25 Actionable Tips to get Youtube Subscribers in 2018
Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world and video is the hottest cake right now. If you own a Youtube Channel with tons of subscribers, you are sitting on top of one of the best marketing mediums available on the planet.
This is why influencer marketing is picking up like anything. But why waste money on influencers if you can build your own channel? There are many ways to grow your channel. This post brings it all under one umbrella!
How to get subscribers on Youtube?
There are two ways. One is the blackhat way. You can rake in subscribers by paying for shady sites and bots. These methods might help you look cool in front of your grandma, but it is profoundly harmful in the long run. So we won’t recommend this way.
Instead, try to grow your channel organically. Remember, having 10,000 subscribers, that engage with all your videos is way better than having 100,000 subscribers that are barely aware of your existence.
As Will Smith said, try to build a wall one brick at a time.
Today, just concentrate on laying that one brick as perfect as you can. We’ve put together 25 pro tips that’ll help you gain a broad audience with consistent effort.
This blog post has been divided into four sections:
This has been done to make it consumable for everyone from beginners to pros. For example, if you are a pro-Youtuber, you can skip the basic tips and move on to the rest.
Basic Tips to get Youtube Subscribers
These are tips for people who just started their Youtube journey. Though they are basic, they will lay the foundation for your brand on Youtube. So make sure you follow each and every one of these tips:
1. Make your Channel homepage Brandilicious
Most people, after being exposed to your video will check out your channel’s homepage. If you want them to subscribe, it needs to be as attractive and professional as possible. Treat your youtube channel like a brand! The impression you create in their minds in the first 5 seconds, matters a lot!
Check out these channel pages:
Pro Tip: As you can see, each channel has a set of consistent brand colors. Which color would be most suitable for your channel? Each color has an effect on human psychology. Use the bottom chart to figure which color suits you the most:
2. Increase Uploading Frequency and consistency
The key to any relationship is consistency. Same goes for you and your subscribers. You have to consistently nurture your subscribers with top class videos on a regular basis.
The math is simple. More videos mean more minutes consumed from your channel. This is a strong signal to Youtube that your channel is serious about video creation. It increases the possibility of your video appearing on the first page of search results.
Once it reaches the first page, you will get even more viewers and in turn subscribers. If your content is good, people will start sharing your videos leading to more subscribers.
This is why influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk upload a video every single day!
Pro Tip: The frequency entirely depends on the amount of time you have in mind. While daily vlogging can reap quicker results, make sure it doesn’t hamper your quality!
3. Create Video Thumbnails that are irresistible to click
Once upon a time, only Youtube partners could use custom thumbnails. But now everyone can do it just by verifying their phone numbers.
People brainstorm for hours to come up with magnificent blog titles but don’t put the same effort into creating video thumbnails. This is because they don’t realize that thumbnails are to video what headline is to blogs.
Check out this video thumbnail by Amy Schmittauer:
All the effort you put into creating your video will go to waste if people don’t click. Your Video thumbnail plays a significant role in making people click. Here are a few tips to create click-worthy video thumbnails:
- Make it consistent: It is better you choose a particular style and stick with it. This helps in making your videos more recognizable over time.
- Colors: It’s better you stick with your brand colors. Again, there is no hard and fast rule. Use the color wheel to decide which color suits a particular post more.
- Resolution: The last thing you want to do is create low-quality images that get pixelated! Also, getting the wrong dimension can make your thumbnails look awkward. Make sure your thumbnails are of the size ‘1280x720.’
- Put your face up there: The human eye is attracted to human faces rather than text or any other graphic. Neuroscience has proved this. This doesn’t mean that you crop in a fixed template of your face in every thumbnail! Use different expressions that suite the topic of your video.
- Size of the text: Remember, thumbnails are small. The text has to take a significant portion of the thumbnail’s real estate to be visible when it appears on Youtube. Many people, having created posters, make the mistake of using text that is way too small.
More people clicking your videos result in more reach and thus more subscribers!
Pro Tip: Experiment every once in awhile to see how people respond to a particular style. You can tweak your design based on insights you gain over time.
4. Never try to hit an ideal duration for your video
There are loads of advice out there about the perfect length of a youtube video. “Experts” often come up with contradictory statements. While some argue that longer videos result in more view time for channels, others argue small short videos result in more number of videos watched.
So which side should you pick? Neither!
The ideal duration of your Youtube Channel is unique to you. It depends on a lot of factors like the genre and even your style of presentation. Never listen to any of this advice. No one can ever tell you the ideal duration of your Youtube videos.
Set a time that you feel is ideal. Something which is not too long nor too short. You will be able to strike this balance once you create a lot of videos.
Pro Tip: Always check out your Youtube analytics to see if there is a correlation between the video duration and engagement levels. See if people are dropping out of long videos frequently. These insights will help you make an informed decision in future.
5. Use an Intro that keeps people interested
A cool intro and outro section for all your videos helps in branding your channel. If done right, this hack alone can reduce your bounce rates. However, it is vital that you don’t come up with something cliche.
Casey Neistat did an outstanding job doing this on his old channel where he shared his Snapchat stories:
Once you get people hooked on your video, you boost the chances of them subscribing!
Pro Tip: This is an excellent place to add ASMR sound effects that hook people. In Casey’s intro, he uses paper crunching sound.
6. Go Crazy and Edit like a Perfectionist
You might have a tight schedule because you are trying to upload frequently. But this doesn’t mean that you can compromise on the video quality. You have to spend a reasonable amount of time in post-production to alchemize your mediocre video cuts to a kickass vlog.
Also, take multiple takes of shots that you aren’t very confident about. Add effects wherever necessary. Do this in a way that makes you stand out.
Remember, the more creative your videos look, the more are the chances of getting subscribers!
Check out these tips on how to edit your youtube videos.
Pro Tip: Don’t waste too much money buying expensive software you don’t even know to use. You can always use free stuff like iMovie or even DIY tools like Animaker to create your Youtube video.
7.Don’t believe the “experts” when it comes to the best upload time!
Some “experts” might tell you to upload your videos at a particular time to gain maximum reach. Following them is the stupidest thing you can do. Imagine that a 1000 people read this “case study.” Soon, everyone will be uploading videos at that exact time. Your video will drown in the sea of other videos!
These “best time to upload” hacks are basically based on some study. But as soon as the study is out, it becomes the worst time to upload - as everyone is doing it! Moreover, the results of that study might not apply to your channel’s genre and target audience.
The only way to find what works is to keep on experimenting. After a couple of months, you’ll start seeing trends and patterns. This is how you hack the best time to upload!
You can also use tools like Bird Song Analytics to spy on your competitors and get more Intel
This gives you an added advantage in gaining more reach and subscribers!
Pro Tip: The “ideal” upload time can change over time. Just because something is working for your now doesn’t mean it will remain the same always. So keep on experimenting every once in awhile, especially if you see a drop in viewership.
Advanced Hacks to gain Youtube Subscribers
These tips won’t be that relevant if you are only planning to start a Youtube channel. However, if you already have a decent following and a good number of videos up, these advanced tips will help you get more subscribers on Youtube!
8. Translate your Video subtitles to other languages
Before you start translating, you need to know about your traffic sources. For example, after a couple of months, let’s say you find that a huge chunk of visitors is from Germany. It would make sense to translate the subtitles of your videos to German.
Check out the number of translations Pewdiepie has:
Pro Tip: You can either opt for paid translating services or choose to upload your own translations. You can use Google Translate to get free translations though it might contain some errors.
9. Collaborate with other YouTubers
A great way to increase subscribers is by appearing on other Youtube Channels. Try to pick channels which have subscribers who might be interested in your videos.
The best way to do this is by being a part of Google’s dedicated community.
Make a list of Youtubers and then reach out to each one of them. Use a spreadsheet to document the whole process:
Use this template while reaching out:
I’m a huge fan of your Youtube Channel! I especially loved the (video name) video you uploaded last week. It was super (compliment).
I’m also into (your genre). I have a youtube channel with ‘x’ subscribers. I was thinking if we could collaborate on a video. How about we catch up for a cup of coffee?
Pro Tip: Don’t expect everyone on your list to accept your offer. Once a few of them do, you can go ahead and talk to them. Make sure your offer is a win-win for both parties.
10. Leverage comments to gain SuperFans
Once your channel kicks off, people will start commenting. This is a very good metric which proves that whatever you’re doing is working. Sadly, many YouTubers make the mistake of not engaging with these folks.
You should use this opportunity to build up a conversation. Over time, you’ll start building relationships with many. This tactic can give superfans who’ll not just subscribe to your channel but also actively promote it!
Pro Tip: Create a spreadsheet and document comments that are valuable to your channel’s growth. These are genuine comments that tell you what’s working and what’s not. The comment section is also a goldmine full of ideas for your next vlog.
11. Give away contests!
Giveaways are a great way to get exposure. But avoid giving away random gift cards or iPads unless it is directly relevant to your target audience. With such giveaways, you will gain a lot of subscribers who are not even interested in your channel.
To get useful subscribers who watch your videos and engage, you should come up with giveaways that matter to your audience only.
For example, Derral Eves gave away a drone last year. Now, only video creators (which are his target audience) would be interested in drones. So it was the perfect giveaway!
12. Create a channel Trailer exclusively for new visitors
The only video on Youtube that autoplays is your channel trailer. But very few use this golden feature to their advantage. And you should be amongst those very few.
The key to an irresistible trailer video are three things:
- A catchy start: The number one reason I bounce from a youtube channel an annoying channel trailer. The first 5-10 seconds is crucial. It sets an expectation for the rest of the video. So make sure it makes people stick.
- Keep it short: It should be short and simple. Remember, people didn’t click to play this video. So you can’t expect them to watch a long 10-minute video. Stick to something less than 90 seconds.
- A clear CTA: You should explicitly tell them why they should subscribe to your channel. What kind of value addition can you bring to their life? What is your USP? It should hit their most significant pain point.
Noah Kagan is one of the few YouTubers who has nailed the Trailer video:
Pro tip: Your existing subscribers need not see the channel trailer. You can set things for only new users to see it. Here are step by step instructions to do so.
13. Create Playlists that thrill first time users into loyal subscribers
How do you convert your first-time viewers into lifelong subscribers? Most people check out your channel to see more of your videos. This is where you need to help them with playlists.
Video Playlists segregate your videos thus making it more consumable for first-time visitors.
Jared Montz from Online Soccer Academy has done an excellent job of doing this!
He’s made a playlist based on the level of play, position, and even skill.
For a wannabe soccer player visiting his channel for the first time, he’s laid out the roadmap in a precise manner.
Another advantage of playlists is that people might move on to more videos after watching the first:
Pro Tip: Make a list of the subcategories of people watching your channel and cater to each group. This sort of personalization is essential in making people subscribe.
14. Youtube Annotations: the secret sauce to triple your reach
Annotations are elements which pop up while the video is playing. It’s one of the most powerful tools offered by Youtube to maximise your subscribers.
For example, check out this video:
Towards the end of the video, you’ll see a white box in the bottom right corner. When you hover over it, you’ll see a “Subscribe” text appear. Clicking on it will take you to their subscribe page.
You can also use speech bubbles, spotlights, etc. to create similar annotations.
You can use annotations to also promote a particular playlist or a video. This is a great way to increase the total watch time of your channel and thus boost your page rankings.
Pro Tip: Do not overdo it. This can kill your existing subscribers.
Youtube SEO tips for increasing Youtube Subscribers
Once you are done with the basic and advanced tips, it’s time to please Youtube. After all, you are dealing with search engine bots that don’t understand what’s inside your video. You need to help them out by placing relevant information at the right places!
15. Craft titles that are click-worthy and bot-worthy
You spend tons of effort creating videos. Spend a little bit more time in creating enticing titles optimized for SEO! This is an underrated tip for increasing your subscribers.
The art over here is to optimize it both for humans as well as for search engine bots. For SEO, make sure you have the main keyword in the title. This will increase its chances of appearing in searches. But once it appears, you need people to click on your video. If the CTRs are less, Youtube will demote your videos in the search results. So make sure the titles are highly click-worthy!
Here is a checklist you can use while crafting that perfect title:
- Include the Main keyword: Use Google Keyword tool to know what keywords people are searching for.
- The Aha effect: Try to induce curiosity with a quirky title.
- What’s inside: Also give them a sneak peek of what’s inside the video.
Using the word “video” in the title won’t do much help to rank on Youtube though it might be helpful to land Google rankings.
Pro Tip: Check out the analytics of your previous videos and see what type of titles got more reach. You might find ‘trigger words’ that are effective for your target audience.
16. Write a Video Description for both humans and bots
The ideal video description helps both viewers and search engines. To the viewers, it offers additional info while to the Search Engine it gives signals on what the video is all about. Both are important when it comes to getting new subscribers.
Check out this video description by Brian Dean:
Here is how you can write video descriptions like Brian Dean:
- Be informative: Highly thorough descriptions are very helpful to the viewers and search engines.
- The main keyword: The primary keyword should be placed preferably in the first two sentences itself.
- Other keywords: Secondary Keywords should be placed wherever relevant. These are long tail or sub keywords that can be sprinkled anywhere. Do not try to stuff them too much though.
- External linking: Linking to authoritative websites like wikipedia.com gives signals to search engine bots that you are genuinely helping people. However, place it only if it’s relevant. Make sure you link to all your other social media profiles like Instagram and Snapchat.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to spend a lot of time writing big descriptions for all your videos. Create a template which you can reuse each time.
17. Transcribe your videos manually
Transcribing videos are an ideal way to let search engine bots know what your video is all about. This increases chances of discoverability. Moreover, it is of great help to people who are not good listeners or do not have the option to listen to your video.
Discovery Digital conducted a controlled study on 8 of their channels over a period of 16 months to see how it faired. They captioned 125 out of 334 videos published. These videos got 13.48% increase in views over the first 14 days and a 7.32% increase in lifetime views!
Pro tip: Youtube transcribes your video on its own. But search engines don’t take it seriously as one in three words are found to be faulty. The best thing is to do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
18. Choose Meta Tags wisely
Meta tags are where you can directly tell Youtube what keywords you’re trying to rank for. This doesn’t mean that you’ll start ranking for those keywords as soon as you upload the video. But as your channel gains popularity, tags will definitely help.
Try to target 10-20 tags that are related to your video. Do not stuff it with keywords that aren’t relevant as it can confuse the Youtube algorithm.
Pro Tip: Use keyword suggestion tools to find all the long tail keywords related to your main video.
19. Choose the right Video Category
Choosing your video category can be confusing. For example, if your video is ‘3 day trip to Nebraska with my dog Rudolph’ it can come under “Travel & Events” or “Pets & Animals”.
Which one to choose? Only you can decide.
People usually browse categories based on their interests. So people browsing which category will be most interested in your video? This is a call you’ll have to make.
Pro Tip: If it’s hard to decide, pick one for now based on your hunch. Experiment with both categories using a couple of videos. Based on the results, you will have an idea of what to choose in future.
20. Use tools that can boost your reach
If you have the money, it makes a lot of sense to buy tools that can help you grow your channel quicker. Remember, Tony Stark is Iron Man only because of his suite. One of the most widely used tools is Tubebuddy.
Tubebuddy can help you in many aspects including Video SEO, annotations, etc.
Another interesting tool called Bird Song Analytics is very useful to spy on your competitors.
You can get valuable data like:
- Their best time to upload
- Their best day of the week to upload
- What type of words are used in the captions
Keywordtool.io is another powerful tool that provides you a massive database of Youtube keywords.
Though you can get search volumes only in the paid version, it’s well worth a try at least in the planning stage.
Pro Tip: Do not spend too much time or money on tools. Some people get over obsessed with tools and end up having less time for video creation.
Social Media Hacks to get Youtube Subscribers
These are hacks that can drive traffic from social media sites other than Youtube. The Game is simple. All your potential subscribers are hanging out on some social channel. It’s up to you to hook them and send them straight to your channel.
Social media marketing strategies evolve along with platforms. Right now, these are the hot hacks you can use to grow your Youtube subscribers:
21. Do Facebook Marketing the smart way with least effort
Just a couple of years ago, Facebook marketing was as simple as sharing your Youtube link. This doesn’t work anymore as Facebook prefers native videos over anything else.
Uploading your Youtube video again on Facebook wouldn’t make sense because of relevancy issues. Videos that are too long and not very entertaining tank on Facebook. Moreover, you aren’t giving them any incentive to check out your channel.
So the strategy here is to make smaller versions of your main video and post it separately on FB. These short videos should be entertaining stand-alone pieces.
In the end, you can mention about your channel and try drive traffic to your Youtube channel.
Pro Tip: Try pushing funny elements or bloopers, as these will fit in perfectly. Avoid uploading “How-to” videos on Facebook as it just isn't relevant.
22. Use Pinterest to dominate image searches
While Youtube is the go-to search engine for Videos, Pinterest is a big player in image search. You can hire a designer or use DIY tools to convert your videos into kickass images.
The first step is to create boards for each type of video that gets featured on your channel.
Once you do that it’s time to start pinning!
Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Get the shareable Youtube Link
Step 2: Use the thumbnail image of the video or any relevant image to pin.
Step 3: Add a good description and also submit the video link.
If you are driving a considerable amount of traffic to your channel, this means Pinterest is a strategy working out for you! If things start picking up, you can even run Pinterest ads.
Pro Tip: Pinterest also appears on Google SERPs. Make sure you optimise your images for SEO. Add all your relevant keywords in the description.
23. Promote your channel in Amazon Reviews
Everyone goes to Amazon to buy stuff - this includes your target audience. The review section is a less explored goldmine to send traffic to your Youtube Channel.
But do not give links to your channel directly. Amazon will ban such reviews. You have to be creative here.
Leave a useful video review and then subtly mention your channel in the end.
Though this will work for any niche, it’ll be more effective if your Youtube channel is about reviews.
Pro Tip: Try to genuinely help people with a helpful review. Do not do reviews for the sake of talking about your Youtube channel.
24. Use Reddit and put your channel on steroids
Reddit isn't called the front page of the internet for nothing! The idea over here is to join subreddits that are relevant to your niche. You can try promoting your videos here. Make sure you read the guidelines of each subreddit so that you don’t violate terms.
There are two ways to promote your channel. One way is to post your video directly and ask for feedback. The second way is to find posts where your video you can add value.
The first approach can result in tons of backlash. Reddit is a place where people will come and troll you openly. So be prepared for that.
But it has worked for many. A channel called “Hydraulic Press Channel” grew by 6000% thanks to Reddit!
Pro Tip: Try to be active in subreddits and make a name for yourself before promoting your channel. This way, you won’t look like a spammer. Ideally, for every promotional comment make at least 5 useful comments.
25. Build a community elsewhere
Human beings love to be a part of a tribe. It’s what makes us social animals. This is why social media is one of the pillars of online marketing. Now, your Youtube followers are folks with similar interests.
Create a membership site or a Facebook group to nurture this community.
You can keep them engaged in daily activities and also promote your latest videos to the community.
This has two benefits:
- Your videos get constant views and thus more reach leading to more subscribers.
- Once your Facebook group or membership site gets popular, it can act as a lead generation machine producing subscribers!
Pro Tip: Do not use your group to just talk about your channel. Try to grow it as a stand-alone community. Set a theme for each day like “Tip Tuesday” and “Monday Musings”. Promote your videos naturally without spamming.
Gaining Youtube Subscribers is not such a hard thing. All you have to do is be consistent in implementing. Pick at least 15-20 of these tips and create a checklist. Follow the checklist for at least 6 months. You'd be amazed to see the kind of growth that awaits you!
Did we miss any cool hack to gain more youtube subscribers? If yes, let us know in the comments!
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