YouTube has spawned an ecosystem of businesses that help deliver online video success, such as channel management companies, video marketers, and even talent agencies for YouTube stars. But there’s one kind of video business that YouTube isn’t crazy about: companies that get paid to increase video views.
It’s not some dirty little secret – even big marketing agencies use services to prime the pump, getting a video a high enough hit count that others start to notice. It increases that video’s chance of going viral.
Today, YouTube issued a warning on its creator blog that using view-buying services could hurt the buyer. Some of those services are junk, creating video views that no one sees or that don’t go to a targeted audience. Some services trick people into clicking on links, or use pop-under ads. These services violate YouTube’s terms. Use a junk service, YouTube warns, and your purchased views won’t get added to your view count. Even worse, YouTube might remove the video and suspend your account.
That doesn’t mean that all third-party services are junk. If you’re going to hire a service to increase your views, make sure it’s promoting your videos to a desirable audience. Ask where the video will be promoted, says YouTube, and ask about demographic targeting. A reputable company will offer analytics showing who watched your video and for how long. Also, a reputable company doesn’t ask for views in return.
For true long-term success, YouTube says, don’t hire a shady outside service, Instead, create great content and engage with your fans.