Your YouTube channel is still one of your most valuable assets when it comes to video production and of course distribution. It’s important to remember YouTube is actually the second-largest search engine on the Internet behind Google, so the more you can promote your channel and help it earn visibility on the YouTube search engine (just like you would a website for the Google search engine) the better.

You have to ask yourself: You spend all that time focusing on optimizing your site and pages for search engines like Google and Yahoo, but how much time do you focus optimizing for YouTube? That should be high up on your list of priorities. There are plenty of tactics you can employ to help set your YouTube channel apart in your field, you just have to know where to start and then when to get advanced.

Beyond the Basics: Promoting Your YouTube Channel in Unique Ways

Believe it or not when we say “advanced” it doesn’t necessarily mean that what you do is difficult or something that only YouTube experts can really master. Advanced simply refers to the next step—little things that companies don’t have to do to be successful but it would help. It’s the next step in growing your YouTube strategy. Six of these tips include:

  1. Calls to action

YouTube has several different tools at your disposal to help you “call” a viewer to action. You want a visitor to come to your YouTube channel and stick around, and this is especially important if they come in through a side door, or finding one video first and then navigating to your page. You want them to keep coming back for more, eating up all that content you’re producing on a regular basis. Below are several call to action features that YouTube offers:

Subscribe to a Channel Feature


Watch More Videos Feature

As you can see YouTube also allows you to provide calls to action for viewers to like or share a video and to leave a comment.

YouTube Annotations Feature

The best way to execute a call to action on YouTube is using the annotation feature. These are small boxes of text that pop up in the middle of a video that provide info and allows a viewer to click on at any time:

You have complete control over when you want these annotations to pop up, how long they should stay up, where they should be located on the video and the text within the actual annotation. YouTube has an entire help section on creating and editing annotations.

Annotations are great because it makes everything as simple as possible for the viewer, which is always good. Simple is better in the world of short attention spans and unlimited online distractions.

  1. Hold a contest

It may seem a little odd given that contests are typically reserved for social media, but it can also help promote your YouTube channel. Think about it: Holding a contest gives people a reason to keep coming back to your channel for more, either to see entries into the contest or the results. Then, it’s your job to keep them around.

No matter what your YouTube channel is about, there should be a possibility for a contest. If you’re producing SEO content on your channel, hold a contest asking for the best SEO tips and have viewers vote on the winners. Or if you run a comedic channel, ask your audience to film pranks and then see what comes of that. Below shows an example from Kia Motors:

You’d obviously need help from social media and an idea that would help get the audience engaged and probably a prize that is worth having, but it’s an outside-the-box idea that could help get your channel some eyeballs. I recommend visiting here to learn more about creating successful contests.

  1. Embedding is key

If somebody likes your video enough to want to insert it into their own articles or on their site, why would you deny them of that? Since you do have the option to allow or disallow embedding, make sure you always hit “allow.” It can only help.

On top of that, encourage others to embed your videos whenever applicable. Obviously you want to make sure that any other site or outlet that uses your video gives you the proper credit, but giving other sites the freedom to use your videos at will can only help your brand and channel overall.

Extra: Keep in mind that this is also a great option when it comes to any infographics, images, or even content that you have on your site. Embedding not only allows users to republish, but it also makes it easy to share on social media. Visit here for more details.

  1. Promote from within

We’re going to go out on a limb and guess that you do more than just run a YouTube channel. Regardless of anything else you manage, you can use everything as a tool to promote your channel. Have a website? Great, toss a graphic along the side asking people to subscribe to the YouTube channel. Or reference it by embedding videos and linking to your channel.

Do you have an email blast or newsletter? Find creative ways to utilize your videos (and calls to action to subscribe to your YouTube channel) in those, as well. What about social media? You can send out a Tweet every other day asking people to visit your YouTube channel and subscribe or click around.

Too often, people look outside only for promotion, but the actual best step is to dominate with cross-promotion in-house first and then look outside for more help. Take advantage of what audience and viewership you already have on any other outlet.

  1. Channel ad

What better way to promote your YouTube channel than by getting YouTube to do some of the work for you? When you upload videos, there is the option of selecting a video for a Channel ad, which essentially lets YouTube know they can use that video to promote YouTube.

This helps you can get some solid exposure for free from YouTube simply by selecting a video for your channel ad. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that is simple, requires very little work on your part and is often an overlooked tool.

  1. Regular features

Before the world of DVR, a lot of people set their schedules around their favorite shows. They kept coming back to a TV channel like NBC because a certain show was on every week on the same day at the same time. The world of YouTube is obviously not like a TV channel, but the same kind of rule applies: Give people a reason to come back.

Regular features and series can help pick up fans that would come to your YouTube channel just for that. It’s even better when a video is uploaded a similar time every week, like every Thursday morning. Take the Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battle:

It’s not a feature with any sort of consistent or timely updates, but I go to Fallon’s channel just for these videos. I love them, and clearly I’m not alone judging by the outrageous number of views on some of those.

As an added bonus, it also helps you with content, as you know each month or each week, you need to do a certain series video and then you can plan the rest of your content from there.

What other advanced or unique ways have you found to promote your YouTube channel? Let us know in the comment section below and also be sure to let us know if any of these tips and tools helped you and your brand.