There can be little doubt that YouTube is now one of the most influential and important of all social media platforms. Every minute there are more than one hundred hours’ worth of content uploaded to the site, and with more than one billion people using it, YouTube pulls in around a third of all internet users across the world.
Four in five people from the Millennial generation check out product reviews on YouTube before making a purchase decision, and it’s now become the second largest search engine after Google. We’ve all heard of the overnight YouTube sensations and watched the viral videos sweeping the planet, but with so much content out there, how do you make sure you stand out from the crowd and build a strong YouTube following?
The Choice: Consistency Or Quality?
There are two schools of thinking when it comes to building a strong YouTube following: consistency or quality.
Some people believe that posting regularly and consistently will attract a bigger and more loyal fan-base, even if the quality of the videos you’re uploading is lower. The second camp argues that you should post less often but really invest in creating a slick, high-quality video. There are upsides and downsides to both.
On the one hand, if you can churn out more low quality videos but upload them on a regular basis, people will always find something fresh and new on your pages. Fresh content can often mean more people discover you because they’re searching on different terms and keywords, and making sure your content is SEO optimised could gain you some new fans. We’re often told that people’s attention spans are becoming shorter, so bite-sized nuggets of content uploaded on a predictable and regular basis might be a quick route to building your YouTube following.
On the other hand, uploading less often but really putting time and effort into the videos you create might also get you noticed. Despite those notoriously short attention spans, people also really value content which is unique, thoughtful and well thought-out. Many will be looking for something different, something which they can’t find elsewhere, and that is often to be found in the videos people have really poured their hearts and souls into. Especially if what you’re promoting is artistic – be it music or design, jewelry making lessons to character art – a high-quality video can be more attractive.
Mass producing lower quality content has the advantage of being quicker and cheaper to put out there, but quantity over quality could backfire if you run out of ideas. If people are expecting something new and you fail to upload anything for whatever ‘behind the scenes’ reason, people might start falling out of love with you.
Posting higher quality but less frequent videos gives you the time and space to think about how you want to craft your online image, but quality over quantity might mean you’re less searched for and might be slower to attract new followers. That said, the followers you do have may remain more loyal and grow steadily if they can rely on a more well thought-out offering.
Growing Your Fan-Base: A Few Top Tips
Choose your keywords carefully. As YouTube is now the second biggest search engine, you need to make sure the descriptions you upload are written with SEO in mind. Think about the terms people might be searching on and slot in a few keywords to boost you up the rankings.
Transcribe your video content. By doing so you enhance your SEO and make it more likely people will stumble across your content when searching. If you have friends with the skills, also think about translating the transcripts of your most popular videos into another language to gain followers from further afield.
Promote your content elsewhere. Chances are you also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, so make sure they all link up by posting your videos on other social media platforms at the same time.
Engage with your fellow YouTubers. The more you engage with others in the YouTube community, the more other people will engage with you. Think of it as karma. The more you’re willing to give in comments and reposts, the more you will get in return.
Similarly, collaborate with influencers. Find other people who are working in a similar niche and reach out to them. If you work together you could ‘share’ followers and build your fan-base up twice as fast.
Finally, make your pages easy to navigate. Once people have found your channel you want to make sure they stick with you, and nothing frustrates followers more than not being able to find their way around your video content.
It’s up to you which side you come down on, but whether you plump for quantity or quality, these top tips for growing your YouTube followers still apply.