As of 2017, over 70% of companies are including video in their content marketing plan. That’s because they know that 1/3rd of the time consumers spend online is spent watching videos. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have added video capabilities to their platforms in order to attract more consumers, YouTube is still dominating the video platform market.
If you currently have a YouTube channel, you’re probably wondering how you can increase your following. YouTube has more than a billion visitors per month, many of which fit your target market. Regardless of whether you create product review videos, tutorials, or comedy skits, YouTube is the perfect place to grow your audience. In this article, we will discuss various different ways that you can increase the number of followers, without having to buy YouTube subscribers. You can get free YouTube subscribers as long as you follow the suggestions mentioned below.
How to Obtain Free YouTube Subscribers
Create a Plan
In order to execute a successful content marketing strategy, you’ll need to put together a plan. Your content plan will include information on what videos you will be working on and when they are to be published. It’s important that you are consistent so that your loyal viewers know that they can look forward to fresh new content on a regular basis.
Your plan will make it easier to be consistent because you won’t have to improvise every time you want to publish a video. Instead, you have more structure and know exactly when each video needs to be done. To build a plan you’ll need to determine how often you want to publish and what you want to focus on. If you use scripts, you should write them ahead of time to ensure you’re always ready to film.
Create Content That is Engaging, Entertaining, and Informative
You can have content that is engaging, entertaining, or informative, but the content that works best is usually a combination. According to Brand Stories, “Your content has to provide real value to people and give them something back for the time that they spend reading it.” When planning your content calendar, keep in mind the audience you are targeting. If your content is boring, you’ll notice that viewers will only begin watching your video and will quickly drop off. Review your video analytics on a regular basis to ensure your videos are up to par with what your audience wants to see.
Upload Videos More Frequently
Chances are, you’re probably not posting as often as you should be. Your viewers are hungry for fresh content and if you are constantly publishing new videos they will come to you first. Consumers want to be constantly entertained and informed and you can benefit from that desire. Consistency will help you gain loyal followers. You should be publishing a high-quality video at least once a week. Sticking to your schedule will give your viewers something to look forward to. For example, if every Tuesday at 3pm you always post a review on the latest and greatest technology, your techie’s fans will be waiting every Tuesday for your post.
Optimize Your Titles
In order for YouTube users to find your videos, you’ll need to always optimize your titles. Optimizing your title will also ensure that you show up on Google search results. Using a keyword (or key phrase) on your title can be a great start to getting new subscribers. For example, if you do video tutorials on how to fix cell phones, you’ll want to use a relevant title that includes the name and brand of the cell phone you’re fixing in each video. Make sure your title is descriptive enough so that when viewers see it in their search results they’ll know it’s exactly what they are looking for. Keep in mind your title should never be longer than 50 characters. Never use the word “video” on your title because it’s a waste of characters and is simply not necessary.
Take Advantage of Channel Customization Offered by YouTube
YouTube has various customization options that you can utilize. Take advantage of these channel customizations! Your followers will be more inclined to become loyal if they gain trust in you. All of your social media profiles and pages (including YouTube channel) need to be branded consistently to give your customers a way to recognize and remember you. If you have a company or a blog you should make sure you extend your existing branding onto your YouTube channel and social media profiles.
Personalize Video Thumbnails
If there’s one thing all popular YouTube video creators agree on, never use a randomly generated thumbnail. Take advantage of the fact that YouTube allows you to create custom video thumbnails. By creating custom thumbnails using relevant images and annotations you will help increase your video’s click-through rate significantly. Your thumbnail gives you an opportunity to catch the viewer’s attention and give them an idea of what the video is about.
Use a ‘Call to Action’ Annotations to Invite Subscribers
‘Call to action’ annotations are the little popup messages that show up on YouTube videos. If you utilize your ‘call to action’ properly you’ll be able to get viewers to subscribe to your channel while watching one of your movies. Make sure you don’t just post ‘call to actions’ all over your video. Strategically place your ‘call to actions’ somewhere that your viewers can see, but does not obstruct the view of the video itself.
Keep Your Videos Sweet, Short & Straight to the Point
While there are various long, detailed videos on YouTube, the content that is most successful and viewed is usually on the shorter side. Viewers don’t want to hear you ramble on and on, they want to watch something worth their time. On average, most YouTube videos are around 4.4 minutes. Try to keep your videos under 5 minutes. In reality, videos that are only 2 to 3 minutes long have a 60% retention rate, which is why, until you build a sizable audience your goal length should be somewhere between 2 to 5 minutes.
Never, and I Mean NEVER Buy Views or Followers
There are hundreds of websites claiming to provide real viewers and followers in exchange for money. However, “purchasing” your viewers and followers not only leads to having a bunch of fake accounts follow your brand, but it can even get you banned from YouTube entirely. It’s against YouTube’s policy to purchase viewers and followers. You should only have free YouTube subscribers, which you’ve earned.
Optimise Every Video Description
Optimising your video descriptions is essential to gaining subscribers. It falls under the same benefits as optimising your title, it will help you show up on the results when YouTube and Google users search relevant terms. It also gives viewers a better understanding of what is being featured in the video. Don’t exaggerate and write a book in the description section, instead, focus on being descriptive in no more than 1 paragraph.
Optimize Your Meta Tags
Meta tags are specifically there for YouTube and Google search engine results. You should include relevant words that will help you get discovered. If you’re unsure how to get started, take a look at some of your competitors and pay attention to how they use their meta tags. Don’t just copy and paste the same meta tags that someone else is using. That’s pointless. You have to be precise and choose a limited number of phrases that are relevant to your video. Overstuffing your meta tags with irrelevant tags and TOO MANY relevant tags will only hurt you. For example, if you are teaching how to apply a screen protector to an iPhone 6 try meta tags such as, “how to apply screen protector,” “how to apply a screen protector to an iPhone,” “screen protector how to,” etc. Don’t go over 6 meta tags unless you’re using “single word” keywords instead of phrases.
Collaborate with Relevant YouTubers
Collaborating is an excellent way of reaching out to an entirely new group of viewers. Many YouTubers collaborate with others who run relevant YouTube channels. You can do the same! By collaborating with a relevant YouTuber you get to work on a fun project while increasing your subscribers. The YouTuber you collaborate with will also gain new subscribers, so it’s a win-win!
Interact with Your Subscribers
A loyal following is built upon strong relationships. How can you, as a YouTuber, connect with your viewers and build relationships that turn them into subscribers? Interaction! Your comments section is an excellent place to interact with your viewers, answer their questions, and gain a new perspective. You can also ask questions on your video and suggest that your viewers answer in the comments section. Respond to comments when possible and keep in mind that there are no such things as “stupid questions.” Many of your viewers may be interested in learning more about something and they are coming to you because they trust you as their source of knowledge on the subject.
Keep in mind there are trolls who are essentially people who love to say negative or vulgar things to anyone they can possibly find on the internet. The best way to handle those trolls is to delete their comments and block them. You are not expected to reply to any of them and will always be better off when not responding to such behaviour. Responding would only encourage them to continue, even if it means making multiple accounts.
Cross-Platform Promotion is Essential
Being on YouTube isn’t enough. You need to have a consistent presence in other social media platforms where your target viewers spend their time. You should at least have a profile on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Facebook. In addition, social media platforms such as Pinterest, SnapChat, and LinkedIn can also be excellent social media platforms to promote your videos, depending on your target audience. For example, makeup tutorials would be perfect for Pinterest and SnapChat, videos about the latest on information technology security would be better suited for LinkedIn. That’s not to say that both can’t post on ALL social media platforms, but you’d be wasting your time if you are using a social media platform that your target audience doesn’t frequent.
Give it a Try!
Now that we’ve given you some great tips on how you can increase your subscribers, give them a try!