In this publication, I'm gonna show you how to get more YouTube subscribers fast. In fact, thanks to the tips I'm about to share with you, my channel now generates 5,347 new subscribers every single month. I'm Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko. And today I'm gonna show you nine proven strategies for getting subscribers on YouTube. And some advanced techniques I've never seen anyone else talk about. Keep watching. Over the last year, I've helped hundreds of YouTubers grow their channels. And one of my favorite examples of this is, Jeff Rose from good financial sense. Jeff is a financial planner from Nashville, that helps people save and invest money and a few years ago, Jeff decided to launch a YouTube channel. Unfortunately, despite publishing lots of high quality publications, his channel wouldn't grow. He was stuck at a few thousand subs for literally years.
That's when Jeff decided to implement some of the strategies I'm about to share with you. And these proven strategies dramatically boosted his YouTube subscribers. Jeff literally went from 10,000 subscribers to 49,000 subscribers within weeks. And now it's time for me to reveal theses strategies and show you exactly how to implement them. So lets kick things off with strategy number one. Turn Your Watermark Into a Subscribe Button. This strategy is like a cheat code for getting new subscribers. Up, up, down, down, left, right left, right, B, A, start. You probably already know that you can add a branded watermark to your YouTube publications. A branded watermark is a little icon that sits on the bottom right hand corner of your publication. Watermarks are cool because people can subscribe to your channel without stopping the publication or leaving the page. That's the good news.
The bad news is most people use watermarks that don't work. For example, the first watermark that I used on my publications looked like this. I mean you can barely see that thing. Needless to say, that watermark didn't convert anyone. That's why I decided to try something different. Instead of a watermark that blended in, I used one that stood out.
Specifically, I made my watermark look like a subscribe button. And that single change increased the number of subscribers that I got from my watermark by 69.2%. And that's why I recommend making your watermark look like a YouTube subscribe button. After all, that's the goal of your watermark, to turn viewers into subscribers. So the more your watermark looks like a subscribe button, the more subscribers you'll get. Our second strategy is to Use "The Top Formula" for your channel trailer. It's not secret that a channel trailer can turn random viewers into loyal subscribers. The question is how do you create a trailer that actually works? The Top Formula. The Top Formula is a three step process for making a channel trailer that gets results. Here's exactly how it works. First you wanna address your target audience in the first 10 seconds of your trailer. At this point, the person watching your publication isn't sure if your channel is for them.
That's why they're watching your trailer. So you wanna start your trailer off by addressing who your channel is for. Does your channel help busy moms get in shape? Or maybe you show people how to become better public speakers. Now's the time to address that group directly. For example, I start off my trailer by addressing my target audience, marketers. My target audience is made up of people that are serious about marketing their online business. And right off the bat, literally within five seconds, that group knows they've found the channel for them. Next it's time to tell your origin story. Here's your chance to explain why you created your YouTube channel. And make no mistake, the origin story is very powerful.
That's because your origin story helps your channel stand out from the thousands of other channels in your niche. Your origin story also helps your viewers relate to you as a person. Which makes them more likely to subscribe. For example, in my trailer, I tell the story of how I went from a guy that struggled with SEO, to a well known expert. Finally, cap your trailer off with a pitch to subscribe. At this point, the person watching a trailer is this close to subscribing. They just need a little push. So don't be afraid to ask people to subscribe to your channel. In fact, YouTube recommends that you end your trailer with an explicit call to action for viewers to subscribe. For example, at the end of my trailer, I say so make sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on all the actionable SEO techniques I'm about to share with you.
As a pro tip, don't end your trailer right here. Instead, add a five to 10 second end screen that displays a prominent subscribe button. I've found that this helps convert even more viewers into subscribers. And lets move right along to strategy number three, the "No Comment Left Behind" strategy. Did you know that replying to comments can help you get more subscribers? It's true. In fact, YouTube states that when creators take the time to interact with their loyal community, it can encourage audience participation and ultimately result in a larger fan base. And I've seen this play out first hand time and time again. Remember Jeff Rose, that guy I mentioned earlier? Well, Jeff makes sure to reply to every single comment that comes in, even if it's a simple thank you or thumbs up emoji. In fact, Jeff believes in this approach so strongly, that he even replies to haters. Yep, Jeff, haters gonna hate.
And this is one of the main reasons that Jeff's channel is able to get so many YouTube subscribers every month. Personally, I also try to reply to every comment that I get. It doesn't always happen. But I try my best. That said, I always reply to comments that come in within the first 24 hours of publishing a publication. That way, people that take the time to comment see that I read and care about their thoughts. And now it's time for our fourth strategy, The Winner Takes All Technique. This is one of my favorite ways to get more subscribers on YouTube. Here's the step by step process. First, log into your YouTube analytics and click on Subscribers.
Then click on YouTube watch page. And voila, just like that, you can see which publications generate the most subscribers for your channel. I call these publications winners because they're proven to generate an above average amount of subscribers. And if you can get your winners in front of more people, you'll get more subs. Here's how. Your first option is to make a winner publication your channel trailer. This option makes the most sense if you don't have a trailer set up yet. Because remember, your trailer is the first thing people that aren't subscribed to your channel see when they visit your channel page. So it makes sense to show them a publication that converts these people into subscribers. You can also include your winning publication as the first publication in a playlist.
That way, whenever someone watches one of your playlists, they see your winning publication right off the bat. For example, this publication on my channel does a great job of turning random viewers into subscribers. So I made that publication the first publication in this playlist. That way, whenever someone watches that playlist, they see my winning publication right away. Then I prominently displayed that playlist on my channel page. Simple. And once you've done that, it's time for our next strategy, strategy number five, Strong Channel Positioning and Branding. This is one thing that skyrocketed my subscriber base. When I first started the Backlinko YouTube channel, I didn't spend one second thinking about my channel's positioning. I thought to myself, as long as you publish great publications, you don't need to brand or position your channel any sort of way.
And it turns out I was wrong. Because when I positioned my channel more strategically, my views and subscribers increased significantly. Here's exactly how to do it, First, write a one sentence description that describes what makes your channel unique or different. For example, my channels' positioning is Higher rankings and more traffic. That way when someone that wants high rankings and more traffic finds my channel, they say jackpot. And they smash the subscribe button. Pow! That's the power of channel positioning. How about another example? Marie Forleo is a blogger that helps people start and grow their small business. But unlike most other business channels, Marie doesn't talk much about Facebook ads or email auto-responders. Instead, she focuses on helping the person behind the business.
So she created a single sentence that helps her channel stand out from the thousand and one other marketing focus channels on YouTube. Create a business and life you love. Once you have your sentence it ready, plaster it on your channel page and in your publications. For example, I include my channel's positioning in my channel art, my About section, my animated logo, and more. I even say the words higher rankings and more traffic in my publications. Next up we have strategy number six, Use a "Next Video" in Your End Screen. Here's the deal. If someone watches one of your publications, you have one chance to turn that person into a subscriber. But imagine that you can get the same person to watch one, two, or even five publications from your channel. They'd much more likely to subscribe, right? Right.
So how do you do that? Promote a next publication in your end screen. You see when someone's done watching one of your publications, they're thinking what's next. Okay, now what? And when you feature a publication as a next publication, you give them a clear answer to that question. And another opportunity to watch your content and subscribe. Here's how to set this up, first include 10 to 20 seconds of time at the end of your publication for an end screen. Obviously, you wanna add a big 'ol subscribe button to your end screen. As you can see here, I make sure to add a prominent subscribe button to all of my end screens. That said, a good chunk of your viewers aren't ready to subscribe yet. They need to see more of your content first. And that's where your next publication comes into play.
To set up a next publication, simply include the text next publication to your end screen. Now I like to use the phrase next publication, but you can word this however you want. For example, you can use terms like watch next, check out this publication, or any other phrase that works for you. And then link to one of your publications above that text using YouTube's built in end screen feature. Where's an example of how the next publication in your end screen should look. And in general, you wanna use a publication that's closely related to the one they're watching. For example, here's a publication on my channel about keyword research. What's someone that just found a bunch of keywords gonna need next? Help using those keywords in their content. So I made the next publication a publication about on page SEO. Now if you're not sure what publication to use as a next publication, no worries.
Just use a winning publication that you found using strategy number four. That publication is proven to generate subscribers. So you really can't go wrong by using it as a next publication. Plus as a quick pro tip, the next publication strategy increases your viewer's total watch session. And according to YouTube, channels and publications with higher watch times are likely to show up higher in search results and recommendations. They go on to say watch time benefits don't evaporate when viewers stop watching your content. If a publication on your brand's channel drives them to watch more publications, the channel earns some watch time credits for the cumulative minutes accrued. In other words, when someone watches one of your next publications, it'll help your publications rank higher on YouTube. Which will result in higher rankings and more views. With that, let's get into our next strategy, which is a controversial one, don't worry about publishing consistently.
When I was getting ready to launch my YouTube channel, I read every article out there written by so called YouTube experts. And I could sum up their advice like this. The secret to growing your YouTube channel is to publish publications on a consistent basis. If you don't publish at least one publication per week, you won't get any subscribers. As it turns out, this advice is well meaning, but misguided. You see most so called YouTube SEO experts started their channels back in the day. Back then you could actually grow a channel by just publishing lots and lots of publications. Today, not so much. In fact, YouTube reports that 300 hours of publication is now uploaded to YouTube every minute. That's insane.
So to stand out today, you can't just publish a bunch of publications and hope for the best. Instead, you need to focus 100% on producing amazing publications. In fact Jeff Rose rapidly grew his views and subscribers by focusing on this quality over quantity approach. You see, Jeff used to put all his time and energy into uploading pretty good publications on a consistent basis. In fact, by the time I started helping him, Jeff's channel already had over 100 publications on it. Unfortunately, because Jeff's publications were only pretty good, they got lost in the noise. That's when Jeff decided to switch things up. Instead of publishing lots of publications, Jeff focused 100% on producing amazing publication content. And it worked. The first publication that Jeff published using this approach outperformed all 100 of the publications that he already had on his channel.
I've used the same approach to grow my channel in record time. At the time of recording this publication, my channel only has 21 total publications. And those 21 publications generate over 100,000 views and 5000 new subscribers every single month. Moving right along to strategy number eight, Boost Audience Retention. I probably don't need to tell you that audience retention is a massively important YouTube ranking factor. As a reminder, audience retention is the percentage of your publication that people watch. For example if you publish a two minute publication, and people tend to watch one minute of that publication, your audience retention is 50%. And when it comes to audience retention, YouTube states that your goal is to keep audience retention as close to 100% as you can because this means viewers are watching all the way through your publications. And publications with consistently high audience retention and watch time have the potential to show up more frequently in Search and Suggested locations on YouTube. In other words, the better your audience retention, the more views you'll get.
And in general, more views equals more subscribers. And I found that my publications with audience retention also tend to do a great job of converting viewers into channel subscribers. And there's a simple reason for this, when you can get someone to watch your publication all the way to the end, they're much more likely to hit the subscribe button compared to someone that only watches half of your publication. The question is, how can you improve your audience retention. Patter interrupts. Pattern interrupts are elements that you add to your publication that change things up. And according to research studies, when someone sees a pattern interrupt, it resets their attention which makes them more likely to keep watching your publication. This could be something simple like changing the camera angle. Or adding text to the screen. Or a pattern interrupt something more drastic.
Like changing what you're wearing. As you can see, you don't need anything fancy or complicated. Just toss something into your publication that's different than the rest of your publication. And you're set. For example, in this publication about YouTube SEO, I mention that I did a bunch of publication SEO experiments. So I decided to wear a lab coat and goggles. Corny, yes. Effective, definitely. And now it's time for our last tip to help you get more subscribers on YouTube, Optimize Your About tab. Most people sleep on their channel's About tab.
And the thing is, your channel's About section is where a lot of people go to learn more about you. So if you write a compelling description here, you can turn those people into subscribers. Here's exactly how to do it. You want the first sentence of your about tab to be your channel's positioning. As you might remember from earlier in this publication, your positioning is a single sentence description of what makes your channel unique. For example, the first sentence of my description includes my positioning higher rankings and more traffic. Now, this sentence is important because it tells potential subscribers why your channel matters right off the bat. But it's also important because this sentence shows up when people search for your channel in YouTube. So people will see it here too. Next, expand on your positioning.
Specifically you wanna answer questions like what makes your channel different or better than the others out there, what topics do you cover most, describe that here. For example, you can see that I emphasize that the content of my publications are insanely actionable. I also go on to list out a few of the topics that my publications tend to cover, like link building and SEO. As a pro tip, sprinkle in a few key words that you wanna rank for here. A well optimized About section can, as you can see here, help your channel rank in YouTube search. Finally, end your About section with a call to action to subscribe. For example, I end my About section with a strong call to action that asks people to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Now, before we end this strategy. Let me show you a quick bonus strategy. Turn hearts into subs.
I while back YouTube rolled out a feature called creator hearts, that let you acknowledge awesome comments that people leave on your publications. And when you heart a comment, it shows a little icon next to the comment with your face. That way everyone can see that you really liked that particular comment. The question is how can you use hearts to get more subscribers? Well, when you heart a comment, that person gets a notification. And according to YouTube's internal data, we found that viewers who have received a heart on their comment are three times more likely to click on the notification that with other types of notifications, potentially leading more viewers back to your channel. So if someone leaves a great comment on your publication, make sure to reply and heart the comment. That way, when that person sees that you hearted their comment and replied, they'll be primed to subscribe. Okay, so I hope this publication helped you learn how to get more YouTube subscribers using some cool new strategies. And if you learned something new from today's publication, make sure to subscribe to the Backlinko YouTube channel right now. Just click the subscribe button below this publication.
Also if you want exclusive SEO techniques that I only share with subscribe, head over to Backlinko.com, and hop on the newsletter. It's free. Now it's your turn. Which technique from today's publication are you gonna try first? Are you gonna reply to more comments? Or try optimizing your About section? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now. I don't have anything in my teeth right? You wanna do something? So it's come to this. (laughing) (clearing throat) Hadouken! Reply and heart the comment. Okay. (mumbling) Better, yeah. (grunting)