7 Ideas to Build a YouTube Audience (And Get More Engagement)

Ready to attract more subscribers, views, and likes on YouTube? Do you want to learn to build a YouTube audience that is truly valuable?


Today you’ll learn seven crucial tips on how to successfully promote, share, and grow your video to build a YouTube audience that thrives.

Tip 1: Build a YouTube audience with trust – make helpful content

When you make a YouTube video, be sure that it is helpful to your audience so you can build a genuine relationship.

You want them to trust that you deliver good content and that you respect their time. As opposed to insulting their intelligence with click-bait, aim to create solid, valuable pieces that are worthwhile for your audience to watch and share.

Once you’ve proven your YouTube channel’s quality, people will be much more likely to come back to see what’s new.

Finding the right video topics are key to making helpful content “Think of the problems that your audience is having,” explains Nick Nimmin, YouTube content creator/coach, “and make how-to content that’s gonna be a doorway to pull those people in and introduce them to your content.”

On YouTube, the most popular video formats include:

  • How-to/tutorials
  • Product reviews
  • Vlogs
  • Educational
  • Q&A

By building trust, you’ll be able to build a YouTube audience that relies on you for answers to their problems (as opposed to just another sales pitch), and they’ll love you for that.

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Tip 2: Build your YouTube audience with content exclusivity

Beyond making great videos that set you apart from other YouTube channels, make sure your audience knows it.  Make sure they know how your content is different, better, and maybe a little bit exclusive.

  • Create some FOMO (fear of missing out) if they don’t watch. Brian Fanzo, expert video creator, and keynote speaker, explains that while ‘telling’ people to watch a video doesn’t often work, leading with new content makes people want to get involved. He explains: “There’s a little of that, ‘Well, if I’m not participating in that, now I want to be a part of it.’”
  • Release videos to a select group…at first. Release ‘early access’ to videos from your website or email newsletter, so subscribers have first dibs. Video consultant and YouTuber Owen Video suggests, “When we publish a new video, it’s unlisted for a day. Which means that the public can’t find it, but you can send the link out to people.”  After that, release to everyone else via social media. Your inner circle YouTube audience will love being the first ones to see your new content, and they’re rewarded for subscribing to your newsletter.
sean cannell headshot

Video creator Sean Cannell explains the benefit of holding back a few details. “If you wanna grab someone’s attention, don’t state what you’re fully gonna tell somebody. Put a little mystery in there so they can keep watching….”

Tip 3: Provide important context to each video

Clearly state what your video is about, up front. The more specific, the better. Doing this respects your viewers’ time (again, building trust!) and encourages them to click on more of your videos. Provide context in the:

  • Title (what is the main topic of your video, or what problem does it solve?)
  • Description (if this is a tutorial video, which software version does this address, specifically?)
  • Webpage text (what else does the audience need to know before deciding if they want to click on this video?)
  • Video thumbnail (What can you include in the thumbnail image that will clarify what the video is about?)
  • First ten seconds of the video – If possible, let people know the main points, so they are encouraged to keep watching the entire thing.

If your video has distinct topic sections, you can share this list as context, so viewers can jump to the topic that most interests them.

Tip 4: Be consistent to build an audience on YouTube

While your content should vary, your publishing cadence should be predictable. It’s important as a YouTube creator to stick with a consistent publishing schedule for your video content. This lets your YouTube audience know when to look for your content, and they can anticipate what’s coming next. Be consistent about:

  • When you publish –  For example, put out a new YouTube video every Wednesday, and your audience will come to expect it.
  • Type of content you publish – If you’re a skateboarding expert, don’t suddenly share videos about trees.
  • Where you publish – Promote your new videos in the same methods, such as your email newsletter, website, social media, etc.
  • Interactions with viewers – Responding to video comments is a great way to build engagement.

Chris Kardos, Social Media Manager at Convince and Convert, supports the importance of consistency:“[K]eep at it, because consistency helps reach, it increases your chances of gaining someone’s interest.”

Tip 5: Test your content

Take the time to verify that your content is working with your YouTube audience.  Is it really what they want? Is it helping them? Is it interesting and/or entertaining enough for them to keep watching more?

Take a good look at what other successful video creators are doing regarding how they promote their content. Also, review performance metrics from your own YouTube library. Compare your own videos’ performance to see what’s getting the best results.

  • Title – Are some titles performing better than others?
  • Thumbnail – Are there clear winners that engage viewers?
  • Video length – What’s the attention span of your audience?
  • Video context – What info do you need to include (and what is too much)?
  • The first 15 seconds – What format keeps viewers watching?
  • Video type – Which approach attracts the most engagement – talking head, first-person view, man-on-the-street, etc.?
  • Upload time and location – Does your audience view videos 9-5 Monday through Friday, or a different time frame?

Tip 6: Get help and collaborate to build a YouTube audience

Even if you create content solo, you don’t have to promote videos by yourself.

  • Leverage your current circle. Share your new video with your email list, spread the word with employees at your company, and ask your friends to check it out.  You can even incentivize sharing (just make sure you know influencer disclosure laws).
  • Get help through a course or other YouTubers. There are likely people in your organization who have some experience in building a YouTube audience, who could help you get started. Or, try an online course. TechSmith’s free TechSmith Academy is one option to try.
  • Collaborate with other creators. This works even if they’re targeting the same topics as you. In addition to cross-promoting each other’s content, you can also appear in videos together, and other types of co-branding. You’ll gain access to people who may not have found you otherwise.

Tip 7: Make your videos show up in search results

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to building a YouTube audience. Since YouTube is owned by Google  – and these two platforms are the biggest search engines – it’s largely how people find your videos, and how you can grow your reach.

  • Be specific. “The more specific you are, the more searchable you are,” explains YouTuber Andrew Kan. Skip the broad search terms. Instead, choose specific topics in your niche and make sure your titles and descriptions reflect that.
  • Lead with solutions. Instead of a glorified sales pitch, proactively answers viewers’ questions. Give them more value than they expect, and they’ll be more inclined to ‘like’, subscribe, and share your content, making it more findable.
  • Offer value in the title, description, and thumbnail.  Make sure your video’s title, description, and associated content clearly show the viewer why they should click, watch, and come back for more.

Creating videos on YouTube is key to your video marketing and content marketing efforts. And building a thriving YouTube audience goes far beyond just posting videos. We hope these tips are helpful as you continue to build your personal brand and grow your video online presence.

Learn more about creating engaging videos from start to finish in the free TechSmith Academy.

Dayna Christians

Marketing Content Strategist at TechSmith. I love photography, web design, and baby giraffes, not in that order.

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