The Psychology Behind Attracting More YouTube Subscribers

Everyone wants more. More followers. More money. More friends. More food. More everything. And if you have a YouTube channel, you want more subscribers.

What’s the key to attracting more YouTube subscribers? Is it better videos? A more expensive camera? Better audio quality? Funnier, more engaging content? Running a constant stream of ads to direct people to your channel? Or is it all of the above?

If you’re trying to figure out how to increase YouTube subscribers—either to build brand awareness, drive sales for your company or get rich and famous—we’ll show you the psychology behind how to bring in more subscribers so your business can thrive.

Understanding Human Nature

The psychology behind attracting more YouTube viewers and subscribers involves understanding human behavior. What motivates people? What are the most effective strategies for engaging and retaining an audience? It all starts with a thorough understanding of human nature.

One of the most successful advertising executives of the 20th century, Bill Bernbach, once said,

“Human nature hasn’t changed for a million years. It won’t even change in the next million years. Only the superficial things have changed. It is fashionable to talk about the changing man. A communicator must be concerned with the unchanging man—what compulsions drive him, what instincts dominate his every action, even though his language too often camouflages what really motivates him.”

Bill was right. And understanding the reality of human nature—that the core elements don’t really change—can be a great foundation for how to create content that resonates with people. And resonates with all kinds of people, not just your target audience.

Most people are essentially attracted to the same kinds of things. This is why advertising experts use the same tactics over and over again on people. Because they work! People respond to similar advertising cues and are all looking to save money, save time, improve their appearance, lose weight, etc.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? If not, no problem. We’ll explain it along with how it ties into building up a successful YouTube channel.

Here is how the website Simply Psychology describes it:

“Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to higher needs.”

Think about it. Which problems are you solving for your customers? Which needs are you tapping into? Which core desires?

All of this might feel a little too esoteric, but pulling back and looking at the bigger picture of what really motivates people can be super helpful in finding out how to attract more people to your YouTube channel.

Everything can’t be solved by buying a more expensive camera, improving your audio quality or simply running more effective ads. Sometimes to really be successful you have to step back and think about what people really want.

For instance, if you’re selling a home security system, you’re not just selling a fancy, technologically advanced all-in-one security system. You’re selling peace of mind. If we’re looking at the hierarchy of needs, you’re selling “safety.” The need all humans have for shelter and a safe place to lay their head at night after a long day at work. This is especially true for parents with children or beloved dogs. They want to feel protected and safe knowing their children are being looked out for with the latest technology.

A Few More Tips

Okay, now that we’ve dug into some of the psychology behind advertising and online marketing, let’s look at a few other ways you can tap into people’s inner needs to build up your YouTube channel.

Here are some key psychological factors that can influence subscriber growth on YouTube:

1. Content Relevance and Value

People are more likely to subscribe to a YouTube channel if the content aligns with their interests, needs or desires. This might seem like an obvious thing, but many companies or content creators don’t actually stop and think about whether their content is meeting people’s needs. Creating high-quality, informative, entertaining and inspiring content that connects with your target audience will lead to more subscribers in the long run.

2. Consistency and Predictability

Consistent posting schedules and delivering content in a predictable manner will help people know what to expect from your channel. This can establish trust and build a loyal subscriber base. When viewers know what’s coming from your channel in a predictable and clear way, they are more likely to subscribe and keep coming back for more.

3. Emotional Connection

Emotional Connection

Emotional engagement is a big part of attracting subscribers. Are your videos flat emotionally? Do they tell a story, even if it’s just inside a short 5-minute video? Human beings are emotional creatures. Content that brings about positive emotions such as joy, humor, inspiration or empathy will resonate a lot more with viewers than content that is bland emotionally or just sticks to the facts. Build a personal connection with your audience by using relatable stories, authentic communication.

4. Social Proof

People are much more influenced by the actions of others than most like to admit. This is why testimonials are so common in commercials and on the web. When potential subscribers see that a YouTube channel has a large subscriber base, they are more likely to perceive it as popular, trustworthy or valuable. This will lead them to want to be part of the action and subscribe to it or give it a follow. Success breeds more success. Encouraging social proof through displaying subscriber counts, highlighting positive comments or showcasing testimonials can help you attract more YouTube subscribers.

5. Call-to-Action and Reminders

Use clear and convincing calls-to-action throughout your videos to prompt viewers to subscribe. Ask viewers to subscribe, like, comment or share your content, and emphasize the benefits they’ll gain by becoming a subscriber. You can also remind viewers to subscribe in your video descriptions, end screens, or during the video itself to reinforce the action you want them to take. You might initially be uncomfortable selling your channel too much, but you might be surprised how much of a difference it makes by providing a clear “ask” in your videos.

6. Engagement

Actively engage with your audience to build community and increase subscriber growth. Respond to comments, ask questions, do polls, or host live streams to encourage viewers to interact with your content and feel like they are part of a larger community. This is an easy way to lean on the power of psychology to build up your subscriber list.

7. Visual Appeal and Thumbnails

Don’t forget the overall look of your YouTube channel and the thumbnails you’re using on your page. How things look makes a huge difference! The visual aspects of your YouTube channel play a big role in capturing viewers’ attention and encouraging them to click. Optimize your video thumbnails with attention-grabbing images, compelling titles and clear branding to increase the likelihood of attracting new viewers.

8. Collaboration and cross-promotion

Don’t be afraid to collaborate with other YouTubers or influencers in your niche who can expose your channel to new audiences. Cross-promoting each other’s content through shout-outs, guest appearances, or collaborations can create a mutually beneficial relationship that helps attract subscribers for both channels.

Time and Effort

Building a successful YouTube channel takes time, effort and consistency. But understanding the psychology behind subscriber behavior can be a shortcut and a roadmap for you to create engaging content that connects with people.

One last thing. With all this talk of psychological tactics, don’t take it the wrong way. It’s not about manipulating people or deceiving them into buying or signing up for something they don’t want or need. The most effective advertising strategies focus on meeting people’s real needs, their pain points—providing business solutions for their problems. There is no shame in thinking about psychology to figure out the best way to do this.

And if you’re looking for extra support to grow your YouTube audience, we can give you customized strategies to crush your YouTube business goals. We offer packages that can help you really hone in on an effective YouTube strategy to grow your business.

Schedule a free call today!

The Psychology behind Attracting More YouTube Subscribers