There is a massive difference between having a YouTube channel and running a successful one. As you may realize, anyone with a Gmail account can have their own YouTube channel. However, if you want your YouTube channel to attract a significant number of viewers, you need to have a strategy for every YouTube video you publish.
Yes, there are people who went viral after posting a random video on YouTube. But it would be wrong to assume that any random video can garner millions of views on the platform. While there is no secret recipe for going viral on YouTube, you can certainly follow a few tactics that can help your video reach the right audience, allowing you to grow your YouTube channel.
30 Smart Ways to Promote Your YouTube Channel
Setting up a channel is perhaps the easiest step in your whole YouTube journey. Now comes the tough part. And we are not talking about the technical complexity. The process is fairly simple. The toughest thing about running a YouTube channel is growing the subscriber base. The first 1000 subscribers are always the hardest to get. However, with the right strategy and proper planning, you can grow your channel to not just thousands but millions of subscribers.
1. Choose Google-friendly Keywords
Keywords, as you may know, help your content reach the right audience on the internet. So, while uploading your video content, you need to mention keywords that are relevant to your content and have high search volumes. There are several ways to find the relevant keywords for your YouTube videos.
- Use keyword research tools like TubeBuddy, VidIQ, Google Trends, etc.
- Explore the research tab in your YouTube analytics to find the most searched terms on a topic.
- Use the autocomplete function on the YouTube search bar to identify the frequently searched terms.
- Identify the search intent of the keywords your target audience uses
- Perform competitor analysis to identify which keywords are working for their videos
Proper keyword research would not only help you understand your target audience but also enable you to create videos that rank well in the search results.
2. Use Catchy & Descriptive Video Titles
Once you have a clear idea about what keywords to use in your next YouTube video, you need to start brainstorming for catchy title ideas. A well-crafted title can improve your YouTube SEO and help the video get more views and engagement. Since the title is one of the first few things that viewers notice about a video, you need to make sure it is catchy and descriptive.
Also, you need to keep the following things in mind while preparing YouTube video titles:
- Keep the video title within 70 characters (with spaces)
- Include the relevant keyword while writing strong YouTube titles
- Create the title in a way that offers some value to the users
- Perform A/B tests to understand which title is getting better engagement
Also, you should consider framing your YouTube video titles with terms like “Without,” “to,” and “although” since they often get more clicks from the users. Here are a few examples:
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3. Customize Your Thumbnails
Before a user watches your video, they usually analyze the video title and thumbnail to decide whether it is worth watching. This is why you should prepare custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos instead of letting YouTube choose a random scene from the video as the thumbnail. Just like the video title, your YouTube thumbnails should also be descriptive and appealing.
Use the following tips to design unique and clickable thumbnails
- Use the “rule of thirds” to create intriguing images. Also, add descriptive texts that are easy to read.
- Do not use complex designs for the thumbnail. Use colors that complement each other without overwhelming the viewers.
- Since the thumbnails appear differently across various devices, you need to ensure that the thumbnail image is significantly large.
- Check out how your competitors are customizing their YouTube thumbnails. You should also see what kind of thumbnails are being used in trending videos.
Moreover, if you (or someone else) are appearing in the video, you should consider having your (or the person appearing in the video) photo in the thumbnail. Viewers are more likely to connect when they see a familiar face.
4. Fill Out Your Profile Information
While creating interesting videos for your audience should be your priority, you also need to ensure that your YouTube channel is set up properly. Make sure your YouTube profile has the necessary information, such as:
- A profile photo
- Channel name
- Channel description
- Channel logo
- Links to your social media accounts (optional)
Your channel name should be something that is easy to remember and related to the niche you are catering to. Also, having a relevant image for the channel’s profile photo can make it look more professional. Try to be as descriptive as possible while writing the channel description.
5. Optimize Your Video Descriptions
Your YouTube video descriptions play a crucial role in helping the video rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). So, when you write the video description for a YouTube video, you follow the tips mentioned below:
- Be very specific while writing the description for your YouTube video
- Try to combine keywords based on Google and YouTube search trends to make the video more discoverable
- Use 2-3 related keywords in each video description
- Check out the descriptions of the popular videos and take notes
- Add some value proposition in the descriptions
- Add the most useful information within the first 100 to 150 words
- Avoid clickbait style of descriptions
- Include a call to action
- Add relevant links in the description
6. Don’t Skip the Metadata
YouTube relies on the metadata of the videos to index them correctly. In order to improve your position in search, suggested videos, promotion, and ad-serving, you need to optimize your metadata – which includes title, video description, and tags. Here’s what you can do:
- Put essential keywords at the beginning of the title
- Do not use a title that is longer than 70 characters
- Use a catchy description that includes all the important keywords
- Also, use all the major keywords as tags
You may also want to make sure the audio is relevant to the video, as the video transcripts are also used by search engines while indexing.
7. Offer Real Value
One of the best ways to keep your viewers engaged is to offer content that has some real value. If your YouTube videos inform, educate, or entertain the viewers, it will positively impact the ranks of those videos in YouTube searches. So, before you publish a video on your YouTube channel, analyze the content and see whether it offers some value or not.
When you start producing valuable content on a regular basis, you give the viewers a reason to subscribe to your channel. Also, valuable content is more likely to be re-watched and shared more by the viewers. Such engagements act as signals that help boost the ranking of the videos.
8. Create High-Quality Videos
Apart from optimizing the videos for search engines, you also need to focus on the quality of the content. Suppose you have optimized the metadata and used valuable information in the video, but your camera work and editing could have been better. In that case, the viewers may stop watching the videos after a point.
Here are a few tips to create high-quality videos:
- Plan your videos in advance.
- Make sure there is plenty of light while shooting the video.
- Use a clean and organized background.
- Use a tripod or gimble to ensure the video is stable.
- Invest in a good audio-capturing device (lapel mic, boom mic, etc.).
- Edit the videos using proper editing software.
- Maintain the right orientation while shooting a video (either vertical or horizontal).
- Instead of improvising in front of the camera, prepare a script.
While the smartphone cameras are greater for beginners, you may want to invest in a good quality DSLR camera for better picture quality.
9. Engage with Your Audience
To grow your channel, you need to start building a subscriber base. That’s possible only when you start engaging with your audience. While producing content for them is the primary requirement, you also need to interact with them on a regular basis. Here are a few suggestions on how to engage with your audience:
- Reply to the comments on your YouTube videos
- Help them connect with you on other social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, X, etc.)
- Take advantage of the YouTube community tab to create posts, polls, announcements, and more
- Initiate a Q&A session by asking your audience to send their questions via mail or social media channels
Regularly engaging with your audience helps them connect with you on a personal level.
10. Try a Q&A
As mentioned, Q&A initiatives are great for engaging with your audience. It not only gives you material for your next video but also lets the audience get to know you better. In order to hold a Q&A session, you need to follow these steps:
- Create an announcement asking your audience to send their questions. You can create a post on the YouTube community tab, create a social media post, or simply ask them to comment on the last video
- Gather the questions in one place and shortlist the ones you want to answer in your new YouTube video
- Create a video answering the questions and publish it
You can do such videos every once in a while to keep your audience engaged.
11. Run Contests
Another effective way of engaging with your audience is to run contests on your YouTube channel. There are several content ideas you can explore in order to promote your YouTube channel. However, you need to follow these tips:
- Choose what prize you want to give away
- Pick the type of contests you want to have
- Define the rules and guidelines for the contest
- Promote your giveaway on your YouTube videos
- Announce the winner in the next video
- Collect marketing data and analyze
12. Be Active in the Community
Another effective way to promote your YouTube channel is to find your niche and build your own audience base within it. You need to identify the major creators who serve the same audience as you and subscribe to their YouTube channels.
You should also engage with their content by leaving valuable comments or mentioning them in your videos. When you are active in a particular YouTube community, people start noticing you (your YouTube channel).
13. Partnering with Influencers
Collaborating with a fellow YouTuber or an influencer can also help you promote your YouTube channel. The main reason behind such collaborations is to tap into the audience base of the other person by including them in your YouTube videos.
Such partnerships help you to reach a new audience. Also, since their favorite creator is featured in your video, these new viewers are also likely to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
However, it is advised to collaborate with an influencer after doing thorough research. If you two promote contrasting opinions on your respective YouTube channels, your collaboration can confuse your audience.
14. Respect YouTube’s Community Guidelines
If you want your YouTube journey to be smooth, you need to be familiar with the YouTube community guidelines and abide by them. If you violate any of the community guidelines, YouTube will penalize you. And if you keep on repeating such errors, you may lose your channel.
Before you start publishing your videos, go through the YouTube community guidelines, especially –
- Thumbnails policy
- Child safety policy
- Nudity and sexual content policy
- Suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders policy
- Vulgar language policy
15. Create a Series
While producing unrelated videos may be great for your initial days as a YouTuber, you may want to create a series of related videos for better engagement. Your audience will keep coming back for more if you start producing a series of videos instead of unrelated individual videos.
It is better to create a series on a topic that works for your YouTube channel. That way, you can ensure that people will find the series engaging.
16. Make Playlists
You can also use the playlist feature to your advantage and promote multiple videos to your audience. As you may already know, playlists are a number of different videos compiled in one place. The playlists are typically based on a common theme.
You can also create playlists for your videos. This will ensure that the viewers can find all the videos of the same type in one place. However, you do need to have several videos in your YouTube library before creating those playlists. Otherwise, having just 2-3 videos in every playlist will serve a different purpose.
17. Go Live
Another great way of connecting with your audience is to go live from your YouTube account. While broadcasting live from your YouTube channel, you can read the live chat from your audience and reply to them instantly. You can hold your Q&A sessions live as well.
Usually, people livestream certain group discussions, video game walkthroughs, major announcements, and events. Also, if you want, you can go live and create videos, which viewers can watch live or check out later from your YouTube channel.
18. Use Calls-to-action
Calls to action (CTA) are essential for any form of marketing content. Since YouTube content is often used for marketing purposes, these CTAs can help convert the leads to customers for the brands. If you are an individual YouTuber, you, too, can use CTAs to your advantage.
Some commonly used CTAs like:
- Like the video
- Turn on the notification bell
- Subscribe to the channel
- Click on the link in the description
- Watch the next video
- and more
You can use these CTAs to increase engagement on your YouTube channel.
19. Cross-promote your channel
Cross-promotion is another way of collaborating with another influencer or entity to boost the reach of your channel on YouTube. Instead of featuring in each other’s videos, cross-promotion involves sharing the videos or links on each other’s profiles.
Even if the other party does not have a channel on YouTube but has a great number of followers on a different social media platform, you can still leverage that to promote your YouTube channel.
20. Promote Your Channel, Not Just Your Videos
As you may realize, promoting YouTube videos to your audience is not going to be enough to help you grow your channel. You also need to think about how to promote your YouTube channel to the world.
You need to promote your YouTube channel on other social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, X, Reddit, and more. Also, cross-promotion can help with advertising your channel to a different audience group.
21. Take Advantage of the Holidays
If there’s a holiday coming up, you should create videos related to that event for your YouTube audience. Such videos organically get more views as users can easily relate to them during those times. This trick also works when there’s a highly anticipated movie coming.
It is recommended that you release your video a few weeks earlier than the holiday or event so it can get circulated well before the event takes place. If you publish it too close to the holiday or event, it may not get time to reach all the potential viewers.
22. Make Evergreen Videos
While holiday- or event-related videos are great for a particular period, you should also consider making evergreen videos. These are the ones that can be consumed at any time of the year and stay relevant for years.
Such videos help your YouTube channel get a steady number of views throughout the year, even if you do not post content that often. Such relevant videos offer you a safety net when things don’t go well.
23. Find Out What Works (and Do More of It)
Once you have published 10-15 videos, you will start to notice that a certain type of video is getting more views than the others. With more videos you make, you get clarity on what is working and what is not.
To promote your YouTube channel, you need to focus more on the videos that your YouTube audience loves. That will help you grow your channel smoothly.
24. Post Teasers on Your TikTok
You should also try to promote YouTube videos on TikTok. Since TikTok is extremely popular for its short-length videos, you can create teasers of your own videos and publish them on TikTok.
This practice will help you reach more audiences and turn them into your YouTube subscribers. However, while preparing the teasers, you need to tactfully use CTAs like “visit my YouTube channel to watch the full video” for them to work.
25. Participate in YouTube Trends and Challenges
If you are looking for ideas for your new video, you can simply check out the YouTube Explore page and see what is trending. Making videos on trending topics can help you get an organic boost.
Also, you can create YouTube content on the viral challenges that are trending on different social media sites. Such videos often help you promote your YouTube channel as they often appear in the suggested videos segment.
26. Make Virtual Reality Videos
Virtual reality-based YouTube videos are gaining popularity as VR headsets become more available in the market. It offers a unique viewing experience as if you are practically there.
So, if you are willing to experiment with your videos, you can definitely try creating VR videos for your YouTube channel.
27. Post Videos in Multiple Parts
While posting long videos may help you boost your watch hours even with fewer views, your audience may need more time to watch the whole video. If you have video content that is longer than usual, try publishing it in several parts.
By splitting the video content into multiple parts, you not only make it easier for the viewers to consume them but also add more videos to your channel page.
28. Get Verified on YouTube
You can apply for verification once your channel reaches the 100,000 subscriber mark. It is important to understand that you do not always need a verification badge to run a successful YouTube channel. However, having that badge boosts the authority of your channel.
If there are multiple channels on YouTube with the same name as your channel, the verification badge will tell the viewers which one is more authentic.
29. Promote Your Videos in a YouTube Community Post
As mentioned before, the community tab on YouTube is a great place to stay in touch with your audience. It allows you to create posts, make announcements, and have polls for your audience. By being active in the community tab, you gradually build a community of your followers.
Your audience gets to see the informal side of you in the community tab. Also, you can delight your subscribers by sharing exclusive content there. The community tab can also be used for promotions and shoutouts to individuals or brands.
30. Do What Your Favorite YouTubers Do
If you are still trying to figure out how to promote your YouTube channel, you should analyze what your favorite YouTubers are doing and take inspiration from them.
While doing the same thing as the top YouTubers, try to add your twist to the videos. This will help you create unique content and save you from plagiarism claims.
Running a successful channel on YouTube is all about consistency and offering value to the viewers. If you can do that and follow the tips mentioned above, you won’t have to ask others how to promote your YouTube channel in the future.