You’ve watched all kinds of different YouTubers blow up overnight, from Jenna Marbles to Jake Paul. However, what most successful channels have in common isn’t one mega-viral video. Most creators with large followings have built their subscriber bases from the ground up. They concentrate on growing the communities around their channels rather than trying to “make it big” with a single crazy video.
Here are five smart ways that you can gain more subscribers of your own.
1. Remind new viewers to hit subscribe.
It’s rare nowadays to watch a YouTube video without hearing the vlogger say, “Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!” However, no matter how repetitive it may seem, this little reminder can be surprisingly helpful.
Think of it this way. Many viewers start on one video and then move organically through the suggested videos that pop up on the side. As they keep watching more, they may just not think to scroll down a bit and subscribe to the new channel that they’ve found. Reminding your viewers to hit subscribe could mean the difference between a casual viewer and a brand new fan.
Gaming buddies Dan and Phil end every video by reminding viewers to subscribe to both their collab channel and their personal channels with a snazzy end card.
2. Transcribe your own videos.
A transcription is basically the script of your video. Not only does uploading your own video transcriptions make your content more accessible, it also gives Google and YouTube another place to search for keywords and other elements that increase your video’s SEO.
To transcribe your video, all you have to do is listen to the audio and type out what you said on camera. Then, you can upload it alongside your video so that your viewers can have captions. If you’re multilingual, you can upload transcriptions in other languages as well or encourage subscribers to submit translations.
This tutorial will show you exactly how to upload your video transcriptions.
3. Keep your videos short and binge-able.
Thanks to the rise of Netflix and Hulu, many people are willing to spend hours marathoning their favorite shows and movies. YouTube viewers often binge watch videos in the same way. One view on one video can easily turn into five or ten per person.
In order to attract potential viewers to your videos in the first place, keep the videos short. It’s sort of like why you may be more apt to binge-watch a new TV series than a bunch of movies. Whereas one movie seems long enough, an entire season of twenty-minute episodes goes by in the blink of an eye. Videos between three and eight minutes are ideal because they’re long enough to sustain a view but not so long that one video takes up all of a viewer’s free time.
The most binge-worthy videos are also related to one another, again like episodes in a TV series. Many vloggers, such as Lisbug, organize their related videos into playlists that they link in the descriptions of each new episode.
4. Create an awesome channel trailer.
Trailers aren’t just for blockbuster movies anymore. Lately, there are trailers for new TV shows, books, and even music videos. Many YouTubers create channel trailers of their own, too.
A channel trailer should give potential subscribers a good idea of what your content is all about. Compile interesting clips with voiceover and a short introduction. You can be as serious or as silly as you’d like. However, be sure that your channel trailer appeals to your target audience. An action film-style trailer may not be the best fit for a beauty channel, nor would a musical montage be likely to appeal to a gaming channel’s audience.
Ryan Higa put his own spin on the idea of a channel trailer a few years ago. He shared both the history of his channel and his special sense of humor with new subscribers.
5. Upload videos regularly and often.
You may have heard your favorite vlogger apologize for infrequent uploads one too many times. While taking a break may not hurt creators who already have millions of subscribers, neglecting your upload schedule can be a serious setback for a channel that’s still focused on growth.
How many times have you seen the same creators on the YouTube trending page? Jacksfilms, for example, seems to climb to the top of the chart at least once a week. By uploading as often as he does, he’s built up an expectant audience who have added his videos into their daily schedules.
In order to build up your own base of dedicated subscribers, you have to be dedicated to them. Make YouTube a top priority in your schedule. You should be putting out a new video at least once a week, if not more. Put your upload schedule in your channel description and stick to it. Both your viewers and your growing channel will thank you.
Growing a community of dedicated subscribers is way more rewarding than making one viral video. Whereas fifteen minutes of internet fame will pass, loyal subscribers are likely to stick around your channel for the long haul. Focus on creating content that your particular subscribers love, and you’ll surely find a community of people on the internet who enjoy the same things.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.