VIDEO MARKETING VALUE

Why Some YouTube Videos Do Better Than Others – VidIQ TubeTalk Podcast With Liron Segev

VidIQ TubeTalk Podcast Liron Segev Dane Golden May 2019

OK, so you released a great YouTube video. But what, exactly, did you do right? And how do you repeat it? Dane Golden breaks down the key YouTube analytics that help you find out what you did well in your best videos, so you can make it happen again and again. LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE.

HOST: Liron Segev of vidIQ. Download the VidIQ chrome extension for free at vidIQ. Follow on Twitter: Liron (aka “The Techie Guy”) and VidIQ. Watch on YouTube: VidIQ and Liron Segev.

GUEST: Dane Golden of HEY.com | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube

TRANSCRIPT

Liron Segev:
We’ve all had that successful video that has blown up and has got us really excited and we just want more of it. We want to replicate that success and just get those views, or get those subscribers. Turns out, there’s a bunch of factors that we can deep dive into in analytics to understand the components that made that video successful. If you want to know what to look out for, what components we should be focusing on, how you can replicate it for your channel, well this is the show for you. Speaker 2: Welcome to TubeTalk, the show dedicated to helping you become a better video creator so you can get more views, subscribers and build your audience. Brought to you by vidIQ. Download for free at vidIQ.

Liron Segev:
Hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of TubeTalk. My name is Liron Segev. I am a tech blogger, a YouTuber just like you, and the director of customer success here at vidIQ where we help creators every single day get more subscribers, get more views and grow their channel. And today, we’re very very fortunate to be able to have Dane Golden. He’s the CEO of HEY.com, and they help businesses really leverage the power of video for business. Dane has got a whole bunch of tips and tricks up his sleeve, and he’s going to share them with us. Dane, thank you for making it.

Dane Golden:
Hey Liron. How are you?

Liron Segev:
Excellent, excellent. Are you excited to dive into this?

Dane Golden:
Yes, I live for this stuff. You know that.

Liron Segev:
Well, this is so common. I mean I said at vidIQ when we do strategy with our creators, we get this question so many times where people say, “Why? Why? What’s going on?” I think before we kind of really really dive in, Dane I always like to start this conversation with give me your Twitter, who is Dane in a tweet.

Dane Golden:
Well, someone who really believes in the power of video marketing. We focus on helping businesses rather than creators using the style of creators. We really believe that you can do video marketing in a cost effective way that drives value for your business using these tools, primarily focused on YouTube.

Liron Segev:
Okay. There we go, and there was Dane in a tweet. You see how we do it? Here’s what happens. I do a set of videos. They do really well, I double it down. I make more content. I followed the rules. I labeled it correctly, I titled it, I got a good thumb … I’m doing everything right. Why would one video outperform another? Or why would some videos underperform? Where should we be looking at? Where do we start with this?

Dane Golden:
These are the factors that I look at with each individual video when I’m trying to determine why it did well or poorly. The first thing you want to look at is thumbnails and click-through rates of the thumbnails. Would you agree?

Liron Segev:
Yes.

Dane Golden:
Alright, well I want to in a way skip over what makes a good thumbnail. But because so many people are talking about it, particularly on your vidIQ channel, they’ve done some very good videos lately. I will say that I have a slightly different opinion about what a click-through rate is. It’s a thumbnail combined with a title, combined with a topic.

Dane Golden:
We don’t really talk about topics in the same breadth as titles and thumbnails. But for instance if you have the best thumbnail and title about lawnmowers or John Deere tractors, I think they’re great it’s just those aren’t something that I’m particularly interested in. And I don’t use those, so I wouldn’t watch that video. If it’s not on the main topic that your channel is usually talking about, and I come to your channel, I may not click on it. So, that’s a topic issue that underlies all of those.

Dane Golden:
But basically, if you don’t get a click, you don’t get a view, it’s pretty hard to move from A to B. That’s sort of step one. Thumbnails and click-through rates, that’s sort of the first thing we look at, what percentage you can look at. That’s the basic number you want to look at. You can go a lot deeper into impressions and so forth, but basically what is your click-through rate is the first question.

Liron Segev:
What’s a good average? How would you answer that? Is there a good average?

Dane Golden:
Yeah, there are good absolute averages, absolutely. The important thing is to improve on your own number. Frankly, if you get above 10% on any type of video, you’re going to do great. However, what happens when you’re … On some videos I’m very happy with 3%. What happens is as your video gets out to more and more and more people, what the algorithm does is it starts experimenting. It starts staying, “Well, if this many people like it and got this such a great click-through rate, let’s send it out to this much larger group and show this thumbnail.” Well, you know what? Once you start showing it past your number one fans, not as many people are going to like it. The success of your video actually lowers the rate of your click-throughs. So, the answer is it depends.

Liron Segev:
So, don’t get so fixated that the click-through rate may be low, if the audience is so much wider. You should love YouTube for doing that. That’s a great point. What’s the next thing we should be looking at?

Dane Golden:
Well, the next thing I generally look at on a video is audience retention. With the new Studio beta, they just do the absolute audience retention which is great and very valuable. I’m not so hot on how they’ve set it up because I feel it’s sort of compressed. I’m okay with it and what that shows you is, which part of the video is getting the most traffic. Almost always, it’s the first part is going to get the most traffic because people are going to start dropping off once they decide this video isn’t for me, or it’s not answering a specific question I came to, or I’m not enjoying it. Whatever the case may be. It’s almost impossible to have more people watching in the middle, or at the end, than at the beginning. That’s important, I always look at that and see, “Okay, well how fast people want to leave this video,” because in many videos it’s very fast.

Dane Golden:
I sort of divide up audience retention into three areas. The first part which is sort of the intro and hook, the middle part which is most of the video, and then sort of the last sort of end screen part of it. The way I see it is the first part is how well does that intro and hook correspond with what you’re doing in the thumbnail and title. The amount of disassociation between that click and what they’ve given immediately, that’s how fast your audience retention can drop. So, if you say it’s about pizza, and you start talking about ice cream, your audience is going to go away.

Dane Golden:
The middle part is really how well are you engaging with that initial premise, and keeping them interested, continue to add value. And then the end part is, did you convince them to stay to the end because that’s important to getting that end screen click which is the highest normal click-through rate, and the highest likelihood of people watching longer and really improving not just the ranking of that video, but the channel overall is when you get those continuation views. You want to keep them watching as long as possible. And did you convince them at the end to click and watch another video.

Liron Segev:
Okay. So you actually don’t look at retention as a one metrics in your amount, you literally are saying, “Okay, hook, what happened to my hook? What happened to the meat? And what happened to the outro?” And then look at each one independently, which is very smart, because a lot of us just focus at the beginning. “Oh, we’ve lost 60% of our audience right here, we’re only going to focus on that.” But that’s actually wrong. We should be focusing on all three elements and improve each one for an overall retention score. Okay, like that.

Dane Golden:
That’s how I look at it. I work on improving. I mean a number is the number, but it’s just how I work on improving because once you’ve got a pretty flat and not a lot of people are dropping off in the middle then you start looking at the beginning and saying, “Hey, why are people dropping off?” If no one dropped off during that intro and hook of yours, which clearly a lot of people don’t like, well then you’d have a much higher plateau throughout the video. Think of it in three different areas.

Liron Segev:
Love it, love it, love it, love it. Right. What else?

Dane Golden:
Well, one of the things that the Studio beta I have not seen is the relative audience retention.

Liron Segev:
Oh, that’s right.

Dane Golden:
I hope that they move it in there because what relative audience retention is it’s not the default, you have to click another tab to see this. What they do is they compare your video against a million other videos that are exact same length. They tell you which part of your video is watched by more people than the average, or less-

Liron Segev:
Or less, yes.

Dane Golden:
What does this mean to me? Is this just a number? Or does it have some magic to it? Well, the thing about your absolute audience retention, which means just how many people are watching in a given moment, they always watch more at the beginning. But if you find that some place that’s three or four minutes into your video, something has a spike, and it’s relative audience retention, that’s of the small group of people that still remain or smaller group. That actually can give you a signal like maybe it is a skateboarder, and it’s a skateboarder crash. Right? Well, people love to watch those skateboarders wipe out, and maybe you should do more of that. Right? Or maybe it’s a secret that you’ve given and more people rewound or scrubbed back the play head to play that again. Well, clearly that’s something people found real value.

Dane Golden:
What we don’t know in YouTube, and people have asked this before, what part of video gets the most subscribers? I mean they’ll subscribe to the video but, which part makes them subscribe? Which part did they value? And that’s the thing about relative audience retention can tell you, is anytime you see a big bump that it goes above 50% or has a big spike you can say, “That was the part of the video that people really valued the most and possibly what made them subscribe.” So I hope that they continue that in the new Studio beta.

Liron Segev:
They constantly are improving and I must give it to YouTube for taking those steps because it cannot be easy with that platform. So yeah, new features are coming out all the time. Yes, relative audience retention. Look out for those bumps, analyze those bumps and just do more bumps. Right?

Dane Golden:
And [crosstalk 00:11:59] then just another part of audience retention is when something’s going up or down. For instance, in one of my client’s videos, there was a big spike and we didn’t have that spike in other videos. It was a dance routine, and we found out the viewers liked to watch the dance routine so they could repeat it. So, you look for those clues. But it also can be words. I made a video about 31 words that make you click off like, “that’s all,” or “thank you,” or “comment below,” that are likely ending language because so many people have been talking about ending language that you don’t want to do. So, I just made a list of all the ones that in my experience were considered ending language. There might also be other body language or facial expressions that you have that are negative or not welcoming. Just look and see what’s happening during those periods.

Liron Segev:
I like that because we all know you can feel the video is coming to an end. Where people go, “And that’s it folks …” You’re done. Your mind has already wandered off. Try not to give that signal away right there, and get people to basically leave-

Dane Golden:
Because if you can get them to watch to the end and get them to watch your next video, that shows a very powerful signal for YouTube watch time. You can keep that audience retention higher and then create another action. These are your best fans and they’re going to watch multiple videos. Then they’re going to get served videos again and again from you.

Liron Segev:
Now, how do we handle listicles? If I have 5 tips of the Galaxy S10, for example, people watch one, tip two, tip three, tip four til five, they know it’s the fifth tip, they know I’m ending off. How do I get around that?

Dane Golden:
Well, guys like Tim Schmoyer will tell you to never sort of wrap up. Right? Maybe your last one, tip five, is only 20 seconds long and there’s another video to click-through at the end of it. Or maybe you have a secret bonus tip at the end. “Stay for the secret bonus tip at the end-

Liron Segev:
Nice-

Dane Golden:
Everyone always know you do that. But the secret bonus tip, again, happens under your end screen, so that there’s always the opportunity. You can also do things like add an info card before the end screen so there’s just one more chance for someone to continue on.

Liron Segev:
Beautiful. So keeping people watching more and more of your own content is of course prize number one and that’s where YouTube really rewards you for keeping people there.

Dane Golden:
Right.

Liron Segev:
Alrighty. So, we’ve spoken retention, watching out for those bumps, relative retention, don’t give away the ending, and keep people watching for longer so that YouTube loves you even more. This is awesome stuff. What else is next?

Dane Golden:
Yeah, and I’m a follower of Tim Schmoyer. And Tim Schmoyer says, “End as a surprise.” So, you know-

Liron Segev:
Like that-

Dane Golden:
Make it seem like it ends too fast. Like, “What? Wait, it’s over? Oh, I guess I’ll just watch the next one.” And don’t say things like goodbye, because there’s no goodbye. It might be the end of your video but for them … or thank you, you say these things at the end of things but it’s never the end of their session.

Liron Segev:
Wow. Okay. That’s a mindset shift right here. So, it’s not about you saying goodbye to the audience because the audience is going to stay on, you’re just going to see them over in the next video. Saying things like, “Don’t forget to like and subscribe and I’ll see you in the next episode,” that’s the end.

Dane Golden:
Yeah, exactly. The, “I’ll see you in the next video,” is a great way to conclude a video.

Liron Segev:
Just making notes to change my end screen. Thank you. Literally that, alright. Mind changing stuff.

Dane Golden:
So let’s talk about subscribers by watch page. Watch page is simply the page that a video is on, and subscribers can be identified by individual page. If you see in a given time period that some of your pages, some of your videos are getting more subscribers than the others, that’s a signal. That’s a signal, right? That video is doing better or worse than some of your videos. I’m sorry to tell you, it happens to everyone, by getting unsubscribes from a given watch page. No one looks at that last page where it says how many people have unsubscribed. And in general, that’s a bad thing. It’s not the only factor, but if you start getting a lot of unsubscribers on a particular type of content that you’re doing, you might want to stop doing that or start another channel that maybe is dedicated to that or rethink it. It’s not the only factor but an important factor. But when you see more and more subscribers, then those are good topics to delve into again in different ways.

Liron Segev:
So watch the watch page, essentially.

Dane Golden:
The subscribers on the watch page.

Liron Segev:
Yes, of course subscribers on the watch page.

Dane Golden:
Also, you want to look at traffic sources. There’s a lot of different ways that your videos get traffic. I think of this if your channel is really really healthy as far as YouTube is considered … And you tell me if you think I’m right, that the first top two traffic sources are either browse features or suggested videos. Would you agree with that, Liron?

Liron Segev:
Yes, absolutely.

Dane Golden:
Okay, and third, often it can be depending … You know, we work with a lot of how-to channels, it can be search terms. So, that’s YouTube search, not Google search. Even though search terms are generally a small number of your traffic, it’s really a good way of determining why people are coming to a video. So, if it says your name or skateboarding, I’m just back on skateboarding with our friend Jeremy. I don’t know why I think of skateboarding today. If people have a certain trick that they keep researching and you keep coming up for that, well that’s a pretty good indicator. And I am of the belief that this influences other areas like suggested videos and browse features because if someone is searching for this term, and later on it’ll show them another video a week or two later because they know you like that. Or maybe there’s a keyword in both of those videos so you get more suggested videos because of that. So, if a video is coming up highly for certain search terms, that’s a good indicator of why it’s doing well, or poorly for that matter.

Liron Segev:
This is great because YouTube at the end of the day is the world’s second largest search engine.

Dane Golden:
Yes.

Liron Segev:
People come into YouTube for, “How do I unblock my toilet?” And at the same time, or not at the same time but they also do another search for, “Best hotel to stay in Las Vegas.” At the end of the day, we’re used to thinking search just being google.com but YouTube is a search engine. Those how, what, when, where, why, who, those types of questions are absolutely things that people are searching for.

Liron Segev:
I have a how-to channel, or consider it a how-to channel being in the tech space and I look at search terms all the time. If my top search term are a certain technology, certain phone, I’m going to double down and make more of that because that is how you get suggested. This is how YouTube knows that people don’t watch one video and then make a buying decision, or watch one video and then they’re done on their topic. People watch multiple videos on the same topic. So, if you can serve that audience with multiple videos on the same topic using your search term, that is a great indicator of what’s going to work on your channel. [inaudible 00:21:04]

Dane Golden:
Exactly, exactly. And the other traffic source I want to talk about here was advertising. Now, I work with a lot of businesses and businesses advertise. There’s nothing wrong with it and it can be done really well on YouTube. I am a huge proponent of using YouTube advertising except I am not a proponent of using it in the way YouTube sales wants you to advertise. Our way is totally different. But many creators earn their livelihood this way, and we congratulate that.

Liron Segev:
Dane, just on that. I just want to be clear. You’re talking about using YouTube’s own advertising platform, by no means are you suggesting remotely the services out there that are saying 10,000 views for $9.99.

Dane Golden:
No, no, that’s not technically advertising. That’s just sort of a not quite a scam, you can get those videos. But let me actually address this because … let’s talk about that for a second these folks that say, “You get a million views by tomorrow. I can get you a million views by tomorrow.” But what does that really mean for us? Regardless of the cost, what does it really mean?

Dane Golden:
Well, first of all, who’s going to be watching? Well, often it’s these viewing farms and they’re in poorer countries, or maybe they’re in Asia or Africa, or different countries around the world. Suddenly, you see tons and tons of views but if you look in your geography of your demographics, you’ll see they’re not coming from the US generally. Now, if someone can hack it, that it’s all coming from the US so there are some services that do that, that’s a little bit less worse. But I’m not encouraging anyone to do that. Don’t do that because your channel can get deleted and banned.

Liron Segev:
Absolutely.

Dane Golden:
But for most of them, it’s coming from these other countries. So what does that say to the algorithm? This says you’re the most popular person in Indonesia. It’s not going to say, “Let’s feed this to more people in the US.” It’s going to say, “Let’s feed this to more people in Indonesia.” I’ve got nothing against Indonesia, or the Philippines, or Malaysia, but that’s where these views tend to come from. If you don’t do business, or you’re not looking for a crowd in that group, then it is not going to help you.

Dane Golden:
In fact, it’s going to hurt you because it’s going to say, “Great, we’re going to feed it to more people in Tagalog.” But what’s happening is that they don’t like that video, so now your new viewers, your new subscribers that you paid for them on a bootleg service, the algorithm is saying, “Your subscribers hate your videos.” Then what the algorithm does is says, “Do not show Dane’s videos to any of his subscribers because they’ve already said by not watching and not clicking, that they don’t like it.” It’s sort of like an all-sugar diet. You can eat it, but you’re just going to have to keep eating more sugar every day to keep that high.

Liron Segev:
You hit on a great point. The inaction of your actual real subscribers sends a very strong signal to YouTube to say they haven’t watched the previous one, they are probably not going to like the next one. So your inaction is something that you’ve got to look out for when people do these bootleg services.

Dane Golden:
And it’s a similar thing for businesses because they often only think of one analytic for some reason. Even the top marketing companies in the world when they advertise on YouTube, they can only for some reason they say, “Well, as long as it has views. Then whatever happens else on YouTube is none of my business.” That’s just the wrong way of approaching. Advertising can be good for a brand, but you also have to factor in that into whether it’s a success or not. Because if someone says, “Great. Look this video got a million views.” And I’m saying, “Great, but it only got 10 likes.” Not that likes are the most important thing but they’re an indicator of how many people really liked it.

Liron Segev:
Absolutely. And the retention, going back to our retention discussion earlier. Typically, with these bootleg services, you might get lots and lots of views but your retention is so terrible that again YouTube understands that signal that if lots of people clicked, and people clicked away very very quickly, perhaps you were click baiting. I’m not going to promote this video.

Dane Golden:
There’s one other topic that I always look at. I look at the actual suggested videos that are driving traffic to a given video. So you can narrow this down. Look at which actual videos are sending you traffic because it may just be one video that is sending you traffic. That leads you to a number of possibilities. Maybe that person who makes that video wants to do a collab. That’s a great signal. And also, maybe the topics of those videos are related to your topics. So, that’s why people are watching. These are all what we talked about today, is all things that are why people are watching or not watching your video.

Liron Segev:
All critical things that we should all be looking for in analytics. I mean, how long should somebody, a creator, spend in their analytics. Is that a day routine, should this be a weekly routine? How micro or macro should we be looking at this?

Dane Golden:
I’m not sure I have a great answer to that because I just love diving into the analytics. But you can within about 10 minutes, once you do this on a repetition, you could do this 10 minutes and find out on your latest video what all these numbers are. So, you could do it if you’re coming out with a video every day, you could do 10 minutes on it. But frankly, it’s easy to get distracted by a lot of things but you just want to focus on the key points that I said here. I know this is a lot of information, but once you start doing this and repeating it you start to understand what those numbers … You know, I have to confess something Liron.

Liron Segev:
Yes.

Dane Golden:
I’m considered one of the best analytics people in YouTube business but I’m not really that great with analytics. I got a D minus in statistics at UCLA. So, I took it again to get a better grade and I got a D minus. So, if I can get D minuses in the same class and really master YouTube analytics, then almost anyone can.

Liron Segev:
So, we shouldn’t be scared of it, essentially. There’s lots of help out there. There’s lots of, lots of, lots of YouTube videos telling you how to do YouTube and how to unpack the analytics. Of course, I’ve got to give a little plug here to vidIQ because if you do not want to spend your days in analytics, well download the vidIQ. Press the button and it will tell you what content is working, what content to double down on, and of course also what is not working. Because as Dane mentioned here a couple of times if you guys listened and picked this up, it’s very important to know what’s working but also very important to know what’s not working. No point repeating a mistake that your audience is clearly telling you we do not like it. Stop it, or I’m going somewhere else. If you do not stop it, guess what? You lose a subscriber. Dane, I’ve got to ask you this important question before we wrap up.

Dane Golden:
42. Is that the answer?

Liron Segev:
Well, that was actually close. If you were starting a YouTube channel today, if all you had was your phone with a decent camera, the phone’s got a decent camera, but all you had was $100, what would you spend your $100 on.

Dane Golden:
Okay, so let me make this clear. I had a mic-

Liron Segev:
You have your phone-

Dane Golden:
I just have a phone [crosstalk 00:29:44] Do I have ear buds? Do I have ear buds?

Liron Segev:
Sure, they come with the phone.

Dane Golden:
And just one other thing?

Liron Segev:
Yes.

Dane Golden:
So $100, well I would spend $10 a month on vidIQ.

Liron Segev:
Oh beautiful answer.

Dane Golden:
And then I would get a … I would get some sort of selfie stick, and just make sure that I had some sort of light, or stand, or way of positioning the camera so that I could … the camera being a phone. So that I could be inside or outside. That’s really all I would do.

Liron Segev:
Look how little it takes to really get a YouTube channel going and so many people are waiting for those three, four thousand dollar cameras before they get going. There really really is no need.

Dane Golden:
You can make great videos with a $3000 camera, I’m not doubting that but you don’t have to.

Liron Segev:
You don’t have to. Just the fact that a lot of people forget is yes, you can upload in 4K, but the reality is most people are watching it on their phone at 720p whilst riding the subway or waiting for the doctor to actually show up for the appointment. You can do lots of things, doesn’t mean you need to do those things, or they’re a barrier to enter. If you have a phone, you can get going.

Liron Segev:
As always, always insightful. I have made frantic notes for myself and my own YouTube channel, so this has been absolutely a delight. If people are wanting to get more information or they want to check you out, how do they find more information about you? Where can they see you?

Dane Golden:
They can check out my YouTube channel, heycom1. H-e-y-c-o-m numeral one. And also, I’ve got a podcast, the Video Marketing Value podcast from HEY.com. It used to be called the HEY.com podcast, now it’s the Video Marketing Value podcast which I’d love to have you listen to.

Liron Segev:
Brilliant, and of course all the links will be in the show notes along with everything that we’ve spoken about today. Thank you one more time. We really appreciate it. And you guys, thank you again for listening and hanging out. Share this with one other person. Pay it forward, and let’s work together. We are a community after all. We’ll see you guys on the next episode. Speaker 2: We hope you enjoyed this episode of TubeTalk brought to you by vidIQ. Head over to vidIQ.com/TubeTalk for today’s show notes and previous episodes. Enjoy the rest of your video making day.

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