Increasing your YouTube subscribers takes a lot of hard work and patience. If you are thinking about growing your audience on the world's largest video social network platform, you've arrived at the right place. Below, I'll reveal 12 smart ways to boost your subscribers on YouTube without selling your soul.
Let's start with the why?
Why do you want to grow your tribe over on YouTube
If you answered with -
Because I want to become famous like all the other BIG YouTubers...
Well, that wasn't exactly the response I was looking for.
You have to have a purpose for growing an audience on YouTube. Perhaps you want to use video and YouTube as a channel to promote your blog or personal brand business, right?
Let me assume, for now, that you are already creating some content on YouTube.
And so, if you have an online business or blog, you can leverage the power of video and YouTube to further increase brand awareness, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and grow a whole new community.
Heres another reason why you might want to grow your subscribers on YouTube:
Traffic! Yep, that's right. Driving website traffic from YouTube. From your channel and your videos.
Did you know that YouTube is considered to be the second largest search engine on the web?
Just take a look at these stats -
For my web design business at Fabrizio Van Marciano Dot Com, YouTube is now the third-largest source of traffic.
So, with those stats in mind, you really have no other option other than to embrace YouTube and video content marketing to promote your blog or to grow your business in 2020, 2021, and beyond.
The image below was taken from a HubSpot Research and shows that in 2016 43% of audiences and customers wanted to see more videos.
And, if that wasn't enough for you, check this out -
According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be by video by 2021.
One last statistic, I promise...
80% of consumers are likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video.
So, now that your brain is filled with some awesome video marketing stats and facts, it's clearly time you took video marketing and growing your YouTube subscribers seriously, right?
Let's start with the most important ingredient of all, great content.
Growing an audience on YouTube is just the same as growing a readership for your blog or fanbase for your Facebook page.
In other words, it all starts with great content.
To grow your YouTube community, your content has to be valuable.
For anyone to be remotely interested in subscribing to your YouTube channel, they must first fall in love with your content.
And here's what you really need to understand:
If your content is garbage, you will get very few to no subscribers at all.
I'm making this as simple as possible to understand. Your content has to be valuable, engaging, and memorable.
A great way to start providing value through your YouTube channel is by creating 'problem-solving' content that people want to watch.
"How To" videos or tutorials is one of the most searched for phrases on YouTube.
According to ThinkWithGoogle -
People searching for 'How To' videos on YouTube is growing by 70% year on year!
Many folks go to YouTube to find a solution to whatever problem they might be experiencing.
So, where do you start with creating 'how-to' videos?
If you have a blog in any niche, then start with that!
You probably already have a ton of awesome "how-to" written posts on your blog that you can post on your YouTube channel.
All you have to do is repurpose the content and turn them into videos, and that's exactly what I've been doing over on my YouTube channel for the last few years.
Here's what I want you to do -
The next thing you want to do is to actually make your channel visually appealing.
If you want your channel visitors to take you seriously and hit that subscribe button, you've got to look the part.
Branding your YouTube channel not only helps you to establish your identity but also lets users instantly recognize your brand.
Chances are you're already using some kind of personal brand style for your blog or website, right?
And, probably the same for your Social Media channels and Instagram profile.
So, naturally, you would want to carry that branding over to your YouTube channel, it makes perfect sense to.
Here's a screenshot of my branded YouTube channel to give you some idea and inspiration on how to create a great looking cover art for your channel.
Additionally, check out these other top YouTubers for more banner design inspiration.
Recommended reading - 6 Amazing Tools for Creating Beautiful Visual Content.
Design tips - Just to throw out some design tips for you:
When creating your YouTube channel banner, think of the message you want to send to your viewers, let them know what your channel is all about.
As well as creating a nice branded artwork for your channel, don't forget to add custom URLs to your channel header too. These could be your website address and links to other social channels.
Bio - Make sure to write an interesting bio about who you are, what your cause is, and what your videos are essentially all about.
Take a look at mine here to get some idea of what to write for yours, it's not the most inspiring or interesting bio, 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, sweet, and relevant to what you do.
So, continuing on the topic of 'branding' to make your YouTube channel stand out and recognizable, don't forget to add some cool customized thumbnails to your videos.
I've always done this for all of my videos, and the thumbnails does not need to look completely professional.
Now, I realize that creating custom video thumbnails can take some time, but it's so important if you want to make an impression on your potential subscribers.
Before you run off to create some custom branded thumbnails for your videos, here are some design tips:
Call to actions helps to promote engagement, so make sure you're using them correctly.
You can use annotations for adding your call-to-action messages. Personally, however, I find these to be quite annoying and intrusive for viewers.
A perfect alternative is to add your call-to-action messages while you're editing your videos. You can make them blend seamlessly into the content of your video, like the one below.
So you already have a subscription button placed on your YouTube channel for the public to view. What I like to do, in addition to this, is to add my own custom link.
Take a look at the screen capture image below, you'll see that I've added an additional 'link to subscribe' using a custom link with the call-to-action text that says 'Subscribe To Channel'.
I recommend you do this too for your channel. You can also experiment with different call-to-action messages, for example: Subscribe For Updates or Subscribe For More, or Join The Party, etc.
Here's another great tip:
Something I recently changed on my own videos was the branded watermark logo.
YouTube allows you to add a branded watermark to personalize or brand in your videos. I changed mine from my website logo to a "Subscribe" icon.
The purpose of your branded watermark is to get people to subscribe, well, what better way to do this than to use an actual "Subscribe watermark"?
To do this, simply go to Creator Studio > Channel > Branding to change yours.
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.
To do this, go to Creator Studio, then hit the channel settings link to add your blog or website URL, and hit link your associated website. (See images below)
You can also add keywords related to your channel to improve the visibility of your channel in YouTube search.
Probably the most effective way to grow your YouTube audience is by actively promoting your videos on the web.
When you create and upload a brand new video to your YouTube channel, asides from your subscribers, hardly anyone else will know about it?
So, if you want to get as many views on your new videos and get as many peeps visiting your channel and hitting that subscribe button, you've got to do some marketing and promo work yourself.
For starters, share your videos on all your other social networking sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Instagram and TikTok.
I know Facebook prefers to have its users upload video content directly to their platform rather than sharing a YouTube link, so perhaps you could create a short video for Facebook to promote your YouTube videos. Don't forget to add a link to your primary video on YouTube.
Room for a few more marketing tips?
Here are some additional suggestions for promoting your videos on social media and content marketing platforms:
YouTube allows you to allocate a video to use as a welcome trailer for your channel. If you don't have a trailer, then consider creating one.
Your welcome video doesn't have to be that long, just around 30 to 60 seconds long, however, it is a great opportunity for you to really let people know who you are, what you're passionate about, and how they can benefit from subscribing to your channel updates.
For more information, tips, ideas, and examples of some cool welcome videos, YouTube have a cool video tutorial on this. You can check it out 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 videos.
In addition, I welcome you to check out my YouTube channel trailer video below for some inspiration.
I appreciate just how important it is for you to grow your brand, and like I pointed out in tips #1 and #2, branding your channel and videos are critical elements for strengthening your identity on YouTube to help you grow your audience.
That said, when it comes to video content marketing, remember that YOU are the face of your brand. Not a fancy logo or some geeky looking banner, but YOU.
It really doesn't matter who you are and what you do. If you're a blogger, or if you are building a personal brand business, you are the face of your cause.
That means you need to put yourself out there in front of your audience. Not always, but a lot of the time you should try. It's not always easy, and it can be daunting at first, but you will get used to it.
And also, showing your face on video can help you connect with your audience like nothing else, especially on YouTube. It is the most intimate way to engage with your audience and community. This will help you to build trust quickly, now that's pretty important, wouldn't you say?
In addition to showing your face, make sure you use your real name and not your business or company name.
A quick note on your profile image. Make sure you use a real picture of yourself (your face), not your website or company logo. People like to feel as if they're talking or listening to someone. Like I said, it will make them feel more connected to you.
This is so, so, so, so, so important. It that enough so's?
Really, there's nothing worse than watching a video that is of poor quality footage, but worst, that has really bad audio.
From start to finish, shoot in HD or higher quality if possible.
If you're recording yourself and talking in your videos, you can use your Smartphone, you really don't need any other expensive gear. However, I would invest in an external clip-on microphone to improve audio quality.
If you are on a budget and want to record directly into your laptop or computer, and don't want to use your Smartphone, I recommend the Logitech C920 HD USB Cam. You can find this cam here on Amazon.
If you're creating screencasts, record the full screen and not just a small area of your screen. You can use Screencast-O-Matic for your screen tutorials. Again, use an external mic, something like the Snowball iCE Condenser USB Mic would be perfect. You can find this on Amazon here.
For my vlogs, tutorial intros, and talking head videos, I use the Panasonic Lumix G7 Mirrorless camera with a Rode Video Micro Mic. See my setup below.
My Kit: If you're interested in checking out my full vlogging and video recording gear, check out this dedicated page.
Finally, and this one should go without saying.
If you're going to craft awesome videos, make sure that you spend some time making them watchable. You can do this by editing your videos before sharing them with your audience.
YouTube has some awesome built-in tools to help you format your videos, but you can also use your own software should you wish.
If you're a PC user, Windows Movie Maker will do fine if that even still exists.
If you're a Mac user like me, iMovie will do just fine for simple videos.
Filmora is also a great app/tool for making your videos look and feel professional if you're looking for something more premium.
A few years ago, I transitioned from iMovie to Final Cut Pro X for editing all of my videos. This was an expensive move, but I'm really focused on video content creation at the present, so it has worked wonders for me.
You obviously don't need expensive video editing software to get started with video and YouTube, you can make use of whatever quality app or tool you have available to polish your videos.
Your YouTube channel comes with some powerful analytical tools. Make good use of these.
Check your audience metrics, and pay attention to each video views, subscribers, watch time, engagement, etc. These will help you decide the kind of videos to create in the future that your audience will love and likely to watch and share, thus boosting your subscribers.
So, as you can see, growing your YouTube audience doesn't just involve doing some marketing and promotional work. It starts with creating the best content that you can possibly. Focus on providing value and solutions for your audience, and your channel will grow in time.
Marketing and promotion, of course, play a huge role in increasing your YouTube subscriber count. It does take time, though, so don't be in such a rush.
Best of luck.
Psst, Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel here. I love to create videos about website design, WordPress hacks, blogging, vlogging, and life.