Each month, over two billion users log in to their YouTube accounts. Needless to say, the site sees a pretty unbelievable amount of traffic — it’s probably why you created a YouTube channel in the first place. 

There’s also an unbelievable amount of content on YouTube. (Over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute — that’s 720,000 hours of new content every single day.) Your channel — and any channel, for that matter — is just a tiny drop in an enormous river of content. So how can you make your videos stand out? 

Making content is only the first step towards a successful YouTube channel. To reach your audience, you also have to promote your YouTube channel. And there’s no “right” way to do this. In this post, we’ll break down various strategies you can use to promote your YouTube channel and start racking up the views. 

Understanding the YouTube algorithm

Like Google (or Bing), YouTube is a search engine, which means that the best way to promote your YouTube channel is by optimizing your content to rank well in YouTube searches. It’s a pretty simple concept: The higher your videos are ranked in searches, the more likely they will be watched. 

So how does YouTube’s algorithm rank content? 

First, let’s see what YouTube has to say about it: “Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description, and video content match the viewer’s query. Beyond that, we look at which videos have driven the most engagement for a query.”

While the description is a little vague, it gives us a list of places to include keywords: the title, description, and content (closed captions are important!). Once you’ve loaded up on keywords, you’ll want to turn your attention to engagement. YouTube wants users to stay on their platform for as long as possible — your videos can help make this happen.  

Not sure where to go from here? Don’t worry — we explain how to find YouTube keywords, increase engagement, and further promote your YouTube channel in the following section.

List of ways to promote your channel

Remember: There’s no “right” way to promote your YouTube channel. And there’s also no fix-all — you’ll have the best results using a number of the strategies listed below. The good news is that most of the following ways to promote your YouTube channel are completely free! 

Identify and include high-volume keywords

Finding YouTube keywords can be tricky (and unreliable) — the results are often just pulled from Google keyword tools. If you’re interested in doing a deep dive, Ahrefs has a great guide on YouTube SEO. 

Before diving into YouTube keyword research, we’d recommend starting with Google keywords. For many Google searches, the top results are videos — these could be your videos! As you create your content, do some Google keyword research and include those keywords in your video title and description. You may also want to plug those keywords into Google quickly: What types of videos are showing up? How long are they? You’ll want to pattern your content after the videos that are ranking well. (We’re not calling for plagiarism, of course. Your content should be original.)

Make your own thumbnails

Before clicking on your video, a YouTube user sees two things: the title and thumbnail. YouTube allows you to create your own thumbnails for your videos — as in you have control of the viewer’s first impression! YouTube suggests using thumbnail images that catch the viewer’s eye, aren’t misleading, and show the viewer what your video is about. It’s a tall order, but they offer loads of great tips.

Use metadata 

YouTube allows you to add “Tags” — searchable keywords that don’t show up in your description or title — to your videos. Make sure to include a few for each video you publish. Don’t go overboard: You want the tags to be accurate and relevant to your content.

Interact with your audience

One of the easiest ways to drive engagement with your YouTube videos and channel is replying to comments (good and bad). Interacting with viewers gives a chance to show your channel’s personality, so have fun with it!

Create playlists

Remember how we said YouTube wants viewers to stay on the site? By creating playlists of your related videos and linking them at the end of each video, you can help drive viewer engagement and rack up more views!

Promote on other social media platforms

Your company’s online presence likely extends beyond YouTube — so make use of those other social media platforms! Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or your blog, link to your YouTube channel and embed videos to drive traffic towards your channel. 

Invest in YouTube ads

If you have room in your budget, YouTube ads are one of the best ways to promote your content. You can target specific demographics with your ads to try and reach the ideal persona with your content. 

As you implement these strategies, remember that promoting your YouTube channel is a process — you don’t have to do everything right away! Start by focusing on keywords or cross-promoting, and build from there. The longer you stick with it, the more results you’ll see. 

There’s not much point in promoting your YouTube channel if it looks unprofessional. Potential viewers are ruthless — they might take one look at your page and leave! Ensure your YouTube channel makes a good first impression with Lucidpress YouTube channel art templates.

You might still think of YouTube as a place to watch cute cat videos, but in only 15 years, YouTube has become the second most visited website in the world (behind Google, of course).

Because of its popularity, YouTube plays a critical role in successful social media marketing strategies. Writing, shooting and editing videos is no small task — but it’s a huge opportunity. Creating content for YouTube will help you grow your audience and connect with them in new ways.

Each month over 2 billion users log in to their YouTube accounts. (That’s over a quarter of the earth’s population!) That’s a big audience. And how do you reach them? By creating and optimizing a YouTube channel. 

Creating a YouTube channel sounds like an involved process, but it’s actually pretty simple. This post demystifies the process, giving you the know-how you’ll need to get started. 

Setting up an account

The first thing you need to know is that YouTube is owned by  Google. If you already have a Google account, you can use that to log in to YouTube. (If you use Gmail or any Google Workspace apps, you have a Google account — go ahead and skip to the next section!)

If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one. Follow the link and click “Create account” in the lower-left corner of the sign-in screen. You’ll have the option to create either a personal account or a business account — for our purposes, it doesn’t really matter which you choose. Your Google username won’t be associated with your YouTube channel, so choose any username you’d like.

Fill out the rest of the information and click “Next.” 

You’ll have to verify your phone number, enter some additional information, and agree to Google’s privacy policy, but it’s all fairly straightforward. Once you’ve clicked “Agree,” that’s it. You should be ready to go. 

How to create and optimize your YouTube channel

Now that you have a Google account, it’s time to log in to YouTube and actually create your YouTube channel. There are two types of YouTube channels: personal channels and brand channels. A personal YouTube channel uses the name associated with your Google account and can only have one owner or contributor — you. A brand channel can be named whatever you want and can be shared between multiple owners.

By default, the first YouTube channel you create must be your personal channel. To do this, open YouTube and click “Sign In” in the upper right corner. Sign in using your Google account. Once you’ve logged in, click your profile picture (if you haven’t chosen one, Google uses your initials on a colored background) in the upper right corner and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. 

Click “Create a channel” — this will appear just below your profile picture in the “Your channel” section. Enter your first and last name, and then you’re all set. With that out of the way, you’ll be able to create a brand channel. 

Creating a brand YouTube channel

To create a brand channel, you’ll follow the same steps as above with a few slight changes. Once again, click on your profile picture in the upper right corner and select “Settings.” Click “Create a new channel.”

Because you’ve already created a personal channel, your only option is to create a brand channel — and YouTube makes this pretty clear. 

Enter a name for your brand account, click “Create” and get customizing!

Creating YouTube channel art

At this point, you’ve got a brand YouTube channel, but it’s not exactly your brand channel. That is to say, it’s a blank slate — it’s time to make it your own. 

When you create a brand channel, you’ll be redirected to the channel home page. 

To start making some aesthetic changes, click “Customize Channel” in the upper right corner. Navigate to the “Branding” tab (as seen below). 

Before you do anything else, you’ll want to add a banner image. This is the first thing viewers see when they visit your channel, and first impressions are everything, so make it count. 

If you want to create a banner image yourself, YouTube recommends using an image that is 2048 pixels x 1152 pixels. To avoid headaches, try using Lucidpress’s YouTube banner maker — a free tool that will make your life a whole lot easier. If you’d rather not start from scratch,  try our YouTube channel art templates

Tips for channel growth

So you’ve finally gotten around to creating a YouTube channel for your brand — that’s a great start, but your videos aren’t going to watch themselves. You need viewers; the more, the better. There isn’t one “right” way to reach a wider audience and rack up those views. As with website visits, a combination of factors drives engagement with your videos. 

Here are some possible routes you and your team can take to reach a wider audience and get the most from your YouTube Channel:

Within YouTube, videos are ranked based on how well the title, video content and description matches the search terms, as well as engagement. For an in-depth look at YouTube keyword research, take a look at Ahrefs’s guide

And remember: Just because you post a new video every week (or however frequently you choose to) doesn’t mean you have to film every week. If it’s better for your schedule, consider setting aside a day to shoot 5-10 videos and then release them in intervals. 

Ready to reach a new audience with your own YouTube channel? Looks aren’t everything, but when it comes to marketing, they sure do go a long way. Keep your page professional looking without the price-tag — try our free YouTube banner templates.