When you’re first starting out on YouTube, knowing your target demographic and the overall tone of your channel can be difficult. Even if you think you know who you’re targeting with your content, you really won’t know who is consuming your work until after you’ve released a decent amount of it. Once you’ve figured out who the bulk of your audience is and what type of content they expect from you, knowing how to communicate with them is crucial to your growth on the video platform. Here are a few different ways you can keep your audience engaged, communicating, and subscribed to your channel.


Call to Action

Image via Shutterstock.

An often-mocked (but somewhat useful) call to action on YouTube is “Smash that like button.” YouTube’s algorithm favors videos that are longer and have more interaction, whether that means likes, dislikes, or comments. So, the more viewer engagement your video gets, the more likely YouTube is to boost your video or channel to larger audiences, which can bring you more subscribers.

This engagement can come from your call to action and the consistency of your posts. Users uploading daily or weekly will have a better chance at growing their audiences while creating a sense of community around their channels.

Image via h3h3Productions.

Exaggerated calls to action like “Smash that like button” and “Hit that subscribe button” are a little obnoxious, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work — or that you have to demonstrate the same degree of intensity. Find your voice, and operate in a way that brings you a sense of creative freedom.

Whether you’re creating daily vlogs, travel videos, or tutorials, offering varied content can help you cast a wider net. By demonstrating your range and guiding viewers through your channel, you’ll cultivate subscribers who wait for your content. Take YouTuber h3h3 from the image above for example. This creator has garnered a massive fanbase by communicating with and listening to his audience.

So, why is this strategy so important? Well, if your video shows up on outside sources like blogs, Facebook, or social media shares, somebody who doesn’t have a YouTube account might see your content. Even though it’s as simple as entering your email address, YouTube’s social engagement and interface isn’t as popular as platforms like Facebook or Twitter. For instance, when I first started up my YouTube channel, I had to inform many of my family and friends that they needed to create an account in order to subscribe to and upvote my content.

So, take time to figure out a fun and engaging way to get your audience to interact with the platform through your channel. If they like, comment, and subscribe to your videos, YouTube’s algorithm will help you out with the rest.


Ending the Video

Image via Peter McKinnon.

Usually, creators will address the call to action and ask their viewers to “Smash that like button and subscribe” at the beginning or the end of the video. If you do it at the beginning, make sure your end screens are clear and concise, so your audience remembers exactly what to do. With links to past videos, viewers can stay in the little ecosystem you’ve created.

Not only do these verbal and graphic CTAs work, you can also feature commands and information throughout your video with lower thirds and motion graphics. This ensures that your viewer gets a better grasp of the community you’ve built around your channel. Here are a few different ways you can offer the information that’s necessary for your content to reach out and tag or link to other creators and outputs.

By creating this web of content across all platforms, you can get more attention and appeal to sponsors and bigger brands. You can point to each platform and say “I’ve got this many followers here, they came from this source, and I link everything I make to everything else.” This will help your web presence and improve your SEO value in the long run.

In the example above, Justin Odisho replicates a style brought to us by the infamous Jake Paul. Regardless of what you think about Jake Paul and his content, the audience is huge, and it has proven wildly successful.

How you choose to talk to the camera or interact with your audience is entirely up to you. In an industry built on and growing with the idea of community and engagement, it’s important to know what you want and how to do it.

For more on building your voice on YouTube, check out our past coverage:

Cover image via Shutterstock.