How to promote your YouTube channel

2021-03-08

By: Monique Seitz-Davis

Each month, over two billion users log in to their YouTube accounts. Needless to say, the site sees a pretty unbelievable amount of traffic — it’s probably why you created a YouTube channel in the first place. 

There’s also an unbelievable amount of content on YouTube. (Over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute — that’s 720,000 hours of new content every single day.) Your channel — and any channel, for that matter — is just a tiny drop in an enormous river of content. So how can you make your videos stand out? 

Making content is only the first step towards a successful YouTube channel. To reach your audience, you also have to promote your YouTube channel. And there’s no “right” way to do this. In this post, we’ll break down various strategies you can use to promote your YouTube channel and start racking up the views. 

Understanding the YouTube algorithm

Like Google (or Bing), YouTube is a search engine, which means that the best way to promote your YouTube channel is by optimizing your content to rank well in YouTube searches. It’s a pretty simple concept: The higher your videos are ranked in searches, the more likely they will be watched. 

So how does YouTube’s algorithm rank content? 

First, let’s see what YouTube has to say about it: “Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description, and video content match the viewer’s query. Beyond that, we look at which videos have driven the most engagement for a query.”

While the description is a little vague, it gives us a list of places to include keywords: the title, description, and content (closed captions are important!). Once you’ve loaded up on keywords, you’ll want to turn your attention to engagement. YouTube wants users to stay on their platform for as long as possible — your videos can help make this happen.  

Not sure where to go from here? Don’t worry — we explain how to find YouTube keywords, increase engagement, and further promote your YouTube channel in the following section.

List of ways to promote your channel

Remember: There’s no “right” way to promote your YouTube channel. And there’s also no fix-all — you’ll have the best results using a number of the strategies listed below. The good news is that most of the following ways to promote your YouTube channel are completely free! 

Identify and include high-volume keywords

Finding YouTube keywords can be tricky (and unreliable) — the results are often just pulled from Google keyword tools. If you’re interested in doing a deep dive, Ahrefs has a great guide on YouTube SEO. 

Before diving into YouTube keyword research, we’d recommend starting with Google keywords. For many Google searches, the top results are videos — these could be your videos! As you create your content, do some Google keyword research and include those keywords in your video title and description. You may also want to plug those keywords into Google quickly: What types of videos are showing up? How long are they? You’ll want to pattern your content after the videos that are ranking well. (We’re not calling for plagiarism, of course. Your content should be original.)

Make your own thumbnails

Before clicking on your video, a YouTube user sees two things: the title and thumbnail. YouTube allows you to create your own thumbnails for your videos — as in you have control of the viewer’s first impression! YouTube suggests using thumbnail images that catch the viewer’s eye, aren’t misleading, and show the viewer what your video is about. It’s a tall order, but they offer loads of great tips.

Use metadata 

YouTube allows you to add “Tags” — searchable keywords that don’t show up in your description or title — to your videos. Make sure to include a few for each video you publish. Don’t go overboard: You want the tags to be accurate and relevant to your content.

Interact with your audience

One of the easiest ways to drive engagement with your YouTube videos and channel is replying to comments (good and bad). Interacting with viewers gives a chance to show your channel’s personality, so have fun with it!

Create playlists

Remember how we said YouTube wants viewers to stay on the site? By creating playlists of your related videos and linking them at the end of each video, you can help drive viewer engagement and rack up more views!

Promote on other social media platforms

Your company’s online presence likely extends beyond YouTube — so make use of those other social media platforms! Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or your blog, link to your YouTube channel and embed videos to drive traffic towards your channel. 

Invest in YouTube ads

If you have room in your budget, YouTube ads are one of the best ways to promote your content. You can target specific demographics with your ads to try and reach the ideal persona with your content. 

As you implement these strategies, remember that promoting your YouTube channel is a process — you don’t have to do everything right away! Start by focusing on keywords or cross-promoting, and build from there. The longer you stick with it, the more results you’ll see. 

There’s not much point in promoting your YouTube channel if it looks unprofessional. Potential viewers are ruthless — they might take one look at your page and leave! Ensure your YouTube channel makes a good first impression with Lucidpress YouTube channel art templates.

Ready to get started? Choose from any of our free YouTube channel art templates.

View templates

Monique Seitz-Davis

Monique Seitz-Davis is the Sr. Content Marketing Specialist for Lucidpress. Her areas of expertise include copywriting, content marketing, and brand strategy. When Monique's not writing, you can likely find her trail running or rabble-rousing with her dogs.

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