Let’s be clear about one thing: If you are just starting out, you don’t need any of these tools. All you need to focus on is creating quality videos on a consistent basis.
With that being said, if you’ve been in the game for a while and have a substantial amount of subscribers, small tweaks can make a big difference.
If you remember YouTube from a few years ago, a lot of data was publicly displayed: tags, traffic sources, view history.
Nowdays, you can’t even see the tags of a video without using a tool or browser extension.
YouTube in 2006 …
Back then, one could even refresh the page and rack up views.
Today, YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine (1st is Google).
Why YouTube Marketing?
Well, YouTube is the most powerful marketing platform of the modern area. Video is more powerful than written text and YouTube just happens to be the biggest video platform.
Not only that but YouTube videos also allow you to rank on Google, which means your are getting traffic from both of these sites.
The problem is that other than some basic analytics, YouTube doesn’t provide much helpful data for video creators. Another issue is that a lot of tasks (tagging, description, keyword research) are repetitive and third-party tools are the only way to automate those.
YouTube marketing tools, such as the ones covered below not only help you automate certain tasks, they also provide essential data about your competitor’s videos.
You are able to pinpoint which videos went viral and how. You can then mimic some of it (tags, titles, etc.)
YouTube Subscriber Burnout
Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need any of these tools. Things are going as expect anyway. You publish a new video and many (if not all) of your subscribers view the video.
A view:subscriber ratio of 100% or more (within the first few days after the video is published) is not uncommon. For the most part, this remains the same – with minor fluctuations.
BUT over longer periods (say a few months), you’ll notice that fewer and fewer of your subscribers watch any of your new videos. Eventually, you reach a point that many of the bigger channels are at.
YouTube Subscriber Burnout at it’s best:
If you cover a wide range of topics on your YouTube channel, then naturally not every subscriber will be interested in watching any new video.
But if nobody – and I consider <1% to qualify as nobody – watches your new videos anymore, you have a problem.
Your YouTube channel is dying.
That’s when these YouTube marketing tools come in handy. They show you exactly which videos have been performing well, so you can cut out what doesn’t work.
A common criticism is that these tools provide a variety of practically useless information. How does knowing your video is currently trending in a certain country help YOU as a creator?
Yeah, I agree.
Some of the data has no practical application, but if you know how to use these tools, then you can really unleash the full potential of YouTube marketing.
Let’s start with the most popular YouTube marketing tool:
It’s free to install and use – you only need to upgrade if you require premium features. This is the case with most of these tools.
A great way to test the waters is by installing the Google Chrome extension ‘vidIQ Vision for YouTube‘.
Once you have vidIQ installed, what are some features you should use before uploading your next video?
vidIQ Keyword Score
The keyword score is perhaps the most important feature of this tool. It shows you whether or not trying to rank for a certain keyword is even worth the effort.
In the example above, I see that competition is fierce while search volume is low. If you are just starting out, it wouldn’t make sense to target this niche.
Instead, you would focus on keywords with very low competition and moderate search volume.
Views Per Hour (vidIQ)
‘Views per hour‘ is an interesting metric because it shows roughly how the total amount of views of a certain video came about.
Say you’ve used the keyword score mentioned above and have found a suitable keyword to target.
Next, you would probably type in the keyword to look at the top ranking videos. You notice the top ranking videos got lots of views.
The problem is you don’t know whether those views came from their subscribers or are steadily flocking in via the keyword ranking.
vidIQ's Views per Hour can answer that question.
If a video has been released a while back but views per hour are still high, you know those views are coming from those keyword rankings (rather than subscribers).
The social and SEO features are helpful to dig deeper – to find out why a certain video is ranking so well.
Referrers/Embed Sources shows on which sites the video has been posted. You can then look at those sites and perhaps there’s an opportunity for your video to be posted there as well.
This feature won’t help you get more views or rank the video higher, but it does make engaging with your subscribers much easier.
Rather than going through all comments posted, you can filter based on specific criteria.
If you wanted to reply to subscribers’ questions, you can set the filter to ‘Doesn’t have replies‘
If you get a few thousand comments on every video, this feature can really save you a lot of time.
Video Tags (+ Rankings)
Lastly, you can click on any video and not only do you see which tags/keywords have been used, but also the respective ranking for each.
In most instances, you can simply copy those keywords and use them for your own videos.
Those are the main features of vidIQ that I use on a regular basis. Let’s continue with TubeBuddy, a vidIQ alternative!
First off, there isn’t much of a difference between previously mentioned vidIQ and TubeBuddy. Both offer similar features; I personally prefer TubeBuddy because of it’s Tag Explorer.
Before you start working on a new video, you want to make sure there is enough interest for the respective topic. Ideally, the topic is somewhat of an evergreen and not just trending right now.
By clicking on the ‘Historical‘ tab, you see keyword interest over the last 12 months. This gives you a good idea if the topic is a trend or not.
The historical data in regards to the tag/keyword comes from Google Trends. You could also go directly to Google Trends; this integration just makes the research process more convenient.
TubeBuddy Suggested Tags
You can also use TubeBuddy to improve any existing video. ‘Suggested Tags‘ shows you which additional tags should be added to the respective video.
This is a great feature to use – especially if you had videos uploaded prior to installing TubeBuddy.
The final YouTube marketing tool I’ll cover is HootSuite. vidIQ and TubeBuddy are both tools which you can use directly on YouTube; for researching keywords, competition and managing comments.
HootSuite is different in that it doesn’t offer any of these features.
It only allows you to schedule videos, track video & subscriber growth as well as manage multiple YouTube accounts.
As such, I personally don’t use nor recommend HootSuite.
Scheduling videos can be done directly on YouTube; HootSuite doesn’t make the process any more convenient.
The same applies to the analytics provided. YouTube analytics provide more insights compared to HootSuite.
Why Use HootSuite?
I mentioned already that I don’t recommend HootSuite for the average YouTube creator. No need to pay for features which are easily accessible directly on YouTube.
I can however see how HootSuite would be useful if you manage accounts on multiple social media platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter …
And having all of these in one place (HootSuite) would certainly save a lot of time.
So, those are the 3 YouTube marketing tools and their application. There are more tools ‘out there‘ but most can’t compete with vidIQ/TubeBuddy and are very limited in their functionality.
Again, if you are just starting out, don’t stress to much about the marketing aspect on YouTube. Just put out videos for a while, build up your subscriber base and use the free version of each tool.
If you have the money to spend, you can upgrade to premium and get a headstart!