In a nutshell

  • Leveraging TikTok to promote your YouTube channel involves understanding your audience, adapting video formats and cross-promoting effectively.
  • Repurposing TikTok content as YouTube Shorts can help bridge the gap between the platforms and attract viewers.
  • Consistently promoting content on both TikTok and YouTube can lead to increased growth on both platforms.

Currently, TikTok is the leading platform for short-form content, with one billion active monthly users. Content creators and even celebrities have flocked to the app to build their reach and extend their fanbase. And, as many content creators have figured out, TikTok is also a great tool for building their YouTube channels.

So, if you’re a TikToker who is trying to build a YouTube channel, read on.

How to build your channel with your TikTok

Know your audience 

The first step to building your YouTube channel from your TikTok is to know your existing audience on TikTok. Content-wise and in demographics, both platforms have differences. However, there has to be a reason(s) why your existing audience has stuck around. Figuring out what people like about you first will help you tailor those reasons to your YouTube audience.

Keep in mind that TikTok is popular for its short-form vertical format; people are there to watch short videos of new trends and challenges. Also, the app mostly caters to younger demographics. YouTube, on the other hand, caters to long-form videos and has a wider demographic. The content you make on TikTok might not be as big of a hit elsewhere. However, knowing what makes you, as a content creator, stand out on TikTok will give you a starting point on YouTube.

Add your YouTube channel to TikTok

Next, your YouTube channel needs to be visible on TikTok so your audience doesn’t have to make an effort to look you up on YouTube themselves. Here’s how to add your channel to TikTok:

  1. Visit your TikTok profile
  2. Click Edit profile
  3. Click Add YouTube to your profile
  4. Add the link to your YouTube channel

Learn the YouTube format vs. the TikTok format

Don’t make the mistake of posting TikTok videos to YouTube directly and vice versa. TikTok has a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio for its videos, while YouTube has a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio.

But you can edit your TikToks to fit the YouTube formats. There are many editing tools you can use to change the format of your TikTok videos, such as the one from ClipChamp, which you can try for free. For YouTube Shorts, you don’t have to change the aspect ratio as it is the same as the 9:16 TikTok ratio.

Repurpose your TikToks for Shorts

YouTube Shorts might not be directly comparable to TikTok in terms of user engagement and reach, but it’s still a great marketing tool for TikTokers looking to use their short-form video skills to build their YouTube channels. Nolan Molt of Think Media experimented with Shorts, and he got 1,000 subscribers in 28 days just by making effective Shorts videos. Most creators on YouTube use Shorts as a way to drive people to their channels in hopes that people will check out their longer videos.

Overall, creating Shorts is similar to making TikToks, and it even added TikTok-style features to its app. But remember that the trends and visual language on TikTok are different than those on YouTube. A reference or editing style that worked on TikTok may not work on YouTube. Both platforms have their own cultures, and it’s up to you to learn the Shorts culture.

Create exclusive YouTube content and promote it on TikTok

A major perk of TikTok is how quick it is for anyone to make a viral video. Your videos on TikTok have a higher chance of going viral, even in just a few days. So, creating exclusive YouTube content that you share clips of on TikTok is one of the best ways to promote your channel on TikTok. Think of TikTok as a place where you post clips of your videos’ most engaging segments to get people wanting to watch the rest of the video. This way, you can redirect your TikTok audience to the longer video that you made.

Make sure to always add a call to action at the end of the videos so your viewers are more compelled to check out your YouTube channel or the longer version of the videos you’re clipping.

Promote your YouTube channel by doing well on TikTok

You don’t want to forget about TikTok. The more eyes you get on TikTok, the more eyes you will get on your YouTube. Consistently posting and participating in TikTok trends and challenges gives you a higher chance of growing your channels. And don’t forget to make use of the duets and stitches features on TikTok and add viral hashtags to appear on users’ For You page.

Optimize for the YouTube Algorithm

Lastly, optimize your content for the YouTube algorithm, even if you’re reposting from TikTok. You can’t build a following on YouTube if your videos are not optimized. While both platforms use SEO for discoverability, their algorithms are different. YouTube recommends videos to users based on their history and preferences, while TikTok shows a mix of preferences and trending content. Optimize your titles, tags and descriptions on YouTube for greater discoverability.

Don’t think of the two platforms separately

Ultimately, TikTok and YouTube are two very different platforms. They share similarities but require different strategies for success. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from having both of them in your content strategy. In fact, using both platforms can help you grow both on TikTok and YouTube. It all just comes down to how you use them.