More tips to help you get views and grow your YouTube channel
Last week, we wrote an article giving you 25 tips to help you get more views on your YouTube videos.
It focused mostly on video Search Engine Optimization strategies that will help your videos rank higher in the search results and get suggested more often.
Most of the tips in our previous piece are things that you can easily do from the video upload screen in order to give your videos an edge and help them get noticed. If you haven’t read it yet, we suggest that you do so by following this link.
Today, we’re going to focus on another kind of advice: these are going to be tips that you need to take into account when planning out your videos or developing your channel’s content strategy.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started with the first tip:
1. Find your niche and stick to it
If you’re a video marketer trying to promote a business, you probably already know what your niche is and aren’t going to stray too far from it (since it would make it impossible to promote your product).
For individual content creators trying to grow their channel, however, it can seem tempting to make videos on multiple topics. After all, dipping your toes into multiple ponds sounds like a good way to attract a diverse audience and figure out what works.
The truth, however, is that once you start getting your first subscribers, making videos on all kinds of random topics is going to drive away your audience.
If someone subscribed to your YouTube channel because of your great DIY tutorials, they’re not likely to enjoy watching you try out the latest Battle Royale game. If they enjoyed hearing your review of a brand new car, that doesn’t mean they care what you (or anyone else, for that matter) have to say about movies.
Making videos on topics that are wildly different from one another is, at best, going to result in less engagement from your subscribers and, at worst, drive people to unsubscribe.
If you’re trying to achieve channel growth, it’s much better to pick a general theme and stick with it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to be super specific. For example, if most of your subscribers come from a Let’s Play video, that doesn’t mean you have to only play that game for the rest of your YouTube career.
You should still try to diversify your content and keep an eye on trends within the gaming sphere as long as you think your viewers would be interested in that.
Just don’t do anything so wildly different that your current subscribers aren’t going to take any interest in it.
2. Make sure to hook viewers in
Studies show that most people decide whether or not they’re going to watch a video in the first 15 seconds.
That’s why it’s important to make it immediately apparent what value your viewers are going to get from watching your clip, whether that’s learning something new or simply being entertained.
Consider the fact that half of all channels and videos on YouTube have a click-through rate (CTR) between 2% and 10%.
From the video title, to the thumbnail and even description, it takes a lot of work to get people to click on one of your videos.
Then, consider the fact that, in order to prevent artificial boosting of view numbers using bots, YouTube only counts clicks as views if the person watched more than 30 seconds of your clip.
That means that you not only have to convince people to watch your video, you also have to keep them there for at least half a minute or more. Starting your video off with a logo or a prolonged fancy animated title sequence is a sure fire way to get people to back out of the clip.
The better approach is to start your video off either by telling your viewers what they’re going to learn, or by showing them a quick preview of something exciting that’s going to happen later in your video.
This way, they can immediately see that your video is interesting and valuable to them, increasing the chances that they’ll stick around and watch it for longer.
And getting people to watch your video for longer is very important, not only because it increases your views count, but also because YouTube’s algorithm is much more likely to suggest and promote videos with a higher Audience Retention rate.
If you don’t know what the Audience Retention rate is, we highly suggest checking out our guide on the most important YouTube analytics.
3. Use pattern interrupts
If people start drifting off and getting bored while watching your video, they’re more likely to end up clicking on one of YouTube’s suggested videos and leave without finishing your video.
That’s why it’s important to use so-called ‘pattern interrupts’ to disrupt any monotony in your clips and keep viewers constantly engaged.
This is something that you need to keep in mind during editing, since it involves adding B-roll (so you can alternate between shots and make your videos more visually interesting), alternating camera angles and adding graphics and sound effects.
It can sound a little intimidating at first (and to be fair, it does involve a little more work than just having one shot with a voiceover), but YouTube is well past the days when you could get away with doing little to no editing to your clips.
Well produced videos are a must and with online video editing making it easy for anyone to cut, add B-roll and insert graphics, there’s no excuse for uploading monotonous, poorly edited clips.
In fact, if you’re looking to learn more about editing your clips, you can feel free to check out our YouTube channel and see how easy it is to find B-roll or edit multi-camera clips with Flixier.
4. Increase viewer engagement
When trying to determine whether or not a video is worth recommending to people, YouTube also takes into account something called “engagement signals”.
Engagement signals are actions that the user takes which indicate that they are invested in the content of your video.
Engagement signals encompass everything from comments, to likes, subscribes and even video embeds.
How do I get people to leave comments on my videos?
If you want your viewers to leave more comments on your clips, here are a few things you can do to encourage and increase engagement:
- Ask people to give their opinion or share their views on the topic that’s being presented.
- Try to reply to their comments within the first day or two of your video going live. This helps keep the discussion going and tells YouTube that people are invested in your clip.
- Add a pinned comment to the top of your video asking viewers to leave a comment.
- Moderate your comments section! Everyone gets spam comments, but smaller channels seem to get targeted a lot more often. Make sure to get rid of them as quickly as possible, since no one wants to participate in a spam-riddled comments section.
How do I get more likes and subscribers?
When it comes to getting likes and subscribers, things are a little different. The first thing you need to do is make sure to ask people to like and subscribe yourself. This serves as a great verbal call to action.
To complement that, you should also add a quick visual call to action, like an animation. It will not only serve as a non-intrusive pattern interrupt and increase engagement, it’s also much more likely to be seen since a lot of people tend to turn off videos before the outro (which is when most verbal calls to action take place).
If you don’t know how to add visual calls to action to your videos, don’t worry: Flixier offers plenty of free, ready-made animations and motion graphics that you can add to your clips with the click of a button.
Feel free to watch the video below to see how simple and fast the whole process of adding them to your clips really is:
The last metric, video embeds, is a little more tricky since it actually happens outside of YouTube itself.
The more your video gets embedded on other websites, the more YouTube sees it as a useful and engaging piece of content. Getting people to embed your video on their website is not as easy as adding a Call to Action to your clip, though.
You should start off by embedding your videos on your own website or blog, if you have one.
Then, you can try talking to other bloggers or website owners from the same field to see if they’re open to collaboration.
Having a high quality video embedded in your webpage can definitely be beneficial for the owner of the webpage as well, since it helps them rank higher in the google search results by increasing the time users spend on their page. If you think your video would be a good fit for someone’s article or blog post, consider sending them an e-mail to see if they’d be interested in embedding your video!
5. Take advantage of YouTube shorts
YouTube Shorts are a new feature that YouTube introduced fairly recently, in September of last year.
They are vertical videos of under 60 seconds that get promoted in a special section of the YouTube app.
In order to upload a YouTube short, all you need to do is make sure your video fits the right format (vertical 16:9 video that is 60 seconds or less) and upload it to YouTube with #shorts in the title and description.
After a while, YouTube will automatically detect that your video is a Short and start recommending it and promoting it in the special Shorts section.
While they’re not all guaranteed to be incredibly successful, a lot of smaller channels are reporting their shorts occasionally ‘blowing up’ on YouTube and bringing them unusually high numbers of views, as well as new subscribers.
If your content is in any way fit for the format, we highly recommend that you try them out yourself, even if you just repurpose some snippets from longer videos and post them as shorts.
Given the short duration, they shouldn’t take too long to create and they’re bound to bring some more people to your channel!
Thank you for reading this far! We love content creators and we always try to support and encourage people to create more, either through our software or by providing advice and knowledge with articles such as these.
We hope this piece helps on your journey to growing your YouTube channel. If you’re looking for other similar articles, feel free to check out the rest of our blog, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter so that you don’t miss out on any new guides!