How to Get Subscribers on YouTube

By Paul Higgins

Subscribers are the life and blood of a successful YouTube channel. Not only do subscribers automatically get notified once you release new content, but having already indicated that they liked your videos, they are also more likely to watch and share them. While getting a decent number of subscribers can be tricky, using advanced techniques, such as optimizing your videos or leveraging the power of social media and paid advertising, can help you get there.

Leverage Social Media

YouTube is an incredibly competitive content platform where 100 hours of content is uploaded each minute. With so many creators competing for the same eyeballs, simply telling your friends about your channel may not have that much of an impact. Fortunately, there are plenty of social media websites out there that can help you share your videos with a much broader audience. If you already have a decent number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, share your videos with them and add a message to your post to invite them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. In addition, you can also create a dedicated Facebook page for your channel which will act as a hub where people who enjoy your content can view your latest uploads and discuss them. Creating a Tumblr page can provide you with yet another way to share your videos with the world.

Add a Call to Action

As a content creator on YouTube, it is crucial to include a clear call to action at the end of your videos, much like the last paragraph in a standard sales letter always reminds people to order the advertised product. Unlike a sales letter, however, your goal as a content creator is usually not to sell a product, but rather to get people to click the "Subscribe" button. Therefore, simply asking people to subscribe to your channel at the end of your videos can improve your subscription rate. To further improve it, however, you might also want to add the same call to action to your video descriptions and to the posts you create when sharing your videos on social media. Finally, you can even further increase your subscription rate by using the annotations feature on YouTube, which allows you to include subscription buttons that pop up on the screen at the end of your videos.

Optimize Your Videos

While many people land on YouTube by clicking on a direct link to a video, others simply use the site's built-in search engine to find new content. The search engine analyzes specific data, such as upload tags, descriptions and titles, to determine whether a specific video features, say, a meringue recipe or a cell phone review. The better the search engine is able to identify the topic of your videos, the more your content will appear in relevant user search results, therefore increasing your viewership and subscription rate. Writing accurate and descriptive titles and descriptions will lead to more search engine hits. For example, "My Video Review of the Best Budget Camcorder of 2014" as a title, tells both your audience and the search engine exactly what your video is about. On the other hand, a title written as "Look What My Husband Gave me!" says nothing about the actual contents of the video.

Pay for Advertising

If you want to give your YouTube channel a quick boost, paid advertising may be the way to go. Google has a special program called AdWords for Video, which allows anyone to purchase video ads on YouTube. From your YouTube Video Manager screen, simply click on the arrow next to "Edit" and select "Promote" to start the process. Once approved, your video will then be promoted on YouTube, for a fee of course.