Five YouTube Subscriber Techniques

Five YouTube Subscriber Techniques
By Ernest Thompson

Every YouTube channel out there knows that they need to capture more subscribers to be truly successful. How do you get more people clicking that ‘Subscribe’ button and coming back to watch your videos over and over? We will explain that here today through five techniques, and show you actual YouTube videos that use them.

Five YouTube Subscribers Techniques

Technique 1: Is Always Your Call To Action

Your call to action is the phrase you use to urge people to subscribe more. I used a call to action already in this article. Right up above. A call to action for your YouTube channel to get more subscribers doesn’t have to be complicated. Just build it like this:

  • -Let the viewer know what you want them to do: “Subscribe to my channel.”
  • -Let the viewer know how they will do this: “By clicking on the button below.”
  • -Let your viewers know the reward for it: “You’ll never miss one of my AWESOME videos.”

Your exact phrasing will vary, and you want to be unique. This is just the basic structure of it. You can try a call to action like at the end of this video by Smosh:

They create a unique call to action at the end of each video. It adds to the fun rather than distracts, and it has certainly worked. They’re always in the top 5 for subscribed channels on YouTube. You can’t argue with success like that.

Technique 2: Interact With And Build Your YouTube Community

If you’re not aware of this already – YouTube is a social media platform. All those comments down below the video can build a community, especially when the host chimes in and interacts with the audience.

Interacting with your audience isn’t the only thing to consider when building your subscriber numbers.

You will also have to:

  • -Have a consistent posting schedule: The best channels always post on the same days every week. If you’re consistent, people will come back and start to feel like they’re part of something real rather than something random.
  • -Give your audience incentives: If you want your current subscribers to help push your channel, you’ll need to give them a reason. Offering to give them a funny blooper video, a prize, or a ‘thanks’ on air can do wonders for their motivation. The same goes for commenting – the reward can’t just be “You’ll get to….talk to me!”
  • -Comment on other channels: First, don’t be spammy. No one likes that guy who comes on and says “My videos are better than this crap!” That guy is a jerk. Make useful comments and let people see that you’re a channel that interacts, and then let it build naturally.

The king of interacting with his audience regularly, with a consistent schedule, is Philip DeFranco. His channel was built on the principal that he gives his audience something to discuss in the comments at the end of every video, and sometimes he rewards them for interacting.

Technique 3: YouTube Annotations Are Pop-Up Ninjas

Those little messages that pop up while you’re watching a video are called YouTube Annotations. They can be there just for the LOLZ. They can be subscribe buttons. They can be links to your website. They can be links to other videos.

No matter how you use your YouTube Annotations, just be sure to use them in a way that builds you and your profile.

You can try:

  • -Linking to your social profiles. A new Twitter follower is like a subscriber for your channel, they just get to you through Twitter.
  • -Linking to other videos. keep them watching your content and increasing the chances they’ll hit subscribe. Add these during the video and at the end.
  • -Linking to your channel homepage. If all else fails, have them go right back to the homepage for your channel where that subscribe button is waiting.

Everything online is all about having that next click, that next website, that next piece of information ready for your audience. YouTube Annotations keep them clicking on your content, rather than waiting for the variety of videos shown by YouTube at the end.

Because I’m hungry, watch how Epic Meal Time does it:

There’s an Annotation for subscribing right at the beginning, plus one for Harley’s (the host) social channels. At 35 seconds there’s another annotation for likes and shares. Then they clear the screen for their calorie counter and the magic starts happening. At the end you’ll see annotations for last week’s episode, their Learn to Cook videos, subscribing to other channels they control, and a link to their online store.

Excuse me for a moment. The next paragraph will be delayed while I go get something to eat.

Technique 4: Linking To Your YouTube Channel From Your Website And Blog

Not everyone wants to watch a video. Some people are on the bus without earphones and they want to read. This is where your website and blog come into play. Using tools to connect these to your YouTube channel can push those people who are interested in you, but not looking for videos at that moment, to check you out.

There are an unlimited number of ways to do this. The basic ways are:

  • -Using a YouTube subscription widget on your website, or in blog posts. They can subscribe right there on your page without going to YouTube at all.
  • -Using a call to action at the end of blog posts with a link to your YouTube homepage below, or a subscription widget.
  • Include links in your social media profiles. Every last push to subscribe helps.

An excellent example of this is Jenna Marble’s homepage for her blog:


That pink box in the top left is her subscriber widget. You’ll also see links out to her other social profiles. The YouTube one is the most prominent as that is her bread and butter.

Technique 5: Borrow Another Channel’s Audience and Work With Other YouTubers

There are few things that I enjoy as much as a good collaborative video. For some reason, YouTubers always bring their ‘A’ game and we, the viewers, get to watch great content. A recent example of this was when the How It Should Have Ended (HISHE) folks teamed up with the Brotherhood Workshop crew to create this:

The video was featured on the much more popular HISHE channel, giving Brotherhood Workshop plenty of exposure. This is the video that can be subscribed to the Brotherhood Workshop. This technique does and will work for you.

But what if you’re a nobody? What if you haven’t made a name for your YouTube channel yet? There are YouTube collaboration websites out there. I’ve never personally used one so I can’t vouch for how well they work, so I won’t link to one. If it’s free, it can’t hurt to try.

The other way is to start off just by mentioning other YouTube channels. Verbally call them out in a video, link to them in an annotation, and go to their comment section and post the video. Send them an email. Let them know that you’ve got something to say to them or about them. It may not get you a hit every time, but you’ll get the attention of a few that way.

What If You Still Have No YouTube Subscribers?

If you’ve done all of the above, consistently, and you still don’t have many YouTube subscribers, you may have to consider the fact that the problem is with your discoverability. You can work on being found in this YouTube optimization guide.

If that doesn’t work, the problem may be with your content. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your style and presentation to start. Go watch Smosh’s first video of them jumping around to cartoon theme songs, and then look at their stuff today.

What I can say is that by doing the above you’ll see some growth in your YouTube subscriber numbers. It may not be as much as you want, but with care and consistency you will continue growing your numbers until the day that you’re YouTube famous.

Ernest Thompson is a social media strategist and analyst who is usually found working behind the scenes. When he isn’t working on a social media campaign you can find him watching the dumbest content on YouTube and calling it ‘work.’