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Secrets to Building a Loyal YouTube Audience That Keeps Coming Back

07 Jun, 2024

Why do some videos on a channel become popular, gain thousands of views and subscribers, while others go unnoticed? It's very frustrating when you manage to create a viral video once, but can't repeat your success.

Most creators face similar challenges.  Viewers may watch select videos sporadically, leaving much of the content on the channel unviewed. As a result, creators often resort to tactics such as reuploading video, changing titles, thumbnails, and other manipulations in the hope that these efforts will finally take off after multiple attempts.

These tactics are not bad and sometimes even work, but they don't solve the main problem: you don't know how to bring viewers back to your channel.

Let's figure out what you might have overlooked so far. Most likely, these are the points that will help you get views not just once or twice on a few videos, but on most of your content.

How to turn one good video into a hundred?

Let's skip motivational phrases like "you just need to do what you love, and people will follow." This might be partially true, but if you want to be popular on YouTube, you'll need more than love.

In today's competitive social media environment, aspiring YouTubers need to be realistic about gaining popularity on YouTube in 2024. It's not enough to just create interesting content.

First, "interesting content" is a very vague concept. Ask yourself: what is interesting content? For some, it's a three-hour lecture on quantum physics, and for others, it's compilations of funny animals. The answer will vary depending on the topic and niche.

Second, interesting videos can be subjective. It can be a mix of viewers' personal preferences and a minimal plot within the content itself. You can study competitors, analyze audience feedback on various videos, but you still won't be able to say for sure what will work.

If you've managed to create at least one video that garnered more views than usual, then you already have all the tools for successful promotion.

First and foremost, you need to analyze why this particular video was successful. To do this, you need to examine two points: analytics and comments.

In Analytics, the first thing to look at is the impressions metric. This indicates whether viewers liked the video and from which traffic source you received the most views.

It's also important to know what kind of audience the successful video attracted: new viewers, returning viewers, or random ones. If you understand the sequence and time frame in which the audience reacted to the video, you'll have more insight into how to engage viewers more effectively.

Another important factor is working correctly with the topic. It's not enough to simply note that a particular topic has garnered the most views and continue creating content on it. You need to monitor the recommendation lists where algorithms have included your viral video. Additionally, regularly check the relevance of the topic among user search queries through tools like vidIQ or YouTube search.

You can also discover what specifically attracted viewers to the video by examining the Analytics. Pay attention to the percentage of viewers who decided to continue watching after the introduction and identify which exact moments, according to the timeline, were the most interesting to viewers. By analyzing this data, you can evaluate not only successful videos but also those that didn't perform well. Sometimes, analyzing mistakes can bring more benefits to your channel than focusing solely on achievements.

Now let's move on to the second metric: comments.

But here's a disclaimer: Be careful, as people often express not what they actually want, but what they think might help them. Take any comment with a grain of salt and always keep in mind the results from your analytics — these are the hard facts, not emotions.

Nevertheless, accurately evaluating content subjectively is also important. Comments are the simplest way to get this feedback. Here, you can not only discover which questions interest viewers the most but also understand their concerns, pains, desires, and needs. These are what you should aim to address in each new video.

If people are not yet commenting on your videos, don't get discouraged. You can always select a couple of popular creators with content similar to yours and analyze the comments under their videos. Watch what viewers like and dislike, and incorporate these insights into your own videos.

Now, after you've developed your personal formulas for a successful video, you can start applying these effective strategies to all your content on the channel. 

But remember: working on one video should be equivalent to working on the entire channel.

To understand why this is important, let's refer to YouTube's help documentation:

This is the magic pill that will make you a successful creator:

  1. You create great videos and increase retention
  2. YouTube gives you more reach
  3. People return to your channel to watch more videos
  4. YouTube, in turn, recommends your videos to more viewers

But is there anything else we can do to ensure that the audience, driven by genuine interest, voluntarily returns to the channel?

What helps viewers "connect" with your content?

Let's think about connection. Why do we love certain content creators and watch their videos regularly?

For many, the personality of the individual matters, their presentation style, editing techniques, the presence of humor, and a clear structure in their videos. And while this list might vary for each person, there are still some fundamental points that can be highlighted.

The factors that make viewers return to your channel time and time again and want to watch more of your videos are:

  • The appearance and content of the videos 
  • The overall impression a viewer get from your channel
  • Your interactions with the audience

Since we've already discussed channel visuals – like banner and thumbnail design – in other articles, let's delve a bit deeper into the content.

Your shooting style, editing, and presentation determine the overall perception of your channel.

How many times have we seen big creators with unusual-looking thumbnails and banners, yet their videos rack up immense views? It's all about their memorable style and presentation.

If you release videos with different pacing, graphics, and aesthetic each time, it might work once for a viral video. But it won't help viewers understand: who you are as a content creator, what your videos are about, and why they might like them.

This nuance often explains why one of your videos takes off while others fail to capture viewers' interest. Namely, because you've created specific expectations, and your other videos don't meet them.

So, creating a healthy attachment of the audience to your content is the next step to success.

However, it's crucial to remember that your channel's visual design and textual content should entice viewers to watch your videos.

Think of it as a website where you sell your products. You need to design your channel in a way that clearly communicates to viewers what they're getting, why it's unique and interesting, and what personal benefits they'll get from purchasing.

This is achieved through the layout of the channel's main page, banner, thumbnail, channel name, and description.

But what should be taken most seriously and conscientiously is interaction with the audience.

Next, let's discuss this in more detail.

Connected content

Yes, the coherence of content is influenced by obvious factors you've long been aware of: your presence in the frame, the overall theme of the channel, consistent styling, and the overall atmosphere. However, there are also nuances to consider.

A great way to link content is to recommend that viewers watch your other videos, ideally explaining why they should do so.

We all know creators need to end videos in a timely manner. But it’s important to end your videos correctly.

Including recommendations to watch related videos within one video helps motivate viewers to explore your channel after watching, rather than switching to another creator. They might find interesting videos on your channel in the description or by clicking on an end screen, which you've prepared and hinted at earlier in the video.

And now, with Shorts having a feature called "Videos on the Topic," you can also drive traffic from short videos. Just be careful: Shorts aren't always straightforward, just like everything else.


This isn't just about the upload schedule, although that's important too. Consistency applies to your theme, presentation, branding, video quality, and overall growth.

If you stick to the same thing for years without trying anything new, your regular viewers will likely start to drop off. New viewers may stick around as they're still getting acquainted with your content and channel, but fans will eventually want something new from you.

It could be small changes: a new background, a different editing style, or a new segment. But it helps you break away from the routine and keeps your regular viewers engaged.

Emotional bond

Creators, in their pursuit of growth – whether it’s views or subscribers – often forget that behind these metrics are real people. These individuals have their own interests, needs, feelings, and emotions. Just like you, viewers seek an emotional connection with the person they’re watching on YouTube and whose opinion they trust.

So, it's important to remember that behind every view, subscriber, comment, or like, there are real people. You've probably noticed that viewers stick with content they feel a connection to and where they can establish an emotional bond.

So, don't worry if you're not liked by everyone, this is normal. In real life, not everyone likes you, because even the cutest kitten will have someone saying that its paws aren't pretty enough.

Your task is to build a community of like-minded individuals around your channel and maintain their interest in your content and in you as a person.

While understanding content is straightforward and we've already discussed editing and presentation, many find engagement techniques more challenging.

For some, shyness may even prevent them from showing their face, and then what?

Actually, there are several features that work regardless of the type of content you create.

It may sound trivial, but respond to comments.

People will feel the presence of a real person and recognize the content creator’s interest in their problems or stories. This interaction builds trust and forms a community of like-minded individuals.

Another important way to engage is the ability to anticipate viewers' desires.

This is a difficult skill that needs to be developed over years of constant interaction with your viewers, analyzing comments and popular topics, as well as audience reactions to different forms of content.

The next important point is maintaining the ability to explain complex concepts in simple terms.

Viewers encounter difficulties every day in their lives: fatigue at work, coursework, homework, taxes, and so on. All this drains their energy, so even on an educational channel, the audience wants things to be easy. They want to delegate the understanding of complex  terms to the video creator, who can explain them simply and easily. If this is done creatively, the content creator becomes not just an uploader but a source of inspiration.

Remember your school years: everyone probably had a teacher who sincerely wanted to share knowledge and help students understand the subject. It was with these teachers that we built closer relationships, weren't afraid to ask questions, and ultimately gained real knowledge.

The key is that the teacher was able to truly engage us in their subject and help us understand it. On YouTube, everything works the same way.

Finally, the last important point is to incorporate personal stories and experiences into your storytelling.

Many of you probably resonated to some extent with the story about the teacher because we just talked about something that almost everyone has experienced. If you add emotions and a vivid example from personal experience, it becomes much easier for the viewer to establish an emotional connection. And again—on YouTube, it works exactly the same, if not better. Why? Because you can influence emotions with words and with strong imagery on the screen.

But don't worry if things don't work out for you right away, because finding the right way to communicate with your audience isn't easy.

Overall, considering all the nuances listed in the article, successfully boosting a channel on the first try isn't something everyone can achieve. You need to be prepared for this in advance, stay persistent, and gradually, step by step, work towards your goal.

Good luck!


Sasha Lerman

Copywriter, writer, editor. Development and promotion on YouTube, as well as many other exciting topics.

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