How to promote a channel on YouTube

What can you do to promote your YouTube channel, especially if your budget is tight? Prepare the channel for promotion, optimize the video, use all available free and paid promotion methods.

Keep detailed instructions and checklist at the end.

Where to get targeted traffic

Promoting a YouTube channel means making it popular with as many targeted users as possible.

Where you can get them from:

YouTube search results.
Block of related (recommended) videos on YouTube.
Section «In trend».
Video sorcerers in Yandex and Google search results.
The video is a quick response to a «zero» position in Google.
Social networks, newsletters, own sites, other YouTube channels, etc.
The work on channel promotion consists of three large blocks:

Optimization of the whole channel and every video.
Free promotion: work with engagement, posting videos on the website and in social networks, email newsletters, collaboration with channels similar in topic.
Paid promotion: advertising with bloggers and in Google Ads, pay for youtube view,  seeding in social networks.
Where to start: analyze your niche

To get started, study the videos in the TOP YouTube in your topic, note interesting features and weaknesses of competitors.

What to look for
What types of videos prevail: reviews, unboxes, interviews, video instructions.
What is the average length of videos.
Who owns the channels — companies or bloggers.
What engaging techniques are used: discussions, competitions, etc.
What is interesting in the comments. Of the questions and replies of users, one can single out undisclosed topics, wishes, suggestions.

YouTube channel promotion: step by step instructions
While no one knows for certain on what factors YouTube ranks videos, some signals of content importance have been empirically identified. It:

matching the video to the search query;
link click-through rate (CTR);
number and average duration of views;
the percentage of users who watched the video to the end;
number of subscriptions after watching a video;
activity of commentators;
the number of video sharing on social networks;
the number of video embeds on third-party resources;
the number of links to videos from external sources;
ratio of likes and dislikes;
adding a video to the Watch Later playlist;
overall channel authority — the number of popular videos, subscribers, likes.
Can these factors be influenced? Let’s try.

Stage 1. Collecting keywords
The semantic core is needed to promote a channel no less than to promote a site in search engines. Collect queries that characterize your videos. Services specially tailored for YouTube will help with this:

extension for Chrome and Firefox TubeBuddy;
extension for Chrome Clever.
Free search engine services are also quite suitable:

Keyword Planner from Google.
Wordstat from Yandex. Working with it will be facilitated by the professional tool Wordstat Parser from PromoPult.