Just as the number of followers you’ve got on Twitter or the number of fans you’ve got on Facebook can be an indicator of your popularity and success, the number of people subscribing to you on YouTube can be a good indicator of how much people enjoy watching your videos. “But wait!” you may say. “I put my heart and soul into the videos I upload to YouTube. I’m getting thousands of views but still nobody is subscribing to my channel. What gives?” We’ve put together a list of five likely reasons why nobody is subscribing to you on YouTube to help you get to the root of the problem.
You Aren’t Asking People To Subscribe
This is the obvious answer that may actually not be so obvious. If you want people to subscribe to your channel then sometimes all you have to do is ask. If you have a section in your video where you talk directly to your viewers then you can simply say, “Hey! Don’t forget to subscribe!” You can also ask your viewers to subscribe via YouTube Annotations. Annotations let you add text to your video reminding viewers to subscribe, and even links within the video where viewers can click to subscribe to your channel. You can remind people to subscribe in your video description.
We started a Social Times YouTube channel last year and for the first nine or so months never asked anyone to subscribe. As a result, we had hardly any subscribers to show for our work. At the beginning of this month I went through and added linked annotations asking viewers to ‘Subscribe!’ to our channel and we literally tripled our subscriber base in a matter of weeks. Though we still are very far from our ultimate goal, in terms of subscribers, adding annotations to our videos did wonders for us.
You Aren’t Engaging Your Viewers
Some of the most subscribed to YouTube channels are those that have strong personalities behind them—Ryan Higa, MysteryGuitarMan, Ray William Johnson, and others. People like these guys because they engage their audience. Not only do they speak directly to their viewers, but they also frequently ask them to get involved. In each episode of his bi-weekly show =3, RWJ asks his viewers a question. In the next episode he displays screenshots of some of the best answers from the comments. When you make your viewer feel engaged they are more likely to subscribe, not wanting to miss an upload.
Your Channel Is All Over The Place
One week you’re uploading videos of your cats, the next week you’re uploading a rant about politics and the next you’re sharing a video of yourself playing Call of Duty Black Ops. Unless someone is a video game playin’, cat lovin’, politician they probably aren’t going to subscribe. People subscribe because they want to see all your new videos when you upload them and if a large portion of your content doesn’t appeal to them they are going to pass.
How do you fix this problem? Just open a few different channels—one for each niche. This way you can appeal to a wider variety of subscribers. The cat lovers will subscribe to your cat channel, the gamers will subscribe to your gaming channel, and your fellow politicos will subscribe to your news and politics channel.
You Aren’t Promoting Yourself
Sometimes in order to get subscribers, all you’ve got to do is promote yourself more. If you aren’t on Twitter and Facebook promoting your videos than you need to get on that ASAP. Twitter followers and Facebook fans are often the same people as your subscribers. All of the people that you drive to your video through promotions in social networks and beyond are potential subscribers. Check out our post on 5 Great Ways to Promote Your Videos to learn more.
You’re Not Collaborating
Successful YouTubers have said, over and over again, that one of the best ways to grow your subscriber base is through collaboration. When you collaborate with other YouTubers that create and upload similar videos you gain access to their subscriber base, and vice versa. If you have the opportunity to collaborate with someone who has more subscribers than you do—take it! It could be just the thing you need to give your subscriber base a boost.
Finally, if you think you are doing all of the things on this list and you still aren’t getting people to subscribe then maybe it’s time to step back and take a look at what you’re doing. There is, unfortunately, always a possibility that nobody is subscribing because your content simply isn’t worthwhile. Ask a few people you know to watch your videos and be brutally honest with you. If they don’t like your videos, they may have some advice about how you can improve your videos to appeal to your viewers.
If you’ve got any other ideas of why people may not be subscribing to someone on YouTube feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.