Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Some Will Make Money with YouTube and Others Never Will

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Video Better and Stomp the Heck Out of Your Competition

Today I’m going to rant, so get back and prepare to be entertained by watching my eyes bulge, veins explode, and the rest of my carcass go into cardiac arrest.  Please, allow me this.  My doctor told me I can’t have any more pizza, my minister has me sworn off of swearing, and my wife threw my lucky socks away. 

Look, I need to rant about this pet irritation I have, I don’t have ANYTHING else to get my jollies off on, so lay off, will ya?


This complaint is about your YouTube videos. 

You know, some of you just don’t get it.  In marketing, it takes more than just stuffing your face into your laptop or riding around in your car acting like you really have it all together to prove to me that you truly understand how to properly make a video that sells or informs.

Not that I’m some guru or anything special, but let’s assume for a moment that I am your target audience.  (I mean, I COULD be in your target market for all you know, right?)

First of all, you need to look professional in your video or at least look like you have a brain in your head.  I can already hear some of you screaming at your laptop screens, “Wait a minute!  I just saw a Seth Godin video, and all he had on was a T-Shirt and boxer shorts!  If he’s the best and he’s dressed like that, then I should do the same, right?  RIGHT???”

Seth Godin, Yanik Silver, Dan Kennedy, John Carlton and any other marketing guru that you can throw at me have Guru-Status.  They have written tons of books, newsletters, done seminars, have at least three or four websites and when you go to Alexa to check on the traffic they are getting, they actually have a little jagged line on their websites statistics chart, so please, a little respect for those that can and do wear boxers in their videos.


I mean, they are riding so high, they fall butt-backwards into money, while the rest of us have to scratch and peck to get a mere pittance.

So YOU and I will have to look decent.  Look clean and try to dress casual to appeal to the masses.  You don’t have to wear a three piece suit unless you are working for “the Donald” or “da Ahh-Nald”.  Wear a nice shirt, floss, brush, and comb. Getting rid of nose hair would help too.

Now, I've seen lesser wannabe gurus giving dissertations on how to make money on the Internet driving their cars, drinking beer out of mugs, walking their dogs in the park, etc. I’m actually surprised that one of them hasn't tried to make one in the shower or hanging upside down from a tree.

For some reason in their mind, it is not the message, but the area they filmed the video in that’s more important.  Big mistake.  You could have made the video sitting on the toilet for all I care! If you had some very valuable information that I could actually use, it would be worth watching you strain between phrases. So remember, it is the message not the area that is muy, muy importante. (Spanish)

So far there are two rules:

1.  Look good
2.  Have good information to convey

OK, ya still with me?  Good.

The next piece of advice I could give you is to actually write a script.  Sit down and type out an entire script.  I hate to see a video wherein people are fumbling words like crazy, interrupted by the words “ahhhhh” and “ummm”. It is super distracting, a waste of time, and it gets very boring after a while.  

I would much rather watch a video where I could understand everything that was said, the writing was concise, and I didn't have to sit for an hour and a half trying to get a tidbit of information that you said I could really use.

Also, in the same vein as looking professional in your video, you will want your material to look and sound like it was made by some one that has a brain that isn’t tabula rasa.


3.  Write a script

Oh, by the way, you can buy and download software for your laptop that scrolls the words for you like a teleprompter.  I made this video using such software. I put my video on a tripod with its legs retracted all of the way in, right behind my laptop and read the words as they scrolled.  Kubrick would be proud of my innovation.

4.  Don’t use too many channels

My Master’s degree is in Education Technology, and one of the things that I saw a lot of research on was clarity of message and how people can only process on or two “channels” at a time.  Channels being messages or enhancements that people had to take in at one time.  For example: you can have a person speaking with music and that was OK because it was only two channels; music and a spoken word.  But, if you have a video where people are speaking, music is playing, words popping up on the screen with sound effects, etc. then that was more than two channels and therefore it was too confusing. Keep it simple by using only one or two channels at a time.

5.  Make it interesting

You can still make an interesting video on a limited budget using software that you can get for next to nothing.  I use Sony Vegas, but there are even cheaper software packages that you can get to do editing that is good enough that will make your videos shine.  Also, if you decide to make instructional videos, you can use Camtasia, which is an outstanding screen capture software.  I have made many, many videos using this software and it is worth every penny.

This video I made for an assignment I had for Boise State has had over 20,000 views.  I used Camtasia software to produce it:

Using this type of software, you can bounce between different screens while audio voices over the different scenes, you can add credits and words to the screen to emphasize a point, you can grab attention by using music.  But once again, you can make a high quality video that will easily outshine you competitors and give you an extra edge.   

So, to recap:
1.            Look good
2.            Have good information to convey
3.            Write a script
4.            Don’t use too many channels
5.            Make it interesting

Mark “Elmo” Ellis is a freelance writer, able to write compelling direct mail pieces, video scripts, brochures, and website copy that will grab the attention of your readers, reel them in, and get them to increase your bottom line.

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