YouTube is one of the largest platforms on the internet. With high engagement and millions of hours of content for users it’s a wealth for viewers. It’s great for everything from learning how to change a tire, entertaining yourself with TikTok compilations, or growing your following online. It can also be great for course creators, so it’s important to learn how to promote your YouTube channel.
YouTube is one of the best platforms to grow a following because it’s a search engine in itself and it’s used by 1.5 billion logged-in users each month. The potential for reaching the audience you’re looking for is near limitless, you just have to employ the right strategies to promote your YouTube channel.
The thing is, there’s a lot of competition on YouTube with 60 hours of video being uploaded each minute. That’s why you need to create an intentional YouTube promotion plan. But we can help you figure out exactly what strategy is feasible and right for you are a creator.
How to promote your YouTube channel
There are countless ways that you can promote your YouTube channel. Some are necessary for every YouTube channel, others you can mix and match depending on your own preferences. Either way, we’re going to go over the various promotional options you have. Then you can strategize the right plan for you.
Necessary promotion strategies
When it comes to driving traffic to your YouTube channel, there are a few non-negotiable promotional strategies that every successful YouTuber needs to have in their plans. Luckily, they’re easy to tackle and yield a huge reward. We’ll walk you through them below so you can make sure you’ve got all of your bases covered.
Creating a custom thumbnail
The first promotional strategy you need to have in your toolbox is a good thumbnail strategy. Thumbnails are so important when creating video content because they help draw your viewers in. Eye-catching thumbnails can help convince your audience to click your video. Otherwise, YouTube will auto-generate a thumbnail for you, and more often than not, they just so happen to choose the most unflattering frame in your entire video.
Creating a custom thumbnail is as easy as opening Canva and plugging your own images and text into one of their premade templates. Adding some text to show a little more of what the video is about can help too.
Using SEO in your videos
Like search engines, YouTube has a ranking algorithm that establishes where content will show up in search results. To make sure your content is ranking on YouTube, put some thought into your title, description, and tags and optimize them for SEO. You will start to notice some trends too. Like what videos of your tend to do best and what headlines and descriptions seem to work for you.
Choosing a title for your video
The title of your YouTube video should help your audience understand what your video is about. YouTubers with huge audiences often use “clickbait” titles. They use titles like, “You wouldn’t believe what happened!” which works great if you’ve got tens of thousands of engaged fans, but when you’re just getting started, clickbait won’t work nearly as well as a straightforward title.
It’s actually more effective for smaller YouTubers to use simple titles with target keywords. Then once you make it big you can move on to making the click baity titles if you want to. But in the start, stick to the things you know work. Clear descriptions and searchable titles.
Writing the video descriptions
When you’re uploading your video, not live streaming, you get the opportunity to fill out a video description. There are several things you can do to optimize your video with this space.
Make sure your description is keyword dense and describes the type of content and what your video is about
Fill your description out completely, longer descriptions are often ranked better with YouTube analytics
Link to your other assets: your blog, social networks, course page, etc.
- Include a call to action: make it clear why people should click
If you follow these rules and work to make the description as helpful for your viewers, you should start getting views. Make sure to be clear about anything you plan to teach as well. Or even add minute markers for different sections of the video to help prevent people from clicking and then closing the video because they aren’t finding the information they want quickly enough.
Tags act as a way to categorize your YouTube content. Your tags are a very simple way to signal to YouTube what your video is about. When you’re tagging your video, choose an array of keywords related to your content and your brand. This should help improve your YouTube presence too. The tags will help YouTube’s algorithm filter it into the right place on the platform so it’s recommended in the right places and populates in the search bar.
For example, if your video is about knitting, your tags might look a little something like this: knitting, how to knit, how to knit a scarf, knitting stitches, knitting tutorial, knitting for beginners.
And you’ll also want to throw in tags that make your business searchable. For example, let’s pretend I have a knitting business and I made the video. I’d add the tags: “Morgan Timm” and “Knitting with Morgan.”
How to get more views on YouTube
Once you’ve got the basics, you can choose from other strategies for how to increase views on YouTube videos. Depending on where you’re business is currently, some of these methods may work better for you than others to promote your channel.
Embed your videos on your website
One of the quickest ways to increase the viewership of your videos is to embed them into blog posts or pages that are already performing well on your website.
When your website visitors land on those popular web pages, many of them will click the video and then stick around to watch it. Use your existing platforms like a blog to your advantage as much as possible. The videos should also be a way to make your content stronger.
Share your channel on social media
If you have a social media audience, your favorite platforms are an obvious answer to the question of how to advertise your YouTube channel. Depending on the platform, the promotion strategies will vary.
Promoting your channel on Facebook
Facebook is a great platform because, despite its past scandals, it feels like just about everyone uses the platform. What does that mean for you? Your audience is out there waiting for your videos.
The strategy: Every time you upload, make sure to share your video to your Facebook page. If you want to extend your reach, send a link to your business friends (or your mom, not judging) and ask them to engage. Facebook’s algorithm favors content that people are clicking on, liking, and commenting on. By asking friends to engage, your video will be shown to more people.
Promoting your channel on Instagram
Instagram is one of the trickier platforms to promote YouTube advertising on for a few reasons. The biggest? There isn’t an obvious way to link to the content in your posts. Instead, you have to point people to a link in your bio to find your YouTube channel on your Linktree. We use Linktree on the Teachable account to add more links, but if YouTube is your primary focus, you can also use that space to link to your YouTube channel.
Another option you have is using Instagram stories. You can post a clip of your YouTube video to stories and include a link to the full YouTube video to try and drive views from Instagram to YouTube.
Interested on promoting with Instagram? Here’s our beginner’s guide to getting started.
Promoting your channel on Twitter
Twitter seems to be the “it” platform for huge YouTubers. It’s great because it feels the most personal, and if you’ve got a following, chances are they’re going to regularly check your account for the chance to engage with you.
Even if you’re a smaller YouTuber, you can still harness the power of Twitter by regularly posting on your page, creating polls, and letting your followers know when you’ve posted new content to boost your YouTube views.
If your audience feels like they’re in the loop about what you’re working on and what to expect, they’ll be more likely to engage with your channel. You can also use this to encourage people to subscribe.
Twitter is a great way to grow your influence, here’s how to use Twitter as an entrepreneur.
Email anyone mentioned in your video
When you’re creating your videos, you may mention where you learned what you’re talking about, or how a colleague has a really cool alternative strategy for doing what you’re teaching. If you mention any individual or business, send them a link to your video.
You can send a formal email or casually let them know that you mentioned them via tweet. The best-case scenario is that they’ll share your video with your audience.
Mention your video in your newsletter
Give them a direct link to subscribe to your channel, and maybe share a list of your most popular video content.
Engage with others on YouTube
If you’re looking to play the long game, this one is for you. One way to build a genuine and engaged audience is by engaging with others by posting videos in your niche.
The key here is to engage in an authentic way and leave comments pertaining to the content, not saying, “Hey! I make videos on YouTube about this too! Check me out!”
When you leave thoughtful and engaging comments, you get “thumbs up” from other viewers. The more upvotes you get, the higher your comment will rank in the comment section. If you rank high, people will see your comments and check your profile out. If you’re engaging with people in the same niche as you, those people may subscribe.
Link to your YouTube on Quora
If you’ve been around the Teachable blog for any chunk of time, you’re probably well aware of the fact that I think Quora is one step away from magic.
Quora is a great place to ask and answer questions and drive traffic to your website or YouTube channel.
The gist of promoting via Quora is this: find questions related to your content, write well-thought-out answers, add a “if you’re interested in learning more about this, check out my video” phrase to the bottom of your post and linking to your channel.
Here’s our complete guide to using Quora as an online entrepreneur.
See consistent growth with YouTube video promotion
One thing to consider with YouTube is that the platform loves consistency. If you’re uploading regularly, your channel will rank higher in YouTube search. So, don’t get discouraged if after just a few uploads you haven’t gained any traction. It might take a bit longer to get the ball rolling.
Keep at it and use these tips to your advantage. Start by adding in one new strategy and see how it works. Then introduce another. This way, you can track the changes that are working and those that aren’t. And keep up the good work!