How did I get over 942,000 subscribers without spending money on ads? Plus I am not famous, I’m not funny and I’m not a male model. 😉
I use a formula and it works well to get more YouTube subscribers for any industry and any account.
Even my clients at my marketing agency are using it and it’s working wonders for them. So much so most of them have over 100,000 subscribers now.
Now before I teach you how to get more subscribers, let me give you a quick overview…
How to Get More YouTube Subscribers
There’s a simple formula that I go into this article to getting more YouTube subscribers (which you can read below.
- Hook people with your intro
- Ask them to subscribe
- Create videos that are around 10 minutes long
- Ask people to leave comments (this is how you go viral)
- Respond to every comment with an answer and question
- Leverage YouTube shorts
- Run contests
- Do keyword research and use keywords within your title
- Optimize your thumbnails for click-through
- Promote your video hard in the first 24 hours through email/push notifications
- Don’t forget to upload the transcription
If you want to learn formula in-depth just keep reading below and I will go over what I just covered above. Or if you want the short version you can also watch the video below.
Give Your Channel a Theme to Gain YouTube Subscribers
Before you do anything, you need to give your channel a theme.
If you look at many of the top YouTube channels, you’ll notice that many of them stick to a theme.
Take a look at Derek Halpern‘s channel, for example.
Notice how a lot of the YouTube videos he creates are on topics related to business and success.
Having a theme makes it easier to create consistent YouTube content.
On top of that, you can make your channel the ‘go-to’ place for specific content. This is the goal of a social media platform.
If your channel caters to a specific niche, then people who care deeply about that niche will want to become subscribers.
For example, imagine your videos are all about Facebook marketing, and you aim to help business owners.
If a business owner who wants to learn more about Facebook marketing subscribes to your YouTube channel, they’ll get an update any time you post content.
This helps them stay ahead of the curve without having to do a lot of work.
If you’re struggling to come up with a theme for your channel, think about the problems your business solves and who it solves those problems for.
Then, produce videos based on the topics you know will help the people your business serves.
Post Incredible Content to Gain YouTube Subscribers
Many marketers agree that video converts better than other forms of media.
If you want to drive conversions, you need to learn how to create incredible content on your media platform.
Plus, if you can create incredible content, then a lot of the work related to growing your subscriber count is already done.
When people subscribe to your channel, they’re essentially signing up to get updates whenever a new piece of content is posted.
If your content is great, people won’t mind hearing from you again because their initial interaction with you and your content was positive.
Whether that’s a learning experience, an entertainment experience, or both — it’s worth watching your videos.
And remember that people take the time to watch great content.
According to Hubspot, 54% of people want to see more video content from marketers. This is a good foundation for your media platform that will expand social networks.
If your content is excellent, then you’ll benefit from the fact that 54% of senior executives share content with their social networks.
So how do you produce incredible content that makes viewers want to subscribe and share?
Start by focusing on producing content that is relevant to your target audience.
Provided that you’re sticking to a theme, as mentioned before, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a way to produce valuable content.
Then, use these tips.
Look for Popular Keywords on YouTube
Let’s say that you want to create a channel that covers the topic of ‘pencil drawing.’
One way to develop content ideas is by simply entering the broad keyword of ‘pencil drawing’ into the YouTube search engine.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine globally, so we know there’s going to be some relevant data here.
When we type in the keyword, we see the suggestions above.
Now, those topics might seem a little broad, so you may want to pick one of those keywords and go through the same process again so that you can generate something more concise.
Let’s add the word ‘tutorial,’ for instance.
By adding the word tutorial, we are now provided with more concise keywords.
The fact that these keywords appear in the suggestions lets us know that people are searching for these videos.
You might argue that there is a lot of competition for such keywords.
And while that may be true, later on in the post, we’ll figure out how we can get people to view our videos, even when there is a lot of competition — so don’t let it be a concern for now.
The great thing about the approach above is that it gives us a place to start.
If we want to produce content for a certain niche, this technique lets us know what kinds of content people will already have an interest in viewing.
My tool Ubersuggest is another great YouTube keyword research tool. Simply type in your main key term and click “Keyword ideas” in the right sidebar, and it will deliver more than 400 keywords for you to consider.
You can also use the Google Keyword Planner tool to come up with content ideas. That’s because there will be some coherence between Google search results and YouTube search results.
Let’s stick with the topic of ‘pencil drawing.’
In the ‘Your product or service’ box, enter a keyword-based on your business. If I were running a business that taught people how to do a pencil drawing, I’d enter ‘how to do a pencil drawing.’
You want to keep the keyword broad at this stage because it’ll allow for the keyword tool to develop a wide range of ideas for you.
Once you’ve entered the keyword, you’ll then see this page. It shows several ‘Ad groups’ of keywords.
Each group of keywords centers around a certain topic.
As you can see, I’ve arranged the groups in terms of ‘Average monthly searches’ and descending order. This gives us a sense of where there might be a lot of competition.
Let’s click on the mid-range group called ‘Drawing Techniques.’
I’ve highlighted a few keywords that might represent good YouTube content opportunities.
I chose these keywords because it’s clear to see how you could create a focused, high-value video centered around these keywords.
You might think that these keywords don’t have that many searches and, therefore, aren’t worthy in terms of effort required.
However, remember we’re not just going to post a handful of videos and then be done with it.
Cultivating a YouTube channel so that it eventually has many subscribers often requires posting a lot of content. In fact, the biggest YouTube channel has over 4,200 videos.
If you want to publish massive amounts of content while keeping it relevant, you need to be able to niche down your content as much as possible, so each video provides value.
If you niche down, it’s only natural that the level of searches per month will go down.
Even if you focus on low-volume keywords, they’ll all come together to help you build momentum and establish yourself in a YouTube niche.
You’ll also notice there isn’t a ton of content for those lower volume search terms, which represents an opportunity.
Look at what happens when I type in the ‘Simple drawing techniques’ keyword.
There’s a playlist there, but other than that, there aren’t any fully optimized titles or even videos based solely around the topic of ‘simple drawing techniques.’
Improve the Production Quality of Your YouTube Videos
Production quality shouldn’t be a top priority, but it can definitely increase the number of YouTube subscribers after a certain point.
As long as your videos are rich in value and provide the viewer with the information they need, you’re doing a good job.
When the videos start to bring you a return, then you can focus more on production quality.
Here are a few tips.
Ensure what you’re saying can be easily heard. You must speak clearly and enthusiastically. You’ve got to project your voice.
Otherwise, people might not be able to understand what you’re saying. They might even get bored.
You don’t need to act like an extrovert; just try and prevent your voice from becoming monotonous.
If you’re recording your content using a phone or a laptop, the microphone might not be enough. So, you may want to invest in a quality external microphone.
However, test it to see how things actually sound before you make this investment.
You also need to ensure that your video is easy to watch.
You don’t want to make it hard work for your viewers to see what is going on. This means you need to ensure lighting is adequate.
If you’re recording a talking head style video where you’re talking to the camera, ensure that your face can be clearly seen.
If someone is recording you, then ensure the camera isn’t shaking.
If you’re recording your laptop screen, make sure your actions can be clearly seen and that anything you type can be read.
Use Video Editing to Improve the Quality of Your YouTube Videos
When it comes to video editing, you have a couple of solutions. When speaking about video editing, what we’re referring to is improving your videos’ style and not so much about removing minor mistakes.
More often than not, you’re going to make minor mistakes when recording your video. You don’t need to put tons of focus into removing these bits, as they don’t harm your video all that much.
In fact, they might even help your video as they let other people know that they’re dealing with a real person rather than a sly media marketing salesman.
Where editing can come in handy, though, is when you need to create cuts in your video or add a title screen.
Alternatively, you could purchase a video editing suite and learn to do everything yourself.
That method might save you a bit more money, though you might end up spending a lot more time learning how to edit videos on your own. This takes time away from your media marketing.
That might not be the best trade-off, depending on your circumstances.
As mentioned, you don’t want to over-edit your videos, though you want to give them a sense of style that separates you from the crowd.
Often, the easiest way to do this is by having custom intro music and a custom title screen.
Another way that you can post incredible content is by creating videos based on your product being used.
Demonstration videos can go a long way in showcasing your product as something worth buying.
You can even turn some of your blog posts into videos. Nearly 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read a chunk of text.
Okay, so that’s the basics of creating incredible content.
The next point will be essential if you want to ensure that your YouTube subscriber rates grow consistently over time.
Get More YouTube Views by Posting Often and Consistently
This is probably the hardest part of growing a YouTube following — though it can also be one of the most important.
The average company posts 18 YouTube videos a month. Posting content consistently is a great way for you to compete.
Plus, if you’re constantly posting new content, then people have a reason to become a subscriber and share it on their social networks.
After all, people are less likely to subscribe if you’re not going to post any more content — why should they?
If you use the tips mentioned earlier, then coming up with ideas for posting new content is pretty easy.
You just need to set a schedule and stick to it.
How Often Should You Post New YouTube Videos?
If you want to keep things simple, look at what your competition is doing, and then one-up them. If they are posting twice a week, aim for three times a week.
Sometimes, however, the best plan is the one you can stick to.
Consistency in your media marketing campaign is important, as it’ll keep existing subscribers coming back for more. This will result in more YouTube views — and also improve engagement.
Engagement on a video tends to come in the following forms:
- Thumbs up or Thumbs Down
- Social sharing
Ideally, you want to improve the engagement levels in each of these categories through any social media site.
People like to engage with content on YouTube; did you know that over 100 million people per week take a ‘social action’ on YouTube every week?
Another mind-blowing fact is that 700 videos are shared every minute on Twitter. So while YouTube is not a social media site, it is a valuable tool for any social media marketing platform.
Great engagement will help make the video more visible in the YouTube search engine.
This will expose your video to more people, who can then become subscribers themselves.
If you want to view some statistics in terms of how your videos perform, you can use the YouTube analytics dashboard.
You don’t have to be at a computer to post content consistently. That’s because you can use the scheduling feature provided by Google.
To gain access to this feature, you must first turn on monetization for your videos. This means that you are willing to show ads on your videos.
If you don’t want to show ads on your videos, don’t worry. You still have control over which videos are monetized and which ones aren’t.
Let’s take a look at how you can get that done.
- Sign up for a YouTube account and then go to the ‘Creators Studio’ section.
- On the left sidebar, under the ‘Channel’ option, select ‘Monetization.’
- Choose ‘Enable My Account.’
Now, you’ll be able to access the scheduling features provided by YouTube to program your media platform.
You’ll also be able to access a lot more in the way of YouTube analytics.
If you want to schedule a video, click on the ‘Upload’ button.
Then click on the dropdown menu and select the ‘Scheduled’ option.
Then drag and drop your video, or click the icon to upload it.
On the next screen, you can adjust the scheduling options.
Now enter the date and time you want the video to go live.
If people are subscribed to your channel, they’ll get a message when your video goes live.
Make sure to schedule that date into your social media management platform, if you have one. This will ensure that Tweets, Facebook updates, and LinkedIn posts are sent out simultaneously.
If you have an email list relevant to your video, you might even want to send a message out to those folks.
Consider staggering the messages, so you’re not bombarding people on multiple platforms all at once.
Consider Turning Long Videos into Multiple Short Videos
If you’re struggling to develop content ideas daily, consider splitting up longer videos into several shorter ones.
In long videos, you likely cover several points about one main topic.
You could edit out certain topics and then create mini videos using those topics. Shorter videos are more convenient for social network sharing.
In fact, Hubspot found that 2 minutes is the optimal video length on YouTube for their audience.
You’ll notice that the channel ‘Inside Quest’ does this a lot. Here’s one of the videos on their channel. Note how it is nearly 49 minutes long:
For someone new to the channel, that video length can be pretty intimidating.
So, they have broken down the video into some ‘highlight clips,’ covering interesting points and topics.
Note how short each of these videos is — just around a minute.
Short videos can be a great way to introduce people to your channel by giving them a taste of your content and building your media marketing campaign.
Create Evergreen YouTube Videos
A great way to consistently generate subscribers is by creating evergreen content.
These are videos that will be relevant whether they are viewed today or five years in the future.
This will apply to some niches more than others.
For example, I spoke earlier about the pencil drawing business, which naturally lends itself to producing a lot of evergreen content. A video about Instagram marketing, however, might be out of date in five years.
Take a look at your niche and see if you can create ‘how-to’ videos that will stand the test of time.
Even if you’re not looking to create evergreen content, it’s worth creating ‘how-to’ videos to provide value.
Optimize Your Videos to Increase YouTube Subscribers
Before anyone can become a subscriber to your channel, they need to first click on your videos.
No matter how good your video is, once it is seen in the YouTube search engine or sidebar, it will have some competition in the form of other videos.
So how do you get people to pay attention to and click on your video?
You need to focus on three areas — the headline, the thumbnail, and the description.
These three elements will have the biggest impact on influencing YouTube users to click on your videos. Be sure the meta tag is relevant and includes key points.
This is because they’ll help your rankings in the YouTube search engine. They’ll also improve your videos’ ability to entice users to click on them and share them on social media.
YouTube categories and cards can also drive clicks, so we’ll cover those too.
How to Create a Good Headline for YouTube Videos
If your video is based on a certain keyword, then the video’s title must include this keyword.
When you do this, you increase the chances of someone clicking on your video.
If the video’s title matches what they were searching for, they’ll assume that the video covers everything that they need to know about that topic.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be ridiculous in how you’re creating your titles.
‘Keyword stuffing’ can hurt you much more than it can help you.
One way you can get around this problem is by using a colon.
For instance, earlier, we identified the keyword — ‘simple drawing techniques.’
If we had a video on that topic, we could write the headline like this — ‘Simple drawing techniques: 5 tips that will make drawing easier.’
Side note: An interesting experiment might be to split the ‘simple drawing techniques’ title into separate niches. This is a common social media marketing technique for blogs and helps videos too.
For example, ‘simple drawing techniques for cars’ or ‘simple drawing techniques for eyes.’
This is a great example of how you can take a big niche or keyword that is receiving a lot of traffic and identify opportunities within that niche.
As I mentioned, you’ll have to experiment a little when you do things this way. But, there’s no telling what kind of opportunities you might uncover.
As you can see in the example above, the video title uses a colon to separate the text.
You’ll also notice that there are videos where the ‘|’ symbol is being used.
You’ll have to test which one works better, though it could just be that this symbol serves a similar purpose to what the colon would have done.
When it comes to creating YouTube headlines, you’ll want to follow the rules that already exist for blog posts.
You need to have a mix of something that people are searching for and something that grabs their attention. This is core media marketing that can lead to social network inclusion.
You can do that by using the keyword your video targets in the headline and then including power words in the gaps.
As we’ve discussed, the style of your videos is going to influence the headline. If you have a ‘how-to’ video, then you’ll need to account for that in your headline.
Similar to blog post headlines, numbers also tend to work well in YouTube headlines.
Use Engaging YouTube Thumbnails
When it comes to the thumbnail, there are a couple of approaches that you could take.
The first is to show a clear image of whatever the video is about. For example, if you’re talking about a laptop, you’d want to include a picture of a laptop.
Alternatively, you could just show a picture of a person interacting with whatever the video is about.
Like this example:
However, one of the increasingly powerful ways of creating video thumbnails is by adding text, like this:
Don’t just drop some text and call it good. You can also heavily edit the thumbnail image so that it clearly stands out.
Here’s another one:
If you want to create thumbnails like this, you need to follow these rules.
How to Create a Custom Thumbnail for YouTube Videos
You can create a thumbnail using Canva.
If you want to learn more about using Canva, going through their initial setup process might be helpful.
They have a YouTube thumbnail template, so use that to get started.
If you have some images of your own, you can upload them and then overlay text onto them.
I’ve just gone with the option of creating a basic thumbnail from scratch. Obviously, you can create something much better than this.
If you want to upload a custom thumbnail for a video, just go through the normal upload process.
On the page where you can adjust the video information, pick the ‘Custom thumbnail’ option.
You’ll then have a custom thumbnail that will be shown around the YouTube platform.
Create Better YouTube Descriptions
Creating a description for your YouTube videos could become an entire post in itself. We’re going to cover the basics here.
You need to keep in mind that you have a lot of space here, and YouTube tends to use what you say to rank your content. Don’t ignore the meta tag and its importance.
The first couple of lines on your description should be written so that they are easy to read in the search results.
Here’s a great example.
In this section, you may want to use some of the keywords you used in your title. That way, you can ensure that it has some coherence. This will also improve the ranking ability of your video.
When people click on your video, they have the option to click on the ‘Show More’ text.
This will expand the description. You can use this space to insert a ‘subscribe to channel’ link.
If you want to do that, use the following link format: https://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=
Make sure that you enter your channel name after the ‘=.’
So, for Kissmetrics, it would be: https://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=Kissmetric
When people click on this link, they’ll be taken to your channel page, where a subscribe box will pop-up.
You can also enter some other information, such as your other social media profiles, important links, and even your content posting schedule in the description.
You can also describe the things that are being discussed in your video, like this —
You could even highlight what is discussed at certain time sections in your video like this: 21:48 – How to prevent your website from being penalized by Google.
These timestamps will actually take those who click on them directly to the specified location in the video.
Add Tags to Increase YouTube Views
It’s also important to add tags. This will help improve the chances of your video appearing in the YouTube search engine.
You don’t want to use anything that is misleading here. Have a mix of some really specific tags that describe your video. Then, add a few broad tags that are still related to the genre.
There’s no harm in using some of the suggested tags provided by YouTube, as long as they align with what your video is actually about.
Use YouTube Cards
YouTube Annotations used to be the best way to engage users by directly adding links and other content to your video.
However, annotations were disruptive and were discontinued and then deleted in 2019.
Today, you have the option of using YouTube cards. You can add up to five cards to your video with a customized image, text, and call to action.
Here’s how you would go about creating a ‘YouTube card’ for your video.
Select the ‘Video’ option inside of the ‘Video Manager.’ Then click on the ‘Edit’ drop-down menu for the video you want to add a card to.
Then select the ‘Cards’ option.
You should then see this screen.
Click on the ‘Add card’ option and then choose the ‘Channel.’
Then, enter your channel name and add text.
The teaser text is the text that appears on the little graphic that appears in the video.
Here is how it will look:
If you want to adjust when the card displays the ‘teaser text,’ adjust the slider below.
You’ll notice, however, that the ‘i’ will always be visible in the video.
If people hover their mouse cursor over the ‘i,’ they’ll see the following.
This card will also appear at the time that you have chosen above.
Clicking on this will take users straight to your YouTube channel. However, no subscriber box will pop-up.
Engage Your YouTube Audience
Another way to boost your YouTube subscriber numbers is by engaging with your audience and creating a community.
There are several ways that you can do this.
Respond to YouTube Viewer Comments
Responding to comments is a simple — but effective — way to engage users. This will show YouTube viewers that you value their opinion. Plus, the fact that you’re going through this effort might encourage them to subscribe.
You could even argue that this counts as customer service work that improves the customer experience.
When you look at it through that lens, you use the fact that 22% of people post positive things on social networks about a company after having previously posting something negative — all because they got a response.
If you’re getting any negative comments on your YouTube videos, address them promptly.
This can increase YouTube subscribers because people see this interaction and appreciate the fact that you engage.
Host a Q&A Session
Then, in the next video, you could spend some time going through the questions you received.
Ask Viewers What They Want
Another way to engage your audience is by creating videos based on what they want. For example, you could use a survey to ask your audience what they want to see you talk about.
You can then create a video based on a viewer’s suggestions and call them out in the video to say thank you.
Consider Collaborating With Other YouTube Video Creators
When it comes to boosting subscriber numbers, you also have the option of doing collaborations with people in your industry.
Collaborations can massively boost your video marketing efforts.
If you go about things in the right way, you may just end up joining the 18% of companies that regard their video marketing as ‘very successful.’
The best way to go about this is to find channels with a similar audience.
Both of you could then arrange an event where you can both benefit from the interaction.
When you collaborate, you must encourage people to subscribe to your channel.
Also, make sure the videos you publish immediately after the collaboration are amazing, so they want to subscribe.
Host Interviews to Increase YouTube Subscribers
Alternatively, consider doing interviews on your channel. If you can find a way to interview the top people in your niche, you’ll be able to attract their audience to your channel.
When your channel has a decent number of subscribers, you’ll have a greater ability to attract these opportunities.
Of course, you shouldn’t let low subscribers be an impediment that stops you from trying.
Email a few people who might be worth having on your channel and ask them if they’d be willing to be a guest.
If they say no, respectfully ask if they’d be willing to do a show when your channel has more subscribers. See if they can provide you with a ballpark figure that they’d be happy with.
You don’t want to be rude, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for a potential future way to make it happen.
Consider YouTube Ads
I’ve already spoken extensively about using YouTube Ads.
To get the most out of ads, target keywords your videos are created around.
This will ensure that your videos appear at the top of the search results when people enter that keyword.
If you are just getting started, you might want to get a feel for the platform first. But, if you’ve got a solid YouTube monetization plan, ads can be an effective way to drive subscribers and YouTube views.
How to Get YouTube Subscribers: Frequently Asked Questions
How many followers do you need to monetize your YouTube videos?
You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in a year to make money off YouTube videos.
How do I become a successful YouTuber?
You can become successful as YouTuber by employing strategies such as producing great content, optimizing your YouTube videos for the algorithm, and sharing your videos across multiple social channels.
What are some ways to make money as a YouTuber?
You can make money from YouTube by publishing popular videos that run ads; becoming an affiliate; offering paid memberships; and more.
How do you get YouTube subscribers?
You can get YouTube subscribers by creating videos on pop culture and tie them to your niche; optimizing your videos for the YouTube search algorithm; posting and promoting your videos across multiple channels; and simply asking viewers to subscribe.
How to Get YouTube Suscribers Conclusion
Ignoring the potential on YouTube is a huge mistake.
One of the keys to consistent success on YouTube is increasing your subscriber count — but don’t fall victim to those buy YouTube subscribers scams.
Instead, work to create exceptional content that will keep your audience coming back for more.
Then, make people want to click on your content using brilliant thumbnails and killer headlines that draw them in.
When people finally click on your video, then you can ask for a subscription.
Once you’ve got those fundamentals down, you’re free to experiment with things like collaborations and YouTube Ads.
If you put enough effort in, you’ll see those subscriber numbers start climbing — which can lead to website clicks and more.
All you need to do is get started!
What have you found to be useful when it comes to boosting subscriber numbers on YouTube?