How to Promote Your YouTube Channel

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

Bringing new viewers to your YouTube channels can be done many different ways. Many of these methods are one hit wonders that may work for some, but not for everyone. Promoting your YouTube channel should be done in a way that sets people’s expectations reasonably, yet catches their interest and draws them in. In the end, you’ll want to land on a formula that both your existing and potential audience will enjoy. Here are a few tips on how to promote your YouTube channel.

Promoted Videos

How to Promote Your YouTube ChannelDid you know that YouTube has a built-in method for promoting your videos that puts your content on top of all other related content? Promoted videos are a great way to get something on your channel more views, and bring additional eyes to your content. If they like what they see, they’ll share it and spread the word through their own social circles. Like any advertising, Promoted videos take some initial investment on your part. A certain amount will be required per click. This means the more popular your video becomes thanks to the promotion, the faster your advertising budget will be spent.

Sexy Thumbnails

Let’s face it, sex sells. If anyone has told you otherwise, they’re not living in the same world we are. Adding a sexy thumbnail to your video can really have a huge impact on the viewer count. People will stop whatever they’re doing if there’s a particularly suggestive drawing image set as the thumbnail.

You have to be very careful when adding a sexy thumbnail to your YouTube videos, though. If you don’t actually address the content in the thumbnail in some direct or indirect way, it can be taken as misleading and not only disappoint your audience, but also put you at risk of breaking YouTube terms and conditions. If you put a picture of a celebrity on your thumbnail, you should make sure that celebrity is mentioned somewhere in your video.

Leverage Social Media

Leveraging social media to improve your viewership numbers is like bringing a metal detector on a treasure hunt. Yes, there’s still an amount of luck required to find the treasure, but a metal detector can greatly improve your chances of doing so. Embedding your videos on Google+, Facebook, and other social networks can increase the amount of attention drawn to your content, and give viewers a much easier method of passing it along to their friends. Twitter is another great way to spread the word about a new video.

When doing this, it’s important to find a way to market your content properly. Simply embedding a video and walking away will do little to draw attention to it. Posing a question to your community can both increase the update’s attention and draw more people in as they recognize your social page as a great source of conversation and information.

Recommended Channel Swaps

Reach out to other popular channels through the YouTube messaging system or other social networks and ask if they might be interested in swapping a channel recommendation on your YouTube pages. This will not only help you promote your channel, but build a relationship with other community leaders as well. This relationship could result in more mentions, guest visits, and other positive situations that helps to promote your channel.

Bottom line: anyone creating content as a YouTube Partner is essentially running a business on the site. Partnerships and collaboration with other popular channels is a proven method of building a larger audience. By getting your name out there to an audience that already has an active interest in your topic and watching online content, you’re able to more directly target potential viewers and encourage them to subscribe.

Give Something Away

Many YouTube channels have promotions and giveaways to help market their channel to a larger audience. If you’re a tech-related channel, consider reaching out to companies that might benefit from your promotion and offer to facilitate a giveaway for them. You’d be surprised how many companies are actually seeking out content creators for that very purpose.

Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t happen for you right away. Sometimes, having your name on record with a particular company can have an unexpected windfall months down the road when it has something new to promote. Don’t pander, though. Be honest when you speak about a product, even if you don’t particularly like it. Your integrity is more important than any trinket you can give away. Ultimately, your audience will recognize and appreciate that which, in itself, is a great way to maintain audience loyalty.

Do Something Extra

Once in a while, do something unexpected that caters to a larger audience than your own or a different topic. A blooper reel can be a great way to get your content out there and rejuvenate your existing audience’s attention. If something interesting happens and you have a camera, make sure you take a shot of it. Depending on exactly what kind of a channel you have, a potentially viral video is never a bad idea to post.

Take caution when doing this, though. You don’t want to do so many off-topic things that your entire channel changes. It’s more important to stick to your primary format than cater to the larger audiences that come from a random off-topic video or blooper reel. Just because you managed to capture more viewers on a one-off thing doesn’t mean they’ll stick with you if you keep pandering.

Find Out What Works for You

Building a reputation as a quality YouTube content creator can be a real challenge, and no one single formula is proven to work for everyone. If there was, then everyone and anyone on YouTube would be using it right now. Like Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb, sometimes you have to try many different things before you find something that really works for your audience.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson