How important are YouTube subscribers?

By the end of this video, you will know exactly how important YouTube subscribers actually are, and how much weight you need to put on your subscriber count compared to other metrics, like views and watch time.

Now there are some obvious reasons why subscriber numbers do matter. So for example, for your first 100, that enables you to get your custom URL, so you can choose one for your channel that’s easier to remember and to share. When you get to 1000 subscribers, combined with 4000 hours of watch time, you can then start to monetize your channel. And it goes on beyond that point with all sorts of awards and trophies and other great features.

But does this stuff really matter? Or is it just a vanity metric?

Subscribers vs views

Well, there’s a strong argument that it’s actually the views that really count. They help you get towards your 4000 hours of watch time so you can monetize your channel, they generate ad revenue, and views are one of the most important factors that YouTube uses to determine how popular your channel and your videos are.

However, bear in mind that a certain percentage of your subscribers will watch your videos, they’ll comment on them, they’ll share them. Your subscribers are generally more loyal than just somebody who stumbled across and watched your video.

What’s really important is that your subscribers watch your videos first. And because they’re subscribed to your channel, they’ll get notified if they’ve got the notifications switched on, they’ll find out first when you’ve release a new video, but they’ll also see when they log on to YouTube on their feed your video appearing there.

So them going on and watching your video first gives you an early boost in view numbers. This early boost in view numbers from your subscribers is a signal to YouTube that your video is popular. It’s a key factor for the algorithm in suggesting that it should then show your video to more people. More people who aren’t already subscribed to your channel.

Another benefit of subscriber numbers as well is that it can open up all sorts of other opportunities. So, for example, if you’re wanting to get into brand deals, sponsorship deals, they do tend to take into account how many subscribers that you’ve got, so the more the better. And also, if you’ve got a significant number of subscribers, it’s going to open up other opportunities as well, such as speaking gigs, paid promotions, and guest slots, that kind of thing.

Of course subscriber numbers do matter for the reasons that we’ve just said, but it’s actually the engagement on your videos that really counts.

So the comments that you got on your videos, for example, that really show how people feel about your content and how they’ve been affected by it, or how much it’s helped them. Also, the majority of views that you get on your videos don’t actually come from subscribers.

Figures suggests that anything around and even just under the 20% mark is actually considered good. So that just goes to show, if you look at it that way, then the subscriber numbers maybe don’t count that much.

I’d also argue that if people watch your videos and they enjoy them, and they get value from them, that still counts even if they haven’t subscribed, you’re still giving value and you’re getting the views and the watch time.

And next time you’re getting down about the subscriber numbers that you have, just think about your niche or the industry that you’re in… to compare your sheep dog training channel to an entertainment channel is not a fair comparison. The potential audience for an entertainment channel is going to be far higher than for a sheep dog training channel which is quite specialist!

It’s all relative

So my point is it’s all relative.

And another thing, what if your subscriber count on your channel is relatively low, but actually, your channel is driving loads of business to you and you’re getting loads more clients,  leads and enquiries, and actually it’s affecting the bottom line of your business, and you’re making a lot of money because YouTube is sending custom your way, that counts!

Isn’t that more important than having tens of thousands of YouTube subscribers?

So, in a nutshell, subscriber numbers are still an important metric in helping you and YouTube, work out how popular your videos and your channel are.

But remember, it’s just one metric and often a vanity metric at that.

Keep your focus on creating quality, entertaining, or helpful video content consistently, and the rest should follow.

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