How to increase the number of subscribers on a YouTube channel?
Leading the pack of most popular forms of content in 2019: video content. And it's gone for a few years, according to studies and web specialists. YouTube is currently the main platform for video blogging (we call it “vlogging”), video sharing and video marketing.
Facebook and Twitter have recently entered the video marketing game, but are still far from having the impact that YouTube is currently enjoying.
If you have a YouTube channel, the following question might have crossed your mind already: how can you get more subscribers on YouTube and how can you increase the reach of your YouTube videos? We agree: these are two questions you want answered, not just one…
With over a billion unique monthly visitors to YouTube, the potential audience for every video uploaded is huge. Whether it's a video of someone playing a prank or a video of a fashion critic, YouTube is the go-to platform for video consumption.
While you're thinking, the number of success stories is multiplying, on YouTube. "Normal" people, like you and us, but who have this little I do not know what plus that makes them shine on YouTube. People who, without YouTube, would certainly have remained in the shadows, singing at weddings and communions or participating in shows in their municipality. People who, let's say it without taking tweezers, earn very (very, very) interesting sums by their skilful use of this video platform.
Clever use? It is not so ! Read on…
Today, YouTube is a gold mine for bloggers who want to expand their reach on the internet by making a personal connection with their followers. The opportunity for a blogger to leverage this social media giant and drive massive traffic from YouTube is gigantic. To do this, you first need to get more subscribers.
20 Smart Ways to Get More YouTube Subscribers
Another year has passed without your resolution to grow your YouTube channel to power. If you're seriously thinking about revamping your YouTube channel, here are 20 smart ways to generate more YouTube subscribers.
1. Create a plan and script for your videos.
Winston Churchill said, "He who does not plan, plans to fail."
Quite thoughtful. The first step in your YouTube journey is to plan what your channel will be.
Secondly, you will need to plan the structure of the videos.
Ask yourself the following question: What do I like to create? Write the answers on a sheet of paper and then focus on developing related skills. No need to try to imitate the channels that work on YouTube. Doing what you love is more important to success on YouTube, as it is in life, for that matter.
Your videos will generate better results if you write a script. For what ? Simply because scripts help you organize your videos efficiently and keep you on track. By sticking to a script, you'll be able to stay consistent and not stray. This script will also ensure a perfect flow of events for a well-focused video.
When constructing your script, include as much detail as possible:
- The exact words you will use
- The actions you will take
- The main points you want to emphasize
- The set of calls to action to include, such as "click on this link" or "subscribe to my channel" etc.
Remember that your videos are for a target audience. It is therefore important that you have defined your buyer personas beforehand, in order to write your script according to their expectations. For example, are your audience members technically proficient? Are they of French mother tongue? Are they smart? Do they have a different level of expertise than you? Do they react more to humor? To informative content?
Basically, you need to determine the set of individuals who make up your audience and use the appropriate language.
2. Produce great engaging content (obviously!)
It should go without saying, but you need to create engaging, informative, and entertaining content. Make sure it stays that way for the duration of the video. One wrong step, and it will cost you many spectators.
Content that works entertaining or informational content. Content that works even better is content that is entertaining AND informative. If this is true for any form of content, it is more so for videos that inform and entertain and are often a total success.
Ideally, try to post two types of videos:
- Videos that have an impact in the moment (for example, news-based videos)
- Videos that don't “time out”, that last over time without fading.
The second type of videos, those that last over time, will allow you to get archived views that will remain relevant no matter how much time passes. Most of your effort should therefore focus on this second type of video.
3. Increase the frequency of your posts
Even if it seems easier said than done, you have to face the facts. The main reason a person subscribes to a YouTube channel is because he or she likes the work of the editor and wants to see more videos.
YouTube subscribers generally don't have an affinity with channels that don't produce regular content. In the digital age, we are in a movement of immediacy and volume… Consumers always want more, especially when it comes to entertainment. You must therefore be able to meet the demands of your subscribers.
Consistency is the key to developing a lasting relationship with your subscribers.
Release your videos in a timely, recurring and structured way. Try posting one video a week…or at least one or two a month.
Stick to your schedule and don't upload videos outside of that schedule. This way of doing things is somewhat comparable to watching your favorite television series: new episodes are generally released according to a specific schedule. This consistency will help viewers stay engaged.
4. Optimize video titles on YouTube
Standing out from the crowd is arguably the most important aspect of success on YouTube.
A good way to do this is to give different names (why not staggered…) to your videos. A good way to attract the curious, right?
Headlines that generate curiosity will play a major role in getting the views your channel needs to benefit from the social proof factor.
To get maximum views, you'll also need to dive into the SEO part of YouTube marketing.
Here are some tips for optimizing your YouTube titles to increase reach:
- Use the keyword in the title. This always has a strong effect on the video. Google bots don't watch videos the same way they read blog posts, so including the keyword in the title will let Google bots know what your video is about. Simple, right?
- Use Google Adwords to identify what people are looking for on the web. Try to cook up videos using a mix of high-volume and low-competition searches.
- Limit the size of your titles. Google truncates video length down to 66 characters and appends 'YouTube |' before the video. This is equivalent to 10 additional characters. Thus, the ideal title of your video should not exceed 50 characters.
- Bet on a descriptive title. Give the audience a preview of what the video will be like.
- Write an engaging title. A bit of eccentricity, if your company's image allows it, is a good way to attract more clicks.
- Don't use the word “video” in the title. It's completely unnecessary.
In summary, if you want to succeed on YouTube, learn how to write catchy, relevant and optimized titles.
5. Make the most of your channel personalization
Your YouTube channel needs to be personalized. If you want visitors to trust your brand on YouTube, you need to make the most of the customization options YouTube has to offer.
If you already have a blog with a minimal following, use similar branding assets for your YouTube channel. You will be easily recognizable on all platforms.
Mastering the art of the image, on YouTube as elsewhere, will help you put yourself forward.
Finish your channel personalization with a good bio and custom URL. The biography should be short and concise. As for your blog URL, it can be used in the video description to feature a more detailed biography.
6. Customize Thumbnails
Anyone who is successful on YouTube will agree with us that customizing thumbnails on YouTube is key.
Create a custom thumbnail for each video, instead of having YouTube randomly generate one for you. Using relevant annotations and images as custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos will increase your videos' CTR (i.e. click-through rate). A custom thumbnail with a little annotation will tell your users what your video is made of.
YouTube currently offers a selection of thumbnails at three intervals – quarter, half, and three-quarters. Choose the one that best illustrates the subject of your video.
7. Create an interesting trailer
Ok… You're not the director of the latest Star Wars… But still!
YouTube offers an excellent trailer feature that automatically plays a video as soon as you open a YouTube channel.
Your trailer is something you need to work on carefully and constantly improve to keep visitors paying attention to your channel. This is THE key moment when you need to grab your audience's attention in just a few seconds. The perfect length for a trailer on YouTube is between 30 seconds and 60 seconds.
It is also on your trailer that you must explain to your potential subscribers the reasons why they should subscribe to your channel. If you're a good actor, or you're good on camera, give them a quick, informative, and engaging introduction (with a well-structured script, of course!).
In YouTube reports, check viewer retention rates, to see if your trailer is engaging enough or if your potential subscribers are baying to the crows with a boring or lengthy channel trailer.
8. Use “Call to Action”
'Call to action' annotations are popups that appear in a video on YouTube. If you use them wisely, you can get more subscribers by getting your visitors to click during the video.
This is how many YouTubers (that's what they're called!) reported an increase in channel subscriptions with annotations added to their videos.
A simple link telling viewers to subscribe to the channel can be placed as a call to action in your video.
If you are using a graphic to add a call to action, it is possible to animate it with a call to action annotation.
The key, again, is to focus on originality. Users won't subscribe if your call to action is boring. Give them an interesting reason to subscribe.
9. Use the right tools
There are many tools, some of which are excellent. From tools to help you design videos to tools to help you promote your work, using the right tools will help you grow your audience, without spending a penny.
Note, moreover, that the more organic views you gain, the more potential subscribers you can get.
10. Let people find you
YouTube provides an option to link to your official web page. If you have a site, be sure to use this feature.
Your efforts to attract visitors to your YouTube channel can be maximized by directing them (especially the most curious ones) to your website. Additionally, your channel will also take the form of an authentic representation of your brand on YouTube.
Under your page's channel settings on YouTube, add your website/blog URL to your channel. You may also consider adding your website/blog URL in the channel description itself.
Similarly, add a 'Subscribe' button somewhere on your blog or online site, to attract more subscribers to your YouTube channel.
11. Limit your videos to less than 5 minutes.
Discussions about the ideal length of a video on YouTube are going well. High-converting videos are those that have been optimized for less than 5 minutes.
In one of its reports, Comscore states that the average length of most YouTube videos is around 4,4 minutes. For content creators just starting out, this is THE rule to follow.
Once your audience is in place, it's up to you to adjust this duration and experiment to see the reaction of your audience.
Keep it short, simple, informative and entertaining, but no longer than 5 minutes. A difficult challenge, certainly, but the game is worth the candle.
12. Create an intro and out sequence for your YouTube video
Your YouTube intro and exit sequence don't just help promote your brand image: they have the power to make your video more entertaining and engaging.
An introduction and an exit sequence allow you to boost your brand and offer your audience an image of professionalism. Compare this to the opening and closing credits of a TV series or your favorite program.
Also, an engaging intro will keep your viewers paying attention to the rest of the video.
13. Edit, edit and edit again
When it comes to editing videos on YouTube, no mercy! Cut your YouTube videos ruthlessly and make sure only your best work gets published.
Beware: rushing to stick to your schedule will only hurt your brand as a whole. Make lots of recordings while shooting a video, and make sure only the best parts are selected.
If you don't feel comfortable in front of a camera, don't worry: it's possible to take photos and convert them to video afterwards. Adobe offers good tools to do this…
14. Optimize your video descriptions
We come back here to the referencing your videos on YouTube. The description of the video is important. It will not only get your videos found in search engines, it will also give potential viewers an idea of your video content.
Of course, there is no need to go overboard! Having an overly detailed description doesn't make sense, since only the first lines of the description appear when the video is initially loaded.
As with the title of your video on YouTube, consider using the keyword in the description. No need to confuse search engines by adding your keyword 15 times in a row. This will have the opposite effect and reduce your chances of appearing in searches.
Your description should be simple and authentic.
15. End your videos on a high note
Whatever the nature of your videos, be sure to end your videos on a positive note.
Visitors need to have a positive memory of your video. Ask your audience if they liked the video and subscribed. Advise them to visit your website. Give them an email address where they can contact you (… or not!)
Remember a simple rule: On YouTube as elsewhere, if you don't ask, the answer will always be no.
End your videos on a note of confidence and let your audience know you appreciate them.
Create an end sequence by showcasing a standard banner and subscribe to notifications on all your videos.
Finish your videos with a smile. Make sure your viewers are eager to learn more about you.
16. Consider collaborating with other YouTubers
Collaboration on YouTube has become commonplace among top content creators. For what ? Because collaboration simply benefits everyone!
The creative process is constructive. Thinking of other YouTubers as your competition won't do you any good...
Try reaching out to similar users in your industry and ask them to work on something interesting together.
You will be able to reach a new audience, your collaborator will do the same and your viewers will appreciate the added value they get.
A win-win exchange, in a way.
17. Interact with your most loyal fans
Social media is built on an intangible thread of connection and interaction.
When it comes to you, know that once your fans know you care about them, they will care about you.
Engage with your audience and listen to their requests in the comments section of your videos. Okay, you won't get all the praise…but learn to brush off negative remarks gracefully and courteously, and listen to your loyal fan base. They are the ones who should count the most.
Respond to comments under your videos and make your viewers feel like they're always connected. This will build their trust in you, as well as their respect. Simply because you care about them. Simple to understand, right?
18. Make the most of meta tags.
Google's Keyword Planner helps you find relevant keyword ideas for your YouTube videos. Add all these keywords to your videos, in order to be easier to discover in Google and YouTube search engines.
Attention ! Too much won't do any good. A few well-researched and well-placed keywords will do wonders for your ranking.
Also be aware that a low number of videos does not always mean poor content; it may indicate low discovery ability.
Metadata plays a major role in how your videos show up in search results. Take the time to surf YouTube to see which videos convert the best. You will see the type of meta tags their designers use. Warning… don't just copy-paste the meta tags; it will not help your cause… quite the contrary!
19. Who doesn't love gifts?
Offer your audience something in exchange for engaging with your YouTube channel. After all, he deserves it, doesn't he? Depending on the industry you are in, a free giveaway or video contest will reward your followers and help attract new fans.
Gifts are not necessarily the most expensive... Content with high added value, such as ebooks or white papers, for example, is greatly appreciated. A very interesting inbound marketing strategy to put into practice on YouTube…
In any case, it is preferable that what you offer is related to your field of activity.
20. Promote across channels
In the age of social media, being present and active on multiple social platforms is an essential requirement for online success.
If you are in the process of building your brand, it is essential to offer your prospects the opportunity to discover it in order to get to know it better. So you need to be active on many social media platforms – at least the main ones.
You should at least have a profile on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. You can also opt for other social media like Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, and all the others… If being on too many social media platforms sounds like a logistical nightmare, you can use an automatic scheduling app to stay organized and post at regular times.
Whatever you do, bet on an aggressive strategy to get your first 1000 subscribers as quickly as possible.
Know that simply building a YouTube channel is not enough to be successful. You need to promote your channel to the maximum of your ability. A fast-growing YouTube channel will also help you stay motivated to work harder and create better videos for your audience.
Share your work with your friends, ask them to subscribe if they are interested.
Go to other social media platforms that have personal connections and tell them about your project. Ask them what they like and offer to subscribe (if they are interested).
Have we managed to get you excited about the possibility of getting more subscribers to your YouTube channel? In any case, that is what we hope. The motto is: keep experimenting and exploring.
"Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible" (MC Escher)
What worked for another YouTuber might not work for you. So, keep experimenting and stick to the methods that work… for you.
Stay true to your brand.
Building something of value on YouTube takes a lot of effort, time, perseverance, and a long-term commitment. And as everything comes at the right time to who knows how to wait...