YouTube is now outgrowing Netflix and Facebook, with over 1 billion hours of video watched daily. Yet, when video content makers get asked about video marketing challenges, reach makes it to the top 10.
Capturing an audience and growing a YouTube channel can be a heck of a challenge because YouTube growth implies a constant attraction of engaged audiences for your video content. So, as a video producer and YouTube channel owner, how do you keep growing while keeping expenses to a minimum?
YouTube Channel Growth: A Traditional Approach
As a brand or individual video content maker, you are probably trying to attract a share of 2 billion viewers that watch YouTube every single month. Clearly, as avid TubeBuddy blog readers, you know all the hacks about getting attention from a larger audience via YouTube-related capabilities. YouTube SEO provides a great range of tools for showcasing your videos to those surfing through YouTube (and Google) in search of a certain topic. Recapping some of the main things you have to do to make sure your video is YouTube-search-optimized:
- Pick the right title and fill it with relevant keywords
- Utilize an eye-catching thumbnail
- Create compelling video descriptions full of semantically-related keywords you want to target (and don’t forget to add hashtags)
- Add cards and end screens to promote other related content
- Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel to get notifications about newly-uploaded video content
You can learn more about these SEO-related aspects of growing YouTube channels on TubeBloggy, and the TubeBuddy YouTube channel.
Yet, there’s an entirely different dimension that few video content creators consider when thinking about YouTube channel growth strategy. That is what we’ll be covering in this post.
Alternative YouTube Channel Growth Sources
YouTube and Google rankings take time and effort. With stiff competition, you have to compete with similar video makers for a share of views, likes, comments, etc.
However, if you already have some audience gathered across other channels, use what you have at hand and promote your video to the audience that’s already engaged with your brand and content. This will give your YouTube video the initial boost it needs to rank higher in YouTube and Google search.
So, how can you employ the marketing channels you own to distribute your video content for larger audiences?
Promote on Other Social Channels
Using social networks you are already successful at is always a good idea to expand your channels’ and videos’ reach.
Chances are, your YouTube audience significantly differs from your Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/ Instagram audience. So, adapting your videos to each of these social platforms will help you build an omnichannel marketing approach to video distribution.
Before we get to the specificities of each network, keep in mind this quick cheat sheet for aspect ratios (a big deal when it comes to video repurposing):
- Use square videos (1080px by 1080 px) for feeds, or anything users are scrolling with a thumb.
- Vertical videos (1080px by 1920px) are best suited for Stories and IGTV.
- Apart from good old YouTube, Twitter also optimizes for landscape videos (1920px by 1080 px). And with LinkedIn, if you are scheduling posts with an external tool, landscape format makes sure the video doesn’t get distorted.
Adjusting & Sharing Videos on Twitter
One Twitter peculiarity to keep in mind – tweets have a short lifespan (18 minutes). To make the most of your Twitter audience and catch the largest fraction of it, follow Ann Smarty’s expert advice and publish at least three different tweets that go out on different days of the week, at different times.
With Twitter, you shouldn’t simply upload your video to the platform. Instead, adjust the video you want to promote in the following ways:
- Fetch up a short video snippet. The end goal of promoting your video on Twitter is to send people to watch the full video on YouTube, where you can potentially convert this audience into channel subscribers. So, create a video teaser with the most eye-catching and exciting moments and add a description followed by an enticing call to action like “Watch the full video”.
- Turn your video into a GIF. GIFs are powerful marketing tools. Take a funny moment from the video or the shooting process and share it – by building an emotional connection with your target audience, you get a higher chance of attracting their attention and sending them right where you want them to end up – your YouTube channel.
- Share a tweet with a video thumbnail and a link. Static visuals can be effective too. Although videos typically attract more attention and engagement than static images, you can share your video’s thumbnail along with the link to the full video.
Adjusting & Sharing Videos on Facebook
When it comes to sharing videos on Facebook, you can apply similar logic. Yet keep in mind one crucial point: in Wave.video’s recent interview with Shaina Weisinger, the Founder of Repurpose House, Shaina underlined that Facebook doesn’t want you to take users off its platform so by just posting a link to your video, your reach will get limited. So, create micro-assets like short videos and then add a call-to-action for visiting your YouTube channel. And make sure not to add links within the video itself, but rather add a call-to-action or add the link to the video within the first comment under the post.
Repurposing Videos for Instagram (Stories & In-Feed)
When distributing videos on Instagram, don’t forget to utilize both in-feed and Stories features to catch the audience no matter how they prefer to scroll through the platform.
Keep in mind that Instagram has a 1-minute limit for in-feed videos and a 15-second limit for Stories, so keep your video teasers short to fit both requirements.
Generally, you can follow previous guidelines for Twitter and Facebook, yet Instagram has a few specific matters that you need to consider as well:
- Visual appeal is the key. Instagram is an aesthetics-driven platform, so add an appealing thumbnail to attract users’ attention.
- Add a call-to-action. Everyone’s doing it, so should you – when promoting your video on Instagram, add a simple call to action like “Watch the full video – link in bio” or “Visit our YouTube channel for more awesome content”.
- Add hashtags. Hashtags are big on Instagram, so to attract a potentially new audience and direct it further towards your YouTube channel, get creative and smart about hashtags.
Don’t forget to share your in-feed videos to Stories to tackle those who scroll through Stories but might not see your post within the feed. And if you have surpassed the 10,000 followers count, you can directly send followers from your Story to your YouTube channel by using the “swipe up” option.
Include Videos in Email Marketing
People who subscribe to your newsletter are probably the most active and dedicated audience you have at hand. So, by adding a relevant video within your email sendout, you can potentially expand the reach of your video content.
If you once again provide your subscribers with a snippet of a compelling new (and even old) video, you can send them to watch the full video on YouTube by adding a link to your channel.
There are some tips and tricks to sharing videos within emails, though, as most email providers advise against embedding videos directly into your email. And this works in line with growing a YouTube channel as, instead, you can use the following techniques to send readers towards the full video on YouTube:
- Add a GIF inspired by your video content
- Create a static image with a play button to highlight video format
- Use your video thumbnail with a link and add it to the email
Embed Videos in your Most Successful Blog Posts
If you have a blog, you probably have a selection of best-performing pieces that attract the highest organic traffic (or paid if you’re promoting posts on social and search).
How does this help grow your YouTube channel?
- With some help from Google Analytics, identify the most visited pages of your blog
- Embed short snippets of relevant videos into the highest-ranking blog posts
- And once again, redirect readers to visit your YouTube channel to watch the full video and start doing your YouTube magic there.
You have to be careful, though, not to overload your site with heavy video content. Yes, videos can enhance the performance of your blog by increasing time on site, click-through-rates, and even conversions. Yet, if embedded incorrectly, they can also negatively affect page load speed, which is a bad SEO signal. This guide covers all the nitty-gritty details about embedding videos to a site/blog.
There are dozens of ways you can use videos to promote and grow your YouTube channel. The more creative and experienced you get, the more overwhelming the video distribution job becomes. But with the right tools like TubeBuddy and Wave.video, you can focus on YouTube SEO and video promotion strategies available at your fingertips to get tangible results without allocating large advertising and marketing budgets into your efforts.