Did quarantine motivate the creative spirit inside you and prompt you to start a YouTube channel? Let’s be honest, we have all been there! While YouTube as a platform does allow your creative juices to flow, maintaining a strong engagement rate is no piece of cake.

To be fair, we have all imagined what it would be like to be featured in this year’s YouTube Rewind. We all want people to comment “like if you are watching this in 2030” under our videos. 

With that in mind, we give you ways to increase your engagement rate on YouTube and make that happen.

Psst: if you’re a beginner, here’s a guide to getting started on YouTube.

Getting started on improving your engagement rate on YouTube

Having a YouTube channel is not enough. You need a very strong base of subscribers and viewers to stay afloat. Why? Because that’s how engagement works.

Ways through which audiences interact with YouTube videos

An engagement rate is the number of times people interact with a particular video. This is not restricted to merely opening and watching the video. It extends to likes, dislikes, comments, reshares, etc. that the particular video garners. Essentially, the engagement rate refers to the actions that the audience takes.


Likes are the first source on YouTube that people resort to, to show interest (or not). It is the primary and quick indicator of gauging viewer interest, but a superficial one.  YouTube, in its recent update, disabled the dislike feature. So, that is one less thing to worry about. That said, do keep an eye on it to know what type of content your followers really don’t like.


Comments are a better medium of interaction. It takes commitment on the part of the users to type. So, a comment proves that the audience is truly engaged. Therefore, they are given importance by the YouTube algorithm. 


Between likes, comments, and shares, the last truly impacts the engagement rate on YouTube. A share doesn’t just expand the reach of a video because a viewer shares it with their audience. But also because the algorithm puts it higher in the hierarchy. 

Tips to increase viewer engagement rate 

Here are a few ways to increase the engagement rate on your YouTube videos:

Understanding YouTube analytics

YouTube Analytics is the best way to find out what your subscribers love. Look at the key metrics it offers:

  • For how long did people watch the video
  • The number of views
  • The type of device used for viewing
  • The interactions on each video
  • The viewing time (total number of hours the video was played)

This data will tell you what works and what doesn’t. You can then, accordingly, create new content to get better engagement.

Understanding the target audience

Your channel will have a different demographic of viewers depending on the content you are producing. It is important to analyse the age brackets, genders, nationalities, etc. This provides better insights to produce content that is more relatable and resonates with your target audience.

Offer viewers incentives

Let’s not beat around the bush. Who does not like free gifts? YouTube giveaways are a very effective means of encouraging your viewers to engage with your content. If your pocket can handle it, give away small gifts, or discounts on your merchandise. It not only increases the participation rate, but also boosts your subscriber count. 

Creator and brand collaborations

Mingle around and collaborate with other YouTubers. It creates a mutually beneficial exchange wherein both channels reach a wider audience. You could also collaborate with certain brands and try to endorse their products in your videos. 

Categorise your channel

Any viewer who is new to your channel will try to explore what your channel has to offer. Hence, keep your channel well organised into distinct categories. Make tonnes of playlists. Viewers should be able to easily navigate your videos without confusion. 

Optimise the length of the videos 

Remember that many viewers are bound to have short attention spans. Diversify your videos by uploading videos of varying lengths, depending on the content. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. If you are planning to upload a long video, make a trailer. Put it on YouTube Shorts to build on the eagerness.

Attractive thumbnails

While no one likes clickbaits, they do end up catching our attention one way or the other. Design a visually appealing thumbnail that stays true to the video. Keep it crisp without giving away too many details. Let the thumbnail play on the curiosity of viewers. Keep it fun and intriguing.

Get your engagement rate on YouTube through the roof

We are not saying you need to be the next MostlySane or the next Carryminati. 

We’re saying, be the first YOU! Be unique by staying original. At the end of the day, when you do your thng (pun intended), your YouTube channel will thrive.

But it never hurts to know more ways to increase the engagement rate. And, oh, if you’re short on content ideas, these 5 YouTubers will give you tons.