In the last 365 days, we’ve garnered over 2.6 million views, and more than 63,000 subscribers.
As you can see from the percentages, we’re growing year over year.
At the time this is being written, we’re currently gaining about 5,000 subscribers a month.
So, we’re sharing the same exact 18 steps we took that you can follow too.
Let’s jump right in!
18 Steps On How To Grow Your YouTube Channel
1. Determine Who Your Channel Is For
You need to have a thorough understanding of who your target audience is/the age group if you want your YouTube to grow.
If you don’t know who your target market is, then who are you making videos for?
A common mistake a lot of small business content creators make with this video-sharing platform is they make videos for themselves. You want your videos to be oriented around your customers.
Before making your first video, you’ll want to start by nailing down exactly who your target market is and how your channel helps them.
2. Figure Out What They Search on YouTube
Once you’ve identified your target customer, it’s time to figure out what they type in the search bar on YouTube.
In the content marketing world, this process is called keyword research.
When your potential customers type and search a keyword on YouTube that’s relevant to the product or service you offer, you want to appear for that search query.
For instance, when someone types in “how to increase Facebook engagement,” our video is the first to appear, and that’s what leads them to discover new brands like ours and subscribe to our channel.
In fact, YouTube Search fuels over 40% of our channel traffic.
Now, before we get into how we get our videos to rank in the search results for relevant keywords like that, you first need to know which keywords your target audience is searching.
So, how do you perform YouTube keyword research? We have an entire blog on it there for you to check out to answer that question.
3. Optimize Each Video for a Relevant Keyword
Once you’ve created your list of relevant keywords that you want to rank for, you’ll need to create videos centered around those keywords.
This means each video needs to have 4 things:
- A title with the keyword in it
- A description with the keyword throughout
- Tags with your main keyword and any other relevant keywords
- You verbally saying the keyword in your video
Optimizing your videos for a keyword means including it everywhere.
This tells both YouTube and viewers that the video is about that keyword, and it’s also partially what helps you rank.
Just be careful to avoid keyword stuffing.
You still want your title and description to be attention-grabbing…
…and you don’t want to add the main keyword anywhere that it doesn’t make sense just for the sake of getting the keyword in there.
You will, however, want to make sure it’s sprinkled all throughout your video page for better exposure.
4. Create Aesthetically Pleasing Thumbnails
You’ll also want to create strategic thumbnails for each of your videos.
They should both look great as well as function properly. What do we mean by this?
It means they should grab the viewer’s attention while telling them exactly what they can expect to see or learn in this video.
A pro tip is to include your text to the left or in the middle of your thumbnail, as text on the right gets covered by buttons in certain windows.
Make sure you’re including your main keyword in your thumbnail as well.
5. Optimize Your Channel
In addition to optimizing individual videos for relevant keywords, you’ll also want to optimize your channel for relevant keywords.
This includes your channel about section…
and your channel keywords.
Include keywords your audience searches for that are relevant to the topics of your videos.
This helps your channel get discovered for a range of relevant keywords.
You can also have a different video appear on your homepage for subscribers than what appears for non-subscribers…
…which is something you can set up Customization > Layout > Video Spotlight.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your profile name and picture are of your business and logo.
And that your banner speaks directly to your audience’s goals or pain points with a CTA to subscribe.
These things can help prepare your channel to be ready to receive new and returning channel visitors alike and convert them into subscribers.
6. Look at Your Competitor’s Channel
While identifying your target audience can help you think of content ideas, observing what your rivals are publishing will give you topic ideas as well.
Take note of their viewed videos that have the most likes and comments. Those can be used to determine which topics are connecting the most with your shared target market.
From there, you’ll want to use the skyscraper video marketing strategy in your videos.
The skyscraper strategy, in brief, entails locating the best piece of information currently available on a specific topic…
…and then creating your own material that is longer and better than theirs.
In other words, you want your YouTube video to deliver all the value that your competition does and more.
This means that your videos will often be longer than your competitors’ videos and that’s a good thing because YouTube wants to keep monthly active users on its site daily for as long as possible.
If your videos are helping them achieve that goal, then you’re giving your audience a better browsing experience and you’ve got YouTube on your side.
If you’re a small business owner, you may be thinking, “My competitors don’t have YouTube channels!”
If that’s the case, you can still perform competitor research without looking at direct competitors. You just need to find channels that share the same target audience as you.
7. Post Regularly
When figuring out how to grow your YouTube Channel, one of the easiest things you can do is post regularly.
This doesn’t mean you have to post on YouTube every day, it just means you need to post consistently. Be it three prime times a week, once a week, biweekly, or what have you.
If your followers can expect to watch content from you regularly, they’re more likely to subscribe and stay subscribed.
Our channel banner tells our internet users/visitors they can expect new videos from us every week!
8. Post When Your Audience is Online
Once you start acquiring subscribers, your YouTube Studio Analytics will tell you exactly when they’re online every day.
Not just online in general, but specifically on YouTube.
Go to your YouTube Studio Analytics and click Audience. Then scroll to the section, “When your viewers are on YouTube.”
You’ll see a chart that indicates when most of your viewers are on YouTube, and this will guide you in terms of when to publish your videos.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a long-term solution.
The keyword word research and YouTube SEO you’re performing are what keep your videos acquiring views long after they’ve been published.
Publishing when your viewers are online, however, certainly doesn’t hurt. You’d rather put your content in front of them when they’re on the popular platform than when they’re asleep, right?
Posting when your audience is online helps encourage immediate watch time and engagement.
9. Make Playlists to Encourage Binge Watching
After you’ve uploaded a few videos to your channel, you should categorize them into playlists.
This is to further help with YouTube SEO and your watch time.
Think about your viewers and what they would like to see. If they clicked on a certain video, what other videos on your channel would they likely be interested in?
Putting like videos into a playlist will help keep viewers on your channel to watch more and more.
We organize our videos by different marketing topics and platforms such as:
- YouTube Marketing,
- Facebook and Instagram Reels,
- B2B Marketing,
- Digital Marketing for Beginners,
…etc. Plus, organizing your videos into playlists also tells YouTube what your channel is about and helps you rank for relevant keywords.
Just make sure you’re including those keywords in each of your playlist’s descriptions.
10. Post Community Polls
Polls are a great way to keep your subscribers engaged (and subscribed) in between videos.
We post polls every week on our channel because they engage our viewers while simultaneously pointing people to watch our new videos.
When creating polls, be sure to keep the questions straightforward and easy to answer.
11. Go Live
Going live on YouTube means people watch whatever you’re filming in real-time and they can comment in real-time.
Customers love brands that are authentic, and it doesn’t get much more authentic than going live in an unedited, unfiltered video.
A lot of business owners hesitate to go live because it can be intimidating, so if you need help getting started with live streaming, check out that blog.
12. Premiere Your Videos
Premiering a YouTube video means there’s a live countdown to the release of your video where you and your viewers can watch together in real-time.
It’s similar to live streaming in that viewers can comment and you can respond in real-time like a chat session.
The difference is instead of you being in front of the camera in real-time, you’re watching a pre-recorded, pre-edited video.
When you set a video to premiere, viewers can set reminders so they get notified when the video is premiering, thus encouraging more views.
13. Monitor and Respond to Comments
Next on our list of how to grow your YouTube channel is by responding to comments. This method can lower your bounce rate.
The more your YouTube channel grows, the more engagement you’ll receive.
Some of our videos have hundreds of thousands of views, and with those views comes a fairly equal amount of comments.
You’ll want to make sure you’re staying on top of these comments and responding to them.
Whether it’s a question or a statement of opinion, you’ll want to reply back with added value.
Of course not every comment is legitimate; a lot of YouTube comments are spam. Those are not necessarily the ones you need to respond to.
But you will want to respond to real subscribers and comments in a timely manner every single day.
A pro tip is to respond back with a question to keep the conversation going!
14. Strategically Title Your Timestamps
Adding timestamps helps give your viewers a snapshot of what they can expect to see in your video, and it also gives your video the opportunity to rank on Google, not just on YouTube.
When you type in “Facebook engagement video” on Google, we get an entire video featured snippet as the first result on Google! That’s a big deal!
Filling both your title and timestamps with relevant keywords will better your chances of ranking on Google when those keywords are searched.
This sends traffic to your channel from the biggest search engine in the world.
15. Monetize Your Channel
Monetizing your channel means you get to make money for posting videos and allowing YouTube ads to be played before, during, or after them. This is also known as YouTube ad revenue.
Rest assured that if you’re making money from ads, YouTube is as well. Our guess is that monetized videos get a little more of an organic push from YouTube as a result.
Plus, you have to have a certain total number of subscribers and watch time hours to even begin monetizing…
…which means you’ll be in a good starting place to snowball your numbers from there.
If you want to learn how to monetize on YouTube step by step, check out that blog.
16. Tell People to Like, Subscribe, and Ring Notification Bell
You’ll want to verbally and visually give people the call to action to like your video, subscribe to your channel, and ring the notification bell so they don’t miss any of your videos.
You’ll want to do this early on in your video as many viewers don’t watch to the very end.
We give this CTA at the beginning of all of our videos.
As you’re learning how to grow your YouTube channel, you’ll find that a large percentage of returning viewers don’t subscribe until they’ve been reminded or asked to more than once.
Giving people this CTA is an easy thing to add to your videos that help grow your channel.
17. Cross Promote from Your Other Channels
If you already have an existing following on other channels, be it Instagram, your website traffic, LinkedIn, etc., cross-promote your YouTube channel!
Make sure all of your followers everywhere know that you’re making YouTube videos and give them the call to action to subscribe!
Embed your YouTube videos on your blog or a link to them in your weekly email newsletters.
Link to your channel from your Instagram Story. There are tons of ways you can cross-promote your channel.
Doing so will ensure you’re maximizing the value of your existing followers.
18. Pay Attention to Your Analytics
When learning how to grow your YouTube channel, you’ll need to get familiar with YouTube analytics.
Analytics will show you which videos are performing best or worst and why. Where are your viewers falling off? What’s your average view duration?
How many of your viewers are subscribed vs not? Which thumbnails are getting a higher CTR?
Paying attention to this data and more will help you make informed decisions about your YouTube channel.
Making informed decisions, as opposed to just flying blindly, will help you learn how to grow your YouTube channel quickly and efficiently.
And if you need help with any of the steps mentioned above, be sure to check out our YouTube promotion services today!