As the largest video platform on the Internet, YouTube is a vast market. It boasts tens of millions of content creators and collaborators. Finding advantages over these other creators is key to success.
Growing and cultivating a following on YouTube can be an extremely difficult task. In particular, at the beginning, fighting for space amongst the million other users and producers on the site can be downright disheartening.
It’s important, in this formative time of your channel, to remember a few key details. This will ensure that your following grows consistently and sustainably.
Back in August 2017, we interviewed a successful YouTuber, Muaaz, and in it, he shares how he got started. As it happens, many of his videos are also tutorials and informational resources for growing YouTube channels. He covers everything from when to post, how to create thumbnails, how to screen capture effectively, and more.
From experiences like the one we had with Muaaz and by working constantly with YouTube, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to build a successful YouTube channel. Obviously, there are more secrets to becoming one of the top YouTubers like Pewdiepie. There, you’ll find a little bit of je ne sais quoi. However, we can confidently say that following our advice can help you build a respectable YouTube following.
So, without further ado,
10 Working Strategies to Grow Your YouTube Channel:
1. Post Consistently
To cultivate an audience, you must stick to a publication schedule. It’s true that YouTube content is available forever. Interested users can go back and watch anything you’ve posted at any time. Yet, if you want users to be drawn to your channel, you must make sure you have fresh content coming out on a regular basis.
Going back to our two examples, Muaaz (80 thousand + subscribers) and Pewdiepie (60 million+ subscribers), they each have their own regular posting schedules. For Muaaz, he posts at least once every two weeks. Pewdiepie, on the other hand, posts at least one video every day.
Reports have shown that the more videos a YouTube channel posts, the more views it gets, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
When you upload videos on a regular basis, you slowly build yourself an audience. Sometimes viewers will subscribe to your channel after just one good video. More often than not, however, viewers recognize that you release new content regularly and they want to ensure that they’re aware when your next video drops.
2. Create Sustainable Videos
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to avoid making videos that take a long time to produce. Keep your viewers hooked with video uploads on a set schedule. Don’t make them wait for a video that takes three months to produce.
It is sometimes a good idea to release longer, more well-produced pieces every few months as a sort of special episode. Yet, you must make sure that you are still consistently posting content on your set schedule.#Pewdiepie sticks to 10-minute videos posted at least once every 24 hours #YouTubeClick To Tweet
Find a way to create video content regularly and stick to it. Most of the time, this means developing some sort of formula for the scope and length of your content. For example, Pewdiepie aims to keep his videos 10 minutes long.
Further down the line, you can try to set up a studio, hire assistants, or start a production team in order to help you keep up these often demanding standards.
One of the best ways to make sure that you remain on time and on schedule is by building a small studio where you can shoot videos. Not only does this make a good background for your videos, but it also helps remove the hassle of setting up equipment whenever you shoot a video. This also helps you separate your work space and personal space.
3. Start with a Bang
If you can, grab the viewer’s attention during the first 30 seconds of your video. Keep it interesting and keep it succinct. There is nothing less attractive to a viewer than a slow, meandering introduction which is uninformative and unengaging.
For example, on a makeover or DIY tutorial, it is often a good idea to show the finished product first. This way, you entice the viewer by showing the end result of what they’re starting.
Another important aspect to remember is to catch the viewer’s interest through storytelling. If a viewer is involved in a story, mystery, or conflict, they will automatically watch until the end of the video. Personal stories are great for most videos as they create a connection between the viewer and the presenter that is harder to do with other forms of storytelling.
To that end, make sure you review your videos. Find your common story archs, recurring characters, and biggest themes. Constantly refer to them in subsequent videos and you’ll create an ongoing story to which your viewers want to connect.
No matter how you hook your viewers, start with an opener that is relevant to the topic. Viewers expect to watch what you placed in your opener so don’t put misleading titles or thumbnails that are nowhere related to the subject.
4. Have Short Titles and Credits
Nowadays, people have a short attention span. Create a compelling video that starts with a short opening credit and a short title as people often tend to lose interest with long intros.
Also, make sure your credits and titles are short enough to pack a punch. If possible, keep the entire opener to less than 20 seconds.
5. Add an Ending Scene
Another way to link your videos together is through end screens. These interactive graphics promote your channel, videos or website, and even prompt viewers to subscribe at the end of the video.
Muaaz has a more explicit intro and outro screen than, say, Pewdiepie, but it does a really nice job of framing his videos in a familiar and professional light.
These intros and outros are opportunities to show off branding, logos, and recurring images.
Prevent viewers from obeying an urge to leave your channel. In the outtro, if you consistently provide useful, additional information or humorous segments, viewers will make a habit of sticking around.
6. Remove Distractions
Just like in public speaking, avoid long pauses, bouncing from one topic to another, or meandering through multiple subjects. Think about “locking in” on a target idea when the video begins. You want your viewers to be locked in as well.
Bad public speaking habits can also cause YouTube viewers to lose interest so minimize your wild tangents and stay engaged. Don’t give people a reason to leave.
To help you avoid distractions, produce engaging and fast-paced videos by cutting shots and piecing them all together or including transitions.
In short, never be boring. Always ask yourself:
- Would I be engaged if I saw this for the first time?
- When do I feel like looking away?
- What are the most boring parts of this video?
7. Design Clickable Video Thumbnails
Videos rely on traffic to get views and one of the main sources of organic traffic is suggested videos. When a person watches a video, they will see a list of recommended videos on the right sidebar. These videos can generate organic traffic to your channel, so you need to create thumbnails that stand out.
Whenever a person clicks on a suggested video, it increases the chances of YouTube recommending your video to millions of viewers.
When you design your thumbnail, make sure that it is related to the content and title of the video. You will lose people’s trust if you deceive them with a thumbnail that has nothing to do with the content.
8. Replicate Topics or Techniques from Top-Performing Videos
It’s important to study what makes a most viewed video and, as well, what makes a bad video. Research and see what is familiar between both the popular and unpopular videos, especially their editing style, subjects, and overall delivery.
Experiment with techniques and strategies and see what works. Use YouTube Analytics to monitor your highest performing videos and make more like these.
9. Start a Series
One great technique in getting more people to subscribe is developing videos as a series.
On the most basic level, it makes people click on to your next video. This greatly increases the likelihood of one user watching multiple videos. Just having “Part 1” and “Part 2” as part of the title is a huge traffic draw.
The best way to choose what content to make a series out of is by finding out what content performs the best. Create more than one series, using as many popular or interesting topics as you can find.
A great example is Pewdiepie’s You Laugh You Lose.
Collaboration is one of the most effective ways of increasing your viewers. Working with other creators increases your channel’s exposure as you use other content creators’ audiences to bolster your own. Some of the most prominent names on YouTube became popular by working with others.
However, don’t collaborate with just anyone. Take into consideration the channels which serve similar audiences as you.
As you connect with other creators, you grow your channel and increase the opportunities for collaborations. Furthermore, you’ll also learn tons of new techniques and production styles as you work with more people with different approaches and backgrounds.
To successfully and organically grow your YouTube channel, you have to study your viewers as well as the site algorithms themselves. Hook your viewers with thumbnails that relate to your content. Keep your audience interested with a substantial introduction, and create videos that people want to watch.
The most important ingredient in all of this is commitment. If you are driven to making the most successful and well-produced channel you can, then your motivation will certainly push you to success.
As Pewdiepie said, if you create videos that you enjoy, you can’t lose.