Video content is slowly becoming more and more popular when compared to any other type of online content, and the most widely used platform to distribute this kind of material is YouTube. Many people share video blogs (vlogs), as well as commercial or entertainment videos each day, free of charge on Google’s video sharing platform.
While Facebook and Twitter have also made efforts to tap into this market, they still have quite a lot of ground to cover before they can even get close to YouTube’s success.
This having been said, if you have an active YouTube channel, you are probably constantly looking for ways to increase your views, subscribers, and the overall reach of your YouTube videos.
YouTube has more than one billion unique visitors per month, and this means that there are many possibilities to tap into this potential audience, however, there is a method to this madness. There are strategies which you can use in order to kick your YouTube game into overdrive, regardless if your content comes in the shapes of prank videos, vlogs, tech or clothing reviews, etc.
There is a new generation of YouTubers starts on the rise, and this means that the platform has become a great place for online marketing and publicity. Unfortunately, it also means that you will have to work hard to get ahead of the competition.
Youtube is a perfect place for bloggers who want to use the more personal connection that the platform enables them to build, in order to extend their internet reach.
YouTube is a great platform for bloggers to broaden their internet reach by making a personal connection with their followers.
Bellow, you will find the best 20 strategies that you can start using in order to kick your YouTube game into overdrive and become one of the next YouTube stars.
20 Great strategies that will get you more YouTube subscribers in 2017
If you haven’t taken the time to clean up your Youtube channel in the last year, then this would be a good time to start. Consider the fact that the platform’s features are constantly changing, as are the preferences of its users.
If you don’t know where to start, then we’ve got you covered. Read the strategies that we offer and choose the ones that work for you and your content.
These strategies are based on proven facts and methods. They have all been tested by various YouTubers or have been built upon the methods that they used in order to become famous.
If you use them properly, you will be able to get over a million total views to begin with. With time, you will be able to further increase this number. This having been said, make sure that you implement these strategies correctly, and you too will be on your way to YouTube fame.
1. Develop plans and scripts for the videos that you create.
The first thing that you should do if you want to increase the popularity of your channel is to plan what your content will be about. After that, start establishing the structure of your videos.
If you aren’t sure how to do this, then just start by thinking about what kind of content you like to create, and then focus on honing the skills related to it. As a word of caution, do not try to mimic popular YouTube channels, as this may prove to be stressful, as time goes by and you find yourself locked creating a type of content that you don’t like. Instead, focus on the things that you love, so that you will never consider making videos a chore.
You should also start writing scripts for your content. Videos that are created with the help of scripts have been shown to perform quite a bit better. Doing this will also enable you to better organize the structure of your content, making it more coherent and easier to follow, and help you stay on track. For example, if you were to start making a video without a script, there is a high probability that, at one point, you would start making long pauses that would break the flow, or start talking about unrelated topics that would confuse the audience. On the other hand, if you spend some time beforehand and write your script, you would be able to include all the ideas that you want in the video, and also keep a consistent pace.
When it comes to creating the script, be sure to include details such as:
• The exact text that you intend to recite;
• A plan of all the actions that you want to take in the video;
• The important ideas that you need to stress;
• Calls to actions that you want to use;
You should also spend a bit of time identifying your target audience, before starting to write the script. This will help you understand how you need to build the video in order to maximize its potential in the context of the niche that you’re interested in.
Establish if they’re native English speakers or not, their interests, their levels of expertise, whether you want to create funny content or not, etc. These are all aspects of that you should consider when looking for your target audience.
Also, once you identify your target, make sure that you use the appropriate language.
2. Create engaging content
This is self-explanatory. You should always do your best to create highly engaging content in order to create a strong audience. Make sure that your videos are informative and entertaining, for their entire duration. If you have a strong beginning, make sure to maintain the momentum for the entirety of the video. Your content should offer as much value as possible to your subscribers, or people will quickly get bored and stop following you. In other words, make sure that you don’t lose the hook in the middle of your video.
In order to be popular, content has to be entertaining or informative so that it can give value to the viewers, however, if you find the fine balance between the two, then you have a potentially viral video.
You may have noticed that this strategy applies to any type of content, not just video. The secret to any type of content marketing is to figure out what works best for your audience and to find ways to constantly bring something new to the table.
To be more specific, you should focus on uploading a combination of evergreen and burst videos. The burst videos will hook people and keep them engaged, while the evergreen ones will still be considered interesting years after they have been posted. This way you will be able to focus on both the short-term, as well as the long-term success of your channel, gaining momentum and maintaining it through short dynamic videos.
Now, if you dislike being in front of a camera, then consider publishing Screencasts. These too can be entertaining and informative, and they don’t require you to appear in them.
However, the golden rule is that regardless of the kind of content that you choose to publish, make sure that the videos are engaging and offer value to your audience.
3. Upload more frequently
While doing this is not as easy as it may seem, one cannot ignore its effectiveness. If you make a habit of uploading videos more frequently, you will have a more consistent audience and people will be more likely to subscribe to your channel.
YouTube users don’t usually subscribe to channels that do not produce content on a regular basis. This is especially true in present times when consumers’ hunger for new content grows with each passing day. This having been said, you will have to focus on feeding your subscribers with a constant stream of new content. If you are not consistent, you won’t be able to develop a lasting relationship with them.
Being consistent also means that you should release videos that have largely the same structure, as not to confuse your audience, and to share the videos at regular intervals; every Tuesday, for example.
While you may think that as long as you never miss a due date you will be fine, you should also avoid posting videos off the schedule. Even if you post additional content, people will dislike the fact that they don’t know when to look at your channel for new content.
4. Optimize the titles of your videos to make them stand out from the crowd
There is a large number of active YouTube channels that post content each day, and you have to make sure that your videos are easily distinguishable from the rest if you are to be successful on the video sharing platform.
A good way to do this is to think of offbeat names for your videos. This will ensure that you use the viewers’ curiosity in order to hook them into exploring your channel and content.
Think about how your target audience thinks and try to come up with titles that would catch their attention.
However, if you want to maximize the number of views that your videos are getting, you will also have to learn a few simple SEO techniques.
While you may think that the kind of SEO that you have to learn is too complicated, here are a few tips to get you started and to show you how simple the whole process really is:
Choose a keyword for your video and use it in the title – While this practice is not as important as it once was, due to the fact that Google’s helper programs process video content differently from text and pictures, you should still include it into your routine in order to enable the search engine’s bots to understand the subject of your videos.
You can use Google Adwords in order to find out what people are searching for on the internet, and then try to make videos that could satisfy those needs.
You should also avoid making the title too long because Google only displays 66 characters preceded by the word YouTube, when showing the video on result pages. This means that your titles should be 50 characters, at most.
The title should also be descriptive in order to let your audience know what to expect from the video. Also, try to make it as engaging as possible, in order to get people interested. In the end, the more people click on your video, the higher it will rank.
An important thing to keep in mind is that you should never use the word “video” in your title. Doing so will only result in you using 5 characters in a way that doesn’t help you rank higher in any way. However, while this doesn’t affect your rank on the internal search engine of the YouTube platform, it may help on the Google one.
For now, focus on learning how to write catchy, relevant and well-optimized titles for your videos.
5. Customize your channel to the best of your abilities
Consider the fact that you are, in fact, developing a brand. This means that you will have to do more than to create and share videos. You will also have to convince YouTube users to trust your brand. This will determine users to subscribe to your content and to trust whatever you include in your content.
In essence, the more professional you appear, the more viewers will respect you.
If you already have a blog, you should use the same branding elements for your YouTube channel. This will help people link the channel to the blog and recognize your brand more easily across platforms.
Craft some quality channel art for your YouTube account in order to get a head start. If you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, then you can always use a YouTube channel art service in order to get the job done. Most of these are not particularly expensive ($19), and enable you to create your own YouTube channel art.
You can also use a custom background header in which you should include various design elements from your blog.
In addition to doing this, make the most of your YouTube channel bio, keeping it short clear, and don’t forget to link your blog’s URL in the descriptions of the videos, so that viewers will have access to a more detailed description.
6. Create and use personalized thumbnails in order to attract more views
Most YouTube creators will agree on the fact that custom thumbnails are a requirement if you want your channel to be successful.
The default of the platform is to generate a random thumbnail based on the content that you upload, however, you can always replace it with one that you create yourself, in order to draw more attention.
You can use annotations and various relevant images as custom thumbnails, in order to increase the click-through rate of your videos and to tell your viewers what the piece of content is about. The platform will give you the option to choose from thumbnails from three intervals: after a quarter, a half, and three-quarters of the video. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
7. Create a great trailer for your channel
YouTube currently offers users the ability to create and share trailers for their channels. These trailers automatically start playing once someone opens your channel page.
Now, creating a trailer should be a priority, and you will have to constantly work on it in order to keep your viewers engaged. Consider the fact that you only have a few seconds to catch your target audience’s attention and to get them to watch your videos and/or subscribe. In essence, you must compress everything that you have to offer into a video that can last between 30 and 60 seconds.
There are a few ways you can approach the creation of your trailer. If you like being in front of the camera and are good at it, write a script and give everyone an informative, engaging introduction to your channel. If not, you can cut scenes from your shared videos, link them together and record a voice-over for them.
You can check how good your trailer is by checking your account’s YouTube Channel Reports page and look at the viewer retention rates. This will show you if your trailer is boring people or convincing them to look at your videos.
The whole process is a matter of trial and error, so you will have to tweak it until you’re pleased with the result.
8. Insert calls to action in annotations.
In order to clarify, the popups that you see in videos from time to time, are annotations. Most people use them as calls to action, in order to get the viewer to click on them, or to take a certain action. If you use them properly, you will be able to get more subscribers and to redirect individuals to other videos that you have shared.
There are a lot of people who have successful YouTube channels explaining that their subscriptions increased considerably after they started to use annotations in this way.
A discrete way to use a call to action on your video is to create a link that can be used to subscribe to your channel and to place it in the annotation. If you prefer using graphics on your channels and videos, then you can integrate a call to action annotation in it, as well.
Regardless of how you choose to integrate this element, make sure that you do it in an unobtrusive way. If your call to action is annoying, then users will consider that the only reason for your videos is to make them join and will avoid subscribing.
Be smart about it and avoid making it seem manipulative or exploitative.
9. Use proper tools
There are a lot of tools that you can use, and this may not always be a good thing. Many people find it difficult to choose the best software and applications to use, and most developers claim that their product is the best, which can create a lot of confusion.
Starting with software that will enable you to create beautiful videos, to tools that will help you promote them, you must amass an arsenal worthy of a successful YouTuber. If you use the proper tools, you will be able to increase your viewer count and audience in an organic way. This essentially means that the views will turn into subscribers that will be around for extended periods of time, and will engage with your brand and your channel.
A good place to start is TubeBuddy. This application is great if you want to take YouTube marketing seriously, enabling you to extend your audience, earn more money from your videos, and will even help you automate the whole YouTube process.
10. Make sure that you are easy to find
The YouTube platform gives you the option to link your channel to your official website. Be sure to use this feature, provided that you have a personal web page. It will enable viewers to find your content and brand more easily and will give them a way to satisfy their curiosity. Furthermore, by doing this, your channel will become considered an official representation of your brand, on YouTube.
You simply have to go to the Settings section of your YouTube page and add the address of your blog or website in the specified field. Once you’ve done this, it may also be a good idea to add the address to the description of your videos.
Another great thing that you could do is add a Subscribe button to your website, in order to give visitors an easy way to become part of your viewership.
11. Try to keep the length of your videos under 5 minutes
While the fact that there are many long videos on YouTube, such as documentaries, interviews, short movies, etc., is true, the best conversion rate has been seen in the content that does not go over the 5-minute mark.
Consider the fact that the attention span of many people is getting shorter by the year, and most don’t have to patience to even click on a video that is 10-20 minutes long unless they are already used to the style of the content.
A 2014 statistic showed that the average length of YouTube videos is approximately 4.4 minutes. Try to make sure that your content does not exceed this number by much.
Use this number as a reference and you will build a stable following. After that, you can experiment a bit with the length of the videos. Some topics may require more time, and others may be approached in shorter videos, it’s up to you.
However, it is generally better to keep your content short, simple, and fun. Even though it may sometimes appear to be impossible to compress the content in 5-minute videos, it will be worth the effort.
12. Create and use an Intro and an Outro for your videos
These are extremely important when it comes to properly branding your content, but they also make videos more entertaining. These are similar to how a TV show has an opening theme song; they can make your content easy to recognize and give it a very professional feel. This having been said, create an intro and an outro that are suited to the style of your content, in order to keep users interested.
13. Be professional when it comes to editing your videos
Most professional photographers and filmmakers often state the fact that for every shot or photo that they use/publish, there are at least 10 that they discard. This is a normal part of the editing process. Don’t be afraid to discard material if you consider that it’s not good enough to be published. You have to be a ruthless editor if you want your YouTube channel to be successful, so make sure that only the best content gets published.
If you succumb to the pressure of finishing a video according to schedule and publish it without thinking twice, your audience may not be pleased, and you may end up hurting your brand and subscriber count. A rule of thumb is to make as many recordings as possible when shooting a video, in order to be able to select only the best segments.
Also, take several shots if you’re not happy about one of your takes.
When it comes to editing tools, you should, again, be professional. The best Windows software for video editing is Adobe Premier. Always choose the best tools for the job in order to ensure that you get the best results. Furthermore, spend some time studying various cinematographic techniques, and try to use them whenever possible, in order to add value to your content.
14. Write great SEO descriptions for your videos
The descriptions of your videos must be optimized in order to ensure that search engines read them properly. They not only enable your content to be found but also inform the audience about the subject of your videos.
Write detailed descriptions, but do not exaggerate. Keep in mind that only the first few lines of your description are displayed to the viewer when he loads up a video. Use the keyword that you also use in the title, but don’t repeat it too much, or search engines will penalize you. You basically have to write a natural, authentic, and relevant text. If you want to add a bit more functionality to the description, you can also add a link to your landing page, if you have one.
15. Get as much as possible out of meta tags
You can always use the Google Keyword Planner tool in order to discover keywords that are relevant to your YouTube content. Then, do your best to add all of those keywords to your videos. If you do this right, your videos will gain visibility on both Google, as well as YouTube search engines.
However, be warned, overusing these keywords will not bring you added benefits. In fact, it may lead to search engines ranking your content lower. Simply do some research and integrate the relevant keywords that you find in a natural way, and you should be ok.
Keep in mind that a low viewer count is not always caused by poor content. If your discoverability is low, then people will have a very hard time finding your channel.
This is why you should always pay attention to metadata. A great practice, when it comes to this element, is to look at a few channels that have high conversion rates and to analyze their meta-tags. Look at what is working for them, and you will find a place to start when writing your own. As a warning, do not copy their meta-tags, as this will have a negative impact on your channel.
16. End your videos on a high note.
If you look around YouTube, you will see that most successful creators have one thing in common. They always end their videos on a high note, regardless of the content’s topic or nature.
It is much more likely for your audience to remember your videos if you end them in a memorable way. Do so by asking viewers for a subscription and a like or dislike in order to express their opinion on the video. Also, let them know that you have a website and that they should visit it for more related content. There are a lot of ways in which you can approach this, and regardless of your choice, remember one thing: You have nothing to lose by simply asking something of your audience.
This having been said, try to end all of your videos in a cheerful, confident way, and tell your viewers that you appreciate their support and interest in your channel.
In the end, your goal should be to create a brand-like outro that contains a regular banner and a subscribe annotation and to apply it to all of your videos.
If you end your videos in a positive way, your audience will always come back for more.
17. Consider the possibility of collaborating with other YouTubers in order to increase your follower count
Collaborations between YouTube content creators are becoming more and more content due to the fact that these projects help everyone involved, and are fun for both the creators, as well as the audience. When you collaborate with another individual who has a channel on YouTube and you create content together, you basically tap into each other’s audiences and increase your individual subscriber count.
If the project is a success, then you will be able to connect to a new audience and to get them interested in your content. Even those who are already subscribed to you and to the people that you collaborate with will enjoy seeing their favorite content creators in the same video.
This having been said, finding someone to collaborate with is both easy, and difficult. First of all, you should always try to reach out to users that belong to the same niche as you, or whose content topics are somehow related to your own. Also, it may not be a good idea to ask someone who has 700,000 subscribers to collaborate if you are just starting out.
Organize the project well and create quality content, and your subscribers will grow.
18. Make a habit out of interacting with your fan base
While social media may seem somewhat cold due to the fact that it enables people to establish connections over great distances, however, it can also get people genuinely interested in you, your brand, and your content. If you want people to be interested in what you have to offer, then you too must show interest in how your audience is doing.
Interact with your subscribers, ask them if they like the content that you are making, and if they have any suggestions. Also, listen to the requests that they make. If you want to be successful on YouTube, then you will have to give the people what they want and what they ask for.
When they don’t ask for something, in particular, tell them to leave suggestions or ideas in the comments section. It is true that if you choose to listen to what some individuals want, others may be angry with your decision. Don’t worry, this will pass.
Another great way to interact with your audience is to reply to comments.
19. Organize giveaways and create video challenges
Giveaways are great ways to reward your audience for the engagement on your YouTube channel. Organize contests and video challenges in order to both give something back to those who already follow you and to also lure other individuals into subscribing to your channel.
You can use all a large number of items as prizes:
• Devices, or wearable tech;
• Branded clothing;
• Hosting subscriptions;
You can give away pretty much anything that you like, as long as it has value to the members of your audience. People will love the change to get something free, and they will spread the word about the contest, which will, in turn, increase your popularity. While it is true that you give something away for free, you also receive a lot of free promotion.
If you want your contest or giveaway to be truly effective, then ask your audience to subscribe to all your social media profiles, as a requirement for participation.
20. Promote your channel on other platforms
While word does travel fast over the Internet, you should not leave your popularity to change and promote your channel on all of your social media channels.
This is essential if you want to build a brand, as it will enable people to discover your content. Furthermore, simply posting once in a while is not enough. You must be active on as many social media networks as possible, in order to extend your reach.
This having been said, you should have Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus accounts, as a bare minimum. If your audience uses it, you can also benefit from having an Instagram and/or Pinterest account. Look at what social networks your followers are using, and get on those platforms.
Also, don’t be frightened by the amount of work that being active on a large number of platforms would require. You can use auto-scheduling tools and apps in order to post on a regular basis and to stay organized.
As an added bonus, here’s some advice to help you hustle for your first 1000 subscribers on YouTube:
• Move fast and use an aggressive strategy;
• Promote as much as you can, in order to create hype among your followers. This will also help you stay focus, once you see that your hard work pays off;
• Ask your friends and family members to subscribe, and share with them news of your new projects and ideas for videos, however, do not insist too much or you will cancel their curiosity;
• Be active on social media platforms and focus on creating meaningful connections. Let people know what you are doing, in order to make them relate to you and develop a genuine interest in your brand. You can also ask them to subscribe and to like your videos.
To conclude, building a successful YouTube channel takes a lot of work, but it also requires that you constantly experiment and try new things in order to bring great content to your audience.
Look at what others are doing and try to learn from them, however, keep in mind that what works for them may not work for you, so spend time trying out new camera angles, backgrounds, and techniques, until you find the right formula for you.
Also, never stop working to popularize and to build your brand. It may take a while, but you will be successful, as long as you work hard.