YouTube is still the top when it comes to video hosting websites, with nearly 2 billion users. As such, it can be a powerful tool for any marketer.
However, with so many YouTubers, gaining subscribers and regular viewers can be challenging. You need an effective plan if you want to grow on YouTube. Some people will buy YouTube subscribers, which can be a very effective strategy, but how do you gain subscribers outside of that? Better yet, how can you have a regularly returning audience?
Is there a trick to building an audience and keeping it? The answer is yes, but it involves some research on your end and making sure you’ve got everything set up to build a following that’ll retain as you grow and gain more subscribers.
This article aims to help people new to YouTube find their footing.
Know Your Target Audience
Just as your business should know its customer base, your YouTube channel should also. With YouTube, people from young to old use; it’s not a site locked to a specific age demographic. Instead, it would be best if you had an idea of what videos your target audience watches.
Crafting a buyer persona is one tool you can use to figure out who you’re marketing for. Think of what types of videos your target audience would watch. Do they like funny content? Music? Commentary or reviews? Unboxing videos?
Better yet, how do you know what your audience watches? One way is to research the audience you already know that supports your business and see what videos they watch. This can give you a better idea of what types of videos to make.
Does Your Competition Have a YouTube Channel? Do a Little Digging
The best way to figure out how to market your YouTube channel is to look into your competitor’s channel.
With their channel, you can look into how many subs they have, how many viewers they get, when they upload, what their videos are about, and more. You should also look into their comments and see who they are attracting.
YouTube also makes it easy to see their most popular videos, meaning you can see the videos that genuinely click with their audience. As you find their most popular videos, ask why they are popular.
Do they have a specific and unique brand voice? What about their lighting and camerawork? How are they wording their titles?
With any competition research, the goal is not to copy your competitors but instead figure out how you can take their strategies and integrate them into your own brand voice.
Watch YouTube Channels As Well
Besides your competitors, you should watch other YouTubers outside of your business. This strategy may seem more like it’s for your leisure, but there are many reasons this can be a legitimate strategy. For one, you can see what’s working for YouTubers.
How can you integrate this into your target audience? Can you emulate what makes these channels good with your own voice?
After all, YouTube is an art, and most people gain inspiration from watching other artists. So while some succeed in doing their own thing, many others take inspiration, enabling them to take something already beloved and add their own twist.
Thumbnails Are Crucial
One thing you should do when watching other YouTubers is to see what thumbnails they use. Thumbnails are attention-getters and can give your audience an idea of what to expect.
Any thumbnail requires a bit of creativity. When making your thumbnails, remember that they are 1280×720 pixels in size.
Generally, a good thumbnail is not a screenshot of what’s in your video. Instead, it would be best if you had imagery that gives a person an idea of what to expect in the video and some imagery that shows your banding. In addition, you don’t want to make your thumbnail too busy.
Think About Creating a Playlist
A playlist is a group of related videos, letting your audience find specific types of videos in one handy list. For example, if your channel talks about various topics, you can group each topic into its own playlist.
Every time you make a video, be sure to add it to the playlist. This way, you can keep everything in order.
It’s All About Keywords
Remember, Google owns YouTube, a website that specializes in keywords—from your video title to your channel page’s bio, having the right keywords can attract the ideal audience.
You can use services such as Google Keyword Planner to research further what keywords are essential, but we also like the idea of some informal YouTube research. Look up the services your business offers, and see what comes up. What keywords are they using? Can you use them or alter them to show off your services? You can do so and make your channel shine.
You’ll need to think about your channel’s title, description, and tags. The title should have the main keyword, and the description should include the main keyword and two additional ones. In addition, you can add tags to the video. YouTube says these tags have little impact, but you may want to add them anyway.
Speaking of Description
We should briefly talk about your video description. Your video description needs a couple of sentences that give users a good idea of what they can expect in the video. If it’s a longer video, you may want to add timestamps to give people an idea of where they need to go to find the topics they are looking for.
In addition, you want to have links in your description that tell users where to go if they want to see more of you. A call to action is always beneficial as well. When you make a video, you also need to emphasize that the links are in the description.
Comment and Respond to Comments
While the YouTube comment section has a good reputation, it’s still a great way to socialize. In addition, commenting on relevant videos to your business can get new eyes on your YouTube channel.
Then, there are your own channel’s comments. It’s always vital to heart react to comments you receive and respond to comments if needed. Acknowledging your viewer’s comments will make your audience feel like they are a part of something.
If you’re live streaming, responding to real-time comments is even better. It can be an interactive experience for everyone involved.
Consider a Channel Trailer
YouTube allows you to have a channel trailer, which gives newcomers an idea of your channel and what to expect from your content. Like a movie trailer, it can either sell people on your channel or turn them off, so think about your channel trailer carefully. Once again, you can look to other channels for inspiration.
Some people will have a video explaining what the channel has to offer, usually doing so while sitting down and presenting everything in a friendly manner. Others will take a highlight reel and cut it like a movie trailer, giving users a taste of what’s to come. As you can expect, there’s no right or wrong way to make a trailer; it depends on your brand and what your audience wants to see.
Think About When You Want to Schedule Your Videos
You can make videos when you upload them, so the videos are available the second they’re processed. However, some may want to schedule videos.
The idea is that you want your video to appear in the subscription box around the time your audience is on YouTube. But, of course, this time can depend on who your audience is. Do you attract the late-night crowd? The early birds? Are people in-between?
Also, think about when you’re going to upload. Some YouTubers do it daily, while others upload a video weekly. Regardless of your approach, being consistent can ensure that your audience returns for more.
While there is no right time, many suggest the morning or afternoon. Ultimately, you can determine what time works best for you by looking at your analytics. For example, you can learn when your audience is most active and then go from there.
In 2020, YouTube introduced Shorts, vertical videos under one minute long. Shorts were YouTube’s answer to TikTok, and they’re not something you should overlook.
YouTube Shorts tend to be favored in the algorithm, so be sure that you try to upload them every so often. Even if your channel has tiny subs, the algorithm can show your Shorts to thousands of people. As a result, you may be able to attract an audience you wouldn’t reach otherwise.
With Shorts, the key to them is to create digestible content. How can you condense an informative video into 60 seconds or fewer? Some people may take a longer video and showcase only its most vital points. Meanwhile, others may create original content with it.
While Shorts can be made with a desktop computer, their intended use is through mobile phones. As such, shooting content with your smartphone is ideal. When you shoot content, hold your phone vertically, as that’s how Shorts work. If you make the video using a horizontal view, YouTube may overly zoom it in to convert it to a Short.
Advertising Can Be a Valuable Way to Grow
One method that many people try is YouTube advertising. Simply put, you start an advertising campaign that puts pre-roll ads before people’s videos. We do like how customizable these ads can be. You can set them to be skippable or unskippable, and they can be long or short.
With any ad, you need to do heavy research into your audience and plan your ad campaign smartly. This section is an entire article in and of itself!
Influencer Marketing Is King
Another way for you to grow your brand? Influencer marketing!
If you have the advertising budget, it may be better to spend it on influencer marketing. In a $16 billion industry, influencer marketing involves paying another creator, usually a larger one, to promote your product or channel.
For some, influencer marketing can be more beneficial because of how people feel about ads nowadays. For example, many people feel annoyed when an unskippable ad appears, which may make them not want to buy your product.
However, many YouTube watchers have a connection to their favorite content creators. When the content creator advertises something, they may be more inclined to like it. In addition, many creators promote products in their own style, making it more likely they will check out your content.
Which influencer you pick can depend on your budget. However, you’ll ideally want to pick an influencer whose audience aligns with yours.
Market Yourself in Your Own Video
When you create your video content, don’t forget to market yourself. That may sound silly, but there are specific phrases that can increase audience interaction.
One classic example is reminding your audience to like and subscribe. As one knows, liking the video pushes it up in the algorithm, and subscribing ensures that your audience will see your videos in their subscription feed. You can also ask your audience to ring the bell for notifications, which ensures that your audience won’t miss a single activity you perform.
You may also want to end the video with a call for action, mainly if there is a link in the description. Doing so can increase your audience’s likelihood of reaching your store or your website.
Analytics Are King
YouTube has an analytics page that lets you see your audience’s information. Usually, this includes how many subs you’ve gained, how many views you’ve gotten, and more vital information. For example, you can learn how long your videos were watched by your viewers, the age of your audience, and how long they stuck around.
Usually, analytics help you to know if you’re on the right track. If there’s been no channel growth for a while, it may be time for you to adjust your marketing strategy. If your analytics show positive growth, you are on the right track!
Growing a YouTube channel is challenging work. This article hasn’t even covered what kind of content you should make, only the marketing side of things. However, marketing your YouTube channel properly is just as vital as creating good content. If your content isn’t optimized, it doesn’t matter how good it is. No eyes are there to see it. However, once you know how to market, your channel can grow further, and you can get your brand out there.