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Promoting Your YouTube Channel: The Dos & Don’ts

So you’ve made some great pieces of content. Good for you. Now people are going to view your content, share it with their friends and family and you will become the next YouTube sensation. Congratulations! Here’s a box of money and a private island.

But hold on a moment, there’s a piece missing from this puzzle; how are folks going to see your content in the first place? Why, by promoting your YouTube channel! There’s a right way and a wrong way to do that, of course. Let’s walk through some of the Dos & Don’ts

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DO a Social Media Blast

You should already have a social media presence linked to your YouTube channel. If you don’t, do that. When you release a new piece of content, send out a blast on all of your social media profiles. Let everyone know about it. Your fans may not check YouTube all the time, but they live on these social networks. This is not just to make your fans aware of new content, but also to increases the likelihood that they will share/retweet/reblog your content.  Also, don’t just link to the video – include an enticing picture/thumbnail. Posts with pictures are proven to increase clicks!

DON’T Spam

It’s called a “social media blast” not a “social media suppressing fire.” Don’t blow up your social media advertising your new video. There’s a theory in advertising called “Effective Frequency”  that states that the more someone seems an Ad the more likely they are to click on it, but peoples tolerance for exposure to an ad seems to be much lower online. Especially when you’re clogging up their news feed. Not only will people be less likely to click on your video, they are MORE likely to unfollow you due to the inconvenience. Don’t scare your audience away! Find an even balance.

DO Network

Networking is important in every aspect of your life. As fun as sitting in your basement eating an entire pizza by yourself is, interacting with other people is still one of the strongest means of promotion available to you (unfortunately). You could write an entire post/book/ 20 Volume Series JUST on networking, but let’s stick to some basics. I would suggest organically engaging with other YouTubers on social media – both your idols AND your peers. Building relationships with other content creators not only positions your content in front of other influencers for possible shares, but also opens the door for collaborations in the future for even larger exposure.

If you find yourself at a convention, introduce yourself to your idols. Engage in conversation WITHOUT promoting yourself. Shoot them a tweet later. If you made an impression, you might just get a follow.

DON’T Beg or pester your Idols.

“Pls follow pls ilu pls follow” has never worked. It probably will never work. Think about it – what’s the exchange in value there? What do they get if they follow/friend/subscribe to you? All you’ve done is proven that you don’t have any substance and you need to beg to get people to click on you. Making thoughtful, humorous or insightful comments and building a relationship with one of your idols is a much more intelligent and strategic way of getting a follow and positioning yourself in front of them. These YouTubers get hundreds of messages a day and unless you make an impression, they’ll probably never look twice at you.

DO Connect with an MCN

Now, this one can be a little tricky. Not everyone should connect with an MCN. MCN stands for a “Multi Channel Network” and they are large entities that will essentially promote and represent your channel as you become a part of their community-at-large. There are quite a few of these on YouTube and there’s a lot of controversy around them. Some people believe that they are too large to effectively give the attention needed for each channel, while others believe them to be homogenizing YouTube culture. Looking at it from a strictly promotional stand-point, it’s a gamble with IMMENSE possible benefit if it works out for you. If the stars align and you find an MCN that

  • Fits with your channel culture
  • Has the bandwidth and resources to give you individual attention
  • Makes sense from business/financial stand-point

I’d say sign on. But don’t proceed forward unless you feel 100% comfortable.

DON’T Buy Views

Buying views is really, really dumb. When you buy views, all you are paying for numbers on a page. Hooray! You made a 0 turn into a 5000 for only $8. But no one actually watched your video. No one will enjoy your content, share your content or subscribe to you. Your counter stops at 5000 until you pay more money. Your video never grew legs to move on its own and has no organic share traffic. Not only are you getting no benefit from buying views, but you’re actually LOSING benefits by cheating yourself out of the the satisfaction of positive audience reaction to your content and organic likes and shares.

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