How to Grow your YouTube Followers
The key to a successful YouTube channel is having followers. Think of it like website visitors, without followers you can’t sell advertising, products or affiliate products.
Followers are the life blood of a YouTube Channel. We have spoken in the past about making a YouTube channel so we are not going to go into that here. Today we just want to talk about some of the best ways we have found to grow your YouTube Channel.
We want to start with something you should have considered before you ever created your channel. What is your YouTube channel about? By this we mean what is the keyword or topic you are focusing on.
It is much easier to grow a YouTube channel if you focus on a specific topic or keyword. It is even easier if you choose a topic that doesn’t have too much competition. We usually start with either a product or service we want to sell and then try to find the right focus topic based on that product.
Let’s say you are doing a channel on football. You don’t want to try and rank in football, it is too hard. So, you might choose something like “The Craziest Football Plays of All Time”. This is a smaller niche but is much easier to rank in.
There are lots of ways you can find how popular a keyword is. We use a Keyword program called Jaaxy. There are others, many offer a set of free searches to get you started. This might be all you need to narrow down what your keyword focus will be for your YouTube Channel. However, we have found that you should research topics for each video on your channel to make sure they are not too hard to rank in if you are trying to grow your YouTube followers.
Next you should create quality, relevant content for your channel. Ultimately people will only subscribe if you have produced a good video on a topic they expected to see on your channel and it answered their questions.
Using the example we gave above, If your channel is about crazy football plays viewers are not going to expect to see a video on a funny kitten. Yes, you might get a few subscribers if it is funny enough because everyone loves funny kitten videos, but it will not help you grow your crazy football plays YouTube Channel over the long term.
Remember, you don’t just need subscribers you also need viewers to watch your videos to completion in order to maximize your advertising revenue. Number of views and length of new is very important. It is also important for your YouTube subscribers to want to see the next video in the queue. The more they watch, the more you make.
This is also true if you are selling a product, the longer you can keep the viewer interested in your videos and channel the more likely they are to become a customer.
Quality, relevant videos are crucial to your YouTube Channel success.
Don’t forget that YouTube is a social media channel. You should encourage comments and respond to as many of them as you can. Connect to your viewers. Let them know you are a real person. This is pretty obvious if you are the talent on your channel but it is just as important if you are just posting crazy football plays.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself on camera even if your channel isn’t really about you talking. Again, Youtube is a social media platform. Show you are real and your viewers will be more likely to engage with your channel. This in turn, will help grow your channel and bring in more followers.
Brand your channel. Make sure your videos have something in common that carries on from video to video. This might be an opening cut scene or some sort of water mark in the video. You want to make sure that potential YouTube subscribers recognize a video is related to your channel. You really need to make sure they can tell just from the thumbnail if at all possible.
If you look at most of the really successful Youtube creators you can tell it is one of their videos just from looking at the thumbnail. At least one element carries over from video to video, usually more than one.
Your brand should give your viewers a look or feel that it is yours, preferably even before they actually watch the video.
Promote your YouTube channel on all of your other social media platforms. The key to growing your social media presence and becoming a social media influencer is to cross promote all your social media channels across each other.
Promote your YouTube channel on Facebook. Promote your Facebook channel on Instagram. Promote your Instagram on Pinterest. Promote Pinterest on Twitter and so on.
But, not just one to one. Promote each one on all the others. I did the example above just to simplify the explanation.
In reality you should continuously cross promote across all social media channels relentlessly. Every post and every video should be promoted across all of your social media many times. You don’t want to spam your social media accounts. Except for Twitter. Spam away on Twitter, well within reason.
Don’t stop showing up on your channel. We mean two different things when we say this.
One is that you should produce videos on are regular schedule. Don’t do a video today, then one in two weeks, then one two days after that and then one a month after that. Be at least somewhat consistent. If you set a goal of one video per week then stick to it. You can get away doing an extra one or two but do at least the one a week you have committed to.
You will need content to grow your channel and you will need to remain active on the channel even when things are slow, which they will be for a while. That is normal, rarely do new channels grow quickly unless they get a lot of help from a big YouTube influencer.
Don’t give up and keep producing your content on the schedule you set. On a brand new channel we suggest at least 2 or 3 videos per week. After you start getting good consistent growth you might go to one video per week long term.
The second thing we mean goes back to what we said above about YouTube being a social media platform. People what to relate to you and to get to know you. They want to see you on the videos. People typically connect to people. Don’t worry if you are not good at making videos at first. You will get better over time. Like everything, it just takes practice.
The first thing a new (or even an existing) potential subscriber will notice about your video is the thumbnail. The thumbnail is the primary advertisement for your post and it needs to draw attention and encourage the view to take a look at your video and hopefully subscribe.
There are many free graphic programs out there that will help you to make a good thumbnail for your video. If you aren’t sure what makes a good thumbnail, that is an easy fix.
Just go to Youtube and search for other videos in your niche and see what their thumbnails look like. Then take a look at their channels to see how many subscribers they have and how many views their YouTube videos are getting. If they have a lot of subscribers and their videos are getting lots of view then you should probably take extra time looking at their thumbnails. You can be these are probably good ones to emulate.
Don’t forget about Youtube cards and end screens. Use the cards to promote your other videos to help keep your viewers on your channel. Use the End screen to ask for a subscription and to point viewers to at least one other video on your channel.
We usually select Best for User when we recommend a video using an end screen. It is easy and helps keep the user on our channel longer.
We mentioned promoting subscriptions on the end screen above, but also don’t be afraid to ask for subscriptions during your video. Typically we like to ask for these early in the video because users don’t always make it to the end of the video. We hope they do, but not all of your videos will keep users attention. That is fairly normal unless you are making ‘how to’ videos’. They seem to do a little better.
If your channel is growing too slowly, take a look at your niche to make sure you can rank in it. Then take a look at your videos in comparison to successful YouTubers in your niche. Don’t worry if you are not at their level yet, it does take practice but you might see some areas you can make changes in right now to improve your video quality.
After you have done these things and feel confident about them the next thing to try is producing more content. Upload videos at an increased frequency so users have a better chance to stumble across one of your videos.
Just don’t give up. Keep pushing and producing content. Eventually your YouTube Followers will grow.