Why subscribers matter
All YouTube channels have two types of viewers – the ones who like your content and are eager to follow you, and the ones who don’t.
Followers are likely to share your channel with their friends, like your videos and leave comments, which directly influences the channel’s level of activity.
By adding new videos on a regular basis and communicating with the community, you will be increasing the number of subscribers who can bring you even more followers.
If you have a lot of YouTube followers, the ranking of your channel will be higher and is likely to generate more income. Find out more about YouTube channel strategies and how much money you can make with it.
So, how can you become a subscriber? First, you need to sign in to YouTube (you can do it with your Google account) and tap the “Subscribe” button on your preferred channel. The channel’s icon will appear on the left, and when a new video is ready, you’ll get notified.
Start by creating engaging content
To get subscribers on YouTube, it is crucial to deliver high-quality, original materials that will naturally engage the audience. No matter how much you promote the channel, if the videos don’t bring value to the public, the channel won’t gain traction.
What kind of content gets the biggest number of views on YouTube? Informative and entertaining videos have proven to be the most popular to a wide audience. Why don’t you combine both qualities and produce a video that makes people smile and laugh and delivers useful information?
Also, videos might be categorized as burst or evergreen. The former responds to the current trends, while the latter is always relevant. Try to focus on producing more evergreen materials with a few bursts every now and then.
There are many studies on how long a video should be to keep attention without boring the audience. The most popular videos last for three minutes, while a good in-depth presentation takes about 18 minutes. If you opt for long videos, it is important to stay relevant for their entire duration so that viewers don’t lose interest in the middle.
Another trick to look professional and get followers for YouTube is to add intros and outros to all your videos. They will help you build a brand image and positively influence the overall impression of your channel.
Finally, try to add new videos on a regular basis and state how often new material will be added. To stay tuned, viewers will have to subscribe. Many vloggers publish a new video each week to maintain their community’s interest, as is the case with the Lost Le Blanc channel:
Customize your channel
Making your channel look unique and stand out from others will help build a brand image and appear more professional. Even though it seems like YouTube doesn’t allow many customization features, there are still some things you can do:
- Use your brand image and elements in your channel design.
- Customize the background header. It should attract attention and help viewers quickly understand what kind of vlog they stumbled upon. The header below perfectly expresses the channel’s theme of traveling around Africa, and the bright colors reflect how emotional the videos are:
- Customize your channel URL. This option is available for channels with over 100 subscribers, 30+ days old, a channel icon and header. Changing a URL is pretty easy. Login to your YouTube account, click on your account picture, open your advanced settings and click on the “Create Custom URL” button.
- Add a channel bio. To do so, login to your account, click on the “About” tab and add a short, but informative description of who you are and what your videos are about.
Add watermark to your videos
A watermark will help you in many ways. First, it enhances brand recognition, builds an image and prevents your videos from being stolen and used under someone else’s name. Head over to the YouTube branding page and add a new watermark. Be careful, do not disturb viewers. It can be a text, symbol or basically anything:
Optimize titles and descriptions
Optimizing the titles and descriptions of your videos will help you kill two birds with one stone. Catchy titles will naturally attract attention, and keywords will help you rank higher on search engines. Now, let’s see how to produce a killer title and description.
- Place keywords. They will help your videos appear on the first pages of Google search results, and you’ll get more views. To find the right titles, use special software, such as Google Keyword Planner or one of its numerous alternatives. You can analyze how popular your keywords are, or seek new ones within your niche. Place keywords in thumbnails, the description, tags, the playlist and the channel description.
- Write short titles. According to statistics, an ideal title should be no longer than 60 characters. To save space, don’t use the word “video” in your title, as it is obvious and doesn’t add value.
- Your title should catch attention and briefly explain what the video is about at the same time.
- Just like the title, a good description should be brief and draw attention with wordplay.
These are just a few techniques on how to write clickbait YouTube titles and descriptions.
Personalize thumbnail images
Thumbnail images are what people see in the search results, they are small preview pictures aimed at presenting the video content. You can use one of the three thumbnail images that YouTube offers for your video, or add one of your own. To unlock custom thumbnails, your account should be verified. A thumbnail should be 2MB in size maximum, and the recommended resolution is 1280 x 720.
Customizing thumbnails is a great technique many vloggers use to stand out and create their brand image. It also increases the click-through rate of your videos (CTR). About 90% of the most popular YouTube videos have personalized thumbnails. The majority of vloggers use the same methods to customize their thumbnails:
- Use a headshot. It is better to be funny or emotional, so people can see who the video is about. Or, use an image of yourself. Here are thumbnails from the 8 miles from home channel:
- Add text and choose such a font that will be visible when your video is shown in search results. It’s possible to use different text colors or even add a sticker. Here is an example from the Hopscotch the globe channel:
- Choose a great picture of a place you describe in your travel vlog, if you have one. A good example is found on the Vagabrothers channel:
Add a great trailer
Another great feature you might want to use is a channel trailer. It is a video that is played once someone opens your channel, so it should perfectly represent who you are, and what your videos are about. Here are some ground rules to make an awesome trailer:
- Ideally, it should last between 30 and 60 seconds. Much like a movie trailer, the one for your channel should leave people hungry for more content.
- New visitors on your channel are likely to start by watching the trailer, so it should be designed for them rather than for existing subscribers.
- Make a trailer intense and full of movement and emotions rather than just a monotonous talk about yourself. Add some great audio tracks and work on graphics.
- Use call-to-action phrases like “Check out my playlist for new visitors” or “Subscribe to my channel to learn about traveling around Europe” to point out the main thing new viewers should know.
Take advantage of meta tags
Tags are another opportunity to deploy keywords. To come up with the right ones, think about what your potential viewers type in the search bar, and what words they might use to ask a question.
There are many dedicated programs like Google Keyword Planner that help analyze your topic and find keywords that will bring your video to the top of search results. Try to not use any descriptive words except for really simple ones like great, short etc.
To step up your game, use the YouTube Analytics tool to gain insights about your audience and optimize metadata accordingly. Or, simply, browse some popular content and check what meta tags it has.
Metadata like title, description and tags are entered when the video is uploaded, but it is also possible to change the information later through YouTube Studio.
Actually, changing metadata over the course of time is a brilliant idea, because trends follow quickly one after another, and optimizing titles, description and tags will help a lot with discoverability of your channel.
Promote other videos in the end screen
When someone stumbles upon your channel, it’s just the beginning. The question is how to make them watch another video, and then one more. A great solution would be to promote your videos in the end screen.
Leave seven to ten seconds for the end screen and add a couple of videos of the similar topics or just your most popular ones. Many YouTubers report on how promoting other videos in their end screen has increased the total number of views on their channel. Here is an example of an end screen from the Hey Nadine channel:
Create a channel tagline
A tagline is a kind of catchphrase describing a vlog. It might seem like it doesn’t really matter, but a tagline is what helps viewers understand what your vlog is about. If you so much as explore other channels on YouTube, you’ll see that many vloggers have a tagline. Let’s take a look at some examples:
- You can describe your vlog in just a few words, not necessarily a sentence, as on the Hey Nadine channel:
- Mark Wiens uses the tagline, “Travel for food” on his Migrationology channel, which perfectly describes the culinary angle of his videos:
Writing a tagline won’t cost you anything but time. First, try to identify what makes your vlog different from others. For example, you’ll publish interviews with the best chefs or review the most unusual restaurants in town.
Second, put this idea into words, and remember that brevity is a virtue for taglines.
Then, place this tagline on your channel header, so that when people stumble upon your vlog, your tagline will be one of the first things they see.
Organize playlists by topics
Once you start a vlog, it won’t be long before the number of videos is too high, and it is hard to find something. For this reason, vloggers categorize videos. For example:
- By country on the Lost Le Blanc channel:
- By continent on the Fun For Luis channel:
- By type of holidays on the Vagabrothers channel, and many more!
You can go one step further and create a series of videos with a custom thumbnail!
Make your videos embeddable
There are two ways to share your videos on other platforms: as a link or as an embedded video. In the first case, readers will have to click on the link to see the video, while in the second case, they will be able to see the video thumbnail right away and watch it without leaving the website.
Embedded videos will be surrounded by text and other elements. This technique might be important for your vlog promotion. To embed a video on another platform, click on the “Share” button and then on “Embed.”
Copy the code you see and insert it where appropriate on your website or another platform. Here is an example of what an embedded video looks like:
Call-to-action is a link that appears in the video and encourages viewers to subscribe to your channel. Naturally, call-to-actions may irritate, but if made appropriately, it can increase the number of your youtube channel subscribers.
- For starters, encourage viewers to subscribe by saying it during the video.
- Add YouTube call-to-action buttons to video descriptions together with social media links.
- Place a YouTube call-to-action overlay on videos.
- Use the YouTube call-to-action extension available for video ads.
- A good many vloggers place YouTube subscribe links in the end screen of their videos:
Promote your channel
The next step to get a lot of subscribers on YouTube fast is to promote it by all means. Don’t forget the importance of checking the YouTube follower stats of your channel and then working on your weak points. Below, there are some great tips on building a strong community and reaching out to as many people as possible.
The way a vlogger communicates with their audience instantly attracts or repels potential subscribers. A professional vlogger would answer every comment to show how much the engagement is appreciated, thus encouraging communication in the future.
As it turns out, the more comments a video has, the higher it ranks. Thus, by answering the comments to your videos, you’ll not only encourage new ones but will also increase their total number. You can access your YouTube followers graph in YouTube Studio to analyze your audience’s level of engagement.
In case you can’t answer all the comments, just heart them to show your appreciation. Actually, analyzing comments itself can give insights into what followers are interested in and produce ideas for future videos.
Another thing vloggers do is organize contests and giveaways to enhance the level of activity and increase the number of subscribers. If the prize is worth the trouble, followers will be happy to participate in some kind of a contest. YouTube has a specific policy regarding contests, so make sure you read it before launching one.
Collaborate with other influencers
Competition has been viewed negatively for far too long, and now vloggers prefer to collaborate rather than avoid each other. This provides ample opportunities for both sides, as well as their audiences. You will double your exposure in no time!
To fly right, choose vloggers, who have a different angle to not become direct competition, and approach them with an attractive offer. It can be a mutual promotion or a new project to embark on together.
Promote with other media
Today, being present on different social media platforms is a must for a successful promotion. Some of the most popular networks are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and many more.
You can make a post each time a new video is published, or schedule posts with dedicated programs such as Hootsuite, Buffer, SocialOomph, etc. This software allows you to manage all your social media platforms in one interface and greatly facilitates the promotion process.
Another trick is to publish teasers or behind-the-scenes videos to attract attention to your main content. Finally, many vloggers use ads on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram or promoted tweets on Twitter.
Whatever platform you use, make sure your videos are embeddable and viewers don’t have to open a new tab, as that might deter them.
Take advantage of email marketing
Email marketing is an old-fashioned, yet very effective strategy when it comes to promotion. Build an email list of your followers and send out a letter once a new video is uploaded. It will immediately boost the number of views and help followers avoid missing out on your content.
Leave “subscribe” forms on social platforms for if you don’t have an email list yet. Building one will be very useful in the future for monetizing your vlog, so don’t disregard this method.
Sending out emails may be more effective during particular hours and even days of the week. Multiple studies have proven that Tuesdays, Thursdays and Wednesdays are better for running email marketing campaigns, and you should do it at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m. or 8 p.m.
There are many great pieces of software to help you with email marketing, and ConvertKit is one example. It has customizable subscription forms and personalized email templates among many other features.
Use paid advertising
Advertising is a great way to target a wider audience and increase the number of subscribers.
YouTube advertising helps improve brand awareness by 54%, increase traffic and conversions, and target the right audience. There are different formats of YouTube ads: skippable or unskippable, display, overlay or bumper and more.
To launch an advertising campaign on YouTube, proceed to Google AdWords. Even though the type of ad depends a lot on the niche, there are some general tips for any advertising campaign:
- It should last between 30 and 60 seconds maximum. The shorter is an ad, the better are view rates.
- The first five seconds determine whether viewers will watch the ad till the end or skip it, so make them count.
- Make your ad emotional.
- Show how you can solve your viewer’s problem.
- Clearly state what kind of business you have, and what is your brand name.
- Add call-to-action so that the viewer can quickly open your website or channel.
Getting more subscribers on YouTube vlog
Being successful on YouTube is impossible without growing a strong community, and the number of subscribers directly influences your vlog prospects.
First and foremost, deliver high-quality content that will engage the audience and make them come back to your channel. Then, work on the channel itself: optimize titles and descriptions, categorize videos, design the header and more. Finally, make the best of different promotion techniques and reach out to as many people as possible.
All this will help you make a well-recognized brand and prepare for vlog monetization in the future.