9 Hot Tips to Grow a YouTube Channel

grow YouTube channel

Keep reading this guide to learn how to grow your YouTube channel.

9 tips to grow a YouTube channel

1. Use eye-catching channel art and thumbnails

Your channel art and thumbnails are the first impressions to attract your viewers, so make them work!

An effective thumbnail is clear and accurate and works in tandem with the title of this video. However, it also needs to stand out.

eye-catching thumbnails - grow YouTube channel

Thumbnails are the best way viewers choose content to watch when they’re skimming through search results. This means you don’t only need to tell what your video is about. You need to be different from the crowd, too.

And lots of the competition is… loud.

Evaluate what everyone else is doing, and try to make something unique. For instance, choose a special color palette, or go full-on minimalist to stand out in a sea of neon colors and impact font.

2. Select the perfect channel icon

A channel icon is like a logo for your YouTube appearance. It should match your brand and complement your channel banner.

When picking an icon, follow YouTube’s recommended image dimensions to keep away from any stretching. Preview your channel on a number of devices to check everything looks good.

YouTuber J.J. McCullough uses a cartoon caricature of himself as his logo to show both his art and his personality.

J.J. McCullough cartoon caricature channel icon

3. Create playlists

Organizing and creating video playlists on YouTube is one of the best ways to keep your viewer on your page.

Not only do YouTube playlists arrange your related content in one neat-and-tidy list, but they also auto-play. Right when one video ends, the next one begins… and so on. This minimizes the chances {that a} viewer will move on to a different channel.

Financial counselor Max Mitchell, for example, adds all of his TFSA videos to one playlist, so viewers can just sit back and find out about tax-free savings accounts for hours on end.

Max Mitchell TFSA essentials playlist

4. Create a channel trailer

When someone comes across your channel the first time, a channel trailer is a way for them to get a sneak peek at your content. Better make it count.

Just like the Hollywood hotshots get you hooked to see Avengers: Tokyo Drift, you can give your audience a taste that lets them want more.

Assume the viewer is a perfect stranger, so introduce yourself and tell them exactly why they should subscribe to your channel. Keep it short, sweet, and snappy: let them know what your content is like and when they can watch new uploads, like Yoga with Adriene does on her channel.

5. Create great content, consistently

That is going to sound very obvious, however, we’re going to say it anyway: Viewers wish to watch good videos.

However, what makes a great YouTube video is a bit different than, say, what makes a video that would wind an overseas film festival.

Based on Search Engine Journal, successful YouTube videos have attractive intros and great branding, background music, and clear audio.

Calls to action are essential too. Whether your target is to drive audiences to your website, increase your number of subscribers or spark a conversation in the comments, the right CTA can help make that all happen.

Just like all other social media platforms, there’s no perfect formula for a successful YouTube video. Some brands thrive with slick, highly produced content, while others gain traction by being raw, unfiltered, and authentic.

Vanity Fair’s YouTube channel is an inspiring one. It goes beyond what you might read in the magazine’s profiles and features videos of actors sharing everything they do in a day or taking a lie detector test.

6. Schedule your videos

Give your videos the most effective chance to make them massive by posting them at the right time: when people are online and ready to watch them.

Your channel analytics will show you if there’s a day in a week or specific time that tends to get high viewership or engagement.

When you’ve got that intel, you’ll be able to publish regularly within this time frame, with the help of tons of scheduling tools out there.

Learn more about how to schedule YouTube videos.

7. Understand your audience

It’s hard to make compelling content if you don’t know who you’re making it for, so ensure you’ve got a great sense of your audience persona before you dive in.

Who are they? What do they like? (Why won’t they call me?!)

Right when you’ve got a few videos under your belt, see whether or not you’re hitting the mark by jumping into your YouTube Analytics. These numbers will tell you if, how, and when your work of art is making an impact.

channel analytics overivew - grow YouTube channel

8. Experiment with YouTube advertising

If you’re not getting the engagement you want with good old-fashioned organic content, it might be time to toss a couple of bucks behind a promotion campaign.

YouTube ads are available in these four categories:

  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads (together with bumper ads)
  • Video discovery ads (formerly known as in-display ads)
  • Non-video ads (i.e., overlays and banners)

For more information on YouTube’s ad formats and the way to use them, take a look at our detailed guide to YouTube advertising.

9. Ask viewers to subscribe

When someone subscribes to your channel (and hits that bell button), they get an alert when you publish a new video — so growing your subscriber base is the most effective way to boost your organic reach.

There’s a reason why “Don’t forget to subscribe” is the sign-off of choice for all the YouTubers.

In fact, growing your number of subscribers is easier said than done. For that reason, we’ve got a full guide on how to get more YouTube subscribers.

When you hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the year, you now can register as a YouTube partner and monetize your channel. Learn more about YouTube’s Partner Programme here.

channel monetization YouTube partner program -grow YouTube channel

This is just the tip of the iceberg to grow a successful YouTube channel. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our blog post about the way to get more views on YouTube23 smart ways to promote your YouTube channel, and how to master YouTube marketing strategies.

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