When you start out as a YouTuber, you are trying to achieve many things at once.
Most of your time is spent on thinking about content ideas, filming it, and learning how to edit it into a great video. With, perhaps, a bit of time dreaming about what you’ll spend your YouTube earnings on too!
But, eventually, you get to a point and think ‘hang on, how do I promote my youtube channel?’
You’re working from a standing start. You don’t have the budget for ad buys or an existing following from another platform to leverage.
So how do you promote your YouTube channel for free?
Well, to get the ball rolling, and the subscribers racking up, you’ll need to spend a little elbow grease. Do some hard work. Because at the start you need to do all you can to get your name out there.
This means cross-promotion on social media networks. You need to be your own distribution network at the start, and create a spiderweb of content to catch your viewers. Then, well, it’s down to the quality of your content to then turn those initial viewers into long-term subscribers.
This blog post covers the big-four social media platforms you should be cross-posting your content on, how often you should do it, and what kind of material to publish.
Let’s get going.
A Brief Word of Caution.
The following tips won’t work unless you are a consistent YouTuber.
You can undertake all the promotional activity you like, but if you don’t regularly upload compelling content to YouTube, then your channel is set for failure. Mr Beast uploaded content for five years before his channel took off. Five years!
It takes dedication and consistency to be a successful YouTuber.
Promote Your YouTube Channel on Twitter
Twitter is the first platform you should be cross-posting on. There are 186 million daily active users, tweeting about every conceivable niche. So you can definitely find an audience for your content here.
The content you’ll post to Twitter has a very short shelf life, in most cases, only a matter of hours. So it’s fine to post out lots of links to your content.
Look for a few popular hashtags that tend to trend frequently, rather than one-offs that happen to be trending at any particular moment. Don’t copy spammers and use hashtags that are not related to your content. You’ll only end up annoying Twitter users.
While following hashtags on Twitter is not possible, people do have favourites that they regularly look up so they can see the latest.
If users see your content under that hashtag, and it’s excellent, then you may get a new follower. Once you gain followers, then you can post out links to your channel and invite them to watch your content over on YouTube.
Think about what you tweet, though. Before you tweet, think carefully about what you’ll write – ask yourself ‘why would people care about this tweet?’ You have to engage people.
Look at the example below, posted with the phrase ‘New Vlog is up!!!’. Who cares!? Maybe his mother, but not anyone else.
Instead, give the Twitter users a reason to click on your link. The illustration below is much better.
Also, make sure to separate your link from the hashtags. Both are hyperlinks. So if your content is next to the hashtags, then fat thumbs can mean you could miss a potential viewer.
Promote Your YouTube Channel on Facebook
Two excellent places to share your new content on Facebook are on your own Facebook branding Page and in Facebook groups.
Create your own brand page. You won’t have any followers, to begin with, but post your videos there anyway. It won’t help your video to rank on YouTube but can help your video to rank for Google searches
The place to post your videos to promote your Youtube channel is in the Facebook Groups. With over 1.5 billion daily users and 100 million hours of video watched daily, there is certain to be an audience for your content there.
The best part is that Facebook has already niched down the audiences for you. Whatever topic area you make your videos around, there is a place for you to share them on Facebook.
If you need more tips on how to promote your videos on facebook check out my deep dive on facebook marketing and how it can explode channel growth.
Tips for Promoting Youtube Content in Facebook Groups
- When searching for groups to post your content to, make sure it contains enough people to engage with. There are plenty of groups with only a handful of members; keep searching until you find a large one.
- For some Facebook Groups, activity drops over time. So, even if there is a large membership for a group, check the frequency of posts to make sure that it is worth your time to engage with it.
- How you act in a group, once you have joined and been given access, matters. You have to engage with the group and be helpful. There is no point in joining a group to spam a link to your videos every once in a while. Instead, participate in the conversation, be helpful where you can, and when it’s appropriate, then share a link to your content. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up banned from the group.
Promote Your Youtube Channel on Instagram
Instagram is an ideal place to help build your YouTube audience.
Depending on the type of content you make for YouTube, you may be OK with using your existing Instagram account. If you don’t want to mix up your content with your personal Instagram usage, then create a new one specifically for your channel.
But it’s up to you. If you are the main focus of your YouTube channel, and ‘behind-the-scenes’ content might be valuable to followers, so use your existing account. If your YouTube channel is in a niche where you don’t show your face, then set up a fresh account.
Use Instagram to build up a following in your topic area. Spend some time browsing relevant hashtags to get an understanding of the type of content that is popular, then set out to emulate it.
Create Youtube Teasers
One of the best uses of Instagram to promote your YouTube channel is to create short 15-second teaser clips. Teaser clips can intrigue and draw Instagram users over to your YouTube channel.
Why should you take the time to create a teaser clip? Well, if you only share a thumbnail or a link to your YouTube video, then users can’t see if your content is right for them.
A teaser is different and operates like a film trailer made by the big Hollywood movie studios. You intrigue and invite your potential audience to watch the full thing.
So, after you finish editing your latest video for YouTube, create a cut down version as well for Instagram.
You can use your video editing software, or even better use a tool like Placeit to produce a compelling teaser. Placeit lets you quickly create teasers for Instagram (and other platforms) with handy templates and stock graphics.
Promote Your YouTube Channel on TikTok
The new kid on the block. Tik Tok divides opinion, some love the brash new social sharing platform, others criticise child safety and privacy issues. But, no-one can deny its reach.
It’s the new Vine, the platform to share short snappy videos, and there is a massive audience on this hot fresh platform.
TikTok has experienced incredible growth since its launch in 2016. The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2 billion times and now has over 800 million active users.
Use TikTok to post 15-second teaser clips like the ones you made for Instagram. Make sure to add a link to your YouTube channel in your bio, and direct people to your bio in your teaser clip.
Once you become as popular as Mr Beast, you can forget the profile link and afford to be sassy instead.
When looking for ways to promote your YouTube channel, don’t overlook the free options. Yes, it can be tempting to spend money you don’t have on ads and try and spend your way to success.
But YouTube is a long-term undertaking. You have to do the right things, regularly, to make a success of your channel. You’ll run out of advertising budget before you attract enough followers to make your channel a cash earning machine.
Look instead to the big social media players. There are millions of daily active users on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Get strategic and make promotional content for your channel to post on those platforms.
And make sure to do it right. You can spot spam posts yourself, so make sure not to post spam for others to ignore. Become a part of the conversation, help out other users, and when it’s right, direct them to your channel on YouTube.
Get the above right and you can give you channel the kick start it needs on YouTube.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.