11 Tips on How to Get More YouTube Subscribers for Free in 2018
1. Continually Post Useful Content
There are lots of YouTube channels out there. You’re competing against all of them for your target audience’s attention. If viewers don’t know when to expect your next video, they’ll stop looking for it.
Maybe you create a new video every day. That’s a pretty aggressive content calendar, but it’s doable.
Or perhaps you only post once per week. Make sure it’s the same day every week, whether it’s Monday morning or Friday afternoon.
You can maintain your posting schedule by creating several videos in advance and scheduling your content calendar accordingly. Keep your calendar organized so you never run out of video content.
But don’t forget that you should never create a YouTube video just because your audience expects it. Every video should contain useful, actionable content. Otherwise, you’re just wasting people’s time — and turning them off your brand.
2. Choose Accurate, Clickable Titles for Your Videos
You’ve heard the term clickbait, right? It’s popular because it works. Clickbait titles can get you more views, but they won’t necessarily help you get more subscribers.
What will help you gain subscribers is accurate, appealing titles. You want people to know what to expect from your videos just by looking at the video names.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Mixing in a few clickbait-style words won’t hurt as long as you’re accurate.
It’s also a good idea to stick to a familiar format. For instance, maybe all of your videos include lists or steps. Make sure that’s reflected in each title.
You could also give your channel a name and start each video with the name. That way, people who stumble on one video will know how to search for the others. When consumers know you’re consistent, they’ll subscribe more reliably.
3. Give Your Channel a Redesign
Every YouTube channel looks the same. Yours doesn’t have to follow suit. While YouTube limits the customization options available to channel owners, you can still leave your mark.
It starts with the masthead at the top of your channel. Keep in mind that people will see it on desktop as well as their mobile devices, so it should be friendly to all.
The masthead sets the tone for your channel and helps communicate what you teach. In other words, it’s like a billboard for your brand, so it deserves special attention.
Start by coming up with a list of adjectives to describe your brand. Let’s say that you teach people how to do yoga, for instance. Some of the adjectives you might list could include:
Armed with this list, you could create a fairly simply masthead or banner with soothing, cool colors, a single minimalist image, and a positive message.
Of course, the qualities you list should actually reflect your brand. You could easily teach yoga, yet have a bright, energetic brand that isn’t afraid to get loud. Your masthead should reflect those qualities.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Human
It’s easy to start adjusting your tone of voice, pitch, and language when you’re on camera. If possible, however, you want to avoid sounding like a robot.
Practice talking into your camera a few times. Vary your speech patterns, use slang words, and add in some humor. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
If it helps, think of making YouTube videos as having a conversation with a friend. The only difference is that your friend doesn’t talk back, so you’re the one who has to fill all the spaces in the conversation.
When you imagine someone you trust on the other side of the camera, you’ll be more likely to communicate honestly, openly, and without discomfort.
Why is this important? Because you need to humanize your brand for potential customers. When they see you’re a person just like them, trust will blossom.
5. Change Up Your Shooting Locations
Variety is the spice of marketing, right? It makes sense. If we’re exposed to the same thing over and over again, we stop really seeing it.
It’s fine to shoot most of your videos in the same location. You might use an infinity wall, a green screen, a blank wall in your home, or even the background of a local park. However, changing up your shooting locations can make your videos feel more fresh and interesting.
You could shoot in a local coffee shop, for example, or select a different room in your home. Some entrepreneurs have even used a body-attached tripod to film themselves while they take walks around their neighborhoods.
Get creative. You want each video to seem like something new and innovative, and varying your shooting locations is just one way to accomplish that.
6. Create a Clear Custom Thumbnail
Your thumbnail is arguably the most important branding element of your YouTube channel. It shows up on the channel itself as well as on the videos you create.
A clear, easily identifiable thumbnail is essential. When people see it, you want them to automatically connect it with your brand and videos.
The type of thumbnail you should create will depend on what you want to achieve. For instance, many entrepreneurs use headshots of themselves. That’s a great way to put yourself forward as the face of your brand and to build brand equity.
Others use the company logo or some other graphic that represents the brand. It’s not as personal, but it can work well if you want to push the business over yourself.
Just make sure it’s not distorted and that it follows YouTube’s guidelines. Thumbnails are perfect squares, so make sure the dimensions are correct.
7. Make Playlists to Encourage Viewers to Subscribe
A playlist is a little different on YouTube than it is on your MP3 device, but it serves the same function. It’s a group of videos that are related to one another in some way, such as because they deal with similar topics or because they’re part of a series.
You can create as many playlists as you want. Often, viewers can’t watch every video in a playlist in one go, so they subscribe to the channel. Later, when they want to return to the playlist, it’s easy to find.
We’ll talk about increasing your production schedule a little later, but it stands to reason that you’ll need lots of videos if you want to create playlists. When you’re organizing your content calendar, choose topics with playlists in mind.
- How can several videos be arranged in a playlist based on a shared theme?
- What videos go best together?
- In what order should you arrange the playlist?
If you start out thinking about playlists, they’ll be easier to create down the line.
8. Employ Annotations
Videos can be interactive as well as entertaining and instructive. If you use annotations, you can communicate more easily with your audience and provide resources they can use to get more information.
For instance, maybe you reference a recent blog post in your video. Using the annotation feature, you can include a link to the blog post in the video.
Annotations serve lots of other purposes. You could include a link to another related video, add text to clarify a point you were making, use text to correct a mistake in your speech, or add funny overlays.
The point here is to maximize every video for its greatest potential. Although annotations don’t appear on mobile devices, they’re accessible from larger gadgets.
9. Ask Viewers to Subscribe
It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Why would someone subscribe just because you asked them to?
It happens more often than you think. Subscribing to a YouTube channel takes a simple click of the mouse or tap of the finger, but many people won’t even take that step unless they’re verbally invited.
At the beginning and end of your video, ask viewers to subscribe. You can also add a benefit. For instance, if your videos often contain coupon codes or other value-added bonuses, you can mention that in your CTA for subscribers.
Some entrepreneurs assume that subscriber counts are mere vanity metrics. There’s some truth to that. However, increasing your subscriber base gives you access to more potential customers. Even if some of them never visit your channel again, it’s a numbers game. The more subscribers you have, the more likely people are to watch your videos.
Plus, when people see that you have a high subscriber count, they’ll automatically view your brand as more authoritative. After all, if hundreds or thousands of people have subscribed to your channel, you must be offering something of value!
10. Be Yourself
Think of your brand as your greatest asset. It’s what people recognize about your business, videos, courses, and other online activities. You have to nurture and protect that brand at all costs.
For Knowledge Commerce professionals, the brand often revolves around the person behind the knowledge. That’s you.
People might like consuming your content because you’re funny, smart, witty, humble, generous, kind, or goofy. Insert whatever qualities you possess here.
However, if you don’t embrace your singular voice while creating videos, you’ll struggle to get more YouTube subscribers.
Why? Because when you don’t sound like yourself, people sense deception. They want to know why you’re presenting yourself in a way that contradicts their previous encounters with you.
And that’s not a good thing.
Again, practice is the key to finding and honing your voice. If you’ve created past videos for your online courses, go back and watch them. Focus on maintaining consistency with everything you release for public consumption.
11. Create an Engaging Channel Trailer
You might have seen other people’s and brand’s channel trailers before. They’re the first video to appear on the main channel page, and they often autoplay.
Think of your channel trailer as the introduction to your brand. You want to create a brief, engaging video that helps viewers understand what you offer.
It’s like an elevator pitch. You have a short time to convince people they should listen to you further. If you’re not engaging or informative, people will likely click away.
You can also link to and embed your channel trailer elsewhere. It becomes a handy introduction tool, especially as an increasing number of consumers have begun to appreciate video over text.
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