Audiences - Guide to Growing an Audience on YouTube


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Jan 24, 2019
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Audiences - Guide to Growing an Audience on YouTube

In this guide, I’m going to give you a bird’s eye view of YouTube audiences and explain how and why “YouTubers” become popular and how you can achieve the same success.

Fun fact - Youtube is the only platform creators (non businesses) can make their own living on

Part One - Understanding Value

First let’s understand why people are on YouTube. YouTube’s primary competitor is not other video sharing sites, it’s mainstream television. Instead of watching TV shows or movies, people can watch content based on similar interests. The content is either “Informative”, “Entertaining” or a mixture of both. We’ve never had that ability before to watch tailored entertainment based on our own interests, believe it or not.

In Television, we have options of different channels like “Cooking”, “News” or “Sports.” As a society we have expectations of those TV channels which are maintained by media companies. If you think about the content of these various channels, the format of the content essentially remains the same, as a youtubers videos also should.

Internet audiences usually are formed by common experiences or desires.
Nintendo fans watch content of commentary on their favorite games.
Parents let children watch content on YouTube to accelerate their learning (especially since its free)
People seeking motivational videos
People seeking to become a better person, find a better relationship will find “Improvement” style channels
People who have a specific problem (can’t pass a level in a video game, can’t fall asleep)
Young girls seeking entertainment

A YouTuber can’t change the size of a potential audience, they simply tap into the potential of that audience. The bigger the niche, the more potential for long term growth.

Niche Differences

Now that you understand how niches are formed, your content will be dedicated towards a specific one.

Niches vary in their size and how competitive they are. It’s no secret that pre-teens and teenagers are easier to engage because they spend more time on social media and have less judgment. It’s far more difficult to persuade busy adults to consistently watch your videos. This only means it will be more difficult to retain an adult audience.

Large niches: Beauty, Gaming, Self Improvement, Life Hacks, Childrens Videos, Pop Culture Commentary

Difficult niches: Language learning, Vlogging, Business, Education, Tech

Supply and Demand

Everyone wants to be this "Lifestyle" or Vlogger YouTube, but who wants to make videos dedicated solely to young girls? Even with the huge supply and vloggers, the demand to watch someone without an established brand to vlog isn't very high. Many vloggers started out providing value in a niche like beauty or

Research your Audience

Research channels in your niche. Find out what really makes people who watch your type of content tick. Look at other popular channels, what videos are most popular, what kind of titles and thumbnail practices they are using and take notes. For example I will talk about a game called CSGO..
In CSGO, there is a technique called "Bunny hopping" which allows you to jump fast around the map. There are also a lot of cheaters in the game. By making certain titles (which have no effect on the video) like
"How to Get Away with Aimbotting"
"Bhop Speed Hack"

Titles that are basically pretending the youtuber is cheating, are titles which the CSGO audience responded very well to. Using certain specific techniques that resonate with an audience, can increase your engagement, views and channel tremendously. Titles change the perceived value, not the actual value, which is why they can increase your click through rate, but not your watch time.

Part Two - The Beginning

Based on the type of content you make, and the quality, the appeal will differ. As a beginning channel, you have no exposure, no brand awareness and nobody is invested into you.

Now you need to make this content for your niche. As long as you make consistent content, all of your videos should have an appeal to the average subscriber on your channel. Each video is made with them in mind. For example "I talk Fortnite" makes commentary videos about issues in Fortnite. Given that you care about the game, and given that he talks about relevant things in the community. You could watch every video and still get some value from it as a viewer.

The format of your content has to be consistent. For example if you make Top 5 list videos, stick to those, instead of doing gameplay videos or vice versa. This helps to solidify your audience so they know what to expect and will keep them engaged.

Think of it this way, you are raising a child by focusing strictly on their needs and their demands. But once that child is grown (you become successful or famous) everything switches and people care much more about your brand. Your child is your niche, and you need to make the best possible videos for it to grow.

Let’s say you make “Family Vlog” content. A niche I’ve seen popularized by The Ace Family. Let’s look at how their channel started. Every niche has different ways to engage an audience

The Ace Family started out primary doing entertaining pranks and interesting challenges

They used to make “Prank” and “Challenge” videos back when they were popular. Many people were browsing Prank and Challenge type of videos, so this gave the channel more exposure in the beginning.
These types of videos were interesting and fun to watch! They weren’t just random videos, or videos about their family. They started by focusing on interesting and fun video ideas, and that’s how they initially grew. Channels always start by providing value, then they change once the audience starts to identify and care about their brand.

If they just did videos about their family in the beginning, it’s likely their channel wouldn’t have taken off.

Part Three - Niche Optimization

Regardless of your channel, your videos are meant for a specific audience. Does your persona and brand match that audience? Natural leaders are people who are able to empathize and represent the people in their community. YouTube is the same way.

I’ll make an example so you can understand this better. CookieSwirlC is a female youtuber who makes videos for young girls. In her videos, she acts and talks in a way that these young girls can understand, and empathize with.

Her brand, content, video ideas, behavior is all tailored to that specific audience. She plays games like Roblox and does toy skit videos.

A lot of people want to do personal vlogs for example. The problem with this is you don’t engage an initial audience, your channel will never grow. YouTube follows the audience. This is why popular channels can make “general” content of their lives in some cases, but you can’t. They have an established audience, you don’t. This is probably the second biggest trap youtubers fall into (the first being their content is not consistent).

Part Four - Leverage

The way you make your content is important. For example, you are a youtuber with a low budget. You need to think of creative ways to make better content. For the Ace Family, they had a stuffed bear, so they used it in one of their pranks. This is especially true if you are making real life content. If you are a travel vlog channel, make a “Things to Do in (Place)”, and go to the most iconic and interesting places. Use your time wisely and make these videos valuable for real people. They are spending their time watching your video.

If one of your videos “blows up” make more of those type of videos. As a small channel, reply to comments and nurture your initial following as much as you can.

If gaming videos are boring, try spicing up the titles. Think of the little things in your content that could make a big difference. I,e Video editing, tone of voice, audio quality

Part Five - Be Trendy

Capture an audience by relating to them. If you are a commentary youtuber, talk about things which are popular in your audience. If you're a travel vlogger, go to popular destinations and review them! For example, Scrubby is a young male youtuber who makes edgy commentaries for a Gen Z audience. One of his popular videos was talking about how a kid on Dr. Phil was addicted to Fortnite. That's something that really resonated with his audience, do the same to yours.

Focus on your audience, make tailored videos that will help or entertain them. Grow an audience first. Most people miss this step, they don't clearly define the type of people who watch their videos and why.

Part Six - Alternative Media

A very popular side of YouTube is what I would call "Alternative Media."

Video Essays - These offer a look into things in our society that we care about. Example "Dexter's Laboratory - What went wrong"

Interviews and Shows - Media companies that are not part of TV but operate on YouTube as an alternative source of entertainment. Example: Jubilee, NoJumper

Make your Channel Statement
"As a loyal Nintendo Fan, I make commentaries about popular Nintendo games and provide news and updates that Nintendo fans care about."

Once your channel gets as specific as that, then you can start building an audience. It's really as simple as making content that your niche audience is values the most.

Why limit your content so much? Because this leads to low engagement and YouTube won't promote your content. Doing high quality niche content is what YouTube rewards.
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Staff member
Sep 5, 2013
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Moved to the tutorials section. :)


Posting Mad!
May 11, 2018
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Really well explained and summarised! I agree with pretty much of it and a lot of basic stuff that people don't really pay attention to!
Thanks for sharing
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