TubeTalk: Your YouTube How-To Guide

YouTube Subscribers vs. YouTube Views - Which is more important?

July 16, 2020 Liron Segev; Robw Wilson; Dan Carlson Season 3 Episode 221
TubeTalk: Your YouTube How-To Guide
YouTube Subscribers vs. YouTube Views - Which is more important?
Chapters
TubeTalk: Your YouTube How-To Guide
YouTube Subscribers vs. YouTube Views - Which is more important?
Jul 16, 2020 Season 3 Episode 221
Liron Segev; Robw Wilson; Dan Carlson

"I have views on my videos but they are not subscribing" and "I have subscribers on my channel, but they are not watching my videos" - these are two common questions that I hear constantly when helping creators with their channels.

Therefore, in this week's episode of TubeTalk, I chat with vidIQ's Rob Wilson and Dan Carson to understand what YouTubers should focus on in order to get both views and subscribers.

We share tips that every YouTube Creator should be focusing on in order to engage with the viewer. This will not only push the viewer to watch more of your videos but also smash that subscribe button!

In this podcast we cover:

  • Why YouTube subscriber growth doesn't always lead to significant views
  • Why your videos are getting fantastic views but viewers aren't subscribing
  • The value of subscribers vs the value of a view
  • What you need to know about 'Audience Retention'
  • Tips about how to engage with your audience
  • Why analytics are your best friend

For more tips on how to grow your YouTube channel, head over to the vidIQ YouTube channel and chat with us on Twitter @vidIQ

This show is hosted by Liron Segev who is a Tech Blogger, YouTuber, and the Director of customer success at vidIQ. If you have any questions, please feel free to email liron@vidiq.com

Show Notes Transcript

"I have views on my videos but they are not subscribing" and "I have subscribers on my channel, but they are not watching my videos" - these are two common questions that I hear constantly when helping creators with their channels.

Therefore, in this week's episode of TubeTalk, I chat with vidIQ's Rob Wilson and Dan Carson to understand what YouTubers should focus on in order to get both views and subscribers.

We share tips that every YouTube Creator should be focusing on in order to engage with the viewer. This will not only push the viewer to watch more of your videos but also smash that subscribe button!

In this podcast we cover:

  • Why YouTube subscriber growth doesn't always lead to significant views
  • Why your videos are getting fantastic views but viewers aren't subscribing
  • The value of subscribers vs the value of a view
  • What you need to know about 'Audience Retention'
  • Tips about how to engage with your audience
  • Why analytics are your best friend

For more tips on how to grow your YouTube channel, head over to the vidIQ YouTube channel and chat with us on Twitter @vidIQ

This show is hosted by Liron Segev who is a Tech Blogger, YouTuber, and the Director of customer success at vidIQ. If you have any questions, please feel free to email liron@vidiq.com

Liron Segev:

So a question that we get asked often is how come on my channel, I get lots of video views, but they don't turn into subscribers. And then vice versa, how come I get lots of subscribers but boy, they don't turn into views. Why is that? Well, this is an important topic. So I got together with the vidIQ crew and we're going to dive deep into this and unpick this topic. If you've been wrestling with this question, well today's episode is especially for you. Let's do this.

Welcome to another episode of TubeTalk. My name is Liron Segev. I am a tech blogger at YouTuber and the Director of Customer Success here at vidIQ, where every day we help creators big and small level up their channels. Get more subscribers, more views in less time. So let's unpick this topic. What's more important? Should you get more subscribers or should you get more views? Or what about a combination of both? Well complicated topic with lots of turning points. So today I have got Rob and Dan from vidIQ. You know them by now, but if you don't guys let tell these nice people who you are.

Rob Wilson:

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to vidIQ. As always, I'd usually be hosting when I'm passing on that responsibility to Liron today. I am the YouTuber in residency in vidIQ. So any video content that you see here at vidIQ usually passes my virtual desk at some points, but of course we have the amazing Dan assists me as well. Don't be Dan?

Dan C:

I do. I am known as the executive producer here at vidIQ but most people well, generously know me as vidIQ's gaming expert [crosstalk 00:01:55].

Rob Wilson:

And chief channel pronouncer as well.

Dan C:

Absolutely.

Liron Segev:

All right guys. So we join together on a special occasion to not just to chat, but we've got a specific topic we want to address today. Something that we hear often, something that we hear from our customers, something we hear from our subscribers, people want to know. So today's topic is subscribers, just don't care about your videos and here is why. In other words, I'm getting lots of views on my channel, but I'm not getting subscribers or the other way around. I'm getting lots of subscribers, but I am actually not getting any views. What is going on? Rob, what do you think? What's more important at this stage? More subscribers or more views?

Rob Wilson:

I am going to go with a simple answer of, I want actual evidence that people are watching my content rather than somebody signing up similar to like maybe a mailing list. You're showing interest in something, but never actually engaging with the content. So I would always choose views over subscribers. Subscribers can be very fickle as well. If it's something's for free, like the red subscribe button, they'll happily press it, but then they'll forget about it going forward. So for me, I'm always going to say the views over subscribers. Dan, what about you?

Dan C:

Yeah, I'm kind of in the same boat, views over subscribers, mainly because we already know YouTube videos in general tend to get viewed more by viewers who are not subscribed to your channel and every viewer is an opportunity to ask for a subscriber. So subscribers are important to you. You're still going to have that chance, but obviously the views are, I would say, easier to get and matter more.

Rob Wilson:

We should bring Liron into this conversation as well. What do you think Liron?

Liron Segev:

Well, it's a bit of a strange one because YouTube has always been about you get your play button when you hit a certain number of subscribers.

Rob Wilson:

True, that's very true. It's a vanity metric, isn't it?

Liron Segev:

Right. But it's also a credibility thing, because you're saying, "Hey, look at my channel." Nobody's gone to these big conventions, these big vid cons and vid summits and say, "I've got 5,000 subscribers, but I'm getting 50,000 views a video." It's more like, "What is your channel size? Like, how many millions of subscribers do you have?" And amazingly when someone has a hundred thousand subscribers, all of a sudden it's like, "Whoa, you must know what you're doing." So it's a little bit of a balancing act. So for me, it really depends on what. If you're trying to work with a brand, they perhaps want to see lots of hard balls on your videos. So views are more important. If you're trying to get credibility and understand your audience better, maybe subscribers kind of count. So it is a little bit of both, I suppose, for lack of a better word.

Rob Wilson:

It is funny, like personally you'll say, yeah, I want the views over subscribers, but when I'm at a conference or YouTuber for the first time, I say, "Oh, how many subscribers have you got?" And that in my head is almost like a situation of, "Oh, this channel has got a few hundred subscribers." I'm going to have a completely different conversation than with somebody who have 100,000 subscribers. But like you say, the devil is in the detail.

Liron Segev:

Just following up on your point. If you think of search, you go into YouTube. I'm thinking a lot of us do that. We'll search for a topic. We hit the search button, if we see some of the results, the next thing we kind of tend to look at is the authority of the channel. A channel with 50,000 subscribers, for some reason, tends to scream at greater credibility than a channel with 100 subscribers. They may have more views on that video, but we tend to go for that subscriber count. Rightly or wrongly, that's just the way we're conditioned, I suppose.

Rob Wilson:

Yeah, it is a bit like you see the [inaudible 00:05:32] title and then some people maybe just hover over that click button, look at a subscriber account. And then also if you have vidIQ tool installed, that shows you the likes to dislikes ratio, that may make you either click on it or move to somebody with more subscribers. I want to ask you this question before I forget. So it's just come into my head that in terms of views and subscribers, have you ever had a comment on your channel where somebody says, "Ah, yeah, this guy got 100,000 subscribers and each video gets 500 views. Why should I be paying attention to your education on your channel? Because we get this a lot at vidIQ for quite while. And so we started having more of an influence and later on, it might be similar to you with it, like a search channel where you can get a lot of people subscribing, but not everybody coming back to all of your content.

Liron Segev:

Yeah, absolutely, and I think that it's important that when you make multiple or different types of content on your channels, and I think I want to hear from that on this as well, being residents expert on this, a gaming expert on this as well. When you make multiple topics and multiple content on your channel, you're not going to appeal to everyone all the time. Some people might come for one topic, but not one of you another topic and that's perfectly fine. The reason or the advice that we give people is to niche down on content, because then you become the expert. You become the channel that they go to based on whatever I have a fortnight question. I know I'm going to come to your channel because you are going to be my gaming expert. You're going to tell me what to do.

Liron Segev:

So I do get those sometimes what people are... they'll say you've got 100,000 subscribers, but you've got no credibility because you're only getting 1,000 views on a video, for example. you'll was going to get those. You can't win with everyone. Someone's always going to be upset with you for something that you've done or something you didn't do. It is what it is. You make short videos, people complain because the information was too quick. You make longer videos, people complain because why don't you just get to the point?

Rob Wilson:

I think the only people who ever ask that question are people who are not creators themselves, who have not gone through the struggles and the journeys of it. So yeah, let's pass this on to Dan. What do you think about all of this?

Dan C:

We just did a video the other day on a channel called 100 Percent Zelda. And we pick them because not only do they make a channel that is literally 100% about Zelda, but they also did a really good job of studying their audience. So we talk about niching down and with gaming especially, you would think gaming, "Oh, this is a niche. This is enough." It's not because people might follow you for yourself to content, but the second you play Minecraft, you might reach some Minecraft people out there somewhere on YouTube, but certainly not your subscribers. YouTube isn't going to rank you as strong for Minecraft because you've been the Zelda person for so long,

Dan C:

So they did a really good job of providing really valuable videos on not just Zelda, but Breath of the Wild. And so far just Breath of the Wild and it's blowing up their channel. I covered their channel, Monday we posted the video and said they reached 1,000 subscribers in just a few months. They're already almost at 4,000 subscribers and it's been a week. So that just goes to show like, if you can really speak to your audience, know who they, and just as another example of how good they are at this, they got an audit from us because they paid attention to us doing these live streams and gave us memes that they knew would make us laugh and click on their channel and it worked.

Rob Wilson:

Channel's really growing fast. They've got these 4,000 subscribers. What do you think the quality of our subscribers are? Because I think another thing that we have to maybe discuss a little bit is the actual quality of each individual subscriber. And do you think there's a really valuable subscribers or not so valuable for that channel?

Dan C:

I would say they are because in my experience my subscriber base, of the names I would recognize over and over again in the comments were very valuable until I switched topics. And that's when they became fickle. A few of them stuck around because they just liked me and a few of them, most of them disappeared until I came back to the original topic. So when a 100 Percent Zelda goes onto Link's Awakening or something like that after they're done with Breath of the Wild, they're going to lose some Breath of the Wild fans. It's not a bad thing. It's just-

Rob Wilson:

Yeah, that's okay.

Dan C:

... going to be. So yeah, I would say the value is in your control, perhaps. You have some control there. What kind of content you're going to release for that audience. Because the second you stop catering to them, they're going to move on.

Liron Segev:

But I think that's a great point about your audience and recognizing some names there because I've noticed that subscribers who are legitimately interested in the content, those tend to come back again and again and again. That's the audience, that's your fans. Those are the guys and girls growing with you. I don't think there's one rule that applies to all, right? And it bakes back to Dan's comment, yes if you start changing topics, you no longer appealing to a section of your subscribers, but that's fine. That's a decision you've made to pivot your channel to another content. If they're therefore Zelda stuff, and you're doing that Call of Duty, completely different games, of course, you're going to lose some of that audience.

Liron Segev:

The interesting thing is that I done unsubscribe. I don't know about you guys. How many times have you subscribed to a channel and unsubscribe and then we've got to ask ourselves, what does that number actually mean? But before we get too theoretical, I think a lot of people do want to know some practical tips. So maybe let's change the topic a little bit and let's look at a situation where I have a channel, I'm putting off my video. How can I translate the audience watching into subscribers? What do you guys think are some good practical tips that I can do today?

Rob Wilson:

I'll go first on this one then. I think if you are getting a healthy number of views but those views and not necessarily transferring it into subscribers, first of all, two analytics you probably want to look at. One would be engagements or how much people are engaging with the content. And you can increase that by asking questions and really importantly, trying to ask a question at the beginning of the video in the first couple of minutes, because a lot of creators make a mistake of asking a question about the video, but at the end where the audience retention's dropped off quite a bit. So it's almost like a primer question to get them involved in a topic and then you're going to talk about it. And then audience retention, see how long people are watching for, and if your audience retention is relatively high, again, that's never a good signal that people are watching your content.

Rob Wilson:

But what there may not be doing is realizing that they should be subscribing to your content. And that comes down to the obvious action of including calls to action, such as little lower third graphics that appear or just mentioning that you can subscribe to the channel, but try and do it as efficiently as possible, like in five or 10 seconds, not spending too long in it. So that's what I be thinking about, Dan.

Dan C:

Yeah. I mean you basically covered it.

Rob Wilson:

I've kind of stolen all of your points.

Dan C:

Can you say that again?

Rob Wilson:

I think I've stolen all of your points there.

Dan C:

You absolutely did. I was going to say, especially like a call to action to get people to subscribe is the biggest thing that I think people overlook over and over again.

Rob Wilson:

We shouldn't be afraid of doing that either.

Dan C:

No, but... there is a but.

Rob Wilson:

Here comes [inaudible 00:13:06]

Dan C:

Someone's got to be the voice of reasons. I like the idea of watching your retention because I think that's a good indicator of what's actually going on. So when you watch your audience and you see that your graph is really taking a big steep dive right at the beginning, well, you might have gotten an a view, but the quality of that view isn't that great. They came to your video, they saw that video, they started, your hook wasn't strong enough and they've left. Well, if your retention means it's showing the people are not getting to the end of your video, which is typically where people say, "Hey, don't forget to like, and subscribe." It's always at the end. Well, most people are not going to get that call to action because they've pretty much have left your video.

Dan C:

So I do like a good hook. I like a quick introduction about your channel with a call to action. Rob, as you said, five, 10 seconds. "If you lack this kind of content hit that subscribe button let's get started." So people know that this is the kind of stuff that you're going to be doing. So hook introduction with a call to action, go through your video and then at the end, yes, do the whole, "Don't forget to like and subscribe." Before you send them off to your next video. And I think that's the mistake a lot of people make. They get to the end and they do the whole, "Huh. Thanks guys for hanging out with me." You're already sending signals that the video is done. The last thing at the end to do is to go, "And if you lack this video, check out this video over here about the same topic and I'll see you in that video." And move people to get more views on your other videos. Does that make sense?

Rob Wilson:

Yeah, something that's just coming to my head as well about when you should do the call to action because I think there's a bit of an argument there. Obviously somewhere towards beginning of the video, but do you put it in the intro or do you add a call to action after you've delivered some sort of light bulb moment? Like, so maybe I've just shown somebody how to create a custom thumbnail or how to look at a certain metric and I'm going to spend another two or three minutes talking about that metric, but it's like, we're a minute in, I've shown you something really valuable. Boom, I'm going to give you a call to action right after it because, "Oh, I find that really useful. Oh yeah. I want to subscribe for more of that type of stuff." So I think there's some discussion there of when you want to include the call to action.

Rob Wilson:

And also something else that I've noticed some creditors do is they actually delve into their engagements. So they'll pick out comments or they'll pick out fans of the week and they'll put them like in the first 20 seconds. So that's almost like a message to their community. Like if you were to get involved with us in the channel, you may see yourself appearing on future videos and we kind of do that with our live streams on Tuesday. Because what I'm trying to think of here is before you get the subscriber, try and make them engage with the content and become a part of the community, which means that they'll become a subscriber.

Liron Segev:

Yeah, and then don't forget that a call to action doesn't necessarily have to be verbal either. It could be a graphic.

Rob Wilson:

Absolutely, yeah.

Liron Segev:

It could be a little ping sound. I like the idea of using some sort of audible cue because you know, the brain needs to be engaged every couple of seconds. So it's nice to have a little thing that pops up at the bottom with a little click click sound or little ping for your notification. People tend to see the time and time again, and then they tend to hit that subscribe button. There is a big question that we get all the time it's YouTube has been around for a while now, do we really need to tell people to still subscribe to a channel? I mean, surely people know this by now, Dan, what are your thoughts on that?

Dan C:

You would think. No you still, because I mean, think about how old YouTube is now and imagine parents showing their kids YouTube today. Like people are discovering YouTube for the first time, just like people are discovering Minecraft for the first time. So there's that and then it's not necessarily that you're calling people out for not understanding how to subscribe or that they forgot, it's just that no one's thinking about that. They just typed in a question or something, they found your video, they're watching your video, and the last thing they're worried about is who you are or why they should subscribe. But if they're reminded like, "Hey, I have a channel where I do all kinds of stuff, just like this." It's okay to say that. It's okay to remind them of that and I do agree it needs to be at the top of the video somewhere. And I like Rob's idea of offering value first. So you're not just saying, "Hey, I'm Dan subscribe. Okay. Today we're going to talk about..." That's silly.

Dan C:

But if you give them something, give them a reason to subscribe and then remind them, that's a thing they could do, it's not insulting. It's not annoying unless every 10 seconds in your video is popping up in the corner. So yeah, I don't think it's a bad thing to do. I don't think it's an annoying thing to do, and I don't think it's calling anyone out for something they should already know.

Rob Wilson:

I want to throw a question out to you two here. This is going to be a radical, bold step for YouTube. Now I'm the head. I'm becoming Rob Wojcicki for a day however you pronounce the CEO's name. So let's imagine Instagram trialed removing likes from posts. What do you think a world of YouTube would be like if subscriber counts were hidden from the public?

Dan C:

How would I get a play button?

Rob Wilson:

Okay. That's the creator's point of view. Thanks, Dan. What do you think from a view viewer perspective? How do you think that might influence the clicking decisions? If they didn't know of size of the channel?

Dan C:

I mean, we see channels hide subscriber counts, and I think because only some channels do that. I don't know about you guys. Maybe it's the time of year where I am, but I get a little bit sketched out by that. I don't know why.

Rob Wilson:

That's a conscious decision because subscriber counts are public. So if it's hidden, it's been hidden for a reason. And you want to ask the question why? And so that's going to be in the back of your head when you're looking at our channel. I think anyway.

Dan C:

Right. And hypothetically speaking, if there were no subscribers period on YouTube I think that would kind of feel weird at first, but in the end, I don't think it would matter because we already know YouTube has been developing its AI more and more to focus on content you're going to want to watch and less about the content you've subscribed to. And we can argue til our faces are blue about if that was a good decision or not. But at the end of the day, they've only tripled down on that because it's worked for them and we've noticed they have the data. They know that, that's an effective strategy. So I've actually considered, like I wonder if YouTube will just remove that ability one day or well, minimize it even more at least.

Liron Segev:

So a slightly different view, look at something like TikTok, right? What's the one thing that TikTok doesn't show publicly as you're scrolling down for you page is a date. There is no dates on TikTok. And what does that mean? It means that whenever you see a video, you have no idea if it's a day, a month, a year old, it doesn't matter because people are there for the content. You also don't see subscriber counts. Now understand you don't do as many searches on TikTok as you would on YouTube, but the video content is still there. People tend to find a crater that they like, the funny comedy, whatever, click on the creator's name. Then they see the followers and then they hit the follow button, but they never ever see a date. So subscriber count is now a thing that we got conditioned to.

Liron Segev:

If they take it away, it's going to be super weird for a very long time. But at a certain point, it'll just become the normal thing. Remember when everyone was having a heart attack, because Twitter increased that character count from 140 to 280 and people lost their minds and the ADHD nature of us, a day later, we go, "Oh, that's just the new norm." So I think right now we see subscriber count as an authoritative measurement. This person has got lots of subscribers that means they must really, really know their stuff. Let me go listen to what they have to say. They take it away, it gets weird.

Rob Wilson:

I think video tags are currently in that weird transition, but they used to be really important. We've been conditioned to fill up 500 character box with video tags. YouTube has been telling us for years and years, that video tags don't matter anymore. And I think that that is starting to prove that, but it's still there and we can't help ourselves. We have to put... I know of a YouTube educators who say the tags don't matter anymore and then you look at the tags and they have to fill them in. And that's fine. We're the same, we're still going to fill out a box if it's there. But I'm curious now. I'm wondering if I should experiment and just remove or hide the vidIQ subscriber count for a week. I just wonder if there's loads of comments come in on the live stream or like on video comments. That might be an interesting test to try that out.

Liron Segev:

And it's there's a difference, I think, between an established channel and a new channel. So if you're a new channel, we know that people are buying bots and are buying views and are buying subscribers. So whenever someone consciously hides their subscriber count, you'll always do like a double take. Go like, "Why? Something doesn't feel right. Something seems a bit weird." So yeah, I think the experiment, if you want to run it under vidIQ channel, we should equally run it on smaller channels and to see if those have actually noticed a difference between the two. By the way, I do know some creators who are big craters and they've hidden their subscriber count because of the mystery. They actually don't.

Liron Segev:

They do it for a specific reason. They also make their Instagram private because they want people to request a follow because people want to be part of that club that's not accessible to everyone. So this whole thing is not a very clear straightforward. You must do this therefore it will do that. I know it does rise suspicious for me personally, like Dan said, when you hide your subscriber, there's a reason I get iffy about that kind of stuff.

Dan C:

I want to just point to something Rob said at the very beginning of this he mentioned almost in passing that the subscriber count is like a vanity metric. And that is kind of the point here is that subscriber counts have been the thing everyone's worried about, right? Our biggest question is how do we get more views and subscribers? But at the end of the day, it is the most vanity of the vanity metrics we have on YouTube. I still think it's cool. I think it's cool to see how many people you've reached to a point where they were willing to come back and they prove that to you, by clicking that button. They have intended to come back. It still means something, but I think it's more emotional than it is valuable, I guess.

Dan C:

And another website we can point to that kind of has the same mentality is Twitch. On Twitch, you can follow a channel and it appears your feed when that channel's live. And the follower count is visible if you search around for it. But it's certainly not anything that anyone really looks for on Twitch. They've deliberately made followers, it seems just a thing that, eh it's a thing you can look at, but it's not important. And just for anyone who doesn't know a subscriber on Twitch's someone who's paying but channel, but a follower, just like YouTube, anyone can click follow. So subscribers on Twitch are there if the creator wants to share those. Most of the time, they just don't, and the thing people care the most about there are the views, the concurrent viewers in Twitch's case.

Dan C:

I think if subscribers disappeared off YouTube, the first thing people would look at is the catalog of videos. They'll look and see how many views this person generally gets. "Are they really an expert? People seem to keep coming back and watching their videos. So, yeah, maybe I will keep following this channel."

Rob Wilson:

I have an idea which I think Mr B should steal from me. I think I should hide the subscribe account on vidIQ and then asking our community tab. "We're going to hide it for a week. Can you guess what our subscriber count is going to be in a week's time and have a voting poll?" So you're involving your community in something way playing about with a subscriber metric and vanity, I think. I wanted to ask a question to you two guys now, because I think we've been laying the smack down a little bit on subscribers thinking that they're not that important but when do you think subscribers are really important for the health of your channel? I've got a fault on this, but I'm going to throw this to Liron, first.

Liron Segev:

Yeah. So to be clear, we do think subscribers are important. I think that the reports are in different ways to different people based on your channel size and based on what you're trying to do. So if you're a business and you're using YouTube as a funnel, maybe subscriber count is non-important views are more important to you. So I do think they're important. For me, the importance of having the subscriber count, it's also the progression of the channel. I know that I get more subscribers when I do X. So therefore there's a great signal for me to say, "Look, when I stick on one topic, people tend to watch those videos more. I get more subscribers because of that topic." Okay, those are the indicators that we use to know how to double down on that content. How to get that next subscribe, bump.

Liron Segev:

And realistically, we want a mouse. Now we want something to aim for. Otherwise, YouTube just becomes an even weirder place. I mean, as weird enough as it is, I want to have something to aim for. I want to get that next milestone. I want to do better. I want to dive into my analytics more and a YouTube subscriber count is a golden metric for me to say, "Okay, I'm on the right track." Otherwise my channel wouldn't be growing.

Rob Wilson:

Dan.

Dan C:

I think that something people generally, a common misconception, if you will, is that subscribers help you rank. You need subscribers because that's going to help you rank on YouTube. I would point back to 100 Percent Zelda is a great example. Some with almost no subscribers when they started and just five, six, seven videos in had one blow up 80,000, 90,000 views. I love everything Liron just said, it's a great metric for understanding what's working. "Oh, wow. That video I posted got a thousand more subscribers. That's really cool. I got to keep doing more of that."

Dan C:

I wouldn't say the metric is not valid period. You know, it's just more emotional and it definitely can help you like Liron said, decide what you're going to do next. But when it comes to, let's say, you're trying to get a brand deal or something like that. If that company is smart anyway, they're not going to just look at your subscriber count. They're going to look at the views you generally get on the content you make and if you're the right fit for them, for other reasons. If your content matches... If you're going to have a gaming channel, does it make sense to sell deodorant on it or would we rather be selling keyboards and cool computer things?

Rob Wilson:

So what I would say is that subscribers can become hugely important for a channel if you're able to cultivate the subscribers into a community and that when you launch a video and it sends out a notification to the subscribers, they can really help drive initial velocity on a channel. But it's only serve a certain amount of size. So I kind of think of it in this terms of, for a lot of channels, the most important thing to begin with, and some may disagree with this, that's absolutely fine. I think the most important thing for channels to begin with is to be discovered in search because then that's the easiest way to get some views. And then I think once you've been discovered on YouTube a little bit, people who subscribe to your channel are then going to give you that nice best level of velocity when you launch content that connect to them, relatable to their subscribers.

Rob Wilson:

But then ultimately, and I think you'll both agree on this. I think ultimately where you want your channel to be isn't suggested whereby it doesn't necessarily matter if it's a subscriber, it's the related content. So you're coming up against Mr B's content or Jenna Marbles, all Shane Dawson. I'm talking about people who've all left YouTube recently. I don't know why, but when you're being relatable against mega styles on YouTube, and they're saying, "Hey, if you like this big YouTuber, you may want to try this person. I know you're not subscribed to them, but we as YouTube know the content that you like, and we think this matches up to you." So I think subscribers do have that importance, but I think ultimately you want to think beyond just another YouTube metric.

Liron Segev:

All right. So we've spoken about the value of the subscriber. And we've said one of our tips that we've given was call to action, make sure that you tell people to subscribe. Don't wait till the end of your video to do that because a lot of people actually don't make it to the end of your video. You can do it audibly, you can do it when you give a good tip. Oh, excuse me. You can do it when you leave. You can do it via a little graphic and a little ping sound. So that's great, good tips that everybody in the chat can actually go do and focus on their next channel. And hopefully just doing that call to action will trigger people to click that subscribe button.

Liron Segev:

But now we've got to go to the other side of this coin. What happens if on my channel, I'm getting lots of subscribers for some reason, I can't explain it, but man, they're not coming back and watching my next video. On my next video, I'm not getting those views. What do I do guys?

Rob Wilson:

Those are sound effects on my phone that keeps telling me that my sports team is losing. I should have disabled it. I do apologize for that. Dan, take the question because I completely lost my train of thought.

Dan C:

Okay. Personally, I've not experienced that phenomenon where a bunch of people subscribe and don't come back. Again, subject changes will do that. People will subscribe because of a video and then leave when you change subjects and then maybe you'll get some new ones and they leave again because he changed subjects again. So I would again go back to saying, I discourage subject changes on your channel because people want to subscribe to you as the expert of something. But yeah, I think that if people are going to leave your video after subscribing, maybe you had a really strong hook at the beginning and a good compelling argument to subscribe. And they did, and just like Liron said earlier, we don't generally unsubscribe when we hit subscribe. We just subscribe. And by the end of that video, if they stuck it out or they left early or what have you, you didn't perhaps come across as memorable.

Dan C:

Perhaps you need to be the judge of your own content. Try and look through it through the lens of a viewer. How long was that intro? You got them to subscribe early on, cool. But did you still stay on the menu screen of the game you're playing and then talk about all the things you're going to do today and slowly meander through it and kind of get there halfway through the video or was there just a point in your video where you did something, maybe you were playing a game and you got a phone call and for some reason to edit out, you're just like, "Oh yeah, what's up?" And so go into your retention and see, there's got to be a point where it dips in a strange way, and you're like, "What happened there and go to that point in your video and try and figure out and be harsh on yourself. Look at that video and say, "Oh, maybe people don't like it when I answer the phone while I'm recording, maybe I shouldn't [crosstalk 00:32:16]."

Rob Wilson:

Specifically don't like you answering your phone.

Dan C:

Or making sounds because your team's losing, for example.

Rob Wilson:

Indeed. Absolutely. I've got one big point and then I've got a list of things I'm going to quickly reel off. I think this happens to a lot of channels when they suffer, I'm doing suffer in air quotes here. You "suffer" from the viral video whereby one particular video did really well for your channel like 10X, 20X, your normal views. And it raises the channel to such a point where you think you should be operating at that all the time and the followup content either isn't related to viral contents or your expectations are too high. So there's always that danger with a viral video that you either have to pivot to something which you don't want to do the longterm, or it governs and influences the channel in a direction that you're not happy with.

Rob Wilson:

Now. I did want to just reel off because I'm actually going to do a video in the future. So this is a bit of a bonus for everybody. I want to do a video about why people unsubscribe, but I think this is also relatable to why people are subscribed, but then not watch your content. So there's subscriber fatigue. Like sometimes people will subscribe to our content and watch it, but then they just run out of steam watching it. For example, I subscribe to a cast and I loved watching his content for a couple of years, but now even I'm still subscribed, I just don't watch any of his content and I can't really give you a good answer why. Maybe just my viewing habits have changed. Subscribers may outgrow your channel, like we're an educational YouTube channel but there may come a point where we've got somewhere to 10,000 subscribers, 20,000 subscribers, but they need to get their information from somewhere else and we don't maybe serve that particular audience too well.

Rob Wilson:

The trend may have run out of steam. There's a lot of channels that are built on reactions to television series like Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones has gone now, the television series, is there as much interest in that topic and probably not. Or, and this is something that a lot of people need to pay attention to. Is that something better comes along. Y'all happily going along with your content, people are watching it, but maybe what you're not realizing is that more people are coming into your competitive space. They're making better content, whereas you're standing still and then all of a sudden you realize why is nobody watching my content? That's because these three channels are doing what I do much better these days. And so that was just a list of reasons that I'm formulating for my video there. But Liron, let's just jump this one back to you for your thoughts.

Liron Segev:

So I look at it this way. I don't look at individual video just in isolation. I look at it based on my channel as a whole. So I like to look at my channel in a 30 days and a 90 day cycle. So what seems to be like, "Oh, I'm losing subs or I'm losing views. People are not coming back. Boo hoo. Why always me?" Could be something unrelated. It could be an algorithm change. It could be a change in the way you did your content. It could be a thumbnail change. It could be something else. But once you do a helicopter view and you look up and you say, "Okay, hold on. Over the last 90 days, I'm actually still well within my average of what my channel is doing. So my audience is still there, I just maybe had," as Rob said, "a little hits, a little bump in a previous video. Now I'm basing everything on that one video."

Liron Segev:

Now also remember things like the trends as Rob mentioned as well, a channel like Dad, how do I? It became so popular. It blew up overnight millions of subscribers. People subscribed to that channel because they wanted to be part of that. How many of them are continuously watching every new time he changes a tire, teaches you how to shave. I don't know that. So people might be looking at their ratio of subscriber to view count and saying, "Well, he's got millions of subscribers, but 50,000 views of video, that's a terrible ratio." So you've got to look at things for what they are and that's why I always like a helicopter view of remembering, "I have a channel as a whole. How am I doing as far as a trend is concerned? How am I doing as far as my entire channel?"

Liron Segev:

If my channel is jumping completely, okay, something's up. Now I've got to take some drastic action. But in most times you'll probably find that you're actually stored in line with the average, but because of a bump or because something weird happened, then you got the little bit of a lift and now you're changing everything because of one video. That's very, very dangerous because you're not thinking five, six videos ahead. What are you going to do next? And then you get yourself into a position where you're locked in. This is what you're going to be doing. You're falling off that cliff on the left or you're falling off the cliff on right. You got to be careful to walk the balance between your content, what your viewers want, what you're willing to do and just to find that balance, getting those subscribers and retaining those views.

Liron Segev:

Final, quick practical tips just to throw in there before we go to our final thoughts. At the end of your video, the most important thing, and I've said this earlier is to get people to watch your next video. What a lot of people forget to do is that they forget that people watching your videos are on a journey. For you, the journey has ended because you finished filming your video. So you are done. But for the viewer, they're busy watching your content. They're loving it. They got all the way till the very, very end. Now that they are at the very, very end, don't leave them. Don't say, "Thanks for subscribing and liking." Say to them, "Hey guys, I've got even more content on the same topic. Go and check out this playlist, go and check out that." Move those views from one video to the next video, to the next video.

Liron Segev:

That's when YouTube shows you love, it puts you into suggested, it shows you that people are loving your content and YouTube looks at your own library first, and then trying to suggest more content. But if you just let your audience go right at the end, you've pretty much lost the opportunity of a really engaged viewer, not watching another one of your video. So those were my final thoughts on the question before we move onto the question. Dan, final tips on subscribers, views. What would you leave us as your golden nuggets to take away?

Dan C:

I would, again, reinforce niching down. I know we've been kind of hammering it, especially me. But it's so important. And this is something that I didn't value when I first started YouTube, and I think because it was one of my biggest early YouTube mistakes, that's why I hammer it so hard. But it's so important to stick to a topic and take people on a journey throughout every aspect of it that you possibly are interested in and interested in covering. Because people are going to come back to you because you're the expert and you can always niche out over time. You can look at PewDiePie as a great example. He started out in the horror genre. He played games that scared the poop out of him and people came back for more and more and more. And he got subscribers and his channel grew and grew and grew.

Dan C:

And it got to the point where if you love that content, it would be weird not to watch him play something else. Like what else is going to make this guy react in a funny way? And he niched out. You can look at his journey from where he started to where he is now. And now he's at a point where he can literally pick up any game he wants. My point is, no, I don't expect you to wait till you get 10 million subscribers to do that. But you can do that over time. Start small, and then branch out. Don't start by just playing any game you want or covering, "Today, I'm going to fix my car. Tomorrow I'm going to go on the roof and clean some leaves." Stay on topic as much as you can, and people will eventually follow you for you and you'll have a lot more freedom down the road.

Rob Wilson:

My final thoughts goes to what you were just talking about Liron, with the, Dad, how do I? Channel. I think there's actually an audience war going on in that channel right now. A lot of people subscribed because they fell in love with the story of this dad who didn't have a father figure in his own life, and now he's realizing how important he is to his children and he's sharing ethos and drive on his channel. And he got two and a half million subscribers because he went viral. You're absolutely right Liron, and you look at the videos now and they're averaging maybe between 50 and 100,000 views. So the audience engagement is pretty low. Don't get me wrong, the views are still good. You'd want tens of thousands of views.

Rob Wilson:

However, when I look at the videos themselves, when he's talking about how to let's see, swap out a car battery or socket wrench set, or how to build a bench, he considered that educational content, and then there are other videos that he's doing where it's story time and Father's Day. There's one that's simply titled, "Hey Kids." And those videos are getting more views than the educational stuff, because the thing that's more relatable to the content that the people subscribed for. So there's a real dichotomy of content going on in that channel. And I think the creator needs to maybe understand what his audience wants and how he's going to his content going forward. I mean, ideally you'd want to merge both the education and I guess, the fatherly figure type of values in the content, but that's really difficult to do in a [inaudible 00:41:44] in a title.

Liron Segev:

Okay. Some good takeaways, good thoughts, good comments, good conversations. I think all of this is going to be helping people, helping our creators to really understand this. There is value in subscribers. Of course, there's value. Yes, there's value in a viewer. Of course, there's value there, but what you obviously want, you want to put those two values together and really, really grow your channel on both and that's when you really win. And the big message that from all of us, we all been saying this, is look at your analytics. Understand what your audience is telling you so that you can make your content cater to that audience. And that's how you provide subscribers with value.

Liron Segev:

They keep on coming back. They're going to watch, they're going to share, they're going to engage and they're going to comment all beautiful signals to YouTube to say, "Hey, good quality here. Let me suggest this more. Let me put this on the home screen. Let me get you more apples because people are loving what you're doing." So that's important. Love that analytics is what we always like to do and...

Rob Wilson:

AMEN

Liron Segev:

I like that, but that's the sound effects that we need, Rob. Is an amen. Thank you, Dan. Thank you, Rob, for sharing your valuable tips with us. Something that we can all bear in mind before we shoot our next video, offer lots and lots of value. Ask for someone to subscribe, move subscribers from video to video and soon enough those views and subscribers will all rise together. Don't forget to share this episode with at least one other creator who's perhaps struggling. Hit that subscribe button to TubeTalk in your favorite podcast application. Leave us a review, let us know how we've done and we'll see you on the next episode of TubeTalk. Thanks for hanging out.