13 Ways to Promote Your YouTube Channel Without Money

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Do you want to get more views on your YouTube channel?

I know how frustrating it is to create quality content, upload your videos, but not seeing the results you’re expecting.

Building an audience on YouTube takes time, patience, and a strategy to promote your videos so people become aware of your channel.

But how do you promote your YouTube channel without paying for advertisements?

I’ll walk you through the best ways to increase your YouTube subscribers and gain more views on your videos. You’ll learn about promoting a YouTube channel on social media and other smart ways to gain more exposure.

Let’s get to it.

1. The Truth About Promoting YouTube Channels on Social Media

If you’re looking for the best ways to promote your YouTube channel, you may not find a perfect fit answer.

It’s not that the perfect answer doesn’t exist. The thing is no one will be able to give you the answer without knowing the core of your channel.

Why’s that?

Some YouTubers see massive results from Twitter while some don’t see any. Some successfully use Facebook, but for others, Facebook doesn’t do anything.

It’s all about your niche and audience.

Where does your audience hang around? If your videos are about cooking, Pinterest is the place where you’ll find most of your audience. But if you vlog about technology, you may want to turn your head towards Google+.

Research the social channels before you start working hard to grow your audience on every platform. See where you can find your audience.

I know you probably want to be on every social platform because you don’t want to miss on opportunities. But the truth is that keeping many social channels active and growing them to get more light on your YouTube channel takes a lot of time. And because it will be overwhelming, you won’t manage to achieve the desired results.

The right approach is to choose the best 1-2 social platforms for your niche. Focus all your energy on building valuable communities there. Once you master them, you can move on to implementing additional channels to your strategy.

Image Source

2. Facebook

Let’s see how to promote your YouTube channel on Facebook if you decide to build an audience on this platform.

The best way to generate views from Facebook is to find the groups where your targeted audience is hanging on and share your videos there with the community.

Stay away from spamming

You have to be careful to not overdo it or else you’ll get banned for spamming. If you find lots of groups where is relevant to post, don’t post on all of them at once. You can develop a habit of posting in 3-5 groups a day. Also, don’t use the same text everywhere because that’s another signal to Facebook for spamming.

Repurpose content to drive people to your channel

Another way to bring people to your YouTube channel from Facebook is to repurpose some of your videos and post them as a native video on Facebook.

Native videos posted directly on Facebook get 10x more shares than videos from YouTube. This means an opportunity for you to get more exposure.

Take an older video you have uploaded to YouTube and re-upload it directly on Facebook. Then pin it to your Facebook page with a call to action that encourages people to check your YouTube channel for more videos.

Another tip here is to cut a video, letting only one tip or fact from it to trigger curiosity. Use a title like “See the full video on YouTube” and add the link in the description.

3. Twitter

The way to promote your YouTube channel on Twitter is usually by starting to follow many relevant people.

When you are in the beginning, with an empty page and 0 followers, becoming a follower yourself is a way of gaining some traction. While following people doesn’t guarantee you’ll be followed back, this method still works to grow an audience.

The nice thing about Twitter is that it’s fairly easy to find people that might be interested in your videos by researching #hashtags. It’s also easy to reach other content creators and set up connections.

Share other people’s content and don’t forget to @mention them to catch their attention. Also, be active and comment on their posts.

When you connect with other YouTubers, they’ll most likely share your videos and give you shout outs. This will expose your videos in front of their audience and will help you get more views on your channel.

4. Google+

Skeptical about using Google+?

I get you. I know that Google+ seems like it’s a dead social platform for most. But believe it or not, there are still a lot of users who are actively on Google+.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a live preview of the number of active users on social platforms.

Most of the Google+ audience are people who are professionals in technology-related fields. But there are more communities you may not have thought about. For example, The Landscape Photography Community is one of the biggest communities on Google+. There are also big and active communities on board games, toy photographers, Pokémon, and Harry Potter.

Engage in communities

If you are in one of the niches above, great news for you. Go share your videos with those groups. If not, find communities related to your topic and share your videos there.

There are also communities for YouTubers where they can share their own videos for promotion. Although this approach can be useful sometimes, posting in communities created solely for YouTube video sharing may not give the best results. Most people post their videos and leave without checking out on their peers. If no one is looking through the posts, there’s no one to click on your links.

Google+ YouTubers communities screenshot

5. Instagram

To promote your YouTube channel on Instagram, be ready to take lots of photos. Lifestyle, behind the scene, thumbnails from your videos. These are some kinds of photos that entertain the users on Instagram.

Promote your YouTube videos with…videos

You can make short teasers that show a couple of seconds from your video. Make sure you add something that triggers curiosity. At the end of the teaser, tell people to check your bio to find the link to the whole video.

Here’s an example of a video post from Grog on their Instagram page where they made e teaser for a YouTube video. It gives you an idea of what’s about to happen, but they don’t show the final art. Isn’t it intriguing?

The downside of Instagram is that the only clickable link you can add is in your bio. This means you add a call to action in your post telling people to see your bio for the link to your YouTube channel (or a certain video). Sometimes, people are too lazy to do it.

6. Reddit

Reddit can be a great source of traffic to your YouTube channel, but you need some patience to master it. It can be tricky at first to find what and where you should post without it backfiring.

Watch your steps carefully

Reddit users can be quite harsh on self-promotion so you want to check the rules of the subreddits carefully. For most subreddits, only 10% of your posts can be self-promotional.

If you post your links in the wrong subreddit, there are chances you’ll get banned or worst, dislikes will be thrown into your videos.

Engage in the community

The key to master YouTube promotion on Reddit is to become a genuine part of the community.

You’ll find subreddits where YouTubers are helping each other out, and they keep a close eye on spammers and self-promoting material. If you want to be accepted in the community and to be successful with Reddit, you must start socializing and helping others.

There are subreddits where you are allowed to post links to your videos either to promote them or to ask for feedback. Once you find them, make sure you give to the community before you ask for something in return.

Subreddits about YouTubers example screenshot

7. YouTube SEO

For most YouTubers, YouTube itself is the most important source of organic traffic.

In order to benefit from YouTube’s organic traffic juice, the first step is to optimize your videos so people can find them when they are searching for something related to your topic.

Learn about researching keywords and use them in:

    • Title
    • Description
    • Tags
    • About page

Make sure you add the keywords in a natural way and maintain the readability of the text. Don’t stuff the content with tons of keywords just so to have them because this approach doesn’t work. YouTube can detect when you stuff your videos with keywords and will close your account for doing so.

Having the videos properly optimized is a must for any YouTube channel and it should be your main concern. Learn how to optimize your videos to rank high in search results before you promote your YouTube channel through other means.

8. Rank Videos on Google

You’ve probably noticed that Google displays YouTube results for certain search queries.

If you succeed to rank some of your videos on Google, you’ll increase your YouTube views substantially.

Learn what keywords to target

In order to rank YouTube videos on Google, you have to target the keywords that return video results. Video keywords usually are:

  • How-to’s
  • Sport-related keywords
  • Tutorials
  • Step-by-step

Try out keywords related to your niche in Google search and look for video results. Once you find some opportunities, add those topics to your content calendar and start brainstorming ideas for the videos.

Example of Google result with YouTube video

9. Use playlists

Have you seen YouTube channels with lots of unorganized content? This makes it extremely difficult to find an interesting video from all the mess.

With YouTube playlists, you can sort relevant videos in groups. This makes it easier for viewers to search through your channel.

This also helps with increasing the audience retention rate. When you click on a video from a playlist, YouTube will keep you in that playlist. This means that after someone watched a video, your other videos in that category will be displayed in the right section of the video, ready for the user to be kept on your channel.

YouTube playlists screenshot

10. Cross-Promotion

One way to get more views to your older YouTube videos is to simply tell people to check them out.

You can do this by referencing an older video in a new one if it makes sense and adding its link in the description.

Another great way to get people check your other videos is to use annotation cards at the end of your videos. Make sure you only use annotation cards at the end of the video because you don’t want viewers to click away before they finished watching the video.

Cross promoting videos on YouTube example
Example of using cards at the end of the video to promote other videos

11. Contests

Running a contest or a giveaway is a well-known strategy to promote YouTube channels fast and easy.

The idea of YouTube contests is that you put a prize at stake, then ask viewers to like your video, leave a comment, and subscribe to your channel for a chance to win the said prize. Usually, the winner is chosen randomly from the users who followed all the steps.

Make sure the reward is related to your niche so you attract users that are appropriate for your channel. If the items you give away are too general, people who have no interest in your topics will also join the race.

After you run a contest, take some time to analyze how it went. There are a lot of freebies seekers out there, and there will be people who register for your contest but won’t remain active subscribers who bring you value. You want to see how your levels of engagement and subscribers change after the contest is over so you can decide if the campaign was successful or not.

Example of a youTube contest/giveaway on YouTube
Example of the requirements to enter a contest for a chance to win a prize

12. Collaborations

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Well, the same principle applies to YouTube as well.

Working with other content creators related to your niche is a beneficial way for both of you to grow your YouTube channels. You’ll have access to the other’s creator audience, and he’ll gain exposure to yours.

Find other content creators who are relevant to your YouTube channel’s topic and see if you can come up with an idea for a video collaboration.

There are more aspects that make a YouTube collaboration successful, but the most important things to keep in mind are:

  • Collaborate with content creators with channels related to yours or neither of you will gain valuable subscribers. Let’s say you have a music channel and the other YouTuber talks about football. There are great chances your music lovers won’t be interested in football at all.
  • Don’t focus only on the big channels. If you can collaborate with channels with a greater number of subscribers than you, that’s amazing. But it can be trickier if you are a beginner on YouTube. It’s easier to collaborate with small channels like yours and you’ll both help each other grow.

Before you start to pitch your deal to random YouTubers, make sure you first take your time to get to know his videos and create a genuine connection with that person. Like his videos, share his content, leave comments on videos. Socialize before you get into business.

13. Find related sites and pages

Every business uses curated content in its strategy (if done right), so it shouldn’t be hard to find people in your niche who share similar stuff to yours.

Find social media profiles or even websites and blogs where you think your videos could be embedded in posts.

Once you find relevant people, send them one of your videos along with a text explaining why it would add value to the post. If they enjoy it, they will use it, and you’ll gain a spot in front of a big crowd of people ready to become your subscribers.

Some of them may even become consistent sharers if you are relevant enough and they enjoy your videos.

You can check out your analytics and see where your videos have been embedded. If people embedded your videos, you can reach them out and send them something fresh and maybe they’ll want to repost another video.

Extra TIP for Promoting Your YouTube Channel

Stay active in the YouTube community.

Comment on videos relevant to your topics. Share your insights, be funny, ask questions. Users scroll through comments. If you have great comments, people will wonder who you are and they’ll click on your channel.

Don’t spam by begging people to look at your channel. Rather, genuinely engage in conversations.

Ready to Promote Your YouTube Channel?

Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything and be everywhere in order to promote your YouTube channel. Choose the methods that work best for your audience and focus on mastering those strategies.

Every time you implement a strategy to get more views on YouTube, don’t forget to analyze your results for each of your actions. The data will show you exactly what works and what you need to improve.

What’ll be your weapons to increase your YouTube views?

Do you have other ways to promote your YouTube channel? I’ll be happy to hear about it.


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