One of our main goals here at BAM is to grow our YouTube Channel. So, naturally we’ve been plugging the YouTube links to all of our shows in the stories of both the BAM Instagram and @thebrokeagent. BUT, we are learning this is not a super effective way to get more YouTube views and subscriptions. In fact, it can HURT your YouTube channel AND your Instagram.
1. The direct link to a specific video can HARM viewer retention
YouTube works like a search engine, serving relevant videos to users who type something in or by feeding them videos based on their likes and interests through an algorithm. Like TikTok, it’s one of the best algorithms on social media and usually knows exactly what to put in front of users. So, if you direct someone to a specific video that they didn’t discover naturally, and then they click away after a few seconds or minutes, that action is telling YouTube people didn’t like the video or your channel. Viewer retention is extremely important to the performance of a YouTube video, and people are more likely to watch longer if they search for the video themselves or come across it naturally through a subscription notification or algorithm.
What you should do instead: On the Over Ask Podcast, we had two YouTube experts: Jeremy Knight and Tim Macy. Both said that instead of plugging the link to a specific video, you should plug the link to your channel. That way people can actually click around your videos and choose for themselves what they want to watch. This will help increase viewer retention and subscriptions.
2. Don’t put a link at all
Guess what? Instagram HATES when you direct people off-platform. In fact, they hate it so much that they throttle the engagement and reach of any post or story that directs people to a link. From experience, it’s best to not include a link at all in your stories. But, of course this is unavoidable for media companies, realtors and brands who have to direct people to a website or landing page to show their article, listing, or products.
What you should do instead: In your Instagram stories or wherever you’re promoting YouTube, simply tell people to head there without the link. Say something like, “head over to my YouTube channel to watch our newest property tour!” That way YouTube sees people are searching for the channel and Instagram doesn’t punish you for including a link. Take a screenshot of your thumbnail or go in Create Mode on your story and talk about the video to entice people to head to your YouTube. Check out Ryan Pineda, he’s really good at promoting his YouTube through Instagram without direct links.
Hope this helps! Now, click THIS LINK and subscribe to our YouTube Channel. The same theory probably applies to blogs, but whatever.