Every minute, 300 hours of content get uploaded on YouTube. As a marketer or content creator, the competition against your channel is endless.
Combined with top-quality contents, the right YouTube tools can help you get your channel to stay above the noise and get in front of your target audience with less effort.
In the past months with my team, I’ve experimented with some of the most popular YouTube tools, so you don’t have to.
Here are what we’ve found to be the 20 best amongst them.
Note: I recommend that you bookmark this page. The information shared is pervasive, and you will definitely have to review the suggestions a few more times.
Ready to explore the best YouTube tools to grow your subscribers count? Dive right in!
YouTube Certified Tools
1. Tubebuddy (Free and Premium)
Overall rating : 5 / 5
TubeBuddy is a powerhouse of relevant features that can be used to increase the visibility of your YouTube page, and get more subscribers. It offers both free and paid packages and with great features included in the free package. Here is a breakdown of its most important offers:
- Tag Explorer: it automatically searches for/recommends the best tags to embed in your video.
- A/B testing: not sure of the best title, tags or thumbnail to use in your video? TubeBuddy can run a split test and recommend the best options using engagement results.
- Publishing time suggestions: using data from your target audience, it recommends the best time of the day to post new videos.
- Brand alerts: it sends you a notification every time someone mentions your channel.
- Competitor scorecard: it keeps an eye out for you on relevant actions being taken by your competition.
Beyond these major features, it also offers some other helpful boosts. The best part is, you can manage all these features right from your YouTube interface.
UPDATE: Read our in-depth review of Tubebuddy here.
2. VidIQ (Free and Premium)
Overall rating : 5 / 5
VidIQ was designed to use the right metrics to position its users in the ‘Up Next’ or ‘Suggested Videos’ section. Since suggested videos have a higher click-through rate than general results, this works as an effective strategy.
This YouTube tool is recommended if you want regular insight updates on your channel. Using its scoring system, it analyzes your performance, engagement, and other metrics, then gives a complete report.
It doesn’t offer a lot of productivity tools, but it’s powerful for analytics.
Here are the top features of VidIQ:
- Analytics reports
It provides information on your channel performance in a format that is very easy to comprehend. If you don’t have the time to study lengthy reports every day, VidIQ might be an excellent option for you. Their reports contain critical insights in a simplified format, giving you all the information you need with one glance.
- SEO overview
It provides a checklist of your channel’s SEO performance, and an actionable list of changes to be made. As you apply each suggestion, your scorecard will reflect the improvements.
YouTube SEO, Keywords, and Tags
Ubersuggest is a widely used keyword research tool that provides all the information you need on target keywords. It’s owned by popular SEO authority and expert, Neil Patel. It uses data from the Google Keyword Planner, which means that the results provided are accurate. It also offers full stats on each word searched including monthly search volume, difficulty in paid and organic search, and relevant search phrases that include your keyword.
Ubersuggest provides keyword suggestions for you, especially with difficult-to-rank titles. It does this by adding relevant words to your keyword, making it a long-tail keyword. Because long-tail keywords account for 70% of all web searches, applying the suggestions could give your channel a boost in search performance.
Perhaps the best feature of this tool is its complexity score. It estimates how hard it will be to rank your page or channel for a keyword. It also shows both the organic and paid results that currently rank for that keyword.
SEMRush (Free and Premium)
- Keyword trends
- Organic search volume
- Paid search volume
- Suggested keywords
SEMRush allows you to perform an in-depth competitor analysis; you can find out what search words and phrases your competition is ranking for, and tweak yours for better performance. Knowing the competition levels (both organic and paid) on your target keywords will help when planning your YouTube content calendar.
You can also apply its SEO benefits to your social media pages. SEMRush can be used to publish posts, provide additional post ideas, and repurpose your most successful posts. This tool will also offer a full analysis of your social media performance.
Its only downside with social media is that you’re limited to just Facebook and Twitter. You will need another tool for other social media platforms.
If you’re considering SEMRush, note that the features in the free plan are very limited. To enjoy the benefits shared above, you will need one of the paid plans. Thankfully, there are a few plans to pick from, depending on your budget.
TRY SEMRUSH FOR 14 DAYS FOR FREE
It also provides suggestions to re-share high performing posts. You might not have the time to track your social media metrics, but DrumUp collects that data and makes reports from them. Using past engagement metrics, you’ll be surprised at the goldmine of engaging content in your social media history.
YouTube Analytics Tools
YouTube Analytics (Free)
YouTube provides already some of the most critical features needed to grow your channel and gain subscribers in its Analytics Tool. Here’s everything you get from this custom tool:
This contains a full summary of your channel’s recent performance levels. The records are cloud stored, so you can access older reports when needed. It shows you the details of the demographics that watch your video. This can be very helpful in content creation; when you know who you’re making content for, you can work with specific ideas.
- Real-time reports
With this feature, you can monitor engagement on your channel as it happens. There are two graphs to support this data- a per-hour graph, and a per-minute graph. Both of them record and report every action taken by a user on your channel right as it happens. Unlike the overview, this data is not available long-term.
- Earning report
As a YouTube partner, this feature keeps you informed on how much your channel has earned within a timeframe. Note that the estimated earning displayed might not be equal to the final cheque given due to some factors.
Beyond these significant features, the YouTube Analytics Tool also provides watch time, audience retention, traffic sources & devices, and other engagement reports.
- Google Analytics (Free)
Once installed on your YouTube page, you’ll be able to track:
- Your most popular videos: it shows you your most popular videos of all time. Using this information, you can understand what your audience likes, and target more resources into those areas.
- User interaction: everything ranging from how users navigate your channel, to how quickly they bounce from your page, is available in metrics reports.
- User demographics: learn who your audience is and how they find you. With this information, you can tailor your content to engage them better.
These are just some of the benefits of integrating Google Analytics into your YouTube channel. The interface is also easy to navigate, and the data simplified for easy understanding.
10. SocialBlade (Free and Premium)
Social Blade is one of the best tools to track and take inspiration from your competition on social media and their strategies. It also works great for evaluating your performance, but its benefits go beyond that. It allows users to track online presence and engagement on YouTube and some social media platforms.
The statistics provided have proven reliable, especially with popular channels. Social Blade updates each channel’s page daily, or less frequently if the owner (or other users) hardly visit their Social Blade profile.
The tool provides a metric called the SB ranking, which is used to rate the relevance of a YouTube channel. It starts from A+ as the highest value. If you plan to collaborate with other YouTubers to grow your channel, this is a great tool to confirm their real engagement levels before investing in that partnership.
11. Awario (Free and Premium)
Awario allows you to find and join the online conversations about your keywords. It continually monitors social platforms – including YouTube – for relevant content and saves them in a handy folder for you to view later. If they interest you, then you can choose to join in and build a relationship with that user that talked about your brand.
It also sorts through your online mentions to push the relevant conversations to the top. This way, you see and engage with them faster.
My favorite feature in this tool so far is its powerful analytics. It tracks your YouTube and social media metrics and also identifies high-performing profiles you can interact with for better visibility.
CLICK HERE TO TRY AWARIO FOR FREE NOW
Adobe Premiere Pro (Paid)
The quality of your videos determines the strength of your audience retention. For top quality, you need a reliable editing tool. Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most recommended editing tools for YouTube videos. Its features are extensive, but most users learn to navigate the software through practice.
With the latest version, you can also push edited videos straight to YouTube and create thumbnails and GIFs using the software.
iMovie (Free for Mac Users)
iMovie is a free video editing tool that comes pre-installed on MacBooks and iMacs.
For a free software, it offers very impressive features. If you’re a beginner content creator looking for editing software with low learning curves, then this is a perfect fit.
It also contains all the tools you need to edit what could be a TV show, so it’s more than suitable for your YouTube videos.
Canva (Free and Paid)
This design tool can be used to create banners, thumbnails, and a logo for your YouTube channel, among other things. It is crucial to make your content stand out. 90% of the videos on YouTube with the best performance have custom thumbnails. The quality of your design will influence a user’s decision to click on your video.
Best Youtube Tools for Video Production
Our Top Pick for Vlogging Camera: Sony a6400
- Why we picked it: The Sony a6400 is an upgrade of the a6300 and although has many similar features take a step ahead with its pop up touch screen that allows you to adjust focus and track movement.
This camera simplifies vlogging and takes your footage to the next level with minimum effort. It comes with multiple video functions and can film at different speeds as well as take fast bursts. Having an E-mount lens system also allows you to interchange over 18 different lenses with the camera to make the most out of it.
- What could be improved: Although the a6400 shoots in 4K and produces very sharp video footage, it lacks proper in-body stabilization.
Without the proper stabilizing gear, whether a stabilized lens or a gimbal, any footage you take while moving the camera will not be as sharp as that taken when the camera is stationary.
This is especially bothersome for vloggers as many of them are expected to be moving around while filming, but this problem can be solved right away with the stabilizing gimbal mentioned below.
- Compared to the competition: Even though that you need a gimbal to help stabilize this camera, the a6400 is with no doubt, one of the best vlogging cameras on the market for beginners.
It features a one-of-a-kind autofocus system that has proven to be the best one developed yet. It locks focus with faces and eyes and tracks them wherever they go keeping the vlogger’s subject in focus.
4. Our Top Pick for Shotgun Microphone: Rode VideoMic Pro+
- Why we picked it: the Pro Plus comes with a built-in Rycote Lyre shock mount that minimizes any noises made by you handling your camera making it perfect for on-the-move vlogging cameras.
It isn’t just a suitable vlogging microphone, though; it goes beyond that to fit with DSLRs, camcorders, and more.
- What could be improved: Perhaps the only thing that sets this mic back is its size which is on the larger end of the spectrum.
Regardless of its size though, it’s not one of those heavy mics and is
actually quite compatible for its technology.
- Compared to the competition: the best thing about the Pro Plus is the implemented noise reduction technologies within this mic.
It has dual high pass filters and super-cardioid polar patterns that minimize the picking up of surrounding noises that may interfere with your vlogging. It also has low noise circuitry that focuses on recording only the sounds that come from the front of the mic.
Best Laravel Microphone for YouTube: Rode SmartLav+
- Why we picked it: This Lavalier mic is highly versatile and can be used for many purposes and in several scenarios, but it’s mainly suitable for vloggers and beginners, to produce broadcast-quality sounds despite the inexpensive price. This mic can be simply and discreetly clipped on to whatever subject and plugged right into your smartphone to record the audio through Rode’s app. No wonders it is the microphone I use for most of my videos 🙂
- What could be improved: Recording sound through a mobile app can be troublesome for some people, especially when the app is not that well-designed to sustain such productions and Rode’s app is definitely lacking in that aspect.
- Compared to the competition: The mic comes with a foam pop shield that reduces wind noises from sharp sounds, even when there’s lots of wind outside, ensuring professional-grade sound recordings. In addition to that, the condenser capsule is omnidirectional, so it picks up sounds evenly from surrounding making any conversations recorded sound smooth and coherent. It’s also relatively inexpensive
Our Top Pick for Vlogging Lens: Sigma 16mm F/1.4
- Why we picked it: The Sigma 16mm is the perfect fit for vlogging cameras, especially the Sony a6400 camera mentioned above. It fits perfectly on most Sony cameras that have an E-mount as well. Being dust and splash-proof, it can also withstand filming under unconventional conditions and is perfect for adventure-loving vloggers.
- What could be improved: Perhaps the one thing that can be of inconvenience with this lens is its price compared to other beginner lenses. It’s definitely on the steep side, but some can say it’s worth it nevertheless simply because of the smooth footage it provides.
- Compared to the competition: The high aperture of 1.4 F makes this camera a wonder-worker in low-light situations, and it can easily outperform its competitors with its smooth and crisp
footage. And because of its focal length, high-quality video shooting is straightforward with this lens attached to your camera since the autofocus tracking is brilliantly smooth in motion.
Our Top Pick for Lighting: Neewer 480 LED Light Kit II
Why we picked it: The 18” kit from Neewer features a hot shoe adapter that allows you to mount your vlogging camera right in the center of the light which will give you an even light distribution to your subject without any sharp shadows. This is especially helpful for sit-down vloggers.
What could be improved: One of the things that take time with this lighting kit is its assembly. Funnily enough, it comes in several pieces that are a little tiresome to put together, but on the bright side, once you put it together, you get a firm set up that can be used almost anywhere.
Compared to the competition: The best thing about this lighting kit is the fact that its versatility. Not only can the light head move freely in all directions to give the optimum lighting angle, but it also has a vast dimming range that allows you to customize the light in your space according to your varying needs.
Our Top Pick for Stabilization: Benro Red Dog R1
Why we picked it: This gimbal not only stabilizes your camera and provides smooth footage on the move but it can also be used as a tripod for when you need to film something from a stationary position. It serves both active and idle vloggers and included three shooting modes to serve in any kind of movement you intend to shoot through it.
What could be improved: The Benro R1 is compatible with most vlogging cameras but will probably tend to lean back if you mount a hefty camera on it. Especially if the camera weight is not evenly distributed throughout its body. And that would ultimately render the stabilizer useless.
Compared to the competition: In addition to having an exceptionally long battery life of 12 hours per charge, the R1 can be easily calibrated and operated through a remote phone app which makes things a lot easier when filming away from your camera.