How To Grow Your YouTube Channel – Lessons From Building A YouTube Channel To 750k Subscribers with Justin Brown
In the podcast:
00:42 – Guest & Episode Overview
02:36 – Why YouTube is A Great Platform to Grow Your Business
05:29 – Researching Before Recording A Video Content
09:44 – Using the Problem as The Video Title
10:22 – How To Use Keywords Everywhere
12:55 – Assessing Volume of Competition in Keywords Everywhere
17:48 – The Importance of Tags and Description
20:56 – Why Retention of Viewers Matters
24:33 – Thoughts in Call-To-Action in Videos
27:38 – Get Noticed With Your Thumbnails
29:33 – Deciding When To Optimize A Video
31:51 – Frequency of Posting Videos
34:01 – Lessons That You Can Apply To Your Channel
37:10 – Mistakes & What Justin Would Have Done Differently
39:07 – Tools To Start Your Channel Up
41:37 – Learn More About Justin Brown
How To Grow Your YouTube Channel - Lessons From Building A YouTube Channel To 750k Subscribers with Justin Brown in PDF
Guest & Episode Overview
So welcome back to another episode of Teach traffic.
I’m your host, Ilana Wechsler. And I’m really really excited to welcome today’s guest to talk all about How You Can Grow a YouTube Channel Lessons Gained from Building Your Own YouTube channel to 750,000 subscribers.
So welcome to today’s episode, Justin Brown from PrimalVideo.com.
Thank you very much for having meon.
I’m thrilled to have you here because as you and I were just talking, before we hit record, I’m really focusing on building my own YouTube channel.
And we know each other from both being speakers at Social Media Marketing World, and I know you are a YouTube guy, I didn’t actually realize just how many subscribers you do have. So amazing achievement, so I thought perhaps you could share some of the insights that you’ve learned from growing your channel to that level, which is an amazing achievement.
And obviously how some of our listeners can apply some of your lessons that you’ve learned, so that they can also attempt to grow their channel as well. How does that sound?
Sounds amazing. Let’s do it!
Let’s do it! Awesome! Alrighty, so we all know, YouTube is such an amazing platform. It’s an amazing traffic source. I mean, you know, we’ve got some crazy statistics out there that something like, isn’t there like 300 hours of content uploaded, like every second or minute or something? insanity? So we all know, YouTube is an amazing platform.
But do you want to maybe cover up firstly, why do you think YouTube is such a good platform to really help grow your business?
And I guess like, what the possibilities are for people in being successful at YouTube?
Why YouTube is A Great Platform to Grow Your Business
So there’s really two main reasons why I think, obviously, I’m a little biased. But there’s two main reasons I think that YouTube is the most powerful platform and the one that anyone serious about growing their business or their presence online should consider YouTube.
The first one is the length of time that your content sticks around. So we have videos that are over five years old, that are still bringing in over 1000 views a day with no extra work, no extra input or anything from us.
And all of those are primary traffic generators, primary lead gen into our email, list and flow on into our business.
So there’s no other platform out there where your content sticks around that long, and shows up for people that are interested in seeing it, I think you post on Facebook or Instagram, you’re lucky to get a couple of days of interaction and those sorts of things. I mean, yes, you can pay and you can boost posts, and, and whatever.
But on YouTube, you don’t need to do that if you go into it with the right strategy. So that’s the first reason.
But the second one is that this is kind of a bit of a mindset shift in the approach with YouTube. It’s actually a search engine.
And a lot of people think it’s just a place to throw your content up there and hope that it gets found.
But if you take the approach that YouTube itself is a search engine, and it’s owned by the biggest search engine, Google, then you actually have the ability to rank your content or get your content showing up for search results on both YouTube and in Google.
So I mean, realizing that early on when we started our channel, and we were getting no subscribers and no one was watching our content.
Because we didn’t have the strategy, we didn’t have an understanding of how it worked. We were creating just random videos I thought people wanted, we were six months in and we had around 50 subscribers.
And it was a poor business decision to continue at that point. Because we weren’t seeing a return on it. It really was like a mindset shift on how we were looking at it and treating it as a search engine.
And we had to give the search engine the system, what it needed to get our content showing up in front of the right people when they need it, which is when they’re typing stuff into that search box.
So yeah, YouTube is a search engine is a really big fundamental shift in anyone’s strategy from this point forward.
Yeah, that’s awesome. And as you say, not only are you ranking in YouTube, because YouTube is its own search engine search engine, but as you say, you’re also ranking in Google.com, as well.
And we’ve all done a Google search before and seen those YouTube rankings of videos.
So there’s it’s kind of like a double whammy. I yes. So I would Imagine though, given it’s a search engine, there is a strategy behind what to rank for.
So do you want to maybe touch on how you kind of go about deciding up?
You know, I know the whole concept of research before you hit record.
So I would imagine there’s a huge research element prior to creating video. Can we maybe sort of touch on how you go about doing that before you even create your video?
Researching Before Recording A Video Content
Yeah, perfect and great, great question. So they really do come down to researching first, really looking to see that there is demand for the content that you’re going to create.
So what this does is, first off, tell you that people want to actually watch the video before you create it. So you’re not going to waste your time.
But it also gets you into the headspace, but also really nailing the key words, so the pain or the problem that people are actually typing in.
So it might be difficult, you might be obviously an expert in your field. And you might think this is the stuff that people need to know. And that stuff is probably speaking to the solution.
But people are back on Google, going to Dr. Google or doctor YouTube at two in the morning thinking I just need to solve this thing. What are they waking up?
What are those pains one of those problems? And you can start to do a bit of research around that and really hidden on which words they’re using, what exactly are they typing in to Google or to YouTube to find a solution to their pain or problem so that they don’t know the solution.
This is the biggest mistake we see a lot of people making, we made the same as we were creating content speaking to the solution.
But everyone’s back at the problem is searching around the problem, how to fix this best x for y.
So that, again, a little shift in the content, take a step back, what would people be searching for, that you can then show up in the search results for is really the first step.
And Google and YouTube actually make this really easy. You haven’t gone to Google or YouTube and start to type something in and it pops up and says like, Did you mean this and it gives you like 10 suggestions of things.
Those are things that people have actually searched for, and are searching for not just a random suggestion for you.
So before we create any video, we’re going to that YouTube search box, and we’re typing in a couple of keywords around the topic that I think is a good one for a video.
And we’re validating based on what YouTube is suggesting. Those you know, did you mean this? were then basing our video around that as the first place like what are people actually searching for that would find my video, what do I want my video to show up with.
So we’re doing that sort of basic research on YouTube first, then we look into a couple of plugins and things that we use to show us how many people are searching for those things every month.
And there’s an amazing plugin called Keywords Everywhere. It’s not free, but it is ridiculously cheap. And that gives you that information. So we’re not talking to you need to go and spend tons of time or thousands of dollars getting this insight before you create your content, it’s literally a few dollars a month, and maybe 10 to 15 minutes per video at least is going to you know, put you well ahead of most people that are creating content on the platform.
Okay, so just to recap a little bit, instead of creating videos that are solution focus, because your ideal viewer doesn’t necessarily know what the solution is, you are creating videos that are very problem focused, because that’s actually what they’re typing into YouTube, or Google. And then you’re creating your content around that specific problem. And also…
Specifically solving that problem. So you can still mention the solution, but people aren’t going to be typing in the solution because they don’t know what that is.
So your title of your video and how you introduce your video needs to be speaking to the problem, are you looking for the best video editing software on Windows right now would be you know, video editing software on Windows, people like I am looking for that.
And just so happens that those are the things that people are exactly searching for.
So you’re able to let the viewers know immediately in the video, that that’s what they’re for, because it matches exactly what they’ve typed in.
But YouTube’s also transcribing your videos these days, because he wants to put the right video in front of the right person. Imagine if you search for something on Google or YouTube and something irrelevant showed up it would be a bad experience.
So really is that keyword research looking at what people are searching for? How can I include that in the video?
And how can I meet them where they’re at, let them know that I get that pain or get that problem but I’m going to introduce them to the solution.
So the video is about taking them from where they are to where they want to be with you solving the problem and introducing them to solution.
But it doesn’t need to be focused around like titling it the solution because they don’t know what that is yet.
Okay, so once we identify what the problem is we use that problem in the title of the video. Is that right?
Using the Problem as The Video Title
Yes in the title and and ideally you’re saying something I mean, ideally, you’re using those exact words in the right order, so that YouTube sees it as a match when YouTube is looking to put the content up to match when someone searches for say video editing software.
If the title of your video is video editing software and you got video editing software, those words in that order, obviously, I’m speaking from example from our channel, then then it’s going to see all right, that what they say in the video matches with the title matches what’s written in the description.
And it’s kind of like, you know, the planets align. So YouTube is at least going to test it in those top spots for those search results, because it is a perfect fit.
How To Use Keywords Everywhere
Okay, I feel like we’re jumping ahead a little bit now. So just to go back and say, we’ve identified the problem.
You mentioned a tool called Keywords Everywhere, which actually is a tool that I do use, and I also really love.
But I’m curious to know how you use Keywords Everywhere.
So one of our listeners says, Okay, I’m going to, I’m going to look into this keywords everywhere tool, I’m going to pay a couple of bucks a month, that’s going to cost me to use it, what am I actually looking for?
When I’m using keywords everywhere? Is there a certain threshold or minimum level of search volume to justify making that particular video? Or, you know, you kind of get the gist of my question.
So obviously, the higher the search volume, the more competition there is. So there is kind of a bit of a dance between for me, let me answer your question.
The priority of what we’re looking for is yes, that there are searches being performed per month for it. Now that number could be 100, it could be 100,000, it could be 200,000, it could be more, obviously, with more searches per month, inherently, they’re usually not always usually is more competition.
So more people have created videos or content around that to show up for that. Now, that doesn’t mean don’t do it. But you could probably niche down a little bit on your topic at that point.
So we don’t have a set number, I can’t say you need to have a search volume of minimum 768 searches per month, it really is coming down to your individual niche and your content and your goals and objectives with your videos as well.
So an example of a real estate agent doesn’t need to have hundreds of thousands of views on a video to potentially make a sale, in which case the commission from that sale, the return on investment from creating the video, and introducing a sale is a lot less.
So the search volumes, the more niche you go, the more you know, especially location specific are going to be smaller, but it’s in relation to your niche.
And obviously, the more one on one you go, the broader the topics that you’re able to cover, the more people will be searching for those things. So it isn’t isn’t a specific number.
But I would say if it’s got zero on there, then that would be one that I would be avoiding some videos, we do have a search around, you know, 500 to 800 searches per month.
There’s others that we target that have 200,000 plus searches per month. So it really is a mix.
But at this point, it’s most important just to be validating, yes, people are searching for this, even though Google and YouTube is suggesting this phrase is what people are searching for, that they’re actually doing it now, not something that was, you know, historical or done previously.
Assessing Volume of Competition in Keywords Everywhere
Let’s say one of our listeners goes, alright, cool. I’m going to use these Keywords Everywhere, they discover a keyword that they want to rank for, let’s say, best editing software for my iPhone, it shows signs of life, there is volume, how can they determine the level of competition?
So if it is, let’s say, 1000 people search when it’s every month, and therefore it fits that criteria of if there is a volume? How do you guys determine the level of competition to go, “Oh, my God, that’s way too competitive!” I’ve got to niche down further or this is good, it looks wide open.
And I can theoretically rank for this if I do other parts of what we need to do correctly, which we’re going to talk about later on this episode.
A great question. So what I would do then is actually run that search and see what comes up, because you would then see what videos are shown what your competition or potential competition might be for that.
And what you can do then is actually do a search on that webpage.
So you’ve just run a YouTube search for that best video editing software video editing software. And you see which ones come up, you could then actually do a Ctrl F or Command F to search that page, those search results.
And you can actually see who has optimized their content for that based on the title of their video, have they included those exact words in that order? In the title in the description, not that they’ll obviously highlight in yellow, if you’ve done a search on Chrome or on Firefox, or Safari, it’ll show you wherever that search phrase, a primary target keyword that you’re looking for, is used in that.
So you’ll be able to see that yes, there could be videos that are maybe five years old, that have got millions of views on there, they will be tough to outrank, but YouTube is also going to reward relevancy or new content as well.
So it’s not to say that if there’s a lot of competition that you don’t make those videos, obviously you want to play up with the big boys, you’ve got to be able to target and optimize those keywords as well. But I wouldn’t be trying to optimize every one of your videos for super competitive search term search terms, I would say go a mix.
So Again, we’re talking differences in different industries and things as well, some would just be empty, some will be bare others, you have the ability to outrank and get right to number one right to number two in a short amount of time.
But I will preface all of this by saying that YouTube is a long game.
And we do our best our research first, right, so this is what we’re talking about doing some of this keyword research looking at the search volumes, we then do our best up front to to give everything YouTube needs to put out video in this, I’m saying those keywords in the videos, we’re giving the viewers everything they need to actually see results with what it is that we’re covering in that video.
So it’s gonna be a good video to just, you know, nail the keywords and those sorts of things, people actually have to stick around and watch the video as well.
And then from that point, you want to be hands off.
So it can take up to three months from what we’ve found for a video to actually filter in to the right spot, or just start showing up for the right search terms or for YouTube to start recommending it to the right people that people that are actually going to be interested in it, you can take up to three months.
So what we see is a lot of people, they’ll create their content. The next day, they’re like, Oh, I’m not getting many views or change this.
Or a week later, and I’m tweaking this, I’m adjusting this every time you start to play around with some of those things, some of those inputs that YouTube is looking at, to try and place your content on the platform, you can actually trigger a refresh.
So it might be that you’re doing it in a week. But you’ve actually not delayed the process, because you’ve just changed the goalposts on YouTube, you’ve changed some of those inputs.
So I would say do your best up front, and then try and leave your content for three months. If at the three month mark, your video is still not performing.
That’s where it could mean that your inputs, your title, description, tags, and all those other input fields for YouTube, they might just need some adjusting.
And we’ve gone back with some of our top videos that absolutely tanked when we first put them up. And all we did was updated the title, the tags, and the thumbnail image. And then now some of the biggest videos on our channel.
So that’s the other really big important thing with YouTube is that it’s not sort of set and forget, you know, one and done, you can actually come back and you can tweak those inputs and trigger a refresh in the algorithm for maybe content that you’ve got on your channel already.
Okay, cool. So just to sort of backtrack a little bit, we find the keyword we want to rank for, we’ve had a look at the competition by actually doing that YouTube search ourselves, the Ctrl F, to see how many other people have optimized their video for that keyword.
And then what we kind of touched on we made sure we have that keyword in our own title. In the description.
Obviously, we mentioned it in the video and the tags, you want to maybe talk about how important the description is and the tags in optimizing for that keyword.
The Importance of Tags and Description
They’re actually lowering in value or their return right now. So it is kind of the first sentence of your description that is the most important.
So we will try to use in a human readable sentence, we’re not just loading in keywords into these things that used to be SEO back in the day, you’ll want to again use those phrases that people would be searching for, you’ll have a primary one that has the most amount of search volumes, but you searches per month, but you’ll also have different variations of that other things that you’d like your video to show up for as well.
So it is really about in the description, adding a couple of sentences around what the video is about and what solution you’re solving or what pain you’re solving, I should say.
But then the rest of the description is more. So for your viewers, that’s where you could link off to related videos where you could link them to your website to download your free PDF guide or something like that.
So your description really the power is in the first couple of sentences with the tags, it really is about looking at the different search phrases again, that people would be searching for, that you would want your content to show up for.
So different variations of that primary search phrase. And again, the value really is in the title and what you’re saying in the video as the most important pieces.
Interesting. And I’m assuming you to get the variations of that keyword you would be looking at that suggest a tool to get those variations.
But you know, let’s say you know best video editing for your iPhone or iPhone 10, 11 and 12. And sort of in terms of those types of variations that kind of on the right track.
Yeah, we want to make sure that they are specific so that if someone did search for iPhone 10, 11 or 12 like are they actually going to be interested in video editing on iPhone is probably a bit of a stretch.
So I would say they need to be more about video editing apps or a specific app that it might be a top one that they might have heard from so you wanna you don’t just want to sort of spam in top trending tags is nothing we see a lot of people do wrong if someone actually search for that.
What you want to make sure that your video is actually a fit because if you’re on YouTube, put your video there And people don’t click on it, then that’s not a good sign for your video.
So it’s not about just spamming these things in. What would you do if you search for something? What would your video be a fit for that’s kind of the approach you need to take with your tags.
That kind of is a good segue into kind of what do I want to talk about next with you? Which is around the concept of I guess giving YouTube what they want?
And as I understand standard, but maybe I’m incorrect here, YouTube, what people staying on their platform, they want retention in their videos.
Is that really the goal? And I guess how do you quantify that of what’s a good retention for a video?
Do they need to make it to the end? And if the answer is then yes, do then you create shorter videos, so they make it to the end, maybe sort of talk about, I guess, giving YouTube what they want?
Why Retention of Viewers Matters
So YouTube, as you said, they want time on the platform is the biggest thing that they want.
So what they reward is people that start a session, if you send out an email, or you put a Facebook post, and someone joins YouTube and come straight to your video, and they watch that video, and they don’t leave the platform, that’s a good sign that your video is bringing people in from anywhere else in their day to day life onto the platform.
And if you’ve kept them watching, whether it’s one of your videos, or someone else’s, that’s a good sign.
So if you don’t have the next best video for your viewers, link them off to someone else’s that does.
So might even look at an example if I was talking again, about video editing software, you might think video editing could go with filming, I would say that’s actually too much of a stretch, you got to really get into the mindset of the headspace of your viewers, if they’ve just watch a video on a specific topic, they’re going to want to watch another one that’s very similar or very, very related to it.
And that’s where I link off to someone else’s. A lot of people think that Yeah, that’s good, I want to give my competition the views, I want to keep people watching my videos. In actual fact, there’s big merit, big reason to link off to bigger channels, that would be the next best video for your viewers, because it’s going to send those indicators to YouTube, that your people like that other content as well.
So off the back of that other channel’s content, they’ll start to recommend your videos as well, because it goes both ways. So YouTube is constantly analyzing and testing your content at different positions.
And it really is if you know that you know, obviously the video you’re linking off to needs to be a good one, and one that you know you’d like.
Because it’s all about YouTube looking for these likeness audiences.
Same as on Facebook, with Facebook ads, like you can run ads for a bit and all the ones that converted, you can say, find me more people like this, YouTube is looking at your videos, who makes it through to the end, or who watches a big percentage of your video who sticks around for the 40 minutes, which they say is the YouTube rabbit hole.
Now people get one and watch a cat video and end up 40 minutes down or 45 minutes, I think is the most recent number.
So how do you make sure that your video isn’t one where people leave? Either stop watching your video or even worse, leave the platform altogether?
So in regards to watch time, which you mentioned are you know, how long should your videos be? It really is how long does your video need to be to keep your viewer engaged. And no longer people know, if you’re putting the video out if you’re doing the Ryan Seacrest thing, we’ll get to that a little later, we’ll get to that you know after the break kind of thing.
It’s really your video should be as long as they need to be and no longer but the metric that you’re looking for is watch time on that. How do we keep people engaged and watching to the end? And it’s a percentage? Y
es, it’s measured in minutes and those sorts of things as well. But I wouldn’t say that we don’t target a specific time for our videos, it so happens that the average length of video on our channel is around 10 to 12 minutes.
That’s not my goal. We’ve got a video on there, there’s 35 minutes. And when we got that back from our edit isn’t like really that was 35 minutes, how can I make it shorter.
But if I can’t make it shorter, then I’m still releasing a 35 minute video. It really needs to be if someone clicks on my video, I want to give them everything that they need to know to go and take action or to solve their pain or their problem. That should be anyone’s focus.
Don’t pad it out, but give them everything that they need. So you’ve got to work that gets a dance between giving YouTube what it needs and giving your viewers everything that they need.
And if you hit that right, and you’re adding value, you’re keeping them engaged, they’re watching, they might click the next one, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. That’s kind of the perfect mix that you’re aiming for.
Thoughts in Call-To-Action in Videos
What are your thoughts on saying in the videos, you know, subscribe to my channel and hit that bell icon. I mean, you know you’ve grown your channel to over 750,000 subscribers.
You know, what are your thoughts on kind of getting people to subscribe that way?
I think the easiest way to get subscribers is to ask people to subscribe.
So as silly as that might sound, it’s like a reminder for people but I will say these days the benefit in having subscriber numbers and having subscriber numbers and those sorts of things on your channels is removing quite a lot, YouTube’s moving away from the subscriber number.
Yes, it’s still there for now, they’ve made some adjustments to it, where they’ll just round the numbers out now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point, and I don’t know this, for sure.
But I wouldn’t be surprised at some point if they actually removed the subscriber number altogether, like we’re seeing on Instagram and those kinds of things.
Because think about it, I mean, I can speak to me and I can speak to a lot of people that I speak to, it really is how many of your videos that you watch on YouTube, or you actually subscribe to their channels. YouTube does an amazing job.
If you watch one video, and you watch it through, whether you subscribe or not, next time you’re on and you’re looking for related content that that channel has, they’re going to push it in front of you, they’re going to have it as a suggestion or as a recommended video for you or that those are the ones that are going to show up in the top spots of search results.
So they move on and ask people to subscribe and those kinds of things. What we’re now doing is asking for a thumbs up, we’re saying, if you’re seeing value in this video, give it a thumbs up, it’s a much lower commitment for the viewer, because they don’t think I’m not going to be notified every time.
You know, Justin, upload the video, I might be interested one week, but then it could be three weeks before I’m interested in another one.
So by asking for a thumbs up, you’re getting interaction with the platform, it’s less commitment for them, because they’re not actually opting in for anything or committing to anything.
But it also helps with the algorithm. And again, saying, hey, they’ve interacted with this video and they gave it a thumbs up, they’re more likely to push that content through to them next time. They’re on the platform.
So the whole subscriber thing, it’s an interesting thing right now.
So our goal is just to deliver whether they hit the thumbs up or not, if they like our video and watch it all the way through or a big percentage of it, whether they take any action or not YouTube will start to serve the more of our videos over time.
Interesting. So really the metrics that actually you’re focusing on to grow your channel is not looking at subscribers, it’s looking at how many views you’re getting? And are those views staying around? And giving you thumbs up?
Yep. So we want to make sure that our content is obviously getting a click when it shows up. So your click through rate is really important. all well and good to have the best seo and be showing up for a search.
But if no one’s clicking your video, after all the other ones that show up on there, YouTube’s gonna stop putting it in those top spots.
So your thumbnail strategy, and what you’re doing on that little image to grab people’s attention and entice them to click is really, really important. Well, it’s the best video, no one clicks it, no one’s gonna see it. So that’s really….
Get Noticed With Your Thumbnails
Let’s talk a little bit about the thumbnail then and sort of how you can optimize to get that click.
Yeah, okay, so I guess the biggest point is, you want to make it attention grabbing.
So when you’re doing your research, you can start to see like, if you do run that search for video editing software, keep that example and see what other people have done with their thumbnails. How do you make yours brighter?
How do you make it ideally, so that your viewers don’t even need to read the title or look at the description that they can quickly and easily figure out what your video is about, just by glancing at the thumbnail image.
So to grab attention, I will do something silly like point, I will, if I’m talking about a specific camera or something, I might hold it up.
But it’s all to grab their attention and show people yes, that video, you know, that’s that’s the one that that I need to click will have text but will have big bold text and only three or four words, you got to think as well a lot of people are consuming that content on their smartphones.
And these thumbnail images are really small. So if you’ve got too much text on there, then it’s going to be in the too hard basket for a lot of people because it’s really good to kind of squint to read it, they’ll just pick the next one down that it’s much clearer that that’s you know that video is for them.
So you want to make it attention grabbing you want to add in consistent branding elements. So branding elements like to build that familiarity. So if someone has watched one of your videos, if they see one of your thumbnails appear on the platform again, they’re more likely to click it because they’ve already watched one of your videos before so all of our thumbnails will have my face on it part of the branding elements.
Sounds weird, I feel sorry for everyone looking at my face on these things.
But I’m just pointing at the titles I’m holding up something related to the video, or I’m using the company logos if we’re speaking about a product or a service, just so people can again at a glance, quickly figure out what the video is about verify it with the two or three full words that are on there.
And yeah, and and and make it familiar for people.
Deciding When To Optimize A Video
Earlier on you mentioned that if you’ve got a video that is not getting a good click through rate, let’s say you know, videos, a few years old or something and then you change the title and the description of the thumbnails.
So how do you make that decision, I’m assuming you’re looking at finding videos that have a low click through rate and then go right, this one is the one that we need to change is that right?
I would say it’s a low click through rate but I’d also say it’s low views in general. If there’s some I mean, over time, the more content you put out, the more data, you’re going to have access to the same across anything.
So if you’re seeing that there are a couple of videos that are performing a lot lower than the bulk of the content on your channel, and that’s a pretty good indicator.
So it could be that it’s getting a good click through rate when it’s been shown. But it could be that the keywords that you’ve optimized for and your title, people aren’t actually searching for that as much as something else.
So it’s not necessarily to say our video is underperforming, it’s my thumbnail, you would be looking at your titles and your tags.
So you know the actual text elements of it, you would be looking at your click through rate, but you’d also be looking at your watch time in the video itself.
Because again, even if you show up in search, even if you get the click people watch a small piece of your video and then leave, then YouTube again is not going to keep putting it up there.
So that’s where coming from that place of adding value and giving your viewers everything that they need.
But also letting them know really early on in the video, what you’re going to be covering and how it’s going to be given to the mouths gonna run is really important.
You need them to relax into your content as soon as you can, so that they don’t have that little anxiety moment where they’re like, ah, I clicked that one should I click the other one, the other one had, the picture of that was the logo of the company that I was looking at, like this kind of all of this stuff that’s going on in someone’s brain when they click your video.
So just by again, saying those keywords in this video, we’re going to look at best video editing software, which again matches up with exactly what they’ve typed in, they’re gonna relax is a good, that’s what I’m after.
So you’ve then bought yourself some time to get to the content quick. So it really is those three things showing up on the platform, keyword research, getting the click, which is your thumbnail strategy, and then keeping them watching, which is optimizing your video to keep the viewers engaged.
Frequency of Posting Videos
Awesome. What about this whole concept of posting frequently and being consistent with posting content?
I’m just curious as to your thoughts around that. And what is the optimal post video posting frequency?
So I don’t want to ever see anyone on that content, social media hamster wheel.
If some videos take a lot longer to make than others, especially people that are in the arts and crafts area, or whatever they are, that could take them weeks to actually get a video out.
Ideally, I would say if you’re able to strive for one video per week, one optimized video per week, well, you’ve done that research upfront, you’re creating an engaging thumbnail, and you’ve actually, you know, structured your video in a way to deliver value, give your viewers what they need. And to keep them watching.
As long as you can like towards the end, ideally, then that should be your focus.
If that means that you can’t do one every week and every two weeks, then that should be your focus.
For us we do one video a week, we’ve tested two, but the results were linear there wasn’t it wasn’t twice as much with the results, but the workload was twice as much. So we went back to doing one a week.
And for the bulk of our YouTube journey, we do one video a week. Now obviously, we systemize a lot and we create them in bulk.
I’ll film eight at a time and research eight at a time then go and film eight at a time. And that way, we’ve got eight weeks worth of content. So it’s never that we’re on that last minute hamster wheel Oh, shoot, it’s Sunday. And what are we releasing tonight?
If that’s you, and you’re listening to this, I would say stop uploading right now. Your channel isn’t going to die if you miss a couple of weeks.
But build yourself that freeboard, build yourself that runway where you are ahead on your schedule is really going to change the game for you.
Interesting. So, you know, as somebody like yourself who has grown, what we now know is somewhat of a vanity metric of 750,000 subscribers.
What was some of the, I guess, the lessons that you’ve learned in how you can get not even to your level but even a quarter of your level? What could somebody apply so that they can grow their channel?
Lessons That You Can Apply To Your Channel
Well, I think this really does come down to those three things, optimizing your content, really doing that research upfront.
Always be trying and testing different things with your thumbnails, have a look at the videos that are getting the most clicks and try to pull apart. Why do you think that they clicked that thumbnail over all the others.
And then always be trying, trying and testing stuff inside of your videos to keep people engaged.
So a great way that you can keep people engaged in your content is to and you don’t need to do this in every video, but is to create videos around lists.
So the top five things in this video, I’m gonna share with you the top five things that you need to do to make more money online or whatever it might be.
People are inherently going to stick around for number five, even if 123 and four they’d heard before weren’t the game-changer for them. They’re going to stick around for five in which case you’ve hooked them to stick around longer in your content.
So we’re always constantly trying and testing different ways, different visual elements. So the videos aren’t boring for people to watch. I mean, it was just my face on the screen, that would be pretty boring for people to watch.
So I like to play a little game without editors. It’s called hiding Justin’s face. So we’ll go and get stock footage, we’ll bring up screenshots of websites, whatever it is that’s related to our content, just to keep changing things up for our viewers. So it’s not just my head on screen.
So there’s a lot of simple things like that you can do.
But one of the more advanced strategies that we’ve been playing around with lately is testing or split testing our thumbnail images, because getting that click is so important.
Again, you get the world’s best video, if it doesn’t get the click, no one’s gonna see it. So we’ll actually upload two thumbnail images. And there is a program that you can use called Tube Buddy.
And that will let you split test them. So half people are served one thumbnail, and the other half of all your traffic is served the other thumbnail just the same as you could split test the subject line in an email with a lot of email marketing platforms, you can split test your thumbnails, this is a more advanced strategy.
And obviously, it’s a little bit more work because you’re going to be creating two thumbnails. But we’ve had some that are over 50% higher click through rate than others.
So imagine that day after day, if one image one thumbnail image is going to get clicked 50% more than the other one for years after you run that test, or years after you’ve created that content.
So there’s lots of ways you can get strategic and build upon this as well.
Yeah, very cool. And actually I also do use Tube Buddy. But I use Tube Buddy more in the keyword research area and in determining the level of competition.
But that’s just what I do just for our listeners, if you want to know if Tube Buddy is a paid tool, it is quite a bit more expensive than Keywords Everywhere.
But I guess if you are going to get serious about growing your channel and increasing your presence on YouTube, then these tools really do help.
What would you say if you know, reflecting back, and we’ve touched on some of your mistakes that you’ve made, be it you know, creating content around things that people aren’t searching for.
And have there been any other mistakes that you have made that you would have done differently.
Mistakes & What Justin Would Have Done Differently
Lots, I’m still making mistakes.
I mean, I’d say the biggest thing that I’m glad that we did.
And also the biggest thing that probably held us back for a long time as a business is not outsourcing of video editing, I felt that I needed to be the one doing all the work.
And it’s an interesting thing, I still see a lot of people push back thinking, you know, a lot of the top people on YouTube are still filming themselves and are still editing themselves.
But if you’re using this as a business tool as a lead gen tool, you know, showing up in front of your ideal target audience, you don’t need to be doing it all.
So you can find and you can hire amazing video editors in places like the Philippines for as little as 3 to $7 an hour.
And those people are amazing at editing videos down. So we now have a few video editors that work with us.
And I haven’t edited one of our YouTube videos. And yes, I teach video editing and filming and growing on YouTube. And it’s not me that’s doing the work.
But what this did was free up my time, I came up with every excuse under the sun to not outsource video editing.
It’s me that’s filming, I can edit and have been teaching editing for years. So who better to do it than me like whatever the excuse was, whatever excuse you’re, you’re coming up with your head now as to why you shouldn’t be outsourcing your editing, if you’re listening to this, I’ve had them on.
And I can still say that this was something I wish that I had done earlier. And it’s not as hard as you think. So I guess that would be one that I wish I had done earlier.
Okay, cool. Awesome. And I’m sure people some of our listeners might be thinking, yep, okay, I want to focus on growing my YouTube channel. But I’m a little bit lost as to the minimum amount of tools or equipment that I need.
And so I just thought maybe you could touch on really briefly about some of the minimum tools that people need to just really to get started and start getting traction.
Tools To Start Your Channel Up
So there’s some really massive channels on YouTube, where people are just using their webcam, not even a fancy microphone, just the computer webcam.
So there’s also really massive channels when people are just using their phones. For most people listening to this, I’d be very surprised if you don’t have a webcam or a phone that you could use right now to start creating videos.
If you’re okay with your first videos being your worst videos, they are for all of us, then the game then becomes how do I improve that 1% if it means that you’re not happy with the gear that you’re using, or you’re you’re hitting the limits of that webcam or of that smartphone, then that’s the time to upgrade.
But too many people use gear and tech as a procrastination point to not actually go through the process of making videos where they learn the lessons where they actually start to build an audience.
It’s funny, you know, you got to actually go through the motions to do it. They have success with this. So if you’re okay with your first videos being your worst videos, and your goal is to improve by 1% each time, start with what you have right now, yes, there’s always cheap little add ons you can get, I would say, if anyone is going to invest in any gear, use your phone, use your webcam, but grab a microphone, you can get amazing, cheap microphones that are going to be better than whatever is in your phone or whatever’s with your webcam, that’s going to instantly level up your videos.
So your audio, I would say, is the most important piece. But again, don’t let that be a procrastination point.
Justin said I gotta get a microphone. No, still use the ones that are in there. And then when you can then grab a microphone.
One of the top videos on our channel was filmed on the front facing camera. So the low quality camera on an iPhone five, that’s a that was old at the time. That’s a phone from 2012 that video still brings in over 1000 views a day.
And people are still blown away with the quality from a really old camera, you know, not even not even the good quality one.
So I’m here to bust any excuses anyone has not studying right now, because we all have the technology, whether it’s a webcam or smartphone.
Kind of like the analogy of it. What’s the saying: the best time to plant a tree is yesterday. The second best time is today. It’s the same kind of thing, but just be YouTube. The best time to start recording is today.
That’s it. That’s it for sure.
I love it. Lots of awesome tips for our listeners. Thank you so much for coming on the Teach Traffic Podcast before we finish up where people can find out more information about you and the products you sell and what you offer people.
Learn More About Justin Brown
Say head to our website, PrimalVideo.com you’ll be able to see the types of content that we create and types of content that we’re putting out there to help people with growing their audience creating high quality videos.
And obviously the revenue of the monetization side of that as well as kind of the content that we create in those three pillars. So our website is PrimalVideo.com.
Awesome. Definitely check out primal video.com. Justin, I know you’re a busy guy. So thank you so much for coming on today’s show. It’s been awesome.
Thank you very much for having me on.