Collaborations are, without a doubt, one of the best ways to achieve a new subscriber milestone and get more views on YouTube. If you're trying to get more views and subscribers, whether aiming for your first 100 or your next 1,000 subscribers, collaborations can super charge your channel's activity. If you're wondering who to collaborate with, we've provided a 'how to' along with ideas.
Why are YouTube collabs so important?
Collaborating with another YouTuber means that you're sharing content across your channels or social media. Either you each appear in the same video together or you upload each other's content to your own channels. Another possibility is simply a shoutout on social media.
The collaboration can be as grand or simple as you both decide, but the end result will be that you're exposing a highly-interested audience to your content. The reason they'll be highly interested is because usually collabs happen with channels in the same genre. So you both are uploading content that will be attractive to similar audiences.
If you are a gaming YouTuber, you will likely collaborate with another gaming channel uploading videos similar to yours. Perhaps you both make Let's Plays of 3rd person shooter games. Exposing your content to a totally new audience that already loves 3rd person shooter Let's Play videos means the possibility of doubling your subscriber count with only one collab! Collab with a partner who has a similar audience to yours and you're bound for success!
How to Get More Views on YouTube Collaboration Videos :
1. Common Collab Concerns
When you're choosing who to collaborate with, it's important to choose a YouTuber who has a similar:
- Subscriber count
- Audience niche
- Video production quality
If any of these don't align with your own channel's characteristics, then a collab might not be in the cards for you two. If you do try to collaborate with a channel that's very different from your own, your audiences may have little to no interest in the content you create.
Your subscriber count doesn't necessarily need to limit you. You can try reaching out to larger channels for a collab but be sure to emphasize the strong points you bring to the table.
These are important strengths according to the YouTube Creators Academy:
- Special skills like being able to sew costumes, write music, or create cool special effects.
- Production resources like a nice camera, post production software, or other equipment.
- Unique access to interesting shooting locations, fancy cars, or interesting people.
- Broad audiences like the demographics of your YouTube subscribers, followers on other social media, or offline fans.
Not only should you be compatible with the other YouTuber, but also you need to find some common ground with their audience. If you two have audiences with nothing in common, then chances are your collab will be a flop in terms of gaining new subscribers and views.
There's a great tool for learning what kind of audience you have, and it's available from YouTube. Check out the analytical tool Build an audience to get an idea of who your audience is and their demographics.
This tool can answer important questions to help you create content targeted at a specific audience and compare your audience with your collaboration partner.
- Where your audience comes from (which countries)
- The languages most of your viewers use (based on subtitle and CC use)
- Whether your audience is mostly male or female
- The primary age range of your viewers
It happens sometimes—you end up pulling all the weight, putting in all the effort while your partner doesn't contribute much at all. This spells out failure for a collab, but the good news is it can be avoided.
To avoid a one-sided collab, you'll need to carefully communicate the goals of the collab, dividing the work equally and deciding specifically what each person will do ahead of time.
Schedule Differences - Do you need to live nearby?
A common concern many YouTubers have is how to set up a collaboration when you don't live near your partner.
So do you need to be able to meet in-person for a collab? Actually, no. The below video explains several collaboration tips, including why you don't even need to be in the same country to create great collaborations.
Watch the entire video below or click here to go directly to the time segment dealing with long-distance collab concerns.
If you've already considered and planned for the above common concerns, then you're all set to start planning an awesome YouTube collaboration. Even if you've created collab videos in the past, this guide will help you to pull off an even better viewing experience by optimizing the collaboration process with a few simple tricks.
2. Prepare Your Channel
Before you even consider setting up a collaboration, you'll want to give your channel a makeover or at least a touch-up to make sure it's looking its best for new viewers. Potential subscribers love to see a cohesive brand image. This demonstrates that you are a serious YouTuber and that they can expect regular uploads from you. So don't leave viewers wanting with sporadic thumbnails or mismatched channel art. Especially if you want to earn money from your channel, then a polished brand image is a must!
Let's take a look at popular exercise channel Blogilates below as an example of a channel that is doing everything right.
As you can see, the Blogilates channel has a matching channel banner and logo. These matching graphics work together to give potential subscribers a strong feeling of the Blogilates brand with only a moment's glance. The words "cheerful", "fun" and "light-hearted" come to mind by looking at her channel art.
There is also a trailer that explains the channel to new viewers. The video is fast-paced and short, running at just over one minute in length. This is ideal because viewers typically won't spend a lot of time watching a channel trailer fully if it is too long or it doesn't start off with a bang. Try to make a trailer that will grab viewers' from the get-go and lasts from 30 seconds to one minute.
Designing channel art that "wows"
When you are thinking of what kind of channel art you want to design, we suggest coming up with three keywords such as the ones we identified above for the Blogilates channel. Keep these words in mind at all times as you work on your design, or if you outsource the work, tell the designer your keywords as they should underpin the entire theme of the artwork. Below is another example of fantastic channel art from YouTube gamer Dynamo Gaming. Take a look and think of what three words this channel art symbolize.
We guess you probably thought of the words "cool", "professional" or "polished" when you saw the artwork above. Try to design channel art like this, that evokes a feeling in the viewer. Colors are an important consideration. Dynamo Gaming uses dark colors with a pop of orange which definitely gives viewers that cool or slick vibe. The text and graphics give the art the polished or professional appearance.
For our final example, we'll be sampling the art from the Gibi ASMR channel. This artwork is another prime example of good design because it supplies information to the viewer that is easy to see and understand. She even tells viewers her upload schedule directly in her banner - this is a fantastic idea if you are confident you can stick to a schedule!
We hope the above examples have inspired you to modify your channel to make it look attractive and polished for all the new viewers you'll be pulling in from your collaboration videos!
3. Choose Your Partner
Choosing a partner for a collaboration is probably the most important step, requiring the most consideration and time out of all of the steps in this article.
Use the below guide to narrow down your list of potential partners! If you answer the below questions, you'll be much closer to finding the perfect YouTuber for a collab. And having a highly compatible partner will increase your chances of finding a new audience that will love the content you produce!
(1) How old are they?
A collab with a huge age difference is usually not a great idea. The channel audience for a 14-year-old will be very different from the audience of a 30-year-old. So try to choose a partner who is around your own age.
(2) Are their videos the same or similar to yours?
You want to choose a partner who makes content that is at least similar to your content. If you would both describer yourselves as "beauty YouTubers", for example, then it's likely your content will have a similar theme.
(3) Is their video quality similar to yours?
This is a sticky subject, but it's important - try to collaborate with someone whose effort level is similar to yours, meaning their video quality and entertainment value are on par with your own.
You don't want to recommend a channel to your subscribers unless that YouTuber is truly putting an effort into the art of video-making!
(4) Do they upload as much as you do?
This is another important point. If you're uploading three times a week but your partner uploads rarely, then you may have some issues. Again, you want your channels to be as similar as possible to increase the chances of having audience overlap.
(5) Is their subscriber count the same or similar to yours?
We know it would be a dream to collaborate with someone who has millions and millions of followers, but it's unrealistic to think these kinds of top YouTubers will collaborate with you if your audience is significantly smaller. This is because it simply won't benefit them very much, and the point of collaborations is to be mutually beneficial and help each other grow. Reach out to YouTubers with a similar subscriber count for the best chances of finding a partner who will say "yes!"
4. Choose Your Collab Type
Not all YouTubers are aware that there is a variety of collaboration methods available to them. A collab doesn't have to only be a video where you both appear sitting side-by-side in front of the camera! Let's explore some of the options available to you for collaborating in order to open up more possibilities to collab in new, more flexible ways.
This is the first and most simple (i.e. quickest) form of collaboration. Schedule concerns are not an issue here, so this is ideal for YouTubers with time constraints.
For this method, you will organize a shoutout with a partner, which simply means making a social media post of any kind that praises your partner, leading your subscribers to their channel or to a specific video.
Below are some examples of successful shoutouts on Twitter, which is basically the most common platform for shoutouts.
*Note: You should agree on which social media platform to use ahead of time - and most likely it should be the platform where each of you has the biggest following.
Example 1 - Jenna Marbles & James Charles
Example 2 - Mykie & Philip DeFranco
The above examples demonstrate two best practices for shoutouts:
- One: They share a link to a the partner's video
- Two: They use respectful language to praise the partner ("it was such an honor...")
Try to keep the above best practices in mind when you craft a social media post for a shoutout. Don't simply share a link. Make it personal, make it professional and make sure it will leave an impression on people.
Make a video
This is the classic method of collaboration which involves making a video together, or appearing in your partner's video as a guest. It will be important for you to arrange dates and times for filming if you'll be filming together in-person, otherwise set a deadline for filming footage that you will share and compile into one video later.
*Remember: Coordinate the release of your collab video strategically (usually this means releasing them at the same time or one after another), and mention each other's channel and social media links in your video descriptions!
Create a playlist
A collaboration playlist is a fun, easy way to boost channel growth and get plenty of more views on YouTube in one step. This involves creating a playlist of your partner's videos and telling your subscribers about the playlist and why you made it.
This can be as simple as choosing a few favorite videos from your partner's channel and creating a social media post with a link to the playlist. Remember to praise your partner in the post and express that your subscribers should watch the playlist to see why these videos are your favorites!
Click here to learn how to create and manage a playlist on YouTube!
Social media takeover
A social media takeover is another popular type of YouTube collaboration. You'll simply need to find a partner on YouTube who you will allow to take over your social media account for half a day or however long you both agree on. For example, let your partner send tweets from your Twitter account for a day or give them free reign over your Snapchat!
Your followers on social media will have a lot of fun with this too! Just be sure to collaborate with someone you trust, and remember to hype up the collaboration ahead of time, telling your following about when the collab will take place so they can be sure to check your social media on that day.
5. Snag Those Subscriptions
So your channel is looking spiffy and you've settled on a collaboration type and partner. It may seem like pulling off the collaboration is all that's left, but wait! There's one more step you can take to ensure you'll benefit the most from a collaboration.
How to get new subscribers from a collab
After you've carried out the collab, whether it be posting a shoutout to Twitter or uploading the video you made with your partner, you'll want to seal the deal by bringing in as many new subscribers as possible. There are three steps you can take that are proven to motivate new viewers to hit that subscribe button.
Step 1: Connect on social media
Welcome your new viewers to your channel on social media right after your collaboration. You'll want to thank them for visiting your channel and invite them to watch more or subscribe because you have plenty more to offer them. Viewers like to be acknowledged personally, so making a social media post dedicated to all the newbies is an amazing way to show them that you noticed them and care about their involvement with your channel.
Step 2: Upload immediately
While you have new viewers' attention, you'll want to have another video ready to go and upload it ASAP. Viewers like to see that a channel is active, and they'll be much more likely to click on a video if it is a new upload. What can we say? People like that fresh content.
We advise filming and editing a video ahead of time so you can upload it shortly after you pull off a collaboration.
*Note: If you collaborated by filming a video, then we suggest making your next upload similar in some way to that collab video. If the audience loved the collab video, then they'll be happy to see another, similar upload from you. Whatever you do, don't make the next upload something totally different from the collab video!
Step 3: Ask!
This may seem silly, but trust us, this is the number one proven way to get new subscribers: Simply ask them to subscribe. This is best done at the end of a video, for example, "Thanks for watching to the end! Please like and subscribe if you enjoyed this video."
You can also ask for subscriptions on social media, but be sure not to spam your followers. Keep it short and sweet.
6. What We Learned
Hopefully you have a new understanding of how to pull off the perfect collaboration on YouTube now that you've reached the end of this article.
We learned about how to prepare your channel for new viewers, different collab options, how to choose a collab partner and, most importantly, how to transform new viewers into subscribers!
By following all of these methods, you'll be much more likely to find audience overlap with your collaboration partners, increasing your video views with ease.