How to Win the YouTube Algorithm +Get More Views and Comments on Your Videos

Learn strategies to help your YouTube videos get more comments and views. Plus, learn other tips and tricks to win the YouTube algorithm.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・6 min read
Social Media
Business & Marketing Strategy

As a YouTube creator, you're not just an artist; you're the director of your brand. Every video has the potential to build a connection with your audience, develop real brand awareness, and drive sales. But what if your content is sailing unseen in the vast sea of YouTube? Since YouTube is the 2nd most popular social media network, the competition is vast.

When striving to rank in search results, employing every tactic to beat the competition is now more important than ever. In this post, I'll tackle strategies to amplify your presence, ensure your content gets the attention it deserves, and spark conversations that resonate with viewers far and wide.

Understanding the YouTube Algorithm

Firstly, I’ll acknowledge that YouTube's algorithm is a secret like many social media algorithms. However, as users and social media experts, we can deduce from years of experience what works and what doesn’t. With that said, let’s look at ways users discover video content in the first place:

The YouTube algorithm suggests videos to users based on two things:

  1. Through searching for a specific video
  2. Through recommendations by the app.

In both scenarios, the videos shown to the user are delivered based on previous user behavior, i.e., previous views, searches and engagement. Still, the YouTube algorithm also prioritizes the success metrics of videos themselves. In other words, videos with more viewer engagement, including metrics such as watch time, likes, shares, and specifically, views and comments, go a long way in helping that video rank.

In summary, the more engagement your video receives, the more likely it is to be recommended to others, creating a virtuous cycle of visibility and growth. Before we dive in further, let's look at the one algorithm-winning strategy that will always reign supreme.

Crafting Content that Captivates Your Audience

Before diving into strategies to help your videos achieve discoverability, you must focus on the lowest-hanging fruit on the tree. That, of course, is to make compelling content that speaks directly to your audience. 

In other words, winning the algorithm starts organically. You must create quality content that hooks viewers and keeps them intrigued. Each video should serve a purpose, providing value that leaves viewers more knowledgeable and interested. Ensure your content is actionable, combining expertise with an approachable style and a sense of what to do next, i.e., watch another video, go to your website, schedule a consult, etc.

Videos that speak to your audience will aid in discoverability and help you collect qualified leads, which leads us to our next strategy.

Leveraging Contests & Giveaways

An often overlooked yet brilliant tactic in video marketing is to use the engagement power of contests and giveaways to drive views and comments on your videos. Since YouTube’s API allows contest software platforms (like this one) to import comments, marketers can build a giveaway that incentivizes participants to leave comments on their videos in exchange for extra chances to win. 

ShortStack is a powerful contest and giveaway builder equipped with tools that help drive comments and video views. By enabling their Extra Points feature, giveaway hosts can offer extra chances to win for every video view and for leaving comments in the video comment section. 

ShortStack offers this YouTube Comment to Win Giveaway template with the user flow already set up. Here’s how it works: 

Step 1: The participant fills in the form and clicks ‘Enter’. 

Step 2: The screen refreshes, and a video appears. 

Step 3: If the participant watches the video, an extra ‘point’ will be added to their entry (which ShortStack counts as an additional entry when choosing a winner at random)

Step 4: The participant can then click to navigate to the video on YouTube, where they can add a comment on the video. When the giveaway is over, the administrator can import the comments into the list of giveaway entries and count them as additional entries. 

Pairing contests and giveaways with your YouTube presence has added benefits. Collecting a name and email in your giveaway provides you with a list of qualified leads that can be used for follow-up marketing, thus cultivating your audience and driving them to convert into paying customers. 

Engaging with Your Audience

Contests and giveaways offer great engagement, but you can further engage your audience and help manipulate the YouTube algorithm by liking and replying to the comments left on your videos. Then, continue to drive the conversation by feeding them more content. The end of one video should be the beginning of another. 

Use end screens and cards to guide viewers to additional content, keeping the content train moving. Make watching your channel a continually rewarding experience where viewers can easily binge and bond with your brand.


Collaborations between brands and personalities have become an effective strategy for several reasons. The right partnership can spark attention. Think Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart. And while unlikely partnerships like this one are great for getting noticed, collaborations with complimentary brands can earn you equally positive attention. For example, a relationship between brands like Camp Chef and Yeti is a natural fit because both attract customers interested in the outdoors and, therefore, outdoor-related products. 

Another strategy would be collaborating with a brand that reaches an audience you’re working to tap into. For example, if you’re looking to attract a younger customer base, try partnering with a company whose products are already popular with that audience. A great example is the collaboration between Adobe and the band Twenty One Pilots. 

Adobe hosted a creative contest that encouraged Twenty One Pilots fans (primarily made up of a younger demographic) to create a social post using their Adobe Spark application. This partnership fostered an interest in what could easily be Adobe’s future client base, getting them acquainted with their software and, ultimately, their brand. 

Discovery is Also in the Details

If you’ve ever added content to YouTube, you know how time-consuming it can be to perfect your video’s details. However, optimizing your video titles, descriptions, and tags with relevant keywords can help your content get discovered. 

Did you know that the raw file name of your uploaded video can assist in higher rankings? Use long-tail keywords that accurately describe your video's content, like ‘How to Create a Hashtag Contest’ instead of ‘hashtag video.’ And don't shy away from exploring what similar successful YouTubers in your niche are doing.

Promoting Across Platforms

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Promote your videos across different social media platforms to cast a wider net. Tease your content on Instagram, tweet about your latest upload, or discuss it on LinkedIn. The aim is to create multiple touchpoints that lead viewers to your YouTube channel.


The YouTube algorithm isn't an adversary; it's a partner in your channel's journey. You provide the vision, the creativity, and the passion. With a thoughtful approach and some strategic maneuvering, you'll find yourself racking up more views, engaging in meaningful conversations through comments, and growing your community in no time.

Be persistent, be patient, and be ready to adapt. The landscape of YouTube constantly evolves, and so should your tactics. Trust in your ability to create, captivate, and connect. You're not just making videos—you're creating experiences that leave a lasting impact on each viewer that comes your way.

About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・6 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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