6 Ways to Grow YouTube Subscribers and Your Exposure

social media how toAre you seeking more visibility for your YouTube videos?

Are you wondering how others do it?

If you want the massive views, exposure and targeted traffic that YouTube offers, you need to focus on first building an audience—or as YouTube calls them, subscribers.

Why YouTube Subscribers?

A YouTube subscriber is someone who has chosen to “follow” your channel and your content so they can stay updated with your latest videos. In essence, a subscriber can become a raving fan who watches, comments and shares your videos with others. Building up a strong subscriber base is essential for creating a powerful community online.

The following article will reveal six simple—yet highly effective—methods for getting more subscribers to your channel and your existing videos.

However, before you follow these simple action steps, you’ll need to make sure you’re already following these three principles for YouTube marketing success in your business:

  • Be consistent: The “one-and-done” approach does not work on YouTube. If you want the views and the traffic, you need to be posting and updating your content consistently for best results. Upload new videos and share with your list and sphere of influence as frequently as possible.
  • Provide value: If your video fails to provide any real value to the end user, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t get any real views. Each video needs to deliver your best content, your best-kept secrets and your most effective strategies. How can you raise the bar and provide more value in your videos?
  • Be remarkable: Today, it’s not enough to be posting weekly videos with your tips and content. Using your creative “right-brain marketing approach,” you need to convey your content in an engaging and entertaining format that separates you from the rest. In short, your videos need to be remarkable. The biggest sin in marketing is to be boring. How can your videos be the opposite of boring?

If you put the above principles into practice in all of your marketing efforts (not just YouTube), seeing results with these six subscriber-getting strategies will be easy!

#1: Ask for Subscribers

The simplest way to begin increasing your subscriber count is to start asking for it in your videos. Never assume that your viewer can read your mind. In your videos, give your audience a compelling call to action and ask them to click the “Subscribe” button right above your video.

Here’s a simple three-part formula for creating a compelling call to action in your video that makes subscribing to your channel a complete “no-brainer!”

  • Tell them what to do.
  • Tell them how to do it.
  • Tell them why to do it.

For example: “To stay up to date with my latest videos and cool marketing tips, make sure to subscribe to this YouTube channel by clicking the button above this video.”

call to action

Ask your viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel.

#2: Use Annotations

Annotations are the little colorful sticky notes that people paste all over their videos once they’ve been uploaded to YouTube. Although this tool is often overused, a few strategically placed annotations can make a world of difference for your YouTube marketing efforts.

In the case of increasing your subscribers, there are two effective uses for annotations that I recommend:

  • Call-to-action annotation: Add a speech bubble annotation directly under the Subscribe button to all of your old and existing videos.

    simple annotation

    Notice how this speech bubble is aligned just below the Subscribe button.

  • Click-to-action annotation: When you mention your call to action, add an image, graphic or button to the video and overlay it with a Spotlight annotation that links directly to your channel subscribe page. In short, your viewers can now subscribe by clicking an annotation inside your video.

    click subscribe

    Add this Subscribe button in your videos.

#3: Add a YouTube Widget and More to Your Blog

If you already have a web property that is getting traffic, this is a great opportunity to leverage those visitors and get them to become subscribers to your channel. And they can do it with the click of a button.

Once you start embedding your YouTube videos on your blog, there are two really easy ways to get more subscribers:

  • YouTube Subscription Widget: By installing the YouTube Subscription Widget to the sidebar of your blog or website, you can make it even easier for others to find your videos and subscribe to future content.
    subscribe

    Ask your blog readers to subscribe to your YouTube channel.

    Installing the widget is as simple as copying and pasting the iframe code below into your website’s HTML code:

    <iframe id=”fr” src=”http://www.YouTube.com/subscribe_widget?p=addYouTube Username here” style=”overflow: hidden; height: 105px; width: 300px; border: 0;” scrolling=”no” frameBorder=”0″></iframe>

    Note: Make sure to adjust the link above to include your YouTube channel name (username).

    For specific instructions on using and installing the YouTube Subscriber Widget, visit YouTube’s Official Blog.

  • Call-to-action graphic: Recently, YouTube added a few features that allow users to interact more with videos, even when the videos are embedded on other web properties such as your blog. To take advantage of this update, add a small graphic above your embedded videos that tells people exactly what to do when watching!
    click play

    Be sure to add this new feature when you embed YouTube videos on your website.

    Not only can viewers like and share your videos even when they’re embedded on your blog, they can also subscribe to your channel by pushing the “more info” button.

    more info button

    Note the More Info button where viewers can subscribe to your YouTube channel.

#4: Leverage Featured Channels

Another simple method for increasing your reach and scooping up more subscribers is to strategically partner with other YouTube content-creators.

Directly on your YouTube channel page is an option to add other “Featured Channels” of those “YouTubers” you like and recommend. When you get other channels that have a similar audience to feature you, you can expect to see new viewers coming your way very quickly!

featured channels

Add Featured Channels.

How exactly do you get others to feature you on their channels? Simple. Ask! (But it also helps to reciprocate.)

#5: Consistently Interact

When you start to understand that YouTube is a community, not just a place to host your videos, you will begin to see far more results when you interact with the other members of this community.

One of the best ways to build a following of subscribers is to support others in their YouTube marketing efforts. Comment, like and subscribe as frequently as possible to other content-creators on YouTube, and wait for the reciprocation.

Take a few minutes a day to find some new and relevant YouTube channels, pay attention to their content and leave real, genuine comments. It’s a simple concept, really: the more you give, the more you get!

leaving comments

Take a few minutes to support others by leaving comments on the channels & videos that you enjoy.

#6: Create a Payoff

Lastly, my favorite strategy for attracting new subscribers starts by creating a “payoff.” There is something magical about posting your goals to the public.

You want to lose a few stubborn pounds? Post it on Facebook! Do you fancy that special someone? Shout it from a rooftop! But what if you want more YouTube subscribers?

Here’s a simple step-by-step process of the “subscriber payoff method” in action:

  • Identify your current subscriber count (e.g., 450 subscribers)
  • Identify your subscriber goal (e.g., 500 subscribers)
  • Pick something fun, unique or different that you will do once you reach 500 subscribers (e.g., a free giveaway, shave your head, do a crazy dance on video, etc.)
  • Share your goal (and your payoff) with the world!

When you share your goals with the world, people will jump on board to support you and help you accomplish your goals. This is a great way to spread your reach with little effort and have a fun time doing it.

Back to You

What do you think? How are you getting subscribers to your YouTube channel? Please share your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, James Wedmore

James is the founder of Video Traffic Academy. James shows others how to use the tools and skills they already possess to harness the power of video to grow their business. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.allthingspondered.com/5001/how-i-failed-with-my-first-rental-property-and-turned-it-into-a-loser/ AllThingsPondered

    Hi James, Nice to meet you!   Thanks for this quality post.   you reminded me about the annotations function.  I had forgotten about it.   And believe it or not, I had not thought to go back and add annotations to my older videos.  

    Thanks for that tip.     again, good to meet you.  I’m looking forward to more quality articles like this one!

  • http://www.xeeme.com/Brian_R_Baird Brian R Baird

    Hi James, Thank’s for keeping it bite sized and to the point. Your ability to help readers pick a single task and run with it till completed is noticeable and needed today. Cream will always rise to the top!

  • http://www.inboundnow.tv/ David Wells

    Great post! I’ve found many of these tactics useful for growing my Youtube channel over the past year.

    The annotations one if something I need to step up my game on! =)

    I also use a free tool that I created to wrap the youtube videos you embed on your site with the one click Youtube subscribe button, twitter follow button, facebook like box and other social media sharing tools. Anyone can use that here: http://www.inboundnow.com/apps/youtube-super-embed/

    I also set up a quick stand alone youtube subscribe box generator like the one mentioned above http://www.inboundnow.com/apps/youtube-subscription-box-creator/

    Thanks for the post James! Keep up the great work!
    -David

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  • http://www.mikehaydon.com MikeHaydon

    Oh that’s brilliant! Thanks James!

  • http://twitter.com/MemphisMarly @MemphisMarly

    Great advice, even for those of us who have already optimized our channels.

    James, do you know if there is an alternative code that doesn’t use iframe? I’m able to embed this into blog posts but not into my blog’s HTML widgets.

  • http://justicewordlaw.com/ Justice Wordlaw IV

    Really good video James. The call to actions are one of the most important things to do within your video. If you don’t tell your community what you want them to do. How do you expect them to do anything. 

  • Heather

    Great content and love the step by step. Thanks for sharing!

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  • http://www.govacuum.com/ Justin GoVacuum

    Awesome advice! I’ll use it for our youtube channel for vacuum cleaner reviews.

  • http://youtube.com/user/tommyisastrategist Tommy Walker

    Exactly!

  • rbarnesdotcom

    Nice. I think asking is the big one and so many people miss it. Also I subscribe to many channels I like and some will subscribe back. Good job.

  • http://www.andelyons.com/ Ande Lyons

    James!

    LOVE this post! I definitely need to work on ALL your points except #5… got that one working smoothly.

    Would you please subscribe to my channel? I always keep things PG-13!! –> http://www.youtube.com/user/bringbackdesire <– Anyone else? I subscribe back! :D

    Thank you and cheers!

    Ande ♥

  • http://www.andelyons.com/ Ande Lyons

     Great tips David!  What is your channel… I’ll subscribe! Cheers! Ande

  • Sounder Dilipan

    This is a very useful article. Actually plan to start the video marketing on coming Wednesday. Right article at right time. Tnx for the widget info. Great tip was “YouTube is not just to host video but a community”  Tnx and will follow your blog from here on. Sounder Dilipan. http://www.netultimate.com 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    THANKS for the kind words!!  :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    Oh hey, thanks for that!  :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    uh…this is like the most amazing thing I have ever seen!!!!  This is AWESOME!  Will have to share with my followers and subscribers ASAP!!

     

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    It should work fine with the “old embed code” option:  http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=171780&expand=UseOldEmbedCode#oldcode

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers,

    James

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    I bet your videos really SUCK!  HA! Get it?!  I’m hilarious.  ok. Thanks for the kind words!  :)

  • http://www.inboundnow.tv/ David Wells

    Thanks Ande! My show Inbound Now TV is here: 
    http://www.youtube.com/user/InboundNow where I interview marketing experts on a variety of topics =)

  • http://www.inboundnow.tv/ David Wells

    Thanks James! This post was really great! I’d love to get you on my show to share some of the tips!

  • http://raineverafter.tumblr.com/ elvincredible

     I second the motion and will be adding annotations for our company’s YouTube channel right about… now! Cheers!

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  • Nick Messenger

    Hi James,
    Thank you for a great article but I have a question I must ask!!  You say that videos should not be boring but engaging & entertaining  which I entirely agree with & understand. 
    I can think of 2 people in particular ( a man from Down Under & a lady from the U.S.) who just do head & shoulder videos. In effect, they just sit at their desks & chat !!!  There aren<code>t any thrills, beautiful background scenes or bikini clad girls__abENT__#46;__abENT__#46;__abENT__#46;__abENT__#46;__abENT__#46; __abENT__amp; do you know what I, like so many others, really love their videos!!!
    By just sitting at their desks __abENT__amp; chatting, it</code>
    s as though they have called round to my house for a personal visit. Also, the more of their videos you see the more you feel like you know them.
    I really LOVE video!! I use video on my blog.  I would really appreciate your honesty as to how I come across.
    Thank you
    Nick

  • http://propertyagents.co/real-estate-lead-generation-course Muhammad Ayaz

    Excellent post! I never consider about adding youtube widget on my blog and after reading this article I realized what a big opportunity I am missing to get more traffic.

    Thanks for sharing a nice post!

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  • http://www.clickoptimize.com/ Web Design Raleigh

    Nice post. I like most the video portion of the post. It helps me to understand the topic more correctly. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jennifer

    Fantastic and easy to follow explanation James. Great to  ”see” you! 

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  • http://twitter.com/SproutMom Nicole Bohorad

    thanks, James. How exactly do you create the Call-to-action graphic to post above your embedded videos on your blog? All I see is a “more” button which links to a subscribe button after you click down the arrow on the video. Thanks.

  • Jules36

    Interesting post but posts for SME are generally too long. We already have TMI floating around on our screens — short ‘n sweet, pithy and brief are what most people need.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    Hey Nick, you don’t need the fancy frills to be “NOT BORING.”  YOU just have to be engaging.  High energy, high value, etc.  The monotone, low energy and dry person is boring.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    You have to set it up using Google Adwords for Video.  Just Google a tutorial video on YT and it will walk you step by step through it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    Interesting. Most people I hear from complain that no one ever gives them the Complete Picture, and they have trouble connecting the dots.  The Big Picture Strategy is far more important than flash in the pan “tricks” and tips from short articles.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    Wait…so you’re saying VIDEO helps to communicate my message better?  Hmm…interesting!  ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameswedmore James Wedmore

    YES!

  • http://profiles.google.com/artbydelilah Delilah Smith

    Great post but when I try to add the wigget to blogger I get the heading of my blog.

  • Kris de Leon

    Thanks James! I like how you described using the annotations, and directing people to subscribe. I will definitely implement your suggestions.

  • Kris de Leon

    I tried using suggestion #2: Add a “speech bubble“ annotation directly under the Subscribe button to all of your old and existing videos. It looks great on the YouTube channel itself. However, when you embed the video onto a website, the annotation would not look good, because the subscribe button is not there on the website.

    So this suggestion will only work on the channel itself, and not outside YouTube. Great suggestion by the way!

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  • Jason Nelson

    Very useful post.  However, #3 does not work as a WordPress Text Widget I believe is due to WordPress not playing nice with iframes.  Does anyone have any known work arounds to do this in WordPress or a plugin they recommend as an alternative?  Thanks.  

  • swagv

    YouTube isn’t “social media” anymore than slideshare.

  • http://aaronhoos.com/ Aaron Hoos

    I love YouTube but I was late to the YouTube-as-a-subscription game. I’ve become addicted to subscribing to others’ content and now I need to start adding valuable content and getting subscribers. These awesome ideas will help. Bookmarked and added to to-do list. Thanks!

  • http://www.carlmontpharmacy.com/ Buy Cialis

    Great article one question though, doesn’t asking for subscribers seem a bit desperate ? Wouldn’t viewers be turned off by that

  • http://mysocialgameplan.com/about Jonathan Payne

    Great suggestions from a trustworthy name! A lot of people think marketing on YouTube ends when you fill in the description and tags boxes…

  • http://www.resg.info/ Anton Stetner

    Good stuff. I need to do more vids with the annotations and it is amazing there are even more tips in the comments here. I need more time to make my youtube channel grow. Where can i get like 3 extra hours in the day? Lol

  • http://www.TheSocialNetworkingNavigator.com/ Laurie Hurley

    I  had saved this to read this weekend and loved it. Thanks for posting. Can you tell me how to make my subscribe now clickable? Can’t figure that one out and that was my favorite part of  your video. Thanks a bunch!

  • http://linkedin.com/in/donpower Don Power

    Hi James;

    Can you tell us how to add a graphic with those options to Subscribe, Like and Share that you mention in Item #3? Is this a feature of YouTube?

  • Glenn S. Ferguson

    James, you have done it again. Thanks for these 6 useful Youtube tips for getting more subscribers.

  • http://krisztianpanczel.com/ krisztian

    Awesome post, great tips, over all and I just implementing the one on using the You Tube subscribe widget on blogs. Thanks.

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  • http://www.mammasmilk.com/ baby slings baby carriers

    I try to add the wigget to blogger I get the heading of my blog.

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  • Imbijen

    Thanks for good article

  • http://www.smspalace.com/ 140 hindi sms

    Nice post. I like your first strategy i.e Ask for Subscriber.If the uploaded videos are good & you ask the viewer to subscribe i think the viewer will not mind in subscribing the channel.

  • Submit Mygear

    fail – after all this, if someone has to ask what your channel is, that has to be a fail

  • Bill

    Thanks much — some are simpke and obvious but as I checked them off there were a few I still wasn’t doing and I needed this reminder.  Great video.

  • Mag Sam

    I think these are all good tips.  #5 I think is the weakest here because people have the tendency to spam other people’s videos with insincere praise and copy-and-paste requests to have people check out their channel.

  • Merdragon76
  • eateastindian

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. I’ve applied a few strategies and have grown my audience and video views for my Indian cooking channel called eat east indian. Also, things keep getting changed on you tube so frequently that you need to revisit and see whats working and whats not. 

  • Stewart

    Yeah that’s kinda my mindset, i really get annoyed with everyone telling me to subscribe, if i’m asked to i very rarely do! but everyone seems to think otherwise so i guess i’ll have to follow the pack ! 

  • http://www.4cHairChick.com/ 4cHairChick

    Helpful stuff. Especially the featured channel partners and annotations. I hadn’t tried those things.

  • Merdragon76

    Thks 4 e helpful info!

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  • http://MrEnergyCzar.com/ MrEnergyCzar

    Well done. Always evolving your content is key as well and be patient….

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  • RawFitnessLLC

    I have done literally hours upon hours of research on this topic and everyone says the same thing, and I think it’s great it’s working for others, but hasn’t worked for me. I’ve been regularly uploading videos on my channel R.A.W. Fitness TV for almost a year now, embed them on my blog, and use other social media sites such as twitter, instagram, Facebook etc. Reality millions of videos are uploaded every minute on YouTube. YouTube is going to mostly promote it’s partners. I used effective keywords, descriptions, titles etc, but still only 30-60 views. How can I expect to gain views/subs when YouTube is not suggesting my channel. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel so many times asking myself why am I doing this. Then I’ll get a email from someone thanking me for what I do, and that one person makes it worth it. If I can inspire or motivate one person that humbles me. I will keep sticking to it in hopes that someday somehow I will reach a larger audience. I just don’t understand how others doing the same thing have had a channel for let’s say 6 months and have 100′s of thousands of views and thousand of subs makes me wonder if there doing something against YouTubes regulations such as purchasing views/subs which I will not do anything that will get me banned. . Any advice I’m all ears. Thanks! Stacy Pillera

  • RawFitnessLLC

    I have done literally hours upon hours of research on this topic and everyone says the same thing, and I think it’s great it’s working for others, but hasn’t worked for me. I’ve been regularly uploading videos on my channel R.A.W. Fitness TV for almost a year now, embed them on my blog, and use other social media sites such as twitter, instagram, Facebook etc. Reality millions of videos are uploaded every minute on YouTube. YouTube is going to mostly promote it’s partners. I used effective keywords, descriptions, titles etc, but still only 30-60 views. How can I expect to gain views/subs when YouTube is not suggesting my channel. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel so many times asking myself why am I doing this. Then I’ll get a email from someone thanking me for what I do, and that one person makes it worth it. If I can inspire or motivate one person that humbles me. I will keep sticking to it in hopes that someday somehow I will reach a larger audience. I just don’t understand how others doing the same thing have had a channel for let’s say 6 months and have 100′s of thousands of views and thousand of subs makes me wonder if there doing something against YouTubes regulations such as purchasing views/subs which I will not do anything that will get me banned. . Any advice I’m all ears. Thanks! Stacy Pillera

  • http://www.21centurysuccess.com/ Ryan Bruno

    Insightful post thanks for sharing. Will try some of these recommendations.

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  • http://twitter.com/MIASMAtotal MIASMA

    thanks for the tips. especially the partnering with other content producers makes sense. i don’t like the approach with captions though, since it is changing the viewing experience…

  • http://www.facebook.com/alysha.alex.7 Alysha Alex

    This is looking like beneficial let’s try this method…

  • Jhon Richard

    Hmm i agreed with you….

  • Rivka

    Hi James, Thank’s for keeping it bite sized and to the point. Your
    ability to help readers pick a single task and run with it till
    completed is noticeable and needed today. Cream will always rise to the
    top!

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  • joe bob samuel ellis blackwell

    real good advice ty

  • Atlas Nearyon

    this sounds like pretty legit stuff, I’m off to go use it :)

    -Atlas Nearyon

  • Liz Giran

    Simple yet very useful. Thank you for your time in sharing!

  • http://www.youtubesubscription.com/buy-subscriber/ Mike Cole

    Now the subscribers is much important as it is sending feeds to all subscribers when upload new video. And thanks for the tip !

  • Salini Dinesh

    Hi james,
    Very effective tips to promote our videos and gain subscribers.

  • anugrah pangestu

    is a great article, i hope this content can increase my subscriber on YT, nice sharing, thanks James

  • Diego Doo

    I love it. I’m a solo musician, I’ve just uploaded a slide video with my song yesterday. Will implement all this information. Thank u very much

  • Hanumantharao koneru

    how can i join the community

  • http://www.talkezy.com/ Aleks D.

    James, awesome post, thank you for video how to. I’m fascinated that people need to see buttons to click on rather then enjoy the video and then click subscribe. Then again, the video can be embedded.

  • http://www.donovandustin.com Donovan Dustin

    What about adding captions to videos? Do these help?

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/FirstTuberShow Jayadevan TR

    Annotation is the big thing now these days as of 2014

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    You can also instantly promote your YouTube videos on downdrops . com







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