There are almost 1 billion active viewers on YouTube. Most of them have started to accept running a YouTube channel as a profession where one can earn money by uploading quality content. It’s not that easy, though. You need subscribers to watch and share your videos so that you get more views and earn money from ads. But how to get them?
Consistency is a thing.
Posting your content regularly gives potential viewers one of the best reasons to subscribe to your channel. You make them know what to expect so they’ll be more likely to follow what you create.
It’s not only a recurring theme across your channel’s content (e.g. the format, the subject matter, or the niche you’re creating for) what you need. You also need to communicate what that is to viewers. This is what we call a building a brand on YouTube.
People don’t have time. They don’t subscribe because they liked that one specific video they just watched, but because they got the expectation of more content like it in the future.
Even if the biggest YouTubers don’t have that specific „thing” like Pewdiepie or Cassey Neistat. But do you know what they actually did have in the very beginning? Consistency.
So, especially when you’re starting out, figure out what the premise of your channel is—what your promise is—and communicate it at a glance.
Check our pro tips down below and make your YouTube channel great again.
1. Creating channel „trailers” on YouTube is a must
This is the video where you can show to unsubscribed visitors on your page to quickly tell them what to expect from you. Create a unique trailer and stitch together footage from your past videos or deliver your „pitch” directly to your audience. Don’t forget to ask them to subscribe!
You may not even know, but many YouTube channels have a channel trailer shown at the top of their page. The coolest part is that it auto-plays when visitors check them out. Brilliant.
2. What about a pitch for your YouTube channel?
Do you know what an elevator pitch is? It’s an often underestimated tool that’s relevant to all self-starters, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or a creator. YouTubers do it, too.
Try to use it in your About section, your intro, your closing, or wherever you need. Just communicate your viewers what your channel is about. We’ve all heard „If you liked this video, please hit the thumbs up, leave a comment, and subscribe” the videos on YouTube. And this is also great, but enhance this action by creating an outro that speaks to all your materials, not only the one they just watched.
The pitch can be just like that: „I post [videos you post] every [when you post]” or be a teaser for what is going to be next on your YouTube channel. These couple of seconds capture the essence of your channel’s content in a way that gives new viewers a reason to hit that subscribe button.
3. Create a visual thumbnails theme
Thumbnails are way more powerful than titles. If you want your channel to look coherent, it’s definitely worth investing time in creating a visual thumbnails theme. Actually, you can choose one frame of your video to use it as a thumbnail, but you can make it better and design it on your own.
One of the best tools is Canva (free) where you can create custom YouTube thumbnails for each video. There’s no most accessible way to grab some attention and create a sense of cohesion across all your videos at a glance.
Always try to think outside your own YouTube channel.
Never lose sight of distribution. The more you work on your videos, the bigger is the chance that one day you’ll simply get lost in this creation process. How will people watch your content if they never see it?
It’s okay, you run your channel, you’ve got some subscribers. They watch your content, sometimes even leave a couple of comments. But it’s worth looking into audiences outside of your own channel. Maybe even outside the YouTube platform.
4. Do some collaborations with other YouTubers with similar audiences
Many YouTubers use collaborations as a way to get exposure to a whole new audience and get more subscribers, it’s pretty standard on YouTube.
Come up with an idea for cross-promotion. Then, find someone you would like to create a video with. It may be someone you know or just someone you’d like to partner with. A common approach is to have your proposed partner appear in one of your videos and vice versa, each of you getting an endorsement in front of the other creator’s audience.
5. Try to cover the hype, but do not create it every time
While creating your YouTube strategy, take into consideration making videos that go after existing hype. There’s already an invested interest there, so make use of it.
If only you can find an appropriate overlap with your content, it can be a great way to gain some attention back to your channel and get more subscribers.
Here you have some ideas:
- For singers – covering existing songs instead of your own music.
- Parodying something going viral at the time (e.g. Pokemon Go or fidget spinners).
- Responding to another YouTuber’s content.
- Reacting to a viral video.
- Newsjacking a story that the media is talking about.
6. Find niche online communities and share your content there
Every YouTuber share their videos on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s time to explore other online communities – think about the ones where you know your audience spends most of their time.
Niche communities may be found on Reddit, Facebook groups, forums, and elsewhere. They might appreciate what you created what you post on YouTube. Then, they might opt-in to get more once you’ve optimised your channel to get more subscribers.
When you do the research about niche communities on Reddit or Facebook groups, try to choose the most relevant, not the biggest ones.
So you found a perfect niche community. It’s time to use your pitch from above! Be transparent about who you are and what you do. A lie has no legs. People on the Internet are often very protective when it comes to maintaining the integrity of discussion in these communities. Always try to add value first and foremost.
Encourage bing watching.
They say that the more videos you watch, the more likely you are to subscribe. It’s not only because you are presented with more opportunities to follow someone, but also you have a better sense of why.
Now it’s high time to talk about two ways you can encourage bing watching.
7. Playlists, playlists, playlists everywhere
Playlists may help you to organise your content. They also can make your videos show up in the search results on YouTube. Use the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension to see what the monthly search volume is like for any given search.
The worst thing that can happen when you try to get new subscribers is losing people’s attention because of someone else’s content played on autoplay. That is why you should consider organising your videos into the playlist – for you and your potential subscribers.
If you want to share your content somewhere, share a link to your video from within a playlist. It’s because viewers can meet with video after video from your own channel then.
8. Limit the videos to under 5 minutes
There are plenty of detailed, in-depth reviews and other such lengthy content, but the high converting videos are surprisingly the ones no longer than 5 minutes. Like we said before – people do not have a lot of time nowadays. It’s hard to keep their attention, in short forms.
The average length of most YouTube videos in 2014 was 4.4 minutes, researches say. This is the golden number for newbies on YouTube. Follow this number until a following is built.
Over time, it’s a good idea to start experimenting with video length so you could see what your audience’s reaction is. Try to keep it simple, short, entertaining, a bit funny and of course under 5 minutes. It may be a challenge, but trust us – it’s worth your efforts.
Building a loyal subscriber base is your goal
This is crucial. Do not never, ever dare to buy subscribers, views or anything fake. It definitely won’t help in the long run. You can have a valuable audience without a million subscribers. Those who love you and your content are the most important. Take care of them, keep them engaged.
Don’t worry, there is an audience for probably almost anything on YouTube. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you create. You can always go out and find people who’ll love you the most. Many of these strategies prioritise three things: communicating what your YouTube channel is about, tapping into other audiences, and encouraging binge watching.
YouTube is a great place to market your business or share your passion for something (e.g. creating stuff on the Internet). These timeless tips can help you go beyond getting views and start growing your audience on the most powerful video platform around.