YouTube can be an incredibly successful way for businesses to create and engage with communities online, but it can be challenging to build up your subscriber base. However, considering that YouTube currently has over a billion users, there is a lot—and I mean a LOT—of competition.
Here are our tips for earning new subscribers on YouTube:
Post Regular Content
Set specific days for when you will posts content and stick to it. There’s nothing users hate more than investing their time in a channel that disappears for months on end. Additionally, posting once will not make subscribers flock to your channel is not a sound expectation—keep posting good content regularly and build up your channel with good, shareable content that users can find.
Build a social media content calendar, and plan your content accordingly. The content itself can be part-promotional and part educational or entertainment. As long as it is engaging, and regular, the subscribers will come.
Hook Them From the Start
As attention spans lower, and options for users increase, there isn’t a lot of patience left over for sub-par content that will eventually grow on people. This is why your video needs to make an immediate impact to hook the viewer in. This is doubly true if you’re a business experimenting with YouTube ads. Many users tend not to watch the ads that allow them to skip after 5 seconds, so those five seconds would have to make a viewer want to complete the ad.
Use Calls to Action
Calls to action can be the incredibly useful in turning a viewer into a subscriber, or perhaps a paying customer. Don’t be afraid to ask for things—ask your viewers to share your video, or if your subscriber base has grown to a somewhat strong number, ask them to view other content. This will help increase your total watch time, which in turn, will help your YouTube rankings.
SEO is as important on YouTube as it is on search engines. Make sure your title, description, and keyword selection are all closely related to your content. Search up related keywords just as you would for web pages. Additionally, this should go without saying, but make sure the description section is not left empty! It is valuable space to increase users’ ability to find you, and also allows you to add more resources, links, and detail to complement your video.
Use Custom Thumbnails
The accompanying thumbnail for your video plays an equally, if not larger role in drawing people into your content than the title. If no specific thumbnail is specified, YouTube will pull a random screenshot from your video as the thumbnail. This may be an unflattering or out of context image, so be sure to put some effort into specifying a specific thumbnail that is clean and professional looking, and showcases your brand.
Co-marketing or collaborating with other YouTube creators is a great option for brands looking to expand their audience. Teaming up with small brands and influencers to slowly grow your subscriber base will allow you to market to their viewers, and will also eventually make it possible to contact bigger and even more influential brands to collaborate with.
Annotations (the layers of text and links that sometimes show up over videos on YouTube) can be used to increase engagement with the content. You can give users the option to skip ahead to a specific part of the video, move onto a different video, find the subscribe button and go to other resources they may find interesting like your home or product pages—although be cautious not to come across as too pushy/salesy.
Incentivise Coming Back
If you want consistent engagement from your subscribers, you need to give them a reason to do so. Answer comments and questions regularly, be friendly and approachable, and you should see more and more people returning to your channel.
As with any other social media platform, keep up-to-date with how your content is performing. Look at your past 28-day Overview Report, understand who your audience is, and how they engage with your videos—do they watch on their smartphones or laptops? Where do they live? When do they watch? Knowing these things will help you tailor your content for similar demographics more effectively in the future.
For example, if most of your viewers tend to watch your content on their smartphone, considering adding subtitles and making shorter content etc.