If video plays a crucial role in your marketing strategy or if you’re a YouTube content creator, promoting your YouTube channel is a necessity rather than an option. You need to get your channel out there if you want to gain more subscribers and video views.
Promoting your YouTube channel can even amplify your other marketing efforts because YouTube is currently the second most visited website according to Alexa. And your visibility on the site could influence your visibility on other platforms and channels as well. It could help you drive traffic to your site, help you reach a bigger social media audience through shares, and more.
In this post, you’ll discover some of the most highly effective ways to promote your YouTube channel.
How to Promote Your YouTube Channel:
#1: Start with Proper YouTube SEO
Proper YouTube SEO is essential to promote your channel because it helps you increase your video and channel visibility in YouTube search results.
It also improves your chances of showing up in Google search results. This can make a huge difference because video results are prominently displayed at the top of the page.
As you can see in the screenshot below, results from YouTube rank higher up than results from any other source.
So once you nail your YouTube SEO, you should have significant leverage in promoting your channel. YouTube SEO mainly involves proper keyword optimisation and video tagging.
Optimise your video titles and descriptions with the right keywords without stuffing them. You should also sort your videos into the correct category and add tags to help YouTube understand the context of your video.
#2: Write Catchier, More Engaging Titles
Your video title is one of the first things that people will notice. It helps them understand the content so they can decide whether or not they should watch it. So give them a reason to click on your video and watch it by writing titles that immediately captivate and intrigue them.
This will increase your video views and engagement rates, as well as give more exposure to your channel. With more views come more shares, which is essential for promoting your channel.
Here are a few tips to help you write catchy and intriguing titles for your videos:
- Use numbers or lists. Examples: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Work with Influencers, 15 Travel Tips to Save Money, etc.
- Keep it clear and concise, as shorter titles are easier to read and process.
- Appeal to your audience’s emotions by using high-emotion words. This will depend on the kind of emotion you want to invoke. For example, words like confession, controversial, and secret could invoke curiosity.
- Run your title through the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to test how compelling it is.
You could also learn from other channels that have a high rate of video views.
Great Big Story, for instance, writes intriguing titles that make people want to watch their videos.
#3: Create Captivating Thumbnails
Your video thumbnails are just as important as your video titles for capturing your audience’s attention. While your title helps the audience understand the content of your video, your thumbnail gives them an idea of the content quality. If your thumbnail is a blurry screenshot from the video, people may not be too keen on watching it even if it’s a topic that intrigues them.
So make sure you create a captivating and relevant thumbnail for each video. You could add text, graphics, images, or other design elements to customise your screen capture using tools like BeFunky or Pixlr. Or you could even create original graphics from scratch using tools like Canva.
Take a look at how simple text or image overlays make Epicurious’ video thumbnails pop.
#4: Find Out What Your Audience Likes
If you want to promote your YouTube channel, you need to create content that engages your audience. This means creating content that intrigues them and appeals to them. Check the performance of different videos using YouTube Analytics to see how well your viewers engage with the content and where they seem to drop off.
You can also ask them directly in your video conclusions and get them to leave comments about what they’d like to see from you. You can even add poll cards to your videos like in the following SoulPancake video. This will help you collect your viewers’ responses in a more organised fashion.
#5: Run a Contest
Running a contest in which people have a chance to win something is a great way to drive more engagement and promote your channel. The opportunity to win a free prize will motivate a lot of viewers to engage with your videos. You can keep the rules simple by getting people to like your video, subscribe to your channel, and leave a comment.
If you’re an influencer, you could even partner with related brands and include their products as giveaway prizes. Or you could run contests to celebrate your channel milestone – gaining 5000 subscribers, second birthday, etc.
Content creator, Lewis Hilsenteger, ran a giveaway contest to celebrate his channel, Unbox Therapy, getting 10 million subscribers.
If you have a brand, you could have an influencer promote your giveaway contest through their channel so your contest generates a bigger impact. However, make sure that you adhere to the YouTube guidelines on running contests.
In addition, you should avoid running contests just for the sake of it without understanding how they impact your channel performance. Observe your channel and video performance in terms of views and engagement rates to see whether there’s any improvement after your contest. Otherwise, you’ll just be throwing away money on free prizes without actually promoting your channel.
#6: Collaborate with Other Influential Creators
If you’re a YouTube content creator, collaborating with other influential creators is a great way to promote your channel. Build relationships with other influencers by mentioning them in your videos, following them on social media, commenting on their videos, etc.
After you’ve established a strong bond, you could suggest a partnership. Maybe you can interview them in one of your videos, maybe you can live stream together, or maybe you can co-create content that they promote to drive viewers to your channel.
There are tons of options for you, but it’s crucial that you build an authentic relationship first. YouTuber Roomie, for instance, regularly partners with Boy in a Band, another influential YouTuber in his videos.
If you have a brand, you could partner with influencers as well. It’s a bit easier for brands to execute this because it doesn’t necessarily have to be organic. You can pay influencers to review your products and services, you can interview them, you can feature them in your live stream, and more.
#7: Promote Your Videos on Social Media
Promoting your videos on social media is a very basic step to promote your YouTube channel. It is also extremely effective for reaching a bigger audience. Social media users find videos extremely engaging, so promoting your videos can be a great way to attract them and drive them to your channel.
In fact, 74% of consumers share brand videos on social media, according to the Sprout Social 2018 Index. And they watch almost as much videos on Facebook (40%) as they do on YouTube (49%). In addition, 58% of consumers prefer visual-first content on social media with produced videos, graphics, and images leading the way.
So if you want to effectively promote your YouTube channel, you should regularly share your videos on social media. While you can share the video link on some social media sites, you should consider creating a short preview video that plays directly on social media platforms. This will entice the audience and assure them that if they click on the full video link, it’s going to be worth it.
Rockstar Games created a short 15-second video preview to promote their first official Read Dead Online community stream that was taking place on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook.
#8: Run a Paid Ad Campaign
There’s only so much you can achieve organically. Algorithm changes and user behaviour can affect how well your videos reach viewers through organic means.
So you can’t rely solely on this and expect exponential growth for your channel. Sometimes, you need to invest in paid ad campaigns so your channel reaches the right audience more effectively.
There are tons of paid advertising options – whether you want to advertise right on the platform, on Google, or even on social media. Make sure you get highly specific with your audience targeting so you reach the right people and ensure that every dollar is spent well. You could try targeting people who share the same characteristics, behavioural traits, and demographics as your existing viewers.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to effectively promote your YouTube channel. If you’re on a tight budget, you could start with the organic methods and then carefully plan paid campaigns with highly specific targeting. These tactics could work for both brands and individual content creators, so adapt them according to your needs and watch your subscribers grow.