Did you know that YouTube currently has 2.6 billion active users a month and is projected to grow to almost 3 billion active users by 2025?
Just as mind-blowing, there are 144 million YouTube channels out there.
So, you’re probably wondering how to stand out in a sea of channels and grow your YouTube channel to drive traffic to your
To help marketers and business owners answer this question, here’s what you need to know to grow your YouTube channel.
1. Optimize your YouTube channel profile.
To optimize your channel for growth, start with a clear and engaging profile. Your YouTube profile should include information that is relevant to your audience.
For example, let’s look at the anime-themed YouTube channel, Mother’s Basement, ran by content creator Geoff Thew.
The profile for Mother’s Basement includes an interesting cover photo nad a detailed description of the kind of content Thew creates.
The cover photo includes how often videos are posted (every Saturday), Thew’s role (anime and manga analyst), and links to his social media.
The description of the channel has similar information and a peak into the origins of the channel and who the host is.
In short, your YouTube channel’s profile should include:
Links to your business website and social media
How often can viewers expect content
The topic, purpose, and “why” of your channel
A high quality profile picture and cover photo
2. Use relevant keywords.
Keywords are crucial to ensure your channel appears at the top of YouTube and Google search results. Be sure to include keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and hashtags.
There are several ways to find the right keywords for your videos.
One way is to navigate to YouTube’s search bar and type the topic you want for your video. The search bar will automatically show the most searched terms associated with it.
You can also use TubeBuddy, an extension for YouTube creators with multiple helpful features — including keyword search.
3. Create playlists.
Grouping your videos into playlists boosts the likelihood of viewers staying on your channel and watching more videos.
The more videos they watch, the more engaged they’ll be, and the more likely they will subscribe and boost your channel.
For example, beauty membership brand Ipsy groups the videos on its channel by topic and series. All of its Halloween tutorial are in one playlist as are its YouTube shorts and series videos.
4. Create quality YouTube content.
All the strategies, playlists, and keywords in the world can’t make up for lackluster content. The most crucial key to growing your channel is providing viewers with high-quality content.
Make sure your audio is clear by investing in a good-quality mic. Few things make viewers click away from a video faster than subpar audio.
You also need to factor in lighting. You don’t want to post a video that is dark and grainy if your goal is to grow your channel. Pro tip: Natural lighting can be your best friend.
If possible, film during the daytime and near a window with sufficient sunlight. If that’s not an option, invest in a ring light.
5. Include eye-catching thumbnails.
More than 700,000 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube a day — a lot of videos. To make your videos stand out and attract more subscribers, you’ll need a thumbnail that will capture attention.
There are no hard and fast rules to a YouTube thumbnail, but some best practices are:
Include text for context so viewers know what your video is about.
Use relevant imagery.
Include an image of a face and make eye contact with the viewer.
Use large, bold fonts.
Below is an example of an excellent thumbnail.
6. Use chapters in your videos.
Whether a video has chapters is considered when YouTube ranks videos in search results, and videos with chapters are more SEO-friendly and likely to rank higher.
Moreover, chapters make it easier for viewers to navigate your video to find the information they are looking for.
To learn how to add chapters to your videos, click here.
7. Make YouTube Shorts.
If you’re not sure what YouTube Shorts are, they are short-form videos (like Reels or TikToks) that are posted to the platform.
According to Google’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler, YouTube Shorts “number one” area of focus for “YouTube’s long-term growth.”
For creators, this means the platform will likely prioritize the visibility of shorts on its platform, creating more opportunities to boost viewership and subscribers.
If the idea of creating more short-form content seems daunting, don’t worry! One of the easiest ways to get more Shorts on your channel is to repurpose content.
You know that Instagram Reel you posted that got a lot of views? Give it a second life and a fresh audience by uploading it as a Short on YouTube!
8. Promote your channel and content on social media.
When I was a journalist, my editor at the time told me, “If it’s not on social media, then it doesn’t exist.” He referred to stories and articles, but the same goes for videos.
If your videos aren’t posted anywhere on social media, you’re losing out on an opportunity for more people to find your page.
As soon as your video goes live, post the link on your brand’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms. When promoting your content, make sure to encourage your followers to watch, like, and subscribe.
9. Include end screens.
End screens direct viewers to take action after a video and are placed in the last 5 to 20 seconds of the video. An end screen can include:
Links to a playlist on the channel
Links to your business’ website
With an end screen in every video, you can steer viewers toward more of your YouTube content, which will improve your viewership and boost subscribers.
To learn how to make an end screen, click here.
10. Track your analytics.
Of course, a major key to creating content that boosts subscribers is to know who your audience is and what they want. The best way to do this is to track your analytics.
With YouTube Analytics, you can see where your audience is from, what videos they view the most, watch time, demographics, and more. You can then use that data to create content that will keep them engaged and urge them to subscribe.
11. Post consistently
Your audience wants to know they can depend on your channel to consistently have fresh content. Whether you post every Saturday or every Wednesday, you need to have a consistent schedule if you want to foster growth.
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are the most popular days to post and view YouTube videos.
In our most recent State of Social Media Survey, the majority of marketers (22%) said the best time to post on YouTube is between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
However, the best day and time to post content can vary depending on the audience. So, track your channel analytics to see when your audience interacts the most.
For example, you might notice that your videos get the most views and yield the most subscribers when posted on Tuesdays at noon.
Growing your YouTube channel to boost revenue for your business can be daunting because it means your channel will have to stand out against a sea of millions of YouTube platforms.
However, if you use the best practices listed above, you’ll be able to find your audience and grow your YouTube channel to reach your goals.
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