When you’re uncertain about how to grow your channel any further, collaborations might just be the solution. Instead of competing against fellow YouTubers, partner with them for a win-win strategy sure to grow your channel’s reach and subscribers.
Growing your YouTube channel can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. While pushing a cart. With an elephant in it. You’ve already tried many suggested growth tactics, including posting on the days your audience tends to watch more video content and creating catchy thumbnails they can’t resist clicking. Despite your efforts, your channel’s subscribers and growth have plateaued, and you don’t know what to do next.
The answer may be simpler than you realize: create collaboration videos.
Collaborations are one of, if not the most effective way to increase your channel’s subscribers and can bring new eyes to your brand by reaching untapped audiences. Tim Schmoyer, founder of YouTube training site videocreators.com, says of collaborations, “If you do them well and do them right, they can be the fastest way to grow a YouTube channel, hands-down.”
Why Collaborations Are So Effective
Schmoyer believes the number one reason collaborations are important is that they can be the foundation for long-lasting relationships with other creators. “To me, that has been by far the most valuable thing of any collaboration,” Schmoyer explained. He said while exposure is always good, you never know what bigger projects or opportunities might develop down the road from a friendship that started from a collaboration video.
When your channel and brand are exposed to a wider audience, you’re more likely to acquire new subscribers.
Another reason collaboration is a powerful channel growth strategy is its promise of exposure. “The idea is that you get to appear in front of someone else’s audience, and it’s a group of people who are already active on YouTube, actively subscribing and watching channels and so you get to appear in front of that audience,” explains Schmoyer. “If they like it, they go and check you out.”
When your channel and brand are exposed to a wider audience, you’re also far more likely to acquire new subscribers and build your fan base. And this benefit goes both ways; part of the beauty of collaborating is that it can help all creators by sharing subscriber bases and in turn growing each channel involved in the video.
“The one great thing that YouTube does that the major industry doesn’t do is the ‘rising tide lifts up all boats’ ecosystem, which is what we’re fostering here on YouTube,” said musician and YouTube creator Peter Hollens, who has collaborated with creators like Lindsey Stirling, Mike Tompkins and Sam Tsui.
Another reason to collaborate is that it can make your channel have more depth. If you approach a collaboration with the intention of providing value to your partner’s channel, they will likely return the favor and provide your subscribers with information or content they’ve not seen before. Channels thrive when collaborators both complement and supplement each other’s content.
The Main Objection to Collaborations
If creating collaboration videos with other creators is such a great way of growing your channel and expanding its reach, why don’t more creators seem to team up to create new content?
The truth is many creators view their peers as competition. Instead of seeing all the opportunities by partnering with others, these wary video creators can only see collaborations as a threat to their channel, their brand and their audience. They believe other creators and their media empires are something to challenge, not promote.
If you haven’t Utilized collaboration as a growth strategy yet, don’t wait.
But this mindset is incorrect. When you partner with another video creator, you have the opportunity to not only create new content with a like-minded individual, but also place your channel in front of new audiences who may then click that important subscribe button. Few other YouTube channel growth strategies can claim this same return on investment and time.
Examples of Well-Executed Collaborations
Fortunately for you, thousands of collaboration videos exist to study and learn from. Hollens notes collaboration videos are “rampant” across musicians’ channels on YouTube, but if your channel is not primarily focused on melodies, here are some other examples of well-executed collaborations to check out:
These two YouTube stars teamed up to film a heart-pounding rope swing through a canyon. Each creator provided their own take on the event, with Devinsupertramp showing off his signature action-inspired shots and Shaycarl providing a behind-the-scenes clip so audiences of both channels would see something new in each video.
Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein appeared in a video on Wong’s RocketJump channel to help explain the power of visual effects editing. Meanwhile, Wong cooked up a delicious breakfast burrito with his brother in a cross-promotion video for Morenstein’s channel.
This same video appears on both creators’ channels, and the collaboration turned out to be very beneficial for Hollens. “Lindsey opened up her entire audience to my work… and it was an enormous turning point in both my life and career,” he said, noting his subscriber base quadrupled from 25,000 to 100,000 subscribers over the next three months. “But most importantly it was what that collaboration taught me: that seeing my peers as collaborators and not competition was the name of the game.”
If you haven’t utilized collaboration as a growth strategy on your channel yet, don’t wait. You can start by taking YouTube’s official lesson on collaboration, or by purchasing Schmoyer’s course on accelerating your channel growth.
The sooner you view fellow YouTube creators as collaborators instead of competition, the sooner you’ll start to see measurable growth on your channel.
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