YouTube is the second most-preferred platform for watching video on TV screens
among 18 to 34 years old*
Each visitor spends 11m 24s per day on YouTube, on average*
10% of the most popular YouTube videos draw 79% of views*
70% more YouTube users engaging with creators and channels*
The rise of YouTube as an effective digital marketing platform is mostly due to its impact on netizens. Many YouTube channels function as small media outlets where users can upload videos and monetize their channels. The boom of internet stars has tempted everyone to cash-in on this potential of video marketing and bring thousands, if not millions of dollars of revenue each year.
Regardless of whether you are an established business, start-up, or an aspiring YouTuber, you need to have a robust strategy to grow your business. In this comprehensive guide on how to grow a YouTube channel in 2020, we will dive deeper into some important topics, including ways on how to grow subscribers on YouTube, reach a wider audience as well as track and analyze key metrics.
Image source: Search Engine Journal
How to Get Subscribers on YouTube
You can only get subscribers on YouTube if you have a channel. Therefore, the first step on how to grow a YouTube channel is to create an optimized business channel. Creating a channel is easy and can be done in a few clicks. Once the channel is up and running, complete it by filling in the required details and optimizing it with tags and relevant keywords.
Start a YouTube Business AccountHere are the steps involved in setting up your business accounting:
- - Log into YouTube.
- - Click on the user icon at the top right of the screen.
- - Get into the setting of your YouTube account by clicking on the gear icon.
- - Select create a new channel and choose “Use a business or other name.”
- - Type your channel/brand name and click create.
Once you have created your channel and entered the brand details, you will have to complete your profile and channel description. Use this section to describe what your company does and what the users should expect from your channel. Add your company’s website links or other social media networks here and upload a cover photo. The dimension of the cover photo should be 2560 x 1440 pixels, with a maximum size of up to 4MB.
Once the channel is all set up, you can start uploading your videos and getting free subscribers.
If you're wondering how to grow subscribers on YouTube, first know that subscribers are important to the success of your channel, and that is why it is important to focus on this metric for growing a YouTube channel. While you may get several views on your video, the true measure of your channel's success is by seeing how many people have subscribed to your channel. Subscribers are not only the most loyal viewers of your video, but they can also provide an opportunity to get views on YouTube and revenue when you plan to monetize your channel.
YouTube has a “free subscribers” service that allows you to acquire at least 20-30 free subscribers through “follow exchange,” implying that you earn your subscribers by subscribing and liking other channels. Getting free subscribers is an arduous process, and that is why YouTube has other paid promotion follower services that you can use to get YouTube subscribers.
Buy YouTube Subscribers
If you're wondering how to grow a YouTube channel and get YouTube subscribers, but are tired of being a one-person click farm, then YouTube also gives you the option to buy a YouTube subscribers list. You can choose from three plans Enterprise ($20/per month), Elite ($40/per month), and Celebrity ($80/per month). These paid subscribers look good in your vanity metrics, but in reality, these bot subscribers don’t engage and can even get your channel banned for violating YouTube’s fake follower policy. That is why it is recommended to avoid such shortcuts and post original, meaningful, and engaging content to gain organic and real subscribers who love your content.
Post Original Content
A billion users who log into YouTube every month want just one thing: good, original content. With a variety of content available online, it is important to cut through the noise by posting content that solves certain pain points of your audience or provides unmatched entertainment.
That is why you should create engaging and original content that compels people to subscribe to your channel and never miss a video from you. Create videos by keeping your target audience in mind and tailor your message and content according to what they want to see. To begin with, draw an outline of your video message (or script) and the main points you’d like to cover.
The script usually has three sections:
- - Hook: Think of it as the title of your video. Keep it short, crisp, and catchy.
- - Intro: Intros may be optional but can be used to share what is the main message of your video, who you are, or why people should watch your video.
- - Body:This is the backbone of your video. The body carries the message or the main content. It should be original and provide value, examples and proofs of the claims you make. Avoid fluff and jargon.
- - Call to Action: Have a strong call to action that tells viewers what they should do after they’ve seen your video.
Optimize YouTube Videos
With thousands of videos uploaded every day, the chances of your video coming on the first page of the search are very slim. That is why optimizing your channel and video is very important to rank on YouTube search. Just like you optimize content for search engines, it is important to optimize your videos for the video platform for growing a YouTube channel. Here are some ways to optimize your videos and be easily found and recommended on YouTube.
Optimize Your Video Title With Keywords?
Optimizing video content with keywords is as important as optimizing written content. For this purpose, you need to identify the relevant keywords using a YouTube SEO tool.
Once the keyword is identified for a particular video, put it in your video file even before uploading it on your channel. Since YouTube cannot “watch” your video and can only read your file name along with all the tags and codes, it is crucial to use keywords in all these places. Try to keep the video name as the title, followed by the video file type. By including the keyword in the title, it will help Google’s algorithm and your audience to know what to expect from the video.
Use Titles That Will Boost CTR
Click-through-rate (CTR) is a key metric to rank higher on YouTube if you're wondering how to grow a YouTube channel. When a lot of viewers click on your video, it tells the platform that the video is something that people want to watch. Follow these tips to boost your title CTR:
- - Use numbers: Having a number in the title can influence people’s decision to click on the video. Some examples of using numbers in video titles are "5 easy steps to create awesome videos," "Top 3 hacks to manage time efficiently."
- - Use attention-attracting words: If it is relevant for your video or audience type, then use eye-catching words like “Wow” or “Oops.”
- - Be Emotional: Studies prove that having emotionally charged headlines attract more responses, clicks, and shares. Use words like “surprising,” “daring,” “loving,” “awkward,” etc. Some examples of emotional titles include "Easy baking recipes that no one will tell you," "surprise your boss with these time management tips."
Use Optimized Descriptions
In addition to the video title and tags, descriptions are a good way to explain the purpose and context of your videos. It has a significant impact on your video’s rankings in YouTube search and suggestions. Use the following tips to optimize your video description for SEO:
- - Have at least 200 words: Write long, thorough video descriptions to give information about your video. The character limit of the description section is 500.
- - Give importance to the first 2-3 sentences: YouTube’s algorithm pays attention to keywords in the first 2-3 sentences of your description. Also, these starting 2-3 lines appear in the search result. So, make sure to have an SEO-friendly and compelling snippet that people would want to click.
- - Repeat target keyword 2-3 times: Just like you optimize content by repeating the keywords, apply the same technique for writing the description. Organically use the keyword at least 2-3 times to optimize the description.
- - Use related keywords: Add related keywords in your video description to allow YouTube to learn more about your video. By including related keywords in the description, your video can rank for those words on Google searches as well.
Use Relevant, SEO-friendly Video Tags
Above all metrics that YouTube considers, tags that you use in your video are probably the most critical while growing a YouTube channel. While user engagement is important, tagging is the stepping stone to rank your video in YouTube search results. Therefore, the first step is to identify the right tags and classify the most important tags.
You can include brand-specific tags to rank for your brand name in the search results or use the YouTube Auto-Suggest feature to find relevant tags. You can also use the YouTube tag generator to get more tags for your videos. Once you have the list of tags ready, identify the best “core” words that you’d like to include. Don't go overboard as YouTube advises against excessive tags and hashtags, or tag-spamming, as it is known.
Add Optimized Captions
Using closed captions is another great way to optimize your video for better search results. That is because closed captions are extracted from a text file that search engine bots can crawl and index. Captions also increase YouTube views and engagement since the viewer remains engaged regardless of whether they have audio access or not.
According to studies, captioned videos enjoyed 7.32% more views on average compared with ones without captions. When you use captions, ensure it aligns with your keyword strategy by having the keywords in it. Use online tools to quickly analyze the transcript for major keywords and related keywords that you can use.
Stake a Claim on Social Media
Creating a video is half the job done when it comes to how to grow a YouTube Channel. The fact is that no matter how much time you spend on creating and optimizing your videos, if you don’t promote it well, it is unlikely that you will get many subscribers and viewers. With people spending nearly six hours everyday binging videos on social media, it makes sense to link your channels to different social media platforms, and other sites to promote YouTube videos and further grow your YouTube channel.
Link Instagram Account
Instagram is a popular social media platform among people looking for awesome videos. To appeal to your customers’ binge-watching tendencies, it is a MUST to link your YouTube channel with your Instagram account. For this, log into your YouTube channel and click on the edit button on the top right corner. Select the option edit links and type in Instagram. Paste your Instagram URL in the text box. Click done. Once Instagram is linked to your YouTube channel, people who visit your channel will be able to see your Instagram account in the header and the “About” page.
Link Facebook Account
Combine the power of video and social media marketing by linking your Facebook account with YouTube. YouTube allows you to add your Facebook page, just like Instagram. To connect your Facebook account, open your YouTube channel, click on your username at the top-right, and select “Channel.” Click the “Edit” link next to “Profile,” select the “Website” text box and right-click in the box, and paste the Facebook URL. Your Facebook page will appear once you click “Save Changes.” With this, your visitors will be able to see your Facebook page when they visit your channel.
You can also integrate your YouTube channel with your Facebook page so that your followers can see each new YouTube video upload on your timeline and share it with your followers. However, this integration requires third-party apps.
Post The Video Teaser on Social Media
To promote your YouTube channel, you can consider creating teaser videos, which means creating mini videos that reveal enough information to build the interest of your users. Create these teaser videos by using a short snippet (not more than 30 seconds) of your video along with captions of your audio.
You can also use still images and play the audio in the background. Either way, create teaser videos and then harness the power of social media by promoting these videos on all social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
These social media channels provide several ways to reach a wider audience, including hashtags. Use suggested and relevant hashtags while promoting your videos. You can also create engaging stories on these channels so that your followers don’t miss the teaser. Add share buttons and ask your viewers to share the video if they find it relevant.
If your budget allows, consider paid YouTube promotion and drive traffic to your YouTube channel. If you pay close attention to the campaign settings, then your paid marketing is likely to yield a high volume of traffic and a delightful return on investment.
Understand Your Audience
While spreading the word about your channel is vital to get more subscribers and viewers, it is also essential to know your audience type and their preferences. You can understand your audience's likes and dislikes by following these simple steps:
Image source: Wrike
Post Consistently on a Schedule
Consistency is the key to growing your subscriber base since being consistent has a lot of benefits, including:
- - It allows you to stay in touch with your subscribers, who want to hear from you.
- - You get insights into YouTube and its algorithm, both of which are critical for growing a YouTube channel.
- - Get regular feedback from your existing viewers and subscribers.
- - YouTube rewards consistent channels by pushing them to the top and showing them in recommendations.
YouTube has become more popular than television, especially among netizens, and the desire for a predictable schedule is still the same. If your audience is waiting every minute until your next video release, then it is a sure sign that your videos are making a huge impact on the platform.
It is recommended that you publish at least once a week, if not more frequently. It is always better to upload one video per week for 52 weeks and be consistent throughout the year rather than uploading all the 52 videos in a month and then only sporadically later.
Use YouTube Analytics
A powerful way to deep-dive into your audience’s preferences is to track their behaviour on YouTube. Use YouTube analytics as part of your YouTube marketing strategy and follow the right metrics for valuable insights into growing your channel. Here is how you can use YouTube analytics:
- - Sign in to your YouTube account.
- - Click on the profile icon in the top right corner.
- - Click on Creator Studio, which can be found next to the cogwheel icon.
- - You will be redirected to the Creator Studio dashboard, that provides you with some basic analytics such a Watch time, Views, Subscribers, and Estimated revenue.
- - Drag the cursor to the left of this panel, where you’ll see a menu.
- - Click Analytics to navigate to reach to the main YouTube analytics dashboard.
This is where you can find all the key metrics to track and further improve the performance of your videos.
What Metrics to Track?
YouTube Analytics has three main sections: Revenue reports, Watch time reports, and Interaction reports.
There are two main categories of revenue reports: Estimated Revenue and Estimated Ad Revenue. To keep it simple, revenue reports give you an insight into the amount of money you are making on YouTube within a given timeframe and the revenue streams.
To be eligible for channel monetization, you must accrue at least 4,000 hours of watch time and have a minimum of 1000 subscribers, along with adhering to the platform’s rules and regulations.
Watch Time Reports
The watch time report offers several metrics that you can track. However, the most important ones are as follows:
- - Watch time: How long are viewers watching your videos, along with the total number of views.
- - Audience retention: This metric allows you to track repeat visitor and see how consistently are watching your videos. It also indicates when your viewers are interacting with your content and when they stopped watching.
- - Demographics: The country of your viewer or the location from where they are playing your videos.
- - Playback locations: The location from where people are playing your videos?
- - Traffic sources: The source from where people are discovering your videos
- - Devices: The device (desktop, mobile, etc.) on which viewers are watching your video.
Interactions reports give insights into the most critical interaction metrics such as Subscribers, Likes and Dislikes, Comments, and Sharing. It directly tells you how your audience feels about your videos. By analyzing this data, you can identify the best opportunities to foster a relationship with your subscribers.
Interact With Your Audience Through Comments
Building a relationship with your subscribers is a two-way street. While your viewers engage with your videos by liking, sharing, and commenting on your videos, you also need to reciprocate and make them feel special. Since most viewers love to hop from one video to another, there are usually low numbers of likes and shares and even a lower number of comments.
However, if you have any comments (positive or negative), make sure to respond to it as soon as possible. Most YouTubers dedicate a few seconds at the start or the end of the video to ask their viewers to like, share, or comment. If you see any engagement on your video, try to reward the person by recognizing and appreciating their effort.
For instance, if your viewer tweets your video, then appreciate the effort by thanking and retweeting them. If the viewer leaves a question in the comments section, then reply as soon as possible. If they are dissatisfied or leave a suggestion, then thank them in another comment. This way, you will ensure that you initiate a conversation. It will also show that you are receptive to all kinds of feedback and comments.
A strong YouTube channel can do wonders for your business. Now that you know how to grow a YouTube channel, just take the leap and watch your content flourish and reach your audience in no time!