YouTube, and sites like it, have enabled virtually everyone with a webcam and something to say to accomplish something that took millions of dollars in investment to do, previously. As a video sharing tool, it has redefined the way Web users consume video content, and created a medium for talented individuals to share their creations with the world without having to spend a small fortune to do so.
Every day, more content is uploaded to YouTube than any one person could watch in their lifetime. How do you make your videos stand out from the crowd and gain a respectable amount of views without spending a large amount of money in advertising to do so? Here are some tips on how to build your audience on YouTube:
Participate in the Community
In order for active members of the greater YouTube community to find out about you, you need to first get your name out there. The best way to do this is through engaging the community by commenting on other people’s videos and adding something interesting to the conversation. No, this doesn’t mean that you need to tell everyone on every video that comes out the current state of the view counter or your place in comments. Add something to the conversation by sharing your experiences with the subject matter and/or opinions on the topic. As you contribute to their communities, they’re more likely to check your stuff out and return the favor.
In the video below, Brandon Wirtz discusses this and several other tips for building your YouTube audience.
Offer Recommended Channel Exchanges
One often overlooked feature on each channel page is the recommended channel area. This area allows users to recommend other channels for their viewers to enjoy. Sending a message to other users offering a place in this list in exchange for a place on their own is a great way to get your name out there by helping others. After all, the goal for most channels out there is simply to grow their own audience and this is just another way to do so.
When asking other users to take part in this exchange, do so in a way that doesn’t seem overly demanding or desperate. Let them know that their content is good and how an exchange could mutually benefit everyone involved.
Staying consistent with the content you put out is important. People will look forward to seeing your next video and expect it to come out at a given time. If you set reasonable expectations for viewers to be able to find new content on your channel, stay with it.
Also, don’t mix up the subject matter of your content too much. If your videos are mostly about Alf and other old television shows, try to avoid frequently throwing completely unrelated videos in the mix. While you may get impressive numbers from an occasional off-topic rant on politics, you risk losing your core audience by making a habit of it. Consider creating a politics channel if you feel there might be something more there.
Maintain a Brand
Brands or individual personalities can be easy for people to associate with. Create something consistent for your channel and consider a catchy name or phrase as your identifying quality. Should your channel take off, it’s easier to establish a brand around this name than something like Butterfly123425254.
Make yourself and your content marketable and easy to access. The more recognizable your channel is, the more inclined users will be to check it out when they see your name come up in search results.
Success doesn’t come overnight on YouTube. Some content creators spend years building a small audience before something they create takes them to that next level. Patience is key to success, especially in a world that thrives on discovery and viral distribution. Often, a video made a year ago can suddenly take off if the right person comes across it. Having more recent and updated content available for these new viewers to see adds immediate value and will make people much more likely to subscribe to your content.