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How To Get More Subscribers On YouTube In 2024

Shopping for the best air fryer, learning how to clean sneakers, catching up with popular online creators. People turn to YouTube for everything from education to entertainment—and businesses are clamoring to satisfy their needs. 

Why? YouTube is an all-in-one social platform, search engine, and sales channel that can help brands reach new audiences and convert viewers to buyers. 

YouTube has more than 2.7 billion monthly active viewers, making it the second-most popular social media platform, after Facebook. And the platform is dominating elsewhere, too: viewers spend more time watching YouTube on TV than any other streaming platform or cable network.

Looking to divert some of this attention to your brand’s videos? Learn how to get more subscribers on YouTube with tips and examples to grow your audience and get the most from the platform. 

19 ways to get more YouTube subscribers

  1. Ask viewers to subscribe
  2. Create videos people actually want to watch
  3. Be authentic
  4. Optimize video length
  5. Consider your channel branding
  6. Create a channel trailer
  7. Design eye-catching thumbnails
  8. Capture the viewer’s attention in the first 10 seconds
  9. End with a strong CTA
  10. Create YouTube Shorts
  11. Collaborate with other YouTube creators
  12. Participate in trends
  13. Promote your content
  14. Encourage binge watching
  15. Maintain consistency
  16. Invest in YouTube SEO
  17. Showcase your products
  18. Engage with subscribers
  19. Tap into YouTube analytics

1. Ask people to subscribe

The easiest way to gain subscribers on YouTube is simply to ask. It may seem obvious, but many new YouTube channels miss this crucial step. Use every opportunity to remind YouTube viewers to subscribe: adding it to your channel page, asking in your videos, calling out your Subscribe button, and using YouTube cards.

2. Create videos people actually want to watch

Five hundred hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. What makes your channel and videos stand out? There are two ways to approach this question:

Consider YouTube trends

First, take time to discover why people turn to YouTube. What is the most popular type of content? What are people searching? What’s trending on YouTube? While the most-viewed YouTube videos of all time are all music-related, categories like movies, entertainment, and pets are some of the fastest-growing on the platform. 

Know your audience’s preferences

Next, understand what your specific target audience is looking for. Ask what you have to offer that’s unique and delivers value. “Know your audience, and create your content based on what they actually want to see, rather than what you think they want to see,” says YouTuber Adam Enfroy.

How-to videos are a popular format on YouTube. If your product or channel lends itself to education and this is the type of content your target audience is looking for, experiment with the format. 

Batiste creates content that adds value for its customers—tutorials that help them get the most from the product:

Screengrab of a YouTube video showing a DIY

Friday Pattern Company also uses the how-to format for sew-alongs, giving its customers confidence in using its patterns:

Screengrab of a YouTube channel from Friday Pattern Company

3. Be authentic

“If you are yourself, you give people who are looking for you the chance to find you,” says YouTube creator Lyn Allure. “You cultivate a community that is truly there for you and what you have to speak about.”

Brands should also aim for authenticity. Consumer trends show an increasing appetite for meaningful relationships with brands, especially among younger buyers. “If you put up a facade, it’s hard to maintain that—and you create a community that is interested in a version of you that doesn’t really exist,” says Lyn.

Charlotte Cho, founder of skin care line Then I Met You, often appears in the brand’s content, sharing personal stories and skin care advice: 

4. Optimize video length

There are many schools of thought regarding the ideal length for a YouTube video. While some sources cite 10 minutes as the optimum length, the best length is ultimately the amount of time you need to get all the information across without filler. For an in-depth tutorial, a 30-minute video might be necessary, while a teaser for a new product might have a run time of less than two minutes. 

Longer videos like this 13-minute profile from Eater tells a compelling story with a behind-the-scenes peek inside a New York bagel shop. The pace keeps the viewer engaged and justifies the length:

5. Consider your channel branding

Channel branding is often overlooked in YouTube marketing, but details matter here. Your channel may be the second place a viewer clicks if they like your video. The channel icon and channel description should all align with your brand guidelines and put forth a professional image. 

Branding also applies to your personal brand as a founder if you’re the face of your company. Consider how you carry yourself, your personal style, and the environment around you, whether it’s a set or a real environment. 

A woman in a blazer records herself for a YouTube video
Your outfit, background, and lighting are all part of your overall brand on YouTube.

“Most YouTubers think little of what they are wearing or their background when it comes to filming. It’s a huge missed opportunity!” explains YouTube creator Joseph Hogue. “People will pick up on these branding cues and identify with you.” 

Branding elements can carry across your videos, too. Consider developing a set of consistent graphic elements you can use in the intros and outros of your videos. In this video by Marikuna Studio, consistent elements like a grid paper design and a common font help viewers identify the channel’s content.

Those elements also show up in the channel art and thumbnails for other Marikuna Studios videos:

Screengrab of a YouTube channel for a crafting creatorTo personalize your channel art and details, head to Settings and click Customization. This is where you’ll upload art, choose your name and handle, and add a bio.

6. Create a channel trailer

Once you start a YouTube channel, create a teaser video (or trailer) to promote it. Many YouTube channels show this trailer at the top of their page, and it automatically plays when viewers visit the channel page.

The ideal trailer gives viewers an introduction to your brand, similar to a trailer for an upcoming film. Use this space to tell your brand story, introduce new viewers to your products, and set the tone of what they should expect from your channel. 

You can shoot a new piece of content or stitch together clips of existing content. Either way, consider this video your chance at establishing a first impression for your brand.

Get Kids Moving is a YouTube channel offering fitness content for children. The channel trailer is used to introduce parents to the channel’s purpose:

Screengrab of a YouTube channel for Get Kids Moving

If you’re a social entrepreneur, your channel trailer is also an opportunity to share brand values or highlight sustainable business practices. That’s what the drinkware and consumer packaged goods company Simple Modern did on its own channel:

Screengrab of a YouTube channel showing a trailer by Simple Modern

💡 Tip: Use free video editing software to create polished videos that attract subscribers.

7. Design eye-catching thumbnails

Whether your content is showing up in YouTube ads or in search results on Google or YouTube, they can get lost if the video’s thumbnail doesn’t catch the users’ eye. Many popular channels use a mix of text, graphics, and human faces to serve as the “cover art” for the video. How you approach this will depend on your video type and the preferences of your audience.

Toni Lipsey of the channel TL Yarn Crafts uses a consistent color palette and images of her own face in her thumbnails. She also calls out critical details that might be important to those looking for a video like hers. Like “15 min” for a craft tutorial and “$180??!!” on a review video.

Screengrab of a YouTube channel showcasing thumbnails

Creating your own YouTube thumbnail

While YouTube lets you choose a video frame to use as the thumbnail, consider designing your own to have more control over the final look. It’s worth investing time in thumbnails to make sure you maintain brand consistency: this makes your channel look coherent and helps viewers spot your content. Ultimately, you’ll want to test different thumbnails to see which styles generate the most clicks and views.

💡 Tip: Use a free design tool like Canva to create custom YouTube thumbnails for each video. 

8. Capture the viewer’s attention in the first 10 seconds

Your YouTube videos are competing with many distractions, from competitor content to social media ads. This is why capturing viewers’ attention right away is critical. “No matter the length of your YouTube videos, grab the viewer’s attention within the first 10 seconds,” says Monte Deere, CEO of shoe brand Kizik.

How you capture attention depends on your brand and audience preferences. Some channels choose to tease a spoiler (like with before-and-after DIY content) or start with a joke or humorous moment. Whatever your approach, spark curiosity and give viewers a reason to stick around. 

YouTube creator Rachel Maksy captures attention in her videos using her quirky personality, vintage-inspired music, and sneak peeks at the “after” shots of her DIY projects:

9. End with a strong CTA

What do you want viewers to do once they’ve reached the end of your video? Call out this action on your end screen. This could be a number of things, including:

  • Watch more videos
  • Check out another content property, like a podcast
  • Visit an online store
  • Subscribe to the channel
  • Give the video a thumbs-up or a comment
  • Enter a contest

You can gain more subscribers on YouTube simply by asking viewers to subscribe at the end of your video. Fitness duo Juice & Toya maximize the ends of their videos with multiple CTAs, giving viewers a number of ways to connect with their brand, including subscribing, downloading their app, and watching more videos:

Screengrab of a YouTube video showing a CTA to like and subscribe

Screengrab of a YouTube video showing a CTA to subscribe to a podcast

10. Create YouTube Shorts 

A newer feature of the platform, YouTube Shorts are similar to the short-form vertical video format popularized by TikTok and optimized for mobile viewing. In 2023, Shorts surpassed 50 billion daily views.

Using built-in video creation tools, you can record, edit, and add elements like music, text, 

and effects to create Shorts directly in the YouTube app. 

“Using Shorts to boost your longer-form videos will promote your content a little further,” says Luke Tew, head of Digital Media at Maverrik. Shorts act like taste-tests for your channel, letting viewers sample quick bites of what you have to offer. “When people are interested in what they see in the Shorts, they watch the long-form video and subscribe,” he says.

📚 Learn more: How To Find the Best Time to Post YouTube Shorts

11. Collaborate with other YouTube creators

Collaborations are symbiotic agreements between creators and brands that can help boost exposure and even subscriber count for both parties. Choosing your collaborations is important—the partnership should make sense for your audience, and they should offer a compatible type of content or product to yours.

Some popular ideas for YouTube collaborations include:

  • Inviting a collaborator on as a guest host
  • Having a cameo appearance on a creator’s channel
  • Co-hosting an AMA or live virtual event with other channels
  • Promoting a co-branded product or marketing campaign
  • Announcing a contest or giveaway with prizes from both brands
  • Asking a popular creator to review your products in exchange for an affiliate link

TV personality and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Trixie Mattel used drama to drive interest in the collaborative content she created with fellow drag queen Kim Chi. The partnership is valuable for both creators, as they gain access to new viewers that resemble their target audiences.

Screengrab of a YouTube video showing two creators collaborating

📚 Learn more: YouTube Affiliate Marketing: 7 Pro Tips to Earn Extra Income

12. Participate in trends

As part of your video marketing strategy, consider creating content around current trends. Ride the hype on the latest cultural moment, meme, or trending topic—if it makes sense for your brand.

Timing these posts right can help you become relevant to people who might not consider your YouTube videos otherwise. These are great types of content for Shorts, as you can react to a moment as it happens with a lower-lift video format.

How to find trends on YouTube

To find trends, follow accounts and publications that are relevant to your niche or industry. Pay attention to what your subscribers and target audience are sharing, liking, and creating. YouTube’s trending tab can give you some insights into topics, channels, and contents gaining attention at any given moment. Google Trends can also be filtered for YouTube searches.

Google Trends view showing top YouTube trends

Once you find a trending topic (such as “grimace shake,” “pastel eye makeup,” or “wall pilates workouts”), search YouTube to see what types of content are getting the most views. This will inspire you to create your own videos that people actually want to watch.

Screengrab of a YouTube search results page for pilates exercises

13. Promote your content 

Viewers may need to see a few of your YouTube videos before becoming your subscribers. Encourage them to check out more of your videos by cross-promoting your content. While this can be done through ads, there are plenty of ways to promote videos and increase YouTube subscribers at no cost.

A few ideas include the following:

  • Promote other videos in your most popular content.
  • Embed YouTube videos on your ecommerce site or a blog post.
  • Share video links on other social media channels.
  • Use video as part of your email marketing strategy.

On Katie Carson’s YouTube videos, she often points to other videos on her channel to encourage viewers to stick around:

Screengrab of a YouTube video showing a CTA to check out another video

💡 Tip: Niche communities—on Reddit, Facebook, forums, and elsewhere—that relate to your video’s audience are great places to attract YouTube subscribers.

14. Encourage binge watching

It stands to reason that the more of your videos a person watches, the more likely they are to become a subscriber. 

Playlists are a great way to organize YouTube content for better user experience and to encourage users to watch more videos. This practice is also part of an effective YouTube SEO strategy if you name your playlists and videos using relevant keywords.

Playlists can be YouTube videos grouped by type, such as “Quick DIYs” and “Full-length tutorials,” or used for a content series. It’s a tactic Rachel Reid, CEO of Subtl Beauty, uses to grow her beauty brand on YouTube. “When you’re trying to get viewers to convert to subscribers, one smart way to do it is to create a compelling multi-part series that’s posted over time,” she says. “Motivated viewers will be more likely to subscribe to ensure they catch the next video.”

The skin care and makeup brand Fresh Beauty groups its YouTube video content into playlists to help potential buyers find content like reviews or how-tos while encouraging them to stick around for more:

Screengrab of a YouTube channel showing playlists

Creator Mr. Kate uses playlists to produce series of YouTube videos to keep viewers tuning in: 

Screengrab of a YouTube channel showing playlists

15. Maintain consistency 

The key to building a successful YouTube channel is consistency. Consistency can be achieved in a number of ways, through branding, video quality, color palette, lighting, subject matter, playlists or series, and posting frequency.

What is your channel about? You might be a multi-passionate, but if you’re creating a YouTube channel about woodworking, it could alienate your viewers and subscribers if you share cooking content. Hone in on your channel’s topic and its audience and be consistent about delivering what they expect. This is especially important if you want the YouTube algorithm to recommend your content.

Consistent postsing, especially on a schedule, is another way to increase YouTube subscribers. This doesn’t mean you need to be shooting every week. On The Bald and the Beautiful podcast, host Trixie Mattel says, “What I’ve learned with my YouTube channel: bank [content] when you’re in the mood. That way, if you have an off week, you’re like ‘Oh good, I have something.’”

If viewers know that you post every week, like in this example from vegan chef Wil Yeung, they’ll be more likely to subscribe:

Screengrab of a YouTube channel for Wil Yeung

💡Tip: If you run a creator account that isn’t topic-centric, be sure that you find consistency elsewhere, such as the way you produce your videos or how you present yourself.

16. Invest in YouTube SEO

YouTube is the second-most popular search engine, after Google. Users not only search within YouTube itself for information or product discovery, they’re also seeing YouTube video results in their Google searches. This makes the platform ideal for brands selling products. 

Whether you’re a veteran or starting a new YouTube channel, appearing in search results is key to gaining subscribers. There are a few steps you can follow to optimize your content for search: 

1. Improve your video titles

Using the right keywords in your titles is the first step to signal to Google and YouTube that your content matches the search. Including the exact keyword in your video title can influence potential rankings—and there are plenty of online SEO tools to help you perform keyword research. Choose keywords that are a fit for your brand and ensure that the content matches search intent. 

This video appears at the top of search results for “winged eyeliner tutorial” in Google because its title keywords match search intent:

Screengrab of a YouTube video appearing in Google search results

2. Optimize video descriptions

Similar to video titles, descriptions play an important role in getting your videos to rank on YouTube. Write a short summary for each video that describes what it’s about, making sure to include the keyword you use in your title. Once you start creating keyword-targeted videos, you should see higher click-through rates, more top rankings, and an increase in subscribers across your channel. 

In a search for the “best solar camping lantern,” the top results all include variations on the keyword in both the title and description of the video. In Google’s eyes, “lantern” and “light” are interchangeable for this search:

Screengrab of a YouTube search results page for camping lanterns

3. Tag your video with popular, related keywords 

YouTube tags are phrases and words that you can add to your video’s metadata. Both YouTube’s algorithm and viewers love them because they add signals to what the video is about. Keyword research will help you find popular keywords with search volume. Don’t choose tags just because they’re popular—make sure they’re also relevant to your brand and content.

📚 Learn more: 9 YouTube SEO Tips and Techniques

17. Showcase your products

Launching, demoing, and using your products in your YouTube videos are great ways to drive sales and make money on YouTube. “Every single time, we’ll see a spike in sales once a video goes up,” says Katie Carson of Royalty Soaps. “We see general buying trends depending on how popular the YouTube series was.”

But how does product showcasing help you grow YouTube subscribers? Google reports that 68% of buyers used YouTube to assist with a purchase. This means that people see YouTube as a source for product discovery and honest reviews. If your channel can meet the needs of these searchers and build trust, it will be easier to convert them to subscribers.

Creators who grow a YouTube subscriber list can even sell products to this audience. Make merch for YouTube as a way to monetize your following.

💡Tip: Sell on YouTube by syncing your Shopify store with YouTube Shopping. Create live shopping experiences, tag your products to YouTube, and manage it all in our Shopify admin. 

18. Engage with subscribers

Your job isn’t over as soon as you upload videos—monitoring and engaging with comments can go a long way to building a relationship with your audience. Viewers are more likely to convert to subscribers if there’s two-way communication. 

Notice how creator Lyn Allure uses the comment section to nudge viewers toward her YouTube subscribe link and to engage with viewers directly:

Screengrab of a YouTube video's comments section

19. Tap into YouTube analytics

How do you know if any of these tactics are working? While watching your YouTube channel amass more subscribers is an indication, analytics will help you drill down on what’s actually driving numbers. 

“Study the viewing figures for every show, analyze what works and doesn’t based solely on numbers, and develop your content based on the shows that drew the biggest audience,” says marketer Adam Enfroy. “Let the metrics guide your content and give your audience what they want.” 

Should you buy YouTube subscribers?

You don’t need a million subscribers to see results with YouTube. Even a loyal fan base of 1,000 means you can start earning money from the platform. Buying subscribers might inflate your subscriber count, but these are low-quality subscribers that won’t engage—and the metrics that matter will suffer. 

YouTube also prohibits the use of bots for this purpose, as detailed in its Terms of Service. Use of prohibited practices or tools could get your account suspended.

Bottom line: You can buy subscribers, but it’s not worth it.

Build a loyal subscriber base to grow your YouTube channel

A person shoots a video of herself for YouTube contentGaining an audience of engaged YouTube subscribers takes time and effort—there are no shortcuts. When you upload videos, optimize for your audience’s preferences, encourage interaction, and let YouTube analytics guide you as you grow. 

YouTuber users are looking for value and meaningful interactions from accounts they trust. A consistent approach to content and understanding your audience and analytics is the best way to gain subscribers on YouTube.

Getting more YouTube subscribers FAQ

What does 1,000 subscribers on YouTube get you?

Hitting 1,000 subscribers on YouTube provides big benefits for creators. You can join the YouTube Partner Program and monetize your videos with ads. You can also access YouTube Studio, a program for creators.

Is it OK to buy subscribers on YouTube?

Buying subscribers to stimulate YouTube channel growth is deeply discouraged. You want to connect with real YouTube users to grow your brand and build credibility with people who will actually buy your products. 

How do you get more subscribers on YouTube?

To get more subscribers on YouTube:

  1. Ask for more subscribers
  2. Create videos people actually want to watch
  3. Consider branding your channel page
  4. Create a channel trailer
  5. Come up with a pitch
  6. Design eye-catching thumbnails
  7. Capture the viewer’s attention in the first 10 seconds
  8. Create YouTube Shorts
  9. Collaborate with other YouTubers with similar audiences
  10. Share your videos in niche online communities
  11. Create a YouTube playlist
  12. Use YouTube cards to suggest other videos
  13. Maintain consistency
  14. Invest in YouTube SEO

How do you get 1,000 free YouTube subscribers?

A few ways to get free YouTube subscribers include: 

  1. Adding a YouTube subscribe button to your videos
  2. Creating channel trailers
  3. Optimizing your channel to show up in YouTube search results
  4. Creating effective YouTube channel branding 
  5. Publishing YouTube videos consistently
  6. Promoting your channel on other social media sites
  7. Creating video playlists

This originally appeared on Shopify and is available here for wider discovery.
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