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How to Get More Subscribers on YouTube

Anyone who has ever experienced the joy of watching an old childhood video, or watching a clip of one of their own children, knows the power of video. While looking at a photograph of your baby (or pet) can brighten your day, watching a video of them can result in a much more visceral experience.  While a picture says a thousand words, a video—with sound, movement, and feeling—has the ability to connect with people on a deeper level, and cause emotional reactions that can’t be matched by most photos.

With 2016 repeatedly crowned the year of video, if you still aren’t including video in your content strategy, now is the time to do so. With over 1 billion people around the world visiting the site each month, YouTube is a solid place to focus your video strategy. Whether you’re an agency, a brand, or a YouTube personality, knowing the fundamentals can help you better position your channel for success. We’ve put together the following tips to help you get more YouTube subscribers, see more engagement, and build your channel, one view at a time.

Why?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to leverage YouTube for your marketing success, it’s important to delve into why this is a place your business needs to be. With social media video such a big focus in 2016 and beyond, the benefits of using YouTube to carry out your video strategy are countless. For example, YouTube is the second largest search engine, following Google. Furthermore, by having content on YouTube, you are positioning your organization to be found more easily through Google itself. Google groups images, text, books, local searches, and video all together in the results, meaning that your YouTube videos will appear just as if they were a text-only site. Some other key stats to think about include:

With this information in mind, the following tips will elevate your YouTube presence from unnoteworthy to Oscar-worthy.

How to get more subscribers on YouTube: 13 essential tactics

1. Post quality and useful content

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at all of the videos out there that are of either terrible quality, or lack any truly valuable content. If you want to post a dark and fuzzy video of your midnight fast-food run, do so on your personal channel (and maybe think about hiding those videos from the general public).

For your brand’s page, create unique content or take a look at trending or popular themes and topics, and put your organization’s spin on those. If your product or service has experts behind it, use those experts to provide answers to common questions (through a Q&A video) or to demonstrate how your brand solves popular problems. Think about what your target audience member is searching for, and what their main pain points are, and create video content that addresses these needs.

2. Pick your title and description wisely

As some of the first impressions of your brand’s YouTube presence, your video titles and descriptions should reflect the high quality your organization is known for (or strives to be known for).

With YouTube’s maximum title length set at 100 characters, you want to keep your title as clear and concise as possible. Your video name is what will attract your audience and act as the deciding factor in whether they’re going to click on your content or not—no pressure. Vidrack author Ryan Parent provides some helpful guidance on the matter, sharing that “the best advice I can give for writing video titles is to be descriptive and accurate.” This isn’t the place to try and surprise your viewers, nor is it the place to exercise the phrase “you won’t believe what happens next!” Nobody likes to feel tricked into watching something that they didn’t sign up for, so ensure your title and description are as straightforward as possible.

Specifically speaking about your YouTube video description, Parent shares the following tips for helping you attract more subscribers through your descriptions:

  • Don’t leave it blank—Many people make the mistake of leaving this area blank, missing out on a big video optimization opportunity.
  • Use tags—Tags act as keywords for your videos, so if you neglect adding these you’re missing out on huge discovery opportunities.
  • Don’t copy and paste—Instead, write unique, descriptive and keyword rich content in the description that YouTube can recognize.
  • Add URLs—Send traffic to your website and other social channels by including URLs in the description .

3. Include a clear call-to-action

The built-in features of YouTube allow for you to easily incorporate a CTA in your videos. If someone has taken the initiative to actually click on and watch your video content, you’re halfway towards getting them to complete any desired next step. Usually, interacting with content such as a video indicates interest—even if it’s small at the moment—so make sure you prompt your audience and let them know what they can do to get more information and continue the relationship. If your objective is to grow your subscriber list, something like “subscribe now!” should be your CTA, but savvy marketers use YouTube for everything from driving traffic to collecting leads.

There are a few different methods of including a CTA on your YouTube videos. The Animoto blog explains three of the most prominent ways you can do this:

  • A vocal call-to-action: If appropriate, have the person speaking in the video tell the audience what action to take next step
  • A text call-to-action: Use titles or captions to share information and suggestions for your customers’ next steps
  • Call-to-action buttons: To add a level of interactivity to your videos, you can add a CTA button or overlay to your content. Ann Smarty of Internet Marketing Ninjas provides clear directions on how to do exactly this.

4. Create an engaging YouTube trailer

As a way to attract viewers to your channel—and ultimately gain new YouTube subscribers—a YouTube trailer offers potential audience members a look at what your content is about. The YouTube Creator Blog offers the following tips for how to make the best channel trailer possible:

  • Include a clear CTA encouraging viewers to subscribe.
  • Entertain the viewer to show what your channel is about rather than tell.
  • Indicate the type of videos your viewers can expect, and when they can expect them .
  • Think about the video’s context, as it will be seen on the channel (possibly after a viewer has already seen at least one of your videos).
  • While there’s no perfect length, shorter is generally better.

5. Put some effort into the look of your channel

As one of your key marketing platforms, you will want to put as much effort into your YouTube channel as you do your other online profiles. As a company asset, you will want to ensure that you are incorporating your brand style and brand voice wherever possible. The look of your channel should be both professional and aesthetically pleasing, as it is your audience’s main visual impression of your organization. Think about what you want viewers to feel and do when they’re on your channel, and how the overall look of your channel can help you meet these objectives.

YouTube’s Creator Academy offers the following tips for branding your channel as a means of getting more subscribers:

  • Focus on the content: “Your brand should correspond to the type of content you produce.”
  • Spend time on your channel icon: “Your channel icon visually represents your channel everywhere across Google and YouTube, so make sure it looks good large and small.” YouTube recommends using an 800 x 800 pixel JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG file.
  • Pay attention to channel art:Channel art is the banner across the top of your channel. It provides a great opportunity to really show off your channel’s personality! Channel art appears on all platforms where viewers can see your channel (TV, mobile, tablets, etc.) Upload an image that is at least 2560 x 1440 [pixels].”

For more information from YouTube on how to make your channel perform the best it possibly can, check out Creator Academy’s page on the topic.

6. Personalize video thumbnails

As an additional way of polishing the look of your channel, it’s smart to personalize your video thumbnails. Make use of branded fonts, colors, and images that reflect what your content will speak to, and remember that a thumbnail’s worth a thousand words. As YouTube’s Creator Academy states, “Custom thumbnails are a great way to package your video series with a consistent look and feel. They can also help viewers pick your video out from a sea of other thumbnails.”

For a thorough guide to creating great video thumbnails, this resource from YouTube’s Creator Academy is extremely valuable.

7. Use annotations

If you want a surefire way to make your videos more engaging and interactive, using annotations is the way to do this. Annotations allow you to “layer text, links, and hotspots over your video,” helping you “enrich the video experience by adding information, interactivity, and engagement.” The possibilities for annotation use are limited only by your creativity, but some common uses include:

  • Letting viewers skip ahead (keeping them watching in the process)
  • Suggesting other videos for the viewer to watch
  • Linking to your website
  • Linking to a subscribe button for your channel
  • Adding a CTA (sign up, learn more, etc.)

As YouTube explains, “By encouraging viewers to watch more, you can help boost your channel’s watch time which aids your placement in Search and Suggested Video.” Through earning more views and audience members, you are sure to get more YouTube subscribers overall.

8. Post consistently

How many times have you been excited to check out an organization’s YouTube page, only to find that they haven’t uploaded a video since 2011? This is all-too-often the case, and leaves the viewer disappointed and questioning the authority of the brand. One of the best ways to get more YouTube subscribers is to simply be a reliable source of information for them, through providing frequent and consistent content. Make realistic goals (for example, one to two new videos per week), and ensure you stick to these.  Your audience will come to depend and count on you for at least one type of recurring content—content they will find themselves looking forward to.

By positioning your brand as one that your audience and customers can trust, you’re guaranteed to build a dedicated following. As basketball and YouTube professional Dre Martin explains, you don’t have to be the best or most revolutionary, “but you can be the most persistent. You can be the most dependable when it comes to sharing fresh new content. You can set a schedule that you stick to, earning you more trust than the creators who post only when they feel like it or get around to it.”

9. Keep it short

With the average YouTube video clocking in at 4.4 minutes, it makes sense that the shorter the video, the more likely you are to keep your audience’s attention. With the general attention span for a YouTube video peaking at around the three minute mark, this is also something to keep in mind. However, as with most content marketing strategies, it’s important to adjust this principle when necessary.

As Andrew Stark of Stark Insider TV states, “Shorter is typically better. But depending on your subject matter—an interview, speech, or investigative expose—you will need to go longer to properly convey the story.”

10. Collaborate with other YouTube users

As with other social media networks, there are countless communities within YouTube dedicated to whatever is relevant to your brand or organization. Find other YouTubers within your industry, and invite them to collaborate on a video or series of videos. This is mutually beneficial, as cross promotion gives both of your brands visibility in new markets and gives you the opportunity to gain new YouTube subscribers.

To help you get started with some collaboration efforts, Vlog Nation offers the following ideas for YouTube partnerships:

  • Guest appearances in each others’ videos
  • Making one YouTube video and dividing it
  • Uploading your videos to each others’ channels
  • Collaborating with Google Hangouts on-air
  • Exchanging shout-outs
  • Collaborating through social media

11. Cross-promotion

Besides cross-promoting on other YouTube users’ channels through collaboration, you can get more subscribers through promoting your content on different channels and platforms.  Help direct traffic to your YouTube channel through consistently including links from your email newsletters, website, and other social media accounts.

Another way to cross-promote is within YouTube itself, where if you are managing more than one YouTube channel you can “turn your channel into a single destination for viewers to access all of the other channels you own or love.”

12. Interact with your audience

This may seem like a given for anyone who knows the value of social media engagement, but it’s crucial to interact with your audience. This doesn’t mean simply answering questions they ask you directly, but encouraging them to ask such questions and giving them quality content that warrants comments.

Commonly referred to as the “YouTube community,” it’s important to recognize that YouTube isn’t somewhere you can just dump your content and forget about it. Find out what active audience members within your specific community and industry are interested in, and speak to this. You know how great it feels when somebody comments something positive or (respectfully) thought-provoking on your social media posts? Do the same for others on YouTube, and notice the ways in which you get back as much as you give.

Asking engaging questions on other users’ videos is another way to spark conversation, and drive audience members and the user themselves, to your channel. If you are able to establish yourself as an active member of the community, you will naturally create a situation where you gain subscribers. Some key ways to engage with other users and get more YouTube subscribers are:

  • Take a few minutes each day to view other YouTubers channels and content, and pose appropriate questions or comments
  • Encourage your audience members to ask questions
  • Ask audience members to contribute ideas for your future content
  • Run a YouTube contest where you ask for video replies

For a more detailed guide to engaging on YouTube, the accompanying Creator Academy page is a solid resource.

13. Reward your subscribers

One key way of not only engaging with your subscribers, but getting more YouTube subscribers, is through rewarding them. Everyone loves the chance to win free things, prizes, and valuable assets, so offer them things and give them a reason to subscribe or stay subscribed. Your viewers probably don’t care as much as you do yourself about reaching a milestone such as 500 subscribers, so give them an incentive to help you get there. Show your gratitude for your subscribers, and make them feel appreciated.

Do something such as host a contest, a giveaway, or offer a shout-out to subscribers in exchange for them being loyal fans, or sharing your channel and videos. You can get more YouTube subscribers by giving something back, and truly showing—rather than just telling—your audience how dedicated you are to them.

As you can see, there are countless ways to get new YouTube subscribers. By focusing on what your audience wants, rather than simply what you or your brand wants, you have the opportunity to build a dedicated community. Concentrate on creating unique and valuable content that is relevant to your audience’s needs and interests, and you will undoubtedly see your YouTube following grow.

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The 7 Components of Every Social Media Budget

The difference between having your marketing budget approved or rejected depends on how you respond to three questions:

  1. What do you hope to accomplish with said budget?
  2. What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show your success?
  3. How do your objectives and KPIs support those of your department and organization?

As with any marketing initiative, success flows from setting the right objectives and ensuring you have the resources you need to achieve them. If you want to drive brand awareness, then perhaps success is measured based on share of voice and engagement. If you want to drive sales, then you’ll want to evaluate your efforts according to a stricter return on investment (ROI) calculus. Once your budget is approved, measure progress and ensure that whatever you put in, you get back in return.

Every social media budget should incorporate the following seven essential components:

1. Plan and setup

Every social media budget should start with a planning stage. Developing a social media strategy and setting up your online presence will take considerable time and resources initially. By scheduling time to plan ahead, you will be less likely to waste resources in the future by backtracking and restrategizing. You will want to map out goals and strategies for your organic social and paid advertising, content and creative, engagement, SEO (search engine optimization), and campaigns.

This is when you should decide:

  • Which social channels to focus on
  • Your organic and paid social marketing mix
  • Who will publish content and engage in conversations
  • How often you will post and when
  • Where you want to direct social media traffic to
  • How much social media engagement is worth to your business

Budget at least one full-time employee, consultant, or freelance strategist for between one week and one month to strategize and set up your online presence. How long you’ll need to budget this person for depends on whether you already have some social media structure in place and how much content, creative, and branding you require.

2. Software and tools

Social media is attractive to so many businesses looking to sell more, serve better, and market further because it’s basically free. It becomes costly when you waste time and resources on social media without the tools and software to make it efficient.

Here are some standard efficiency software and tools you will want to budget for (in order to save time and money in the long run):

  • Social media management platform—Find an all-in-one platform with publishing, listening, engagement, security, collaboration, mobile, and analytics (we’re biased toward Hootsuite)
  • Project management system (such as Wrike for marketing project management)
  • Analytics (for both your website and social media networks)
  • Marketing automation (for example Marketo for lead generation or MailChimp for email marketing)
  • Content hosting (for your website, blog, and landing pages)
  • Creative software (such as Adobe Creative Cloud)

Some budgetary items may make more sense for your business to outsource. For example, by hiring a creative agency to give your brand a refresh, you don’t have to incur the cost of in-house creative teams, computers, and the tools and software they require. Social media management platforms, on the other hand, tend to be cost efficient, running from zero to a few hundred dollars a month, depending on your scale and need.

3. Management

Social media is just that. It’s social—people connecting with other people. Every social media budget must assume that a person will be managing the channels, whether it’s 100 percent of their job or 10. We recently wrote a blog post about how to create a social media dream team in which we discuss that this team could be one person or many—and in-house or outsourced.

This team (or person) must oversee:

  • Social media management (publishing, listening, and engagement)
  • Strategy and analytics
  • Content creation
  • Community management
  • Campaigns and promotions

Your budget should factor in the cost of social media training or education if you plan to manage your own presence.

4. Creative and branding

Creative and branding is the look and feel of your online presence‚ through media such as images, video, graphics, and other design elements. Decide how often you want to share social content with rich media such as infographics, GIFs, or high-resolution images. Does it make sense to hire a professional photographer to create personal-branded images for your website, landing pages, and social? Or would you prefer to pay for stock photography when you require it?

If you prefer to have a creative and brand team at-hand, does this mean you will be hiring an agency or employees? For in-house teams, examine the cost of headcount, software such as InDesign, video editing, animation, project management, and equipment required such as computers, cameras, and lighting. In some cases, it might make sense to hire an agency or freelance designer for a month, for example, to create your business’ custom branding for a campaign or refresh.

5. Content

Content is king on social media. And unless you can write engaging content yourself (which requires your personal time and resources), you’ll want to either hire freelance copywriters and copy editors or bring them on as employees.

If you plan to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn five days a week, for example, who is going to create the social media messages and the content you’re directing traffic to? Consider how often you want to share content and who will write your social media messages, content for your owned channels (such as your blog and website), and for campaigns or promotions.

6. Paid advertising

Your organic social can only reach so far without the help of paid social, but you also don’t want to spend more than you’re making. Because of this, your social media strategy and budget should balance organic with paid. Whenever an organic social message performs well, we suggest spending some money to promote it. Experiment with ad spend to see how far you can push your brand reach and click-through rate.

Budget your advertising spend for:

  • Search
  • Display and retargeting
  • Mobile
  • Social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest)
  • Lead generation (think: content discovery and email marketing)

Here are some terms to consider when thinking of paid ads:

  • Cost per click (CPC): When you choose a Pay Per Click ad program, this is the actual cost you incur whenever someone clicks on your ad. In Google AdWords, the average CPC is between $1 and $2. This is more of a direct approach to driving sales and leads.
  • Cost per a thousand impressions (CPM): Rather than paying every time a customer clicks on your ad, you pay for the number of times your ad is shown, regardless of whether it is clicked on or not. This is more of a brand awareness approach, where the customer may not purchase right away, but will think of you when they’re ready to buy.

7. Campaigns and promotions

Campaigns, promotions, and other initiatives may cost a bit, but could be worthwhile from a brand awareness or sales perspective. They are a great way to boost brand awareness and send an influx of potential leads through your sales funnel. Divide your budget up according to planning, execution, and reflection stages. In the planning stages, set aside time and resources for ideation and strategizing. Think about how many campaigns you want to run per year, the  individual budgets for each (as well as your overall budget), your goals, content and creative strategy, and the role social media and advertising will play.

Will you hire an agency or consultant to help launch and drive the campaign? You will need someone to monitor for conversations, publish content, connect with your community, and track and control your spending against performance. Just like how agencies provide analytics to show performance, you’ll want to measure the success of your campaign and reflect on what you can improve upon in the future.

Final thoughts on building a social media budget

There’s no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to creating a budget for social media marketing. That’s the beauty and challenge of social media. You can do some experimenting with paid social advertising for a hundred bucks. For a few thousand, you can hire a freelance marketing consultant to create a content strategy that helps drive sales back to your website. With $10,000, you can hire an agency to create a brand awareness campaign.

Oh, to have the social media marketing budget that brands like Coca Cola have, just for a day. Then again, think of what a resourceful team, thirsty for success, can do with so little.

Social Media Marketing services in India

Social media marketing can be defined as the strategy used to develop and integrate marketing techniques incorporated with other tools and tactics to influence the buying behavior of customers.

Social media marketing is done using ethical principles to integrate research, theory, and best practice to inform the audience about your company, brand, product or service in an effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable manner.

Social media marketing paves a way for engagement with different online communities. It increases visibility for the business thereby increasing traffic to your website and build new relationships.

Social media marketing services provide additional benefits to businesses like blog promotions, onlinereputation management, influenced Google rankings and customer service to existing and potential customers.

List of social media marketing services India include the creation of unique contents with images about your business, which educates customers about your brand, which in turn prompts them to take action.

Interacting with potential customers and joining them in their authentic conversation on a daily basis.

Increase fans and followers using organic approach and paid advertisements. Manage Facebook account of your company by creating engaging contents and ads and posting it consistently to increase likes, reach, and traffic to your website. Manage micro-blogging site Twitter by posting shareable contents and interacting with customers on a daily basis to build a relationship with potential clients. Manage the Instagram platform by projecting your brand through high-quality images. This platform generates more content engagement from potential customers than other social media platforms. Also, manage social media platforms like Pinterest and LinkedIn by creating great contents to engage with the target audience generate followers, increase awareness and website traffic.

Some of the other list of social media marketing services is optimizing your social media profiles to increase link ability, ease of tagging and bookmarking.

Promoting paid advertisement on all social media platforms where you have your profiles. Using the real power of social media platforms to generate traffic to the company website. Making social media sharing easy by integrating blogs, RSS feed and forums.

Increase interaction with the potential customers through emails and newsletters. Creating unique and focused contents especially for social bookmarking.

The Dos and Don’ts of Building a Following

There is strength in numbers on social media. Even if you’re not trying to be an influencer, social capital has its value. Whether it’s purely perception or designed for lead generation, the size of your audience matters now.

When I speak, my audience is usually entrepreneurs or aspiring media professionals. The most common question I get from both groups is, “How do I grow a following?”

That’s a tough question. Like with a lot of pursuits, there is no single answer. It can be achieved in a variety of ways. But from someone who has built an audience, I can share what I have learned. And this may surprise you, I would have done some things differently.

Reach beyond your audience

Most of the advice I see for growing a following centers around content. Expecting that better content alone will grow your following is like believing in unicorns. It sounds amazing, but there is no proof. Content is important but it’s only part of the mix. You also have to think beyond your existing audience. Determine how to appeal to other audiences.

For example, I’m in PR. If I only talked about PR and appealed to PR professionals then there would be a cap to my growth. So I slowly, strategically and methodically began to identify and connect with groups one degree separate from my own. I started talking about advertising and entertainment. I created humorous content around pop culture—carefully tying it all back to my PR experience. Because of this, I could talk about pop culture. I began interjecting myself into all trending conversation. This year I have started talking about politics because it is, to an extent, related to PR. Being funny about the political circus got me in the door—now I’m starting to speak intelligently about the Syrian refugee crisis and brokered conventions.

Trust content

No person is just one thing. Share more of yourself, branch out and you’ll be able to grow your audience. There are a million ways to find and connect with new audiences, but you have to make that connection stick. Responding to questions from your audience quickly and honestly, and providing feedback are great ways to engage. Live streaming and podcasts are both great ways to allow people to get to know you. The more people know about you, the deeper they can connect.

People connect with real people over robots. Engaging with your audience in an authentic way is one of the strongest ways to build connections and engage others.

Maximize points of visibility

Look to sources outside of social media to help elevate your following. This is something I didn’t do enough in the beginning. You can spend all day on social media trying to grow your following but one media appearance can achieve months’ worth of work. Create as many points of visibility as you can. Go on local news, guest blog, do whatever you can at first but continue to keep networking up so you can increase opportunities for visibility.

Q&A with Twiends CEO Dave Sumter

I’m only one opinion. So I asked a friend, because he works every day with a mass of people looking to build a following.

What are the do’s and don’ts in building a following?

There are a lot of ways to achieve follower growth. Generally the best approach is to be honest in your intentions when connecting with new people, interact well, and add value to everyone’s feed. This may sound like a lot of fluff, so let me give you some real world examples:

Don’ts: Buying followers on any service that quotes you X followers for $ is a big no-no. These are all generally fake accounts created with the sole purpose of following you. Another bad option is resorting to interaction tricks—such as following large groups of people and then unfollowing them after they’ve followed you (known as churning). Both of these approaches will make your follower count go up, but will not add value to you or your followers. And both could land you in hot-water with Twitter.

Do’s: This side of the camp is actually full of great options, such as featured promotion, Twitter ads, contests, targeted content, Twitter chats, and many more. It’s best to try and grow your audience and engagement at the same time. A common approach is using something like Twiends to do broad-based featured promotion, or Twitter ads to do targeted promotion, and then use contests, polls, Twitter chats, visual tweeting, and daily interacting to grow engagement with those new followers. Twiends and Twitter ads provide the reach, and the later options provide the ‘conversion.’ Most people skip the later part and move straight to ‘broadcasting.’ This unfortunately doesn’t work—as in real life you need to take the time to bond with people before they’ll listen to you.

Why is having a large online presence valuable?

There are so many benefits to having a large online presence, most notably being able to get your message out and influence others in line with your goals. Whether it’s getting the word out about a new initiative or asking for feedback about something important, it’s an incredibly useful tool in this new digital world we live in. It’s like being able to walk into a room and ask 100 people what they think about an idea. In the past, companies had to spend thousands of dollars doing customer research, now anyone can do it multiple times a day.

The real power though is that this can be done in a casual and conversational way, continually and forever. You can build real connections with your customers, peers, colleagues, or with anybody who shares your interests. You can provide real-time support to those who need help, build your brand, or even subtly plug your product. But it does take time to build, and it’s not just about adding followers. That’s just the first step, and it should be combined with building a great timeline, building engagement, and of course connecting with people at a slightly deeper level.