Starting a YouTube channel can be an exciting venture. Whether you’re promoting a brand or creating your own brand, YouTube can provide massive exposure.
It can also be frustrating to gain a following.
If you want to grow an audience, rack up likes, and sign-up subscribers, you need to take proactive steps to ensure your success. Here’s the good news, though. Once you get into a routine and apply these proven techniques, you’ll feed the algorithm what it wants. This helps your channel to grow over time.
Use the 10 marketing tips for YouTube success.
1. Do something different
If you want to grow an audience, it’s essential that you carve your own path. Don’t be just another clone out there, but find new approaches to topics, fresh perspectives, and be original!
You should research your competitors to learn what they do well and where they fall short. Their flaws may reveal areas that you can exploit. You can also learn what performs well for them to get an idea of future content areas. However, you don’t want to just follow their example. You need to put your own spin on it.
2. Think about your logo
Your branding can make a big impression. Do you want to be seen as a professional? Serious? Fun and whimsical? Crazy? The way you present yourself plays a big role in creating that impression.
You need a logo to set yourself apart from everyone else. It should reflect the impression you’re trying to create and be memorable. Not only will it help position you in a crowded arena, but it will also make it easier to build a following and increase your visibility.
Check out these 17 examples of cool YouTuber logos that hit the mark and help create a brand identity.
3. Invest in quality equipment
It’s easy to create video these days, but remember whatever you post on YouTube will be alongside professional, high-quality content creators that have the latest and greatest tools (and a budget to match).
You have to look and sound professional. Poor quality streams and uploads will negatively impact your marketing efforts.
In years past, such equipment was really expensive. Today, a high-quality cell phone or video camera, editing software, and a microphone are affordable. Pay particular attention to your audio. Many people will invest in a camera but skimp on a microphone.
You should also invest in lighting so you always look your best.
4. Stick to a publishing schedule
The YouTube Creator Playbook recommended releasing content frequently and on a recurring schedule. It explains that the frequency of uploads impacts how the algorithm sees your channel. Building an audience, the Playbook says, requires “consistent content.”
Building an audience requires you to regularly deliver engaging content so you stay top of mind. For example, Google recommends releasing videos on a set day each week so viewers know to expect something fresh at least once a week. Monitoring video performance and paying attention to when people watch your videos can help you determine the best days and times to release videos. The most important thing, however, is to create a schedule for publishing your videos and stick to it.
5. Optimize your videos for SEO
One of the most difficult things for YouTube creators is getting found in the first place. Every minute, some 500 hours of video gets uploaded to YouTube. If you tried to watch all the videos uploaded from just one day without any breaks, it would take a year and a half before you could even start on the next day! Discovery will be one of your biggest challenges among all that video.
To give your video the best chance of being found, you need to optimize your video for SEO.
- Make keywords and phrases are used naturally in the title and the file name.
- Optimize your video description with keywords within the first 100 characters that show before users have to click to read more.
- Tag your video with popular keywords
- Categorize under Advanced Settings
YouTube videos also show up in Google searches. If you use SEO best practices, your videos are more likely to show on YouTube and in Google searches.
6. Work to increase watch time
If your video doesn’t engage people, you’re not going to build your channel. The most important thing you’ll do is create engaging content.
YouTube gives priority in ranking to videos the have higher watch times. It makes sense. The more people that watch a video and the more time they spend with it, the more popular it must be. So, make sure you put in place strategies to keep people engaged.
Grab their attention right away and always keep things moving quickly. If you’re slow out of the gate, viewers will move, too — to watch something else. There are so many choices available, you’ve got to give them valuable content immediately.
Slick editing trucks, such as cutting frames, multiple camera shots, adding effects, or using text and graphics, can help keep people watching. This practice is called pattern interruption and it’s based on neuroscience. People get bored quickly these days. Changing a visual, situation, or thought regularly can hold attention by interrupting their expectations.
Breaking long videos into shorter chapters or multiple videos can also help. People may not want to commit to watching a 20-minute video on their mobile phone, but might watch a 5-minute video, find out they like it, and subscribe for more.
While working to increase watch time, keep in mind that the average YouTube view duration hovers around 50%-60% of the total video viewing time. So, make sure important information and any call to action occur in the first half of the video.
7. Encourage viewers to like, subscribe, and comment
Another way to show the YouTube algorithm that your video is worth promoting is through user engagement. Getting likes, shares, subscribers, and comments make a big difference in how you will rank.
The best way to do that is to ask your viewers to engage. Give viewers a call to action and ask them to click Subscribe. Consider using Annotations that show people how to subscribe and the value of doing so.
Tell them what you want them to do, give them a compelling reason to do so, and then show them how to do it.
8. Design click worthy thumbnails
Did you know that a signal title on Netflix can have thousands of different thumbnail images that are shown to different people? The streaming service is constantly testing which thumbnail images get the best response from its customers to optimize clicks.
While you may not be able to test thousands of thumbnails, you can make sure the thumbnail you choose will attract attention and encourage a click.
90% of the best-performing videos on the YouTube platform have custom thumbnails.
9. Comment (a lot)
Solicit comments and engage with viewers when they post. When viewers see you are willing to engage with them, they are more likely to follow you.
Another strategy is to find new and relevant content and leave comments. You’ll be amazed how many people will check out your videos, follow you, or subscribe just because you took the time to watch what they posted and responded.
10. Promote your content
If you build it, they will come, right? Nope. If you’re thinking you can just create great content, sit back, and reap the rewards, forget it.
You’ve got to be a tireless advocate for your content to ensure people will find it. Besides what you’re doing on YouTube, you also need to promote your content off YouTube. If you have a website or blog, make it easy for people to find your YouTube channel. Ask them to subscribe.
Take full advantage of social media to spread the message. Be active in social communities and groups that align with your content.
Collaborate with other YouTuber’s, especially influencers in your niche. This provides social proof for your audience and can introduce you to another YouTubers audience.
And, of course, there are also paid marketing and advertising strategies.
Grow Your YouTube Channel
YouTube provides a great outlet for your creativity and there’s almost no limit to what you can do. Let your creative energy shine, but remember to employ these ten marketing tips to help grow your channel.