YouTube Growth Strategies
Probably you’re reading this because you want to grow your YouTube channel without relying on advertising and time-consuming marketing practices. Or because you don’t have the budget to do all of the above.
That’s a place many find themselves in when they start a YouTube channel, with the hope that it will grow on its own without much effort. Alas, the hard truth is that nearly nothing happens without some kind of effort, but it doesn’t have to be gigantic. You can buy real active Youtube subscribers. Youtube subscribers are essential.
With some well-thought hacks, you can grow your YouTube channel organically and let the YouTube algorithm do the job for you.
To help you with this endeavor, I interviewed 12 marketers and Youtubers who made it successfully on YouTube. Read on to learn how they grew their YouTube channels organically.
12 Experts Teach How Grow Your YouTube Channel Organically
1. Turn Written Content Into Videos
Our first tip comes from David Lynch, Content Lead at Payette Forward, Inc., who says they turn written content into videos for their YouTube channel, now counting more than 311,000 subscribers, that they grew primarily by getting organic traffic: David suggests that you
“Take your written content and use it as scripts for YouTube videos. This is an easy way to build a foundation of content for your channel. Don’t be afraid to create the same content in written and video formats — you’ll increase your chances of showing up in Google search and reach a wider audience.”
2. Script Your Videos
Stacy Caprio from Colorful Eyes, who has grown her YouTube channel organically to over half a million views, recommends to script your videos instead of recording on the fly:
“My tip for growing a channel successfully is to script your videos and cut out all unnecessary fluff while filming, and then after cut out more while editing. To have a successful channel, meaning people coming back and YouTube bumping your video ranks, you need people to watch as much of each video as possible. To do this you have to make every second interesting and necessary, or people will drop off and never come back.”
3. Add Captions to Your Videos
Captions are another place where you can make a difference for the growth of your YouTube channel. David Lynch says:
“YouTube’s default captions aren’t great, and sometimes they’ll show up in the wrong language. Creating your own captions makes your videos more accessible, and helps search engines better interpret the contents of your video.”
4. Write Long Descriptions
David Lynch also recommends to write long descriptions that help rank your video better:
“This also makes it easier for search engines to interpret and understand your video, increasing the likelihood that your video will appear when a user types in a relevant query.”
That’s also true for YouTube’s own search engine, that will look at the key terms in your description when returning results.
5. Leverage Keywords
Jennifer Walden, Director of Operations, WikiLawn, focuses her YouTube channel growth lens on keywords:
“We do use YouTube for how-to videos which are focused on gathering organic search traffic. We’ve found meta-data really helps with this, as there’s an exact science to picking keywords and phrases that people search for in YouTube. We use keyword tools to help us with this and try to give each video relevant SEO.”
“When targeting keywords, always target really long tail. These will be easier to rank for and long tail keywords bring you engaged traffic that’ll often binge watch your videos. This is great because it’ll quickly ramp up “watch time” which is a crucial YouTube ranking factor.”
Also, Saffron Sheriff, who has run social media accounts for influencers for over four years and recently started a YouTube channel, recommends that you focus on the keywords you verbally speak in the video:
“Ensure you verbally say your keywords within the video – Youtube is now fantastic at deciding what the content of your video is, without a title, description and tags. They have bots that can read your voice and make transcripts. If you’re talking about screwdrivers, then mention the word screwdrivers in your video several times. This will ensure your video is correctly categorized.”
6. Create Great Thumbnaills
No kidding! Praveen Malik, owner of the PM by PM blog, started his YouTube Channel to reach people wanting to try the PMP certification, and he tried to get his thumbnails right from day one to improve the performance of his videos:
“Good and clean thumbnails lead to good CTR. Test and analyze your thumbnails to find out what works best for you.”
Even Saffron Sheriff believes you should make your thumbnail representative of your video:
“A lot of people always point to the thumbnail and state that it’s extremely important for bringing in traffic. However, if you have a very exciting thumbnail and which has nothing to do with your video, you might get some clicks immediately but over time, Youtube will decide your videos are uninteresting and you’ll gain less exposure. Focus less on making your thumbnail look good, and more time making your thumbnail match your video.”
7. Quality of Sound
Saffron Sheriff says you should “focus more on the quality of your sound than the quality of your video”:
“People are more likely to switch off if the sound quality is awful than they would if your video footage is blurry. Are your audio levels well balanced, can the viewer hear you correctly? Can you reduce background noise?”
8. Rework Your Older YouTube Content
Nikola Baldikov, Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix, looks at older YouTube content as a goldmine:
“Make the most of the content you’re posting by reworking it from time to time. One specific example I can think of from my personal life is an exercise channel I follow. They have some great workout routines, many of which are compilations of parts of older routines. It still has the feel of fresh new content because it’s combined in a different way with a different focus, and it also doesn’t involve constantly creating new things from scratch. We also practice this in my business, Brosix IM. We find that by reworking older content we’re able to reach parts of our audience that may have missed out when we originally posted. That’s not to say that we only recycle old content, but it’s a great way to compliment the new content that we’re posting on a regular basis.”
And content that reaches your audience is at the heart of a YouTube growth strategy. About that, Jennifer Walden says that :
“Organic engagement really depends on the content. My husband as a hobbyist channel where he talks about personal interests as they relate to his studies in medicine. He gets a lot of engagement from medical students, fellow residents, and people who are just interested in medical science.”
In the end, she adds, “engagement comes from having a solid brand and sticking with it. People know what to expect when they see his videos pop up.” So take good care of your YouTube content.
9. Promote Your YouTube Channel On Your Website With Popups
According to Quincy Smith, Founder, ESL Authority, popups work to increase YouTube subscribers:
“We have a popup that we show website visitors that asks people to subscribe to your channel. While intrusive, it gets results and is the primary contributor to our 20% month over month channel growth.”
Naturally, try to make your popups as unobtrusive as possible!
10. Promote Your Channel On Other Social Media
Your other social media can help give a big growth boost to your YouTube channel. Michael Hammelburger, CEO at The Bottom Line Group, says:
“You do not just limit it on Facebook and Instagram. You can reply to queries posted on Quora, participate in online community discussions, and ask for backlinks from credible websites.”
Michael shared a real example of how the other way works: “We used Youtube and Linkedin to help promote the sale of my book Growing By Knowing, and it resulted in hundreds of sales of my book as well as several new clients.” And like Michael pushed book sales through YouTube and LinkedIn, you could do the same to push YouTube growth through other social media channels that you use. Like Reddit, for example, which is the social media where Jeff Moriarty from Moriarty’s Gem Art found success:
“The biggest ways we have been able to build our followers has been through creating unique content and submitting it to other social media platforms, such as Reddit. For example, one video we submitted to Reddit went viral, and we ended up with over 4,000,000 views and an extra 10,000 followers. You don’t have to have some state of the art equipment or studio, just unique ideas and a phone with a camera.”
You can always funnel followers from other sources. Saffron Sheriff says to
“Make sure that you’re running a frequent campaign to drive traffic from your pre-existing social media channels. Share 1-30 second clips of your Youtube videos on Facebook, Instagram and even Tiktok. Get people intrigued enough to look you up.”
Like previously mentioned Quincy Smith says, “you’ll be surprised how effective it can be to simply ask people to follow you!”
11. Engage with Your Audience
When your video is out there getting views and comments, you don’t want to abandon it, especially in the first 48 hours after publishing. Praveen Malik strongly encourages you to engage with your audience:
“Creatively ask people to comment on your videos – ask their point of view, give them questions to solve, and do whatever makes sense for your video. Also regularly reply to the comments.”
12. Send Your Video to People Who Appeared In It
John Wetmore, Producer of “Perils For Pedestrians” Television, shares his unique idea to grow your YouTube channel organically:
“I have a YouTube channel I created for my cable television series, “Perils For Pedestrians”. Each episode consists of interviews with half a dozen people about issues that affect pedestrians. When I upload a new episode, I send the link to the people who appear on that episode. Typically, they will share that link in their social media circles.When YouTube required a channel to have 1,000 subscribers to be in their partner program, I had a head start because I had interviewed over 1,000 people on “Perils For Pedestrians”. The bottom line: the people who appear in your videos can be your biggest asset.“
13. Interview Influencers On Your Channel
Antti Alatalo, Marketing Director at Cashcow Ltd, says the company launched their YouTube channel in 2017, and although they were consistently publishing content, “it was a real struggle to get views and subscribers on our channel.” So they decided to interview influencers in their niche:
“We reached out to them in a flattering manner. We asked if they would like to share their takes, views and the recipe for success. We optimized the titles of these videos for the influencers name, used their faces on the thumbnails. Once we started publishing these videos, the influencers shared the interviews on their channel. They did short videos of the interviews and linked to our videos. This gave us the initial boost for subscribers and views.”
14. Run a Distraction Test
To end this list of ways to grow your YouTube channel organically, Saffron Sheriff recommends that you run a test for your videos:
“People’s attention spans are far shorter than they were historically. Watch your video through, have 5-7 tabs open at once. The moment a notification or tab draws your attention away from the video, is the moment it stops being interesting. Pull the video down, cut that section out and try again until eventually you have a video that holds your attention for at least 70% of the video. If you can’t hold your own attention, how will you hold the attention of others?”
To Sum It Up
Our experts shared a lot of gems on how to grow a YouTube channel organically! Now let’s put together a TL;DR and get the key points out of the interviews:
- YouTube meta data matters: don’t rush over your title, description, tags, captions
- Don’t rush talk your videos: script them for maximum engagement.
- Don’t rush your thumbnails either: make them unique and descriptive of the content of your video.
- Also, take care of the quality of the sound, not only of the video itself.
- Got content elsewhere? Turn it into a video!
- Got older YouTube content? Rework it and turn it into one or more new videos.
- Take care in building your brand on YouTube: that’s not just your logo and thumbnails, but even the way you speak and your core message
- Use your other websites and social media to promote your YouTube channel
- Engage with your audience and get some influencers in your niche to contribute to your videos, so you’ll get to engage with their audience, too.
Over to you: how are you growing your YouTube channel? Share your pearls of wisdom in the comments, or get help from us and fellow readers.