Tips & TricksVideo MarketingResearching the right audience for your YouTube channel

YouTube has hit 1 billion active users each month – that’s almost ⅓ of all the people on the internet and they watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views!

But in reality, most businesses don’t invest in YouTube Marketing, because video production is painstaking and costlier than drafting a blog post. You can’t just churn out tons of epic videos every other day for your channel.

However, a barrier to entry also means a door of opportunity. And YouTube is still far from saturation. You could start today on YouTube and do more than just fine for yourself.

However, it is not as easy as it sounds, because if your videos aren’t hitting the right engagement metrics from the beginning, your videos won’t go anywhere as the YouTube algorithm would suppress your future views.

A video that fails is an expensive mistake.

Therefore, it is wise to spend time to define, understand, and find your target audience before you jump into video production. This forms the core of how you research the right audience for your YouTube channel. You

    • Define them,
    • Understand them, and
    • Find them

Let me take you through each step.

Defining Your Target Audience

Before starting to work on your next YouTube video, you should think about who your target audience would be.

For example, you want to start a YouTube channel for people who want to lose weight. But this is going to be way too broad an audience for your video to be called a “targeted audience”.

So you need to narrow down your audience depending on their gender, age, occupation, condition, knowledge level or location.


No. of competing results in YouTube What’s it like

weight loss

5,640,000 results

Too broad

weight loss tips

1,430,000 results Broad

weight loss tips for women

2,790,000 results

Still Broad

weight loss tips for women at home 580,000 results

Decent & Narrow

weight loss tips for women over 40 56,900 results


Defining your target audience for YT channel

YouTube removed its keyword tool a while back so you can use Adwords Keyword Planner to get a sense of the monthly search volume of different keywords, but this isn’t accurate as it shows the number of searches on Google search, and not YouTube search.

Finding keyword phrases from google analytics

A far better alternative to this is Vidooly’s YouTube Keyword Analysis Tool. It also gives a clear idea on the competition for the keyword. Sign up for a free trial here.

using vidooly keyword analysis tool

The more specific you get, the more “targeted” content you can create. Lesser competition. More engagement. More conversions.

Now, “weight loss” is something too general. It has about 5,640,000 results in YouTube. So you have to compete with about 5.6 million results to be one of the top videos on YouTube for this keyword. You won’t be able to rank for this without a massive marketing strategy.

However, by simply looking at YouTube keyword suggestions and brainstorming with ideas of your own, you can easily find and define a target audience for your next video.

So you can define your target audience for your YouTube channel as:

      1. Women over 40 looking to lose weight,
      2. Teenage girls looking to lose weight, or
      3. Women suffering from thyroid looking to lose weight

This is what you can refer to as “targeted audience” groups!

Now, the second step is to understand those groups.

Understanding Your Target Audience

Each of these groups will have different priorities, goals, conditions, age and specific problems they’re trying to solve.

Women over 40 are probably those who aren’t looking to actively spend a lot of money on weight loss, and are just looking for easy information and tips to help them stay in shape.

While “teenage girls” segment would be the one that will be willing to spend a decent amount of money to get in shape and look good. You can monetize this audience even beyond YouTube ads by recommending them products and solutions and take them to your website from the YouTube page.

And the women suffering from thyroid would be looking for natural remedies to improve their metabolism. This segment will also be highly monetizable as they are already spending money on their treatment and wouldn’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for something which augments that process.

Learning to define your different audience types within your market is essential to the success of your YouTube channel. Knowing their specific needs, you can easily create video content that helps them accomplish what they want and become your loyal subscribers.

Here’s how you can decide what content to build for your target audience –

“Create your video content at the confluence of what your audience cares about and what your channel stands for.” [Tweet this]

– What your audience cares about is their passions, interests, problems and needs.
– What your channel stands for is your channel’s mission.

defining your target audience and channel content

Check out the full infographic

Now, the third and final step is to find where that target audience hangs out at.

Finding Your Target Audience

Your YouTube videos get views primarily from:

      • Within YouTube (YouTube Traffic)
      • Search Engines (Search Traffic)
      • Other websites, groups, boards, forums, fan communities and social media sites where your videos can be embedded or the links to your videos can be shared (Referral & Social Traffic)

You can find your target audience from all 3 places above.

Within YouTube

The golden rule is to participate and collaborate within YouTube.

a)Commit to commenting on other YouTube channels and participate in the discussions going on other channels

You can attract your target audience by commenting on other YouTube channels which they also like. Going through the comments of your competitors’ pages, and see if there are any users who were not happy with the competitor’s video and are still looking for answers. Here’s your chance to offer yourself to help and share links to your videos.

b) Make video comments and reply to popular videos in your niche.

c) Collaborate with other YouTube channels to market to the same audience as yours but do not sell the same thing.

Partner with other YouTube channels. Feature them in your channel, or get featured and invited in their videos.

d) YouTube Channel Optimization

Make sure that you take care of the YouTube Optimization basics, such as

      • Using relevant keywords in video title
      • Adding relevant tags to the video
      • Writing video description and explaining the problems that you’ll solve through your video
      • Adding call to action annotation at the end of all videos to get the users to subscribe to your channel
      • Regularly updating your channel art
      • Uploading high quality videos (better quality videos tend to rank higher)
      • Naming video file in a way that it contains your target keyword, and
      • Linking to your social media profiles from your YouTube channel and vice-versa.

Read more: Detailed overview and tips for optimizing a YouTube channel

Search Engines

Search engines are demand fulfillment platforms. Users can land on your video after having queried their specific problem and are, therefore, come with a higher intent. All you need to do is to optimize your YouTube videos to rank on search engines.

You can maximize your chances of showing up in searches by targeting phrases with the following keywords in them:

      • Review
      • Tutorial
      • Demo
      • Test
      • Video
      • Walkthrough
      • How to ___
      • Step by step

You can attract more visitors to your videos if you post videos about current and trending topics leveraging the QDF algorithm (Query Deserves Freshness) of Google Search. The keyword is hot and easy to rank for when it’s about a current topic. This technique can sometimes drive truckloads of traffic to your YouTube video if you get it right.

You might want to check out: Easiest way to find trending videos from any category or country

Other websites, groups, boards, forums, fan communities, QA sites and social media

Sign up on websites like Quora, Reddit, fan communities and participate in discussions related to your target audience’s interests. Pre-promote your videos in the discussions and pitch to the members if they’ll like to watch a video you’re working on. If they show interest right now, they’re going to watch it and promote it in their circle.

If you spend 20% of your time creating an epic video, you should spend 80% of time before that in researching your target audience and its pre-promotion. (Tweet this)

Final Takeaway

One last thing that adds to the stress when identifying a target audience is demographics. Although insights like age, gender and location can be valuable, but they are often shallow in nature and can’t really tell what your audience is struggling with. This is something that you need to guard against.

Focus on WHAT they want to do better, WHAT motivates them and WHAT they need rather than WHO they are.

Researching your right audience isn’t about finding stats and numbers, it’s about finding people and what drives them. So define them, understand them and reach them with content that is targeted directly at them.


Mansi Mendiratta

Storyteller on weekends, Content Catalyst on workdays. Books, Biopics, SEO, Yoga, & guffaws are my thing. Plus, my poetries rarely rhyme -.-

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