How to Promote Your YouTube Channel and Videos

by cazort

A long and diverse list of ways to market or promote your YouTube channel and videos, containing both conventional and innovative ideas.

Most people on YouTube would like to attract more attention for their videos, including more views for each video, greater engagement, and increasing their base of subscribers.

Here you will find a long and diverse list of methods and ideas for promoting your YouTube channel and videos. Skip over the methods you are already familiar with, to find new ideas!

I not only have a YouTube channel, but I also am an experienced web marketer, having worked for five years or so marketing my social website RateTea, and having been publishing online since the earliest days of the web.

This page starts with the methods I have found most useful--but if you skip to the end there is key advice about quantity and quality that I recommend everyone to read.

Facebook (Personal Sharing, Not Pages)

The single most effective tool I've found for sharing my videos; I recommend sharing your videos as links. Sharing on your personal wall may be more beneficial than creating a page.

Facebook is one of the most effective social networks to share videos on.  You can share videos by uploading them directly to Facebook, but if you're looking at building a YouTube channel, I do not recommend doing this, and instead recommend sharing your videos as a link.  This sends people to your page on YouTube, helping to up your number of views (and your earnings if you display ads).

One of the best things about Facebook, in my opinion, is that it facilitates and encourages discussion on the video.  One downside of this, however, is that the discussion is likely to stay on Facebook, and not be displayed as comments on your video (unlike with Google+).

One thing I recommend, is that if someone posts a particularly insightful or thought-provoking comment on Facebook in response to a video of yours, you can message that person in private, telling them how much the comment meant to you, and asking them if they'd like to share it on the YouTube video so more people can read their comment.

Facebook Pages: Facebook heavily promotes their "page" feature, and I see people creating pages left and right.  Having managed four pages of my own, including three of my own pages and one shared page, I think pages take a great deal of energy and resources relative to what they yield.  Unless you are running a dedicated business associated with your videos, or have a large enough subscription / fan base that you want to separate your Facebook activity associated with your videos from your personal account, I recommend just sharing videos on your personal Facebook account, and not bothering with a page.

Do you have a YouTube channel?

Send Specific Videos to Specific Friends and Contacts

Reach out to people personally, with an individual message, by email, facebook, or other methods. Tell people why the video is important to you and ask for feedback.

With publishing videos on YouTube, each video view is worth much more than a pageview of a written webpage.  This is because watching a video is an investment of time.  People are usually much more selective about videos they watch than they are about articles they read.

The ad payout rate also reflects this.  In web publishing, a click-through-rate of 2% is considered good, and rates as low as 0.5% or lower are common.  On YouTube, it's not that hard to get click-through-rates of 9-12%.  Similarly, while it is considered quite good to get payouts of more than $4 for every 1000 pageviews on a website, if you have 1000 video views, you will be likely to see payouts closer to $25.

What this means is that contacting individual people is a much more worthwhile marketing technique with videos than written webpages.  Also, because videos tend to carry more weight, if someone is really excited by your video, they will be much more likely to share it.  Each person counts!

Embed Videos in Websites or Blog Posts

Picking a relevant, high-traffic page in which to embed a videa can produce a synergy, adding value to and enhancing the page while boosting the video's views.

Embedding videos in websites can be a great way to get more sustained, long-term views, as well as improving or adding value to the page where you are embedding the video.

The best pages on which to embed videos are ones that get sustained traffic over time, and where you have a video that adds something to the page that is not as easily communicated with words alone.  But even if you have a relatively straightforward video, like one of you or someone talking, such a video can still enhance the page and synergize with it.

Places you can embed videos include websites you own and control, blogs, self-publishing sites like Wizzley (and similar sites like Squidoo or HubPages), and even some forums.

This screenshot shows how to embed videos: click "Share" under the video, and then in the second navbar, click "Embed" to get copy-and-paste code.
Screenshot of YouTube's Embed Feature
Screenshot of YouTube's Embed Feature

Share in a Relevant Subreddit That You Are Active In

Don't ever mindlessly post on reddit, or you can be labelled a spammer. But if you are active in a subreddit and follow its rules, reddit can be a great marketing tool!

Reddit can be a great place to promote YouTube videos, depending on their subject material.  If you are going to share your videos on Reddit, I recommend following the following steps, many of which boil down to what is called "Reddiquette":

  • Only share high-quality videos - Don't waste people's time as this can get you labelled as a spammer.
  • Pick the most related subreddit that allows videos to be posted - Start with the most relevant subreddit.  If it is very well-received, you can consider cross posting it it to other subreddits as well.
  • Read and follow the subreddit rules - Some subreddits encourage link posts, others discourage or even ban them.  Often videos are explicitly banned (or allowed).  Some subreddits allow you to make a text post in which you can share a link.
  • Participate actively in the subreddit before sharing a video - I recommend sharing 9 items and building up a positive reputation in that subreddit before you share any of your own material.

Following these steps can be a lot of work, but it can be worth it.  If you share a video in even a moderate-traffic subreddit, and it gets upvoted even a few times, you can find yourself with hundreds of views in a short period of time.  There is also a slim, but possible chance that your video may hit it big, making it onto the front page of Reddit, which can get you huge visibility and make it likely that your video will go viral.


Easy to share on, especially good for sharing videos related to an existing and active fandom on Tumblr.

Tumblr is one of the best social networks to share videos on, especially for people who have a relatively small subscriber base.  This is because when you share a video on Tumblr and tag it, it will show up in the tag pages for all users on the site, when they scroll or search these tags, for the first five tags you use.

The best videos to share on Tumblr are those related to an active fandom where there is a large base of people scrolling the tag, but because sharing on Tumblr is so easy, it's worth sharing any videos you make there.

If you don't already have a Tumblr, it is quick and easy to create one, and use it just to post your videos, but I recommend putting a little bit more effort in, setting up your blog, and posting more than just your own videos.  This will make it more likely that you will be taken seriously by users of the site.

Probably even more important than sharing your videos on Tumblr, is to make your videos easily accessible from your Tumblr blog.  I recommend:

  • Put a link to your channel in your blog's sidebar or header
  • Add a specific tag to your videos (I use "myvideos"); I recommend adding it as the sixth tag; the first five tags show up in tag pages side-wide, but additional ones do not so they are good to use for internal indexing.  Then add a link to this tag page on your blog's sidebar or header.

If you do this, just being active on Tumblr, especially engaging with material and topics related to your videos, can be a great way of promoting your channel.  Tumblr is very time-sensitive, so even if you make videos on a wide range of different topics, being active on Tumblr in those topics shortly before and after you share a video on those topics can make it more likely people will view and engage with your videos--because you'll be engaging with other users who care about the same topic, and they'll be coming to your blog, curious about what other material you post.

A page if you're interested in learning more about Tumblr as a blogging platform.
Pros and cons of Tumblr as a blogging platform; comparisons to Wordpress, Blogspot, and Other blogging platforms.


YouTube's commenting system is integrated with Google+, making it one of the best places to share YouTube videos, even if it doesn't attract the largest number of views.

Google+ is one of the best networks on which to share videos because of its integration with the YouTube comment system: Google+ comments will appear on the YouTube video itself, along with comments left directly on YouTube.

Google+ also uses hashtags, which can make it beneficial to share videos there even if you have little or no following; I recommend adding the three most relevant tags you can come up with.  Use the built-in autocomplete feature when adding tags so that you select a tag that is in active use.

On Google+, you can also create a new dedicated page and profile for each YouTube channel you want to create.  You can then network with this profile, although a few of your features are limited (nowhere near as much as with Facebook pages).  This feature is very handy.


Not great for sharing videos unless your follower count is huge, but good for networking with or getting the attention of specific people.

In my opinion, Twitter is not the best place to dump-and-run sharing of videos: in my experience, I get less video views from shares on Twitter than I do on any of the other major social networks, including Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr.

But Twitter can be a good way to get the attention of a specific person, if you want someone in particular to watch a video of yours.  You can use @-messaging to draw attention to your video with one or two key people.  I recommend using this sort of promotion very sparingly, so that you do not come across as a spammer.  But this method can be a quick and very effective way to reach people who might otherwise be challenging to catch the attention of.

Networking With Other YouTube Users

Comment on related videos when you feel inspired; message other users, and consider creating response videos to create dialogue.

Leaving comments on other YouTube videos can help you to gain more visibility for your channel and videos.  However, I do not recommend ever commenting just for the sake of self-promotion, as these comments are likely to strike others as insincere and get you labelled as a spammer.  Find videos that you like and that you find thought-provoking or inspirational, ones that make you feel genuinely inspired to comment, and then add comments that are sincere and meaningful.

YouTube also allows you to message other users.  This can be particularly useful to engage in conversation with other users.

Creating and sharing response videos can also be a good way to get some additional attention for your videos, by attracting interest from the viewers of another, more well-established channel, as well as getting the attention of the channel owner.  Although YouTube disabled the video response feature that was built into their site, nothing stops you from making a video response, naming it as such, and sharing it in a link in a comment on the video that you are responding to.  Although sharing links to your own videos in comments can be frowned upon as a spamming technique, in the case of response videos it is usually viewed more sincerely, both because of YouTube removing the built-in response feature, and because it is clear you have put effort into responding to a specific video.

Keyword Research: YouTube and Google

Use YouTube's autocomplete feature in the search box as a guide to come up with good video titles; check search results to see how competitive various searches are.

Keyword research, and careful choice of the titles of your video, can be critical in attracting views to your view from YouTube's internal traffic, including YouTube search and recommendations.  It can also attract external traffic, from Google searches and other web search.

I won't cover much about keyword research, as it is a subject in and of itself, but just a quick recommendation: when you're thinking about what to name your video, think about things that someone might be tempted to type into the YouTube search box.  Then start typing a word or phrase, and see what autocomplete gives you.  Lastly, complete the search and look at what results show up.

This sort of quick scan can give you a sense both of what titles would be a good choice, and of how competitive these keywords will be -- i.e. how hard it will be for you to rank in the top few videos returned with these search results.

Quality and Quantity

High-quality videos will amplify any promotion you do of them, possibly even making videos go viral. Publishing more videos makes it more likely that you will hit it big, but also gives you practice, improving your skill at video making.

As a concluding piece of advice, I want to say that your best marketing tool is to have good videos and your best way to get good videos is to make lots of videos.

It's obvious that good videos will help you.  If people enjoy your videos, they'll thumbs-up them, which will make them more likely to be shown to more users on YouTube, and they'll reshare, retweet, reblog, like, or favorite posts about them on various social media sites, which will send more viewers to your videos.

Focusing too much on promotion can be a bad idea...I recommend focusing at all times, first and foremost, on making videos.  Once you have a video, share it through the means I described above...but if you're thinking in the long-term about how to build your subscriber base or boost your number of views, I think the best way is to keep making new videos, and keep making them get better.

What is less obvious to some people is that one of the best ways to make your videos get better is to keep making videos.  Don't worry if you don't feel like they're great.  Keep going and they'll get better.

Good luck!

Look at how much my videos improved (both in terms of my comfort level, filming quality, and editing quality) between my first video (left) and my seventh video (right). Yeah, I know I look like Hank Green; that is not intentional but it is amusing.
Look how bad this first video is...yet Hank Green became ridiculously popular and this video went on to get over 400,000 views. This may be because Hank and John kept publishing videos continually, so they got really good at it.

Did you find this page helpful?

Not Making Videos Yet? Want To Get Started?

If you haven't gotten started publishing videos on YouTube yet, check out this tutorial to help you get started.
Things you need in order to get started on YouTube: recommendations of recording equipment, movie editing software, and helpful online tools.
Updated: 03/04/2015, cazort
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cazort on 10/03/2014

Thank you!

Treathyl Fox on 08/19/2014

Excellent tips! Shared to my G+ business Page.

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