I’ve been thinking about starting a YouTube channel for years but never had the time. Now that I’m intentionally downsizing my business to focus on my health, I’ve been seriously considering taking the plunge. But if I start a YouTube channel, I want to do it right. So I’ve been researching ways to grow a YouTube channel so I can hopefully gain subscribers instead of staying stagnant.
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. So it’s important for you to have a presence there whether you’re a content creator or a business. Here are some tips to help you build a successful channel so you can earn some ad revenue or improve your company’s bottom line.
Optimize Your Videos
Although it may not seem like it at first glance, YouTube is a search engine. So optimizing your videos with the right keywords can help them reach your target audience. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Semrush to find relevant search terms. Putting them in the title and description of your video might make it more visible on the platform and result in more views.
YouTube suggests keeping your video description under 200 words and including one or two main keywords in the first few sentences. You shouldn’t keyword stuff—make sure the description is useful and clues viewers into what the video is about. In addition to optimizing the title and description, you shouldn’t forget to include your keywords in the video’s file name and hashtags.
Create Standout Thumbnails
You can also get your video to rank higher by creating an eye-catching thumbnail. A standout thumbnail can increase your click-through rate by up to 154%, which will hopefully translate to more views, subscribers, and sales for your business.
The best thumbnails usually have a close-up of a person who’s displaying a clear emotion like joy, anger, sadness, or shock. We’re drawn to content that makes us feel something, so a lot of viral videos are emotion-driven with thumbnails to match.
It’s also important to create contrast in your image. Outlining people and objects can make them more visible on small screens and attract viewers. You should also use bright colors that will pop on the white YouTube background. Implementing these strategies will hopefully drive more traffic to your videos and get you those extra subscribers you want.
Videos with subtitles and closed captions may have an edge with the YouTube algorithm too. A recent study showed that videos with captions receive 40% more views than ones without. So it’s usually worth it to take the time to caption your videos. If you can’t do it yourself, you can outsource it to a transcription company like Rev.
Increase Your Engagement
Engagement rate is one of the most important metrics on YouTube. It’s a big factor in determining how well your video ranks because it measures how much viewers liked your video.
YouTube wants to promote content people enjoy watching. If lots of people are liking and commenting on your video, it’s pretty clear they got something out of it, so YouTube will share it with more users. Some simple ways to improve your engagement are to post consistently, encourage your viewers to like and share, and respond to comments to get a conversation going.
I also suggest thinking of creative ways to promote interaction with your viewers like doing giveaways. One of my favorite YouTube channels, Jamie and Sarah, flip furniture with great success. They make several hundred dollars in profit in nearly every video they make.
They just announced that they’re going to give away the profits from each video instead of keeping it for themselves. This essentially means they’re going to do a giveaway every single week. Instead of experiencing a single spike from a one-time giveaway, they’re going to get consistent interaction with their videos as viewers comment for a chance to win.
I think this is a brilliant idea that will not only help them grow their channel but also assist their viewers in reaching their own financial goals. It’s a total win-win in my book.
Do You Really Want To Decide On YouTube?
One question you should also ask yourself is, do you really want to invest in a YouTube channel? YouTube is owned by Google which is arguably a monopolistic monster. Google is a know censor of controversial viewpoints, so if your business is at all non-standard, you face having your channel arbitrarily closed or penalized. YouTube is also non-transparent in how much they pay their content creators. So you could potentially invest a great deal of good quality video on YouTube’s platform and have your monetization levels cut or changed due to a Google policy change. Lastly, there are many other alternatives to YouTube, such as TikTok, DailyMotion, or Vimeo which might be better platforms for getting your message out.
What are you going to do to grow your YouTube channel? Are giveaways going to be a part of your strategy? Let me know in the comments section below.
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.