Over the last few years Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have stolen the social video spotlight. But YouTube is still an incredible marketing channel, receiving over 30 million visitors per day and 5 billion daily video views.
According to GlobalWebIndex, one in four YouTubers watched a branded video last month. It’s not just millennials using YouTube either. Google shows that YouTube reaches 95% of online adults aged 35+ in a month. And according to new demographic data from Google, YouTube’s reach continues to expand to older audiences.
So, in this post I will teach you five ways to start getting free YouTube subscribers, no hacks required.
#1: Stop Hacking. Start Promoting
If you search “how to get free YouTube subscribers,” you’ll discover a delightful subgenre of social media advice dedicated to “hacks and glitches for YouTube.” These shortcuts – often sold in sensational headlines like “how to get millions of free YouTube subscribers” – promise to teach you a hidden trick that will flood your channel with free YouTube subscribers.
So, if you are searching for YouTube hacks, you are wasting your time. But you still need to gain subscribers, but how? If you have a new or unknown YouTube channel, you need to gain some sort of traction. Without the attention of YouTube’s algorithm, your videos won’t appear in search results or appear in recommended lists.
So, how can you get the organic ball rolling? Be ruthless about promotion. If you are getting started, don’t shy away from the grunt work. Creating engaging content is only half of the process. You need to get ruthless and promote, promote, promote.
Start with your Facebook friends and ask them to share your video. Then, find out where your audience is hanging out and start targeting those sites. Go to blogs that relate to your content and share your video. Or reply in the comment sections of the related video.
#2: Stop Talking. Start Delivering
YouTube explicitly states: “channels and videos with higher watch time are more likely to turn up in search results and recommendations.”
How can you increase your watch time? There are a lot of tips and tricks online. But the most important principle is this: value your viewer’s time. You need to deliver value right away. We have found that the first eight seconds of your video are the most important. The click away rate in those precious seconds is staggering. If you make music videos, start playing music right away. If you are teaching something or explaining a product, start delivering information.
Don’t tell people about your day, don’t talk about other videos that you are making or where to buy the song. Just play the song and tell them the supplementary info after the song or in the description.
#3: Expand your search net with Pinterest
Most of your subscribers will discover your channel by either searching in Google or via YouTube’s search bar. Pinterest is also a visual search engine, making it a perfect match for your YouTube strategy.
For example, if you run a YouTube cooking channel, you might have a Pinterest visual that offers tips for proper knife techniques or quick tips about baking. On each visual asset, link to your YouTube channel and tell people they can watch the full video there.
#4: Promote your YouTube channel with Facebook Groups
Over the last year, I have been rediscovering Facebook Groups. You can find a group for most topics and interests. For example, #TeamofOne is a community of social media consultants and strategists. I also follow a copywriting group, as well as groups related to my hobby of video editing.
You can find relevant Facebook Groups by searching “Your Keyword” with the filter of “Groups” in the Facebook search bar. To browse different groups and sort by interests, use Facebook’s discovery feature. If you sell local products, you can find local buy and sell groups here.
#5: Create Searchable Titles
The best thing you could do is create YouTube titles and descriptions that have the most relevant search terms in them. An easy way to test is to start typing into the YouTube search bar the words you were going to use in your title. Which search results come up? Now try other words and you can see what other people are actually typing into YouTube and see how many results those search terms give you.