On the 16th of January, Google announced that it is changing the rules of monetization for YouTube. So far, a channel had to accumulate a total of 10,000 views in order to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Under the new rules, YouTube channels must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months to qualify for YPP. The changes came in effect on the 20th of January.
This new rule imposed by Google has created a lot of hue and cry in the online world, with many vloggers sharing the notification they received that their channel was no longer eligible for YPP. As you may know, YPP is one of the ways small businesses, entrepreneurs, and vloggers make money, by receiving from Google a commission from the ad revenues obtained by their channel.
There is only one thing small businesses can do to continue making money from their YouTube accounts: attract more followers and get them to watch all their videos and share them with friends. To give you a helping hand, we have compiled a list of tips to grow your YouTube channel followership.
- Brand Your Channel
The secret to growing your followers on YouTube is making your channel easily recognisable to people who are already following your blog and social media pages. You can customise your YouTube channel with a profile photo and cover page – just like on Facebook™, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
A branded channel will also help you build loyalty among casual viewers who enjoyed some of your videos. Once they realise that you are posting on a regular basis, by recognising your brand they will subscribe to your channel and select to be notified of new uploads.
- Optimise Your Titles
Titles are just as important for YouTube videos as they are for blog articles. You should create catchy titles and perform a search to select the best keyword to include in the title to your videos.
The fact is that Google indexes YouTube video titles and descriptions and on many occasions you will find video results to your queries displayed higher that websites. This is a huge potential for you to attract new viewers and turn them into loyal subscribers and followers.
- Include a Call to Action in Annotations
Annotations usually annoy viewers when they randomly pop up during the video, ruining their experience. But, if they enjoyed your video, they will not mind an annotation at the end of it inviting them to subscribe to your channel.
This should be a standard sign-off for all your videos and the annotation should contain a clickable link taking viewers directly to your YouTube channel. This simple addition to your videos will bring you a lot of new subscribers in the long run.
- Keep Your Videos Under Five Minutes
No matter how interesting, useful, or funny your videos are, they should not exceed five minutes in length – at least until you have built a solid followership. An infographic created based on a study of the rate of popularity of various types of online content depending on their length found that the top 50 most popular YouTube videos have an average length of 2 minutes and 54 seconds.
Once you have a solid followership, you can add longer videos to the mix and test how your subscribers respond to them.
- Make Videos on Evergreen Topics, Not Temporary Trends
Looking at some of the most popular and most viral videos, they are not new. Some of them were created in the heydays of YouTube. The reason why they are so popular even now is that they do not deal with momentary trends. People can still get the joke, or find the content useful and relevant to their current needs.
So, when you start developing your content plan for YouTube videos, place less importance on passing trends. Focus on evergreen topics which will continue to get views and likes years after you uploaded the respective videos.