In this TubeBuddy review, I will explain the ins and outs of the platform and give you my honest point of view as to whether it is any good for YouTube creators.
So, without further hesitation, let’s begin.
What is TubeBuddy?
TubeBuddy is described as ‘your best friend on the road to YouTube success’.
It is a browser-based extension (Chrome, Firefox, Edge) that gives additional features and information for YouTuber creators.
Used by over 3 million YouTubers, TubeBuddy gives you get access to advanced keyword research, marketing checklists and productivity tools to ensure you have the best chance of getting more views on YouTube.
So, starting off this TubeBuddy review, let’s discuss the pricing for the extension.
There are 4 TubeBuddy price plans:
- Free – Completely free
- Pro – $9 per month (monthly billing) or $7.20 per month (annual billing)
- Star – $19 per month (monthly billing) or $15.20 per month (annual billing)
- Legend – $49 per month (monthly billing) or $39.20 per month (annual billing)
As you can see, annual billing is far cheaper than monthly billing. In fact, you save 20% by paying for the year, rather than monthly. Just something to think about if you will be using TubeBuddy a lot.
For small YouTubers that have less than 1,000 subscribers, you can also get 50% off the price of a Pro plan. This means it will cost you $4.50 or $3.60 per month, for the monthly or annual billing options.
Next up, let’s shift this TubeBuddy review to exploring the features of the TubeBuddy.
Let me start off by saying there are a lot of individual features here! If you want to see the complete list of features included in each plan, then I recommend you check out their website.
As a summary, the table below shows the level of features, grouped by tool category, available in each plan.
Tools Free Pro Star Legend Productivity Limited ✔ ✔ ✔ Bulk processing ✖ ✖ ✔ ✔ Video SEO Limited ✔ ✔ ✔ Promotion Limited ✔ ✔ ✔ Data & Research Limited ✔ ✔ ✔ Integrations Limited ✔ ✔ ✔
In general, the Free plan is very limited. Obviously, it is created to give you a flavor of what TubeBuddy can do.
The amount of features included within each tool category then increases from Pro, to Star to Legend.
I’ll now go into a bit more detail about the capabilities within each tool category.
Under the productivity umbrella are tools that help you to be, wait for it, more productive as a YouTube content creator.
Here are just a few of the productivity tools available with TubeBuddy:
- End screen templates
- Thumbnail generator
- Emoji picker
End screen templates
With the end screen templates, you can copy the end screen elements from a video in your channel and apply these to other videos. This saves so much time, especially if you have a large video library.
Another useful productivity tool is the thumbnail generator. Thumbnails are one of the most important aspects of attracting viewers to your videos. So, it’s vital that you create awesome thumbnails to give you the best shot at pulling in the viewers.
Within the generator, you can select to have a background that is a still frame shot of the video, a solid color, or you can upload your own image.
You can then add text, shapes, images and even emojis to your thumbnail to make it really stand out.
Before publishing your new thumbnail, you can also preview what it will look like on YouTube as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Sure, you will not reach the level of a Photoshop wizard with the TubeBuddy thumbnail generator, but it’s a good option for those just starting out with thumbnail customizations.
Apart from thumbnails, the title of your YouTube video also influences your ability to attract viewers. So, why not make them stand out amongst the crowd by adding emojis?
This simple tool allows you to search and pick from a large emoji library.
Maybe your video is about American cars. With a few clicks, you can add an emoji of a car and the USA flag to make the title really pop.
Bulk processing tools
If you have a lot of videos, then the bulk processing tools will be an absolute Godsend by saving you more time on those niggly jobs.
Here is a flavor of the bulk processing tools you will find with TubeBuddy:
- Bulk copy cards
- Bulk thumbnail overlays
- Bulk find, replace and append
Bulk copy cards
Cards are very useful for referring viewers to other videos on your channel and to send them to a link on your website.
With the bulk copy cards tool in TubeBuddy, you can automatically copy cards to numerous videos across your channel, so you don’t have to do the tedious job of doing this manually.
Let’s say you have 60 videos and you want to add a card to all of these with a link to your website to increase your brand awareness. Imagine doing this manually for each video. No thanks!
Bulk thumbnail overlays
As well as having a thumbnail generator, TubeBuddy also has a bulk thumbnail overlay tool.
Maybe you collaborated with a company on a series of videos on your channel. Well, with the bulk thumbnail overlay tool, you can easily add a logo onto a selection of videos.
The overlays can be an image that you upload or you can add an image via a URL.
Bulk find, replace and append
A really simple, yet powerful, bulk processing tool I discovered while writing this TubeBuddy review was the find, replace and append feature.
A lot of YouTubers now have a set structure to their video description. For example, they could include some links to their affiliate programs as a means of earning an extra income.
Imagine wanting to change one of the affiliate links that you have placed in all of your videos. Doing this manually will take some serious time, depending on the number of videos you have.
Well, with the bulk find, replace and append tool, you can quickly specify the new link and swap it for an old one. Better yet, you can select the videos you want to do this for. Such a useful, underrated tool!
Video SEO tools
One of the main reasons most people, myself included, use TubeBuddy is for its SEO utilities.
For those that don’t know, SEO, an abbreviation for search engine optimization, is the process of improving, in this case, your videos rankings in YouTube search pages.
TubeBuddy has a range of video SEO tools, including:
- Keyword explorer
- Video A/B tests
- Suggested tags
The keyword explorer is perhaps the tool I use the most with TubeBuddy.
It’s all well and good creating an awesome video, but you also need to target specific keywords that viewers are searching in the YouTube search bar for the video to get found organically.
When using the keyword explorer, simply use it as a search bar to see how popular that search query is. For example, say you want to create a video on how much YouTubers make. Putting this in the keyword explorer will return the following results.
In the score analysis, you can get an idea of the competition and the number of monthly searches for that particular keyword. In this case, 350,000 searches are made every month for this keyword!
TubeBuddy also lets you know any related keywords and common video tags used on the videos for this keyword. These are very handy to know!
What I like about the keyword explorer is that there is an overall score. This is a simple score and recommendation based on the search results. Usually, those keywords with a high search volume and a low competition are the ones to looks for.
Video A/B tests
A tool that is often overlooked during video SEO is the thumbnail split testing, or A/B test.
As I mentioned earlier on in this TubeBuddy review, the video thumbnail is one of the most important aspects of video SEO.
What you can do with the A/B test tool is to create two video thumbnails for the same video and have them displayed for a period of time. For example, display thumbnail 1 for week 1 and thumbnail 2 for week 2. You can then analyse the results to see which thumbnail worked best.
As you can see in the figure, the variation thumbnail performed nearly 50% better than the original, according to TubeBuddy’s analysis report. So, you would go ahead and stick with the second thumbnail. Cool, right?!
Another important SEO factor when it comes to YouTube videos is tags.
Tags are keywords that you can add to your videos to help YouTube understand what your video is about.
What’s great is that TubeBuddy gives you some suggested tags based on your content. This will help your video get noticed. For example, videos with related tags may show up in the related section of YouTube.
Promotion tools are those that help to market your videos to increase those all-important video views.
Some of the promotional tools available within TubeBuddy include:
- Pick a winner
- Vid2Vid promotion
- Share to Twitter and Facebook
Pick a winner
A cool promotion feature I found while writing this TubeBuddy review was the pick a winner option.
Say you are running a contest on one of your videos where the viewer must leave a comment on the video to enter the competition. Well, you can use the pick a winner tool to randomly select a comment, or even select from comments that only contain a certain word. Clever!
Say you have just published a new video and you want to boost the initial viewer count. Well, you can let people know about your new content it by adding a short message in the description of all the previously published videos.
There is the option to add a message at the start or the end of the description.
This doesn’t have to be anything lengthy, just a quick ‘Hey, check out my latest video here’.
Share to Twitter and Facebook
Another useful tool is the ability to directly post your video to your connected Twitter and Facebook accounts.
I don’t know about you but I always forget to share my content on my social media channels. So, having the ability to directly push my new videos to my social media channels was a welcomed sight.
Data and research tools
If you enjoy looking at data and analytics about your YouTube videos, then you will be happy to see even more statistic reports that come with TubeBuddy.
Some of the data and research tools I found quite useful were the videolytics and demonetization audit.
When you watch YouTube videos with the TubeBuddy extension installed, you have an enhanced interface that gives you videolytics.
This is essentially a sidebar that sits next to the video and provides a rich set of data about that video.
As well as information on the number of video views, you also get to see how popular the video is on social media by looking at the number of shares it has had.
Underneath, there are also the tags that the video used and where they rank in the YouTube search results for each one. Very insightful!
If you are running YouTube ads on your videos, you want to be sure you don’t give YouTube reasons to demonetize your video, otherwise, you can kiss goodbye to your advertising earnings.
TubeBuddy will analyse your video title, description and tags to ensure you are not using words that YouTube doesn’t like. If it suspects something, you will get a warning.
So, now you know how much TubeBuddy will set you back and what you get with it, let me now focus on the level of support you will receive.
Support is generally delivered through a help desk. This is where you will find a knowledge base in an article format. On top of this, you can always submit your own ticket if you still cannot find what you’re looking for.
As well as these articles, TubeBuddy also run their own YouTube channel where you will find helpful tips and tricks about using their platform and how to grow on YouTube.
Lastly, if your all about community, then you’ll be happy to hear TubeBuddy has an official community forum where fellow YouTubers talk about all things TubeBuddy and YouTube.
3 things I like about TubeBuddy
Let me know focus this TubeBuddy review to some honest thoughts about what I like about the platform.
There’s a free plan
What’s not to like about something that is free?
It’s great that you can experience the TubeBuddy platform without spending a penny. Sure, you don’t get all the bells and whistles, but it’s enough to see what all of the fuss is about.
So, what are you waiting for? Get on the TubeBuddy train; admission is free!
And if you do consider upgrading your account, plans are relatively inexpensive. Small YouTubers (<1,000 subscribers) also get 50% off the Pro plan.
Keyword research tools
Perhaphs the number 1 reason many creators choose TubeBuddy is for the valuable keyword research tools.
Before you even start creating a video, keyword research is a must. Otherwise, there will be no interest for your content.
Even with the free plan, TubeBuddy does an awesome job at giving you the best chance of getting your videos found via SEO.
Another powerful tool I liked the most was the A/B split test option. If you are a true video SEO wizard, this feature will be your best friend.
The ability to test different thumbnails and video titles is a truly amazing thing to do. Not only can you test them, but you get a detailed report on the outcome, something that you cannot get if you manually changed aspects of your video.
3 things I don’t like about TubeBuddy
So, you’ve read my likes, what about my dislikes about the platform?
It’s a browser extension
Something I’m not super keen on is the fact that TubeBuddy is a browser extension.
Well, there have been instances where the TubeBuddy tools have not loaded correctly in my browser, or will not display properly on screen. There are also times where the tools will slow down the pages I am viewing.
However, I have been thinking about this and I am not sure a way around it. It makes sense to have a browser extension, I think there are just a few technical things that need to be ironed out.
Some redundant tools
Most of the tools you get with TubeBuddy are not available on the standard YouTube platform, however, there have been a few instances where I stumbled on a featured that is already available without the TubeBuddy extension.
One such example is the scheduled publish option. Obviously, as the name suggests, this lets you specify a time and date when the video should be published live.
But, this feature is already a core tool in the YouTube upload wizard. So, I was a little lost as to why this is included in TubeBuddy. Maybe I am missing something here?
Basic thumbnail generator
The fact that TubeBuddy comes with a thumbnail generator is actually great! Not many creators, especially those starting out, have access to anything like this.
But, if you want to make your thumbnails really pop, it will not get you very far.
I think this is where TubeBuddy could really stand out. If they focussed a little more on their thumbnail generator, it would take them to the next level.
So, there you have it, my quite detailed TubeBuddy review.
I hope you found this useful. But, remember, TubeBuddy is a completely free browser extension, so don’t just take my word for it. Install it and give it a whirl yourself, it only take a few minutes!
If you’ve used TubeBuddy, or use an alternative platform, then let me know in the comments down below. I’m interested to hear what you guys think.
Further reading on SideHustleTeach.com
If you haven’t started on your YouTube journey, be sure to check out my step-by-step guide on creating a channel. And, if you want to learn more about how much real YouTubers make, have a look at my findings after researching over 100 creators earning reports (this took me hours to do, so I hope it’s insightful).