Once you’ve started your YouTube channel and have uploaded a few videos, you’re probably on the edge of your seat waiting for the views and subscribers to come in. Now views are a whole different story, but today I want to focus on and talk about how to get more subscribers. How does a channel get most of their subscribers? What are tips and tricks that you can implement today to start getting more YouTube subscribers? And have you fully thought through the process that a viewer goes through when they decide on subscribing to a channel?
You’ve probably read this somewhere else before, and it’s something a lot of marketers tend to throw around a lot: knowing your target audience. While it may sound like something cliché, it really is that important. If you don’t understand your audience, or don’t even have any idea about the type of people you’re wanting to watch your videos, it’s going to be difficult for you to make a connection with your viewer. And one of the most important things that a viewer will think about before they subscribe to you, is whether they are able to make a connection with you. No one is going to bother watching more of your videos or going over to your channel page if they don’t feel connected with you or the content that you make.
Did you know that most successful channels get their subscriptions from the channel page? That’s right, out of the two most popular ways to subscribe, the button under your video, tends to not get the most clicks. Rather, the button on your channel’s home page tends to get the most clicks. Most people are not subscribing after just watching one video, and most people are definitely not just scrolling down and mindlessly clicking “Subscribe” no matter how many times you ask them to do it (though it’s still good practice to do so). A typical user, if they found your video interesting, will go to your channel page and check out other content that may be available for them to view. But before any of that even happens, there are a few things that a viewer will look at to immediately start to make a connection with you.
The first thing a viewer will look at is the banner at the top of your channel page. If a viewer can’t confidently say, “I love this channel, this channel is for me”, then chances of them subscribing is going to be low. Therefore, having an informative, branded, and standout banner is crucial. Your channel design should communicate a few things and should answer some important questions that a viewer will probably be thinking about.
- Who is this channel for?
- Is the content on this channel valuable?
- How many times does this channel upload?
- What type of content does this channel upload?
These are all important factors to consider implementing into your channel design. And just as important as the channel banner is, the channel icon is equally as important. The channel icon is literally displayed everywhere on YouTube, more than any other piece of your channel page. The channel icon is displayed in the comments section, in suggested videos, in search results, the YouTube homepage, and any other place you can think of. Hence, you want to have a channel icon that represents you and the type of content you make. Your channel icon should attract viewers, welcome them to your channel, and make an emotional connection with them.
Additionally, your channel’s homepage structure should be relevant and informative as well. Under your banner and channel icon you’ll have the option to display certain playlists, videos, and your channel trailer. If you’re missing any of these elements, you’re missing an opportunity to create a connection with a potential subscriber, and we’ve already discussed the importance of making a connection. Once someone discovers a video of yours, and they like it, they’ll go to your channel page and expect to get a very quick overview of what your channel is about, and one of the best ways to do that is through playlists that easily portray the type of content that you create. When you feature these playlists on your channel page, a viewer will be able to get that quick overview that they’re looking for and decide whether they want to subscribe. But the important note here, is that if you don’t have this information available to them, then they won’t consider subscribing at all, and you’ve missed your chance to sway their decision in your favor.
Lastly, your channel About page and video thumbnails should be considered as well. When you hover over a channel’s icon anywhere on YouTube, you’ll get a hover card that pops up. If your hover card pops up and says nothing, or nothing useful, you’ve once again missed your chance to get a click from a potential subscriber. The hover card displays your channel’s banner and About section, so ensure you’re able to make a connection with a viewer in the first few lines of your channel’s About section. Your thumbnails should also be consistent and optimized for mobile devices. More and more viewers are watching YouTube on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. If your thumbnail design and typography is too small, a viewer can easily lose interest and click away.
And that pretty much covers how to get more subscribers on YouTube. Your channel design is an important element in helping convert viewers into subscribers.
If you’re looking for additional help, coming up with a winning video strategy, or creating an engaging channel design that targets your target audience, feel free to contact us. We specialize in YouTube strategy and channel growth and have helped dozens of clients expand their reach on the platform. But if it’s one thing that you take from this article, it’s that it’s important to strategically think about how you design your channel, how you structure your homepage, and what language you use in your copy to attract your right audience.