Promote YouTube Videos Free: 2021 Guide
on Jan 10, 2021 (Last Update: Dec 07, 2020)
What Does Promoting Your YouTube Videos And Channel Mean?
Promoting your YouTube videos and channel means spreading the word about your content’s existence on the internet in relevant social media platforms, forums, groups and Q&A sites. Basically, promoting your videos means taking an active step towards gaining new viewers and subscribers for free on social media platforms and using them as a stepping stone for your content’s discovery online. When you start a YouTube channel, your main concern isn’t just to make content, but also to get more YouTube subscribers. To do that, you’ll need to learn how to grow YouTube channel from 0.
How To Promote Your YouTube Videos For Free
Be Active On Quora And Other Q&A Sites
Quora is a Q&A site that is a goldmine for free channel and content promotion. The idea behind Quora is that everyone can ask questions on the platform, and everyone can answer questions, too. You can even add “credentials” to your profile to show that you have some authority or prior knowledge in a specific topic. This will make you look more credible and will make other Quorans take more notice to what you’re saying. Here are some key pointers when it come to promoting your content on Quora:
1. Fill In Your Profile
Don’t slack off on filling in your profile. The more information about yourself you give (that means - professional experience, education and areas of interest, not personal information!), the better your chances are to be perceived as a real, knowledgeable human being and this will build your authority and reputation on the website. Fill in your profile completely and don’t skip on anything. Here’s what a good Quora profile looks like:
2. Ask Questions, Don’t Just Answer Them
To avoid looking spammy or self-promoting, make sure to ask questions about different subjects as well as answer questions about different subjects. The main goal of Quora is to interact with other people via asking questions and giving answers, right? So that’s exactly what you have to do. Don’t spam answers with your links or spam questions with your link - ask valuable questions that make sense and are real and give real, thoughtful answers to other peoples’ questions as well. Which brings us to our next point -
3. Give Value In Your Answers
When answering questions, avoid irrelevant link dropping at all costs. Not only will people not click on your link out of sheer annoyance, but they’ll also report you to the moderation team and they could easily remove and block you from the site permanently. Answer questions with a text post and add your video link at the end as an option for people to learn more information on whatever you were talking about. Here’s a good example of how to do just that:
How To Find Relevant Questions To Answer
You can find relevant questions to provide answers for by doing a quick search on the platform. Just click on the search bar and type in any specific keyword you’re interested in.
Then, in the search results page, all you have to do is click on “Questions” at the left hand sidebar and look at the questions that are on the site for that specific keyword. Pick the one you want to answer and go for it!
4. Interaction Is Key
We know that it’s tempting to just answer questions all day and not really interact in any other way, but that’s just wrong. Quora is social just as much as it is informational - so make sure you’re commenting on peoples’ answers and “upvoting” or “downvoting” answers and questions as well. Spend a good chunk of time on the platform whenever you’re there and explore different areas of interest. More importantly - interact, interact, interact!
Quora Spaces are a newer feature that enables users to create communities and curate posts around a specific topic. It’s very similar to Facebook groups, with a small difference - not everyone who belongs to a “space” can contribute content to it. Only the space creator and other people they choose can contribute content to the space. Quora spaces are a great way to spread your own content around and improve your off-site video SEO by providing links back to your videos and embedding them in posts.
Reddit is one of the most underused and largest social media marketing and promoting platforms out there. Reddit is big, it’s active, and it’s not going anywhere. While it bills itself “the front page of the internet”, Reddit is basically a forum community divided into subreddits. You can find a subreddit for everything under the sun - from cats standing up to kids falling down. Users upload and interact with content on Reddit in the form of upvotes, downvotes and comments - all of which accumulate as “karma” for whomever uploaded content to the platform. The higher your karma is, the more reliable and authoritative you are on the platform. To get karma, you have to be active and interactive on the platform and upload things that will compel people to interact.
When it comes to YouTube marketing, you can find relevant subreddits on the platform and share your content on there, but don’t link-drop. Make sure you add real value with your content, because link-droppers are not tolerated on Reddit in any way, shape or form. Here are some tips for Reddit marketing:
1. Build Your Reddit Feed
Dig around on Reddit for all the subreddits that might be relevant to you. The default front page is a good place to start, but you can also go on the search bar and type in your target keyword to find more niche communities on the platform.
2. Lurk Around
Check Reddit daily and simply lurk around for a while to get the lay of the land. Watch how people interact with each other, what redditors seem to like and what they seem to dislike. Get a real sense of what type of content your communities find engaging and take notes for future reference.
3. Start Participating
Before you even upload anything onto Reddit, make sure you participate in discussions in the comment threads, upvote and downvote posts and show signs that you’re an active member. This doesn’t mean “comment 10 times a day”, but really engage and dive deep into the communities you’re part of. Show them you’re a real person with real opinions and contributions. This is crucial.
4. Share Your Original Content Consistently
Don’t link-drop. Never ever link-drop. When sharing your content, make sure you specify the value it has for the community and write a text post to accompany your video. Don’t get upset if your content doesn’t get a lot of attention at first, it’s all about perseverance and consistency when it comes to Reddit success.
Link To Your Videos Or Channel In Your Email Signature Or Forum Profile
This is very self-explanatory. Everybody participates in forums and discussion groups and everybody has an email address these days. Life is now happening mostly online, so these things make perfect sense. There are several places you can add links to your videos or your YouTube channel, such as:
- Your signature in forums like BlackHatWorld.
- Your profile on forums like “YTtalk”.
If you have a personal/business email address (which we assume you do since you have a YouTube channel linked to it), you can add a signature that will appear at the end of each email you send and you can add links in your signature to your YouTube channel or videos.
Embed Your Videos In Blog Posts (If You Have A Blog)
If you have a blog, you should definitely consider making video content for it as well as written content. This way, you can share your YouTube video links in your blog posts or even embed your videos in the blog posts for easier viewing. By creating blog content around your video topic you might enjoy additional SEO benefits in terms of organic traffic from search engine to your article. This will lead to more views, which will lead to better watch time rates. This will boost your video up the ranks on YouTube’s platform and give you even more views and subscribers. The benefits of having a blog are crystal clear.
While we can’t teach you how to write a good blog post (since it’s not what we’re here for, after all), we can give you some key pointers and guidelines for writing a good blog post that will convert readers into active viewers and subscribers:
- Write at least 500 words.
- Use supporting related keywords in your blog post that describes your video content.
- Don’t tell what your video is about precisely - tease it to your audience so they’ll want to watch it to learn more on whatever it is you were talking about in your blog post.
- Use related images and screenshots if relevant - these help readers understand that content better and demonstrates what you’re talking about in an “easy-to-digest” way.
If you don’t have a blog, you might want to start one:
To start a blog, all you need is a blogging or website building service and a web hosting service. Here are some blogging services that are free and easy to use:
- Wix - Wix is a free website building service and is very user-friendly, especially for people who don’t know how to code. It automatically comes with a mobile-optimized version of your website so you don’t have to worry about anything.
- Wordpress - Wordpress is a CMS platform used by almost a third of websites on the internet, and there’s a reason why it’s so well loved. With endless themes and builders available, this option is great for the ultimate website customization but does have a learning curve.
- Blogger - Blogger is Google’s blogging service that is easy to use and very intuitive. While you don’t get a custom URL with Bogger and you’re registered as a “sub-domain”, this option is great for beginners and will help you learn the ropes of blogging quickly and efficiently.
- Medium - Medium is an online open platform where people go to share content (blogs) and read insightful, thought-provoking and conversation starting content. You can find people from the New York Times as well as everyday regular Joes on the platform and it’s a great stepping stone into blogging without having to build a whole website on your own.
There are plenty of ways to promote your video using a blog, not just embedding your videos. You can also reach out to other bloggers (also known as “outreach”):
All you have to do is search on Google for relevant blogs and articles to your niche and content type and contact the webmasters to ask them to embed your videos in relevant blog posts. When you do contact webmasters, make sure to explain the value of your content and why they should share it with their audience.
If you didn’t get a reply, don’t fuss about it - just follow-up with an email after 72 hours to make sure your request has been seen and read. Sometimes collaboration proposals and requests get lost in an ocean of emails, so it’s best to follow up to check that you weren’t simply ignored.
YouTube playlists are pretty self-explanatory, but generally speaking, playlists are a collection of videos curated by the creator or by someone else on the platform. Playlists are great not just for increasing watch time, but also because the algorithms use and curate playlists, as well. It’s well known that YouTube’s algorithms will recommend videos that are grouped together in a playlist. Here are three key pointers for playlist optimization:
- Use keywords in your playlist title.
- Write a detailed playlist description. Just like you do in your video description, include the keywords that you want your playlist to rank for.
- Include your best videos in the beginning of the playlist. This will grab viewers’ attention and compel them to keep watching the rest of the videos.
Optimize Your Channel Page
Just like you have to know how to optimize YouTube videos, you need to know how to optimize your YouTube channel. Optimizing your YouTube channel page is crucial for your YouTube success. A lot of people don’t realize it but your channel page is the face and spokesperson for your channel. If it isn’t optimized or doesn’t look professional enough, people are more likely to click off of your channel page (and the rest of your content) and never return. That’s why channel optimization is so important when you’re promoting your YouTube channel content on the platform. To optimize your channel page, make sure to:
1. Write An Optimized Channel Description
Your channel description will appear in two main places: your channel’s “About” tab and the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) on YouTube. When you write your channel description, keep in mind the following things:
- Use keywords in your channel description just like you would use them in a video description.
- Add social media links, your website link and every other important link you can think of.
2. Fill In Your Email For Business Inquiries
This is important because you want people to be able to reach out to you off the platform - for collaborations, sponsorships or endorsements and other business proposals.
3. Create Compelling Banner Art
Your channel banner is the most visible part of your channel page when someone lands on it. It appears at the very top of the page on all devices and is your first chance to wow your audience and show them what you’re all about. Here are some tips for making your banner art:
- For the best results on all device types, use a picture size that’s 2560×1440 px in dimensions.
- The file itself has to be smaller than 4MB.
- Keep your “elements” in the center. Any image, icon, or text should be kept in the center of the image so everyone could see it clearly.
Share Your Video On Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are yet another goldmine for YouTubers.
Let’s say, for example, you have a gaming channel and you’re making content about Cyberpunk. To find an interested audience to promote your video to, all you have to do is go on Facebook and look for Cyberpunk groups to join. You can do this for every niche under the sun! Here are some key pointers to using Facebook groups to promote your channel:
1. Don’t Link Drop
We know it’s tempting to just drop your link everywhere and anywhere on Facebook groups - but you should never do that. It doesn’t only make you look spammy, it could get you banned from groups and reported. What you should do is provide real value with your own original content to these groups and build your credibility slowly. Once you’re viewed as a credible member of the group, you can start tastefully link-dropping, only when it’s relevant and called for.
2. Be Consistent
Promoting your content on Facebook is hard work. You have to be consistent on the platform and you have to give real value and participate in discussions and polls. The more consistent you are on the platform, the more authority, reputation and credibility you’re gaining. Having a good reputation and authority on Facebook will make people more inclined to click on your links, because they know you’re trustworthy and wouldn’t share lame content.
Don’t just upload your own content over and over again. Interact with other people, too! Answer questions, comment on posts, give “likes” (or any other reaction emoji) and interact. Not only will you make new friends this way, but you’ll also get a really good reputation for being friendly and helpful!
Share Your Video On Other Social Media Platforms
1. Mention Your Channel In The Bio Section
Use your bio section to inform people that you actually have a YouTube channel by including a link to direct your followers to your YouTube channel. Doing this will make it crystal clear that you have a YouTube channel that you want people to go and check out.
2. Use Relevant Hashtags When You Post Links To Your Videos
You should post a tweet whenever you upload a new video. That’s a given. However, when you do tweet, make sure you link to your video giving a short description of what your audience will find in that specific video and that you’re using relevant hashtags. Hashtags are clickable keywords that organize content. So, when you click on one hashtag, you’ll land on a Search Results Page full of tweets using that same hashtag. This will increase chances of discoverability for your tweets. Let’s check this example -
While he didn’t use relevant hashtags, Backlinko’s Brian Dean did use important keywords and provided a short description of what his video will be about. Brain Dean is a master when it comes to social media marketing and promoting his content and we highly recommend following him to get more ideas and examples of what you should be doing when promoting your videos on social media platforms!
3. Don’t Just Post Links On Your Twitter Profile - Be Diverse And Engaging
There’s nothing worse than a profile that does nothing but drop links. Twitter is such a great platform for interaction, sharing content (or “re-tweeting”) and creating original content, as well. Be interactive on the platform and post text or images in your tweets as well as links. Don’t make it about link-dropping - make it about you. Furthermore, you should engage with your audience and reply to tweets and DMs (Direct Messages) on the platform.
Instagram will let you reach a new audience as well as maintain your existing fanbase in a personal, non-formal way, and will definitely help you drive viewers to your YouTube channel. There are several “techniques” to Instagram marketing:
1. Post Content To Your Stories And To IGTV
Instagram’s algorithms are known to push stories with tagged locations, hashtags, and mentions. So, to make the most of Instagram, make sure you post countdowns, emoji “sliders”, polls, questionnaires, go live, use the “swipe up” feature (once you hit 10,000 followers), and upload teasers to your new YouTube videos with links.
2. Find Secret DM Groups To Join
DM groups are closed lists of members who post content in exclusive niches. Once you’ve joined a dm group, whenever you publish a new video, you can send a message to the group and ask the people in that group to watch your video. It might be a bit time consuming because there’s a clear give-and-take dynamic in these groups: you can’t ask people to engage with your content without engaging with theirs. However, it will help you build a strong network of fellow YouTube friends and you might find interesting content to consume through these groups and help small YouTubers rise to fame! To find these groups, simply start reaching out to YouTubers in your niche and ask to form a group or join a group (if they’re already in one).
3. “Redirect” People From Your Bio or Feed To Your Channel
Post “previews” of your YouTube videos and redirect people to your YouTube channel with a link in your bio section. For example, use: “Watch the entire video on my YouTube channel. Link in bio” whenever you upload a preview to your feed. There is a catch to this technique, though: Instagram doesn’t let you embed video links in post captions. You can, however, work around that obstacle when you update your Instagram bio with your latest video link.
4. Use Hashtags
It’s no secret that adding hashtags to your Instagram posts will increase your posts visibility on the “Discover” page. Instagram lets you use a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, so make sure you make each one of them count!
5. Engage With Your Audience
The more people engage with the content you upload to Instagram, the better the chances are that Instagram’s algorithms will promote your content. It goes both ways, though – to get people to interact with your content, you have to interact with theirs. Find YouTubers from your niche and start interacting with them – you’ll see that they’ll start interacting with you back. Just keep it real and sincere and don’t spam people asking them to interact with your content.
More than just a social media platform, Pinterest is a search engine. Successful marketing on Pinterest can drive traffic to your YouTube content and it’s fairly easy to do and not as time consuming as the other social media platforms are. Here are some pointers for Pinterest marketing:
1. Don’t Use YouTube’s Default Thumbnail As Your Pin Image
Since Pinterest is a vertical visual platform, you want your pins to be vertical as well. YouTube thumbnails, however, are horizontal. That’s why it’s best to create your own Pin graphic using Canva. Canva has templates for pins and you can create beautiful looking pin graphics.
2. Use Keywords
Search engines need keywords. To make sure your pins are discoverable, use your targeted keywords in your title, description and in your pin graphics as well.
3. Write Good Pin Descriptions
Pinterest gives you 500 characters to use before “cutting off” your pin description. That’s just about three sentences. Use that space to the maximum of your ability! Write in natural language (meaning do not keyword-stuff) and make sure to use at least 3 variations of your keyword for the best results.
4. Add Hashtags
Pinterest favors pins with hashtags because they are easier to index and find on the platform. Therefore, use hashtags at the end of your description and make them as broad as you can, yet still relevant to your content.