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An update on using YouTube hashtags

I first mentioned the underused hashtags feature in YouTube back in 2020. In business and professional use, it remains underused, and is therefore worth another look.

As a reminder, ‘hashtags’ are no different to any conventional ‘tags’, or keywords added to media to help with search. It’s just that they’re prefaced with a ‘#’ so that they can be placed within titles, descriptions or messages rather than needing their own fields.

In YouTube, however, the hashtags appear above the video title, which is a fairly prominent position that might cause viewers to click on them a lot more than if they were just hidden away at the end of the description:

YouTube hashtags can be placed at the end of the video’s title, e.g.:

How to choose a WidgeSprocket™ #bluewidgets

…or they can be placed in the description (normally at the end). We can use lots of them, but only three will appear above the video’s title.

You can use dozens of hashtags on your videos, but three should be plenty. If someone watching a video clicks on a hashtag, they get a list of other videos which use that hashtag. So it seems to me that when considering what hashtags to use, the first place to look is existing popular videos about the same subject, and to use the same ones. This means that viewers of videos by other people might subsequently move on to our video.

If we choose an ‘original’ hashtag that nobody else is using, where would we find ourselves listed? The only place might be in general YouTube search, but if we’re targeting that, the terms should be in our titles and descriptions anyway. The exception here would be the tactic of using an identical brand-related or simply unique hashtag on all of our related videos, to give people the chance to click on it and see our other videos in a nice list.

Have a browse around YouTube to get a feel of what people are doing.