Ever wondered how some people become YouTube sensations while others have numbers as skimpy as a Brazilian bikini? If you want to get more YouTube subscribers, there’s a simple secret to follow: when it comes to YouTube, the more you give, the more you get.
Put on a Show
Great content and interesting topics are the absolute baseline for getting more YouTube subscribers. Ideally, you have to have an element of showmanship (or showwomanship) to keep people coming back for more. Entertainment is part of the game, so if you need to enroll in a class like Stand Up Comedy, do it. At a bare minimum, your public speaking skills should be top notch and a funny edge never hurts. You need to do something to separate yourself from the pack. Look at what the most successful people in your genre are doing, then do it better in a way that only YOU can. That’s obviously easier to do if you’ve chosen to present stuff for which you have a natural affinity.
Don’t forget that your audience was reared on sophisticated television and movie broadcasting—your work needs to have a similar hook at the beginning to draw people in. Generally speaking, you want to solve a problem for your viewer whether that’s learning how to cook a chicken, how to get to the next level on Plants vs. Zombies or just preventing them from being bored. Once you’ve got them hooked, keep the action up like John Grisham until you end with a call to action. Subscribe, link, share or die!
Tag. You’re it.
Of course, great content and interesting topics can’t be found if a video is titled or tagged improperly. Using relevant tags is critical for attracting and keeping your intended audience. Check out the tags in the most popular broadcasts in your genre to see if yours are phrased properly and hitting on the keywords your potential viewers are using in their searches. Hitting the right keywords is especially important for the title of your videos. If your titles are lackluster, the response will be too. If your topic is baking bread, give your title a unique qualifier that will set it apart like: “Detox Bread for Colon Cleansing.” Only you can determine if the qualifier for your bread should be more like Homemade, Gourmet, Artisan, Fermented, Healthy or Low-Calorie-Gluten-Free-But-Still-Marginally-Edible. When it comes to getting more YouTube subscribers, the words in your title are a vitally important choice to attract the right customers to your content. If you struggle with choosing between ‘bowel irrigation’, ‘colonics’ and ‘enemas’, get into this course on Web Copywriting.
If you want more YouTube subscribers, you first have to keep your current ones with consistent updates worth talking about. It’s important to keep to a routine. If your followers expect a new post every week, it does little good to post three new items in a day and then go silent while you hit the beach for three weeks. Stick to a regular schedule as much as possible. And because your content has to speak for itself, always, you do yourself a real disservice if you post mediocre content amidst your stellar stuff. Set the bar high and keep it there. Stick to a script if you have to, or edit out your ‘ums’ like a pro. Only then will your subscribers post your channel on their own social media pages and blogs. Word of mouth (or word of click really) is still one of the best ways to market your business, because people trust people with whom they already have relationships. And one more thing, it doesn’t usually help to be a jack-of-all-trades. Focus on the one thing you do, and do it well. That will get you tons more YouTube subscribers than if you do a mediocre job of trying to be everything to everyone.
You’re Asking for It
You know that quote, “Ask and you shall receive?” That doesn’t just work for toenail fungus; it also works for subscribers. Sometimes consumers just need a little nudge and some hand-holding to do what you want them to. So, ask them to subscribe. Tell them why it’s beneficial and show them how to do it. Place the occasional annotation in your video that points to the ‘Subscribe’ button with a marketing message that compels them to push it. Obviously if you’re too heavy handed with annotations it can be annoying, so check yourself before you wreck yourself. It’s also not a bad idea to embed a click-to-action subscription button inside your video like a flashing neon beacon of subscription-awesomeness. Ok, that may be a tad over the top, but honestly anything you can do to make it obvious and advantageous for your viewer to subscribe will add viewers to your roster. Casual viewers and YouTube neophytes need your calm reassurance that subscribing is not going to bring a plague of virus-laden spam upon them. They might be subscribers virgins and a little unsure of themselves. Guide them gently with your web-tech prowess by showing them how easy it is to click a button. And if you want a little hand-holding on how to maximize your YouTube presence check out How to be a YouTube Rockstar or just get some more detailed tips on how to up your views.
If you’ve already got some blog mojo working for you, it’s a good idea to use it to drive traffic to your YouTube channel. The YouTube Subscription Widget makes it simple for people who want to follow you to do just that. Just make sure your blog is in the best shape possible by tapping into some of these blog writing resources first. New functionality from YouTube also allows you to add click-to-action buttons even when your video is embedded in your blog or an email. Take advantage of these features by making sure everything you disseminate has a subscription button for your channel. Next to your subscription button should be ‘share’ and ‘like’ links, so your audience can do the work for you. It goes without saying that if you want more YouTube subscribers, you should already be posting your YouTube content on your other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not, hop to it.
Tit for Tat and All That
Tap into the power of reciprocity by adding additional ‘Featured Channels’ to your channel. When you link to similar relevant content, you not only establish yourself as a decent filter for your audience, you engender good will from the people you feature. If those other content producers don’t notice the superb awesomeness of that gesture, just ask them to feature your stuff. The same goes for commenting and reviewing other people’s work. If you’re a jerk about it, chances are you won’t get much in return. But by being an active participant in the YouTube community, more and more users and producers start to recognize you and your style. That can only be good for business when visibility is the name of the game.
Pay Them Off
Some YouTubers have had real success by offering incentives to join their subscriber list. If you have 1000 viewers and you want 1500, advertise that fact by offering some sort of giveaway to your 1500th subscriber. It can be as grand as you can afford, or as simple as a video of you doing the happy dance with a shaved head. If you want to improve your already rad dance moves, nobody’s stopping you.
In short, YouTube is like everything else in life. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. So if you want more subscribers, lean in baby! Lean in!