You've set up your YouTube channel and spent hours filming, editing, and uploading great content. There's just one problem: hardly anyone's watching it. Now, you’re looking for the fastest way to get YouTube subscribers.
The YouTube algorithm relies on engagement to recommend your content to more viewers, so loyal subscribers are crucial to your success. The more subscribers you gain, the more YouTube rewards you. Here are 10 strategies to learn how to get more subscribers on YouTube and grow your channel.
10 Ways to Get More Subscribers on YouTube
To increase YouTube subscribers and build a viral channel, put your audience first. This means creating helpful, entertaining, and engaging content that people want to watch until the end. Each video should encourage them to comment, like, and share.
If you’re hoping to monetize your YouTube channel, you'll need at least 1,000 subscribers to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program and start generating ad revenue.
Here’s how to get subscribers on YouTube:
1. Publish Longer Videos
Posting longer videos increases your account’s watch time and gives your viewers the opportunity to engage with your content longer. When viewers spend more time on your channel or watch through to the end of a video, YouTube is more likely to recommend that content to others. The algorithm will then push your video to a wider audience, leading to greater channel visibility and more potential subscribers.
Long-form videos allow you to provide more in-depth content, which can also attract and retain subscribers looking for detailed information. If you can provide expert information in a niche, like thorough how-to videos or interesting lifestyle content, people interested in that topic are more likely to subscribe.
2. Add Subtitles to Your Videos
Add captions and subtitles to your videos to increase reach and maximize your channel’s potential. Here’s why adding subtitles is important:
- Makes Content More Accessible — Reach people scrolling YouTube without sound and help viewers with hearing impairments better understand and connect with your message.
- Capture and Retain Audience Attention — Captions make it easier to gain your audience's attention and retain it throughout the video, which can contribute to longer watch times. This increases your chances of YouTube recommending your content to more people.
- Open the Captions app.
- Tap the purple “Create” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Import a video or record one in the app.
- Choose your language and tap “Proceed.”
- Wait as the app adds subtitles.
- Customize the font, size, and colors of your subtitles, and add extra effects like images and AI eye contact.
- Export the video to your camera roll to upload it to any platform.
3. Use Captions to Dub Videos into Other Languages
Dubbing your videos can increase the total amount of time people spend watching your content. This makes it more likely YouTube will suggest your videos to more viewers, helping you build your subscriber base even faster.
4. Engage and Address Every Comment
Interacting with your viewers can help build relationships with your audience and motivate them to subscribe. If you respond to their comments or mention them in your videos, they’ll feel more connected to you as a creator.
Here’s how to interact with your audience:
- Open up the dialogue — Hop into your comments section and interact with your viewers. Answer questions, engage in discussions, and thank people when they leave a friendly comment or compliment. This shows subscribers that you’re open to having a conversation with them, about yourself or your content.
- Learn from feedback and criticism — Be direct and ask your subscribers what they want, what they like, and what they dislike. Lean into that feedback and work it into your content to improve your videos.
- Acknowledge viewers — As your following grows, you’ll start to recognize your most loyal viewers. They’re the ones consistently tuning in, hyping you up in the comments, and sharing your videos with others. Show them how much their support means to you by giving them a shout-out in your videos.
5. Ask Viewers to Hit the Subscribe Button
In each video, include a call to action (CTA) encouraging viewers to subscribe by saying something like, “If you like this video and want to see more, subscribe to my YouTube channel.” This reminds your audience to subscribe to avoid missing out on any new content.
Use YouTube Analytics to help you decide when to add in your CTA. If viewers usually watch your videos until the end, ask them to hit the subscribe button before you say goodbye. If they tend to watch the highlights and not stick through the whole video, work your CTA into your intro or right before the most crucial part of your video.
6. Create Engaging, High-Quality Content
The quality and value of your content are ultimately the markers of what will keep viewers coming back for more. Do the legwork to really understand what kind of content they want from you, and put in the effort to make it visually and topically appealing.
Here are four ways to create video content that audiences want to like, share, and comment on:
- Know Your Audience — Understand your target viewers. Tailor your content to their interests and needs, and have a script ready to help you stay on point. Viewers are more likely to subscribe if your message resonates with them.
- Use Compelling YouTube Thumbnails and Title Designs — Design attention-grabbing thumbnails and craft descriptive, intriguing video titles to draw viewers.
- Maintain High Production Quality — Invest in good audio, video, and editing equipment to improve the quality of your content.
- Record in High Definition (HD) — According to Google, YouTube ranks HD videos higher, so it’s best to record your videos in 1080p or higher to improve your ranking and reach more viewers.
7. Publish Content Frequently
YouTube channels that upload video content at least once a week generally perform better. One of the biggest mistakes an emerging content creator can make is not posting content consistently. Stick to a regular posting schedule.
A consistent schedule increases the likelihood of viewers engaging with your content because they’ll know when to expect something new. They can set a time to view your new videos, and if the content is helpful and unique, they’ll keep coming back. Loyal fans might even work your content into their weekly routine, like watching new uploads on their lunch breaks or after work on certain days.
8. Optimize Your Videos
Optimizing your YouTube videos can help them get discovered more easily, increase visibility in search results, and attract a larger audience — ultimately leading to more views, engagement, and potential subscribers.
Here’s how to do it:
- Design an interesting channel page — Use short, appropriate channel descriptions and interesting channel art that align with your personal brand.
- Use keywords — Improve your YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking using keywords. Focus on the first 100-150 characters of your channel description for SEO, as these appear next to your channel in search results.
- Include sections and YouTube playlists on your channel page — If you have many videos, put them in different groups and playlists on your channel page to make them easier to find.
- Post YouTube Shorts to reach more users — To contend with TikTok, YouTube introduced the Shorts feature to share bite-sized video clips in a separate feed. Post Shorts of your long-form videos to catch the attention of viewers scrolling the YouTube Shorts feed. Captions’ creative studio lets you generate Shorts with AI to pull highlights from your long-form videos.
9. Add a YouTube Trailer
A channel trailer is a short video displayed at the top of your channel page. When someone clicks on your channel name below a video, it’ll redirect them to your channel page, and the trailer will usually start automatically. This serves as an introduction to your channel, similar to a movie trailer. Create a trailer that shows viewers what kind of content you offer, and include highlights of your best work.
10. Remove Old and Low-Quality Videos
As you add more videos, your channel page can become cluttered or have content that’s off-brand. Removing old, irrelevant, and low-quality videos is important.
Here’s how to begin cleaning up your content:
- Evaluate Videos — Review your video library and assess each video's quality, relevance, and viewer engagement.
- Create Criteria — Decide what "low-quality" or outdated content to remove, considering poor video and audio quality, outdated information, or low viewer engagement.
- Delete Videos — Delete or unlist low-quality videos. Deleting removes them from your channel entirely, while unlisting makes them private but still accessible through direct links. You might also remove videos you posted that don’t relate to your current niche or personal brand to refine your content.
How to See Your Subscribers on YouTube
Here’s how to see your YouTube followers:
- Go to your YouTube account and navigate to "Your channel" at the top right corner.
- Click on "Customize channel" to be taken to YouTube Studio.
- Within your YouTube Studio dashboard, scroll to the bottom, where you’ll see "Recent subscribers.”
- Click "See all" for a complete list.
- A pop-up window will appear with recent subscribers.
- Click on the right corner of the window and select "Lifetime" from the dropdown menu to see your subscriber count.
To track your growth, go to “Analytics” in the menu on the left to see more detailed subscriber data, including how many new subscribers you gained over a given period.
Popular Content Types to Increase Your YouTube Subscribers
Part of learning how to gain followers on YouTube involves being creative, figuring out your niche, and connecting with audiences. Here are a few video ideas to help you get started:
1. Instructional and How-to Guides
Deliver how-to and educational content to help viewers learn new skills or solve day-to-day problems. These videos can draw in subscribers who are searching the internet for specific information within your area of expertise.
2. Product Reviews and Recommendations
Evaluate and endorse products, services, or experiences relevant to your niche. Honest reviews can assist your viewers in making informed choices and establish trust with your audience.
3. Day-in-the-life Videos
Take your audience along for a behind-the-scenes look into a typical day in your life. Many viewers take an interest in seeing other people’s lifestyles, whether that’s a software engineer in SF or a fashion influencer in NY. These videos are a great way to show off your personality and appeal to new viewers or subscribers curious about where or how you live.
Increase Your Subscribers with Captions
Increase your YouTube visibility and grow your subscriber count with Captions.
The Captions app helps you script, record, and edit your videos all in one place. Add subtitles, dub your YouTube video into different languages, and turn one YouTube video into five viral clips with one tap. Make your video workflow 10X faster with Captions.