If you’re serious about growing your YouTube channel, generating more views, subscribers, and revenue, there are some really awesome ways that you can use to promote yourself and get your content out there into the world.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about three super dangerous, very sketchy, downright useless tactics for promoting your YouTube videos that you might be doing because you think it’s the right thing to do. Before you take any more action, read our post or catch up on the following video:
3 Ways You Are Destroying Your YouTube Channel
#1 Not Leaving An Actual Link to Your Video on Social Media Platforms
We always thought it was weird when YouTube creators promoted their videos on social media without leaving the link to the video. It seemed inconvenient to make subscribers manually open a new tab and search for the video when the creator could have just embedded it for us.
We did the same thing on our social media accounts, never really understanding why. When you post links to your YouTube videos on social media sites, it usually gets embedded in the browser window so that they can just watch the video even if signed out of YouTube. Even though you might get more views this way, that viewer isn’t signed in, and that’s the problem.
It means the video doesn’t go into the viewer’s watch history!
So when they go to YouTube, and your video gets recommended to them because they have already seen it on Twitter or Facebook, Discord, or somewhere else, they’re going to choose not to watch it again, and we know what happens next. If people see your video on YouTube and then choose not to watch it, that’s going to hurt your click-through rate and send signals to YouTube that viewers aren’t interested in your content.
So the best practice is, instead of sharing embedded links, just tell your viewers that you uploaded, and the dedicated ones will happily retrieve it themselves.
Or you can do what we do. We add our thumbnails to the social post so that the embedded video will get replaced by the thumbnail, but the link will still be there. And instead of your viewer being able to watch the video externally, they’ll be redirected to the YouTube app when they click on it, where the video will be added to their watch history, and they’ll be able to like, leave comments, and watch the next one.
#2 Sharing Your Content with an Audience That Doesn’t Actually Care
This might sound harsh, but you need to hear this. The truth is not everybody cares about your content. That includes your mom, your dad, your grandma, your grandpa, your aunt, your uncle, your old friend from high school, or that person you met at the cookout. And that’s fine because not everybody is your audience. Sure, they might watch your gaming video, your vlog, and your new cooking video because they love you. They want to support you, not because granny is some kind of hardcore gamer, or Bill just loves makeup now. They’re just supporting you and being nice. They might click and watch the link because you spammed it in the group chat, but ask yourself these questions.
Is the audience I shared this with really interested in my content?
When YouTube looks at this viewer’s watch history, will it give them good data about other content my target audience is interested in? And is it likely that this person would watch this video if they saw it on YouTube and didn’t know I made it?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, it might not be worth sharing it with them. It might not be worth asking them to subscribe because, let’s be honest. In the long run, you want to work on building an audience that’s really interested in what you’re creating, who watch until the end, engage in comments, or join your communities of people with shared interests and support you financially by becoming members, buying merch, or getting your course.
#3 Buying Subscribers
Buying subscribers and exchanging subs with your fellow creators might drive up your subscriber count, but as we know, that’s not the only important thing here. For starters, any form of fake engagement is against YouTube’s community guidelines. You could get your channel yeeted off YouTube!
Even if you’re still tempted to risk it, these subscriber-boosting scams are just that: scams. They lead one of your channel metrics to increase but to the detriment of other key analytics. Things like engagement, likes, and monetization won’t grow when you’re paying for subscribers who ultimately aren’t interested in the content or what you’re selling.
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Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 11+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO