The best way to get YouTube likes is to create amazing content. When you please your viewers, they can’t help but give you a thumbs up.
But if you’ve poured your heart and soul into your gaming vids and you don’t see those likes rolling in, you’ll need to do something extra.
To get more likes on YouTube, you’ll need to:
- Be honest. Use your description box to tell people what to expect about the video you’re sharing.
- Ask for help. Tell your viewers to hit the like button.
- Cut to the chase. Don’t waste time with a long (boring) intro.
- Promote your video. Spread the word everywhere, and ask people to like your video.
- Try a giveaway. You can’t trade likes for entries, but you could get people to share your video more frequently.
We’ll dig into each of these tips in detail. And we’ll wrap up this blog with a few words of warning about tactics you should skip.
Be Honest About Your Video
No one likes a bait and switch. If you truly want to get more likes, you must ensure that the right people see your video. And it’s critical to ensure that those viewers see what they came to see.
Each time you upload a video, write a complete description. YouTube says you have a full 5,000 characters to use in your description box, but people only see the first few words. (They’ll need to click to see the rest.)
Use your first two sentences to describe:
- What game you’re playing.
- Why your video is different than others.
- What people will learn from watching your video.
Use the remainder of the space to describe critical points in your video. If you can, add a timestamp! That way, when people find the moment they’re interested in, they can skip ahead and watch the piece that means the most to them.
Let’s think about why this matters for a minute. Experts tell us that 45 percent of people watch an hour or more of Facebook or YouTube videos every week. But few of them watch just one vid during that time. They skip from piece to piece, and if you can’t slow them down, they won’t have time to hit your like button.
Make your description honest and useful. Help those viewers, and they’re more likely to reward you with a like.
Ask for YouTube Likes
Back in 2014, 15 percent of all YouTube videos had to do with gaming, experts say. That number has grown. You’re dealing with viewers that have plenty of gaming content to choose from. They’re busy, and they’re moving fast. Don’t make them guess what you want. Ask people that watch your video to like it. And make sure you ask in more than one way.
It’s common for YouTube gamers to start off videos with long requests for likes, subscriptions, and shares. We get it. You have a viewer’s undivided attention at the start of a video. But it’s the moment when you’ve given very little, and your viewers don’t have a reason to help you out quite yet. If you stack your intros with pleas for likes, your viewers will likely move on to the next video.
Put your asks for likes in the middle and at the end of your video. A simple sentence (“If I’ve helped you out, hit the like button.”) does the trick.
Reinforce your ask with graphics. While YouTube maintains that 96 percent of people watch videos with the sound on, some viewers may not listen to what you say. Use cards at the beginning and end of your video to ask people to like your content. Ask explicitly (“Hit the like button!”), and use YouTube’s thumbs up like graphic to make it clear.
Put the Good Stuff First
Wondering how quickly people move around in YouTube? The company says that a “view” for an advertiser counts if someone watched 11 seconds of an ad that’s just 30 seconds long. Your viewers don’t have time to waste.
If you want to get more YouTube likes, don’t annoy people as soon as they watch your page. Don’t blather on about who you are. Don’t play loud and annoying music. Don’t veer off topic and start talking about something else.
Think about what you’ve promised people in your YouTube description box, and get to the point as quickly as you can. Use the middle or the end of your video for housekeeping stuff. But make sure you share what’s important right away.
Follow this method, and people may just watch part of your video. But they’ll be more likely to hit the “like” button, because you kept your promises and didn’t waste time.
Promote Your Videos
Gamers are your core audience, and they’re busy people. If you want to reach them, you’ll need to get creative with social media, blogging, and outreach.
Consider this. Researchers say 61.6 percent of gamers get so involved in the games they’re playing that they lose out on sleep. If you think they’re watching YouTube every minute just hoping to see a new video from you, you’re probably wrong. To get more YouTube likes, you need those people to put down their consoles, head to your vid, and hit the like button. You’ll need to promote the hell out of your video.
Grab the attention of gamers through:
- Social media. Create Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit accounts. Every time you create a new vid on YouTube, share the link. Ask people to not only watch it but like it.
- Blogs. You don’t have to create a blog yourself. There are plenty of them out there. Run a Google search for the content you’re creating plus the word “blog.” (An example: “Fortnite blog.”) Find a blog you love, and scroll down to the comments section. Write a few sentences about the blog you read, and drop a link to your video. It’s a bit of guerilla marketing, and it can be quite effective.
- News. Poynter says 1,300 communities don’t have a local newspaper. If yours isn’t one of them, you’re in luck. Gather up a few of your best YouTube videos, and pitch them to a reporter. If you’re selected for a human interest story in the news, you could see a huge jump in views. And all of those views could translate into likes.
- Email. Add a link to your latest video to your email signature. And don’t be afraid to shoot an email to friends and family members with the link and an ask for a like.
Try a Giveaway
People looking for how to get more YouTube likes in 2010 were told to use giveaways. Those were the good old days. You could force people to like your video as an entry to the contest, and your like count could skyrocket. A lot has changed, but this is still a valid (and unused) tactic for gamers.
The Fool says the average new game release is $60, and that most gamers think of their hobby as an inexpensive form of entertainment. Even so, most people want to save a little cash when they can. A giveaway can help put something amazing into the hands of a thankful person, who might like all of your videos to pay you back.
YouTube has strict rules about holding contests. You can’t make people pay to enter, for example, and you can’t suggest YouTube is sanctioning your contest. But you can talk about some piece of equipment you use, and you can pop a link to an entry form in the description box. You could also suggest that people like the video before they enter.
We don’t see many gamers take advantage of this opportunity, and it’s a great tactic you can use to build a devoted fan base and get a lot of likes in a hurry. Try it out!
3 Tactics That Won’t Get You YouTube Likes
We’ve read many “how to get more likes on YouTube” articles, and some of them contain really bad advice. Follow those tips, and you’re not likely to get the reaction you want.
Never do these three things to get more YouTube likes:
- Buy them. Sneaky people claim they can sell you likes for a fee. As reporters point out, people who pay rarely see any return on that investment. And it’s a clear violation of YouTube’s terms of service, and that means using this tactic could get you banned from the platform. Don’t do it.
- Jack up the numbers. With a bit of coding experience and a lot of luck, you can hack into the YouTube platform and artificially inflate your numbers. Again, this is a violation of YouTube’s terms of service, and it can get you banned. Don’t do it.
- Lean too hard on YouTube. It’s important to get more YouTube likes. But don’t let that drive your entire strategy. Focus on making great gaming videos. Be helpful. Be real. And play your heart out. Likes are just a number. Do your best, and you’re sure to get rewarded.
Lesson: Write Smart Descriptions. YouTube Creator Academy.
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15 Percent of All YouTube Videos Relate to Gaming: Minecraft and PewDiePie FTW. (December 2014). Tubular Insights.
YouTube Joins Snapchat in Criticizing Facebook: Our Audience Continues to Watch not Scroll, with Sound On. (October 2016). The Drum.
How Video Views Are Counted. (January 2018). YouTube.
The State of Online Gaming 2018. Limelight Networks.
About 1,300 U.S. Communities Have Totally Lost News Coverage, UNC News Desert Study Finds. (October 2018). Poynter.
The Average American Gamer, Summed Up in 7 Stunning Statistics. (August 2017). The Motley Fool.
The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views. (August 2018). The New York Times.
The Golden Age of YouTube is Over. (April 2019). The Verge.