Today we are looking at Tube Buddy, a tool that helps you to manage and grow your YouTube business. VidIQ seemed to start this current craze for these YouTube management platforms, so it will be interesting to see how Tube Buddy stacks up against its more mature rivals. As a current user of Tubics (yet another YouTube management tool), I will have plenty to compare Tube Buddy with 🙂
YouTube has become a massive business over the past decade, both for Google and the creators on the platform. The popularity of these YouTube specific growth tools are testament to this! Here is my full and honest Tube Buddy review…
What is Tube Buddy?
Tube buddy market themselves as being a tool to help you manage, optimize and grow a YouTube channel. It is an online only tool that you log into and manage everything from their. Tube Buddy also has a browser extension and mobile application that can directly link with your YouTube account and manage things from there.
Tube Buddy is made up of two parts. There is an online portal which is totally separate from YouTube, and then there is a chrome extension that you log into whilst on YouTube, that shows up a specific Tube Buddy menu. This allows you to access things such as keyword research, the SEO studio and the video topic planner from right inside YouTube. As you can see below, this menu is accessed by clicking on the blue dot.
Now lets go over the the main features of Tube Buddy:
In order to get more views on your videos you need a way to find keywords or topics that match what people are actually searching for on YouTube. When YouTube was first around people would just randomly put up whatever they felt like, but now people serious about their YouTube business are doing keyword research.
Tube Buddy can help with this, as it has a keyword research tool. If you type in any keyword and phrase that you are thinking of making a video on it will show up with a scale telling you have likely of a success this will be on your particular channel. I did test this by searching for something totally away from the niche of the channel I was logged in with, and it seemed to work pretty well. You also get an indication of search volume, competition strength and how well optimized the top videos are for this term. If you find out they are not well optimized you have an opportunity to exploit.
Any keywords or tags you find from this process can then be added to your video content planner list. This simple tool will help you remember the different topics for videos you would like to make in the future.
As well as this, Tube Buddy has recently added something called SEO studio, with the idea to help you craft the perfect title, tags and thumbnail to help your new videos rank higher. For example, for the thumbnail section they show you competing videos thumbnails, and at every step they have a checklist to help you make your new content as optimized as possible for rankings.
In a similar vein to the SEO studio mentioned above, Tube Buddy also has tools to help you refine and optimize your uploads. They call this area Launch Pad and tell you it will 'ensure every video you publish has the best chance of success'. The main part of this is a upload checklist that guides you through everything you should do to help your freshly uploaded video to perform well. You add a video from your channel to the Launch Pad and run an audit to make sure you are hitting all the right areas to make your video a success. Anything from descriptive tags to how to promote the video. It will also give you suggestions as to things you should add to your videos. They call these 'best practices' and 'opportunities'. This tool can also be set to monitor all of your public videos in the background, as long as you have the right licence tier. It will notify you with recommendations any time you upload.
Tube Buddy can be set to track the keywords in your videos and where you rank on YouTube. This is helpful to see how your videos rankings can change and develop over time. Maybe you have an old video that you have just implemented a lot of Tube Buddy's recommendations too. This tool will help you track any changes that might happen after this. Tube Buddy can also rank your channel and your selected competitors to monitor how you score against each other. This can help to give you insights about how to get ahead of those competitors.
This is a brand mentions tool for YouTube. You can specify words or phrases that you would like to track, and Tube Buddy will notify you when anyone mentions you on the platform. For example, maybe your brand is Review Guy, you can ask Tube Buddy to notify you of any time someone else on YouTube uploads a video related to these keywords 'Review Guy'.
There are some processes that you can do on YouTube that are easy to manage if you just have a handful of videos on a channel. If you have over fifty videos, doing these things individually on each one can be a waste of time. Tube Buddy steps in by allowing you to bulk process some of these tasks to save your time and sanity. A prime example of this is being able to change the cards on your videos (the little messages that pop up in the corner of videos). With Tube Buddy you can copy these cards across all of your videos, giving a unified look in a few clicks. You can do the same thing for the end screen on all your videos.
Other examples of this include being able to bulk change words in your titles and descriptions. Maybe one of your social links has changed, this tool can quickly help you amend this information on all your videos.
Tube Buddy also picks up any demonetized videos on your channel and helps you quickly re-submit them for review.
Tube Buddy has some promotional tools build in. As well as helping you share to the major social media networks, they also have tools to help you run competitions on videos and pick random winners from commenters. You can also quickly add text to videos descriptions to promote other videos on your channel. Cross video promotions, if you will.
Tube Buddy has an awesome feature that allows you to A/B different thumbnails on a video to see which gets more clicks. Thumbnails can have a great impact on your click through rate, and this is a great way to test different types of thumbnails and see the results. It's not only thumbnails though, you can also A/B test titles and descriptions too! This could be really powerful to see what is driving your results on YouTube.
Tube Buddy has a section they title 'Health Report', which basically pulls some key metrics from YouTube and presents them in a way to see how your channel is doing. You can monitor growth rate and engagement levels on your channel quickly using this Health Report. I particularly like the Demographics tab, that quickly gives me a visual representation of the age and sex of people that watch my channel. This information can be really helpful when thinking of video ideas.
As long as you are logged into YouTube along with the Tube Buddy Chrome extension, they will subtly include their own enhancements and improvements to YouTube's functionality. The main ones are around the comment moderation and video upload systems.
Remember when I talked about the SEO studio earlier? The results of your optimizations from that can be saved into a draft. Then when you upload the accompanying video you can select this draft and auto add the titles, description etc. that you worked on inside SEO studio.
When moderating the comments page in YouTube's back-end (the one with all your comments in one place), Tube Buddy adds some extra filtering options. You can choose to only see comments that contain a comment, for example.
Another massive enhancement is that they have some great looking custom sections that pop up whenever you watch a video on YouTube. These give you vital statistics about that video that YouTube no longer hands out themselves. You can see their view statistics, compare with other videos or simply see the performance of and copy tags. I like how it is naturally implemented into the YouTube platform! It looks great!
Whilst using YouTube, the Tube Buddy logo will alert you to any of these enhancements.
I haven't even gone through all of the features, they have a canned comment option too! And a thumbnail generator!!
I would be here all day if I detailed EVERYTHING! ha ha. So, yes…Tube Buddy does have a lot of features!
How Much is Tube Buddy?
Each account that you buy works with one YouTube channel. If you run multiple, you should get in contact with Tube Buddy directly and they will offer you decent discounts.
As you can see, the cheapest account is only $9 a month and the highest tier with all the bells and whistles is $49 a month. I like the tick boxes on the left of the prices that will automatically discount your first month based on your circumstances. These is a ingenious idea and helps Tube Buddy show their customers they care!
How does this compare to their main competitor VidIQ? Their lowest tier is $7.50 a month but they do go up as high as $415 a month. On the whole, you will find Tube Buddy quite a bit cheaper when you compare the features on offer. Just make sure to get discount from Tube Buddy for multiple channels.
What Do I Like about Tube Buddy?
Amount of Tools
The shear amount of YouTube related tools are staggering. There is pretty much everything you would ever use for growing your YouTube channel. You may feel a bit overwhelmed at the start, but give it time and you will have an excellent set of tools at your finger tips.
For the complexity of Tube Buddy, the price they are asking for is very competitive. And it scales well as your YouTube channel grows. You won't need the bulk processing tools, for example, with a small channel. Most people would be more than happy on the lowest tier whilst their channel is small. Grow a bit and you can upgrade. Turn into a massive YouTube influencer and get the highest tier. By then you can afford it anyway 🙂
If you subscribe to a tier that have bulk processing tools you will save ridiculous amounts of time doing menial tasks in bulk on your channel. And you won't need to hire a virtual assistant, so it will be saving you money/time or both 🙂
There is an extensive help area that goes over each tool and gives a how-to video for most of them. With a suite of tools that can seem complex at first, this is a great plus.
What Don't I like about Tube Buddy?
If you like sleek and modern design, this is not the program for you. It's weird because their regular website looks pretty modern and sleek, but as soon as you sign in to their portal this grinds to a halt. You end up in a early 2000's inspired user interface. The thing is, hidden behind that are a massive suite of powerful tools. If you deal with bad design, you end up with an ugly duckling that turns into a swan 🙂 The problem is, there main competitor, VidIQ, has an excellent User Interface and design. They need to put this high up their list of improvements, if you ask me 🙂
To be fair, their more recent additions do seem to have a better design aesthetic, so maybe they are heading in the right direction!!
Navigating around this massive suite of tools can seem clunky at times, and not always that intuitive. It's not a deal breaker, but can be frustrating when you first jump on the platform. And the split of the two sides of the service from the website portal to the YouTube platform just adds to this clunkiness. Although, VidIQ also does this so I am sure YouTube won't allow them move that side into their own platform. It would be awesome if you could just open up your channels YouTube page in a separate tab within the portal! Maybe one day!
It may seem simple having only three pricing tiers, right? But there are simply a massive amount of different tools here and each is connected to a different tier. I found myself clicking functions, only to find i needed to upgrade to use it. So, before you sign up make sure you read the massive tick list under the price lists and make sure all the features you want are in the tier you buy! Seriously, this tick list is like 3 pages!!
Should you Buy Tube Buddy?
When I look at other YouTube management tools, I see that Tube Buddy offers something very complete. I don't think any of the competitors has as many tools as Tube Buddy. But this is wrapped up in a 'ugly duckling' user interface. If you can get past this, you have access to all the tools any up and coming You tuber would ever need. As I got more comfortable with the platform, I had many 'wow' moments as I realized all the different features Tube Buddy has.
If you are serious about growing on Youtube, one of these tools would help you immensely.
Disclaimer: My reviews are always full and honest. Yes, they may have affiliate links in where I can earn a small commission, but this never influences my rating. I want you to trust and come back to my reviews!