In this post, I will share with you 11 smart ways to grow your YouTube audience in 2018.
But first, let’s look at why you would want to do this in the first place.
Well, the first obvious reason might be because you want more people to view and engage with your videos, right?
The other reason might be because you want to tap into a whole new traffic source for your online business, or blog.
Let’s look at the latter for a moment, using YouTube and videos to drive traffic to your website.
Did you know that YouTube is considered to be the second largest search engine on the internet?
Just take a look at these startling stats –
- 3.25 billion hours of videos on YouTube are watched each month. (Source)
- A staggering 85% of US internet audiences watch videos online. That’s insane, right?
With those statistics in your mind, you really have no other option other than to use YouTube and video marketing to promote your website or online business in 2018.
The image below is 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.
So, with all that said, it’s clearly time you took video marketing seriously, right?
Now let’s get back to using YouTube. How do you maximize your potential for driving website traffic from YouTube?
Well, asides from having great content, of course, the other critical ingredient that you need is an active audience.
And, how do you grow an audience on YouTube?
Let’s take a look below.
Tip #1: Create quality content
Let’s start with the most important ingredient of all, content.
Grow an audience on YouTube is just the same as growing an audience for your blog or Facebook page even.
In other words, it all starts with your content.
So, for anyone to even be slightly interested in subscribing to your YouTube channel, they’ve first got to fall in love with your content.
And, if your content is trash, then you can forget about it.
Your content has to be useful, actionable, valuable, engaging, and all the rest of it.
One great way to create great content on YouTube is to solve as many problems as you can for your viewers.
Most folks essentially go to YouTube to find solutions to whatever problem they might be experiencing.
So, your first port of call is to create great ‘problem-solving’ content. “How To” videos are great for this.
According to ThinkWithGoogle –
People searching for ‘How To’ videos on YouTube is growing by 70% year on year!
So, where do you start with creating ‘how-to’ videos?
You probably already have tons of “how to” content on your blog you can use for your YouTube channel.
All you have to do is repurpose that content and turn them into videos, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing over on my YouTube channel.
Just make a list of all the quality “how-to” blog posts you have that could be turned into cool videos, and create one each week.
Tip #2: Brand your video channel
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 can not only help you establish your identity but also let users instantly recognize your brand.
Chances are you’re already using some kind of personal 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 over to your YouTube channel, it makes perfect sense to.
Here’s a screenshot of my branded YouTube channel to give you some inspiration of how to create a great looking cover art for your channel.
Additionally, check out these other top YouTubers for banner design inspiration.
If you need help with creating a banner cover art for your YouTube channel, click this link.
Just to give you some design tips – 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.
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 here to get some idea of what to write for yours, it’s not the most inspiring 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 and sweet.
Tip #3: Use branded thumbnails in your videos
So continuing on the subject of ‘branding’ to make your YouTube channel stand out and recognizable –
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.
I realize that this takes time, but it’s so important if you want people to hit that subscribe button.
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 stand out, 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. Make some additional tweaks to them to make them more personal to your brand.
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 correctly.
I know that from a viewer’s perspective, annotations can be really annoying at times. 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 or two, make sure it contains 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 on 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 screen capture 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: Add a “Subscribe” icon branded watermark in your videos
Here’s another branding tip. Something I recently changed on my YouTube channel was the branded watermark logo.
YouTube allows users to add a branded watermark to personalize or brand your channel videos.
I changed this from my website logo to a “subscribe” logo and it really works guys and dolls.
The purpose of your branded watermark is to get people to subscribe, well, what better way than to use an actual “subscribe watermark”?
Simply go to Creator Studio > Channel > Branding to change yours.
Tip #7: 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 #8: 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 at first.
So, if you want to get as many views to your new videos as possible, and 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.
Whatever 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 a short version of 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 thumbnail image.
- Create a dedicated custom video landing page on your blog like this one, and promote it like you would a blog post.
- Blog about your latest video (One of the best ways to drive traffic to new video content).
- Add your videos to related articles on your blog.
- Link your channel to your Instagram bio.
Tip #9: 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 who you are, and 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 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.
You can check out my YouTube channel trailer video below for some inspiration.
Tip #10: Put yourself in front of your audience
I really appreciate just 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 no matter what.
If you’re a blogger, solopreneur, or business coach creating tutorial videos, or talking head videos, again remember that you are the face of your brand!
So that means you need to put yourself in front of your audience from time to time. Let them see who you are. Don’t just rely on screencast tutorials all the time.
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 audience 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 or listening to someone. Like I said, it will make them feel more connected to you.
Tip #11: Make sure your videos are well formatted before showing them off
Finally, and this one should go without saying.
If you’re going to spend time crafting compelling videos, make sure that you spend just as much time polishing them properly before sharing them with your audience.
From start to finish, shoot in HD or higher quality if possible.
When creating screencasts, make sure your record in HD too.
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 shifted from using iMovie to Final Cut Pro for editing my videos, and it works perfectly for me.
You obviously don’t need expensive video editing software, you can make use of whatever quality app or tool you have available to polish your 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, however, don’t forget all other things I’ve mentioned in this post.
Best of luck.