With over 122 million active users a day, YouTube is the biggest video platform on the internet. This means there are tons of opportunities for new creators to grow an audience, but also means that there’s a lot of competition.
If you’re a beginner we also have a full guide on how to set up your account and get started on YouTube, but if you’re looking to grow an existing channel this article is for you.
Research your Audience
If you want to grow an audience, you need to know who your audience is. Most creators consider things like: gender, age and occupation, but if you want to connect with an audience, you need to understand more than just what they do for a living.
You need to understand things like your audiences’ problems and fears as well as their dreams and aspirations, these are known as psychographics. Psychographics will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and will help you make content that resonates with them.
You also need to know where your audience is online. If they read blogs, watch videos or just scroll through Twitter, you need to create content for those platforms. Most people do not consider how their audience likes to consume content and hence end up making great content that will never be seen by their desired audience.
Tools To Research Your Audience:
- Answer the public is a great place for content ideas.
- Facebook Audience Insights is a free source for audience data.
- Reddit is a great place to hear what your audience is saying about any given topic.
Research your Niche
After researching your audience, it’s time to research your niche. Your niche is the area of expertise you want to create content in, this can be movie reviews, gaming, football content and countless others to choose from. The best way to grow your channel is to create content for a specific audience within a specific niche. This is why choosing a very defined and specific niche at the start of your journey will help your audience know what kind of content you make and will help you grow the right kind of audience quickly.
Tools To Research Your Niche:
- Use YouTube Explore to explore what is currently out there in your niche.
- Google trends will give you ideas on what topics and niches are growing at the moment.
- Use Twitter to find out what people are saying about different topics all around the world.
Optimise The Title and Thumbnail
Once you know your audience and have your niche, you are ready to create some amazing content. However, before your audience watches your video, they have to click on it. This is where most content creators fail. They put hours of work into a video to have no one watch it because of the title and thumbnail. YouTube offers dozens of videos on the homepage and millions on the platform, if your video does not have an eye-catching title and thumbnail that will make viewers want to click, why would YouTube recommend your video to more people? The rule of thumb is whatever time you currently spend on titles and thumbnails, double it!
Tools To Optimise The Title and Thumbnail:
- Canva is a great free tool for making thumbnails.
- VidIQ is a chrome extension that will help you create better titles.
- Unsplash is a great source for high-quality royalty-free stock photos.
Engage With Your Community
When you start gaining traction and getting more views on YouTube, you will find that your audience is engaging with your content in the form of comments and likes. DO NOT IGNORE THESE! Most creators ignore these comments or give very generic responses, but these are the foundation of your audience. If you engage them, they will come back to watch more and may even share your videos with others. Reply to every single comment and make sure that every audience member feels valued or else you will find yourself not gaining as many returning viewers as you would hope.
Cross-Promote Your Channel
If you have an existing social media platform with an audience, you can always leverage that audience to become your first viewers and subscribers. I would only discourage this if it is not the same audience you are trying to target i.e you have a football Twitter page but your YouTube channel is about productivity tips.
Another way of cross-promoting your channel is by finding collaboration opportunities with other small content creators or by finding popular groups in your niche on Facebook or Reddit.
Ready To Grow Your Channel
If you don’t have an existing social media platform and would still like to cross-promote your channel, you can submit a video to one of our competitions here at spin! Your content will be shown to thousands of people worldwide and it could be the boost you need to kick off your career.