Ready to get more YouTube subscribers? Smart move. The video platform provides unprecedented viewer access and phenomenal marketing opportunities. Around the world, there are over 2 billion (logged-in) monthly users and over 1 billion hours of video watched each day. In the U.S., YouTube tops Facebook among adults—73% use YouTube while 69% use Facebook and in young adults the numbers are even higher with 90% of 18- to 24-year olds on the platform, according to Pew Research Center.
Wanting to shine on the platform is a no-brainer, but how do you get more subscribers? Even the best content won’t get plays without a strategy in place for people to find you, want to watch you, and then (most importantly) subscribe to you! Here are five strategies to get more YouTube subscribers.
1. Offer consistent content
Create consistent, quality content that viewers want. How can you know what people want? Discover what your target market is curious about by researching keywords. Armed with this information, you can create video content (as it relates to your brand) tailored to your audience’s future searches. When you sprinkle in a keyword-rich video title and tag…Voila, content magic.
The next step is to make videos that are easy to watch. Shoot for good audio and a nice backdrop. Prepare any slides or props in advance. Outline what you’ll say, so during recording you sound confident and clear. Your videos don’t need to be perfect—in fact people will connect with your authenticity—but effort will show and viewers will reward you with loyalty. Here are some additional tips for delivering consistent content:
- Be true to your brand. If you’re all about hand making fly fishing hooks, don’t suddenly throw in a video about stocks and bonds. You can lose viewer trust and interest
- Be consistent with video publication and let people know what to expect. During your videos or in your channel copy you might say, “Each day I’ll drop a new video,” or “Every Friday I publish a new video about the week’s makeup trends,” or “The last Saturday of the month I round up all the sneaker news for that month and let you know what you need to know. Subscribe so you don’t miss out”
- Use Adobe Spark for easy to make, perfectly polished videos
- Create a mix of evergreen content and of-the-moment content. A widely accepted ratio is 80% evergreen to 20% current content. That said, topical content can boost your numbers. Just check out Elizabeth Lucy’s example below
Pro showcase: Elizabeth Lucy attracted 1,000 new YouTube subscribers in one month by providing consistent, quality content on a highly-searched topic. Before COVID-19 hit, Elizabeth had been creating health content as a public health expert. When the virus hit in February, she pivoted to fill people’s need for quality health information about the pandemic and had 1,000 new subscribers in 1 month. As of April 2020, she has 2,500 subscribers.
2. Create a visually consistent channel
Make your YouTube channel look good. People come to YouTube for so many reasons (entertainment, education, news, shopping), and there are literally billions of hours of things they can watch. Make sure people want to come to your channel by using professional designs and brand-aligned colors. These techniques will help your channel shine:
- Create visually consistent thumbnails and be true to your brand when it comes to font, color, and design elements. Consistency creates credibility and brand recognition. Try Adobe Spark’s free YouTube thumbnail templates for no-stress perfection
- Make a stunner of a channel banner. A great looking banner encourages subscription. It makes your overall channel a cohesive landing site where a viewer knows who you are, what you’re about, and the value you offer. Get a professionally designed look using the free, easy-to-customize, Adobe Spark YouTube channel art templates
- Consider size. Be sure your visually consistent thumbnails and banner art are mobile-responsive (meaning, they look good on both a phone and a laptop). Since more than 70% of YouTube viewing happens on mobile, you need designs that work across devices
3. Invite people to subscribe
YouTube is not the place to be shy, so invite your viewers to subscribe to your channel. People love an invite! They want a reason to connect. Your viewers are busy, so unless you prompt them, they might not even think to click subscribe. Here are some ways to work the request into your videos, your video page copy, and even create a subscribe button on your channel page:
- Ask for subscriptions in your video intros and outros. “If you like my content, please subscribe to my channel, I’d love to stay connected with you!”
- Use end screens that show after your video is complete. End screens can include videos (of yours) to play next, playlists of your videos, a way for viewers to subscribe, a link to your website (for members of the YouTube Partner Program), and more. Definitely use end screens
- Encourage people to subscribe at the end of your written video description
- Ask people to share the video with a friend or on their social platforms
- Create an automatic pop-up confirming subscription to your channel when a new person visits your channel via desktop
- Tease your next video. “Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe so you get first access to my new video coming out next week about…”
4. Engage with viewers
Showing your viewers love builds community and can get you more YouTube subscribers. People want to feel appreciated and they also want to feel as though they are part of something. Meaningful engagement with commenters not only heartens the original commenter, it also demonstrates to new visitors that you’re an interested and engaged brand investing in viewers. Here are some ways to get this going:
- Respond to comments with thoughtful replies
- Celebrate subscription milestones with a video thanking subscribers
- Collaborate with other YouTube creators to generate cross-interest between audiences
- Ask viewers what kind of content they most want to see and then create it for them
5. Promote your channel
Above all, you have to market your channel to get more subscribers. If the people don’t know you’re there, then the people won’t ever subscribe. Build on your existing marketing efforts to help your channel grow. Here’s a multi-pronged approach to promoting your YouTube channel.
Use all your platforms as a funnel to your YouTube channel. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn—wherever you have followers, let them know about the amazing videos you are creating on YouTube. Post teaser videos to drive new viewers to your channel. You can even ask your followers on your other social channels to subscribe to your YouTube channel. People want to love you. Help them!
Do in-platform promotion to get more followers. From how you structure your channel to the keywords you use, leverage all the opportunities the platform provides you to grow.
- Use end screens to encourage people to subscribe as a call to action
- Create playlists that make it easy for viewers to instantly find the type of content they want from you
- See if you qualify for the YouTube Partner Program which can boost your visibility, grant you added features, and provide monetization perks
- Use strategic keywords and SEO to drive viewers to your site. A keyword-rich title, use of the right tags, and completion of the metadata all help YouTube’s algorithm drive people your way
Use your business website or blog as a way to showcase your YouTube videos. Let your audience know just what they’re missing out on. Embed your entire video, or a teaser clip, on your blog or website, along with a link to your channel and an invitation to subscribe. Daniel Rappaport of Pazzaria TV shares that posting these backlinks will boost your video SEO. Plus, recommended Rappaport, be sure to include the link to your newest YouTube video in each edition of your email newsletter campaign.
Ready to ramp up your YouTube following? Be sure to tag #AdobeSpark with your YouTube creations for the chance to be featured.