7 Ways to Gain More YouTube Followers – With No Ad Spend
YouTube can be a terrific tool to increase your brand awareness and drive sales. However, it can be quite a large commitment for a small to medium-sized business without a large team or marketing budget. Videos can be timely and sometimes costly to make. You have to plan, shoot, edit, upload and optimize – all before sharing on YouTube. While some companies can outsource this work and gain thousands of followers, there is a way to grow your viewership organically, without paying for advertisements or outsourcing the work.
First things first, you do not need to have the looks of a supermodel or the influence of a celebrity to gain followers, but you do need to follow some basic best practices. Ask your viewers to like, comment, and subscribe to every video, and provide a call to action.
It’s also important to find your niche on YouTube. If you’re doing B2B marketing, you’re likely already working in a niche environment, so just go with what you know and consistently provide quality content to viewers. The consistency of your uploads will also be important. You don’t need to upload daily, but try to upload on a schedule. Try sharing one video per week or month, but share it on the same day, around the same time.
Without further ado, here are proven strategies to help you along your journey to one million followers on YouTube. With patience and persistence, it is possible to gain many followers without spending on ads.
- Master the most important duo: video title and thumbnail. Why is this so important? Viewers on YouTube spend less than three seconds when choosing which videos to watch. By choosing attractive thumbnails and captivating titles (emotional titles can sometimes work), you will vastly increase your chances for more click-throughs. Using a free service such as Canva to create a custom thumbnail that includes an image and text is common best practice. When it comes to your video title, try to include your desired keywords but also stay on topic. Explain what is in the video. A good title will explain the benefit of watching – but we’ll talk more on that later.
- How long should your video be? This is a constant topic of debate. Some people prefer shorter videos, but most recently, longer videos have been performing well. Our advice is to keep your videos between two to 10 minutes in length. If you’re struggling to keep a video below ten minutes, we advise splitting the content across two videos or perhaps creating a series where you explain the topic. For example, nobody could ever explain B2B SEO marketing in one video – creating an entire series or YouTube channel dedicated to the topic would be a better idea. Short, entertaining, and easily-digestible snippets are always best when in doubt. If your video is on the longer side, splice it into clips where viewers can watch the parts they need.
- Whenever possible, elicit feedback from your viewers and respond to questions or comments. This can be painstaking, but the whole reason you’re filming and posting to YouTube is to gain exposure and increase brand awareness. What better way to educate your viewers than by directly answering their questions? This simple and straightforward approach takes time but will be worth it in the long run. Consider using an intern or a team approach to answer and respond to comments.
- Create evergreen video content. This is content that could be useful today or ten years from now. Consider educating your audience on some of your business’s most basic, fundamental principles. Not only would these videos be fertile ground for keywords, but they would also help attract and lure in new visitors. Your evergreen content could come in the form of ‘how-to’ videos, or FAQ videos will also perform well (these could also be broken down into multiple videos or a series).
- Include keywords in your video title, video description, and metadata. Your video title should be succinct, letting viewers know what they’re going to see or learn, but it should always include one of your chosen keywords. This is basic SEO best practice, but including keywords will also help you to reach your intended audience. When you’re catering to a niche, such as B2B SEO strategy, then using those keywords is going to make a difference. When you use the right keywords, you’re making it easier for your audience to find you.
- Transcribe your videos. While this can be tedious, there are services on Fiver or software that can automatically transcribe for you. Or if you write out a script, then you’ll already have a transcription on hand. Your audience may not widely read transcriptions, but they will be indexed by Google and aid your SEO efforts in that way.
- Use tags and YouTube cards to improve your reach. When tagging videos, be sure to include only tags that apply and do not include anything that might be misleading. Use a few very specific tags, and then some broader ones related to the genre. For example, if you’re channel is about B2B email marketing, include tags on B2B, email marketing, and then some broader-ranging tags like marketing or digital marketing. YouTube cards are also useful because they function as pop-ups within a video that allow you to direct your audience to other related content, including other YouTube channels or websites. YouTube currently allows up to five cards in a video, and if you place them purposefully, they can make an impact.
The path to grow YouTube followers can be a long and winding journey. When you set a goal to gain 10 followers, then 100 followers, and then 1,000 followers, and so on, the goal becomes more attainable. Nobody starts a YouTube channel and gains one million followers overnight – unless they’re paying for it.
If you need assistance growing your viewership, or improving any facet of your B2B digital marketing strategy, please do not hesitate to contact us!