YouTube has over 2 billion active users per month and is, therefore, the best place to build brand awareness, get more leads, and grow your business. If you do it right, you can get as many subscribers as you want, increase your watch hours, and earn 5 figures or more per year just like other YouTubers.
So, use this article to grow your channel and take it to the next level.
The most important step in growing your YouTube channel is to have clearly defined goals. So, what do you want to achieve from your channel? Why did you open it in the first place? Is it to generate leads? Do you want to build brand awareness and help prospects understand your business better? Perhaps you want to market your offers and improve your marketing strategy? Whatever your goal, specify it to ensure results.
When you clearly define your major goal, break it down into smaller actionable steps. Set weekly, monthly, and yearly targets and work on them daily. For example, if you want to reach 100 000 subscribers in 10 years, aim to get at least 10 000 subscribers yearly. Break down 10 0000 subscribers into 800 subscribers per month and 800 subscribers into at least 26 per day. Doing this proves that your goal is attainable and motivates you to keep working towards it.
Next, pick a niche and stick to it. Don’t make the mistake of producing content for everyone and anyone. Consider your line of business and curate content that’s in line with what you do. This is key to building meaningful relations with your audience and makes it easy for people to trust engaging in business when you start advertising your product or service.
Decide on the type of content you’ll create and make sure it’s in line with your niche to attract the right people to your channel, increase traffic, and boost engagement.
Know Your Audience
Know your audience and the people you are creating content for. Define your audience to share information they are interested in. The kind that keeps them coming back to your videos and sharing with friends. So, who are you targeting? Who is your channel created for? And what sort of content are they interested in?
Consider your line of business and niche to ensure you target the right people. Target people who are already searching for products or content related to your niche to ensure conversions. For instance, let’s say you own an accounting firm and offer bookkeeping services, target entrepreneurs, startups, or freelancers.
Know the type of content they are interested in and make it available to them for free. Use your channel to share accounting tips and tricks. Share comparison content and help them pick the best accounting software. Mention at least 5 bookkeeping apps they can use to manage cash flow. Highlight the pros and cons that come with using each app and recommend one you think is best. Mention why it’s the best choice. For example, you can say you’ve used it in the past or are using it to reach your goals.
The goal is to share content that piques interest, grabs attention, and keeps people coming back.
Practice social listening or go through comments on your social media profiles to identify your audience’s interests. Pay attention to what they mostly talk about to get a basic picture of the sort of information they want. Identify posts that have more engagement to generate content ideas.
Another option is to ask your existing followers what sort of information they wish they had free and easy access to. Ask your blog readers to leave comments on the comments section or run a short survey with SurveyMonkey and send it to your email subscribers or social media followers.
Once you know what your audience wants, create content that meets their needs or helps them meet challenges to encourage them to follow your channel.
Curate Valuable Content
The most effective way to grow your channel is to produce valuable and interesting content. The kind that attracts attention, adds value to people’s lives and keeps them interacting with your videos.
So, share educational content or help your audience take their careers to the next level. For example, if you create business-related content and are targeting freelancers and startups, share information that helps them grow their businesses. Share helpful tips on how to diversify their income. Help freelancers come up with effective marketing strategies and increase their earning potential. Help small businesses reach their marketing goals, build an online presence, and boost sales.
Publish content that empowers your audience and helps them develop their professional lives. Share links to helpful resources. Mention the top-ranking courses on online learning platforms like Udemy or Coursera and encourage them to advance in their industries. Give them different options to ensure you cater to different needs. For example, mention the top 10 free courses that will help them reach their goals as well as the top 10 paid courses that will help them advance.
Teach your audience something new to boost engagement and get more subscribers. For example, upload DIY videos that are in line with your niche or teach them a new skill for free.
Create Interactive Videos
Create interactive videos to get people to watch them to the end and keep coming back to your channel. Use YouTube live to boost engagement, attract attention and retain it. Host Q&A sessions and encourage your subscribers to send in their questions via live chat.
Interview thought-leaders in your industry and ask them to share valuable insights on attaining specific goals. For example, if your YouTube channel is dedicated to sharing online marketing content, ask the interviewee to share online marketing secrets and encourage your subscribers to pursue their goals. Give them a chance to ask the interviewee any relevant question. This is a great way to boost engagement and show your audience you care about helping them meet their goals.
Host webinars or help your audience familiarize themselves with your new product. Highlight the unique product features and tell your audience to send in their questions.
Add captions to your videos to increase engagement, make your videos accessible to a wider audience, and ensure they rank high for specific keywords on search engines. Use automatic captioning or edit them and add your own. If you choose to use automatic captioning make sure you review your captions to ensure they are properly transcribed before uploading your content
To review automatic captions and make the necessary changes, sign in to ‘YouTube Studio’, go to ‘Subtitles’ on the left menu and select the video you want to edit. Click on ‘More’ under ‘Subtitles’ next to the subtitles or caption you want to edit. Review automatic captions and make the necessary changes.
For more details on how to add, edit, or remove captions to your videos, go to www.support.google.com/youtube. Click on the menu bar on the top-left corner next to ‘YouTube Help.’ Scroll down to ‘Create and grow your channel’ then navigate to ‘Translate videos and captions.’
Use eye-catching custom thumbnails to pique interest and get viewers to click on your videos. Pick contrasting colors and make sure they stand out to grab attention. Use Canva to create appealing thumbnails that command attention and attract people to your videos. Include Arrows in your YouTube thumbnails and graph images to grab attention and get more clicks. Add calls-to-action and ask users to subscribe, ‘like’, ‘share’, or ‘favorite’ your videos.
Include your company logo on your thumbnails to boost brand awareness and ensure the right people find you.
Create channel trailers and automatically play videos to capture attention and boost engagement. Keep your trailers short and persuasive. Give users a reason to click on your videos. Mention what they will benefit from your channel or feature interesting content in your trailer. Make sure your trailers are less than 60 seconds to keep visitors engaged.
Create a content schedule and upload frequently to retain your audience and build relations. Decide how often you are going to upload your videos and stick to the schedule. You can upload 2 videos weekly or 8 per month depending on what you choose. The key is to be consistent and ensure your subscribers know how often you post and when to expect the next upload.
Leverage YouTube SEO
The best way to grow your channel is to leverage YouTube SEO. Optimize your videos to appear on searches and start ranking for popular keywords within your niche. Identify high-ranking keywords in your niche and include them in your titles. Add your keywords in your headlines and descriptions. Mention your target keywords in your videos and make sure they fit in seamlessly with your content.
Write compelling titles to inspire action and get people to click on them. Show them at least one thing they’ll benefit from your content. For example, let’s say you create content that helps writers write, publish, and sell their books online. You can use “10 actionable steps to write and publish your book without breaking the bank” as your title. The title alone attracts upcoming writers and beginners and promises to help them reach their goals. The user already knows what he’ll benefit from clicking your video and will do so without thinking twice.
Write long keyword-rich descriptions to improve your rankings and get YouTube to recommend your videos more. Add at least 2 target keywords in your descriptions to make sure your content appears on relevant searches. Use KWFinder or Ahrefs to find popular keywords within your niche and incorporate them into your strategy.
Identify untapped keywords and incorporate them into your strategy. Look for keywords that don’t have too much competition but have a lot of searches and use them to attract attention. For example, let’s say you are a food blogger and share content about healthy eating and living. Use ‘Keto diet’, ‘Weight loss’, ‘Cardio health’, or ‘Gut health’ as your keywords and share related content.
Include keywords that cover broad topics on some of your videos to rank for searches but make sure they are in line with your video content. For example, if you are an online marketing expert and want to share secrets to increasing blog traffic, use ‘Social Media Marketing’ or ‘Content Marketing’ as your keywords.
Add links to your website, blog, or social media pages to increase traffic and help viewers learn more about you. This is a great way to provide social proof and make it easy for people to subscribe to your channel.
Use categories to ensure YouTube recommends your videos to the right people and make it easy for people to find your content.
Optimize your YouTube tags. Add at least 3 tags that describe your content. You can either use your chosen keyword or a long-tail version of the term. For instance, if you are a videographer, add ‘videography’, ‘video production’ as your tags.
Get More Subscribers
The most effective way to maximize your organic reach is to get more subscribers. So, come up with an effective strategy to ensure people subscribe to your channel.
Connect with your audience and show them you care about their opinion. Prove you are not only concerned about growing your channel but meeting their needs and helping them accomplish their goals. Focus on forming meaningful relations and making them see you appreciate and value them.
Interact with them in the comments section and always respond to every comment you get. Encourage users to leave their thoughts and let you know if the content helped them in any way. End each video by saying “Thank you for watching. Please let me know what you think of the video and if it impacted you in any way on the comments section?” and ask them to subscribe.
Monitor comments and always send timely responses. Answer every question you get and appreciate positive comments. Understand that you will receive negative comments. But don’t let that discourage you. Ignore them or listen to them and take note of constructive ones. Use the feedback you receive to improve your content strategy, retain your fans, and get more subscribers.
Use Hootsuite, Sendible, or Sprout Social to keep track of comments and make sure you never miss one.
Mention what your next video will focus on to tease viewers and keep them looking forward to it.
Use built-in clickable tools like the End Screen or Watermark to attract attention and get more subscribers.
Host contests or massive giveaways and offer interesting rewards to pique interest and get people to subscribe. You can run an online competition and offer subscription rewards, money rewards, or other exciting rewards like a new car, branded t-shirts, or a laptop.
Ask users to subscribe and follow your social media pages to join the competition. Promote the contest on your website, blog, and social media platforms.
Run paid YouTube ads to reach a bigger audience and increase your chances of getting more subscribers. Use Bumper ads, Skippable ads, Non-skippable ads, or Display ads.
Another option is to collaborate with creators within your niche so you can reach a bigger audience. Partner up with them or feature them on some of your videos and tell your followers about it.
Optimize Your Watch Time
The more people stay on your videos the higher your YouTube rankings. So, optimize watch time to keep people on your videos and ensure they watch to the end.
Create interesting and attention-grabbing intros that keep viewers glued to the screen. Use interesting visuals, introduce yourself, mention what the video is about, and highlight what viewers will benefit from it if they watch to the end. Keep your intros short, convincing, and to the point. Your intros mustn’t exceed 20 seconds.
Create long-form videos that grab attention and boost engagement to improve your rankings and retain your audience. For example, teach your audience a new skill or upload product reviews.
Create playlists or a video series to increase your watch time and get more subscribers.
Consider your audience and their current interests or needs to curate content they are interested in. Choose a recurring topic to continue uploading videos to it and retain your subscribers. For example, if you are a food blogger, start a ‘Kitchen secrets’ series and share secret recipes with your viewers or help them prepare great meals with minimal effort.
Divide your videos into short sections to retain attention and keep viewers on your videos longer. Each video can be 15 minutes long or shorter.
If you run out of content ideas and don’t know where to start creating your video series, turn your best content into playlists and start promoting.
Embed your YouTube videos. Feature some of the best videos on your website or blog to attract attention and improve your conversion rates. Cross-promote your channel on other social media platforms and ask existing followers to subscribe.