How to Promote Your YouTube Channel: The Only Guide You Need
YouTube’s no longer just the viral video platform that brought us keyboard cat—it can be your whole career. But isn’t YouTube stardom just for a select few; the Logan Pauls and James Charleses of the world? The answer is what you want to hear: a resounding no!
As a business owner, if you play your cards right and tap into the all-powerful algorithm, making it big on YouTube is beyond possible—it’s almost a certainty.
Want to promote your channel for free? Grow your YouTube subscriber count? Get more traffic and conversions than ever on your small business or personal YouTube account? Well, then you’re in the right place!
The best part? You don’t need existing subscribers or deep pockets for these YouTube channel promotion tips (we’ll tell you when one of the steps is paid). Let’s get started:
Want to hand over YouTube channel management to the pros? Fill out the form below to get in touch with us.
- Tap Into the Power of SEO – Paid
- a) Come Up With a Killer Title
- b) Make Full Use of Video Descriptions
- c) #Hashtags For the Win
- d) Tap Into Tags For Even More Discoverability
- Big Collaborations for Big Success
- Don’t Forget to Engage With Your Audience
- Call(s) to Action
- Choose the Right Length For Your Videos
- To Invest in YouTube PPC Campaignsor not to? (Paid)
- Jump on the Trending and Evergreen Content Ship
- Doubling Down on Successful Content Strategies
- To Facebook and Beyond
- Comment Ça Va? Find a Worldwide Audience
- Contests and Giveaways
How to Promote Your YouTube Channel: 13 Strategies That Work!
It’s time to take control of your YouTube destiny; so let’s start with a strategy with a ton of bang for your buck. Whether you want to promote your YouTube channel for free or go all in and benefit from a full suite of SEO services, there’s something here for everyone.
SEO is one of those things everyone knows a little about. Most people know that it involves:
- alt text,
- and more
But even as these words are tossed around by people around you, very few people can claim expertise in it. We’ve written about this previously, so take a look if you’re interested.
So let’s get specific; here are some steps you can take to ensure that the YouTube algorithm laps up your content:
The thumbnail (more on this later) and title are your first points of contact with potential subscribers; so, you need to invest a lot of time into getting them right.
Your titles need to strike the right balance between compelling and informative (and they can never be spammy). You also need to keep them short; 60 characters is the sweet spot.
Here’s a description that’s toeing the line:
The views speak for themselves, but what is it about the title that gets so many views? Well, it’s got volume for one—15 hacks mean a meaty video, and people love bang for their YouTube buck (read: time). On top of that, the word hacks, coupled with genius, elevates the video above others; say, for example, one that said “4 Plumbing Hacks You Need to Know.” Generating excitement is super important in titles.
Pro tip: Try to get all your essential keywords in the beginning of the title; doing so really does maximize views—people on YouTube are usually looking for solutions, so don’t waste their time.
As for the compelling bit, let’s look at an example. Say you’re running a diet and lifestyle channel, and are making an explainer video about the differences between the Keto Diet and the Atkins diet. Let’s take a look at two title options:
Our Take on the Timeless Atkins vs. Keto Debate
Comparison of Atkins and Keto
Most of us would click on the first one over the second—at least we hope so. It puts your personality front and center (our take), and has both the essential keywords in about 50 characters or so. That’s a win!
So what’s a winning formula for keywords? Here’s a breakdown:
- Use the YouTube autocomplete suggestions to find keywords that your audience is actually using.
- Avoid stuffing keywords into the title—use as many as you can without stylistic compromises.
- Pair keywords with titles that spark curiosity.
- Modify keywords as needed to—YouTube, like Google, can make out semantic differences.
Good descriptions follow many of the same rules that good titles do; it’s just a difference of volume—5,000 as opposed to 60 characters.
Like the titles, keywords should be front and center; but there’s more! You can use descriptions to send view counts soaring across your channel. Do this by:
- Linking to existing videos that didn’t get the success they deserve, or
- by directing views to an entire playlist of similar content.
Let’s talk examples now:
MKBHD isn’t the biggest tech YouTuber out there for nothing—notice how he plugs in his merch page, his Amazon affiliate link, and a playlist of other videos in one description, while also having all his socials there too.
So, the takeaway is: give the people what they want, and watch the views roll in.
YouTube recently introduced hashtags, and they took the platform by storm not soon after. Much like Twitter, use them to send people down a discoverability rabbit hole. Just make sure you’re using the right ones (tools like Google’s Keyword Planner are your best bet here)
Viewers who click on them and find similar content are much more likely to binge watch it. We like to call it the hashtag hook, line, and sinker.
YouTube’s Creator Studio allows you to embed tags—essentially keywords that you want to rank for—in your videos. They’re the least important piece of the YouTube metadata puzzle, but they can get you over the edge when it comes to discovery.
We always suggest adding them because in your quest toward eventual bigtime YouTube fame, you can’t leave any stone unturned.
Remember, Google owns YouTube, and it’ll always be a search company first. And search and SEO go hand in hand. This means you need to know the algorithm really well—how it works, what kind of content it prefers, and what it doesn’t.
For example, YouTube transcribes your entire video every time you upload, so even your videos aren’t exempt from keyword optimization!
If this sounds overwhelming, we have some good news: the map to success is already in front of you; all you need to do is see how others are optimizing their videos (especially the most successful creators) and follow suit.
YouTube SEO is involved, we’re not going to lie; if the time investment is too much for you because of the millions of other responsibilities you have, you could always hire us to do it for you—we’d be glad to help.
The first question that popped up in your head after reading this was probably: “But who would want to collaborate with me when I have no views or subscribers?”
The answer, surprisingly, is that a lot of bigger creators would. The key is to perfect the two Ps: the pitch and persistence.
A lot of bigger creators are looking for an opportunity to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming talent—and if you’ve been a long-time subscriber, they’re even more likely to take you up on the offer, especially if you’re in the same niche.
Make it beneficial for them—content ideas like fan Q&As are surefire hits; it’s an offer that’s hard to say no to.
But what, why do you want to do this, again? Here are some obvious benefits:
- The scale of their much bigger platform.
- The collab will send viewers torpedoing toward your channel, while also giving you a ton of credibility.
Everyone respects clout; so standing in the shadow of a YouTube giant won’t dim your light; it’ll help you shine brighter than ever. In the business, we call it building industry authority.
Not to mention that bigger creators have really diverse audiences; this can open you up to so many new content possibilities as your subscribers diversify.
Remember, YouTube is a personality-first platform; as long as you have an electric personality and are good at what you do, other creators will be on board.
The best part is that there are no consequences with reaching out—it’s free, and the worst you can expect to hear is radio silence.
Another option is to partner with other influencers or even endorse a business’s product; a lot of businesses will pay to promote your content if their product is in it—it’s a you scratch my back world out there—which can be a great equalizer if you don’t have a PPC budget to speak of.
Just like Kendrick Lamar, it’s important to stay humble and remember who got you the success you have today. In this case, it’s your existing audience!
As it turns out, the biggest advantage you have is how small your YouTube presence is. Lost us? Let us explain: People love content creators who exude charm and have an electric personality—the problem is one of discoverability, not talent.
So, when you do start attracting a (small) audience, it’s very likely that they’ll start feeling a sense of belonging with you due to the intimate, small nature of your account.
A small audience of, say, 500 people allows you to engage with every single comment. It allows you to:
- Send push notifications that are customized.
- Highlight some subscribers in every video (who doesn’t love a shoutout!).
- Have a back-and-forth conversation with them where you address them by name.
All of these are super underrated promotional techniques that go a long way.
Your subscribers are very likely to rave about you in their inner circles, which will have a trickle-down effect on your follower count.
Sure, the more success you get the less intimate the channel will be, but it’s important to double down on this while you’re a small creator.
Remember, all this requires is you putting yourself out there and being true to yourself; try not to perform or put on a persona (unless that’s what your account is about) and have honest conversations with your audience. Nothing works better on YouTube than a bit of vulnerability.
Even large channels take out the time to do this:
Notice how the guys over at Hardware Unboxed have liked the first comment, and have also left one of their trademark Aussie witticisms under another; viewers love being made to feel special—it can set you up for a lifetime of loyalty.
You also want to know them like you know the back of your hand; remember, YouTube doesn’t give you tons of analytics data for kicks—tap into their demographics, locations, preferences, etc. to make content accordingly.
You also want to rely on your subscribers to double down on your success—is someone subscribed but hasn’t clicked the vaunted bell icon? Ask them to in a video!
YouTube is probably the only platform where you can get away with adding all kinds of calls to action to your content.
We already hinted as much with the title and the thumbnail, but you can double down with multiple CTAs in your video.
You’ve probably seen hundreds of YouTube videos that ask you to “click on the bell icon to get my videos the moment I post them.” Yep, that’s a CTA.
How about this one: “Remember to like and subscribe to my channel if you enjoyed my video.” Also a CTA.
And the thing is, it works; videos with multiple compelling CTAs get viewers to take a desired action. Why? Because YouTube is, you guessed it, a personality-first platform, if people like you enough, they won’t find this spammy.
It can get spammy if done too much, so try to figure out where the line is, and never cross it. This is the most important thing you need to figure out when trying to promote your YouTube videos.
Here’s a small scenario to demonstrate:
A long-time subscriber to your household hacks channel hasn’t been getting your videos in their feed for some reason (it happens a lot!). But then they navigate over to your channel to see what you’ve been up to.
When they do, the first thing they hear in your latest video is that a lot of people haven’t been seeing your videos, and to click on the bell icon to get push notifications. If the person loves your content and persona, it’s more than likely that they’ll follow through.
Plus, YouTube then gets a signal that people want more of your content, and the algorithm will play ball accordingly.
Don’t follow in the footsteps of this 10-hour Nyan Cat video!
Depending on what kind of content you make, the length of your videos really does determine whether viewers stick around till the end. If you’re a mukbanger, for example, long-form videos are actually the de facto route, since many people like to eat their meals alongside these videos. And you don’t want to be done before they are!
But if you’re running a channel that gives people tips and life hacks that help them fix things around the home space, viewers will really appreciate shorter videos because all they want is that broken pipe to stop leaking.
The good news is that YouTube gives all kinds of metrics; so, all you need to do is track when people stop watching, how engaged people are in different sections of the video, and what video lengths on your channel are most popular. Once you find the winning formula for your niche, it’ll be smooth sailing.
So far, we’ve kept the focus squarely on how you can promote your YouTube channel without spending money—it’s in the title! But let’s spend just a little time on whether you should spend money on PPC. Is the payoff worth it? Yes and no!
If you spend a ton of money on PPC and don’t have a lot of content, viewers will arrive at your channel and find the elephant graveyard from Lion King—that is to say, a ghost town with no content to consume.
They won’t subscribe, and it may even leave a bad taste in their mouths. So, should you only stick to the organic tips in this blog? For now, yes, but after months of producing content and building a solid portfolio—especially if you’ve had no luck getting viewers—it may be time to dip your hand in the PPC cookie jar.
Just remember to limit your spend and to keep prioritizing organic results. And when you’re ready to advertise your YouTube channel, our expertise in YouTube advertising will ensure you get every dollar’s worth from your campaign.
Plumbing pipes can burst in perpetuity. And while that’s a sad fact, it also means that if you have a video on your channel that helps people fix this problem, they’ll keep coming back to it whenever things go south.
The same goes for channels that feature recipes; if it tickles viewers’ tastebuds, you can bet they’ll come back for a second serving. Encourage viewers to bookmark such content, put it on playlists, and even share it with others. This will multiply the number of viewers you get on every video.
But evergreen content isn’t all there is to it; there’s also the opposite—flashes in the pan like the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Just remember, when jumping on a bandwagon, paint it in your own colors.
What we mean to say is, you can’t just do what everyone else is doing—think of how you can put a personal spin on these trends because that’s what brought your followers to you in the first place.
If you have a video that made a wave in the YouTube space, but the rest of your videos fell flat, it’s probably a safe bet to make a second part to that video.
YouTube is a limited risk game; you take gambit after gambit until you find a strategy that works for you—and then you should stick to it.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t make any big content bets anymore, just that you need to have a stable of ol’ reliable content that you can always bank on during a dry spell.
Here’s a few ideas to ensure great viewership numbers:
- Put the series of videos you make into playlists.
- At the end of every video, remind your viewers to check out all the other videos in the playlist.
Also remember that YouTube gives you a lot of tools—use them! From the channel introduction video to featured videos, and recently, YouTube Shorts and Stories (the last two particularly are known for bringing in a swarm of new viewers), if you tap into YouTube’s full potential, you’re looking at a future success story.
You can’t just stay on a YouTube shaped island if you’re going to make it big on the platform. You need to venture out and sail to other social media shores.
Facebook, for example, has hundreds of groups for all kinds of industry niches. These groups are rife with conversion potential, because you already know that the people on them are deeply invested in the type of content you produce. If you want to promote your YouTube videos on Facebook, this is the holy grail.
But don’t just post links to your videos ad nauseam; it’ll be considered spam and might even get you booted! Instead, build relationships on these groups, help people out, and establish trust. Alongside, use your Facebook profile as a landing page of sorts—the people you help will click on your profile, and when they do, they’ll see that you’re also a content creator.
At this point, because of the work you’ve put in, they’re very likely to click through and subscribe. The spillover effect is that YouTube will get a ton of search signals from this, indicating that your channel is one they want to promote and put forward in recommendations.
For Instagram, don’t make the mistake of using it as a promotional page; no one wants to see a whole feed of “new video up, link in the bio!” It’s repetitive, and just a bad strategy overall. Instead, use your Insta feed like a lifestyle page; it’s an added flair that’ll flesh out your online presence.
Don’t cage yourself in by only looking for keywords that rank in YouTube search. Videos are taking Google SERPs by storm, so you really want to be making content that can rank on the first page of Google for a given keyword.
Ask bloggers and other platform holders—nicely—to embed your content; if you see a blog that’s lacking a video element, for example, and yours fits in like the last piece of the puzzle, drop the platform a pitch.
The last bit, ask yourself; no, this isn’t a spirituality thing; we mean to say that if you already have a website with pages that rake in traffic, embed your videos on those pages to take your success into your own hands!
Here’s an open YouTube secret that too few creators know about: the more languages you translate your videos into, the more subscribers you’re going to get. And it’s pretty much a given!
But wait, what do closed captions have to do with viewer counts? Remember that little thing called the YouTube algorithm? Well, as it turns out, it wants what’s best for viewers. So the videos it serves to them are always in languages they understand—and this includes captioned videos!
And the good news doesn’t even stop there—YouTube is also a lot less competitive for other languages, so the chances of you swooping in and becoming the content czar in your industry niche are pretty high, we’d say.
This propels you to new heights in terms of reach, and the diversity in your audience will also give you more content possibilities than ever before!
Aesthetic optimizations may seem like they’re a bottom of the barrel optimization, but that approach doesn’t keep in mind how attuned we’ve become to consuming visual content, and how eagle-eyed viewers are when it comes to tacky branding.
For instance, your thumbnails could be even more important than titles when it comes to people clicking through. What can we say, aesthetic is everything these days!
You should really consider—and when we say that, we mean you need to—making custom thumbnails for all your videos; the funnier they are, the more likely they are to attract viewers (but this does depend on the type of content).
Your videos also need to look super professional; you can’t afford to make any compromises here, as even though most people wouldn’t know the first thing about making one, we’re all hyper-attuned to when a video just doesn’t look right—it’s glaringly obvious! And the last thing you want is to fall victim to the YouTube aesthetic police.
Video marketing strategies that work! Need our branding experts to audit your existing YouTube account? Fill out the form below.
People love free stuff; it’s an undeniable fact. So when you couple your already small community with the occasional giveaway, your audience will know that their chances of winning are a lot higher than on a channel with millions of viewers.
This is a really solid inceptive that taps into our collective love of free things, without the usual doom and gloom around people saying “I could never win.”
Let us hammer the point home: consistency really is the most important factor on this entire list—by far. Like all the other strategies, we defer to the actions of the algorithm.
For YouTube, the best creators are those that are always plugging away at content creation, and churning it out on a regular schedule. Why? Because it turns out that more people tuning in to the platform to watch their favorite creators’ daily or weekly videos is great for business!
But more than that, your videos—if your content is up to snuff, can become like traditions for your viewers. How many times have you heard someone say “It’s Wednesday, Tati’s going to drop that new makeup tutorial today?” or something along the same lines? That’s because we thrive on routine—so give viewers what they want.
At least one video a week is generally considered good practice. But two quality concepts is where the fame and fortune are at! You need to treat YouTube like a full-time job if you’re going to make it on the platform.
Oh, and alongside, your posts should be diverse too, because the last thing you want is users getting bored of the same kind of content being posted over and over.
We get it, this sounds like a lot, but if your work takes up most of your time and you can’t devote the time to YouTube, there are always services out there that can do it for you.
Don’t have time to manage your own YouTube channel? That’s what we’re here for! Fill out the form to get started today.
The first 1,000 subscribers are the hardest, so we suggest kicking posting activity into high gear until you get to that benchmark.
There’s a snowball effect as you get more subscribers, with shares and word of mouth making the task substantially easier. So remember when we said consistency was your golden ticket? Well, the first few months are when the hustle really is vital.
Get your social circle to share your channel, leverage all the social media strategies in the blog, and fire on all cylinders to ensure you make it big.
We’ve touched upon this above, but to really solidify your options, here’s where you should be promoting your YouTube channel:
- For a channel that does a lot of DIYs, Facebook groups and platforms like Quora are your best bet. Use them to build relationships by helping people, and watch your organic views soar!
- For YouTube Shorts and TikTok compilations, as well as other short-format videos, use the Stories feature on all your social media accounts; this is especially successful on Instagram.
- If you’re a vlogger, make bite-sized Facebook content that’s shareable, and make your Instagram page a behind-the-scenes style feed.
There are way too many categories of content creators to count, so if you want specific feedback regarding your niche, reach out to us, and we’d be glad to make a game plan for you!
We have a pretty comprehensive set of social media management services too, so you really can’t go wrong.
Need the pros to promote your YouTube channel on social media? That’s what we’re here for! Fill out the form to get started today.
Your point of reference matters a whole lot. Your YouTube KPIs fundamentally change based on whether you’re a small creator who makes DIY science videos or a rising commerce startup that’s looking to cover more ground on the web.
Yes, the general rule of thumb is that more followers are better, but what kind of followers do you want to attract to meet your goals? If making sales is the primary motive for your woodwork business, for example, your best case scenario is a large number of high income Gen Xers.
But if you’re hoping to become the next Mr. Beast, you want to go to the other end of the spectrum and court Gen Zers.
The takeaway? Knowing how to promote your YouTube channel will take you a long way, but you really do stand to benefit by aligning yourself with one of the best digital marketing agencies in the U.S. We can completely manage YouTube SEO and YouTube advertising campaigns!
For more information about our services, call 855-444-4777.