How to Reach 1000 YouTube Subscribers with Gameplay Videos

Are you a gamer working toward your first 1,000 subscribers? Here’s how let's play videos can give you a boost.

A ‘let’s play’ is or gameplay video is content that almost any gaming creator can make. It involves one or more gamers who collaborate on Roblox, Fortnite, Fall Guys, or any of the popular games circulating the web right now.

With so many fun titles about, let's play videos are extremely popular - and for good reason. They're hugely entertaining for both the participants and the viewer, plus that type of content can be an important part of growing a gaming channel on YouTube.

With that being said, you need to have a specific strategy when posting gameplay content. To discover what this strategy entails and whether you can get 1,000 subscribers from the process, just keep reading!

How Popular Are Let's Play & Gameplay Videos on YouTube?

Before we dive in, let’s discuss how popular these types of videos are on YouTube. We had a gut feeling that gamers loved them, but we decided to get an official answer using a vidIQ community poll.

We had one simple question to ask our audience: In your free time, what type of gaming videos do you watch on YouTube?

As we suspected, let's play videos won in a landslide with 53% of votes. Montages of funny gaming moments came in second with 23% of voters choosing that option.

Like most gamers, you may have built your channel around those topics. But even with this extra fanfare around them, you might not be seeing significant growth. Now, this doesn’t mean you should stop making let’s play videos or gaming montages. There will always be a time and place for gamers to sit down, hit record, and play games with their audience.

However, if that’s the only content you create, it's time to rethink your strategy.

To get more views in the gaming space, try your hand at informative content too, such as how to's, reviews, and listicles. Those are the videos people search for, and that’s what’s going to help you grow your channel over time.

To learn more about this, watch our explainer video about gameplay content and how it should be executed within your YouTube strategy:

Do a search on YouTube using the terms ‘lets play’ and 'gameplay' and you’ll see a list of videos from massive, million-subscriber channels. That’s your competition, and the only way to stand out is by sharing with valuable, informative content.

Roblox Let's Play Videos: Could You Rank on YouTube For the Term?

To determine just how stacked the competition can be for lets plays, we used vidIQ’s keyword tool to get a score for certain search terms. A low score means a video optimized with a specific keyword may not perform well on YouTube; a high score means it could get many views. For our keyword test, we typed ‘Roblox lets play’ into YouTube’s search bar.

Immediately, we got some promising data. ‘Roblox lets play’ had a high search volume, which means people were actively looking for that kind of content. But unfortunately, competition for the search term was too high to capitalize on. That resulted in a low score, as shown below:

This data tells us everything we need to know about the likelihood of a Roblox lets play video taking off on YouTube. And guess what? The search results page tells us even more.

At the top of the list, we saw a channel with ‘let's play’ in its name dominating with at least three videos. Below that were videos from creators with millions of subscribers who post regular Roblox content, which is hard to compete with.

An additional search using the term ‘Roblox gameplay’ displayed some older but popular videos. This is what we call evergreen content. These videos were at the top of the search results, and new creators would have a hard time ranking for the keywords attached to those videos.

If you're a small to medium-sized channel, your competition is established YouTubers. Some of them may have teams helping them do their research and create clickable thumbnails. This is why we at vidIQ encourage creators to upload high-value videos, such as how to's and listicles. It may not be the content you search for on YouTube, but understand that this content isn't for you - it's for your audience.

How to Get Your Videos Recommended To Viewers on YouTube

When YouTube recommends your gaming videos to viewers, that does three things for your channel:

  1. Provides more potential views
  2. Introduces you to like-minded viewers
  3. Helps you penetrate YouTube’s competitive gaming niche

Here’s an example of how this works in real-time. Let’s say popular YouTuber Jelly uploads a let’s play video about a new Minecraft mod: rocket boots. He doesn’t cover the subject deeply, which sparks some curiosity among his fans about the mod’s finer details. You see this as an opportunity to stand out, so you upload an in-depth video about the mod, improving upon the information Jelly left out.

Most likely, Jelly’s fans will search for more Minecraft rocket boots content after he addresses it on his channel. Fortunately, that gives your rocket boots video a good chance of being discovered on YouTube. In fact, if enough people stumble upon your video while searching the term ‘rocket boots in Minecraft’, YouTube may recommend it alongside larger creators’ Minecraft videos.

From there, it's just a matter of letting YouTube’s algorithm work its magic. Your video will be shown to more viewers, and that could lead to higher views and new subscribers.

To Make Your Content Stand Out, Do Some Video Research

As you can see, the method above requires research. You have to be willing to watch videos on the topic you’re planning to cover and create even better content to reach success. This usually includes researching the title, length, and thumbnails of other videos.

If you’ve never thought about your toughest competitors’ video thumbnails, it’s time to make it a priority! Thumbnails are often the first thing viewers see and play a huge role in their decision to click on a video.

Luckily, there’s a vidIQ tool that can help you in this department. When you’re on a video upload page, navigate to the left side of the screen and find a section that reads ‘what search term do you want to rank for?’ There should be a text box below, and in that, you can type your term of choice. When you’re done, click the blue button that reads ‘preview in search results’.

Next, your video’s thumbnail will appear alongside other videos currently ranking for that term. By doing a visual sweep, you can decide whether your thumbnail stands out among the competition, as shown below:

When to Make Simple Gameplay Videos

Let's play content should be a part of your YouTube gaming strategy. If you’re a gamer who creates tutorials people love, uploading a gameplay video now and then will keep your subscribers interested in what you have to say. You don’t have to do this often, but some content diversity will keep your channel fresh and help it continue to grow.

Plus, if you're just starting out on YouTube, creating let's play content helps you learn the video-making process. You’ll sit down in a room, by yourself, and slowly overcome the growing pains of being confident on camera. You’ll learn how to use various editing software and have tons of fun playing the games you love.

Just remember that let’s play videos are hard to rank for on YouTube. You’ll need to do your research and niche down to specific topics/tutorials to attract the number of views you want to see.

Want To Get More Views as a Gamer on YouTube?

If you want to take your YouTube gaming channel to the next level and get more views on YouTube then make sure to download vidIQ. Join over 1 million other users (many of them gamers!) and use vidIQ to help you research YouTube, analyze videos, audit your own channel, and take actionable steps click here to install now!