The Differences Between Wistia Channel Subscribers and YouTube Subscribers

Phil Nottingham

Phil Nottingham

Marketing


Last month we launched Wistia Subscribers, a new feature that adds a simple subscription form to your Wistia Channel, allowing viewers to subscribe just like they would on…well … YouTube.

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While on the surface these two features may seem a lot alike, there are some critical differences between YouTube Subscribers and Wistia Subscribers. Here’s what you need to know about Wistia Subscribers (and why this data may be more valuable to your business).

1. You get an email address

When someone subscribes to a Wistia Channel, you, the content creator, receive their email address. When someone subscribes to a YouTube Channel, on the other hand, all you get is an extra number on the subscriber counter.

With YouTube, you have no idea who has subscribed to your Channel and no way to reach them directly other than via paid advertising. YouTube controls the communication with your subscriber and keeps all the details of who they are locked away.

This is a problem, because with both B2C and B2B marketing in the modern world, an email list of engaged subscribers is one of the most valuable assets you can build. Once you have an email address, you can communicate directly with potential customers, build remarketing lists, encourage word of mouth, or use email enrichment to understand more about who your subscribers are.

2. You can integrate subscriber data with your CRM

With Wistia Integrations, it’s a 5-minute job to ensure all of your new subscribers are integrated directly with your email service provider or marketing automation platform. This means that every new Channel subscriber you have automatically gets sent to your database of leads and subscribers, where you can bring them into your wider email marketing and lead nurturing workflows. With YouTube subscribers…you can’t do any of those things.

“With Wistia Integrations, it’s a 5-minute job to ensure all of your new subscribers are integrated directly with your email service provider or marketing automation platform.”

3. You can remarket on every advertising platform

It’s simple and easy to create a remarketing list from your YouTube subscribers, which can be a great way to advertise to them around the web, and bring your social following one step closer towards becoming customers.

But, you can only use your Google remarketing lists on Google ads. If you want to target your YouTube subscribers on Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn…then, you’re out of luck.

With Wistia, you get access to email addresses, so you can build remarketing lists (and lookalike audience lists) for any platform — including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.

Plus, to make things even easier, you can set up a Facebook Ads integration to automate the whole process on Facebook and Instagram using Wistia’s Custom Audiences feature.

Here’s what some of our pre-made audiences in Wistia look like:

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4. You can customize email notifications for new videos

If users subscribe to your YouTube Channel (and have notifications turned on) they’ll occasionally get an email that aggregates recent updates from all the channels they’re subscribed to. If you’re lucky, your video will be front and center in this email.

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If you’re unlucky, your update will be buried next to a review of an unappetizing looking chicken burger…or worse.

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However, with Wistia, you can choose to notify someone the moment a video is published, with your own branding, customized subject line, and copy, stipulated by you.

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5. You own your audience, rather than renting one

The core difference between the two platforms is, ultimately, control. With Wistia, you pay for the product, but you retain all the value from each new subscriber. With YouTube, the product is free, but Google owns your audience and charges you for the privilege of trying to speak to them.

Social media can be a risky place, and YouTube is prone to changing its terms and conditions very quickly. The only way to futureproof your business from the whims of the biggest company in the world is to build the audience yourself.

Phil Nottingham

Phil Nottingham

Marketing

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