As you embark on your video content marketing on YouTube, there a number of options to generate followers. The following tutorial highlights the top 5 steps to establish a YouTube following. (This tutorial assumes you have already created your YouTube Channel. To create your channel today, click  here.)

Step 1: Ask for Subscribers

The simplest way to get a solid following behind your channel is to ask for subscribers in your videos. Give your audience clear, compelling instructions on how to subscribe to your channel. The best way to do so is like so:

1.) Tell the viewer what to do (Subscribe to my channel now for more tutorials!)

2.) Tell them how to do it (Click the subscribe button on the bottom of the video)

3.) Tell them why to do it (If you want more tutorials faster, subscribe now and let me know what tutorial you are looking for)

A perfectly executed “Call to Action” is exhibited by College Humor. The link to this example can be found here.

Step 2: Use Annotations

Annotations are buttons the appear during the viewing of a YouTube video’s that direct the viewer to other video’s, the specific channel, or to get the viewer to subscribe. The key is to not to overuse this function. The basic annotation that we recommend is:

1.) Click-to-action annotation: when you mention your call to action (ex. Subscribe) add an image, graphic, or button to the video and overlay it with a “Spotlight” annotation that links directly to your channel subscribe page. This allows the user to simply subscribe by clicking the button in your video

5 Steps to Establish a YouTube Following

Step 3: Leverage Featured Channels

Have other channels that you’re interested in or your subscribers might enjoy? Feature them on your channel! Directly on your YouTube channel is an option to add other “Featured” Channels of those channels you like and recommend. When you get other channels with a similar audience to feature you, you can expect to see new viewers (and hopefully subscribers) coming your way very quickly.

How exactly do you get others to feature you on their channels? By simply asking! (It also helps if you return the favor).

5 Steps to Establish a YouTube Following

Step 4: Interact

One of the best ways to build a following of subscribers is to support others in their YouTube marketing efforts by subscribing, commenting on videos, and liking videos. Take a few minutes out of your day to find new, relevant YouTube channels and leave some real genuine comments. This can lead to features on these content creators channels and more views coming your way.

Step 5: Create a Payoff

Posting goals to the public can help to make those goals a reality. For example, if your goal is to reach 50, 000 likes on a certain video, make sure to clearly state that at the beginning of the video, paired with a payoff if that goal is reached (giveaway, etc.). Here is a simple step by step to properly announce a goal to your current fan base (and to draw incentive to those new followers):

1.) Identify your current subscriber amount (200)

2.) State your goal (300)

3.) State the payoff (giveaway or continuation of series)

4.) Share your goal and payoff

The following is an excellent example of creating a payoff (watch until 1:00 mark).

YouTube has become the new TV for a large majority of our population. We hope these 5 steps to establish a YouTube following helped!