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Vanity Metrics Don't Pay The Bills

As some of you might be aware, I have a humble little YouTube channel where I post digital marketing tutorials and advice.

The shocking secret of this? From one perspective, it's been a complete disaster.

I’ve been working on that YouTube channel for a couple of years now. Nothing too crazy, it takes me a few hours' work per month.

Over 200 videos in, and I have amassed a whopping total of about 600 subscribers.

At this rate, it will only take me a mere 333,000 videos to get to a million subscribers. Easy as, right? 

On a good day, I might get 200 views total on my videos. There are YouTubers breaking that figure every minute of the day.

From a "vanity metric" perspective, my YouTube experiment has been a total, unmitigated failure.

Forget being an A-list YouTube celebrity, or even B-list. In fact I wouldn’t be fit to shine the shoes of the most minor of YouTube “stars”.

An outside observer might look at my channel and wonder why I'd even bother continuing.

So, why do I persevere in the face of apparently abysmal performance? 

Simple … because my YouTube marketing activity actually gets me what I truly care about and what matters to my business - inquiries from potential clients.

While it’s a nice feeling to see the subscriber count tick upwards, or have a sudden rush of new views, the utility to my business of qualified leads each month is worth substantially more to my business.

I’d rather have one person watch my latest video and think “hey, I’m struggling with that exact issue and I think Sam can solve it for me, I'm going to message him” than a thousand viewers who inflate my view count and provide little other value.

I’m not monetizing my channel via ads (if you’re doing this, then obviously view count and subscriber volume is critical) so I focus on the KPIs that count.

Everything else is a bonus. A "nice to have".

Whether you’re making YouTube videos for your business, or writing blog posts/articles, or posting on LinkedIn, make sure you assess your success on whether or not you are getting the outcomes that truly matter to your business.

Would I love hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube and millions of views? Yes, because I want one of those plaques they send out to put on my new bookcase. And then I can also claim to be an influencer and maybe get a free car (or something like that).

I'm also the first to admit that if I got more views, I'd quite possibly get more inquiries. However, that would then pose its own challenges anyway.

Therefore, are floods of views and subscribers outcomes I need to see to judge my activity as successful?

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No!

Because what I am doing right now actually gets me what I need.

Don't stress too much about metrics that don't pay the bills. You can't pay the taxman with YouTube views, or Google Analytics pageviews - so if your activity is getting you the outputs you need, then you are on the right track and should keep doing more of it.As some of you might be aware, I have a humble little YouTube channel where I post digital marketing tutorials and advice.

I’ve been working on that YouTube channel for a couple of years now. Nothing too crazy, but a couple of hours’ work per month.

Over 200 videos in and I have amassed a whopping total of about 600 subscribers. At this rate, it will only take me about 300,000 videos to get to a million subscribers. Easy as, right? 

On a good day, I might get 200 views total on my videos. There are YouTubers breaking that figure every minute of the day.

From a vanity metric perspective, my YouTube experiment has been a total, unmitigated failure - at least so far. 

Forget being an A-list YouTube celebrity, or even B-list. In fact I wouldn’t be fit to shine the shoes of the most minor of YouTube “stars”.

So, why do I persevere in the face of apparently abysmal performance? 

Simple … because my YouTube marketing activity actually gets me what I truly care about - inquiries from potential clients.

While it’s a nice feeling to see the subscriber count tick upwards, or have a sudden rush of new views, the utility to my business of qualified leads each month is worth substantially more to my bottom line.

I’d rather have one person watch my latest video and think “hey, I’m struggling with that exact issue and I think Sam can solve it for me” than a thousand viewers who inflate my view count and provide little other value.

I’m not monetizing my channel via ads (if you’re doing this, then obviously view count and subscriber volume is critical) so I focus on the KPIs that count.

Whether you’re making YouTube videos for your business, or writing blog posts/articles, or posting on LinkedIn, make sure you assess your success on whether or not you are getting the outcomes that truly matter to your business.

Would I love hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube and millions of views? Yes, because I want one of those plaques they send out to put on my new bookcase. And then I can also claim to be an influencer and maybe get a free car (or something like that).

Do I need that outcome to see success for my business? 

No! Because what I am doing right now actually gets me what I need.

 

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