Once you get beyond the stigma of it being “impossible” to be successful on YouTube, it can be both a challenging and rewarding endeavor. In the beginning, there will be a clear emphasis on on the “challenging” part, like getting a satisfactory number of views for your videos and building your subscriber list.
While you should define what success means for your own YouTube channel, many see it as the amount of subscribers a channel has, and this will be the biggest challenge. So while we might not be able to tell you what your YouTube niche will be (Mini food baking? Emoji makeup styles?), we do know a thing or two about raising follower numbers. To start building your audience, follow these tips below to help you get more subscribers on YouTube:
1. Have no shame and ask
Let’s get this one right out in the open first. At the end of your videos, don’t be afraid to ask viewers to like and subscribe. Sometimes viewers are simply in “YouTube” mode and aren’t thinking to engage with the videos they’re watching, they just want to watch. Reminding them of this solid they could do for you could be your ticket. Some people think that asking for subscribers and likes is desperate, but let’s just put things into perspective here: This is YouTube, which isn’t known to be an overly-tactful place. There’s nothing wrong with asking. Just because asking for “more” didn’t work in Oliver Twist doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Plus, it’s not uncommon to see well established channels still ask in their videos
2. Advertise everywhere (cross-platform promotion)
We get it, you like YouTube, but you should be always be pushing your channel to other platforms and social networks to get more exposure, and there are several ways to do this.
Sharing is caring: Any and every time you publish a video on your channel, plan to publish a post with a link to said video on your other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Are you super lazy? Fine, you can set up IFTTT so that when you publish a public YouTube video, you can have a link posted from Facebook and a Tweet sent out telling everyone to check out your latest video. Another smart way to keep your YouTube channel at the forefront is to add a link to it in the profile of your other social networks.
3. Engage with your community
It’s vital that you engage with your community. They are the ones who are liking, subscribing, and telling others about your channel. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what your goal is, whether you’re just getting started on YouTube, looking for more views, or more subscribers – treating your community with respect and regularly engaging with them will be paramount to your success. Not only does interacting with your audience on your videos help get your community buzzing about your content, but YouTube will reward you for the social hype. Plus, your fans will be happy to spread the love with likes and shares.
4. Reassess your channel’s design
Not everyone was born with an eye for (YouTube) design. And that’s okay. You may have an “ideal audience” in mind for your content, but you should aim to appeal to as many people as you can, however you can. One thing to take note of is how your channel looks when someone lands on it. While the content you produce is ultimately what should get viewers to subscribe to your channel, in order to give your videos the glory they deserve, make sure your channel is eye-catching and appealing. Go over your channel art, profile icon, channel trailer and ask yourself how it could be improved to broaden its appeal. Ask a friend that won’t sugar coat it for you. This is obviously subjective, but getting the perspective of others can be invaluable to shaping how your channel is portrayed.
5. Spend some time on your video thumbnails
The power of a good video thumbnail on a YouTube video is surprisingly boundless, so you’ll want to make sure you’re spending a decent amount of time crafting it. With the bulk of your work confined to producing your actual video content, it could be tempting to think that investing time into a simple thumbnail is a waste. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thumbnails that are attention-grabbing get more attention. (It doesn’t get any more profound than that.) However you go about creating your thumbnails, be sure that they each carry a unique style that you can apply to all of your video thumbnails. This type of consistency looks great on your channel and adds a sense of professionalism.
6. Put a greater emphasis on your SEO
Discoverability is crucial for any channel, especially newer ones, so if you aren’t obsessive about your YouTube video SEO, that should change. Crafting a solid title and description is a job of its own so while this is markedly the most boring part of the process, it holds the potential of determining how well your video will be found, so it’s nothing to take lightly. You can increase your chances of making an SEO-friendly title by doing research on your keywords and deciding whether you’d like to chase the more popular (and competitive) keywords, or the more specific long-tail keywords. It’s more than just the title, though! You should also make sure your video description is properly filled out with the appropriate links and that they are in line with the tags you used on your videos. Don’t skimp on your tags – make sure they’re relevant. Check out our guide in case you need to brush up on your YouTube SEO skills.
7. Curate playlists for your audience
If a viewer stumbles upon one of your videos through a search, make it easy for them to continue to watch similar videos by compiling a playlist you’ve created for just this occasion to automatically offer up more content. Not only does this get your channel more view time, but you’ll also save your audience from the dreaded YouTube rabbit hole. You know what I’m talking about.
8. Keep their attention with CTAs
The attention span of just about anyone on YouTube is admittedly abysmal, which is why you need to intrigue viewers with your content to keep them interested. If they’re going to be distracted in any way, it should be with one of your CTAs. You can add links to your other videos that the viewer may find relevant, or even a CTA telling them to like and subscribe.