These days, growing as a YouTuber takes more than creating good content. After all, 720,000 hours of video is uploaded everyday to the platform – meaning if you want to actually get noticed on YouTube, you have to make yourself discoverable. And with discoverability comes learning how to promote your YouTube channel.
So, how do you go about promoting your channel so that you don’t get buried in the competition? Here are some key tips to help you get started:
Before you begin marketing your channel, you first want to think of yourself not as just a YouTube channel or a YouTuber, but as a brand.
You are a brand that is helping to solve a problem for your viewers. If you really want to grow your channel, you need to be creating content with value that answers people’s needs.
Before even starting a marketing strategy, first take the time to position yourself, and get clear on what it is that you have to offer, and who exactly you are trying to reach. This way, once you start to think about how to promote your YouTube channel, you can build a strategy that will reach the right people and actually see results. Start by ask yourself some basic, beginner questions:
Create personas for your ideal audience member, and sort out all of the specifics of your brand before you take on promoting your channel. By doing research on your target audience, and finding out where they are and what they look for – you’ll be able to reach them much easier.
Once you’ve sorted out your mission and brand, now it’s time to think about how to promote your YouTube channel effectively.
Now, this first tip might be a no-brainer – obviously social media is the place to promote your brand. After all, YouTube is a social platform. But there are some best practices to keep in mind, and specific types of platforms that might work better than others to market your channel.
You first want to make sure you are creating marketing content that fits social media’s standards: mobile friendly and easy to digest. Especially when it comes to ads, people don’t stick around very long to watch. So, try and find natural ways of promoting your YouTube channel by casually sharing behind-the-scenes footage – show yourself filming, your processes, and what you are up to on the daily.
It doesn’t always have to be a direct promotional post saying “go check out my YouTube channel”. Building relationships is what social media is all about – and it’s the best way to get people to connect with you, and keep up with your content.
You can also use other social media platforms to share your YouTube content in smaller bites to help promote your YouTube content.
So, what is the best social media platform to promote your videos? While that depends on your audience, there are some top platforms that you should be present on to help you get the word out there about your brand:
Reels allows you to post one-minute TikTok-styled videos, and you can get thousands of views within hours – even with a small following. By creating Reels consistently, sharing snippets of your YouTube videos, and creating what content Instagram prioritizes, this can be a great tool to help you get discovered, and lead people back to your channel.
These are places where demand is high for good content, and supply is still relatively low. And that’s why it’s so beneficial to use these platforms, if you want to promote YouTube videos. People are looking for good content in these places, and using that to your advantage is a key way in getting people to notice you and your channel.
After all, YouTube is so saturated with content, that your chances of getting noticed without using other social platforms to share your work are slim.
Even if you don’t see results right away, building up a presence and being consistent is going to help you in the long run of building your channel.
SEO is the best way to get your content viewed, and get your YouTube channel found by potential subscribers.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. When people search for something on Google or YouTube, you want your content to be given to them. And there are some key best practices you have to keep in mind if you want this to happen.
Optimizing your content for search engines is a method of completely free promotion – aside from the time you put into it. And when it comes to optimizing your videos, you want to make sure you are optimizing both for YouTube’s search engine, as well as Google’s search engine.
You will want to begin by finding keywords, and creating content around those topics, using these words in your videos. Keywords are simply phrases or terms that people often search for – so if you create content that include these keywords, you are more likely to pop up in someone’s search results, and get discovered.
When optimizing your YouTube videos for SEO, there are many different factors to consider in terms of keywords and organizing your information so it’s discoverable by the algorithm. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
When you write your YouTube video descriptions, include the most important information and encourage your viewers to engage with you further within the first 100 words. Why? Because that’s the word-limit that’s displayed before the user has to click “read more”.
So, include your keywords and answers to your user’s questions right at the top. Use different keywords, and keyphrases of various lengths and formats – some being simple statements such as: “Making risotto”, and some in the form of questions like: “how do you make risotto?”.
Varying up the types of keywords you use will better your chances of YouTube seeing your content, and suggesting it in the sidebar to viewers who are watching other videos with similar topics.
Something that is often forgotten by most creators, is that you should also be using keywords in the file name of your video before you even upload it to YouTube. The internet reads in text. So, including your keywords in the file name, or “metadata”, of your video is another way for your video to get seen by the algorithm, and get recommended when people search for those keywords.
And don’t worry – nobody even sees the file name of your video! It’s a good way to secretly get your video ranking without outwardly looking too salesy, desperate or repetitive while promoting your YouTube videos.
You also should focus on optimizing your channel, both visually and with keywords. In your channel description and “about me” section, include keywords to help your channel get recognized by the algorithm, and hook your users when they land on your page.
If you have common topics you cover, a narrow niche, target audience and a solution that is often searched for, use keywords that convey this. Establish your mission, tell people and the algorithm what your channel has to offer – although, it’s important not to overdo it. Using a keyword 2 times should be enough.
Organize your channel into playlists, design an attractive banner and create a trailer to help promote your channel. Whenever people land on your YouTube profile, it’s the same thing as when people come across a poster – if it resonates with them, then they’re going to look into it further.
You want to promote your personality, and what you have to offer right away to help draw people in to engage with you further. Otherwise, any outside marketing efforts are going to end the minute they see your channel.
The same principle applies when you’re creating thumbnails for your video: make sure to upload custom thumbnails that demonstrate your brand and that clearly show what your video is about. The more relevant and eye-catching your thumbnails, the more people will click on them, and the more the algorithm will see value in your content, and recommend it to more people.
YouTube’s feature of adding in “cards” is also a great way to help promote your channel. You can use cards in the middle of your video that link to other content you’ve made, or use the “end card” feature to show recent videos, prompt people to subscribe and encourage viewers to stay on your channel. Especially if you are a beginner creator, you will need to be your own best advocate and encourage people to keep engaging directly on your channel.
Whenever you upload a video, make sure to include a category under the “advanced settings” tab to help you group this video with others like it. Also include relevant tags that tell what your video is about. This helps tell the viewer what your video is covering, but it’s also telling YouTube. That is how they will start associating your videos with other ones like it, and suggesting it to users. But it’s key to make sure that you only use relevant tags that match your content.
Adding closed captions onto your YouTube video can help highlight keywords spoken in your video, making it more discoverable, and ultimately – making your videos more accessible. The more accessible your channel is, the more people can watch, and the more your video will be promoted organically by YouTube.
Google can be your best friend when it comes to YouTube promotion. Ever notice how whenever you Google how to do something, YouTube videos are often the first things to pop up?
Ranking on the first page of Google search results is the key way to getting noticed and getting free promotion. While everything you do to optimize for YouTube already helps, there are a couple extra things you can do to make sure you’re as optimized for Google as possible:
Similar to YouTube, if you have good content and you are solving a problem that people find valuable – you will be ranked higher by Google. After all, Google’s ultimate mission is to serve the user.
However, there are certain phrases and topics that are highly searched for, but that will only generate articles and blog posts – because that is what will best answer the user. Meanwhile, other topics you search for, are more suitably answered in videos, so Google will rank them first. This means you want to make sure that you are creating videos around topics that have potential to actually rank.
Research what phrases and angles of a topic generate video search results on Google, before you commit to making the video. This way, you won’t be making content that has no hope of ranking above informative articles.
When you make a video, try and script them first to include your keywords. It seems that YouTube and Google can actually listen to your videos – that’s how they generate those automatic captions. So, speaking your keywords will allow even more opportunity for YouTube to see what your content is about – not to mention, doing this will also inform the viewer that if they watch until the end, this problem of theirs will be solved.
By scripting your videos and structuring them, it also allows you to add timestamps with titles that include your key phrases. Adding more timestamps in your videos, and even including a breakdown of those timestamps in the description box below, gives you more potential to get seen by YouTube, and recommended to users.
If you have a bit of money to invest in your YouTube promotion strategy and have the resources to make some captivating ads for your videos, try using Google ads. Google ads will actually appear right on YouTube at the beginning of videos, and are very easily targeted towards the audience you want to reach.
You can actually customize your ideal customer beforehand, so your videos will be played for those people as they go to watch other videos on YouTube.
If you want to know how to promote your YouTube channel and see results– you have to learn how to talk to people about it. Get on Facebook groups and engage with other creators. Go to networking events and find people with similar interests to you who might like your channel, or who you might be able to collaborate with in the future.
Collaborations with other creators can be a great tool in helping promote YouTube videos – for both of you! The more you can collaborate with other well-known people in your field, the more your presence and credibility will grow. When you collaborate with other creators who have audiences that trust them, this gives much more incentive for their followers to trust you, and invest in you. Building loyalty by word of mouth is key.
Engagement is key when it comes to promotion. Every time you talk with someone in person, comment, like, share or tag them on social media – you are putting yourself out there and making an impression.
The more you are active and engaging with the community you are trying to help, the more likely these people are to visit your profile, see your channel and watch your videos. And while engaging with your own viewers and fans is important, you equally have to focus on engaging with the other creators in your field, and people you want to work with. Make yourself known in your niche and make yourself seen.
While you can reference your YouTube channel through Q&A’s, Instagram Lives or even guide people in the comments to watch your other videos, the simple act of casually engaging, showing people you care and giving your viewers something in return for spending their time on you, is one of the most valuable pieces of promotion – even if it might not feel like it.
When you decide on how to promote your YouTube channel, regardless of your platforms or strategy – make sure that you stay consistent. Always have a consistent voice, brand and keep your content aligned with your values so you can build loyalty with your viewers. This type of consistency makes you seem more credible, and it keeps you relevant in the industry. But most importantly: the algorithm favors consistency.
When you upload regularly, consistently provide value to your users and have people regularly watching your videos – the more YouTube will show your videos on people’s homepage, and the easier your channel will grow.
When it comes to promoting your YouTube channel, make sure that your videos are unique to you, and that you give a perspective that people can’t get anywhere else. Make your ads seamlessly tie in with your brand, and make sure that you carve a space for yourself in the industry using your unique voice – this is what will help you stand out from all the competition, and help you get more views.