YouTube. It’s HUGE!
And any video content creator would love to get their hands on a piece of THAT pie.
Then continue reading…
Because you’re about to learn:
19 excellent ways to get more YouTube subscribers, FAST!
- #1- Clean up Your Channel
- #2- Optimize Your Channel Page
- #3- Get a Great Channel Icon
- #4- Add a Branding Watermark to Your Videos
- #5- Sneak in Extra Subscribe Button in Your Channel Art
- #6- Use Video Playlists
- #7- Respond to Every Comment
- #8- Heart awesome comment
- #9- Create an Awesome Channel Tagline
- #10- Have an Awesome Channel Description
- #11- Make Longer Videos
- #12- Increase Watch Time to Boost Rankings
- #13- Posting Frequency? Do What’s Right for Your Channel
- #14- End Videos With a Strong CTA
- #15- Use end screens and cards
- #16- Promote Your Video in Online Communities
- #17- Embed Your Videos in Your Blog Posts
- #18- Promote your videos on Pinterest
- #19- Promote Videos Via Your Twitter Profile
- Bonus -Do excellent YouTube SEO
#1- Clean up Your Channel
If you’re just starting a brand new channel, then this tip doesn’t apply to you.
But if you had a channel for a long time already and you posted some videos there, then it’s time to go in and do some spring cleaning.
Your goal is to remove the crappy videos that don’t get views on YouTube, of course, but if they did, they’d damage your brand.
Yes- they’re that level of abysmally bad.
Not sure what’s the total depth of badness?
Here’s my YouTube video on converting posts into pages in WordPress:
This video is almost 4 years old now, and it’s a mess.
I mean, it’s “good” in a sense that it explains how to change post into pages and vice versa, but it’s horribly produced.
- My accent was too thick.
- I stuttered when I speak
- I haven’t scripted a single thing (except in my head)
- And my internet was embarrassingly slow making the steps unnecessary long and tedious to watch…
This piece has a tone of problems that make it irreparable in my eyes. I’m still proud of it because it was my first-ever foray into video marketing, but I know when the time comes for me to return to YouTube, the first thing I’ll do is remove this video.
#2- Optimize Your Channel Page
Optimizing your channel page is more than doing some basic YouTube SEO on it.
No, SEO is covered in another tip but here, channel “optimization” means creating a channel layout that puts your best stuff front and center.
Because, as a content creator who’s working hard and wishes for success even harder, you want all your videos watched all the time;
Since that’s not possible you want the next best thing- your best videos watched most often. And changing the channel layout is the easiest way to achieve it.
Here’s is a layout that most successful YouTubers use, and the graphic is a courtesy of Brian Dean.
#3- Get a Great Channel Icon
Your channel icon is like a custom favicon … for your entire channel.
And it shows up everywhere!
- In YouTube search;
- in your channel proper,
- in your videos…
As such it is mighty important to get it right. And getting it right is as simple as getting a high resolution image of yourself if you’re a personal brand.
Here’s how Julia McCoy does it on her channel:
Or if you’re a big corporation and a world-renown brand, then get a designer to take your official logo and adapt it to YouTube’s channel image requirements (image size, width…).
Here’s how Coca-Cola does it. I bet you can’t mistake their channel for someone else’s.
#4- Add a Branding Watermark to Your Videos
You probably know that YouTube allows you to add your watermark to your videos and that users can subscribe then and there by clicking on your logo?
For example, here’s how the Harry Potter-dedicated channel MovieFlame does it.
What you probably don’t know is that this barely works. I mean, adding a branding watermark to your videos is better than adding nothing at all, but the numbers of new subscribers are really paltry.
Something is better than nothing of course… but what if you could add in a simple twist and increase the number of people that click on those watermarks within your videos?
Yes, my talk is not in vain and there is such a twist, discovered by a YouTube guru, Brian Dean.
Namely, he noticed that people were not at all clicking on the Backlinko watermark he added.
So he removed it and replaced it with a subscribe button that resembles the official buttons used by YouTube (uses their brand colors, red and white).
And of course, he’s subscription rate increased dramatically.
Why does this work exactly?
My theory only, but I guess folks really trust YouTube, so when they see a button that looks like YouTube placed it there, their mouse cursors feel drawn to it. It becomes harder not to click.
My theory only, like I said… but worth testing it out. If you do, let me know of your results in the comment section below.
#5- Sneak in Extra Subscribe Button in Your Channel Art
You probably know that you can link to external sites in your Channel art, right?
What you might not know is that you don’t have to link to external sites in your channel art.
No, you can easily add in extra subscribe button for people to click on. And this one is very prominent too.
Simply create a YouTube “subscribe me” link and add it alongside other off-site links.
Here how Evan Carmichael does it:
He’s got links to his Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and he has a large “subscribe me” button.
I’m guessing his button’s extra effective because it’s placed right below the image of Evan with Gary Vaynerchuk, So folks must be thinking, “this guy is friends with Gary V., he must be a swell, successful guy I can learn a lot from.
Let me subscribe right away, lest I forget“.
Ok, maybe they don’t use “lest” which is the phrase reserved for bookish nerds like me, but you get the point.
Evan has a tonne of subs and his extra subscriber button helped him get there.
#6- Use Video Playlists
As a YouTube video content creator, your supreme goal is to get you videos watched for as much time as possible.
And one of the easiest way to do it to create video playlists.
What are video playlists in YouTube?
Playlists are YouTube’s gold dust.
They’re groups of ordered, thematically-related-videos that dissect a topic to extremes and leave even the most hardcore fans satisfied to the brim;
almost exploding with the wealth of newly acquired knowledge and the sheer amount of fun they experienced.
Hey, good for them:)
But good for you too as binge watchers obviously like your videos and will subscribe like crazy, and their binge watching accumulates extra watch time for you.
And total watch time for your channel is the most important YouTube ranking factor
It’s very easy to make a playlist on YouTube.
- Start with the video you want to make a part of the new playlist
- Under that video, click “add to.”
- Click on “create new playlist.”
- Enter a desired playlist name
- Use the drop-down box to select your playlist’s privacy setting. If you set it to private, people won’t be able to access it on YouTube.
- Click “create.”
- That’s it!
Playlists work for getting views and new subs, but there’s a variant of playlist that works even better- it’s freaking POWER!
And it comes from the famous SEO/YouTube guru Brian Dean. I know I mentioned him several times already, but the guy is a genius when it comes to ranking stuff on Google and YouTube and it pays to listen to him.
So, you’ll still be grouping videos, but not by the overarching theme, but by the result you can get if you watch all the videos in the playlist.
So, Brian on his channel has a playlist “How to get higher Google rankings.”
I trust you realize what you’ll learn if you watch all the videos, no?
To finish this 6-th tip on getting more YouTube subscribers to your channel with style, take a look at my current playlist I’m binge watching like there’s no tomorrow.
If you get the pun, you’re an Eva geek, if not, educate yourself- it’s not too late.
Note: Click on the images if you want to listen to something good. And worry not- links open in new tabs, so you won’t be loosing your progress here.
Ah, pure gold, matched only by the Cowboy Bebeop music by Yoko Kanno.
#7- Respond to Every Comment
Responding to comments is very important on YouTube.
Because most content creators never do, and when you do (respond), you will stand out and reap the sweet rewards of engagement.
Also, YouTube’s internal data shows that video producers who respond to comments get a larger fan base faster.
When creators take the time to interact with their loyal community, it can encourage audience participation and ultimately result in a larger fanbase.
Because when someone speaks up in your comment section, it means they took time out of their busy day to leave you a thorough and thoughtful comment, and they will feel good when they see you respond. It’s a sign of respect from you- to them.
YouTube’s comment section is notorious for being a spam fest. Not always but you will need to learn the difference between legit and spam comments,
Also, when I say respond to every comment, I don’t mean it literally. What if your video received a 1000 comments? Does that mean you should respond to each one?
No! Comment vigilance for one week after the video went live is perfect.
#8- Heart awesome comment
As an author, you have the option to “heart” the favorite and best comments.
I advise that you do it as people whose comment you “heart” feel special and honored and will become loyal fans and your brand’s best evangelists. And other people will see this as further engagement from you;
It’s a small thing for sure, but it works and there’s no reason not to do it.
#9- Create an Awesome Channel Tagline
Your channels tagline is the one-line epicness that sets you apart from everyone else and that speaks to the hearts of those special people you call your innermost tribe.
Your tagline is what niches you down to the smallest nook of a niche; so you can conquer it and then expand to conquer the world, the galaxy the universe, the multiverse and everything beyond.
Think I’m exaggerating a bit? You’re not thinking big enough.
But to return to the tagline- make it snappy. Memorable.
Note: If you have a good tagline for your website don’t be afraid to re-use it for your channel.
My site’s name is Nikola Roza and my tagline is “SEO for the Poor and Determined.”
That tagline is clear, concise, and speaks to the hears of folks who want to do SEO but are struggling, barely surviving and have not a dime to invest. My site is the answer for them because I show them how to do creative SEO with a $0 budget.
So when I start doing YouTube for real, you can guess what my channel’s tagline will be, right?
Note: Another option is to list and tie together the brands you own and work with. For example, here’s how Julia McCoy does it on her channel.
#10- Have an Awesome Channel Description
Your channel description is another way for you to say who you are and what you do.
It’s a further chance to speak to your tribe and get them to subscribe because they’re so similar to you.
However, there is a way to do it right and a way to do it wrong;
And to be clear- you want the former, not the latter:)
For example, this is bad, being a cheapskate with words:
This person is missing an opportunity to clearly tell their audience (plus the search engines Google and YouTtube) who they are and what they do.
In other words: by writing a thorough description that includes relevant keywords, you’re building trust and rapport with your audience and potential subscribers; and at the same time you’re building relevance on a macro-channel level.
Note: being relevant for something in the eyes of Search Engines means easier rankings with less authority and other ranking signals.
On the other hand, If you do it like this:
Neil Patel know a thing or two about SEO, so he made sure to explain who he is, what he does and how he can help you get the results you want.
He also threw in valuable keywords in there.
His description is super helpful to both the users and the machines.
#11- Make Longer Videos
I know this goes against common wisdom that online- shorter=better. But Backlinko recently did a study that showed that most successful videos on YouTube are 10+m long.
Data shows YouTube’s algo prefers to rank longer videos.
Who really knows? But it probably has something to do with the fact that popular longer videos cause people to spend more time on YouTube, their platform.
“Watch time. Sounds important“.
“How can I increase total watch time for my YouTube channel and videos“?
Glad you asked…
#12- Increase Watch Time to Boost Rankings
YouTube as a platform, wants to keep folks on their site. Quite similar to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and basically any other behemoth of membership and community website.
So YouTube really likes (and promotes) videos that keep people watching, as if they’re glued to their screens.
And if you can achieve that with your content, you’ll get an “unfair” boost in YouTube SERP’s
But the question is:
How to achieve longer watch time, when nowadays goldfish beats humans at attention span contests?
The answer- pattern interrupts.
The official definition of a pattern interrupt is “the event that changes a person’s thought pattern.”
They are those little things that don’t take away from the videos message, but are flashes of changes that keep people invested for longer and often till the video ends.
Depending on the type of video you’re watching, anything can be a pattern interrupt.,
But some good examples are:
- Jump cuts
- Different camera angles
- Verbal interrupts (jokes, puns and curses)
Basically, anything that you wouldn’t expect to see in the video you’re watching, and when you do, you’re slightly taken aback… and then you keep on watching.
For example, take a look at this Harry Potter video.
This video is composed of the person talking interspersed with the images from the Harry Potter movies. As such, it doesn’t need many pattern interrupts because the video is already very dynamic as it is.
However, the presenter has added lots of graphics to make the video more fun to watch.
Take a look at this hilarious image (I crack up anytime I see it):
#13- Posting Frequency? Do What’s Right for Your Channel
Right off the bat, there’s no ideal video posting frequency!
Sometimes more is better; sometimes less is.
Geekdom 101 is steadily approaching 700 000 subscribers
And see how many videos he’s produced.
Almost 2 000!
So it was a tonne of work over many years and his success is well deserved.
But here, Brian Dean’s channel only has 26 videos, and he has 249 000 subscribers already!
What should you do?
More is better, IF you can maintain high video quality. If you can’t; then less is better, because like I said, earlier-bad videos hurt your brand and quality is still king.
#14- End Videos With a Strong CTA
CTA stands for “Call To Action”: and since our goal is to get more subscribe your CTA should be “subscribe to my channel”.
Don’t be shy to tell folks exactly what to do once the video is done.
You can also tell people to subscribe at the start of videos. Neil Patel does that at the start of each of his YouTube videos.
I think it’s best to do both because by the time people finish watching they already forgot they should subscribe.
Here’s how Neil Patel gently nudges you to subscribe right away:
#15- Use end screens and cards
More people watching you videos, more likely they are to fall in love with your brand and hit that subscribe button.
And one of the most effective things you can do to increase subscriber count is to promote your other videos at throught the one they’re currently watching.
This is called End screen feature and it’s a very effective tool for channel promotion.
Here’s how Geekdom 101 does it with his Dragon Ball transformation guide series.
At the end on one, he offers you a chance to click and watch the others.
And since all videos are thematically related and you love Dragon Ball, it’s a no-brainer you’ll click.
Oh, how I wish I was in Saint Petersburg now…
It’s for the Paris of the East, and all the art; and for no other reason whatsoever:)
#16- Promote Your Video in Online Communities
You are in a niche right? Please tell me you’re in a niche and are not making videos about whatever tickles your fancy at the moment.
You ARE in a niche, Good!
I can breathe feel now… Don’t EVER make me worry so much again! 🙂
Ok, I’ve used a joke as a pattern interrupt from reading this seriously valuable post about getting more YouTube subscribers;
and now that you chuckled and are feeling refreshed, you need to know that choosing a niche is important because each niche has its community hubs where people meet to discuss their favorite topics and past times.
And it is up to you to find them and start participating in a genuine way, by answering questions, mingling with the locals, and by posting your videos as answers to the questions, people pose in those communities.
Each niche is a bit different but common places communities to tap into are:
- Niche-specific subreddits
- Quora questions
- Stack Exchange
Note: don’t be a douche. Be respectful toward the community and be elegant when you promote your stuff. Be helpful and genuine towards others so they promote you and once in a while, you help them promote you by promoting yourself.
#17- Embed Your Videos in Your Blog Posts
People like watching videos and it’s a fact of life now almost the same as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.
Even people who like nothing more than to consume content by reading it, like me, want to occasionally rest their eyes by tuning into the moving pictures on the screen.
So, take your best stuff that’s relevant to the blog post and embed it freely. Your content will offer a richer and better experience, and you will increase on-site dwell time which is an important ranking factor for Google.
And you’ll also boost your channel’s total watch time which I trust you know how crucial it is for your videos getting longevity and increased exposure.
You can also do this with guest posts.
Webmasters that let you guest post on their site usually allow you one link to your site within the content body.
But if you were to embed a video from your own Youtube channel, the webmaster wouldn’t mind because the link doesn’t point to your site but to YouTube.
#18- Promote your videos on Pinterest
Pinterest is huge and people are starting to see the amazing value of great looking pins.
And nowadays, there’s a small tonne of really legit and good Pinterest courses that teach you how to create built-for-Pinterest images that will get pinned and re-pinned like crazy.
Now everyone’s an expert, and the consequence to that is that the average board looks like this:
Most of these pins look beautiful and classy, but they are also similar in design, at least to my eye.
If I’m right in my observations, that’s a chance for you to easily stand out and attract more clicks.
Because sometimes, simple=better.
So, take a still of the attractive part of your video and upload it to Pinterest like that;
or alternatively, hire someone on Fiverr to create a stylized cover card for your YouTube videos.
The goal is to be authentic and gain visibility on Pinterest’s search engine.
Do this consistently and this tactic can bring you high returns over the years to come. That’s because, unlike Twitter, where tweets disappear in mere minutes, pins are evergreen and one good video pin can send you engaged traffic from years to come.
And you know the ancient wisdom originating with Socrates, and getting full treatment on one of the legendary dialogues by his best pupil Plato:
More traffic=more subscribers.
Hey, that last bit was joke, just to be clear:)
Socrates and Plato had other things to ponder over,
As for you, you definitely want more traffic to your YT videos and Pinterest can help you a tonne.
#19- Promote Videos Via Your Twitter Profile
I don’t mean just sharing your video. You should do that too, but I mean that you should pin your channel trailer or another important video to be at the top of your Twitter feed.
So that anyone who lands on your Twitter profile sees it right off the bat.
Here’s how Evan Carmichael does it.
The video of him dancing presumably with his girl is not strictly business but it does send off a vibe of a capable, caring person that has a life and is genuinely contributing to the world.
That’s what I got from watching his pinned video just once. And it sure did make me like Evan a bit more.
And I got curious to learn more about him.
Bonus -Do excellent YouTube SEO
Consider this a cherry-on-the-cake technique.
Meaning, this tactic alone won’t help you much, but will aid substantially over time and in conjunction with the 19 tactics that came before it.
After all, the best cake is not vanilla flavored, nor is it chocolate, but both. And also made from dozens of different ingredients, similar to a superb YouTube subscriber strategy that’s a mix of various tactics and depends on none alone.
So, when you do video SEO right- YouTube will show more of your videos.
And more YouTube SERP exposure will get you more total traffic to your videos. And more traffic= more subscribers
Simple, and common sense, right?
Now, I have two pieces of good news that’ll put a smile on your face, guaranteed.
First– YouTube SEO is easy. YouTube’s algorithm today is a primitive version of Google’s algorithm ten years prior, and what worked for Google 10 years ago still works super well today on YouTube.
Second– Easy SEO can become super effective SEO if you use a simple Chrome extension called TubeBuddy.
This tool is all you need to kill it with YouTube SEO, but, instead of talking about I here (there’s too much to cover and it’d be a disservice to you to give you a truncated version);
I strongly urge you to read the review Aayush Bhaskar posted on this blog a while back.
Note: the page will open in a new tab so don’t fret over losing your position here.
Now, you know the tips and tricks that work to get more YouTube subscribers!
These tactics work and together could work wonders for your channel.
Prepare yourself and your channel for explosive growth!
My final advice is to introduce them one by one; start with the easiest technique, and then move on up.
But before you move on up, scroll down a bit and leave me a comment with your favorite strategy.