Why subscribers matter
Your channel is a place where viewers can go and find something they want to watch now and later. You will want your viewers to subscribe to your channel so they’ll come back and watch the content you’re uploading.
Subscribers are critical to your success on YouTube. Learn how to cultivate loyal subscribers...and keep them.
Subscribers watch more
Subscribers are critical to your success on YouTube because they tend to spend more time watching your channel than viewers who are not subscribed. And on YouTube, strong watch time is critical. Channels and videos with higher watch time are more likely to turn up in search results and recommendations. So it’s important to build a subscriber base who love your channel and keep coming back for more.
Once a viewer subscribes to your channel, YouTube may send them notifications to highlight certain videos you make public. They can also opt in to be alerted when all new videos are published. Learn more about turning notifications on and off. Because subscribers are likely the first to see when you've released something new, they often drive initial views when your videos premiere, and contribute to increased discovery by non-subscribers.
Subscribers are also important because they form your channel’s community. Interacting with your audience through comments and shout-outs is an important aspect of the YouTube ecosystem. Reward and engage with fans to foster a community who loves your your videos.
So, are you ready to gain more subscribers? Try out the tactics below to help grow your subscribers and help your channel flourish on YouTube.
- Learn about how viewers are finding your videos with the traffic sources report.
- Find trends in your subscriber history.
- Compare the watch time of your subscribers to watch time from non-subscribed viewers.
- Identify which videos your subscribers like the most and which videos help you gain the most subscribers. What about those specific videos stand out? Can you make more like that?
4 ways to boost your subscribers
Here are a few ways you can entice viewers to watch your videos and encourage them to subscribe:
- Make videos worth watching. Be sure your content provides value. If you don’t have anything that people want to watch, viewers won’t stick around. Not sure how your channel is doing? Look for trends in the comments and dive into YouTube Analytics. Consider asking your audience what they’d like to see, or setting up a poll card to gauge their responses. If you need inspiration on what types of videos to produce, check out our course on Creating great content.
- Use platform features to your advantage. YouTube lets you customize your channel so that viewers can quickly understand what it’s all about and subscribe. You can tailor channel branding, add a channel trailer, and use watermarks and end screens to add a “subscribe” button.
- Set a schedule. Uploading videos on a consistent day and time gives viewers something to look forward to and a reason to return. Consider communicating your schedule in your channel description, trailer and other branding elements. Activities like this will keep your channel fresh and give subscribers something to rely on.
- Ask them to subscribe. Make it easy for your audience to subscribe by adding watermarks to your videos calls to action to subscribe.
Remember—once you’ve begun to grow your community, it’s a good idea to reward your subscribers. For more tips on how to engage with your audience, check out our course on Activating your community.
- Update your branding to ensure your channel looks good across all devices and that you are sending a consistent message about your content to potential subscribers.
- Tell a story with your thumbnails, title, and description so your viewers know what your video is about.
- Include a call to action in your video encouraging viewers to subscribe (both using a verbal cue and visual cue). Take advantage of cards.
- Review your YouTube Analytics views report to find out where your traffic is coming from, who your viewers are, and how long they’re watching.
- Experiment. Try collaborating and cross-promoting with other channels your subscribers are interested in.
Who is watching your videos and where are they watching from?Try it now
Check your YouTube Analytics, views report section. Determine where your current views and subscribers are coming from. What demographic is most popular? What are your traffic sources? What regions watch your videos the most?
How much of your videos are viewers watching?Try it now
Check your audience retention graphs. Are your viewers watching your videos all the way through or dropping off too early.