- You have to spend significant time promoting your YouTube channel to succeed
- Many YouTube channel promotion methods are free
- Engaging with your audience remains the best way to create a loyal fan base
As of 2022, approximately 51 million YouTube channels are vying for viewers’ attention, so if you want to gain a considerable number of views on your videos, you have to work at it.¹ Otherwise, you risk your videos getting lost in the masses and receiving few (or no) views.
Thankfully, plenty of simple yet effective ways are available to promote your YouTube channel. Below are 12 of the best options to get started. Even better, these promotion methods are primarily free and don’t include expensive options, such as paid advertising or paying influencers for their services, making them accessible for everyone.
What Happens if You Don’t Promote Your Channel?
One of the biggest mistakes new YouTubers make is failing to promote their channels properly because they assume the internal algorithm does all the work. This couldn’t be farther from the truth since the YouTube algorithm favors videos with high view counts and likes.
If you don’t actively promote your channel, your videos don’t get seen. If your videos are never seen, you don’t have the opportunity to generate income from your videos, and nobody knows you exist.
How Much Time Must You Spend Promoting a YouTube Channel?
If you’re wondering how much time to spend actively promoting your YouTube channel, you’re far from alone. This is one of the most common questions asked by new content creators.
If you want to succeed, you must spend more time promoting your videos than you do creating them. However, the time needs to be reasonable for your schedule. For example, if you only have 10 hours each week to dedicate to your channel, you can spend 3 hours creating videos and 7 hours promoting them.
1. Collaborate With Other Channels
Many of the biggest names on YouTube have banded together to help each other on the way up. Some even create dedicated group channels where they can promote their personal pages.
Start by following and engaging with others in your niche. Once you’ve built a small following of your own, reach out and ask other YouTubers if they’re interested in collaborating. You can promote each other’s pages on your own channels, create videos together or even offer shout-outs in one another’s videos.
2. Get Active on TikTok
TikTok is particularly powerful if your target audience is younger since the primary demographic is Gen Z (now between the ages of 10 and 25). However, TikTok has also been recently trending with Millennials (now between 26 and 41).
You can promote your YouTube channel on this social site by posting video clips, giving shout-outs and asking for views. It’s easy to interact with potential viewers on TikTok, too, which is always helpful in building a name for yourself.
3. Create a Facebook Page
Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with nearly 3 billion active users.² If you haven’t created a Facebook business page for your YouTube channel yet, you may be missing out on a massive number of potential viewers.
Facebook makes it simple to engage personally with fans who like other social media websites. In turn, this builds loyalty among your fan base. Facebook also allows you to add critical information to your business page, which can help you get found.
4. Pay Attention to Your Video’s Details
Research related keywords and incorporate those into your video’s title and description. Keep your title concise. It needs to accurately portray what your video is about in as few words as possible. In the description, work in a primary keyword and at least one secondary keyword.
Your video’s metadata is also essential. Use your primary keyword and a few other relevant words or phrases as your video’s tags. However, beware of using trending tags that aren’t relevant to your content. This can cause your videos to be taken down and your account banned.
5. Create Custom Thumbnails
YouTube gives you the ability to create custom thumbnails for each of your videos. The alternative is to allow the social platform to assign an automatically generated thumbnail from your content.
Take the time to create a custom, engaging thumbnail for every video you upload. In many cases, the thumbnail is your only opportunity to grab a potential viewer’s attention. If your thumbnail is engaging, it becomes more shareable and has a better potential of going viral.
6. Engage Viewers Across Platforms
When you engage with viewers, you create a sense of loyalty that isn’t possible with other promotion methods. Imagine how you’re likely to feel if your favorite YouTuber takes time from their day to like or respond to a comment.
Try setting daily engagement goals. These can be small goals easily achieved in half an hour or less. For example, you might decide to like 100 comments and respond to 10 each day across platforms. Over time, this adds up, and you’re likely to build a reputation for caring about your fans.
7. Go Live
YouTube is the most prominent live-streaming platform. The algorithm seems to promote live videos more than others, and all your current subscribers are notified when streaming starts. Ask viewers to invite their friends, and give them a valid reason to do so by creating quality live content.
Going live also helps build authenticity. Live videos can’t be edited, and (usually) they’re difficult to script. Viewers know live videos are genuinely you and are more likely to trust you.
8. Create a Q&A Video
Viewers have questions they want answered and value anyone willing to fulfill that need. Promote your upcoming Q&A video for a few days or weeks leading up to the event. Tell viewers to send questions via the comments section, email or whatever alternative options you choose.
Film a video of yourself responding to these questions. Make a point to include the name (or screen name) of the person who asked the question. This shows your fans you care about them and makes those asking questions feel special.
9. Run Contests
Everyone loves getting something for free. Running contests can help promote your channel while providing value to your viewers. Again, this helps build that strong sense of loyalty that’s so valuable.
For a contest to be successful, you need to offer something people want. If you’re a big YouTuber, the opportunity for signed merch or a one-on-one chat can be excellent ideas. Smaller YouTubers may want to opt for something of monetary value, such as a gift card.
10. Make a Discord Channel
Discord is a platform originally designed for use by gamers. However, many people use it as a chatting platform for like-minded groups.
Create your Discord channel, and invite viewers to join. Your fans have an opportunity to interact with one another, and you can keep an eye on what your target audience is currently talking about. Make a point to hop on text or audio chat once in a while to engage with your audience as time allows.