…and don’t even get me started about the people on Upwork and Fiverr that say, “I will get you 500 new subscribers to your channel.” Save your money; it’s all a scam. There is no way that you can make a video and put it on YouTube and suddenly get 500 subscribers tomorrow because you hired an SEO expert. If you were not able to do this yourself with all of the previous videos that you made, it’s not real.
Imagine your birthday is coming up, and it’s a big milestone. Maybe you’re turning 30 or 50. It’s a big deal. You want to have a birthday party, so you invite all of your closest friends. These are the ones that you spend most of your time with, you’ve laughed with, you’ve cried with. These are good friends of yours, and they’re going to come to your party because they love you and they want to be there to support you. They genuinely enjoy your company. They’re going to play the games, they’re going to talk to people, they’re going to have a wonderful time because they get to be there with you.
Now, let’s say you go down to the street corner, and you start passing out $20 bills to random strangers to say, “Hey, I’m turning 50 this weekend, and I have nobody to come to my party. Would you like to come? Here’s 20 bucks for you, 20 bucks for you, 20 bucks for you, 20 bucks for you”.
Sure, those people might come to your party, but are they going to have a wonderful time? Probably not. Are they going to talk to everybody and play the games? No, they’re there for the paycheck. They’re there because you gave them 20 bucks.
And this analogy is a perfect example of what it’s like when you run ads on YouTube to get eyeballs on your videos.
It’s not a good experience for anybody. It’s not a good experience not for you as the person paying for it, not for the viewer who clicked on this video and really had no interest in it in the first place.
I wish I had a cup of coffee right now. I feel like I need to have a cup so that while I sit and rant. I recently did a video called ‘How to drive traffic to your coaching business for free.‘ I will link it right up here if you want to watch that later, if you happen to be a coach or a course creator.
And I got a comment from Positively Rebellious. She said, “Can you make a video about ads? My friend did this to direct traffic to one of her videos. She gained 250 subscribers but also a lot of dislikes on that video, and the number of views did not increase on other videos, just that one.”
I have some very strong opinions on ads when it comes to YouTube, so brace yourself…
…’cause here that to me, YouTube is all about organic growth. It is not sharing the link to your YouTube video on Instagram and Facebook and TikTok and Twitter, trying to artificially get people to come to the platform to watch your video.
My goal with YouTube is that I will make the video, there is an audience for it on YouTube, and the algorithm is smart enough to know who is the most likely person to enjoy this content, and then say, “Hey, here’s this video, what do you think? Want to click on it and watch it?”, And hopefully, they say yes.
When you build your YouTube channel organically, it is always going to perform better in the long run than throwing money at it with ads.
You are basically teaching the YouTube platform what your content is about and the type of people that will enjoy watching it the most.
When you put a video out, and it gets a very high click-through rate, so a lot of people saw the thumbnail and the title, and they clicked on the video accordingly, let’s say it gets a 1% click-through rate, which is great, the YouTube algorithm goes, “Oh, when we put this out in front of people, a lot of them click on it”.
So now they click, and in the first 30 seconds, they’re like hanging on the edge of their seat, they can’t wait to see what you’re going to say next. You are keeping their attention, you are teasing the content, you are building the sense of tension inside them where they’re like leaning forward, waiting to hear what you’re going to say so that you relieve that tension.
Then YouTube says, “Oh, not only do they click on the video, but they watch it for a really long time. We have a winner”. And that’s when videos go viral. That’s when YouTube sends this video out in front of lots and lots and lots of people because they’re getting such positive engagement signals back.
They click, they watch, they like.
Now, that doesn’t happen when you artificially drive traffic to your video because of an ad, just like what this comment said. It gets the video in front of all of these people, but the people who were naturally going to be interested in that video and click on it are not necessarily the ones that will click on it because they saw it in an ad.
So they click on your video, but they don’t stick around for the first 30 seconds. They click on it, but then they go, ‘What is this? This is not at all what I thought it was going to be.’ And so they clicked, but they didn’t stick around and watch.
So what does that tell YouTube? “Oh, people don’t really like this video, I guess”. Now, if you have a video that is not performing well, now it has a low click-through rate, it does not have good audience retention, throwing money at it is not going to fix that problem.
I’ll tell you exactly what’s going to fix that problem, but before I do that, I need to tell you all the other reasons why throwing money at the problem is not the answer.
Do you ever see the same ad over and over and over again in your newsfeed?
It drives me insane. I see this all the time on Twitter, the same ad shows up over and over and over again. It’s like, ‘I didn’t click on it the first 37 times it showed up, I’m not clicking on it now.’ And finally, I say, ‘Stop showing me this ad, I am not interested.’
That’s what we’re doing on YouTube as well. If you have a very specific target audience, that video is going to get shown over and over and over again, and it’s just going to annoy the audience. So not only are they not going to watch the video, now they have an unfavorable opinion of your brand because you keep shoving this video in their face.
Remember, with organic YouTube growth, authenticity is key.
In fact, one of the students in my private community posted this morning that this video came out two weeks ago and it had already had 153,000 views, and it was called ‘Why I am starting a YouTube channel at age 90.’
Oh my gosh, she already has 11,000 subscribers, and her very first video went viral. That’s crazy to me, right? Why? Because it’s authentic. It’s this cute 90-year-old lady who has an art gallery in Virginia in a place I’ve never heard of before, and it’s showing up on my YouTube homepage because the YouTube algorithm thinks that it is so endearing, interesting, and entertaining, and a little bit of shock value and heartwarming that it’s going to appeal to a lot of people, and clearly they were right because it’s had 150,000 views in the first two weeks.
That’s not what happens when you pay for an ad. Again, you are artificially driving traffic to this video. If it wasn’t performing organically, it’s not going to start performing now simply because you’re paying to drive traffic to it.
But the biggest reason why I’m not in favor of running ads to a specific video on your channel is the possibility of confusing the algorithm.
I try very hard to make videos so that YouTube as a platform understands who is my ideal customer Avatar, who is my Niche, what exactly do I talk about on this channel, and who is the most likely person to find it and like it and become part of the community and subscribe and engage and all of the things.
When I run an ad, I can say, show it to these people, people who follow this page, people who did this keyword research, people who typed this into the search bar, people who did blah blah blah blah blah. And I can artificially make the algorithm put that video in front of those people. It’s not necessarily who the ideal target audience is. We don’t want to confuse the algorithm. As they say in marketing, when you confuse, you lose.
I want it to be crystal clear who is the most likely person to want to watch a video like this and respond to it and find it valuable and like it so much that they give it a thumbs up. I can’t wink with my left eye. I can’t wink with my right eye either, apparently. And then subscribe to the channel because they found it so valuable. I don’t want to trick the algorithm into finding my audience. I want my audience to find me because I am attracting them to my channel with the content that I put out there.
And don’t even get me started about the people on Upwork and Fiverr that say, “I will get you 500 new subscribers to your channel”.
Save your money; it’s all a scam.
There is no way that you can make a video and put it on YouTube and suddenly get 500 subscribers tomorrow because you hired an SEO expert. If you were not able to do this yourself with all of the previous videos that you made, it’s not real.
They’re probably bots; they’re people in other countries. They may subscribe to your channel, but they’re not interested in your content. So even on the off chance that those people are real, which they’re not most of the time, but even if they were, they’re not interested in your content. They only subscribed because they were told to for some particular reason.
So they subscribe, but then every time you release a new video, they don’t watch it.
So what does that tell YouTube? They’re like, “Oh, even her own subscribers don’t watch her content. She must really suck”. So you don’t want to do that either.
And earlier I told you that I was going to tell you exactly how to fix the problem if your video is not performing organically.
Throwing money at it doesn’t fix it. What does? Here’s the thing, and you’re not going to like my answer: you have to make better content.
And when I say better, I don’t mean highly produced. I don’t mean buying an expensive camera and an expensive microphone and spending 17 hours to edit a three-minute-long video. That’s not what I mean.
But you need to get better at being on camera, being comfortable on camera, making eye contact with the viewer, telling a good story, keeping someone’s attention as long as possible, making an amazing thumbnail, and writing a really good title, and having such a fabulous opening hook that 30 seconds in, 90% of the people are still watching your video.
You need to learn how to do that without spending any money on ads, and that is what is going to grow your channel.
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