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The Major Reasons Business Fail on YouTube
Does anyone really care about your product or service? How important is quality, authenticity, distribution, “viral” and emotion? What does it take to be successful on YouTube if you are a business?
In This Episode You Will Learn:
- Why no one really cares about your product or service
- YouTube Platform Optimization Tips
- The horrible business plan of “viral” videos
- Why authenticity always wins on YouTube
Tim Schmoyer encourages brands to understand “why your product/service matters” when creating your videos for YouTube. Matt Ballek talks about the three major things company’s don’t take advantage of in his personal experience. Meanwhile, Jeremy Vest explains how to get your videos found on YouTube, when he’s not talking about the new selfie drone, Lily.
TubeTalk is an amazing source for expert tips & trends about online video, marketing, advertising, SEO, social media & more. Let us help you grow YOUR business using video as a form of marketing.
Links to resources in this episode:
“Zero to Ten Thousand Subscribers in Twelve Months,” eBook – Tim Schmoyer
7 Reasons Businesses Fail on YouTube – Vidpow Course
Transcript: TubeTalk Episode 76:
It’s time for Vidpow TubeTalk. Everyone’s favorite podcast for your YouTube tips. This is episode 74. I’m Jeremy Vest, calling in from Dallas, Texas. Calling in from Cincinnati, it’s Tim Schmoyer from Video Creators.
Hey, good to be back with all, with you all, there you go. This is gonna be a great episode.
And calling in from Chicago, from the video marketing agency Vidi SEO, it’s Matt Ballek.
Hey, good to be here, actually calling in collect.
Jeremy accepted your call that crazy!
Yeah He did.
Yes, he’s going to get a little pricey.
Today we’re going to talk about the major reasons businesses tend to fail on YouTube, and we could probably make this list a lot longer. No offense, brands we could make it a lot longer. I want to start off by talking about a concept most businesses are like hey, we got this product coming out in June. And we need people to know about it, so let’s put the 47 features of why it’s so awesome on YouTube. And the reality is unless you’re Apple, no one cares. No one cares at all. Unless you came out with a new selfie drone, like the lily, no one cares. So it’s not always about you when you’re creating a product or service video. Also, you probably need to make more videos than just you shouting your message from the rooftops. Matt Ballek, what do you think about all of this?
Yeah, I feel like that it comes down to brands only using YouTube as a sort of, just like a TV commercial, or using it as just a push medium.
So they want YouTube to be there when they have something that they need to push out, or a message that they wanna get out. But they’re not there any other time. So it’s sort of like how I tend to use Twitter. I just tweet stuff that I make and that’s about it. So, I feel like brands need to realize that you have to sort of keep pulse there on that YouTube channel. So, nothing’s wrong with marketing on YouTube, but if that’s all you do then it’s going to be an uphill battle to gain viewership, subscribers, the things that really matter.
Yeah, it’s kinda like being self-centric or being others-centric. So on YouTube, people watch videos that are valuable to them and so if your videos are mostly all about you, and you haven’t clearly communicated why that’s valuable to someone, then they don’t care. I think, a way I often think about it is, a lot of people just think about the what when they publish videos, like this is what my video’s about.
Or, this is what I’m talking about, my videos or channels about this or the other thing. But instead, I like to encourage people to think about why it matters, because if you can figure out why your content matters, or why your product matters or your service matters, or why your channel matters, then you know how to communicate that better to other people, and then they now know why it matters. So now you’re no longer just talking about beauty and cosmetics, for example. Now, you’re actually talking about giving women confidence, and giving them security, that’s why that matters. It’s not about your financial software, it’s actually about giving people hope and freedom, right. And so you figure out the motivation of why someone would care about your product in the first place and talk about that. Not only will you have a much stronger emotional connection with your viewers. And for your foreign community and all that. But then they start caring about your product because they know why it matters. And so I usually try to help people focus on the why, rather than just hey, we got debt consolidation management software that can do this. And people are like whatever.
So, yeah. It’s a really big conversation, but that’s usually where I try to go with it.
Matt Ballek, what about how do businesses fail as far as understanding how YouTube works, and what’s the biggest top two or three things they fail on in understanding YouTube itself?
Oh man. I think this is another way that actual YouTubers are just light-years ahead of most brands. And that, the list of brands that are starting to actually understand and kind of learning the platform, are growing month by month, and have been for years now. But I would say a couple of them, I would call YouTube platform optimization. It really comes down to really just taking advantage of the features that YouTube gives you. And I’ve worked with so many brands where something as simple as verifying their channel, isn’t done. And the fact that to verify your channel, I think what you have to do is put in a phone number or something, just to verify that you are an actual person that owns the channel. It unlocks so many important features. And I’ve found brands that have unverified channels, and that seems silly to me, and it’s something you can just do in your own settings. And by verifying your channel, by just putting in, say a cell phone number, and then entering in a verification code, now you can upload custom thumbnails for your videos.
Which is, I mean we like to say that don’t judge a book by its cover, but people definitely judge videos by their covers, and not unlocking that feature, and then taking advantage of that feature is a huge mis-step, I feel that businesses make. And then just other simple things like for like two and three, not adding links in their description, or adding links without an HTTP. It turns into an actual clickable link. Not doing that is a huge misstep. And, also, not taking advantage of all the ways you can drive action from a video. Which would now be annotations, cards. Also description links but not taking advantage of or having a defined call to action after someone watches. Like what do you want them do? Figure it out and then support it with all these features and you’ll be amazed at how much more effective it is. One of the weird little things most YouTubers have never touched and never will is Channel Keywords, in Advanced Settings. If YouTube knows what the top two or three things your channel’s about, believe it or not, those channel keywords can greatly impact your search results. That’s just one of my things I find most, I would say 90% plus of channel brands we work with have never even touched that section. I think the mains things I see is that they write really lame titles. They just write titles if they’re going to catalog this in some sort of archive and they want it to be found. The titles aren’t enticing for clicks at all. They don’t pitch any value.They don’t tease any story. It just kinda like, blah it’s what it is. So I think that’s huge missed opportunity, because the content might be awesome, but no ones going to click on it cuz the title’s really lame, or the thumbnails really poor, or something like that. So this is usually the two big one’s I find people are missing.
And to that point though a lot of the brands have their traditional SEO guy go in and make the titles. And just as bad is just stuff, stuff, stuff keywords in the title.
And there’s, as we say, almost every episode the right hand side rails that suggests the videos are the Typically, number one organic ranking factor on YouTube. So, if you don’t have a compelling title, not just stuffing key words in your title. It’s not gonna give someone a reason to click, it’s not compelling. So, there is a balance and I think most businesses, in general, don’t understand that balance yet.
Right. Yeah it’s sort of like a, I mean, SEO across the board has gotten more nuanced and complex. It’s no longer, can you use the Google keyword tool and then just throw keywords at a video and that’s your strategy. So, just adding keywords to a video. You’re not gonna see the results that you might have seen in the past just from doing that one tactic. It’s now, all these things in alignment is what really matters. And so, content’s at the forefront and optimizing your video comes into play, and promoting and working with your community. All these things when they’re in alignment, then you have the perfect store, but you can’t just rely on basic SEO tactics and hope that you’re gonna just rank number one now.
Yeah. I think another thing that kinda goes along with that is when people aren’t themselves, like they’re just not being authentic, and they’re kind of pretending to be someone they’re not. And I get where that comes from, but I think it’s a big mistake on YouTube because where it’s coming from is like their experience where they see on television everyone gets paid to be like someone they’re not. But on YouTube, it’s like the exact opposite. The people expect you to be exactly who you are and if you’re not, it’s almost like discredits you a bit, you know. So, I think that a lot of people just try to fake it on YouTube. And I’m like, is that really how you talk? If I was having a conversation with you that, like this feels weird, like do you yell like that all the time.The hardest customers I’ve ever worked with on You Tube are radio DJs. They’re like what do you mean no one wants to talk to me right now? Yeah, it’s just like, I don’t know, it’s just kind of social. It’s supposed to be social media, and YouTube’s a very social platform. So, I think the platform medium itself fundamentally changes what people expect of the content. And they don’t expect, not all that. I mean, this place is for actors and movie-type short film stuff for sure but by and large, like, they still wanna know that after that’s over, could I actually hear what the person’s actual thoughts were about this?
Could I actually feel like I can make a connection with this person or feel like I’m hanging out with this person or something? So, it’s different.
A typical conversation I would have with a big company, like let’s just say it’s a beauty brand. Beauty brand has 20 million views, and they’re struggling on YouTube.
That’s a lot for some people, but for a billion dollar company, it’s not real good. And then, they start dissecting and saying why does this 15-year-old girl have 1.3 billion views? We only have 20 million, and we’re paying $50,000 a month, and how is that even possible?
It’s because you’re not cute enough yet, Jeremy.
Yeah, I’m getting there.
Your makeup skills are lacking. Just kidding. I hope I am, anyway.
I hope so, too. I do have two girls, I have woke up with my nails painted and my makeup on several times.
All right, anyways. Sounds like an Instagram picture right there.
It’s the perfect one. So, let’s really dissect that, like a brand is coming saying, why is that 13-year-old kid killing us? What is happening here? They don’t even understand. They’ve got hit going 100 miles an hour by the realities of new media.
And they’re like these old dinosaurs just going. I don’t get it. What’s happening? And these little 13-year-old kids are just destroying them. What happens? Why does a 13 or 15-year-old kid, or 20-year-old girl, why do they get a billion views? Well, one, they just make content, and they talk passionately about what they’re experiencing.
And then, other teenybopper girls somehow relate to them, some way, shape or form. And they go to community. And when they put out the video, they get a lot of views cuz let’s say they have a couple million subscribers. It’s pretty easy to get a couple million views if you have a couple million subscribers, right?
So, that snowball happens. And then, they get featured on YouTube and then it just keeps on snowballing. And then, you talk to your friend about that person at school, and then they tell literally 20 plus people. I have an 11-year-old daughter, and I literally hear her talking to her friends about this YouTube star, or this YouTube star.
And that’s kind of how it happens, I call this social, well, I don’t call this, it’s called social proof. And, it’s kind of like the cool-kid factor, the prom king and queen are the coolest people in the school, right? So, the more people know about a brand, or a channel rather, obviously, more likely, more people are gonna know about it.
It’s definitely a snowball effect. And why would I talk about, why would I talk about Taco Bell’s YouTube channel? They got tacos, but how can I relate to a taco? Unless they put a face on a taco, which would be pretty sweet. I don’t really see how they’re gonna have an extreme engagement unless they go the viral video, Super Bowl approach and try to make something humorous or make you cry or laugh.
It’s just not a physical person and one of the most amazing things that’s happening in the world of media is, I really think of this as like the punk rock phase of the world. People are revolting against that perfect image. People love to actually experience other people. People with blemishes, people that stutter. People are embracing real people, and it’s actually pretty exciting in a lot of ways. It’s also pretty creepy in a lot of ways.
But what brands fundamentally don’t understand is you’re not real. You’re a brand. Yeah, it’s hard to connect, like have an emotional connection with an icon or a logo, right?
Yeah, it’s pretty tough. Now, there are brands that are doing an amazing job, like Red Bull. But their approach is, we got nothing, let’s just put up some extreme sports videos. And they put up a ton of them. So, you look at how many views they have, that’s awesome.
You see how many videos they have, they’re like, oh, that number of view counts spread out over that number of videos, that’s not as many views per videos as I expected. Yeah, they only have one, they actually only have one view per video but they have ten million, no.
Not quite that bad.
I’m just kidding.
It’s a lot of videos.
They crank it out.
But the beauty of that is it works quite well, and a lot of their videos are amazing. They’re actually breaking new ground with a lot of video production styles. They’ll get some camera with a rig that’s never been used before. And they make stories about the videos they shoot at this point. You have behind the scene videos of the videos, and they use the biggest actions.
Behind the scenes of the behind the scenes.
Yeah, biggest action sports heroes in the world.
I mean, it’s absolutely brilliant what they’re doing. Having said that, would you ever make a video about Red Bull? It’s just a drink, right? So, there are creative ways to get around this authenticity of that brand’s lack. And I’m gonna get off my soap box. I’ve been talking for like 30 minutes.
That’s how you really feel there, Jeremy.
Yeah. It’s about being authentic. And I think some, like we were talking about a little bit with Red Bull though, the quality matters too, right?
And they’re doing a really good job at the quality of their content from a production value especially, it looks good. It looks like it could be on ESPN or something. You know, one thing about quality is you do need to be careful in this conversation if you’re a brand. We had, Cute Girl Hairstyles is a good friend of VidPals and they were speaking for our meet-up group here in Dallas last night.
And they showed the first video they ever shot, with like a flip camera. No offense to the channel, but it was horrible.
It was like shaky and the lighting, the audio, everything was horrible. It got 27 million views and I’m just like what? It’s so horrible. But the reality is the more authentic you are, the reality is, it’s very possible that you’re gonna get a better base.
So, the more polished your videos are, could absolutely hurt you. You know, Devin Super Tramp’s a good example of some of the most beautiful, breathtaking videos I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m a super mega fan, by the way, of Devin Super Tramp.
Yeah, he’s one of those creators that, he’s very few, but he’s one of the one’s I watch everything he publishes.
Me, too. There’s literally like two, and he’s one of them.
Right. The other one’s Video Creators, right?
Hashtag lie. Go ahead, sorry.
So anyways, there are always exceptions, there are no rules on YouTube. But for the most part, I would not worry about quality other than being able to physically see someone’s eyes. If you can’t see someone’s eyes, it’s actually this really crazy subconscious psychological thing that happens that, up for like trust and all this weird stuff happens if you can’t see someone’s eyes. Another thing is audio. People do not tolerate bad audio, and they do not tolerate not getting your eyeballs. Kind of weird, but it’s psychology. I think the quality we’re talking about is not just production value quality, but it’s content quality-
which is different. So Cute Girls’ Hairstyles has a terrible production video, but the content is highly valuable to someone obviously. And that’s what’s most important. And what they do is they teach moms and dads and daughters how to make cool hairstyles. Movies and all kinds of cool stuff have used their hairstyles, so the content is the only thing that matters. They have now 2015, their quality is as good as anything you see online, and it’s amazing. But didn’t start that way, nor did they need to.
Matt Ballek, you’re sitting back there.
Yeah, no I think it just, it really just comes down to either having a personality or having a persona for brands. So there are some brands that kind of luck out, and they find a personality that sort of gels with their brand. Look at something like Aura Brush. And they have, like, a spokesperson, it all was like this perfect storm. But, if it’s not just a person, then it has to be that brand personality or persona. So you can see that, something like a RedBull. You kind of can picture the persona of the brand, so they are very much tied with the extreme sports and things like this. You sort of almost picture that persona of the brand. And I feel like too many brands, they approach YouTube like a valedictorian working on their LinkedIn page. It’s just, you know. They’re just trying to make sure that it’s not doing anything incriminating and it’s just very bland and just we are, sort of the, pardon my initials, but sometimes a lot of BS.
Oh wow. Tone it down!
Tone it down.
Getting wild, getting wild.
Here’s the line, here’s you.
You know one of my favorite examples of a horrible personality is the guy from BlendTech. BlendTech was one of the first original YouTube Channels that went crazy viral.
I remember them.
And all they did was blend iPhones and stuff. Crazy. But the guy was purposely in the lab coat and barely smiled and barely said a word. It was just really awkwardly goofy but they did it on purpose. And you know, they got really big from that. But, that’s a great example of it was a goofy persona, but it worked. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Because you have to be off kilter to be able to want to blend marbles or an iPhone or a garden rake. So, yeah, it fit perfectly. And it just showcased what their products could actually do.It’s like, I’m never going to blend a sack of marbles, but the fact that blender could do it without skipping a beat was incredible. Great testimonial.
One thing I tell my clients a lot is you could have a very great, high production value video and that’s definitely one of the best ways to destroy your chances to be successful on YouTube.
85, 90% of you know these brand videos, a $5,000 video shoot, it’s perfect, everything’s cool, and guess what? With 400 minutes plus of footage, 400 hours, every minute uploaded to YouTube. You’re just gonna blend in. You’re not gonna be left or right or top to bottom. You’re just gonna be another noise.
So my suggestion is be disruptive, show emotion or do something. Give really amazing advice or help change people’s lives or show them how to do something. But if you just have decent content that is absolutely in my opinion not enough on YouTube do you guys agree with that?
I think you need a viral video also.
Get outta here.
Sorry. Yes, we agree.
Totally. Unless you can keep that up consistently. So, if you could keep up consistent high quality, this and that, and still show and still emote and you have the budget that you can do that on a at least monthly basis, then have at it. But, I feel like a lot of brands, they see how much money they put in for the production of one video and they’re sort of like, that’s the cornerstone for their whole video strategy. Cuz they spent so much on it and they’re just like if this doesn’t work and we can’t even justify doing a second video, let alone a video a month or a week or daily.So if you can keep it up and find a way to make it work, then do it, otherwise I think you have to get creative with how you produce ongoing content. And then when you pepper in those high production value videos, that’s your hero content, your pow content.You need the stuff at the bottom of the pyramid. And that has to be sustainable and repeatable. Can we get a YouTube, can we put a petition in to use your three words instead of theirs.
So Hero, Hygiene and Hub. I love it.
I’m gonna start a marketing campaign. I like Push, Pull, Pow better.
Yeah. I like it too. Just stole Matt’s thunder. So Matt when companies come up to you and say, I wanna make a viral video, dude! What do you say to them?
I can’t say anything cuz I already hung up.
That was good.
Yeah I always joke saying I wanna have a viral video is like saying I wanna be the most Popular person in high school. You can say it all you want, but you don’t have the means to do it. Or you can’t control who decides what’s popular, so I’d rather pick a strategy where you have more control over it. And you can’t control going viral as much as you think you can. I’ve had clients where it’s just like, we’re gonna put cat’s in the video, it’s gonna go viral and sort of like who isn’t trying that? Or what brand isn’t trying to be a little bit goofier?
Throw some cats in there to make it more YouTube friendly. But when it comes down to it. You look at some of the stuff that Unruly is doing, Unruly Media, like some of those, they are kind of making the viral thing kind of more of a science than an art. And there are some things you could do that increase the likelihood of a video going viral, but I don’t think having a viral video should ever be your business plan. Or should ever be like, you should always have at least a fall back or five fall backs. I don’t think you should ever go into it hoping or trying to go viral.
Well I shouldn’t say that. You can try to go viral, but it shouldn’t be like what Matt said, you dump all of your eggs in that one basket, and then that’s it. Building an ongoing relationship I think usually has more value, depending on what your goals are.
And to take the viral cat out of the bag, I need to let everyone know that most of these companies that create hundreds of viral videos, over 60 to 90% of those views are socially seeded and paid in some way, shape or form. Even some of the best videos I love, like Dollar Shave Club and Orabrush and some others, most of their video views are from advertising.
Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying you see 24 million views, and it’s like, I want that. That’s crazy. But what you don’t necessarily see is the price tag to get there.
Yeah. And then you see ten comments and two thumbs ups and you’re like, what.
Now there are, shout out to Travis Chambers and some of the smartest people in the Utah region. There are some amazingly smart people that can make viral videos that get just as much social engagement as any other traditional normal video that’s all paid. I mean it is possible, but again winning the lottery.
I don’t go take my whole paycheck and put it in the lottery every week. That’s probably not a good idea.
Yeah like the other good question when people, even clients talk about wanting a video to go viral, is you just ask the very simple question, why would someone share this video? So once they watched it, why would they share it? If it’s just an ad, no one just willingly shares an ad. People share things because of what it says about them, so. So it’s like they’ll share Dollar Shave Club because it’s a funny video and we also all know that razors are ridiculously expensive for what they are.
So it’s a perfect storm in that regard. But like with BuzzFeed people will share things because of what it says about them. If they live in New York and there’s a video, ten things that New Yorkers hate about tourists. You share that video because you either are a tourist, or you live in New York and hate those exact things.
You wanna make sure that they are hitting all the buttons that connect with you, and then that’s why you share.
And Buzzfeed has a great idea because they’re just doing goofy things. Like one of their videos, I thought their best video they ever did, was it was like a Crossfit, like making fun of Crossfit people. And all of us know someone, that crazy Crossfit person, right. So they just take topical, tent pole style topics, make them humorous, and people are gonna share, cuz almost everyone knows someone in Crossfit. Almost everyone knows someone in New York, so it’s pretty brilliant of how they do that.
Yeah exactly. Now the best thing is to make a video of like, top ten things that video marketing experts with facial hair do.
And all three of us are on it.
One of the things, another thing and we’re kind of already talking about this that brands do a pretty bad job with in general is actually trying to authentically connect and talk and hang out with their viewers.
Really get to know who they are and what they need. So his lack of connection I think is definitely a major downfall. Honestly, most the companies I work with it’s like, we’ve got to sell more widgets. And the conversation really needs to be, how do we engage and talk and hang out with our customers to see how we can affect their purchasing decisions.
I think that’s scary to a lot of brands. They said I’ve worked with, usually the conversation comes, like, I don’t know if that’s what, how we want our brand to be perceived. Like so at my point was that like, so you’re telling me that, I’ll just, maybe I’ll play devil’s advocate here with you guys.
How would you guys respond when they come and say, so you’re telling me that my brand just needs to be all like, friendly. Just needs to be all like social gooey happy lovey stuff with everyone and they’re like I don’t think that’swhat I want the perception of my brand to be.
Yeah, yeah definitely. I have this problem a lot and a lot of brands. I definitely think by the way, every brand manager in the world is a communist. No, I’m just kidding.
Just kidding. No, I just think that it’s kind of an old-school way to think of things in a lot of ways.
And obviously a brand can get sued very easily. There’s a lot at stake to talk to your customers. Having said that, there are some amazing examples of brands that are doing fun stuff with people, talking on Twitter and there’s some amazing brands that are taking chances. The reality is, if you don’t talk to your audience and you act like they don’t exist.
Then they’re gonna hate on you. Especially if you’re a big brand, or a small brand. I mean, I just think people deserve the courtesy of a question being answered, especially on YouTube because it’s such a visual medium. People get passionate about it. You don’t have to agree with the customer.
You don’t have to apologize to a customer but you can say, we actually received your comment.
Now go shove it up, no.
Yeah, it’s sort of like back when Twitter was first starting out, I think as much as they are the bane of some people’s existence, Comcast did a great job of using Twitter as a way to get in touch with people.
So if you said anything bad about Comcast like circa 2009 on Twitter, they had someone right there to respond to you and say, here’s a number to call to get directly in touch with someone and we’re gonna handle it. So you know, we don’t have to do that customer service wise on YouTube, but actually responding to comments.
It will increase the likelihood. I believe Bid IQ says by five times. If you respond to someone’s comment they are five times more likely to subscribe to your channel. And they’re also probably more likely to share that video, because they now know that There’s actually someone there that’s reading this and responding to it.
So it will actually, rising tide lifts all ships. It’ll elevate the level of conversation when people know that there’s a chance that someone will actually respond. There’s actually been, since 2008, 2009, there’s actually been companies that have been created and sold for over $1 billion from this exact concept.
Zappos is my best example that I love where they just took social customer service to an extreme level and sold for over $1 billion, because that was kind of their cornerstone. Everyone sells shoes, they just happened to sell shoes with the best customer service experience in the world.
And they did that mostly through Twitter, which was a pretty cool thing back in the day. That was, what? Five years ago, six years ago. Yeah, and for as much as people can rag on on Google+ because the YouTube comment system is so well connected with Google+, and people usually if they’re using Gmail as well, it’s all really tied in.
So if you comment on someone, if you reply to someone’s comment on YouTube as that channel, they’re certainly gonna know about it. Their phone’s gonna buzz. It’s gonna like have an alert on their Gmail that oh my gosh this brand just responded to my comment. How is that not the easiest and freest good feeling that you can give to that customer or potential customer by just responding and acknowledging their existence?
And Tim, so what do you think a lot of brands do wrong when they put their video up, and then they kind of just start hearing crickets. How do you feel about getting the word out, building an audience? In general, what’s your experience with brands? Are they doing a good job, doing a bad job in that regard?
Some are doing a good job, some are just shooting in the dark. I think a lot of it, there’s a couple different facets to it. It’s not just putting video up, but there’s so many levels. There’s the optimization which she talked about, like that’s important. The actual content itself, that’s important, and it’s the strategy behind the content that you created, that’s important.
You gotta have a bunch of cylinders, I don’t mean to intimidate anyone, make it sound but just for example of one strategy. We talk about the hub hero hygiene verses push pow bam, I don’t even know what the other ones are. But