We get it!
It’s frustrating to put so much effort into shooting and editing videos only to end up with scanty views and subscribers. Even worse, if you’ve spent time researching your audience to find out what they would love.
But just before you give in to the temptation to buy YouTube subscribers, we want you to be aware of the potential risks and drawbacks of this practice.
This article will show how paying for YouTube subscribers can harm your channel or even get your channel banned or deleted. We would also show you some organic tips for growing your YouTube channel that works.
Should you buy YouTube subscribers?
Our recommendation is to avoid buying YouTube subscribers.
While it might provide a short-term impression of success by inflating your subscriber count, it won’t result in real views or engagements. Such attempts can also be easily detected by YouTube and can result in your account getting banned or deleted.
How would “fake” subscribers harm your YouTube channel?
Let’s paint a scenario real quick.
You have been paid to subscribe to a YouTube channel, and it’s not a topic or theme that interests you.
Let’s even say the odds align, and you were paid to subscribe to a channel that talks about topics that interest you.
Because it’s not your area of interest, you would probably subscribe and watch one video, and that’s all. If it’s within your area of interest, chances are that because it’s not a channel you found on your own or recommended by a trusted source, you don’t share a similar level of enthusiasm or even enjoy watching the videos.
Now, here’s where the problem lies. When you buy subscribers, they are only obligated to subscribe, not watch your videos(if you want views, you would have to pay separately for that).
Once YouTube noticed that the increase in subscribers did not translate to an increased view count or watch rate. It raises suspicions about your channel, which puts it at risk of being banned, suspended, or those bought subscribers being taken away because it’s against YouTube’s terms of service.
Under the permission and restrictions section, it states that you are not allowed to;
“cause or encourage any inaccurate measurements of genuine user engagement with the Service, including by paying people or providing them with incentives to increase a video’s views, likes, or dislikes, or to increase a channel’s subscribers, or otherwise manipulate metrics.”
Asides from the risk of your channel getting flagged by YouTube. Some other drawbacks of buying YouTube subscribers include:
Decrease in important YouTube metrics:
No matter how good and engaging your videos are, they will not appeal to everybody. The odds of finding this loyal fanbase when paying subscribers are quite low.
Your subscribers have increased, but other metrics like view count and watch time have not. These metrics inform the algorithm (whether to promote your video or not). This uneven metric increase harms the chances of your video appearing in organic search because the algorithm does not see it as a video people would want to watch.
It can damage your channel reputation:
If people look deeper into your channel and discover that you purchased subscribers, it could damage your channel’s integrity, as your viewers don’t know whether or not the views and likes they’re seeing on your videos are genuine. This can hurt your channel’s reputation, and people may not trust your videos as authentic.
If it’s a personal brand, it can send the wrong message to potential brands that might want to work with you.
🎉 Related Article: 9 Best reputation management software for digital agencies
4 tips for growing your YouTube channel that actually work
You already know you are supposed to create high-quality, engaging videos and develop a consistent content schedule. Asides from that, here are some other organic tips and growth strategies for increasing your YouTube subscribers.
1. Understand the needs and interests of your target audience:
We know you probably have different content ideas or topics you want to make videos on, but pause a little and ask yourself; will my audience would be interested in this? If it’s a topic that interests them, the chances they would organically discover your content is high.
You can discover what your audience is interested in through keywords. Because keywords are how people would search and find your videos on YouTube, you can use that to judge their interest in a particular topic. Some of the tools you can use to find the right keywords include:
Or you can use YouTube’s autocomplete feature. Start typing any word into the search bar; you’d notice Youtube lists related keywords beneath.
2. Optimize your video for search
Understand that YouTube is a search engine like Google, with ranking factors. There are SEO optimization practices that increase your chances of ranking in YouTube’s organic search. Some of which include:
- Include keywords in your title and video descriptions: Your video title informs your audience what the video is about and ultimately is how viewers decide if your video is worth clicking on. Ensure your title matches the video’s content and is compelling enough to attract viewers.
With video descriptions, you have more words to convince your audience. Ensure you include your important keywords at the beginning because Youtube only displays the first two to three lines of your description. After which viewers have to click on “show more” to read your full description, so put your best foot forward.
- Include the keyword in your video file: Before you upload the video file to YouTube, rename the file to contain the main keyword of the video. YouTube won’t watch your video, but adding keywords to your video files would give it an idea of what the video you’re uploading is about.
- Use compelling thumbnails: Thumbnails are images you see just beside the video title, and YouTube has some rules regarding ideal resolutions and formats.
The rules aside, your thumbnails should contain relevant text(if possible) and should have bright colors that can further attract viewers.
- Add tags and hashtags: Tags help the algorithm know what your video is about, and hashtags can help your discoverability during the search. Just ensure that your tags and hashtags are closely related to the content of your video.
- Add transcripts and captions: The same way people love to watch movies with subtitles, and some people would prefer to watch your video along with subtitles/captions. Create a transcript file containing the text of what is said in the video, which should be in the same language as the speech in the video.
3. Turn your long videos into multiple short videos:
Even though YouTube has established itself as a long-form video platform, it has also embraced short-form videos with Youtube Shorts. You can do the same too. Take some of your best-performing long-form videos, break them into short videos, and combine them with the right thumbnails, titles, and descriptions.
These short videos can help you attract new audiences on YouTube while your old videos cater to your existing subscribers.
🎉Related Article: How to create engaging short videos for social media?
4. Promote your videos across different social media platforms:
You have at least one social media channel you are active on and have a decent following. Edit out some part of your video, or better still, create a short trailer and post it on your social media channels. The key is to make such videos lively and captivating, so they can encourage your social media followers to watch the full video on your channel.
Buying YouTube subscribers remains a big risk
Buying YouTube subscribers is risky and can put your account in danger of being suspended or even banned from YouTube. And even if you’re not banned or taken down, people viewing your channel will recognize fake subscribers, likely not resonate with your account, and won’t bother watching your content.
Instead of buying subscribers, we advise you to focus on creating the best content possible and working on strategies to help you grow an organic audience. Additionally, you can use YouTube Ads to reach your target audience with your content.
Bonus Article: 11 essential YouTube KPIs to measure your channel’s growth