)

So, how did I grow views and get it ranked on YouTube so quickly?

I call it The Slingshot Technique.

In this case study, I’m going to show you exactly how I did it and how you can too. Step by step.

How To Get More Views On YouTube

5-Steps to Get More Views on YouTube

Have you ever posted a video thinking it’s going to bring you thousands of views but instead you see it struggle to get a few hundred?

Even after applying YouTube SEO techniques, you’re still thinking “how do I get more views” and “how do I get in YouTube’s search results”, or even “how do I get YouTube to suggest my video”.

I’m going to take you through 5 steps to get you more views on YouTube. Follow these steps and you won’t be asking those questions any longer.

Step 1. Find a Hot Topic for Your Video
Step 2. Make a Video That Actually Helps Your Target Audience
Step 3. YouTube SEO: Optimise Your Video to Rank on YouTube
Step 4. Promote Your Video
Step 5. Let It Fly

But first, here’s how it started…

How I Used The Slingshot Technique to Grow a New Channel From 0 – 150,000 Views in 12 Months

After doing some research (more on this later) I found there was potential to get a lot of views for showing people how to tie a bow tie. So I made a video doing exactly that.

I followed all the YouTube SEO best practices, so I prepared myself for this video to take off. But once I posted…


36 views in the first days after posting.

36 views on YouTube video after posting
BUT, after applying The Slingshot Technique, views took off.
Getting more views by applying The Slingshot Technique
The video is consistently getting 2,000+ views per week with no further work and for free!

12 months after posting, 154,000 views.

Views on YouTube after 12 months
And now over 400,000 views.
400,000+ Views on YouTube

This is great exposure to a relevant audience.

We also found that referral traffic from the YouTube video was highly engaged. They visited more pages, had a higher conversion rate and generated more sales than from other social networks.

More traffic:

Traffic from Youtube compared to other Social Networks
Higher engagement:
Visitors from Youtube compared to other social networks
Higher conversion rate and more money
Higher conversion rate on YouTube
Tracking doesn’t always pick up on the true source of sales, especially when it’s not the last interaction before a sale. But we knew it was having an impact because we were getting emails like this:
Customer email from YouTube video
And this
Another customer email from YouTube video
And to top it off, one of the largest TV networks in the US, licensed the video to use in a TV show you have probably heard of.
The best part?

You can do the same for your videos. You don’t need to have the presenting skills of your favourite TV personality or YouTube influencer. Nor do you need expensive video equipment or editing software. 

You don’t even need an existing audience. That’s the beauty of this technique. You can even start from scratch with a new YouTube channel – like in this case study.

Why You’re Not Getting More Views on YouTube

If you’re not getting many views on your YouTube videos, you have one of three problems.

1. A volume problem. Not enough people are interested in the content or topic you’ve made a video on.

2. A content quality problem. For one reason or another your video isn’t valuable or is perceived that way, compared to your competition.

3. A visibility problem. You’ve posted a video you know people would watch and find valuable, if only it was ranked in YouTube’s search results or recommended as a suggested video.

Why you're not getting views
The Slingshot Technique helps with all of these problems. But the one least talked about is the final one. Once you’ve posted and you haven’t got the views you think your video deserves. What then?

The technique combines both YouTube optimization and promotion tactics to kickstart views, giving your video the initial momentum it needs to let it fly on its own. This is where the ‘Slingshot’ name comes from.

Step 1: Find a Hot Topic for Your Video

To give your video the best chance of success, find a question or topic in your market that has enough people searching for or watching videos about it.

What’s “enough”?

It depends on your market. It might be several hundred a month or several hundred thousand.

In this step the aim is to get an idea for a video you can make to reach your target audience that you KNOW will get you hundreds or thousands of views.

If you’ve already posted a video that isn’t getting views, you can still do this step. You’ll see if it’s a dud topic area which will explain why you’re not getting views OR if you just need to apply The Slingshot Technique.

Finding a topic

To find the top questions and topics in your market on YouTube, go to Google Trends or use Adzoola’s free keyword suggestion tool

Most people don’t realise you can use it for YouTube research. I’ll show you how:

Enter a short phrase or keyword related to your market. This could be as specific as a product or as broad as a topic area.

For me, as my wife was just selling bow ties, I simply used ‘bow tie’ and ‘bow ties’.

Select ‘YouTube Search’ 

Google Trends Youtube keyword search
Scroll down to ‘related queries’.

The default sorting option here is ‘Rising’ queries, which may be useful to you later. Right now, we want to find the top queries – so select ‘Top’.

Google Trends YouTube related keywords
You’ve now found the top searches on YouTube related to the terms you entered.

After sorting for ‘Top’ queries on ‘bow tie’ it was clear what people needed help with:

Google Trends YouTube top related keywords
Although we’ve now found an idea for a video topic (how to tie a bow tie), we don’t yet know if we’re going to get many views. So let’s find out.

Go to YouTube and search using the query you found in Google Trends.

YouTube search results
You can see there are videos with millions of views. This is all I needed to confirm the size of the audience was large enough. In fact it was bigger than I had imagined.

Yours will be different. You don’t need to see videos with millions of views. The amount of views is just a reflection of the market you’re in or the topic of the video. You just need to know there’s an audience for your video.

To give you a better idea of the potential views, calculate an average views per day for a few of the top videos.

Video views / Number of days since video was posted = Average views per day.

Calculate video views per day
In my case, most of the videos had an average of between 500 and 3,000 views per day. This is more than enough.

Creating better video content: Find your unique angle

Now you need to do some reconnaissance.

Watch the top 5 to 10 videos for your topic and make notes. Here’s what you’re looking for:

Create better YouTube videos checklist

What’s missing?

For example, if you’re topic is around a ‘how to’, are the videos missing a step. If it’s around a product, are they missing key details?

Can the topic be explained and presented better or differently?

Does the video tell you how to do something but not show you how to actually do it? Or does it show you how but doesn’t show you the results or a case study?

If it’s product related, are you getting all the camera angles and close-ups you’d like?

Even small details like poor sound quality or lighting.

Does it provide enough detail?

If it leaves you asking more questions, you have an opportunity to make a more in-depth video. You can also check the comments to see if your instincts were right.

Can you add more value?

You do whatever you do because you’re good at it, right? So what unique value can you add to the video to make it better than the ones you watched?

Is it outdated?

If the information in the videos is now outdated, you can provide value and attract views by providing the latest details. Especially if there have been big changes.

Thumbnail and Title observations

Make notes on the titles and thumbnails. How are the titles formed? What benefits are promised? Do they use all caps, emojis, punctuation? Are the thumbnails heavily customised or more natural? Do they use text? How do they use colour in their thumbnails? 

Let me show you this in practice:

I had to watch the top videos showing how to tie a bow tie because, at this point, I didn’t even know how. I needed to learn so I could show people how to do it.

It was invaluable research that helped me rank the video and get a lot of views.

This is what I found in my research:

  • I had to watch multiple videos to finally get the hang of tying the bow tie.
  • Most videos skipped or provided too little detail over a key step.
  • I felt most of the videos were too short and moved too quickly to get me from complete beginner to successfully tying a bow tie.
  • Individually each video provided some little detail that was useful. In watching multiple videos, I was able to piece together the good parts from each of the videos.
  • While practicing, I found out the effect of length on the bow tie.
  • Video titles were mainly written in Title case. No emojis or icons.
  • Most video thumbnails featured a close-up and some text but were not heavily customised.


Using the video content checklist above, I made these notes:

Missing: The most difficult step was missing or brushed over.

Explanation / presentation: Too far away from camera to see what was going on. Some had poor lighting or background.

Enough Detail: For me, there wasn’t enough detail in most of the videos to be able to tie a bow tie by watching only one video.

Add more value: I could now explain from a beginner’s point of view. Now I knew the hardest part and could give emphasis on that. I also found out how the length of the bow tie affects the end look, which wasn’t covered by any of the videos I watched.

Outdated: All the videos in the top 10 were more than 2 years old but the information isn’t outdated.

With these notes I now had the information I needed to create a video I could almost guarantee would:

  1. Get a lot of views
  2. Provide unique value to viewers

So let’s move on to step 2.

Step 2: Make a Video That Actually Helps Your Target Audience

In this step you’re going to create a video your target audience will LOVE.

Planning your video structure

Based on the notes you made at the end of Step 1, start planning the content and structure of the video under the headings below.

You can either use bullet points or write out a script. Personally I couldn’t follow a script without sounding like I was reading it. So I just used bullet points.

Use whichever makes you feel most at ease.


Hook viewers with your introduction in the first few seconds. Refer to the notes you made from step 1 and say why your video is different from the others you’ve seen.

In my case the key points of difference were:

I was going to show something most videos missed or brushed over.
I was going to go into each step in more detail (as the other videos were too short).

So I talked about that in my introduction.

Include your main topic keyword in the first sentence, or at least within the first few sentences. For me that was ‘how to tie a bow tie’.

Main video content

Break down your main video content into steps or sections. For the bow tie video, here’s how I broke it down:

Step 1: Length
Step 2: First knot
Step 3: Bow shape
Step 4: Second knot
Step 5: Adjustments


Once you’ve finished with the main content, now’s the time to encourage viewers to engage with you.

Ask them to like, share, and subscribe if they found your video useful. This is literally what I said:

“If you found this video useful please like, share and subscribe if you’re into bow ties”


You can also use this section of your video to do a quick pitch for what you’re selling. Like this:


“I’m Alex from My fiance makes all the bow ties by hand and they’re all limited edition. This one was featured in British GQ Magazine last month. So if you want a bow tie, go there to check them out.” 

Finally, encourage discussion or questions by asking viewers to leave a comment. I neglected to do this in my video but here are a couple of examples:


“If you have any questions about what we’ve covered in this video, let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you”

“What are YOUR thoughts on [strategy / product / topic]? Let me know in the comments”


Here’s what my video notes looked like: 

YouTube video script notes
Pretty scrappy, but it works! 

Filming your video

Let me make this clear:

I’m not an expert in filming or editing video. In fact, before making this video, I had barely even stood in front of a camera before.

And yet CBS thought it good enough to license!

If you are a video expert and you’re just here to get more views on your YouTube videos, skip this step.

If you’re just starting out, I can give you some valuable ‘quick and dirty’ tips that’ll help you raise the production quality of your video.


Kit list

First let’s go through what you’ll need.


  1. A video camera or phone capable of recording high quality video – 1920×1080 minimum. 4k if possible. This gives you the option to take high quality still images of your video for custom thumbnails. It also allows you to crop the video without losing quality.
  2. A tripod

Optional (in order of importance)

  1. Lighting
  2. Backdrop support
  3. Backdrop

If you’re using your mobile: Get a Selfie stick with 1/4” screw thread at the bottom of the stick so you can attach it to your tripod

Here’s how I set up the video in this case study:

I knew I was going to be filming quite a bit so I bought a used camera for £287.95, a lens for £63.95 and a 64GB memory card for £22.98.

I could now film in 4k – 3840×2160 resolution. I could also take high quality photos, which can be useful for creating custom thumbnails.

I bought the lighting and backdrop support in one set from eBay for £156.99 (it’s cheaper now!).


My video lighting kit eBay for YouTube
I didn’t need the coloured backdrops in this set but I need the background stand for the next bit of kit. A themed backdrop (5x7ft) for £8.79.
My YouTube video backdrop eBay
So, for £540.66 (under $700) I had all the equipment I needed to turn a room into a studio and make videos.

Remember that figure included the camera, lens and memory card. If you want to do it for less, you could just use your phone.

Tips for recording your videos

Follow these quick tips to increase the quality of your videos:

  • Find a quiet area to film so there is little to no background noise.
  • Use a small room to avoid echo which leads to poor audio quality.
  • A carpeted room may also help avoid echo.
  • Lighting can be the difference between your video looking professional or just mediocre. So don’t skimp here.
  • If you want to take production up another notch, record from two angles. You can film using your main camera and a phone at the same time. For example, the main camera straight in front of you and the other at a 45 degree angle. Another example is one camera filming you and the other shooting up close to a product.

Lighting for your video

Adding lights to your setup will raise the visual quality of your video. Don’t think this is only for experts. You can do this quite simply using the guiding principles of:

Key light – Lighting the main subject of the video.

Fill light – If you just had a key light there would likely be a lot of shadow. Adding a fill light reduces this contrast.

Backlight – Lighting the subject from behind.

YouTube video lighting setup illustration

You don’t have to use all of these. Knowing what they do and how to use them to light your scene will get you the high quality videos you seek without the big bucks of using a videographer.


You can move the lights around, position them higher or lower, turn them on and off or change how bright they are. See how this changes your scene.

For my video I wanted to achieve 3 things with the lights:

  • A dark background which suited the basement style, brick wall themed backdrop.
  • To stand out clearly from the background.
  • Be well lit to ensure the instructions I was giving were clear to see.

Here’s what I did to achieve that:

I used a light shining down over my head. This lights up the top of my head and makes me really stand out (or ‘pop’) against the backdrop.

A fill light to my right, at about a 30 degree angle from the camera. This lit up my face and neck, removing shadows without completely washing me out.

It looked like this:

My YouTube lighting setup

Tips for filming with your mobile

Using your mobile is a serious option:

  • It’s quick because there’s little setup.
  • You don’t have to worry so much about focus – which can be tricky to master with DSLRs as a beginner.
  • The quality can rival expensive, dedicated cameras.

If you plan to use a mobile to record your video, here are my tips:

Film landscape, rather than portrait.

Film in the highest quality you can. A minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080. Higher if possible and if you have the space on your device.

Phone video resolution settings

Usually your rear camera is capable of a higher resolution than your front camera, so use that if you can manage without seeing a preview while filming.

I recommend getting an SD card to expand your phone’s memory. Videos of this quality take up a lot of space. I got a 256GB card and set the phone to save all photos and video to the card instead of the internal memory.

Editing Your Video

As I had never edited a video before, I wanted to be able to edit my video without having a super-steep learning curve. I also needed the software to handle 4k video.

I did quite a bit of research and found Filmora the best for my needs.

Filmora Editing Screen
It’s simple to use. Quite intuitive. Cheap at under $100. It has a lot of templates, transitions and effects you can use. And there are lots of tutorial videos to get you started or to help if you get stuck.

Filmora do have a Mac version but, as a free option, you could try iMovie although I haven’t used it.

Step 3: YouTube SEO

Now it’s time to give your video the best chance at ranking on YouTube (and get in YouTube’s suggested videos).

Quick tip: Include your keyword in your filename. It most likely won’t make a difference but why not? It can’t hurt.

Now on to the elements that will make an impact.

These are incredibly important!

Especially when your video is new. Even more so, if you’re just starting with a new YouTube channel.

When you upload a video to YouTube, it only has the data you provide in the following elements. This is why they are so important, early on. Later, other factors come into play.

So, let’s start optimising your video for ranking in YouTube. 

Video Title

Your title is one of the most important factors. That is why it’s first in the list.

Do not be tempted to use the first headline you think of and move to the next step.

There are two aims with your title:

  1. Make it clear what the video is about
  2. Get the potential viewer to click on it

To achieve #1 you’ll want to include your main keyword. So start with a basic working title that explains what your video is about and includes your keyword. Write a few variations if you can.

To write a headline that will attract clicks you will need to refine your basic working title.

Referring to the notes you made about titles in Step 1 will help you come up with some more variations.

So, now you have a few different titles to work with, we’re going to see how they will appeal to viewers.

I did this in two steps.

First, I used Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer.

I entered my basic working title and selected a category. I tested with different categories and it didn’t seem to change the score. So don’t get hung up on which category to choose.

YouTube video titles in AMI Headline Analyzer
The score for that headline?
YouTube video title AMI headline score
16.67% is a low score. That’s not surprising, since it is just descriptive.

So I added the reason why they should watch this particular video and how it can help them.

These are some of the variations and their scores:

YouTube title scores from AMI
You could use the highest scoring title and finish there.

I wanted to double check these titles with another headline analyzer – Coschedule Headline Analyzer. To get the results you have to register, but it is free. 

I entered my headlines and got this:


YouTube video titles in Coschedule's Headline Analyzer
Coschedule also show you a breakdown of the score, which I like. It helps you understand where you can improve.
Coschedule's title score breakdown

Coschedule and AMI found the same headline to be the winner. So that’s the one I used 


My YouTube video title
I added an emoji at the end of the title in an attempt to stand out from other videos in the search results.

Looking at it now, I think I can do better but that’s what I settled on at the time.


The thumbnail is as important as the title for getting potential viewers to click on your video.

Get your notes from step 1, where you wrote down any patterns you saw about the thumbnails.

You’ve really got 3 options when it comes to thumbnails:

  1. Choose to do the opposite of what you noticed in Step 1, so you stand out against the other video thumbnails.
  2. Choose to fit in by using a similar style of thumbnail but highlighting the benefit of watching your video over others
  3. A combination of the above two points.

For the video in this case study, I chose option 3.

This is the thumbnail I used

My video thumbnail
In Step 1 of this process I made the following notes about thumbnails for my targeted keyword:

Most video thumbnails featured a close-up and some text but were not heavily customised.

The way I chose to fit in was by not heavily customising the thumbnail. I didn’t want to use garish colours, emojis or bold writing in the thumbnail, just to stand out.

The way I chose to stand out was subtle but noticeable. I had noted that most thumbnails had a close up and didn’t show their face. So I chose to show a head and shoulder shot with me looking directly at the user. The background was also relatively dark which helped stand out further.

Video thumbnails in YouTube search

Video Description

Aside from your title and tags, this is where you can really help YouTube understand what your video is about in more detail.

A sentence or two is not enough if you want to maximise your chances of ranking or getting suggested on YouTube.

But first, let’s focus on your first sentence or two.


Because YouTube shows a preview of your description in their search results.

YouTube video description preview
They can also be shown in Google’s search results for certain searches.
YouTube video description in Google SERP

So your first sentence must hook people’s interest and contain your keyword if you want to rank in YouTube’s search results.

Writing a YouTube description

I’ve used the keyword (which is highlighted in bold by YouTube).

I’ve stated what the video is about and why they should watch this specific video rather than the others.

You can follow that very simple formula:

  • Write a mini description of what the video is about (use your main keyword here)
  • Say why they should watch your video

You can use the same structure for your video description as for your video content (we discussed this in Step 2).

1. Introduction

As described above, your first couple of sentences are specifically written for the preview shown in YouTube’s search results.

You’ll see in my case, I added a link to a page on my wife’s website, just below the initial description. I did this because it provides viewers with an alternative way to digest the content – by text and images.

Do this too if you have a specific link you want people to visit. But leave any other links to the Promote section (below).

2. Main content

Go into detail about what you cover in the video. Sprinkle in some variations on your main keyword here, as well as related keywords to help YouTube understand the theme of your content.

3. Promote


  • Where can viewers find out more about the topic you cover in the video. For example, you could add a link to a piece of written content or a product if it’s a review.
  • Your main website, so you can get traffic from YouTube and get leads or sales.
  • Your social profiles, so viewers can find out more about you.


Busting a MYTH: “You need loads of long tail keywords as tags.”


Todd, a YouTube product manager working for the recommendations team, said this about tags:

“Viewers don’t see tags and we have found them to be of limited value in understanding which viewers are likely to be interested in watching the video. A good rule of thumb is to focus on what the viewer sees the most, and that’s the thumbnail, and title and of course, the video.”

In that quote he is specifically referring to how tags relate to YouTube recommendations. When it comes to search, I don’t think tags are a very influential ranking factor as they can easily mislead. And as Todd said, they aren’t visible to the viewer.

So your approach to using tags should be pretty simple. Just use the words and phrases most relevant to your video.

I wrongly started with this long list of keyword variations as tags: 

List of YouTube video tags before
I used too many variations that were completely unnecessary.

But I have now simplified it to this:

List of YouTube video tags now
You can use the keywords you found in Step 1 as tags. You can also make a note of the most relevant tags used by the other top videos you found in your research for Step 1.

To find the tags a video uses, go to the video watch page then right click and select ‘View page source’.

Find tags for video - view source
To quickly get to the tags search this page for ‘keywords’ by using Ctrl + f” (Window) or “⌘ + f” (Mac)
Find tags for video


Now we’ve covered title, thumbnail, description, and tags.

How else does YouTube understand what your video is about?

They create their own transcript of your video.

To see this, go to your video in YouTube Studio. You’ll see all your basic info, like title and description. Click on the Advanced tab.

Under ‘Subtitles and CC for original video language’ you’ll see ‘English by YouTube (automatic). Click on that and select ‘Edit on Classic Studio’.

View YouTube transcript
Now you’ll see what YouTube thinks you’re saying alongside timestamps.
YouTube's automated transcript
In this step, you’ll want to quickly go through the automated transcript YouTube has created. What you’re looking for is errors around the topic keywords.

It can do a pretty good job. But sometimes you can spot glaring errors for important words or phrases.

Transcript errors

I can promise you I wasn’t saying that!

Click edit and start playing the video and watching out for incorrectly transcribed words or phrases. It’s as simple as clicking in the area where the mistake is and correcting it.

Once you’re done, click ‘Publish edits’.

Now, having completed the steps in this YouTube SEO section, you’ve given your new video the best chance of ranking on YouTube.

If you stopped at this point your video would be ahead of the vast majority of channels.


We want faster results, more impressive results. RIght?

So we’re not stopping there. The next step is the key to the Slingshot Technique.

Step 4: Promote

Do you publish your videos and breathe a temporary sigh of relief, thinking you’ve finished?

Maybe you go as far as sharing it across your social media channels.

But, if you really want to give your video the best chance of ranking, you can do more.

This is where the slingshot technique name came from. Promoting your video will give it the vital initial momentum – like when you pull back on the slingshot and let go. It’s only intended to be temporary.

Using YouTube Ads to promote the video was a key part of getting it ranked on YouTube and suggested by the recommendation engine. That’s how it got to 150,000 views in 12 months.

Here’s how I did it…


Promote your video with YouTube Ads

One of the best ways to promote your video is with YouTube Ads. You can reach viewers at the exact moment they are seeking or watching videos about your topic. And it is very cost-effective, as you’ll see.

The aim here is simple:

All you’re going to do is show your video to people who are watching videos on the same subject.

Note: You’ll need a Google Ads account to advertise on YouTube. Creating a Google Ads account is outside of the scope of this case study but Google has plenty of guidance on this. To create your Google Ads account go here

Find videos similar to yours

Before you do anything in Google Ads, you first need to find videos similar to yours. If you can find videos on the exact same subject, that’s ideal.

To do this you can use those initial videos you found in step 1, during your research phase. Let’s add to those.

Go to YouTube and search for your main keyword. Get the video URLs for the top 100 – 200 relevant videos. If it’s not relevant, do not include it in your list.

You can copy the video URLs with a Chrome extension called Linkclump.

With that installed you can right-click, hold and scroll over the titles to copy the links to your clipboard.

Getting YouTube ad placements manually with Linkclump
Paste the links into a notepad.
YouTube ad placements pasted in Notepad

You’ll need to do this a few times to get 100 – 200 videos. I used Adzoola’s Video Search tool to do this in seconds. You could also use our free YouTube video targeting tool.

Save your list of videos, we’ll be using it shortly.


Quickly Create an Effective YouTube Ads Placements Campaign

If you haven’t connected your YouTube account to Google Ads, you’ll need to do this first. Follow Google’s guide on how to do that here.

Now we’ll set up the YouTube ads campaign specifically to target the highly relevant videos we just found.

Setting Up Your YouTube Ad Campaign

Go to your Google Ads account > click Campaigns > click the plus icon to create a new campaign > click Create new campaign.
YouTube Ads setup 1 - create campaign
YouTube Ads setup 2 - create campaign 2
Now you move on to selecting goals and campaign type.

I select ‘Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance’ > Campaign type: Video > Campaign subtype: Custom video campaign


Youtube Ads Setup 3 - Campaign Goal
YouTube Ads setup 4 - campaign type video
Youtube Ads setup 5 - Campaign Subtype Custom Video Campaign
Now give your campaign a name and set a daily budget.

Believe it or not, I started with just £5 a day.

Leave the start/end dates and bidding strategy (this should default to Maximum CPV).

Youtube Ads setup 6 - Budget bidding strategy
Networks: Here’s where you can waste a lot of money with the wrong setting. All the options are checked by default.

Uncheck ‘YouTube search results’ and ‘Video partners on the Display Network’. Leaving ‘YouTube videos’ checked.

YouTube Ads setup 7 - Network settings
For the campaign we’re creating, if you don’t do this Google Ads will show your ad in completely irrelevant places like this
Youtube Ads irrelevant placements
Clearly these aren’t relevant to the video in this case study. So it is critical to the success of your campaign to ensure only ‘YouTube videos’ is checked.

Now set the language and location. I chose the UK and US and left languages as ‘All’.

YouTube Ads setup 8 - Location & language
Choose the language and locations that make sense for your video’s content.

I left content exclusions at their default settings.

Creating Your Ad Group

Now you’re asked to create your ad group by giving it a name. We’re only creating one ad group at the moment, so I named it ‘In-stream’ because that’s the type of ad format I’m using for this ad group.

Next are the targeting settings. All you’re interested in is the Placements section.

YouTube Ads setup 9 - Video placements
Get your list of videos you saved earlier. These are the URLs of the top 100 – 200 relevant videos you collected.

Paste them in to the placements area and click ‘Add placements’.

YouTube Ads setup 10 - Add placements
Set your cost-per-view (CPV) bid. Start relatively low – you can always increase this if you’re not getting impressions. I set it to $0.33 (I don’t like bidding round numbers). Remember, this is the maximum you’ll pay. Often it’s much less. My CPV ended up being around $0.06.

Note: Unlike Facebook, where a video view is counted after 3 seconds, with YouTube Ads a view is only counted when someone watches 30 seconds or more (or interacts with your video). So, in my case, I only paid $0.06 if someone watched 30 seconds or more.

Creating Your Video Ad

Now to create your video ad.

Get the URL of your video. Paste it into ‘Your YouTube video’ area.

Select ‘In-stream’. This is the skippable ad format that plays before, during or after the video you’re targeting.

Enter your website URL and the display URL. The display URL is how your URL will show on desktop.

YouTube Ads setup 11 - Video ad
Under ‘Companion banner (computers only)’, I added a banner because I only had one video. But remember your aim, with this campaign, is to get more views from people who have shown an interest in your topic. It’s not to get a click to your website. So I now think the best option for our objective is to select ‘Auto-generate using videos from your channel (recommended)’.

Give your ad a name so you know what video it is.

Click save and continue.

YouTube Ads setup 11 - Video ad companion banner settings

You’ve now set up your YouTube Ads campaign.

After your ad is approved, your video ads will start running.

Step 5: Let it fly

You’ve reached the final step!

This is where you will see your organic views on YouTube take off.

Here’s what happened to the video in this case study after using The Slingshot Technique.

More views from suggested videos after The Slingshot Technique
If you’ve followed the steps up to now you’ll have:

  1. An exceedingly useful video on a topic your market is interested in.
  2. An optimised video giving you the best chance of ranking on YouTube.
  3. A YouTube ad campaign showing your video to people viewing videos on the same topic.

Your YouTube ad campaign acts as the momentum builder for your video. It’s the initial boost you need to get views.

But you only want to run the campaign long enough to start getting organic views on YouTube.

After all, that is the ultimate aim of the Slingshot Technique: Get momentum for your video, then ‘let it fly’ once it is getting views organically.

So, when should you switch off your campaign?

The simple answer is: When you are seeing consistent organic views.

Every week (or every 3 days if you’re in a competitive market) check your ‘Views by traffic source’ in YouTube studio.

Go to your YouTube Studio account, click Analytics and ‘See more’ under the graph Overview graph.

Select the video you’re promoting with YouTube ads. Do this by clicking on the down arrow next to your channel name at the top of the page.
YouTube Studio select your video
Choose the ‘Traffic source’ tab. Select ‘Views by traffic source’ to show views by traffic source in the graph.
YouTube Studio - Traffic sources
Scroll down to the table underneath the graph. Here you’re seeing all the views your video is getting, broken down by traffic source. This includes views from your YouTube ad.

At this stage views from YouTube advertising is likely to be the dominating traffic source. Here’s what it looked like for me in the first two weeks.

Youtube Ads dominating views
You can also see it has had just 22 views from organic sources in that 2 weeks! Who would have thought it would get over 400,000?

To see how you’re doing organically over time, select YouTube Search and Suggested videos checkboxes under the graph. You’re looking out for an upward trend.

Select traffic sources -suggested videos and YouTube search
Getting these organic views is dependent on many of the factors we’ve covered in the previous 4 steps. Exactly when you’ll get the breakthrough, I can’t tell you.

Keep an eye on these stats every week.


Note: Don’t forget to answer any comments you get on your video. It shows your audience you care about them.

In my case, it took some time before I saw any real change in views from YouTube search or suggested videos. But I have seen other cases where it took off in a week or two.

Remember this was a brand new channel, with no subscribers and no big following outside of YouTube to promote the video to.

On top of that, I was competing with videos that had millions of views.

I got cold feet testing this method and stopped the campaign early. I then restarted for a brief period before it took off.

But see what happened when it did take off.

More views from suggested videos after The Slingshot Technique

You can see there is a very clear uptick in views (in this case I’m showing views from suggested videos).

You might not see something so exaggerated but once you see the uptick, you can now turn off your YouTube ad campaign.

Pause YouTube Ads campaign
Here’s a final before and after of the Slingshot Technique.

The top is the ‘before’. It shows the first 4 months. YouTube Ads dominating the views (446). Compare this with the following 4 months underneath, highlighted in green. YouTube ads is now off and I’m just getting organic views.

Views on YouTube before and after The Sligshot Technique

Try it yourself!

That’s how you can use the Slingshot Technique to grow your views on YouTube, get ranked and get your videos in the all-important suggested video recommendations.

Unlike other methods of traditional, pure YouTube SEO, with The Slingshot Technique you will rapidly grow your views (and sales). You’ll no longer be crossing your fingers hoping your videos get the views they deserve.

So, try it yourself and let me know how you get on.

If you got some value from this post. Share it.

I’d love to hear your success stories using this technique.

Adzoola's video tools will help you execute the Slingshot Technique faster:

Find your target audience with Adzoola• Find super targeted video placements in seconds.
• See total views across the top ranking videos.
• Dramatically reduce your topic research time.
• Avoid creating videos that get no views
• Get YouTube-specific keywords