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Create a YouTube channel

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You can watch and like videos and subscribe to channels with a Google Account . But without a YouTube channel, you have no public presence on YouTube. Even if you have a Google Account, you need to create a YouTube channel to upload videos, comment, or make playlists.

You can create your channel on either the YouTube website or the YouTube mobile site.

Getting started | How and why to sign in to YouTube and create a YouTube channel

Subscribe to the YouTube Viewers channel for the latest news, updates, and tips.

Create a personal channel

Follow these instructions to create a channel that only you can manage using your Google Account.

  • Sign in to YouTube on a computer or the mobile site.


  • You’ll be asked to create a channel.
  • Check the details (with your Google Account name and photo ) and confirm to create your channel.

Create a channel with a business or other name

Follow these instructions to create a channel that can have more than one manager or owner.

You can connect your channel to a Brand Account if you want to use a different name on YouTube than your Google Account. Learn more about Brand Accounts .

  • Go to your channel list .
  • Create a channel by clicking Create a new channel .
  • Create a YouTube channel for a Brand Account that you already manage by choosing the Brand Account from the list. If this Brand Account already has a channel, you can't create a new one. When you select the Brand Account from the list, you’ll be switched over to that channel.
  • Fill out the details to name your new channel. Then, click Create . This will create a new Brand Account.
  • To add a channel manager, follow the instructions to change channel owners and managers .

Learn more about using a channel with a business or other name on YouTube .

Homepage H1 can go here

Cover image

How To Create a YouTube Channel From Scratch

It might seem hard to learn how to create a YouTube channel and account from zero, but it doesn’t have to be.

Fun fact: YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world behind Google, which owns YouTube.

Fun suggestion: Your brand should have a presence there.

The opportunity to reach your audience on YouTube is massive, with 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors. More than 60% of those users visit YouTube every single day. Wouldn’t it be nice if they took a look at your content while they were there?

Luckily, creating a YouTube account isn’t difficult. Creating a successful YouTube channel is a little more work. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there, too.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of how to create a YouTube channel from scratch
  • How to optimize your channel for success
  • What kind of YouTube content tends to resonate with viewers

Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your YouTube following fast , a daily workbook of challenges that will help you kickstart your Youtube channel growth and track your success. Get real results after one month.

How to create a YouTube channel in 6 simple steps

Before you can put your incredible YouTube marketing strategy into effect, you’re going to need a YouTube channel. Luckily, It’s pretty easy to create a new YouTube channel, even if you’re a beginner.

Take off your cinematographer hat and put on your click-a-bunch-of-buttons hat: here we go!

Step 1: Create a Google account

YouTube accounts are connected to your Google account (Google is YouTube’s parent company). If you don’t already have a Google account, it’s time to make one. Don’t worry; it’ll just take a couple of minutes.

Go to accounts.google.com and tap Create account .

use your Google account to sign in

Pop in your details and preferred new email address. Done!

add first name last name username and password under Google account details

Step 2: Create a YouTube account

Head to YouTube.com and tap Sign In in the top right corner.

YouTube sign in button

Select your Google account and enter your password.

Google account and password

Tap your profile icon in the top right corner and select Create Channel .

create channel option under profile icon

Oh, and in case you’re wondering how much it costs to start a YouTube channel? It’s totally free!

Step 3: Customize your channel

Enter your name and YouTube handle , and upload a profile photo — this is how you’ll appear on the site to others, so you may want to use a brand name and logo here. Not sure what to name your channel? Try our AI-powered YouTube username generator and let the robots do the creative work for you.

enter name and YouTube handle and upload profile picture

Tap the layout tab to customize the following elements of your channel:

  • Add a channel trailer
  • Pick a featured video for returning subscribers
  • Add sections to your homepage

If you don’t have those pieces ready to go for now, that’s totally fine. You can always update this later once you’ve got some content up and running.

YouTube Studio channel customization layout

Step 4: Update your channel branding

Tap the Branding tab to access more customization options:

  • Change your profile picture: Use something that’s at least 98×98 pixels
  • Change your banner: This appears at the top of your channel page. Aim for an image that’s a minimum of 2048 x 1152 pixels
  • Add a video watermark: This image will overlay onto your content in the right-hand corner. For best results, use an image of 150 x 150 pixels.

branding tab with picture and banner image

Step 5: Add a description and basic contact info

Tap the Basic Info tab to update details like your handle and URL. You can also add links and contact info and write a description of your channel.

The description is a great opportunity to add some keywords and hashtags that will help your target audience find your channel. It may be short, but it’s a powerful tool for both communication and discovery, so you’re gonna want to get it right. Check out our guide to writing a great YouTube description here or try our free YouTube channel description generator .

basic info including description and URL

Step 6: Add some content!

Hopefully, you’ve got a video to actually put on this YouTube Channel, but if you need a minute to whip something up… we’ll wait.

OK: once you’ve got that vid file ready to roll, just tap the Play icon on the left-hand side of the screen to access the video menu. Tap the blue Upload Videos button.

upload videos icon

As your video uploads, you’ll be prompted to enter some details about this great piece of film. Add a title and description that explains what viewers can expect… and don’t forget to cram in those search terms and keywords while you’re at it.

You can also select a thumbnail to help your video stand out in search results and on your channel page. This can be a still from the video or a separately uploaded image, but either way, make sure it POPS. Read more on how to create a great, eye-catching thumbnail below.

YouTube video details thumbnail

On this video upload page, you can also add the video to an existing playlist or create a new one. More on the benefits of playlists below, too!

Tap Show More at the bottom to access options like tags and subtitles.

show more tags and subtitles

Tap Next when you’re done, and you’ll be taken to a menu that invites you to add cards (links to other videos) and an end screen. You can always go back and add or adjust these later as you amass more content.

video elements add cards

Tap Next . The next screen will advise you if there are any copyright issues with your video — for example if you’ve used an unauthorized audio clip from Jaws to accompany your jellyfish video.

Tap Next if there are no issues. Your last hurdle to clear is the Visibility screen. Here, you can choose whether to publish a video publicly or keep it private. You can also schedule your video to go public at a later date.

video visibility private unlisted or public

Tap Save, and now your first video is out in the world. You did it! You’re a YouTuber!

Top tips for starting a YouTube channel

Of course, creating a YouTube channel is one thing… creating a successful YouTube channel is another. To stand out from the crowd or reach an audience, follow these tried-and-true best practices.

Read on for our top YouTube channel creation tips or watch a video that explains the exact tactics we used to get the first 10,000 subscribers on our own YouTube channel, Hootsuite Labs.

Add eye-catching channel art

Your channel art and thumbnails are your billboards, so make an impression!

An effective thumbnail is clear and accurate and works in tandem with the video’s title. But it also needs to stand out.

Thumbnails are the way viewers decide what to watch when they’re skimming through search results. This means you don’t just need to communicate what your video is about. You need to stand out from the competition, too.

And a lot of the competition is… loud.

Big, bold fonts, bright colors, exaggerated faces: these are the staples of the YouTube thumbnail. Love the look or hate it, it obviously works, or people wouldn’t be doing it.

bright colours in YouTube thumbnail

But amid all this visual noise, there’s an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Evaluate what everyone else is doing, and try to swerve. For example, choose a distinct color palette, or go full-on minimalist to stand out in a sea of neon colors and Impact font.

Chill_Village has a distinct, low-key thumbnail style that reflects what its content is all about — chill-hop music playlists.

chill village channel low key thumbnail style

Experiment with our channel art templates here.

Choose the perfect channel icon

A channel icon is like a logo for your YouTube presence. It should match your brand and complement your channel banner.

Essential oil company Vitruvi uses a simple ‘v’ logo for its channel icon, in a palette that complements the muted tones of the home-lifestyle banner image.

Essential oil company Vitruvi simple minimalist channel icon

When picking an icon, follow YouTube’s recommended image dimensions to avoid any stretching. Preview your channel on multiple devices to check everything looks good.

Create playlists

Organizing and creating video playlists on YouTube is the best way to keep your viewer on your page.

British comedian Mawaan Rizwan has his channel organized into playlists like ‘Music Videos,’ ‘Live Performances,’ and ‘Best Of.’

British comedian Mawaan Rizwan YouTube channel playlists

Not only do YouTube playlists organize your related content in one neat-and-tidy list, they also auto-play. Once one video ends, the next begins… and so on. This minimizes the chances that a viewer will move on to another channel.

Create a channel trailer

When someone first comes across your channel, a channel trailer is a way for them to get a sneak peek at your content. Better make it count.

Just like the Hollywood hotshots get you hooked to see Avengers 7: Tokyo Drift , you can give your audience a taste that leaves them wanting more.

Assume the viewer is a perfect stranger, so introduce yourself and tell them exactly why they should subscribe. Keep it short, sweet, and snappy: let ‘em know what your content is like and when they can expect new uploads, like Yoga with Adriene does on her channel.

Create great content, consistently

This is going to sound very obvious, but we’re going to say it anyway: Viewers want to watch good videos.

But what makes a good YouTube video is a little different than, say, what makes a video that would win a foreign film festival.

According to Search Engine Journal , successful YouTube videos have attention-grabbing intros and great branding, background music, and clear audio.

First We Feast is one account that’s crushing it: the food-focused channel posting content regularly to clearly defined series and recurring features like the interview show Hot Ones .

First We Feast channel consistent video content

Calls to action are important too. Whether your goal is to drive your audience to your website, increase your subscriber count or spark a conversation in the comments, the right CTA can help make that happen.

Like with all social media content, there’s no perfect formula for a successful YouTube video. Some brands thrive with slick, highly-produced content, while others gain traction by being raw, unfiltered, and authentic.

YouTube star Emma Chamberlain doesn’t overthink her channel’s design, doesn’t make over-the-top thumbnails, and doesn’t even have an image for her banner. The titles of her videos don’t have many keywords. Instead, she relies on creating intimate, authentic videos for an existing devoted audience subscribing for substance, not splash.

emma chamberlain intimate videos with few keywords

Explore some ideas of engaging content from other social media platforms to inspire your experimentation.

Optimize your videos for searchability

YouTube is dense. There are billions of videos for viewers to sift through, with more than 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. Competition is stiff . So if you want your channel to thrive, discoverability is downright essential.

Here are some YouTube SEO tips:

  • Make sure your channel description is clear, concise, accurate, and rich in keywords
  • Include search terms in every individual video description
  • Give videos and playlists clear, SEO-friendly titles
  • Don’t forget to use the tag feature to address common spelling errors
  • Use your primary keyword as the video file name
  • Say your keywords out loud in the video… and then turn on the subtitles

jellyfish video details

Pro tip : If you need help creating engaging, keyword-rich video descriptions, check out our handy AI-powered YouTube video description generator .

Read more on the science of the YouTube algorithm and social media SEO basics . You’ll be dominating the search results in no time.

Schedule your videos

Give your videos the best chance to make it big by posting them at the right time: when people are online and ready to watch them.

Your channel analytics will tell you if there’s a day of the week or specific time that tends to get high viewership or engagement.

Once you’ve got that intel, you can publish regularly within this time frame with the help of scheduling tools like Hootsuite. Here’s a step-by-step guide to scheduling YouTube videos.

schedule YouTube videos

Understand your audience

It’s hard to make compelling content if you don’t know who you’re making it for, so make sure you’ve got a good sense of your audience persona before you dive in.

Who are they? What do they like? (Why won’t they call me?!)

Once you’ve got a few videos under your belt, see whether or not you’re hitting the mark by diving into your YouTube Analytics . Cold hard numbers will tell you if, how, and when your work of art is making an impact.

Experiment with YouTube advertising

If you’re not getting the reach you want with good ol’ fashioned organic content, it might be time to toss a few bucks behind a promo campaign.

YouTube ads are available in these four categories:

  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads (including bumper ads)
  • In-feed video ads
  • Masthead ads

YouTube video ad new campaign

For more info on YouTube’s ad formats and how to use them, check out our detailed guide to YouTube advertising .

Ask viewers to subscribe

When someone subscribes to your channel (a.k.a hits that bell button, ding-a-liiiiing), they get an alert when you put a new video out into the world — so growing your subscriber base is the best way to boost your organic reach.

There’s a reason why “Don’t forget to subscribe” is the sign-off of choice for YouTubers big and small.

Having a lot of subscribers doesn’t just get you more views. It can also make you eligible for YouTube’s monetization features: a.k.a., the YouTube Partner Programme .

There are two ways to join the YouTube Partner Programme:

  • Hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the year
  • Hit 1,000 subscribers with 10 million Shorts views within 90 days

YouTube partner program eligibility

Once you’re in the YPP, you have greater access to YouTube resources and can share in revenue from the ads on your account — which can end up being pretty lucrative.

On average, YouTubers make between $3 and $5 per 1,000 video views through AdSense .

But of course, your mileage may vary. There are big creators out there cashing out $200,000 from AdSense each month and newbies who make far less than the average.

Oh, and advertising isn’t the only revenue source on YouTube. Creators may also make money from sponsorship deals, brand collaborations, merch, tips, or crowdfunding. Learn more about how to make money on YouTube and how to make money on social media in general .

Of course, we know that growing your subscriber count is easier said than done. For more on that, check out our complete guide on how to get more YouTube subscribers .

Try out new formats like YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are a newer feature of YouTube: short-form, vertically oriented videos that clock in at 15-60 seconds long. Shorts launched worldwide in 2021 and have quickly become YouTube’s prize new feature, garnering more than 6.5 billion daily views.

What sets YouTube Shorts apart is its ability to convert viewers into subscribers for your channel, a must for brands and creators. It’s a low-effort feature to try out, one with big potential rewards. Any new features YouTube drops are probably worth testing. In fact — social media platforms often give an algorithm boost to new features to help give them visibility. Ride that bandwagon, baby! (If it makes sense for your brand, of course)

This is just the tip of the iceberg for creating a successful YouTube channel. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post about how to get more views on YouTube , 23 smart ways to promote your YouTube channel , and how to become a YouTube marketing master .

Grow your YouTube channel faster with Hootsuite. Schedule and promote your videos and engage with your audience from one dashboard. Sign up free today.

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Grow your YouTube channel faster with Hootsuite . Easily moderate comments, schedule video, and publish to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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How to Make a YouTube Video (Beginner’s Guide)

How to Make a YouTube Video

When it comes to posting video content, YouTube is the ultimate destination.

In fact, at this point, YouTube is almost synonymous with internet video.

YouTube has over 1.9 billion monthly active users and they watch a billion hours of video every day. To put that in perspective, that’s over 114,000 years of video consumed EVERY DAY.

Top YouTube content creators can make hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars a day. But ironically, being successful and making money on YouTube has little to do with making videos.

So how DO you become successful on YouTube?

Today I’m going to share with you techniques from some of the top YouTubers that show exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) do for YouTube content creation.

make my youtube work please

And, better yet, I’m going to share a FREE template to help you make YouTube videos faster!

With a few simple steps (and this awesome template), you’ll be creating content in no time!

Make your own YouTube video today!

Download Camtasia to quickly and easily make your own YouTube videos.

Download a free trial

Here’s everything, step-by-step, that you need to make a successful YouTube video:

Step 1. Create a YouTube video strategy

Step 2. Make sure your video is found on YouTube

Step 3. find youtube ideas and topics, step 4. understand youtube equipment for beginners, step 5. learn the first youtube video you should make, step 6. set up your video recording, step 7. record your desktop, step 8. edit your video.

Step 9. Upload your video on YouTube

Step 10. Optimize your video for YouTube

Step 1. create a youtube video strategy, choose the right topic (for the right audience).

Want to know the best-kept secret about being successful on YouTube (or any other content platform)?

It has very little with you as the creator.

You can be charismatic, funny, and smart — but if you don’t provide value, your videos are useless.

It’s not about you or what you can gain. If you show up to YouTube looking to get something out of it, you probably won’t be very successful.

You need to focus on your audience. Not yourself.

You need to focus on your audience. Not yourself.

Find your perfect audience for YouTube

Before you start working on your first script or storyboard , you must answer this question:

“Who is your audience?”

Knowing your audience will guide nearly every decision you make about your video.

Knowing general information is helpful, but think about your specific audience.

  • What are their problems?
  • What do they need to know?
  • What will they learn from your video?
  • How does your video benefit them?

If you can’t answer these basic questions you need to dig deeper. The answers to these questions will guide you as you plan out and create your video.

Experts’ Take

As you start looking at what your audience wants and needs, there are some things you can do to help you narrow your focus.

Here’s advice from YouTube experts who have learned (from a lot of practice and work) what you need to define your audience.

YouTube Marketing Consultant Owen Video says, “The very first thing we do is run our clients through a questionnaire that helps them to get the biggest topics that the audience would be interested in.”

Jeremy Vest, Director of Marketing for vidIQ , suggests that listening is critical because “if you don’t listen to your audience then…you’re not going to serve them very well.” However, it’s not all about just seeking what the viewer wants.

Once you have a sense of your audience, you need to create content that matches your persona. It doesn’t matter if your video doesn’t work for other groups or other personas.

When you’re just starting out you want your audience to be as specific as possible.

Niche is good. Broad is bad.

Focus your content on helping the viewer achieve their goals. If you’re selling software, you need to make sure your video helps the viewer learn exactly what they need to be successful.

Fernando Silva, Account Executive for Wistia , emphasizes this need and suggests that we must “[get] a sense to what your audience is actually interested in and what they want to keep watching or maybe what doesn’t interest them. It … helps you make better content in the future.”

If you work hard to understand your audience but aren’t sure of what you should create for them, Tyler Lessard, Vice President of Marketing at Vidyard , stresses that you should, “focus more on the quality of the content and how you deliver it. Making sure it’s relevant to your audience, and I think that’s a simple way to start.”

Throw perfection out the window

Just start.

It’s really that simple.

I know it can be tempting to watch the big-name YouTubers and think you have to create videos just like that and engage a massive audience all at once, but all of those thoughts can be paralyzing.

“I personally believe that we’re all on the same plane, whether you’re a business or whether you’re an individual creator. Because we all start somewhere…” Amy Landino, Co-founder of Aftermarq , and Best-Selling author of Vlog Like a Boss.

Too many people worry about getting things perfect from the beginning. We paralyze ourselves into not creating anything or releasing our content because we’re so concerned about whether we have all the right equipment, or if every part is perfect.

What should you do if you find yourself stuck on making it perfect?

Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Will my audience not clearly understand the purpose of the video if these changes aren’t made?
  • Will the video, as is, achieve your goal?
  • Does the video contain something incorrect that would seriously impact the viewer?
  • What is the worst that will happen if the current version is released as is?
  • Can the time that could be spent continuing to edit be put to better use on another project?

Once you answer these questions, give yourself permission to move on. If you focus too much on creating the perfect video you will limit yourself in the long run.

A video can’t be successful if no one sees it! You must consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when you start creating your video.

There is a lot to learn and figure out, but mainly you want to get your content found by the people who are searching.

Two key ways to rank your YouTube videos:

  • Make content that is good for the users
  • Make content that is good for search engines

At the end of the day, you want your content to be found. SEO can be a hugely complicated endeavor, but you don’t have to do everything at once. The creators we talked with made a few easy suggestions.

Andrew Kan, of TubeBuddy , recommends you make content focused on a specific topic and niches, which will help your content be more searchable. It also helps ensure that the right audience is finding your content.

“Many people spend time on broad terms that have so much competition they’re never going to show up for [in search],” he said. “If you show up on the race day, and you’re [not] a runner and you’ve practiced once, you can’t expect to win. So by practicing, by understanding that being more specific helps you be more discoverable, it helps you win.”

In addition to focusing your content on specific topics, Jeremy Vest recommends that you make sure your content is helpful and answers questions your potential audience is asking.

“Match that search intent with ‘how do I fix this blank’, and you sell that blank,” he said. “Instead of just talking about how good your widget is, be the answer to questions being asked … And being the answer to those is…one of the easiest ways for brands to start doing well in this environment and then from there beat that expectation. Provide things they’re not expecting. Have guests they wouldn’t expect to be on your program. And, give more value than they can even believe.”

To make your content helpful and findable, consider the questions being asked and where they’re being asked. Then you can create the right content and post it where it will be found.

Now that you know your audience, you may be wondering “What should I make a YouTube video about?” The good news is that there are tons of ways to find YouTube video ideas that your audience is searching for.

Let’s say you run a home contracting business. You decide you are going to target your channel towards current homeowners looking to spruce up their house. Your initial video topics might include things like How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings or How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets.

That’s a great start, but for even more ideas than your initial list, here are some tips from Gord Isman of the best places you can use to get inspired and find highly-relevant topics for your specific audience.

1. YouTube search

YouTube search is one of the best ways to find what people are looking for. When you come up with a content idea, do a quick YouTube search and see what comes back.

Then look at the search results and decide if it’s a saturated area or there’s room to create a unique, valuable version.

You want to choose topics that you’re passionate about and that are relevant to your audience.

When you have a basic topic idea YouTube can help you narrow it down.

Search YouTube by typing some keywords into the search bar.

The auto-suggest/autocomplete feature will give you additional keywords that YouTube suggests.

Here’s an example where I typed “tutorial video” into the search bar, and a list of suggested topics appeared below.

Make sure your video is found on YouTube

You want to take those terms and write them down. You may find after all of your research that one video can cover a lot of the same topics, or that you can create a series of videos.

For a topic focusing on “video tutorial” I would want to focus on editing, video ideas, and background music as a good starting point.

2. Comments section

The comments section of videos and articles can be a great resource for YouTube video topics.

Viewers often suggest additional topics or ask questions that suggest areas of interest for creating additional content.

Find YouTube ideas and topics.

So start by looking at a competitor’s YouTube channel and start mining the comments.

3. Communities and groups

Whether it’s Twitter, a Facebook group, or a membership group, find like-minded people who will inspire you and help you out along the way.

Don’t discourage yourself by assuming you must go at it alone.

Find a group that you can bounce ideas off of and ask questions. You might even come away with some different (and better) video topics to start with.

4. Ask your audience

If you already have an audience (even a small one) it’s worth asking them what types of content they would like to see.

This is a surefire way to figure out what your audience wants to know, learn, and watch.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you don’t have the right tools to create your video.

It’s fun to have high-end equipment and there is no question that better equipment can produce a better quality video.

Keep in mind, too, that highly specialized equipment that can be complex to run, and requires considerable time and training to master.

Especially as you’re starting out, try not to worry too much about equipment.

First, learn to get good at creating the content and worry about leveling up your gear later.

If you’re still worried about what gear you should use, Brian Fanzo, of iSocialFanz has some advice. He suggests baby steps, “…start with your phone, and then move to a web camera, then move to professional gear.”

A lot can be done with things like screen recording software, a simple video editor, or a smartphone and a little bit of creativity.

These tools can help you learn the basics of video creation, and help you to practice good techniques that will be beneficial no matter what gear you use.

“So many people focus on ‘I don’t have the right gear’ and ‘I don’t have the right camera,’ but they don’t really think about, well, what is my message? What am I trying to get across with my brand? They don’t want to just be told, buy my product. If you can make someone feel something, if you can make them relate to what you’re doing, that’s more important than any piece of gear.” Andrew Kan, TubeBuddy

Here is some of the basic gear (outside of your phone) you may want to consider if you are going to create high-quality YouTube videos:

1. Microphone

Whether for your mobile device, input directly into your camera, or even a digital recorder, a microphone will improve the overall quality of you your video. A decent mic doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is well worth it.

2. Screen recorder and video editor

When you choose screen recording software , pick a tool with built-in recording, editing, and sharing features. It will save you time and let you do all of your work in one tool.

Recording your screen is a great way to make a YouTube video without a camera. At TechSmith, we think Camtasia is the perfect video editing software for beginners. And, it has the power and versatility to level-up with you as you gain more skills.

If you want to learn more about Camtasia and it’s simple video editing functionality, check out this quick video from Tim Schmoyer of Video Creators .

3. Lighting

If you’re recording camera video or even a webcam, video lighting will make a big difference in how you look, and the overall quality.

Video lighting will make a big difference in how you look, and the overall quality.

Lights will even improve the look of mobile device videos and can be a great investment. You don’t have to pay a lot of money for lights when starting. Since lighting is a mixture of science and art, a basic set will help you create a professional-looking video.

4. Camera or webcam

Cameras can be large investments, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

While DSLRs or other high-end cameras can drastically improve the look of your video, they also add a ton of settings and options that need to be managed, increasing the complexity of shooting your video.

An external webcam is a relatively inexpensive option to improve your video quality. Most built-in webcams are pretty low quality when compared to their external counterparts.

And don’t forget, you probably have a pretty nice camera in your pocket, backpack, or purse. Most of the latest smartphones can record video in full HD (1080p), and many can even do 4K.

There are all kinds of videos that people create on YouTube. The best video you can start with is an instructional video .

According to a recent  TechSmith study , 53% of people reported watching two or more instructional videos per week (up 152% compared to 2013).

A simple tutorial or how-to video is a great way to get your feet wet.

A tutorial video simply answers a question someone asked. It could be How to Freeze Panes in Excel or How to Change Your Oil . Either way, you’re simply sharing your expert knowledge with others.

These types of videos are all over YouTube, and with good reason.

According to a Pew research study that surveyed over 4,500 Americans in 2018, 87 percent of users said that YouTube is important for helping them figure out how to do things they haven’t done before.

That means you have a great opportunity to take create helpful and valuable instructional videos for your audience.

Do you have dog training tips to share? Gather a list of all the questions a dog owner might have and create a series of how-to videos to give them answers.

Learn the first YouTube video you should make.

If you are an expert in Photoshop and want to help others get better, a tutorial video or training video would be a great place to start.

The best video you can start with is an instructional video.

And if you’re a business or entrepreneur, there’s no better place to start than a product demo video or explainer video .

These videos will help your potential customers see exactly what your product or service does without having to read a ton of material.

You have a great opportunity to take create helpful and valuable instructional videos for your audience.

People look for video help every day. Learning and educational content alone drives over a billion views a day on YouTube .

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make a high-quality YouTube video using screen recorded content, just like this one from TubeBuddy :

Now that you know your audience, have you topics planned out, and know what video to make it’s time to get started making your video.

A script may seem pretty formal, but it’s a great tool to help you stay focused. Plan out the visuals (shots, angles, graphics, etc.) that go along with each line of dialogue.

If you already have a blog post for a topic, I’d suggest you write a script based off of the original post. It doesn’t have to be elaborate.

Write a script or outline

If a script seems like overkill, a simple outline will help you talk through your points, and is better than hitting record without a plan.

Write a script or outline for your Youtube video.

Clean up your desk (and desktop)

One of the top mistakes to avoid when you record yourself is to have too much clutter, both on and off the screen.

If you’re shooting a video at your desk, business, or home you want your environment to be clean and presentable.

Next, you’ll need to adjust your camera or webcam, and video lighting (if you have them). Use an external webcam mounted behind your laptop, or—even better—turn a DSLR camera into your webcam for superior video quality.

Here’s everything you need to know about setting up your workspace for a perfect video:

Clean up your mess

If you’re getting shots of yourself, make sure anything that can be seen on screen is clean and free from clutter. A blank, single-color wall is a great background, but if you don’t have access to that, just make sure that your setting is as free from distractions as possible.

You want your viewers focused on you, not the artwork on your wall.

If your video includes a screen capture or screen recording, clutter on your computer screen is just as distracting. And there’s nothing worse than having to fumble through unnecessary apps and programs to get what you actually want to show in your video.

Make sure to close any unnecessary programs and windows before you record your video.

Make sure to close any unnecessary programs and windows before you record.

Avoid recording in front of windows

If you record near a window, avoid recording in front of it. Position yourself next to the window or facing the window. This way, you won’t be washed out or become a silhouette. Pro tip: this is also a great way to enhance your lighting, though be careful, as it can be hard to control the amount of light.

If you record near a window, avoid recording in front of it.

Position your camera correctly

Tilt your webcam or camera so that it’s at eye level and your viewers don’t have to look up at you. Stick to the Rule of Thirds or position yourself in the center of the frame.

Tilt your webcam or camera so that it’s at eye level and your viewers don’t have to look up at you.

Pick your favorite screen recorder and walk through your script as you record your desktop .

Here at TechSmith, we use Camtasia for a lot of our YouTube videos.

It’s perfect for anyone who needs to make instructional videos on YouTube and we have a ton of help videos to get you started.

Your recording can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. You can record webcam to give it some personality, create an intro , add music , or simply hit record and share it out.

1. Record your screen

To start a recording, click the Record button at the top of the tools panel. This opens the Camtasia recorder, which by default, is set to capture everything that happens on your screen.

Record your screen with Camtasia.

2. Customize your settings

First, you’ll want to choose to record the full screen or select a custom region to record.

Next, choose other inputs to record along with the screen. Options include webcam, microphone audio, and system audio. Select the down arrow or double arrows next to each to choose a specific microphone or webcam.

When you’re finished recording, click the Camtasia recorder icon in the taskbar, then the stop button.

Finally, click ‘Start Recording’ to begin.

3. Finish Recording

When you’re finished recording, click the Camtasia recorder icon in the taskbar, then the stop button. If you need to re-record, choose ‘delete’ to start over.

Quick Tip: Press “F10” to stop a recording, or “F9” to pause/resume a recording.

To finish the recording, click the Camtasia icon in the Apple menu bar, then click “Stop Recording.” Or, if you need to re-record, choose “Start Over.”

Quick Tip: Press “CMD+OPTION+2” to stop a recording, or “CMD+SHIFT+2” to pause/resume a recording.

Editing your video can be the most fun and most time-consuming part of the creation process. And for a beginner, it can definitely be the most overwhelming.

Here a few simple edits you can use to get started:

1. Trim mistakes

Often we record a little extra at the beginning and end of a recording. To remove the extra content, drag the end of the clip “in.” This is called trimming. If you trim too much, drag the video clip back to restore your video.

It’s good to note that any edits you make on the timeline, won’t affect your original recording in the media bin.

2. Use cuts

Drag the red or green handle on the playhead to select the area to remove, then click the cut button to remove the section. A stitched line appears, showing you where the cut was made.

If you make a selection and want to bring the playhead back together, double click the playhead.

3. Add titles, transitions, annotations, and more

Add a level of polish and professionalism to your videos with eye-catching titles, annotations, effects and more. Click and drag them from the tools panel to the timeline or canvas.

Video editing tips

There are endless resources across the web that can show you the intricate details of video editing. But there are a few video editing tips you’ll need to make a high-quality video without overcomplicating it.

Let’s go over some other common enhancements that can really make your video stand out.

Add a simple intro

A video intro leads your viewers into your content. Keep your intro simple and to the point. Viewers want to get to the meat of your content. They don’t care about anything other than what you promised to teach them.

A video intro leads your viewers into your content.

An intro can be used throughout all the videos on your YouTube channel, a playlist, or just a single video.

Create lower-thirds

A lower-third (also called a chyron) is placed on the lower third portion (usually to the right or left) of the screen and is a simple way to provide your audience with information. Usually, they display a name, place, or other useful information.

They shouldn’t cover up your visual and are meant to be complementary to your primary subject.

Finally, you’ll want to add music to your video . It will probably take you more time to choose the music you want to use than it will to actually add it to your video.

For most purposes, your best bet is to use music from a premium royalty-free music site. While the music won’t be free, it’s typically inexpensive, and you’ll have a wider range of high-quality music to choose from.

Where can you find music for videos? You can access a huge library of free and premium music tracks from TechSmith Assets .

Focus on good audio and voice over

Poor audio can sink your video.

For recording voice over , you can use Camtasia. However, for the easiest voice over experience, I highly recommend TechSmith Audiate.

Audiate transcribes your voice over as you speak. You can then edit your audio just like editing text. No more searching through the wave form to find your mistakes.

And, Audiate even lets you quickly find and delete your “ums,” “uhs,” and other mumbles and hesitations.

If you have music in your video, make sure it doesn’t overpower your with your voice over. Don’t be afraid to add those phat beats, but remember that your audience is here to learn from what you’re saying.

Pay special attention to your final edit by focusing on the sound. Close your eyes and just listen to your video. If it sounds off, you should adjust it, regardless of how amazing your footage or screen content is.

“My editing style has always been to keep our content as concise as possible. I want people to get what they need from my videos as fast as possible. And to keep our videos on brand, we always use the same font, brand colors, and tone of music – which creates consistency and familiarity.” Sunny Lenarduzzi, Founder of YouTube for Bosses

Create a compelling outro

A YouTube outro is where you can add specific calls to action to your video. This can also be referred to as the end screen, and it is the last part of your video.

There are four different content types available for use in your end screens on YouTube, called elements. These four elements are:

  • Video or playlist: This allows you to link to a different individual video or a YouTube playlist of multiple videos.
  • Subscribe: This allows you to link to your own channel where a viewer can click to subscribe.
  • Channel: This allows you to link to a different YouTube channel.
  • Link to approved website: This allows you to link to a website outside of YouTube.

Step 9. Upload your video to YouTube

Uploading to YouTube is simple. If you use Camtasia to create your YouTube video you’ll have the option to share directly to YouTube from within the product. You’ll simply have to log into YouTube and connect your YouTube account to Camtasia.

Upload your video to YouTube.

Or you can upload videos with the YouTube platform.

As you start making your video there are few key areas you’ll want to focus in on to make sure your video performs well in YouTube. By being strategic while you make your video you’ll give yourself a better shot at ranking on YouTube.

Video Production Optimization

Target keywords that list videos on google

Have you noticed more videos popping up in your search results?

Optimize your video for YouTube.

Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day, and many how-to based searches now include YouTube videos directly in the Google search engine result.

These online videos show up for all sorts of searches. Simply type in “how to fix my fridge” or “how to change spark plugs” and Google will give you the top YouTube videos based on your search.

Make longer videos

Longer videos generally rank higher than shorter ones.

Backlinko analyzed 1.3 Million YouTube Videos and found that the average length of a video on the first page of YouTube is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

YouTube will push longer videos higher in search results.

Longer videos Youtube generally rank higher than shorter ones.

This has to do with two key ranking factors : Total Watch Time and Total Session Time.

Essentially YouTube will push videos higher in the ranking if they provide value and keep people on the site as long as possible.

So as you plan your videos, think about how you can expand them. And rather than just adding filler content, think about how you can dive deeper into your topic to create an even more useful video.

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Make sure your keyword is spoken in your video

YouTube transcribes your content, so try and say your main keyword 1-2 times in the script.

Make sure your keyword is spoken in your video Youtube.

Make a unique introduction

Retention is everything on
 YouTube. Incentivize users to
 watch as long as possible in 
your first 10 seconds. Tease out what you’re going to talk about and give them a reason to stay and watch your video.

Tell users to…

Comment, like, subscribe, and visit your site at the end of the video. If you don’t tell them to do it, they probably never will. And if you are creating supportive, helpful content they will be more likely to interact with your YouTube channel.

Comment, like, subscribe, and visit your site at the end of the video.

YouTube Ranking Optimization

Now that you’ve created an optimized video, it’s time to optimize within the YouTube platform. You don’t want to overcomplicate this. It isn’t about stuffing keywords into places and trying to trick YouTube into ranking your video.

You want to be strategic in what you do, and above all else, provide value to your audience.

Title, description, and thumbnail

Get the keyword in the title and description, preferably at the front, but don’t forget to make it compelling and click-worthy . It’s less about trying to stuff keywords in and more about letting viewers know that your video will help solve what they are looking for.

Pro tip: Be honest in your title and description. People stop watching videos that don’t deliver on their promises.

Get the keyword in the title and description, preferably at the front.

According to YouTube , 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube use a custom thumbnail. Try to make your YouTube thumbnail interesting and different than everything else in the search results.

Try to make your YouTube thumbnail interesting and different than everything else in the search results.

Make your video worthy of a click.

Leverage your current audience to build video velocity

The first 48 hours your video goes live are critical. This is where leveraging your current audience plays a big part.

You can create a stronger buzz and your views begin to climb through your existing base. Owen Video likes to create video velocity by acquiring views before a video is public and rewarding his followers with exclusive content.

As a result, YouTube sees the video as more valuable and it becomes more likely to appear high in the search results.

Here is one of Owen Video’s most successful strategies for YouTube video promotion . Mirroring his strategy with your own videos will help you improve their performance early on:

Owen Video’s video promotion strategy example:

  • The first day he publishes a video, he leaves it unlisted (the video can’t be searched or found by the public without a link).
  • The link to the unlisted video is distributed on social media channels.
  • The link to the unlisted video is emailed to applicable mailing lists.
  • The audience gets early access to a new piece of content and feels rewarded for maintaining a relationship with Owen Video.
  • Then he makes the video public. When the video goes live, there are already views which help build traction for the video.

This is video velocity, and essentially, you’re getting a head start on YouTube.

“So what happens is, you create velocity with your video…people are watching it before it’s even public, yet. Having that distribution, or pre-promotion plan is going to set [you] apart from your competitors who are just figuring this stuff out.” – Owen Video

What’s next?

We’ve covered a lot in this guide. And whether you’re just getting started, or you’re a video veteran, you’ve learned some of the key tools and strategies to create successful YouTube videos.

Camtasia is built for anyone who needs to make any kind of instructional video. We offer a ton of helpful tutorials to get you started. And, for the record, we make 100% of our tutorials and other screencasts using Camtasia.

Frequently asked questions

To make your first YouTube video, start by getting a simple video editor like Camtasia and just try making a few videos on topics you’re an expert on. If you know a lot about a particular product or service, try putting together a quick tutorial. There is no shortage of people searching for help across YouTube, and you could be their answer.

There are tons of ways to find YouTube video ideas that your audience is searching for. Three of my favorites are YouTube searches, comments sections, and communities.

There are all kinds of videos that people create on YouTube. Over half of the  most common types of videos that marketers are investing in  are a  type of instructional video . That gives you a lot of good videos to start with.

YouTubers use all sorts of different programs to edit their videos, but at TechSmith, we think Camtasia is the perfect video editing software for beginners. If you want to learn more about Camtasia and it’s simple video editing functionality, check out this quick video from Tim Schmoyer of Video Creators

Recording your screen is a great way to make a YouTube video without a camera. When you choose  screen recording software , pick a tool with built-in recording, editing, and sharing features. It will save you time and let you do all of your work in one tool.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you don’t have the right tools to create your video. Start with your phone or screen recorder and a simple video editor . Then move to professional gear.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

make my youtube work please

TechSmith Marketing Content Specialist and manager of the TechSmith Blog. More than 25 years of communications and marketing experience. Geek. Science and sci-fi enthusiast. Guitar player. On a mission to pet all the dogs. He/him. A few things about me: 1) Mildly (or not-so-mildly) obsessed with the movie Alien, 2) two rescue pibbles (Biggie and Reo), and 3) friend of ducks everywhere. Ask me about my seven+ years as a roller derby coach.

  • What Are Video Thumbnails and Why Do They Matter?
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How to get more views on YouTube: 17 ways to promote your channel

Written by by Brent Barnhart

Published on  March 7, 2023

Reading time  14 minutes

There’s no better time than now to figure out how to promote your YouTube channel.

Why “now,” though?

For starters, YouTube is the second most-visited site on the web, and when we’re spending up to six hours per day consuming video, the writing is on the wall. If you want to stand out on YouTube, you need to take advantage of as many promotional tactics as possible.

We’ll go into detail on each of these tactics for how to grow your YouTube channel and maximize your viewership. Whether you’re just getting started or want to see your numbers tick further upward, these tips are all fair game.

  • What counts as a view on YouTube ?

Why are views important on YouTube?

How to get more views on youtube: 17 tips and tricks, 4 resources for growing your youtube channel, how do you promote your youtube channel, what counts as a view on youtube.

Views refer to the total number of times your video or channel has been watched. Each time a viewer plays a video and watches it for at least 30 seconds, YouTube counts it as a view. If someone watches your video several times, each time is counted as a new view. This applies across all devices whether a person watches via smartphone or desktop. This also applies to embeds and videos shared on social media like Facebook.

When someone visits your channel page, you receive a view. If you use YouTube Analytics , you can go to the Overview tab to see how many views your YouTube channel received over the last 28 days.

Views are important because they influence the YouTube algorithm . If you get more views, the algorithm will push your video out to more people. Views are also part of how you can make money on YouTube , which we all want to see a return on investment and increased revenue.

Views are also vital on YouTube because it’s a way to boost awareness and build brand affinity. It may take some time to achieve your target viewership, but you’ll need to connect with top-of-funnel prospects to help reach your goals in the long run.

This article covers 17 tips to attract more viewers to your videos and channel. In the video below, Jamia walks through 10 ways to promote your YouTube channel for more views and subscribers.

1. Write engaging, must-see titles

YouTube marketing is all about presentation.

Titles are make-or-break when it comes to your video’s performance. Ask yourself: are you presenting your content as “must-see” or “meh?”

The key to crafting killer titles is grabbing your audience’s attention without resorting to clickbait headlines . People crave content that’s entertaining, and they likewise want to know what your video is about from the word “go.”

For example, you can take a page out of the playbooks of YouTube giants like BuzzFeed and WhatCulture. Such videos often rely on listicles, question-based titles or hyperbole (“insane,” “…of all time”) to rack up the views.

Four Buzzfeed YouTube thumbnails featuring attention grabbing titles. The titles are as follows: We Tasted the Worst Reviewed Pizza in New York City, Gamer Girls Play Never Have I Ever, Ranking the Internet's Best Hot Cheetos Combo and We Only Ate Meals From India For a Week.

Athlean X’s fitness-based videos are another good example. The channel’s content manages to sneak in relevant keywords in its titles while also coming across as conversational.

Five Athlean X YouTube thumbnails with keyword-driven titles. The titles read as follows: The Perfect Home Workout (Sets and Reps Included), Eight Worst Bodyweight Exercises Ever (STOP DOING THESE!), Never Do Pull-Ups Like This: 10 Most Common Mistakes, Do This Every Day: No More Low Back Pain! (30 SECS), and The Perfect Push-Up Workout (3 LEVELS)

“Best-of” lists and “how-to” titles are always a safe bet, too. Food channel Tasty uses click-worthy titles like this:

Tasty YouTube thumbnail with a salted brownie. The title reads, "The Best Brownies You'll Ever Eat."

The takeaway here is that you should definitely spend time mulling over engaging titles rather than sticking with the first idea that pops into your head.

In terms of specifics, many have observed that the optimal YouTube video title length should be around 70 characters. Meanwhile, tools such as CoSchedule’s headline analyzer recommends 55 characters for an engaging headline. CoSchedule’s tool isn’t specifically meant for video titles but is awesome for brainstorming YouTube-friendly titles to help promote your YouTube channel.

Publish on YouTube with Sprout Social The opportunities are virtually endless on YouTube, and you can now publish to YouTube directly from Sprout. Host long-form video on your channel, extend reach through YouTube’s extensive search capabilities, and track how your performance stacks up to other social networks. Start a free trial to give our YouTube publishing features a try.

2. Optimize your videos for visibility

Here’s some food for thought: YouTube videos show up in 70% of the top 100 Google search results .

Heck, see for yourself. Any given product or “how-to” query on Google will return something from YouTube.

Google search results page for GoPro Hero featuring videos from gopro.com

In fact, YouTube results sometimes even pop up before traditional blog posts or websites. Listen: YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world in and of itself. Just like people search for products and need problems solved via Google, the same rings true on YouTube.

Think of your YouTube videos like any other piece of content that needs to be optimized in terms of keywords, tags and so on.

In order to increase your chances of showing up, you’ll want to follow some of the best practices for YouTube SEO :

  • Titles and description : Include target keywords in your titles and descriptions. You can use a tool like  Keywordtool.io  to help you find keyword ideas.
  • Mention keywords in your video : According to Brian Dean of Backlinko , saying your target keywords in your video can help YouTube better understand what your video is about.
  • Engagement : YouTube uses engagement (likes, comments, views) to help determine where videos rank in its search results.
  • Categories : Use categories to help YouTube get a better understanding of who to show your videos to.
  • Tags : In addition to categories, you can also add tags to your videos to give YouTube more context about your content. You can use quite a few tags, so add as many as you can think of.

Just like with SEO for your website , don’t keyword stuff. Use keywords when it makes sense, not just for the sake of having them.

3. Figure out what your audience wants

With any type of content you produce, you want to make sure it’s aligned with what your audience wants. Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating a video, start by getting to know your audience and what type of content they want to see from you.

If you’re just starting to promote your YouTube channel, take a look at your competitors or other video creators in your industry. Look at which of their videos get the most views and engagement. This will give you an idea of what topics your audience wants to learn about and what style of videos they prefer .

Another solution is to look at your YouTube Analytics if you’ve already uploaded videos. YouTube gives you detailed information on audience demographics, location, engagement and other helpful stats. You can also take your strategy a step further with YouTube reporting in Sprout Social and see how your content stacks up to other social videos you’ve produced.

Sprout Social YouTube Videos dashboard featuring posts with several metrics including video views, estimated minutes watched, average view duration and average view percentage.

Want to better understand your YouTube metrics? Download our video metrics cheat sheet to learn the most important metrics to track and get ideas for video content tailored to your marketing goals.

Download our Social Media Video Metrics Cheat Sheet

4. Engage with the YouTube community

Although you might not think of YouTube as a social network per se, the platform does represent a thriving community where users are engaging via content, profiles, “likes” and comments.

Sounds pretty “social” if you ask us.

As noted earlier, any sort of interaction with your viewers is seen as a positive signal to YouTube. If nothing else, engaging with your subscribers can help you foster a stronger connection with your audience. “Liking” comments only takes a few seconds, as does pinning a top comment as a sort of personal note to your subscribers.

For example, music channel Artists Of Morality regularly likes and responds to comments on its recent uploads. The channel’s creator regularly engages with subscribers to show appreciation and answer questions, too. She even posts a call to action or challenges in her pinned comments like in the one below:

Artists of Morality's YouTube comment section featuring several interactions with subscriber comments and a pinned comment. The pinned comment challenges viewers to comment the timestamp of a bride and groom walking in the video for a shout out in the next video.

Just as you’d respond to comments and engage with your followers on any other social network, YouTube is no different.

5. Customize your thumbnails

One of the simplest yet effective tactics to promote your YouTube channel is creating custom thumbnails. Think of your title and thumbnail as a sort of one-two punch to grab a viewer’s attention.

By default, YouTube snags a screenshot from any given video and uses it for the thumbnail. Unfortunately, sometimes the image it grabs will be a blurry shot of you adjusting the camera or a transition.

Not a good look, right?

Creating thumbnails yourself not only makes your videos look more appealing at a glance but also signals a certain sense of professionalism.

Thumbnails don’t have to be rocket science, either. You can even create a template with a particular font and style to make it more consistent and on-brand. This is made especially easy with the help of image creation tools such as Canva. Here’s a good example from Binging with Babish:

Five Binging with Babish templated thumbnails. Each thumbnail features a close-up shot of food and a shortened title in bold font.

If you’re looking for simple social media templates to get started with Creator Studio, check out our free YouTube banners that you can download today!

6. Cross-promote your own videos on YouTube

Chances are you’re covering similar topics on YouTube that overlap with each other. To squeeze more out of your older content, make a point to cross-promote your videos when it makes sense.

For example, you can drop links in the description of a video and encourage viewers to check them out as a sort of call-to-action. Although some might be disappointed by the removal of YouTube’s annotation system, linking in your description encourages viewers to watch your videos all the way through without clicking away.

Sprout's description box for the Best Times to Post on Social Media video. The section includes a description of the video and featured resources with links.

7. Target Google search results

As noted, YouTube is totally killing it when it comes to SEO.

And while you shouldn’t totally create content for search engines versus people, you should promote your YouTube channel with SEO in mind.

Specifically, product reviews, how-to’s and long-form (10+ minutes) videos covering keyword-specific topics tend to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re strapped for content ideas or want to capitalize on a trending buzzword in your industry, consider how you can do so through your YouTube channel marketing.

Google search results page featuring YouTube videos for the keyword, "TikTok Marketing." Several videos populate including Sprout's Six YouTube Marketing Tips You Need Right Now.

8. Run a contest or giveaway

If there’s one thing YouTube users love, it’s a giveaway. Host a YouTube contest or giveaway to encourage people to subscribe to your channel and engage.

To keep your contests simple, have people like your video, leave a comment and subscribe to your channel to enter.

Follow some of our best practices for running any social media contest :

  • Make sure you’re following YouTube’s policies .
  • Give away a gift that’s related to your brand: you want to attract more than just freebie-seekers.
  • Get creative by incorporating user-generated content and other non-traditional entry requirements.

Be careful with hosting frequent YouTube contests, though. You want to make sure you’re getting results from your efforts: otherwise, you’ll end up wasting time, money and resources. After doing one contest, wait a while and look at your subscriber drop-off rate and engagement numbers. If you aren’t bringing in engaged subscribers, you could just be attracting people who want free prizes.

9. Encourage viewers to follow your series

A smart way to promote your YouTube channel is by creating a specific video series that covers a recurring theme or topic. For example, Sprout Social’s YouTube channel has a variety of different series that make up our YouTube presence, like our “Always On” videos.

Sprout's YouTube playlist for the "Always On" series.

Series are a win-win for creators and viewers alike. For creators, you hold yourself accountable for creating fresh YouTube content and don’t have to rack your brain for ideas. For your audience, they have something to look forward to and likewise a reason to keep returning to your channel.

10. Embed your YouTube videos

Some of the best places to promote your YouTube channel are beyond YouTube itself.

Case in point, video content is proven to improve conversion rates and lower bounce rate on-site. If you want visitors to stick around a product page or blog post longer, embed a video (like we did below).

Remember: any opportunity you have to funnel your on site (or social!) traffic to YouTube is a plus.

11. Create playlists to organize your YouTube content

The more videos you create, the more difficult it becomes for people to navigate through your channel.

That’s why playlists are so important. Not only do playlists allow you to group your videos into categories to organize your channel, but also appeal to your viewers’ desire to binge.

For example, Beardbrand’s grooming channel has amassed hundreds of videos covering tons of topics. The channel’s various playlists help guide subscribers to relevant content without having to dig for it.

15 of Beardbrand's YouTube playlists featuring hair grooming content.

12. Increase engagement with calls to action

Sometimes simply asking for engagement is the best way to get your videos noticed, especially when you consider the immediacy and connection that video content can create.

Not everyone who enjoys one of your videos is going to remember to drop a like or become your subscriber, so it’s common to put these reminders in the description or in the video itself.

Especially if you’re an up-and-coming channel, there’s no shame in asking for some love directly. In fact, asking visitors a question to answer in the comments suggestion or to check out another video are perfect ways to keep the engagement rolling. You can likewise link to other videos or drop an external link to your site to serve as a sort of CTA.

13. Give live streaming a try

Live video is one of the biggest social media trends and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With apps like Facebook, Periscope and Instagram making it easier than ever to stream live video, more and more brands are getting on board.

YouTube has been offering live videos for years but has only recently started picking up steam. You can take a look at some popular YouTube Live videos to get a sense of how other brands are using the platform.

The Lofi Girl's YouTube live stream video, comments populate in the Top Chat sidebar on the right.

Some examples of how you can use YouTube Live are:

  • Live tutorials
  • Q&A sessions
  • Product demonstrations

Don’t worry if your streams don’t go as smoothly as you’d like. Part of the fun (and risk) of live video is you never know what’s going to happen. The unpolished, organic nature of live video is exactly what makes it compelling. For more tips on how to get started with YouTube Live, check out Google’s introduction to live streaming .

14. Collaborate with other creators and brands

A tactic some of the biggest YouTube stars used to grow their following is collaborating with other users. Each collaboration gives you exposure to a new audience. And the best part is those new viewers are more likely to subscribe to your channel since you’re working with a content creator they already know, like and trust.

The key to a successful YouTube collaboration is finding the right partner. You want to collaborate with content creators that share similar passions with your brand so your video comes off as authentic. This now-classic collaboration between BuzzFeed and Purina is a prime example of a thoughtful collaboration that doesn’t feel overly promotional.

15. Run a paid YouTube ad campaign

With marketing in general becoming more pay-to-play, you always have the option to get more visibility through paid YouTube ads . YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to choose from:

  • Display ads : These ads show up on the right-hand sidebar of videos, and are only available on desktop.
  • Overlay ads : These are semi-transparent ads that are displayed on the bottom part of a video. They’re only available on desktop.
  • Skippable and non-skippable video ads : These ads show up before, during or after a video. Skippable ads can be skipped after five seconds, but non-skippable ads have to be watched all the way through before the viewer can watch their video.
  • Bumper ads : These are non-skippable ads that have to be watched before the viewer can watch their video. They can be a maximum of six seconds.
  • Sponsored cards : These are cards that get displayed within relevant videos. You can use them to promote your products or other content.

For your ad creatives, you can either use an existing video or create something new for a specific campaign. The advantage of using an existing video is you can choose a clip you know has been effective in the past. If a video has already gotten a lot of views and engagement organically, running paid ads can amplify your results.

On the flip side, creating a new video for your ads will allow you to create a more targeted piece of content that you have more control over. For instance, you can create an ad with a specific call-to-action at the end to direct viewers to a landing page or another video. You can learn more about YouTube’s video ad formats here .

16. Regularly publish your YouTube content to social media

It’s no secret that video content crushes it on social media in terms of engagement and performance.

As a result, you should regularly promote your YouTube channel to your social followers to encourage them to become subscribers. As soon as a video goes live, make a point to let your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn know about it. You can likewise create snippets or previews for each social platform that also link to your latest production.

With the help of Sprout Social, you can schedule your content and cross-promote it without having to jump from platform to platform. Features such as ViralPost® can also help ensure that your content goes live based on when your social audiences are engaged.

Sprout ViralPost® provides personalized best send times.

17. Incorporate pre-production best practices

Put your producer hat on and incorporate some pre-production best practices. There’s a lot that goes into creating video before the camera records, but using these methods will streamline your content production.

  • Create a contingency plan. What will you do if there’s an issue with your shooting location? What if your talent becomes sick? Proactively plan so you’ll be prepared for the worst.
  • Plan the video concept from start to finish. Use a storyboard to outline each part of the video. Use this outline to mark visual jokes, animations, call to actions, etc.
  • Create a shot list. A shot list will help you consider important details like lighting, location and camera angles. Once your script and storyboard is complete, make a list of every scene and note the action and dialogue required for each. Mark the type of setup you want (e.g. wide angle vs. a close up).

Streamlining your content production means you’ll likely be able to produce more video because your process is a well-oiled machine versus one that is always in need of repair. Having a set process will also help ensure each video is striking the right cord because you’ve taken the time to think through important visual details and logistics that will add value to viewers. Since you’ll be able to create more relevant videos, you’ll get more views over time.

In addition to the 17 tips above, make sure you’re up on all things YouTube. Maximize your efforts with these guides:

  • How to create a YouTube channel for business – Simplify setting up and perfecting your business channel.
  • 11 Tips for writing YouTube descriptions – Differentiate your videos and ensure they’re super findable with optimized descriptions.
  • YouTube SEO: How to boost your videos’ rankings – YouTube has become one of the world’s biggest search engines. Follow these tips to make sure you’re meeting audience needs.
  • YouTube hashtags: How to use hashtags to increase video views – Demystify how hashtags work on YouTube and get more eyes on your videos.

And with that, we wrap up our guide to how to get more views on YouTube!

Growing a YouTube audience doesn’t happen by accident. And yes, it can certainly feel like a grind if your space is crowded with competition.

That’s exactly why it pays to have a variety of promotional tactics in your back pocket. Although some of the tips above require more effort than others, each one can help you get more eyes on your channel and more subscribers as a result.

If you’re ready to ramp up your YouTube presence and start seeing real business results, Sprout Social’s YouTube integration has features to help you seamlessly schedule and publish content. Plus, with our integration, you can dive even deeper into analytics to improve your video strategy.

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