YouTube has more than 2 billion users. That’s more than 25% of the population of the entire world. When you start your own YouTube channel, you’re getting access to a ridiculously large potential population. But, if you’re like many YouTube creators, you find yourself with lots of views, but few subscribers.
Views are great, don’t get us wrong. But if you want to create a vibrant YouTube channel and set yourself apart as a thought leader on the platform, you need more than just views. You need subscribers. In this article, we’re going to share actionable tips to help you get free YouTube subscribers so you can grow your channel into an engaged community.
How to Get Free YouTube Subscribers to Grow Your Channel:
Why YouTube Subscribers Are Important
If you’re already getting views, you might wonder if subscribers are actually important to the success of your YouTube channel. The answer is yes, they are. Subscribers opt-in to see your videos in their YouTube feed. They’re your most loyal viewers and the people you can count on to share your YouTube content to help you grow your subscriber numbers.
Plus, if you want to monetize your YouTube channel, you’ll need more subscribers to bring in more views and revenue.
Should You Buy YouTube Subscribers?
If you’re like most of us, whenever you need something for your business it’s easy to just want to throw money at it so it can get done and you can move on. Need more emails in your email marketing list? Buy them! Need more traffic to your website? Buy it! Need more YouTube subscribers? Buy them!
Before you do, though, consider this: what value are subscribers going to bring if they aren’t actually interested in what you have to say? Buying email lists, for example, gets you a full email marketing list, but it could be filled with outdated information or people who are only loosely interested in your industry or niche but have no real intent to purchase. The same can be said for paid traffic that isn’t targeted.
And the same goes for your YouTube channel. Yes, even if you’re thinking of using the so-called “free” subscriber services.
Many of these services use a “follow exchange” system in which you have to earn your subscribers by yourself subscribing to and liking other channels. This is an arduous process for not much reward and these services know it. That’s why they also offer paid follower services where you pay for a certain number of followers without having to like and subscribe to other channels.
This might get you tons of subscribers that look good in your vanity metrics, but what happens if you’re an influencer who has to show engagement that warrants the influencer rates you want to charge? Or, what if you get banned for violating YouTube’s fake follower policy?
Either way, the subscribers you get from these methods aren’t going to be the followers you need to grow your business. Instead, you should focus on tested processes for getting free subscribers. Here are 7 of the YouTube subscriber tips we’ve found most effective.
7 Ways to Get Free YouTube Subscribers
If you’re just starting out, we recommend you check out our guide to creating a YouTube channel. This will help you get started off on the right foot and includes tons of tips for YouTube beginners who need to get their channel created and optimized before worrying about getting more followers.
Now, let’s turn our attention to 7 actionable steps you can take to get more YouTube subscribers for free.
Ask Viewers to Subscribe
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve been approached by marketers who want to get more reviews, followers, likes, and subscribers who haven’t just come out and asked for them first. Sure, the Subscribe button is right there, but viewers need to be reminded.
You’ve put time and energy into creating content you’re proud of, right? If you’re not asking viewers to subscribe to your channel in every video, it may seem as though you don’t value your content. And if you don’t value your own content, why should your viewers?
Already asking viewers to subscribe? Great! To get more viewers to take you up on it, be sure to continually show them why your channel is worth following. And, set up YouTube cards and end screens to do the asking for you.
Create Engaging Content
It should go without saying that you have to create engaging, interesting content if you want people to subscribe to your channel. This includes doing things like adding visuals to your content and including cards and end screens, but it doesn’t end there.
You also need to create content with a target audience in mind to keep it relevant to the exact audience you’re trying to reach. To keep your message on track, it helps to outline what you’re going to talk about and the key points you want to cover. You don’t have to script your video word for word, but having an outline is incredibly helpful.
Your video should include these sections:
- Hook: Think “newspaper headline.” The hook should be short, catchy, and pique curiosity.
- Intro: Intros are optional, but if you choose to include one it’s exactly what you would think. You share who you are, what you do, and why people should care.
- Body: This is the main message you want to convey to viewers. It should be original content and include examples and proof.
- Call to Action: What do you want viewers to do after they’ve watched your video? That’s your call to action.
Engage With Your Audience
The only way to build a genuinely engaged and active YouTube subscriber base is by engaging with your audience. This is as simple as following those who follow you, responding to comments, and even asking questions of viewers (or answering their questions) in your videos.
The more engaged you are with your YouTube subscriber base, the easier it will be to fine-tune the content you’re creating to make it everything they want. This will lead to happy subscribers who want nothing more than to buy whatever it is you’re selling—and tell their friends about you, too!
Posting a video here and there isn’t going to build your subscriber base. You have to be consistent. Not just with your video posting schedule, but with how you engage and the content you cover.
Viewers want to know that if they subscribe to your channel they’re going to get the content that they want to view. This extends to your video topics, format, and how often you decide to post. Viewers won’t take the time to figure you out. You need to present a cohesive, organized channel at the outset.
Before you start producing content and trying to get more subscribers, decide what your channel is going to be about, how often you’re going to add new videos, and who you’re targeting with your message.
Optimize Your Videos and Channel
Optimizing your videos and channel is mandatory. Not only does it help your content rank higher on YouTube, but it will help you make sure that your content is reaching the people you want. Here are some ways to optimize:
Using an exact match keyword at the beginning of your video’s title can help with rankings because it tells YouTube’s search algorithm as well as viewers what your video is about. Higher rankings typically lead to more views and subscribers.
Like titles, video descriptions are an excellent indicator to YouTube and viewers that your video is what they’re looking for. To optimize your video descriptions, you’ll want to include keywords, timestamps, links, and more.
Timestamps are helpful to viewers who may only be interested in a certain section of your video. Linking lets you showcase other related videos or drive traffic to your website.
Video tags are descriptive keywords you can add to your video to help viewers find your content. While your video’s title, thumbnail image, and description are weighted more heavily than video tags, tags can be particularly useful if your video’s topic is commonly misspelled.
Create a YouTube Channel Trailer
A channel trailer gives viewers insight into what your channel is all about. You can highlight your brand, the types of content you post, and your video release schedule. Since there are more than 31 million YouTube channels, it’s important that your trailer is engaging and entertain to really have an impact on new visitors to your channel.
Make Your Channel Visually Appealing and Engaging
In addition to creating a channel trailer and optimizing your videos so they’re easier to find on YouTube, you’ll also want to make sure that your YouTube channel itself is interesting and engaging. This includes using interesting channel art as well as adding a channel description that includes keywords within the first 100–150 characters of your channel’s description. And don’t forget to include a call to action!
Include Sections and Playlists
If you’re a YouTuber who posts a lot of videos, it will make you and your viewers a lot happier if you organize them into sections and playlists. You can then feature them on your homepage and optimize the playlists using keywords, titles, and descriptions.
Promote on Other Platforms
If you want to build a large audience quickly, you’re going to want to promote your videos on other platforms. This means sharing your YouTube content on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, or wherever your target audience hangs out.
Since your goal is to get more subscribers to your YouTube channel, we recommend creating shorter teaser videos that you promote natively on each platform and provide a link to the full video on YouTube.
In addition to social media, here are a few ways you can share your videos to increase your reach and get more YouTube subscribers for free.
Forums and Blog Comments
Forums and blog comments are great places to include a link to your YouTube video. But, it’s easy for this tactic to get spammy fast. If you’re only commenting when you have something to link to, other commenters or forum members are going to get sick of hearing from you.
Link building is one of the best ways to increase rankings and domain authority for your webpage and it works wonders for increasing your YouTube subscribers, too. Seek out high authority websites that are related to your content and approach them to link to your YouTube content as a benefit to their users. You can also collaborate with other YouTube creators to create reciprocal posting opportunities.
Influencers typically have highly engaged fan bases that make them particularly well-suited to help you drive traffic and increase your own subscriber base. When an influencer shares your YouTube content with their followers, their followers are more likely to pay attention. Interested in partnering with an influencer to boost your YouTube subscribers? Here are some free influencer marketing tools to help you find just the right one.
Email marketing is another great way to reach a lot of people all at once. If you have an email marketing list, be sure to add your Youtube channel link to your email signature. And, you can use your email newsletters to highlight specific videos!
Do Your Research
At the end of the day, YouTube is a search engine (the second largest search engine in the world, in fact). That means YouTube SEO is important. And SEO starts with keyword research.
You can use free or paid keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and SpyFu. Or, go full SEO nerd and get an all-in-one SEO tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to find the best keywords for you to target. Using these tools will not only help you find target keywords but also related keywords that will give you ideas for new content.
Look for keywords that have high search volume but low competition scores to find keywords that people are searching but aren’t already saturated with content.
Build a Loyal YouTube Following—For Free!
Content marketing takes time and consistency, and that’s what YouTube is all about. While you can buy subscribers or get “free” subscribers in exchange for following other channels, those subscribers aren’t actually doing you any good. In some cases, they could even end with you getting banned from YouTube.
By following the steps in this article, you’ll be well on your way to creating engaging content and building deeper relationships with your viewers. This will naturally lead to more loyal subscribers.
Thinking about putting more effort into your YouTube channel? Take a look at our YouTube Earnings Calculator to find out how much your channel can make for you.