With over 2 billion active users, YouTube is a great platform to promote your brand and create a name for yourself. Not only do subscribers bring you fame and brand deals, they also give you the opportunity to showcase your talents on a global platform.
However, you do need to put in work to get your content to people’s screens. As a YouTuber, you have to be just as creative with promoting your channel as you have to be with your content. That’s the only way to grow your presence online.
There are plenty of easy ways to promote your YouTube channel online. Multiple hits, growing subscribers, and increased engagement are all signs that your promotional strategies are working.
So what can you do to promote your YouTube channel? In this comprehensive guide, we’re telling you everything you need to know about YouTube channel marketing.
Now, let’s dive in!
1. Make fresh, enticing content
Your content is the best indicator of how good of a YouTuber you are. This is why good content trumps all other promotional strategies.
YouTube tracks content engagement by watch time, rather than the number of views you get. YouTube tracks the time people spend on your videos and whether or not they watch till the end. If your watch time is high, YouTube and Google assume people are enjoying your content. Thus, your video will show up more often in the “Suggested” box, giving you free, organic traffic.
Make videos on things that are happening around you and around the world. Do challenges that are relevant and engaging for your audience. Here are some challenge ideas that have worked for YouTubers in the past:
- Try not to laugh – watch a funny video compilation with a friend. Whoever laughs first, loses.
- Chubby bunny – stuff marshmallows in your mouth and try to say the phrase “chubby bunny”. The challenge is to see how many marshmallows you can fit in until you can’t say “chubby bunny” anymore.
- The whisper challenge – one person puts on headphones with loud music while the other person reads them a phrase. The person has to guess what the phrase is simply through lip reading.
- The cinnamon challenge – the challenge is to eat a spoonful of cinnamon without coughing or choking.
Make sure to use Twitter trends to see what people are talking about, and then make content accordingly.
Moreover, see what content your fellow YouTubers are putting up, and what’s working for them. For instance, if you’re a gamer, check out what popular games other streamers are playing, and use that as inspiration for your own videos.
You should also look at Google trends to see what people are searching for the most. If you make videos according to trends, you’ll be more likely to show up in search results.
This, however, doesn’t mean that all your content should be trend-based. That takes away from your authenticity as a YouTuber. Make some videos that are timeless – stuff your subscribers can come back to and enjoy even years after you upload them.
For instance, in 2007, YouTuber TayZonday made “Chocolate Rain”, a song he composed himself. That video got 131 million hits, and it wasn’t based on any trend at the time. In fact, the video is still talked about to this day.
So skits and music videos are good examples of timeless content that’ll help people remember you forever.
2. Tag your videos
Tagging allows your videos to show up in relevant search results. For instance, if someone searches for “cooking video”, your own cooking tutorial will only show up as an option if it’s tagged accordingly.
Decide what your tags will be before you start making your video. Do a quick Google search to see which relevant keywords are the most popular. Then incorporate content related to those keywords in your video. Not only is this more effective, but it will also make you a more trustworthy and less click-baity YouTuber.
Keep some brand specific tags as well. For instance, if you do a weekly special, let’s say a make-up haul, give it a name and add it as a tag to all your weekly specials.
When you’re uploading your video, click on “More options” in the upload flow to add your tags. You can also add tags to already uploaded videos by selecting “Content” in your YouTube studio, selecting your video, and then adding your tags.
3. Choose a catchy title
The title of your YouTube video should be short, snappy, and optimized for SEO. Basically, make sure your primary keyword is in the title. And it’s always a good idea to capitalize the first letter of each word.
Here are some more tips to remember when writing your title. It should:
- Match your video content
- Not include any jargon
- Be tailored for your audience
4. Include CTAs in your videos
YouTube allows you to add call to action buttons within your video while it is playing. This is a great feature because it lets you guide your subscribers to other relevant content. They’ll also be more likely to click on your CTA if what you direct them to is similar to the video that they had clicked on originally.
Add CTAs strategically in the middle and at the end of your videos. The content that is linked should build on what you’re talking about in the video. Make sure to encourage people to check out the link after watching your entire video.
A good strategy is to link your CTA to other videos that you’ve uploaded. This is especially useful if you’re an educational channel with interrelated concepts spread out over a number of videos.
For instance, YouTube channel TED-Ed uploads educational videos all the time. All of their videos have embedded CTAs that take you to their Audible channel and to a playlist of other videos they’ve posted on similar topics.
5. Understand your subscribers
Your content and promotional strategies depend solely on what your audience is interested in. Therefore, without an in-depth understanding of your target audience’s preferences, you can never optimize your promotion.
Find out your audience’s average age, gender, and geographic location, as well as their activity across the platform. More importantly, do individual analyses of your videos and figure out at what point you start to lose your audience i.e. when do people shut off your video and move to something more interesting.
You can do all this by selecting “Analytics” from the left menu in your YouTube studio. From here, click on “Audience” to get insight into your subscribers and their preferences.
Your audience is your bread and butter as a YouTuber, which means you need to respect its wishes.
Take a look at one of the biggest channels on YouTube, Cocomelon, which currently has 117 million subscribers. Its viewers are young babies whose mothers often put the videos up for them to keep them engaged. Cocomelon is cognizant of this, which is why so many of its videos are long-running, with hundreds of nursery rhymes playing back to back.
6. Make your channel appealing
Dress up your channel and make it as inviting as possible for new subscribers. Add a relevant banner, and add information about what you do, when and how often you post.
Allow comments on your videos to increase engagement and so that new subscribers can see what your fans have to say about you.
The Daily Show’s channel home page is a good example of the kind of appeal you want to have. It has the show’s signature colors, the people involved in it, information about the frequency of posts, and its recent videos showing front and center so people can click immediately.
You can make similar, professional looking YouTube channel art with PosterMyWall. Simply find a template you like, edit it according to your preference, and add it to your channel.
7. Make YouTube shorts
YouTube shorts are a great way to increase your reach, especially if you’re a new channel. Not everyone is interested in long-form content, so this is a good opportunity to diversify to smaller, bite-sized videos.
With shorts, you can make videos that are upto 60 seconds long. This way you get the opportunity to share what kind of YouTuber you are with people who aren’t familiar with you. Make sure to keep your shorts content relevant to your other content, and always guide viewers to your channel in the end so they can check out your other videos.
And don’t forget to add relevant hashtags to all your descriptions to increase viewership.
8. Increase viewership on mobile
The more optimized your channel is for mobile viewership, the greater the chances of YouTube putting it on people’s phone screens.
In recent years, YouTube has been trying to alter its layout so that it looks like other phone-based social media apps. It now has a Community tab that allows you to interact with your subscribers in ways other than videos.
Use the Community tab to do the following:
- Write text posts – announce when your next video will be released, update your subscribers on a project, or simply talk a little bit about what you’ve been up to.
- Make image posts – post a photo of a pet, your breakfast, you in a studio working on a new project, or a vacation update.
- Make a poll – get your subscribers involved in your video-making process by giving them some options and asking them what they would like to see. You can also ask them when they’d like you to upload your video.
To use the Community tab, you have to have more than 1000 subscribers and your channel cannot be set for children.
9. Create engaging thumbnails
Thumbnails are a visual sneak peek into your video content, and thus, they can determine whether or not someone clicks on your video. Here are some tips on making effective and engaging thumbnails:
- Keep the resolution to 1280 x 720 pixels
- Do not go above the 2 MB size limit
- Stick to a .JPG or .PNG format
- Make sure your image is a close up and not wide-shot angle of your content
- Use high contrast images to make your thumbnail pop
- Add text and emojis
- Keep your branding consistent – e.g. if you’re lining your thumbnail with a red border, do it with all your videos
If you’re looking to create your own thumbnail, PosterMyWall has a ton of cool thumbnail templates for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a PUBG thumbnail for YouTube or a thumbnail for your daily vlog, we’ve got you covered.
10. Respond to comments
Engage with your subscribers on a regular basis to let them know that you’re important to them. People will also be more likely to comment under your videos if they know they’ll get a reply.
Emphasize the fact that you’ll be reading comments, replying, and taking constructive feedback in your videos.
You should also respond to negative comments and win your haters over by listening to them and engaging with them.
YouTuber Matt Shea made a whole video responding to a hater. This got him a ton of views and it also provided his hater with a little bit of publicity. Win win.
11. Cross promote on social media
As a YouTuber, you need to build a brand for yourself online. This will get you more dedicated followers, and it will also give them a better idea of what to expect from your content.
With over 1 billion active users, Instagram is a great place to brand yourself. Here are some ways you can promote your YouTube channel on Instagram:
- Share pictures with other YouTubers to reach their audience
- Post sneak peeks into your videos on your stories
- Use reels to post bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage from your videos
- Ask people to send in questions through stories, that you can then answer in a separate video
- Sell your own merch or do an Instagram giveaway to award free merch to fans who share your videos
- Post pictures of your thumbnails and other promotional content on your grid – you can use a YouTube channel art template to make an exciting post
If you want to go the extra mile, promote your channel on TikTok. It has about 1 billion users, which means you’ll likely find a ton of new subscribers here. Many YouTubers make bite-sized versions of their YouTube videos on TikTok and find fame on the app. Remember to always link to your YouTube channel in all your TikToks.
12. Use email marketing
Email marketing may sound like an outdated strategy but trust us, it’s incredibly effective. 66% of marketers say that emails bring them a great return on investment.
Collect emails through your YouTube channel and social media. Add sign up links in video descriptions and merch giveaways.
Once you have an email list, send regular emails, especially before a new video is released. This will increase your video’s reach in the first couple of hours after it is uploaded.
13. Collaborate with other YouTubers
As a YouTuber, you’ll meet plenty of other YouTubers at conventions and other events hosted by YouTube. Use this and social media, especially Instagram and Twitter, to reach out to fellow YouTubers and ask them to collaborate with you.
You can do viral challenges together, play a game, or make a skit. If you’re a YouTuber who does social commentary, you can also collab with other like-minded creators and interview them to spark discussions on current events.
Make sure to make your channel look especially welcoming for all of your collaborator’s fans who might come to your page after seeing you on their channel. For instance, if you’re a gamer, a nice gaming YouTube banner on your channel would let people know exactly what to expect from you.
YouTube channel REACT by the Fine Brothers modeled their entire channel around this strategy. And it’s been working brilliantly for them. They regularly invite popular YouTubers on their show to react to Internet trends or famous people. It’s a foolproof strategy that helps them rake in millions of views on a daily basis.
14. Repeat what works
This is a simple strategy. Keep a track of what works on your channel and roll with it. This doesn’t mean that you have to be repetitive. That would just bore your subscribers.
Instead, take inspiration from a video that’s popular on your channel and make another one that has similar tones. Moreover, it’s possible that there was something in your thumbnail or title that brought in a ton of views on that particular video. Figure out what it is and repeat it with other videos.
YouTuber Ryan Higa’s video “How To Sing Like Your Favorite Artist” is one of the most popular videos on his channel, with over 52 million total views. Higa capitalized on this by making a sequel to the video three years later. This way, he prevented the topic from looking repetitive on his channel, and built up enough hype for it to do well again after a long break.
The crux of effectively promoting your YouTube channel is making good content. Your content is an indicator of the kind of creator you are, and it will ultimately determine whether or not you gain a new subscriber. However, as this guide has shown, there are plenty of other strategies that will help get your audience to your channel.
Remember the main takeaways:
- Optimize your YouTube content for greater visibility – focus on thumbnail, title, tags, etc.
- Engage with your subscribers through YouTube, social media and email
- Be consistent but not repetitive
And of course, make your channel look good for your subscribers through banners and other graphics. You can make your own on PosterMyWall, seamlessly and in very little time.