Yes, we said it… You need to stop saying “like, comment, and subscribe to my channel!” There is literally no point in doing it, The YouTube algorithm couldn’t care less.

Too many channels make the mistake of asking viewers to hit pointless buttons that do absolutely nothing for the YouTube algorithm. Nevertheless, small, medium and large-sized channels all follow it because they believe that these three buttons have something to do with boosting their channels up in the YouTube algorithm. 

If your viewers actually enjoyed your content you don’t have to tell them to come back to watch more.

We even see viewers repeat this mistake when we look at comments that say, “for the algorithm!” or “get those likes up!”

Attracting more likes, comments, or subscribers on paper seems like a good strategy, especially when you see most big YouTubers pulling ridiculous stunts to extract pointless numbers. You would think that more subscribers, likes, and comments means growth, and it does. But the real growth comes outside of asking for them from your viewers.

Once you understand why these metrics don’t matter, you will be annoyed every time a creator says it. It’s like taking a red pill for YouTube!

Which pill you choose?

We will explain why these three metrics don’t matter and go in-depth on the one thing you need to do that will truly grow your channel. Most YouTube growth gurus won’t tell you because it’s stupid easy!

Smash That Like Button!

This one annoys us! How many times have you watched a YouTube video and seen a cringy YouTuber tell you to do ridiculous things to the like button like it’s a piece of meat!

SMASH that like button! SLAP that like button! HIT that like button! 

Slap it!

We get it… You want us to click that like button so that you can be ‘boosted’ in the YouTube Algorithm…

Most YouTubers are doing it on the platform, making the call to action not as unique as it used to be because EVERYONE is doing it. 

Some would argue that the call to action could be a good community builder. We agree, but there are better ways of doing it! You should always think of ways to develop consistent language throughout the video that only your audience understands.

There are different ways of branding your YouTube videos that do not involve annoying your viewers to hit a like button. 

You must understand that the like button has no function except vaguely telling viewers how credible the video is. 

For example, if you watch a video that has 5,000 likes and 100 dislikes, chances are the overall audience enjoyed watching the video. However, if the video received 100 likes and 5,000 dislikes, most viewers did not enjoy the video.

As the video is playing, we viewers will typically scroll down the page to see what the like to dislike ratio is. If we see more dislikes to likes, we will either not watch the video or watch the video cautiously.

Reconsider your stance on the impact of likes on a video.

You might be searching for tips on how to repair an iPhone; click on the first result, scroll down as the video is playing, and look at the likes and dislikes. 

When most of us watch a how-to video and see that the dislikes are high, we will assume that the information presented in the video does not work and then usually click out of the video. 

The like button can be a helpful feature to determine if the video is credible (unless a community of trolls attacked your channel.)

Notice how we didn’t mention anything about the YouTube algorithm? The like button is a vanity metric that can easily be boosted by saying it constantly, or even worse… buying them. Don’t be dumb and make the mistake of buying likes! That’s a cardinal sin that will get you zero results!

This is something we do not endorse for YouTube, but getting more likes on your video isn’t that hard.

When we look at channels and determine how successful they are, we will never look at the number of likes they get and compare it to other channels. Instead, there are more important metrics like watch time, audience retention, click-through rates, and others determining a channel’s success.  

The number of likes a video receives will increase as your watch time grows and viewer counts rise.

Viewers are not stupid. They know how to click the like button if they enjoyed a video. But, it’s cheesy to think that YouTubers tell their viewers to like their videos if you think about it.

Wouldn’t you be weirded out if a random YouTube creator came to your house, showed you a video, then told you to like the video… That would be a strange thing to do!

Here’s what you should do instead of telling viewers to like your video… Create unique content without the call to action, and your videos will get likes without saying anything!

It’s like magic, but it isn’t! 

Here’s another bit of information that will make you wonder whether or not the like and dislike button grows channels…

YouTube has been experimenting with hiding likes and dislikes counts on videos since March 2021.

The way YouTube judges a video is changing.

If the like and dislike buttons were super important for the YouTube algorithm, why the hell would YouTube consider removing the feature from the platform? 

Hmmm… I guess the like button is a YouTube algorithm booster! (**sarcasm**)

Hit That Subscribe Button!

What?? YouTubers shouldn’t say “subscribe to my channel” throughout every video?!? I thought more subscribers leads to more growth on YouTube!

No.

You might be surprised, but asking for viewers to subscribe is just as bad as asking for likes! So every time you hear a YouTuber tells you to subscribe, what do you usually notice?

As the YouTuber tells a good story, explains an important lesson, or is about to reveal an epic moment… All of a sudden… He says, “If you like what you’re seeing making sure to hit that subscribe button!”

Quality example of wasting a Call To Action, like Graham Stephan does.

Ugh! So annoying!

The most annoying thing is that they don’t understand that more subscribers don’t lead to faster growth! 

Yes, you might have gained 100 subscribers from the “subscribe to my channel” call to action. But, still, you also could have caused the viewer to subscribe to your channel, skip a portion of the video, or even worse, click on the following recommended video that isn’t yours! 

Remember, watch time leads your channel to grow and get recommended to a broader audience, not subscribers! Successful creators figure out ways to get their viewers to watch their videos in endless loops. And so should you!

Don’t rely on subscriber counts to gauge whether or not your channel is growing fast. There are many situations where small creators will hit a hot topic at the right time, have a couple of their videos go viral, and gain thousands of subscribers. 

Just because you went viral once, doesn’t mean you retain all that attention long term.

Then all of a sudden, they will post another video that gets less than a quarter of what the viral videos got. This happens because the viewer of the viral video will watch the video without watching the other content.

The subscribers he gained from the videos will continue to exist on his channel, but they will never watch his videos because the creator’s videos will never show up on home or suggested feeds.

Most YouTube users watch videos through the homepage. If you don’t create videos that viewers want to binge-watch, YouTube’s algorithm will not put you on the homepage. The thousands of subscribers you gained will be all for nothing because they can’t see your content!

The main goal should be to take up space on your viewers homepages.

If they can’t see your content, how the hell do you expect them to watch your videos?? Most users rarely go to your channel page and watch your videos through the video section. Instead, most of your views will come through the browse features (aka the home and suggested feeds.)

So stop saying “subscribe to my channel” and keep the video rolling because more watch time = growth!

Subscriber count follows Watch Time, in other words focus on your content.

Make Sure To Comment Below!

Comments sections are a fantastic tool for community building that should be implemented at all costs!

However, you should not be telling your audience to add one-word comments that are supposed to boost you in the YouTube algorithm! Spam comments are disgusting, and it makes the comment section hard to read!

The sole purpose of the comment section is to interact with audiences watching your videos. It’s a tool that is used to keep your audience loyal and engaged with your content.

Keeping your viewers loyal to the channel is a super important task that will keep your brand growing (because the same viewers that comment frequently revisit your channel and binge-watch your content which adds to your watch time.)

The comments section should be used to retain viewers, allow them to have discussions, react to funny moments, ask questions, enter giveaways, and let your viewers respond to questions you presented throughout the video. 

You might be asking, “why do super-successful channels have thousands of comments? Shouldn’t that be an indicator that YouTube is pushing the channel because of the comments?”

No. The channel is succeeding because the creator figured out how to get more viewers to watch his videos. AKA, he figured out a way to get viewers to watch his videos repeatedly.

The comments are the byproduct of the channel’s successful content creation strategies that came from his watch time numbers increasing. But, of course, the same thing applies to the channel’s boost in likes and subscribers as the channel grows.

Instead of training your audience to comment, “for the algorithm!”, ask them questions, ask for their perspectives, tell them to react to a funny moment. This is how you keep your viewers watching more of your videos. 

All praise the Holy YouTube Algorithm!

Also, make sure to respond to your commenters, for crying out loud! Don’t leave your commenters in the dark; try to respond to as many comments as you can! 

Eventually, you will not be able to respond to everyone, but it’s a good habit to get into that will make your commenter’s day a little bit more enjoyable!

Here’s a dark secret that helps you trap a viewer to your channel… Heart your viewer’s comments and respond to them. You will boost their ego and make them feel special, which will causing them to watch more of your videos!

Recognize your viewers who constantly interact with your content.

I know it’s dark… But this is one of the dirty marketing hacks you must implement if you want your channel to grow! 

Use this call to action to appeal to the YouTube Algorithm instead!

Here’s the moment you were waiting for! The number one call to action you must use will skyrocket your channel (100% guarantee that it works!)

It does not involve asking for likes, comments, or subscribes!

You need to start recommending your past videos!

You should be mentioning a video that relates to the topic you are filming. For example, if you are recording a video about the secret hacks to online dating, you should recommend your viewer to watch the video where you explained the best phones to use for online dating.

Notice how the videos complement each other? Online dating hacks (recommend your viewer to) —> best phones to use for online dating.

How to add cards to your YouTube video.

You can recommend your videos with cards (a small rectangular box that quickly shows up on the upper right-hand corner of the user’s device with a video title.) However, it would help if you also used end screens at the end of each video (this will show up as a large rectangular square that shows the thumbnail of the video you want your viewers to watch.)

How to add an end screen on YouTube.

Whether it’s an instructional how-to video or a vlog, there must be some link that connects to other pieces of content throughout the video. 

This keeps your audience wanting to find out more about what happens next in the listed video.

We will explain how you can string pieces of content together by observing a travel vlog format and discussing why it works.

  • How To String Together Pieces Of Content Throughout The Video

If you are traveling to your favorite holiday location and recording content for YouTube, you could make separate pieces of content for different cities.

You would be reviewing what the current city is like as you travel around. And at the end of the video, you can show yourself heading towards the next town.

This allows your audience to wonder what you’ll be up to when you film in the next city. Make the suggested video at the end of your video the next place that you traveled to.

Suddenly you have a link between 2 pieces of content!

  • Think Of Your Videos As TV Shows!

Remember your favorite anime or TV show when you were a kid? 

Every time a chapter ended, a bridging episode linked together with the end of the chapter and the start of a new one. Usually, this includes a cliffhanger at the end of the video.

We all want to know what happens on the next episode of our favourite shows.

Let’s translate how this relates to YouTube. YouTube’s end screen cards are used to link videos different videos together. 

You should create a quick cliffhanger at the end of your video and add a video card related to the cliffhanger. Make sure to prepare the conclusion beforehand because this is a necessary process that gets viewers to watch more of your videos. 

Treating your content creation on YouTube like it’s all one big story with many arcs in it is the best approach. 

Remember, the focus of YouTube is not the vanity metrics (likes, comments, subscribers) that everyone else is concerned about. Instead, your goal should be to hook the audience into finding out more about your videos.

Balancing the delivery of value, entertainment, and storytelling are the key ingredients to cooking up your grand story on YouTube! 

This is how you’ll be appealing to the YouTube algorithm, with content that is focused around watch time.

  • Your Call to Actions Are Valuable. Stop Wasting Them!

Your audience only has so much attention span they are willing to give before clicking off or becoming interested in someone else’s content in the suggested section of YouTube.

YouTubers waste time and attention by pressuring viewers to subscribe to their content, leaving them with a less satisfied and less responsive audience.

You do not want this; your goal is to keep your audience on your channel by clicking through to more videos, hence creating long stories that spread across multiple videos.

Always focus on perfecting your content on YouTube before anything else.

How many times have you viewed a video, and you’re harassed with being told to like and subscribe? Then, it all becomes a tedious task to watch through the content you enjoy!

Now there’s nothing wrong with integrating ads in your content, just like how Linus Tech Tips does here. You need to keep your videos short and sweet. 

Viewers will thank you for keeping your primary focus on the story. As your audience watches more of your content, the YouTube algorithm will start to kick in and start suggesting you to the home and suggested pages.

Conclusion

You have an opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest. Stop pissing off your audience and keep them curious by pulling all your content together by creating cards that link to your older videos.

Remember, your viewers seek entertaining and exciting content, give the people what they want.

Vanity metrics such as likes, comments, and subscribers aren’t important compared to watch time. YouTube rewards channels that keep their viewers watching YouTube videos. Think about it; YouTube wants people to stay on the platform.

Take all this into consideration and the YouTube algorithm will reward you greatly as you continue to make content.

It would help if you were asking yourself this question:

“If my viewers are already supplying my channel with the most important metric (watch time), why should I be pushing hard for likes, comments, and subscribers, especially if it causes viewers to click off my videos?”

Marques Brownlee: The Most Successful Tech YouTuber EVER (4 Reasons Why)
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