YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, potentially allowing users to reach an unprecedented audience base with the right approach. With more than 25% of the world’s population on YouTube, content creators have the potential to build a fan base of global proportions. There are 3.5 billion smartphones in the world today that can access anyone’s content with a click of a button. As most YouTubers usually discover though, very often great videos can fetch you a massive amount of views but very few subscribers.
Views are an excellent parameter for success but subscribers prove that there is an engaged user base that appreciates, follows, and waits for the content to be posted. The most popular channels that manage to stand out on YouTube are built on a foundation of loyal subscribers. Read on as we discuss measures that creators can take to build their channel and grow their reach through an honest and engaged subscriber base.
Free Subscribers Vs. Paid Subscribers
Building a career on YouTube through content creation requires subscribers. Whether you choose to monetize the channel or engage in brand collaborations for influencer campaigns, the size of the subscriber base matters. Subscribers generate more views and revenue. While investing money into manipulating the subscriber base might sound tempting, it is futile.
Fake subscribers don’t engage with content, nor do they care for what the channel says. They just make up the numbers. Anyone investing in a channel is doing so for the dedication of the subscriber base, to get a message out there. Be it directly buying subscribers or a follow-exchange system, the subscribers being accumulated add no real value to the channel. In fact, in 2018 when YouTuber PewDiePie was being challenged by T-Series for the honor of most subscribers, it was a clampdown on fake subscribers by YouTube that kept him ahead.
To succeed on YouTube it is important to be aware of as many promotional tactics as possible. We’ve broken these down for you in our blog, How to Promote Your YouTube channel.
Figure 1: PewDiePie and T-Series Youtube accounts: Source: Tech
8 Actionable Steps To Get Organic YouTube Subscribers
1. Niche content to attract free subscribers
By now it is a given that any YouTube channel that is looking to be successful needs to create content that is engaging, interesting, and entertaining. For people to subscribe to your channel, they need to be drawn into your content to a point where they look forward to more. By making the visuals, audio, and graphics throughout videos, you give your channel the best chance of succeeding.
Based on the YouTuber’s strengths and USPs, the content should be unique and curated to give the audience exactly what they want. Engaging captions and descriptions, thumbnails, playlists, and CTAs are a key part of your push marketing strategy to draw people in and retain them as subscribers.
2. Solving pain points
Users with specific issues today come to YouTube to find a quick fix to the problem. Sometimes, the users might be unaware of their pain points and need to be nudged in the right direction. If there is an intersection between what the user needs and what a YouTube channel provides, we have a winner.
From scientific how-to videos to videos of cats playing, all successful videos are solving someone’s pain point. When content creators align their expertise and creativity in a video, it is their best chance to find an audience that resonates with them. Unique videos are born out of original ideas and users are more likely to engage with originality as it gives them something they’ve never seen on YouTube before.
3. Respond and engage
Communicating with the audience does not begin and end with a video. Engaging with your audience across the YouTube experience is a key part of building a dedicated YouTube audience base. This includes responding to questions, asking the users questions, following key users back, and responding to comments. The advantages of an engaged audience are two-fold.
First, they are more likely to actively wait and seek out your content. Second, it gives creators the opportunity to fine-tune their content until they finally discover what the audience needs. When audiences get to engage with their favorite creators, it gives them a sense of importance and helps grow their loyalty towards the channel.
4. Analytics and scheduling
YouTube Studio allows creators to get the necessary analytics parameters to determine the performance of key aspects from their videos. Like any marketing process, it enables them to see what’s working and refine what isn’t, to constantly improve the channel’s performance. Another key aspect to get subscribers is consistency.
From actually posting videos to scheduling engagement, consistency is key at every step of the way for a YouTube channel. YouTube has replaced traditional cable programming in some sense and customers are excited to know when the content they want to see is coming out. Based on who you’re targeting with every communication, it helps to have a fixed calendar to optimize your releases.
5. Creating a YouTube workflow
Like every process that is optimized, even YouTube channels need to rank your content higher and help you reach the audiences you desire. One key way to optimize content is through SEO. By matching a video’s title with keywords that match the search algorithm, it tells users exactly what they can look forward to. The same goes for video descriptions as well.
Next, come video tags. These are additional cues to further point users in your direction, should they be looking for something similar. By combining similar videos from a category into a playlist, it saves users the time they would take to endlessly scroll through all your content. All these are essential parts of every video and it helps to have an optimized workflow that simplifies the entire process each time a video is uploaded.
6. Leveraging social media
All other social media channels act as pointers to your YouTube page. By creating accounts for the channel on different platforms, it helps cast a wider net with marketing communications. Based on the genre of content, this could be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, or others, depending on where your audience is most likely found.
By creating short teasers and trailers for social media, it helps build curiosity and excitement, in turn, driving engagement to the channel.
7. Additional marketing avenues
Just like any business in the world, there is a difference between creating a product or service, and marketing it. While smaller channels may not have the necessary resources, influencer marketing, and brand collaborations are great strategies to grow a channel. By sharing fan bases, all the parties involved can benefit.
Another great way to grow a channel is through link-building on websites that are visited by your potential audience. While sharing in forums and blogs might project the channel at spammy, it is a great avenue to connect with like-minded fans and audiences. It is important to curate these marketing strategies to get maximum impact without driving away users.
8. Beating the competition
When it comes to audiences’ attention span, multiple YouTube channels are vying for limited space. The modern YouTube user needs immediate engagement and will defer to other competing channels should their needs not be met.
Constantly evaluating the competition, both quantitatively and qualitatively, is imperative to stay on top of the game. Be more regular, more concise, more engaging, and more entertaining than other channels in the space and you will notice a surge in YouTube subscribers. By taking care of the ‘scientific’ aspects of a video (keywords, tags, etc.), you can become the go-to channel to consistently give the audience what they are looking for on YouTube.
Figuring out the right way to attract users and subscribers takes time and patience. It is much better than paying to buy subscribers who aren’t adding any value to your presence. Give your channel the attention it deserves and follow the steps mentioned in this blog to make your channel primed for success.
Get our Ultimate Guide To Becoming A YouTube Content Creator, to learn more. If you’ve got any influencer marketing-related questions, we are happy to help you.
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