YouTube has grown into a successful platform that hosts millions of videos from every niche imaginable.
If your brand is looking for ways to gain exposure online, then posting content on YouTube’s 2-billion user strong platform is highly recommended. Popular creator Parker Walbeck built a 7-figure film empire of the YouTube platform.
Most content creators that are new to the platform always ask the same question. “How to gain YouTube subscribers?”
This guide will answer that question with 9 powerful strategies that you can use today to gain YouTube subscribers and grow your brand online.
Let’s get started.
- How to Gain YouTube Subscribers
- 1. Produce Exceptional Content for YouTube
- 2. Create Thumbnails & Headlines That Stand Out
- 3. Be Consistent
- 4. Create Playlists with Binge-worthy Content
- 5. Create a Channel Trailer
- 6. Promote Your Videos on Your Website
- 7. Promote Your Videos on Social Media
- 8. Host a Giveaway
- 9. Research, Practice, Review, Rinse, Repeat
- Bonus: Expert Tips to Boost YouTube Subscribers
- Bonus: How To Use YouTube As A Marketing Channel
- Bonus: How Mitch Cohen Built Noah Kagan's YouTube Channel
- TL;DR: How to Gain YouTube Subscribers
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How to Gain YouTube Subscribers
YouTube is one of the largest global online platforms. With close to 2 billion users, YouTube provides its users with an excellent opportunity to grow their brand by uploading exceptional content.
As with any social network or media centric platform, only uploading content isn’t going to lead to more subscribers. You need a solid strategy that will help you to gain YouTube subscribers.
This guide has 9 effective strategies to help you gain YouTube subscribers. Your road to more YouTube subscribers begins here!
1. Produce Exceptional Content for YouTube
As with any social media platform, the key to growth and success on YouTube is to produce exceptional content.
You would have probably heard the above piece of advice more than a dozen times because it’s so true. You must know how to create excellent content that will build your audience.
Here are a few things that define what great content is on YouTube:
- Creating engaging content – Videos that people search for, comment, like, and share.
- Binge-worthy content – Content that people cannot get enough of. Viewers are compelled to watch more videos from the same creator.
- Authentic content – People generally consume a ton of content on YouTube. So, if you are not doing your niche justice by being disingenuous, then viewers will easily go to competing channels that come off as more legit than your brand.
- Interactive content – Listen to your audience and try to deliver custom content that suits their needs. You can also feature media that’s created by fans, like fan art, dance videos, memes, and more.
Matt Karsten from Expert Vagabond built his career by sharing excellent travel vlogs on his YouTube account. He has excellent advice on how you can get started on YouTube.
Listen to the interview below:
2. Create Thumbnails & Headlines That Stand Out
Your video’s thumbnail and headline is the first thing that people see. These are the most crucial elements in regards to getting people to click on your video.
Remember, your videos compete side-by-side with other influential brands on a single platform, in searches, subscription feeds, playlists, and more.
For this reason, your thumbnail and copy must stand out to users if you wish for them to click on your video.
YouTube Thumbnail Tips
- Use an “eye-catching” image – Use quality stills of the person (or people) in the video. You can still design excellent text only thumbnails. However, people on YouTube are looking to be entertained, which is why images of people will work better. Also, your thumbnails will stand out better with great images.
- Use text – Insert a short title into your thumbnail. You don’t have to fit the entire headline into your thumbnail. Just include enough info to intrigue users to click on your video to learn more. By inserting less info, you can increase the text’s size, which will make it clearer to read (as opposed to large amounts of small text).
- Change the background – If you are using images and text, then removing the background and replacing it with a simple color will help make your text pop. This isn’t necessary for all thumbnails. However, it is essential for images with “busy” backgrounds in which the title text can get lost.
Video Headline Tips
- Target your audience – Use headlines that appeal to your target audience. This means using phrases or jargon that aligns with your brand and its audience. For example, catchy or “clickbaity” headlines might discourage an audience of professional people, but similar headlines may work for a make-up channel.
- Use numbers – Headlines with text generate 73% more social shares and engagement. Our brains are receptive to numbers. Small numbers are preferred over larger numbers. Odd numbers always come off as being more authentic than even numbers.
- Use headline formulas – You can try out a 3-step headline formula (pictured below).
Thumbnails That stand Out – Gary Vee
Gary Vee uses all of the tactics we discussed to create stunning thumbnails. He experiments a lot by using different colors, text, and icons.
Gary Vee leverages other brands’ popularity by using brand logos in some of his thumbnails (Don’t Sleep on Twitch). He also makes use of numbers (3 Steps to Success).
3. Be Consistent
Create videos that are consistent with your niche and target audience.
It’s not unheard of to have a channel that appeals to a broad audience by uploading different kinds of content. However, your audience must have some idea of what to expect from your channel.
For example, a person subscribes to your channel because of a game review you posted. That same person then unsubscribes because your latest video is about makeup (something they have no interest in).
It’s best to stay on topic and satisfy your core audience. Asking your audience for feedback is always welcomed in this regard.
Making this connection with your audience is what’s going to get the best following, which will inevitably make you the most money from your channel. Wondering just how much you can make? Check out this guide.
Consistent & Fresh – Dave2D
Dave2D has his very own signature style to all of his videos. There’s a short animated intro that differs according to each video. He also stays within a strict color scheme (teal and white).
Dave’s videos follow the same clean and minimal theme. This gives his viewers a good idea of what to expect visually from every video.
Dave also consistently uploads tech review videos that offer users his unique perspective on every device he reviews. Providing exceptional value to viewers with every video is also considered as being consistent.
Consistent elements in Dave2D videos include:
- Quick intro in teal and white theme (intro recently removed)
- Videos all filmed on the same set (desk and background)
- Similarly styled B-roll footage
- Niche focused topics with exclusive advice from Dave Lee
- A minimal theme is also evident in thumbnails.
Some Room to Experiment is OK – PewDiePie
It can be challenging to churn out exceptional content based on the same topic continually. Creating content on a different topic now and then can be refreshing to you and your audience.
Pewdiepie (pictured above) has a grueling daily upload schedule. It can be challenging to create similar content daily that will keep viewers engaged.
To break up the monotony, Pewdiepie goes off script sometimes by uploading personal vlogs. He has uploaded videos that range from cooking to book reviews.
However, Pewdiepie was criticized for making content that was heavily disliked by his core audience. He drifted too far from the kind of content that his audience appreciates most.
4. Create Playlists with Binge-worthy Content
YouTube Playlists is an often overlooked feature. When you click on a playlist, all videos in that playlist will automatically play one after the other.
This allows users to enjoy an uninterrupted sequence of the content you add to that playlist. So, if you have a series of “Try Not To Laugh” videos, you can create a playlist for those videos for your audience to enjoy.
Such a playlist is perfect for a new subscriber that prefers that kind of video from you. Your playlist will save them the effort of having to search manually for specific videos from your channel.
The more of your videos they watch, the higher the chances are of them hitting the subscribe button below your video. This makes YouTube playlists an awesome way to gain YouTube Subscribers.
Be a Playlist Pro – Pewdiepie & Markiplier
Some of Pewdiepie’s most enjoyable content is his LWIAY and Meme Review series of videos.
If you just want to binge on LWIAY videos, you can simply click on the playlist, and every LWIAY video will queue up.
This beats having to look through his video feed for LWIAY or Meme Review Videos.
Markiplier is another popular YouTuber that makes excellent use of playlists. He drops his most popular videos into playlists so that new subscribers can quickly have access to his best content.
The key takeaway from the above examples is that their playlists are easily accessible on their channel pages. This allows new users to easily access the best content on the channel that you curate.
5. Create a Channel Trailer
YouTube allows you to customize your channel page by adding a cover image and filling out the “About” section. However, the changes that you can make to your channel page are basic at best.
A truly powerful way of making your channel page stand out is with a channel trailer located on your channel’s homepage.
Breaking the Ice with a Channel Trailer – Peter Mckinnon
Peter Mckinnon is a professional photographer and filmmaker who made a name for himself on YouTube.
With over 5 million subscribers, Peter consistently uploads photo and video tutorials and vlogs. He also regularly college with other popular YouTubers on the platform.
Peter makes excellent use of his channel trailer, which is titled “Just a YouTuber.” A powerful video that is meant for people that are new to his channel.
Another advantage of channel trailers – If you do a Google search for Peter Mckinnon, the first link that comes up is his YouTube channel. When you click on that link and go to his channel, the first thing you see is his channel trailer, which plays automatically.
6. Promote Your Videos on Your Website
Do you have an active blog or website? Then perhaps you should embed your YouTube videos into blog posts or website pages.
It’s a no brainer! Embedding videos into blog posts will allow you to turn your traffic into views and subscribers!
For the best results, only embed videos that are relevant to the post. For example, we inserted a video on influencer marketing (see below) into a post on influencer marketing strategies.
Once your post is live, visitors to your website can simply press play on the video and watch it while they read your post.
Having videos in blog posts is also a great way of keeping visitors on your page longer. As long as they watch your video and remain engaged.
When a visitor hits play on your video, more options will come up, like play, pause, and video quality. Embedded videos will also display a button to subscribe to your channel in the bottom left corner.
Visitors logged into their YouTube account can simply click on the subscribe button to become a subscriber.
7. Promote Your Videos on Social Media
YouTube is considered a social network. However, you can still promote your YouTube videos on other social platforms.
Hit the share button on a video, then copy the link and paste it into your social media post.
If your brand has active social media accounts, it will be worth sharing your YouTube videos to your socials. This can help drive traffic from other platforms to your YouTube videos.
It’s important to note that most social networks are in direct competition with YouTube as they are pushing to make video a vital part of their content offering.
You can also post your videos to other users’ profiles or pages. This will help in getting more people to discover your videos and your brand.
It’s common for YouTube users to share their videos on relevant Subreddits. For example, a fan-created a collage made up of clips of Joe Rogan saying the phrase “it’s entirely possible.”
The fan uploaded the clip to the Joe Rogan Subreddit, and it’s now gaining a ton of views and engagement on both the Reddit and YouTube platforms.
8. Host a Giveaway
A surefire way of growing your subscribers fast is with a YouTube giveaway. The process is straightforward and can be broken down into 3 steps:
- Choose a Goal
- Choose a Prize
- Launch your YouTube Giveaway
When giving away an awesome prize on your channel, you can request users to subscribe to your channel to enter (your giveaway). You can then pick a winner randomly from your list of subscribers.
Giveaways are viral campaigns that attract a lot of attention in a short period of time. This leaves you with the potential to gain a massive amount of followers quickly.
We already have an in depth guide on hosting a YouTube giveaway.
Gain YouTube Subscribers with Giveaway – MKBHD
MKBHD regularly hosts giveaways on his YouTube channel. An excellent strategy to gain YouTube subscribers.
In his latest giveaway, he teamed up with DBrand to give away XBox and Playstation consoles.
The entry method is simple. Users must be subscribed to MKBHD and DBrand’s YouTube channel. Users can also follow MKBHD on social media to improve their chances of winning.
The above giveaway will attract a massive audience of gamers and tech enthusiasts. This is exactly the type of audience that MKBHD wants for subscribers.
By carefully selecting your prize, you can attract your target audience and get them to subscribe to your channel to win the prize.
9. Research, Practice, Review, Rinse, Repeat
It’s crucial that you consistently research the strategies listed above and put them into practice. Then review the results and determine if you need to adjust your strategy further.
In terms of research, the best place to start is with your competitors. For example, if you are looking to create a channel trailer but have no idea how to look at what other competing brands are doing.
Your research can extend further into what content is best suited for your subscribers. Similarly, if you are hosting a giveaway, you should research your prize thoroughly to determine the best prize to attract the right audience to your giveaway and channel.
Bonus: Expert Tips to Boost YouTube Subscribers
We regularly chat to experts and industry leaders who have spend countless hours grinding on YouTube and other platforms.
Here are some of their expert tips on growing YouTube subscribers:
Improve Channel Growth and Monetization Options with Tim Schmoyer
Tim Schmoyer has been on the YouTube platform since the very beginning. He helps other channels to build their subscribers and businesses on YouTube.
Tim has a fascinating take on monetization which every YouTuber should consider. All this and more in the video below:
Keeping Your Audience Engaged with Aaron Nace (Phlearn)
Aaron Nace from Phlearn, a Photoshop Tutorial hub, started uploading content to YouTube in its early days. Aaron’s advice on creating content for YouTube is below:
If you upload “How To” videos, then it’s crucial that you let the viewer know (at the start of the video) that you can solve their problem.
Eliminate “fluff” and unnecessary content from your videos to ensure that you are on point. This will keep your audience engaged.
Looking for more exclusive tips on creating better content for YouTube? Listen to the full interview with Aaron Nace below:
Engaging with Your Audience in the Comments Section with Brandon Schaefer
Brandon Schaefer is another YouTuber that grew his art channel to more than 500k subscribers. Part of his strategy was to simply respond to comments on his videos, while also creating videos to better answer questions from his audience.
This strategy helped Brandon to create unique content thats customized for his audience.
Listen in to the full interview here:
Bonus: How To Use YouTube As A Marketing Channel
We spoke to YouTube expert, Owen Video, who offers some excellent advice on marketing your brand on YouTube.
Watch the video below to learn more:
Bonus: How Mitch Cohen Built Noah Kagan’s YouTube Channel
Mitchell Cohen worked very closely with Noah Kagan to grow his YouTube channel, OkDork. Today, Mitch personally oversees content and partnerships for Noah (AppSumo).
We got to talk with Mitch who revealed exclusive strategies used in building Noah Kagan’s brand on YouTube. Listen to the full interview below:
TL;DR: How to Gain YouTube Subscribers
Growing an audience on YouTube is the same as growing an audience on any other platform. You have to be in it for the long run.
If you take a closer look at some of the most popular creators on the platform, you will notice that they have been uploading content for years. Some have been on the platform for more than a decade now. These popular creators took years to gain YouTube Subscribers.
So, patience is critical. Take your time and work towards finding subscribers that take an interest in your brand.
Do you have any tips of your own for growing YouTube subscribers? Let us know in the comments below.
Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build email lists, social followings, and revenue using viral giveaways, referral, and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. He then also co-founded Hyax a fast, conversion & design-focused course and funnel builder for creators.