With the competition on YouTube getting crazier, it’s hard to keep (or make, if you’re starting from scratch) yourself visible. You can organise your channel, make playlists, SEO optimise it, but if you’re not devoting time promoting your channel and talking about your content, it ain’t getting anywhere. Unless you’re a hotshot YouTuber. But even they need to do this.
There comes a time for some creators when they’re so big and so busy with creating content, and making appearances, that someone else or a team takes care of their business. As in doing the email marketing, posting on social media, etc. But most do it themselves because you can do it best in your own way. Read more to learn how to promote your YouTube channel like a pro.
1. Make your Thumbnail and Title Click-worthy
That’s right, clickbait your video, and why does it have to be bad? All the big YouTubers do it. Which is why you and I click on their videos. Like a good headline, make your title short and to the point. Don’t lie or mislead your viewer with a picture or title that is irrelevant to your video. For example, Youtuber of the year Award winner, Casey Neistat, said in his speech, “I want to thank my wife for letting me exploit her bikini body for my videos…” If you’re one of his viewers, you know he does that. And his wife is wearing a bikini in the video, even if it was for a short time. But why does using that moment for your video thumbnail seem wrong when it gets you so many views. And so the vlog is a good catch. It’s not always about attracting an audience by exposing your wife. One of his most popular recent vlogs is ‘Destroying gold play button’. He didn’t lie, he did cut the gold play button in half but you have to watch the video to know he why destroyed it. See how this works?
Another big daily vlogger, RomanAtwood does it too. Have a good look at his most popular uploads, and his most recent upload too. (picture below) What do you see in the title and thumbnail? ‘CRAZY POWER WASHER CHALLENGE’ -Meaning the video is gonna be crazy, and his hot wife is doing the challenge too. And hence, more views, more shares,- easy promotion.
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I found Casey’s channel because he collaborated with Jesse from PrankvsPrank. The main video was on Jesse’s channel because it was his idea. And the ‘Behind the scenes’ were on Casey’s channel because he helped filming it. So I checked out his channel, liked it, and started following it. But these guys are the big thing, let’s look at it from a smaller, regional level.
Indian Stand-up comedian Abhish Mathew collabs with AIB frequently, which helps in promoting his channel, and thereby growing his audience. Similarly, you must have seen YouTubers doing a collab in exchange of a collab. Basically, it is promoting your channel on another’s channel and vice-versa. If you don’t wanna make videos, you can just give/get a shoutout.
3. Go Live/Host a Webinar
Live Video is the real MVP right now. (Girls do it, so do boyzzz!) People love catching online content LIVE. For eg.- Mostly I am not really into catching Superwoman AMA Live, But If I’m free and I get a notification that she’s live, I’d love to watch uncut, unscripted, content for a change, maybe ask her a question too. Did you know? Some people actually look for live content to watch? When you’re not signed in, Under Youtube categories like Music, Movies, Gaming, you will also find ‘Live’. Which obviously shows channels which are live at the moment. Also, consider other platforms like Facebook Live. Live is a great way to gain new channel audience. If your thing is gaming, get on other gaming platforms like Twitch as well.
Or host a webinar by informing your audience before hand. You can host it on Google hangouts or even your Facebook page. If you want to do it on a professional webinar platform, use platforms like GoToWebinar and provide lessons and build relationships with those interested in your content. For eg: A long-awaited Bollywood movie just released this morning, and HT City is Live on Facebook giving a Movie Review, and so people who are interested in watching the movie would tune in to know if it’s worth it or not.
4. Go to Vidcon & Fanfest
VidCon is the largest gathering of online video creators and YouTube lovers. By attending VidCon, you can meet and network with creators of other channels as well as those involved in your industry. You may even end up collaborating with another YouTube creator. This is an effective way to expand your audience.
VidCon and Fanfest are great ways to meet with your viewers and followers. Engaging with those who support you is essential for long-term success. Speaker panels hosted at the event allow you to gain knowledge and a better understanding of what it takes to market your YouTube channel.
They’re great for promoting your channel directly too. For example, At this year’s Fanfest in India, viewers were looking for new and trendy channels to subscribe to. FanFest gave a whole list of featured YouTubers in the description, who also walked the red carpet. And we could clearly see a big hike in the number of subscribers of the first time featured YouTubers.
5. Blog and Let blog
Write blogs: Build your following outside of YouTube and start a blog. Posting blogs will get you new visitors from search engines, which can be converted into your viewers. Embed one of your videos in your blog posts, or talk about videos/YouTube life in your blog and link your channel/videos. Later, you can buy the domain, and convert your blog into your own website. This is good for bringing more diversity to your site as well. Like launching your merch, making a separate part for business inquiries, promoting your other social media platforms, and more. Blogging on Tumblr is another great way to reach more fans, and get a good following.
Let people embed your videos in their blogs: Do not disable embedding for your videos unless it’s really necessary, always allow embedding. Let’s others as in bloggers/magazines/journalists share your videos on their websites/blogs. It will only give your channel more exposure.
6. Run an Ad campaign through Adwords
If you can afford to promote your channel or specific videos, you can make short video ads for promotion. It is a great way to spread more awareness about your channel. There are 15-30 second non-skippable video advertisements or the ones you can skip after 5 seconds. These are called TrueView ads which are played before a YouTube video loads. You will only be charged when someone views the required time for your ad. Eg.- You can run your channel trailer as your ad.
7. Get published
Convert your readers into viewers. Write for magazines(websites or traditional), publications, or give interviews, or contact some editors yourself. News-hungry journalists are constantly looking for creators to interview. I have seen many YouTubers who are offered to write columns for local newspapers. Exhibit your industry knowledge, and provide relevant good reads to establish your niche as a creator. Mention your channel and socials in your Author’s bio/byline.
8. Start a Podcast
You can also convert your listeners into viewers. It will help you build a following apart from Youtube, and it will also give your Youtube fans something more to look forward to. Start a live video podcast or a local radio show where you take specific topics at a time. You can even do feature interviews, promotions, etc. to increase the popularity of your channel. For example- Jenna & Julien’s Podcast.
RELATED READ: JENNA MARBLES AND HER INCREDIBLE YOUTUBE JOURNEY
9. Leverage tent pole events
-Keep up with trends.
-Use relevant hashtags.
-Make videos on new and trending topics that will get you new subscribers.
-Eg. Pokemon GO has been trending big time, so Casey made a short movie(below) and it got viral, resulting in an increase in his views and subscribers.
10. Giveaways/ Contests
So basically indirectly bribe people to drive old and new traffic and engagement for your channel. Hold a contest like “Whoever gives the best reason why he should get an Xbox one, wins. Oh and the rules are that you gotta subscribe and like the video too. Also, follow me on Instagram, twitter, blahblahblah,” People know it’s just a way to get you more subscribers but they’ll do it anyway even if they have a one in a million chance to win an awesome giveaway. Because who hates free stuff?! You can have viewers submit their entry videos too, and other users can vote for their favourite, or you can pick the best.
11. Take on other Social Media
Be active on other platforms as well, and put them on your YouTube channel. (like above)
-Make a facebook page/group.
-Keep tweeting and post more on Instagram.
-Start a Google+ community page.
-Post on social bookmarking sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, & Digg. They can help you make your videos go viral. These sites have large numbers of people who are interested in watching new content.
-Forums: Take part in discussions. Answer questions on sites like Quora, Yahoo answers, and talk about/link your channel wherever you can but don’t spam.
12. Open up about your life
People follow Youtubers like celebrities now. If you want to or already are a public figure you should also be ready to put your life out there, not all of it, but maybe most of it. Because your followers would love to know more about you, your habits, personal life, experiences. Some other great ways to do this are:
-Make Q/A videos. Like Marina Joyce’s ‘Facts about Me’ video. See how popular it got? People want to hear you say the truth. Casey does it a different way, the questions he answers are mostly what already are in the minds of most fans. It is like giving extra knowledge about yourself especially to the viewers who are looking for it. (Also, some fans genuinely care about their favourites.)
-Do a great ‘Draw My Life’ video. Put your heart into it. They’re very addictive, gets a lot of views, can gain many new subscribers from it.
-Start a vlogging channel. Start a separate daily/weekly/monthly vlogging channel, and keep your fans updated about your life. Or at the very least, regularly update your Snapchat.
13. Communicate with your fans.
-Organise a Meetup. Or do a meet up after an event.
-Host a workshop.
-Go to events, host events, speak at events, and become a role model.
-Engage with your followers on social media. Like commenting back on your Facebook and Instagram posts, Tweet back, and you can even talk about your fandom/ship. Eg. Bethany Mota-Motavators, Dan & Phil’s- Phandom, PrankvsPrank- PVPeeps etc.
-The notification squad thinks you are mostly online when you publish your videos, so comment back on the first few good comments. Clicking on your video within seconds of upload? They’re your hardcore fans, appreciate them.
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