How to Increase YouTube Subscribers | A Beginner's Guide

Browse our guide and discover tips to learn how to increase YouTube subscribers. Whether you want to explore different avenues to promote your business and foster brand identity, or join the ranks of successful YouTubers, get invaluable advice in our beginner’s guide.

Increasing your number of subscribers starts with setting goals and creating unique and valuable content. To get your channel off the ground, accumulate several videos that you upload consistently and frequently.

Making your channel look professional and starting to promote it on other social media platforms are only some of the techniques you can use. Check out more ways to increase engagement with your new YouTube channel below.

Have a Plan and Define Your Goals

When you’re getting started on YouTube, it’s tempting to just go for it and create video content as you feel inspired or follow random ideas you like. Unfortunately, this creative path can quickly lose its momentum.

Your creativity needs structure if you want to be successful on YouTube. For businesses, in particular, this means that content for YouTube has to be in line with business goals and their marketing strategy to eventually become part of the mix that increases sales.


Group of workers planning project

Before you get started filming, take some time to jot down ideas and set up goals for your channel. Decide on how frequently you can release videos, which topics you want to cover, and what your target audience might be looking for.

Then break these down into series that you can schedule and build playlists with. This way you establish a strong vision and consistency for your YouTube channel that also fosters your brand identity.

Create a YouTube Channel Trailer

On your YouTube channel, you have the option to create a video that is featured at the top and automatically starts playing when visitors view your profile. This is your channel trailer. It’s the best way to let users know what they can expect.

Don’t just use your most recent video in this space but a teaser that hooks your viewers in the first few seconds of watching it. Introduce yourself and tell potential subscribers why your channel has valuable content for them. Focus on unique features and let viewers know how helpful or entertaining it is.



Use snippets of the best moments and relevant bloopers to show your personality and that have more impact on your audience. This is not the time and place to be shy and you can straight out ask viewers to subscribe to your channel if they like what they see.

Your end card on a teaser automatically contains the option to subscribe making it an easy way for viewers to add you to their subscriptions with a single click. Our pro tip is to also ask your audience to click the notification bell after subscribing to get alerts for all your new videos. Just add that ask naturally when you let viewers know when they can expect new uploads.

Craft an Eye-Catching Intro and Outro for Your Video

Next to using a consistent design for your channel page and thumbnails, intros and outros are a great way to establish your brand identity. Having intros and outros shows that you care about your channel and that you’re a professional.

For businesses, this is a great place to include your logo or even your mission statement. Don’t make your introduction too long. 15 seconds should be your absolute maximum. Experiment with catchy tunes, eye-catching transitions, or fun clips



Test whether your audience prefers your intro right at the start or later in the video. For example, you could start a video with a preview of what you’re going to talk about, continue with an intro that includes your logo, and then jump into the content of your video.

Your outro or end slate is the best place for all your calls to action. Here you can ask viewers to subscribe, download content, or watch other videos they might be interested in. Your end slate can be a static image or another short clip that easily moves into the background.

This makes the subscribe button, clickable links to your website or social in the form of annotations, and related videos stand out. If you’re using a video as your end screen, make sure it’s not longer than 25 seconds. You can add one to any video during the upload or you can go back to existing videos and add your outro.

If you don’t have your own footage ready, stock videos are a great option to play around with. Browse our vast Pik Wizard library of free stock videos and design your unique intro and outro.

Upload Videos Consistently and Frequently

Releasing videos frequently is one of the surest ways to build up content and increase subscribers. There’s an unwritten rule on YouTube that you should upload at least one video per week, but the most important thing is to have consistent content that keeps viewers engaged.


Youtuber using camera to take video of food

The frequency of your uploads may depend on the topics you cover. Remember to go for quality over quantity and rather take longer for a well-thought-out video than churning out a quickly put-together production of low quality. Whether you choose to upload once a week or month, pick a release day and let your YouTube subscribers know when they can expect new content.

This also helps you to create your posting schedule. If for any reason, you can’t be at your desk as usual on your chosen release day, use a social media management tool to schedule your video for publishing in advance.

Optimize Your Videos for Search

YouTube is owned by Google and the second largest search engine in the world. This means that search engine optimization or SEO should become part of your plan to increase subscribers.

To get your valuable content found by as many people as possible, you have to optimize your videos for search both for Youtube itself and Google’s featured snippets. Videos are now a prominent feature on a search engine results page even displaying different parts of the video that users can skip to.


The word description written with blocks

To get you started, look into SEO and learn from effective online marketing tips. Explore keyword research to help you rank among the first few results. Once you’ve found the terms your audience is likely to use when they search for videos around the topics you’re covering, make sure you use them in your titles and your detailed descriptions.

Clickable timestamps help Google to create useful sections that take users to the relevant part of your video. Use transcripts that can be processed by Google’s algorithm and that may also display underneath your video in a featured snippet to help searchers determine whether your video is relevant to them.

Make Your Videos Accessible

Including a transcript doesn’t only help with rankings, but can also increase watch time and is now expected from businesses for ease of use. Adding captions and subtitles to your videos makes your content more accessible to a wider audience including deaf, hard-of-hearing viewers and those who speak another language.


Computer keyboard with focus on access button

Viewers appreciate channels with better usability and improved accessibility can also help with building trust in your brand. You can generate captions automatically on YouTube with the help of their speech recognition software. When you’ve generated these captions, make sure you go through them to tweak the transcription, as the machine learning algorithms Youtube uses are not entirely accurate.

In general, make sure your videos have a clear structure and that you speak clearly to give viewers time to process information. If possible, describe visuals for users with visual impairments.

Engage with Your Viewers and Ask Them What They Want

Get an overview of how engaged viewers and subscribers are with your videos in YouTube analytics. View your likes and dislike rates, shares, and how many subscribers you’ve gained and lost. Use this data to get an indication of which type of content performs well and that viewers might want to see more of.


Youtuber palying guitar for YouTube video

Encourage users to take action to get to this kind of data in the first place. Ask viewers to comment, share, like, and subscribe. Be sure to also respond to comments to show that you care about what they have to say.

If you want to dig deeper, ask your subscribers what they’d like to see more of and to let you know in the comments. This way, you don’t have to guess as much and you can be more sure about changing direction if necessary.

In general, try to be as responsive as you can to keep your engagement rates up. Reply to relevant comments and aim to create a response that encourages conversation rather than ends it. If a YouTube subscriber shares your video on other social channels, let them know how much you appreciate the share.

Show Your Personality to Your Subscriber

Show your audience your personality to evoke emotions and inspire viewers in a way that keeps them watching and coming back for more. You want to seem genuine and unscripted on camera and the easiest way to achieve this is to just be yourself.

Brainstorm what makes you and your channel unique and jot down a couple of points that you think make you stand out. These can be quirky things that make viewers want to see more of a YouTuber or the values you want to portray in your company’s videos to get your brand identity across and create a more personal connection with your customers.


Influencer posing for beach video

See how you can insert items from your personality-driven list in your videos. Try different styles of videos to find out which types make your personality shine. Experiment with a variety of angles and shots to flesh out your YouTube identity.

Incorporating your personality also ensures that you automatically put your unique spin on topics and differentiate yourself from the competition. Businesses that display personality on YouTube evoke emotions more easily, which makes it more likely that their target audience responds to their calls to action.

Always remember to not take yourself too seriously and carefully watch your audience’s reaction to see what’s working well for you and what’s less effective.

Host a Fun Contest for Subscribers

If you want to give your subscriber count a quick boost, consider hosting a competition. Think about a valuable prize you can offer to your viewers. If you’re a business, make sure your prize ties in with a promotion or business goal to increase not only engagement but also brand awareness.

Ensure that the prize isn’t the only thing that’s appealing in your video. Before you ask viewers to subscribe to win, point out the value they get from your channel or make the competition part of one of your regular videos. Increase traffic to your website by linking to a landing page viewers can find in the description if they want to find out more.



For businesses, a YouTube contest might also be a good way to test collaboration with a YouTuber or content creator. If you choose to go down this route, make sure the content creator you select is relevant to your niche and has a substantial following.

With the help of an influencer, you can make a giveaway part of a product review, which automatically makes the content of the video highly relevant and attractive. This type of YouTube partnership automatically expands the reach and subscribers for both parties, as the contest becomes part of a campaign that is shared on other social channels.

Create Playlists for a Professional Channel Appearance

Over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, which means that users have an incredible amount of choice. As you keep creating content to stand out and gain more subscribers, a large number of videos can accumulate quickly on your channel.


Laptop on desk with camera

Once you’ve uploaded a good amount of content, start grouping your videos into playlists. This helps you keep your channel in order and increase watch time, as your viewers can easily continue to watch the same type of videos or series without having to search for the next one.

YouTube playlists are the best way to curate content, impress new viewers, provide a better user experience, and increase your exposure. If you’ve created multiple playlists, your channel profile looks tidier, professional, and shows at a glance that you have an abundance of quality content on offer.

Make Subscribing Easy and Add Calls to Action

Asking your audience to hit the subscribe button at the beginning of your video and a unique sign-off at the end is great but might not be enough to entice them to actually click subscribe. When it comes to calls to action like that, it’s best to mention them as often as you can and make it easy for users to take action.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose between end screens and end slates that appear on-screen after your sign-off. Here, you can also add other calls to action to help promote your brand.


Woman taking a video of her coffee with mobile phone

Add links to your videos that users can click to subscribe, go to your next video, promote your website or another channel with an end screen. This appears in the last 5 to 20 seconds of your video.

If you want to be more interactive with your audience, you can use end cards. Cards can be used throughout a video but to avoid potential subscribers clicking their way out too soon, add cards towards or at the very end. Point your audience to another video or channel, feature a relevant video, add a link to a nonprofit of your choice for donations, or let viewers participate in a poll.

Cards are also a great way to create calls to action and link to the relevant landing or product pages in the video. If you’re using multiple cards, leave some space between them to avoid overwhelming your audience.

Notify Your Followers on Other Social Media Channels

Promote your YouTube content through other channels like email and your social media platforms. Even before you upload your first video, let your audience know about your new channel.

Tell them what’s to come and to subscribe and hit the bell button to be notified about your first video. Make sure you keep your promises and have several videos ready that you can turn into a special series for your launch.


Woman using her mobile phone

Stick to your release day and decide whether you want to schedule posts for other social media platforms immediately after your new video went live or sometime after. Evoke exclusivity by posting your video on other social media a few hours later. Only if your subscribers click the notifications bell are they getting to see your video immediately after you uploaded it.

If you post consistently alongside your other effective social media content, your audience will start to look forward to new videos on your chosen release day. Use relevant hashtags or create your own for posts.

For example, you could create a unique hashtag for a series that fits with the topic you’re covering. Encourage your viewers and subscribers to share your videos with your hashtag to boost your brand identity or even go viral.

Work with Other Content Creators

Collaborating with an influencer or content creator can be a great way to grow your following and subscribers. It’s the best way to show your content to new audiences that might have never heard of you without a collaboration.

A collab is also a great opportunity to explore new creative ways of making videos. To get you started, know what your channel goals are and find someone with similar goals in the category you’re working in.


Two friends looking at mobile phone

Ensure both parties are happy with what you’re going to work on together and the cross-promotion you’ll do for each other. Both your business and content creators should gain new subscribers through a collab.

You can branch out into other categories that fit with yours after a few collaborations. This is a good option to experiment with how your audience reacts to changes and find out if there’s a new format or topic you want to explore on your channel to drive more engagement and gain new audiences.

Go live to Increase YouTube Subscribers

A live chat with your YouTube community is one of the best ways to establish a personal connection with your audience. Be sure to follow community guidelines to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

To be able to initiate live streams, you have to activate the feature on your desktop first. Initially, it takes 24 hours to activate but after that, you can interact with your audience in real-time through your YouTube Premiere page. You can go live via your webcam, smartphone, or encoder streaming.


Woman teaching a live class on YouTube

Beginners usually start out on their webcam or smartphone. Encoder streaming is ideal for more advanced users with screen sharing and advanced live stream production options like multiple cameras or microphones.

You can create a Premiere page in advance of your live stream. This is a page on YouTube with a countdown and a shareable link to use for promotion on other social media platforms and get your audience excited. For example, share your live stream link at least 48 hours beforehand to kick off your collaboration with a YouTube Premiere and boost the hype around a collab.

Other live events could be reveals, announcements, interviews with industry experts, or Q&As with an enabled live chat or previously submitted questions. Whichever type of event you go for, pick a popular time for your subscribers. Find out in YouTube Analytics when you get the most views and where most of your audience is based to cover as many time zones as you can.

Set up connections with your other social channels to also go live on Facebook, Twitch, or any other platforms at the same time. You might need to install Open Broadcaster Software or OBS to live stream to multiple channels.

Check Your Metrics to Learn More About Your Audience

To check if you’re reaching your goals, use YouTube Analytics and monitor how your videos are doing in terms of watch time or how many subscribers you’ve gained. Make sure you have goals set that are specific and not too ambitious. It takes time to get your content in front of the right audience on a platform like YouTube.


laptop with data on screen with notebook

Taking a closer look at your data helps you understand what turns viewers into subscribers and what keeps your audience engaged. With that information in your back pocket, go back to your content and tweak it.

Find all the information you need in YouTube Studio. Explore channel, audience, video, and engagement metrics, or check on your SEO with discovery metrics. Discovery metrics show you how users found your videos on and off YouTube to help you adjust your keywords and promotional efforts.

Starting your own YouTube channel and growing your list of subscribers can seem daunting at first, but can become a fun and creative journey towards the goal of promoting your business. Whether you’re creating a channel for your company, or want to become one of the many successful YouTubers out there, providing valuable high-quality content should be your main objective to gain new subscribers.

Optimizing your videos for search engines and spreading the word via promotion on social media only works well if the content you provide is helpful, unique, and entertaining. For viewers, who visit your channel for the first time, make sure you leave a great first impression with your channel trailer and playlists for a clean and professional look.

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