Marketing Instant-Gratification: Trading Long-Term Success for Short-Term Paydays
Outside of Google, YouTube is the most-used platform for content in the world today. In the teen demographics, it even beats out Instagram and Facebook. Billions of video views happen every day.
Videos are used to sell brands, earn paychecks, kickstart careers, and promote agendas.
It makes sense to market your company or brand on YouTube. Video content offers several unique benefits.
Videos have the power to increase your conversions by up to 80%.
They build trust with your audience through emotional engagement.
It allows your SEO campaign to see better organic results.
The problem is that organic growth takes time. In a world of marketing instant-gratification, time is a luxury. Companies want results and they want them now.That is what is wrong with our industry today. We have redefined success to mean bigger numbers instead of better goods or services.
Will More Views Affect How Your Site Ranks?
When you purchase views, likes, or followers, you’re not getting real people. The product you are purchasing is a possible boost in the ranking of your content.
For some businesses, that may translate into more traffic. With more traffic, you may get more impressions and clicks – and maybe even more cash in your pocket.
That will last until the forgeries are discovered. Then you’re forced to start all over again.
If you’re lucky, that’s the only thing that will happen. If you are unlucky, you might find yourself dealing with an account suspension, Google penalties or dissatisfied customers, who realized you’re trying to pull a fast one on them.
An excellent article from the New York Times: The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views identified Devumi Social Media Marketing as one example of where “boosting social media” meant offering permanent views in exchange for cash. Over a 3-year period, the company netted over $1.2 million from creating almost 200 million YouTube views.
The company says it is no longer accepting new clients. It will, however, recommend you to another social media booster that “may pay them a fee” for listing.
Using the services creates a story that is repeated often: increased views on a video do not translate into increased sales. You have no proof of what they are doing.
You’re not promoting what you offer with a social media boost. You’re promoting popularity.
Being popular isn’t cheap. Take the case of GetLikes.click. According to the same New York Times article, this site collected $191,000 in 2018, but then spent $109,000 on advertising to promote their services.
Most view-sellers won’t disclose their actual client lists. They do say that most orders come from marketing or public relations firms.
Does a TOS Violation Even Matter Today?
On YouTube, artificially inflating the views of a video is a violation of the platform’s terms of service.
In reality, YouTube misses fake views even when it is searching for them. James Brown, who works for RT, purchased 30,000 views and 300 likes for 3 videos through Devumi. He assumed that the views would be real people.
They were not.
Google took a look at the RT YouTube channel and concluded that there was no evidence of manipulation or policy violations.
There clearly were violations, which have been acknowledged by Mr. Brown and reported on by The New York Times.
Terms of service violations give YouTube a back door to remove views, videos, or accounts from their site. If they can’t discover content that is admittedly false, the reality is that purchasing fake content creates an impact.
It doesn’t cost much to inflate your video views. A simple search on freelance websites will give you dozens of results that offer to add permanent YouTube video views. Some even offer specific results, such as adding 5,000 YouTube video views in 4 days.
There is no denying the fact that having views helps you feel good about your business. What we must remember is that numbers mean nothing if bots or hired people are inflating view counts instead of interested parties.
Whether a video has 58 views or 58,000 views, the success or failure of your business relies on the quality of product or service you offer. It is dependent upon your value proposition. Both require authenticity, which becomes tarnished when shortcuts are taken.
You can choose to live in a fantasy world or choose reality.
There Are Two Levels of Wrong Here to Consider
Let’s set aside the idea that using fake content is wrong. You can decide if inflating video views or a social media presence is ethical or not.
There are still two levels of wrong to think about. The first involves the authenticity of a marketer promoting a business.
A marketing company using bots and fake views to push view counts higher makes it look like they’re promoting the goods or services of their client. That makes it seem like they are creating an authentic outreach, when the reality is the only thing being created is a bigger number.
For a company expecting results, the higher numbers seem encouraging at first. Without more conversions, however, the only people being paid are the marketers and the fake content generators.
Then there is the issue of deception. By inflating video views and social media, you’re trying to appear more popular than you are in an attempt to fool people into looking into what you offer.
How can you ever get a customer to fully trust your company if your first encounter with them is based on a partial truth – or an outright lie?
Don’t fall for the temptation of instant gratification.
If you take the time to promote yourself authentically, there is still no guarantee of success. You will, however, be able to build a foundation of trust that your future customers can use to judge the quality of your value proposition, no matter how many video views you have.