Blog by Thumblytics

Why Creators Are More Successful Than Brands on YouTube

September 25, 2021

When you look at your YouTube subscriptions, how many are Brands and how many are Creators?

Most of your subscriptions are likely to be Creators. Most Brands on YouTube either rely heavily on paid advertising or have very few subscribers.

There are five main reasons for this. Read on to find out 👇

#1 Value for viewers

No one watches ads for fun, but many companies and brands use their YouTube channel as a dumping ground for their ads and marketing materials.

It's not surprise that no one watches these videos.

The viewer invests their time in the videos, so they want something in return. They want to be educated or entertained.

The best YouTube videos achieve at least one of these goals if not both.

So ask yourself what value you are delivering to your viewers, and stop using YouTube as a dumping ground for ads.

#2 The human element

The human element is extremely powerful in driving clicks on YouTube thumbnails, and we've consistently seen this across the thumbnail tests we've run (and trust us, we've run a LOT of tests). Humans have evolved to detect eye contact, making thumbnails with eye contact more eye-catching. In addition to this, humans communicate in large part by reading emotional cues on the face.

YouTube has always been about personal branding, their old slogan was broadcast yourself..

Viewers build connections to the YouTubers we watch. These connections are harder to build with a faceless company or brand. This is why companies often struggle to build a relationship with their audience.

What's the solution? Use people in your videos and thumbnails!

But who should appear in your videos?

From within your company - These will be new faces that can stand for your brand, but in case they are not used to being in front of a camera.

Use famous or professional people - They are used to being in front of the camera, and if they already have a following they can help you.

#3 Agility and experiments

No one can know 100% of the time what will or won't work on YouTube. As such, experimentation is a necessary part of growing a YouTube channel.

However, established companies and Brands are often hesitant about experimenting with different types of content.

This is similar to how startups can outperform big brands and companies.

#4 Community

Creators understand that a YouTube channel is all about bringing people together and building a community. Companies and Brands often forget this facet of their channel. They just push videos out to the audience, but there’s no personality or communication.

For example, you'll often see YouTubers or individual creators anwering comments under their videos, but this is significantly rarer for Companies and Brand channels.

And while comments are a good starting point, community is about much more. Viewers should interact with the videos and feel compelled to continue watching your other videos!

#5 Better Thumbnails

Brands don't understand the value of a great thumbnail. How many corporate or Brand videos have you seen with super boring thumbnails? Often times, Brands even just use on the the three suggested thumbnails by YouTube!

YouTubers (Creators) understand that at least as much effort needs to go into the thumbnail and title of your video, as the video itself. After spending so many hours labouring over your video, it would be a massive waste to not make sure your video

So plan your video with a title and thumbnail. Make sure to test your Thumbnails BEFORE you publish to make sure you get the most views for every video.

A good thumbnail and title can increase the proportion of impressions that turn into views. Just think to the last time you saw an interesting thumbnail or title on YouTube and decided to click on it.

Another benefit of a good thumbnail and higher CTR is that the YouTube algorithm likes videos with high CTR and AVD. This means increasing your CTR leads to the YouTube algorithm recommending your videos to more viewers.


To sum everything up, the 5 main reasons why creators are more successful than brands on YouTube:

  1. Value for viewers
  2. The human element
  3. Agility and experiments
  4. Community
  5. Better Thumbnails


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