In this post, I will share with you 10 smart ways to grow your YouTube audience.
But first, let’s look at why you would want to do this in the first place.
Well, it could be because you want more people to view and engage with your videos.
Or, it could be because you want to tap into a whole new traffic source for your business, website, or your blog.
Let’s look at the latter, using YouTube and videos as a traffic source for your online property.
Did you know that YouTube is considered to be the third largest search engine on the internet?
Check out these startling stats –
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube every single month.
- In 2011 alone, YouTube generated 1 trillion views! That’s insane, right?
With those stats in your mind, you really have no other option other than to use YouTube and video marketing to promote your website or business.
The image below is taken from a HubSpot Research and shows that in 2016 43% of audiences and customers wanted to see more videos.
So how do you maximize your potential for driving traffic from YouTube?
Well, you’ve got to first grow an audience.
Below I’ve compiled 10 rock solid tips for you to do just that, so let’s dive straight in.
Tip #1: Create quality content
Let’s start with the most important ingredient of all, content.
Trying to grow an audience on YouTube is just the same as trying to grow an audience for your blog, or customer base for your online business!
In other words, the starting point is creating high-quality content.
For anyone to be interested in subscribing to your YouTube channel, they’ve first got to love and value the content you put out.
One great way to create epic content on YouTube is to solve as many problems as you can.
Most folks essentially go to YouTube to find solutions to their problems. So your first port of call is to create great ‘problem-solving’ content, and here’s the best thing ever!
You probably already have the content you need for your channel. I’m talking about using content from your blog.
All you have to do is repurpose that content and turn them into YouTube videos, that’s exactly what I’m doing over on my YouTube channel.
Just make a list of all the quality blog posts you have that could be turned into videos, and create one each week.
Tip #2: Brand your YouTube channel
The next thing you want to do is to actually make your channel visually appealing.
If you want your YouTube channel visitors to take you seriously and hit that subscribe button, you’ve got to look the part.
Branding your YouTube channel can help you to not only establish your identity but also to let users instantly recognize you and your brand.
Chances are you’re already using some kind of unique brand identity for your blog or website, right?
And, probably the same for your Social Media channels.
So naturally, you should also carry that branding identity through to your YouTube channel, it makes perfect sense to.
Here’s a screen shot of my branded YouTube channel to give you some inspiration.
In addition, check out these other top YouTubers for banner design inspiration.
You don’t need a degree in graphic design to create your own banners, just spend some time learning how to use simple FREE tools like Canva or Photoscape.
When creating your banners, think about what kind of message you want to send to your viewers, let them know what your channel is all about.
If you need help with graphic design, click this link.
As well as applying visual branding, don’t forget to also add custom URLs to your channel header too.
Also, write an interesting and relevant bio about who you are and what your videos are all about. Mention in a few words what inspires you and so on.
Take a look at mine to get some idea of what to write for yours, it’s not the most inspiring I know, but it will give you an idea of what to come up with for your own channel bio.
Remember to keep it short and sweet.
Tip #3: Use branded thumbnails in your videos
So continuing on the subject of ‘branding’ and making your channel and videos ‘recognizable’ for your audience –
As well as customizing your channel art, writing a bio and everything else, don’t forget to add some cool customized thumbnails to your videos.
I’ve personally always done this for all of my videos.
OK so before you run off to create some custom branded thumbnails for your videos, here are some ‘design tips’ for you.
- Use high-quality, high-resolution images. You want your thumbnails to appear as crisp as possible, regardless of what screen size format your videos are being viewed on.
- Edit your images so they standout, even more, use attractive filters, maintain brightness, contrast etc.
- If you’re using stock images to represent the content of your video, make sure they’re relevant and suitable for a wide audience.
Once again, if you need some assistance with designing high quality thumbnails for your YouTube videos, check out this link.
Tip #4: Use annotations to add powerful ‘call to actions’
Call to actions create engagement, so make sure you’re using them.
I personally know that from a viewer’s perspective, annotations can be really annoying at times, right? Especially if there are hundreds of them that pop-up at any one time.
You don’t need hundreds of annotations in your videos, they will destroy user experience.
If you’re going to add an annotation, make sure it’s some type of call-to-action.
For instance, asking folks to subscribe to your channel at the end of the video is quite a normal thing to do. Like the one shown below.
Tip #5: Use custom links to create a highly visible ‘subscribe to channel’ link
You already have a subscribe button placed in your YouTube channel for the public to see. What I like to do in addition to this is add my own custom link.
If you look at the image below, you’ll see that I’ve created an additional ‘link to subscribe’ custom link with the call-to-action text that says ‘Subscribe To Channel‘.
I really recommend doing the same with yours.
You can also experiment with different call-to-action texts, for example: Subscribe For Updates or Subscribe For More etc.
Tip #6: Link your associated website or blog
YouTube allows you to connect your associated website to your YouTube channel, this helps to improve their search results and to also verify your channel as the official representation of your brand on YouTube.
Simply go to your channel and hover your mouse over the navigational links section of your channel page.
Hit the channel settings link to add your blog or website URL, and hit link your associated website. (See images below)
Tip #7: Promote your videos on other social and content platforms
Probably the most effective way to grow your YouTube audience is by promoting your actual videos.
When you create a brand new video and upload it to your YouTube channel, who’s going to really know about it?
Hardly anyone. So if you want to get as many views to your new videos as possible, if you want to get as many peeps visiting your channel and hitting that subscribe button, you’ve got to do some marketing and promo work yourself.
Share your latest video on all your other social networking sites, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
I know Facebook prefers users to upload video content directly to their platform rather than sharing a YouTube link, so perhaps you could create a mini promo Facebook video and link it to your main video over on YouTube, or even link it to your YouTube channel itself.
What ever other platforms you use and have an audience on, just make sure you’re using them to promote your YouTube channel on.
Here are some ideas for promoting your videos on social media and content marketing platforms:
- Upload your videos to your Facebook page, then add a link back to the original video on your YouTube channel.
- Share your videos in relevant groups and communities around Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn if allowed.
- Pin your videos to your Pinterest boards.
- Scoop your videos on Scoop.it, and suggest your videos to other relevant topics on Scoop.it.
- Add videos to your presentations in SlideShare.
- Link to your videos from your free reports, eBooks and PDFs etc. You can do this by screen capturing the video, or use the thumbnail, and link it to the video itself from the image.
- Create a dedicated custom video landing page on your blog like this one, and promote it like your life depends on it…
- Blog about your latest video.
- Add your videos to related articles on your blog.
Tip #8: Create a compelling channel trailer video
YouTube allows its users to create a channel trailer to welcome new visitors and entice them to subscribe.
Your welcome video doesn’t have to be long, just around 30 to 60 seconds long, however, this is a great opportunity for you to really let people know about who you are, and what you’re passionate about, and how they can benefit from subscribing to your channel updates.
It’s an opportunity for you to really sell yourself.
For more information, tips, ideas, and examples of some cool welcome videos click here.
You can also do a search on YouTube for “channel trailer” for some truly inspirational ideas of how other YouTubers have created their welcome intro videos.
Tip #9: Get in front of your audience
I fully appreciate how important it is for you to promote your brand, and like I pointed out in tips #1 and #2, branding your channel and videos are critical elements for strengthening your brand, and to help you grow your audience on YouTube.
But, when it comes to video content marketing, remember that YOU are the face of your brand.
If you’re a blogger, solopreneur, or business coach creating tutorial videos, or talking videos, again remember that you are the face of your brand!
So that means you need to put yourself in front of your audience. Let them see who you are.
I know this can be quite daunting at first, but trust me it gets easier the more you do it, and it’s also fun too.
Showing your face can really help you connect with your YouTube followers like nothing else.
Another thing, if you’re going to show your face as often as possible, make sure you use your real name.
For your YouTube profile image, use a real picture of yourself (your face), not just your website or company logo.
People like to feel as if they’re talking to someone like I said it will make them feel more connected to you.
Tip #10: Make sure your videos are well formatted before showing them off
Finally, and this one goes without saying.
Make sure if you’re going to spend time crafting compelling video content, that you spend just as much time polishing them off properly.
So from start to finish, shoot in HD whenever possible.
When creating screencasts, make sure this is in HD as well.Use adequate lighting in your videos, use quality visuals and images etc.
Use adequate lighting in your videos, especially when shooting your face. Use quality visuals and images, etc.
YouTube has some awesome built-in tools to help you format your videos as well, but you can also use your own software should you wish.
If you’re a PC user, Windows Movie Maker will do fine.
If you’re a Mac user like me, iMovie will do just fine.
Filmora is also a great tool for making your videos look and feel professional.
I’ve recently started using Final Cut Pro for editing my videos.
So as you can see, growing your YouTube audience doesn’t just mean doing marketing and promotional work.
It starts with creating high-quality, useful and compelling video content.
Create as much awesome content as you can.
Marketing and promotion, of course, plays a huge role if you really want to grow your YouTube audience quickly!
It will help you get more eyeballs on your videos, thus help you to increase your YouTube channel subscribers.
I wish you all the best in your quest!