Derral Eves On His Book “The YouTube Formula: How Anyone Can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience, and Grow Revenue”


YouTube marketing legend Derral Eves joins us to talk about his new book, “The YouTube Formula: How Anyone Can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience, and Grow Revenue“.

Guest: Derral Eves: Reserve Your Copy Here | DerraEves.com | Creatus | YouTube | Twitter | Linkedin | Facebook | Instagram | VidSummit | Amazon

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HOSTS: The Video Marketing Value Podcast is hosted by:
– Dane Golden of VidiUp.tv and VidTarget.io | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube
– Gwen Miller LinkedIn | Twitter

SPONSORS: This episode is brought to you by our affiliate partners, including: TubeBuddyVidIQMorningFameRev.com, and other products and services we recommend.

PRODUCER: Jason Perrier of Phizzy Studios

TRANSCRIPT

Derral Eves:

The YouTube Formula isn’t necessarily the Algorithm. It’s the formula to really connect with people. As we are well aware, if you can understand how to get people to talk about your content and engage with it online, offline, the Algorithm just follows what they’re doing. To really succeed is really understanding that YouTube formula or the human formula of really getting people to engage with you.

Dane Golden:
It’s time for The Video Marketing Value Podcast. This is the podcast where we help marketers and business owners just like you get more value out of your video marketing efforts. My name is Dane Golden from VidiUp.tv where we help you up your game on YouTube for business and transform your viewers into loyal customers and VidTarget.io where we help you get a higher return on your YouTube ad spend with targeted YouTube placement lists. I’m here with my cohost. It’s Gwen Miller. Hello, Gwen.

Gwen Miller:
Hey, Dane. It’s a good day to chat video marketing.

Dane Golden:
Gwen, what do you do?

Gwen Miller:
I work with creatives to use data to craft better and better videos for unique one-of-a-kind audiences.

Dane Golden:
Yes, you do. For you, the listener, you should know that as always, you can follow along in your podcast app that you’re listening to right now with the transcript and the links. Today, we have a very special guest. It’s Derral Eves, the YouTube marketing legend, to talk about his book, The YouTube Formula. Welcome, Derral.

Derral Eves:
Hey, Dane. How you doing? Gwen, how you all doing?

Dane Golden:
We’re doing good. We’re doing good.

Gwen Miller:
I can’t wait to geek out.

Derral Eves:
When we talk about video, I just geek out. I literally … That’s all I sleep, drink, eat is video. I don’t know why that is, but it is what it is.

Dane Golden:
Now, Derral, we asked you on The Video Marketing Value Podcast today, we would ask you on any day, but in particular, you’ve got this new book coming out February 24th and we’ve both preordered it on Amazon and I think I double ordered it on your website as well because I just want to make sure I’m the first person to have it. I’m going to say the name and it’s The YouTube Formula: How Anyone can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience and Grow Revenue. Both Gwen and I have been fans of yours forever. I’ve gone to all your VidSummits in LA.

Dane Golden:
We’re excited about the book and we’re going to ask tough questions, but I first want to just say this, everyone, the YouTube community is great and educators like yourself love helping other people. One thing you’ve done for me personally, and I’ve seen happen again and again to other people, not only on online community but through VidSummit and other ways, you’ve created a personal in-person network. While with COVID, we can’t quite do it the same way, but I’ve really built some of my best business connections and personal friends at your VidSummit. I just want to thank you for having those.

Derral Eves:
I think the reason why I started VidSummit was because these networking opportunities is the biggest opportunity that you have to talk to likeminded professionals or even people that you don’t even know. I wanted to be able to give a platform to creators or marketers that don’t use a platform to educate. I’m obsessed with learning and I thought that was the best way to get the people that I want to learn from is just invite them to be on stage. I know that you spoke before and there’s other people that have come and are a part of the community. For me, it’s about really leveraging learning as much as we possibly can because this world is really fast paced. There’s a lot of dynamic shifts that are happening. There’s so much that we can learn if we will be open to receive. That’s something that’s been my mantra from day one and the main reason why I actually started VidSummit.

Gwen Miller:
Since Dane got to do his little fanboy moment, I got to do my fan girl moment.

Derral Eves:
Oh, dear.

Gwen Miller:
I will have to admit when Dane said that you were coming on this podcast, I freaked out a little bit. You’ve been one of my career heroes for quite a while. I have a lot of questions about everything. We’ll see how many we actually get through in our allotted time, but I did warn Dane that he’s going to have a hard time getting a word in edgewise, but I’m going to try as hard as possible to share nicely.

Derral Eves:
I love it.

Gwen Miller:
I would love to start with just let’s talk about your new book that you have coming out. I know nothing about it. I am waiting on pins and needles to see what I’m going to read. I’d love to hear just, what is it? What are we getting to learn? What should I take away from it?

Derral Eves:
I love it. For me, I literally will read between 75 and 90 books a year. I’m obsessed with learning. That obsession translates over any time I talk to people I like to bring value. I’ve always had the desire to write a book about YouTube, but how do you actually frame it in a way that is not irrelevant in just a few days because YouTube changes so fast? I’ve been known in the industry to be the Algorithm guy and go from there and I give these keynotes at VidCon and VidSummit and all around the world at different conferences, but realistically, my heart is all about the simple things that we can digest. I always try to do that in my presentation and I had the idea of a book.

Derral Eves:
I thought this would be an interesting way to explain very specific principles that’s needed to really succeed in today’s social ecosystem. I basically started the outline and where it all came together was I had a goal and I wasn’t reaching out to publishers, but I had a publisher reach out to me, a very well-known publisher and he says, “Hey, have you ever thought about writing a book?” and I said, “Yes.” I pitched him on the idea. Now they’re my publisher. Then I spent about nine months really trying to put everything in written form, which it would have been so much easier just to do a video. Trust me, it would have been, but for me, it was there.

Derral Eves:
The book is in three parts. The first part is, I would say, the most important part. I do believe the more that you can understand history and why things were put in place it, it gives you a better way to navigate the future. That’s why I’m a history buff. The first part is really breaking down the history of YouTube and why they made certain decisions and then how it evolved into the ecosystem that we have today. That’s part one of the book. Part two of the book is all about driving revenue. I show all the different options that you can drive revenue and I talked about the opportunity of how to really leverage it from a brand or creator perspective.

Derral Eves:
Then part three is The YouTube Formula. The YouTube Formula isn’t necessarily the Algorithm. It’s the formula to really connect with people. As we are well aware, if you can understand how to get people to talk about your content and engage with it online, offline, the Algorithm just follows what they’re doing. To really succeed is really understanding that YouTube formula or the human formula of really getting people to engage with you.

Dane Golden:
I want to ask this because we help businesses and marketers on this podcast, and particularly with YouTube, but there’s a lot of differences between how you grow a channel organically and the flipside where you can use YouTube ads to funnel conversions and sales. You’re one of the few people on the platform who are really expert with a foot in both worlds. I wondered if you could just give me in a few sentences, how should a business and a marketer know how to allocate their resources and when either approach is right for them?

Derral Eves:
If you’re trying to sell something, the fastest way to get a conversion is through ads. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. You pay to play, but for a long-term approach and having a more organic feel approach, then I would absolutely have a content strategy. It could be leveraging your fanbase. I look at what GoPro has done. People make GoPro submissions and all they’re doing is advertising GoPro. They get picked up. They get featured and so on. You can blend both worlds. You just basically need to understand what do you need to do immediately. If it was my client and I was dealing with them, I would say ads is the first place to start because it’s the easiest and it’s the easiest to track. It’s the easiest to convert and then really figuring out an organic approach because that that is a little bit more difficult. You have to actually navigate a lot of things that most brands or businesses wouldn’t necessarily think about doing.

Gwen Miller:
That makes a lot of sense. Similarly, I see a lot of businesses rightfully seeing an opportunity for them to make their mark in the organic space via how-to videos. Where I think a lot of businesses get a little bit confused and may not fully understand is their path to success in the how-to space, maybe slightly different than, say, LaurDIY’s path to success. There is an inherent difference between an organic creator and a business being on the organic side of YouTube. Is there things that businesses can glean from creators or should they be looking to other business channels to figure out their growth strategy?

Derral Eves:
I love that. I would say this, there’s always something that you can learn from other people. I said that a little bit earlier. Creators are the ones that are actually moving the needle today in content, far above Hollywood. I want to make that quote clear. There’s more people talking about them consistently across the board. There’s a lot that you can learn from them. I think businesses need to keep an eye on what’s happening because they are really masters at their craft. Their strategies gathers people in an organic way that they’re able to leverage and become a seven, eight-figure, nine-figure brand by just talking about stuff that they love or creating content that really resonates with a very specific audience.

Derral Eves:
I think businesses can learn from creators and I think the whole thing is they need to … Whether you’re a YouTube creator that’s looking to expand or a brand, you need to start looking at people that have success and not necessarily follow them as a fanboy or fangirl, but look at, “Why did they do this?” You literally need to break down and ask all the questions, “Why did they use that title? Why did they use that thumbnail? Why are they doing that hook? Why are their edits that way?” I can honestly say brands will actually see a pattern where they can actually make better decisions as a brand.

Derral Eves:
I don’t know if it’s going to be asked a little bit later, Dane. You can tell me we can hold it for later, but when we did the Squatty Potty Pooping Unicorn ad, we actually did an ad that was so disruptive in multiple ways. It was because of the influence that we saw creators do. That whole thing, and this is where it breaks it down, was we did a long-form video. It was four minutes. If you look at an ad for four minutes, it’s not that odd now, but when we actually introduced that five years ago, it was. It was very disruptive. No one wanted to do it. Well, we understood it’s all about the elements or The YouTube Formula to really connect with someone, and regardless, if it’s a paid ad, we could get earned ads out of organic reach because people were talking about it naturally, and then two, the content could live on its own as something that people can find valuable, be entertaining, besides being informative.

Dane Golden:
Let me ask just a follow-up on that. While the Squatty Potty brand and the Pooping Unicorn and your partnership with the Harmon Brothers on this incredible ad and campaign is well known in video marketing circles, we also bring a lot of people onto this podcast who are newer to video marketing, might not know about it and just so they can look that up on their own, but let’s just address some of the interesting things that you did specifically in that ad and how you were involved and how you said, “We’re going to do it differently in this type of ad.” What was so dramatically different that was a game changer that has really changed YouTube ads entirely about that Squatty Potty Pooping Unicorn?

Derral Eves:
I think that the essence was out of the gate. It was a different idea. Jeffrey Harmon had an idea of a unicorn or a pooping bush because if you talk about going to the bathroom, it’s very awkward when you talk about people because it’s just like, “Oh, that’s disgusting,” and even, it could be crude, but if it’s like a magical unicorn, the internet loves that stuff. There’s subreddits that are all about unicorns and all the different things about My Little Pony and you even have a subculture of “Bronies,” which I discovered in doing some research about understanding the content. They were instrumental of getting it first and pushed out and getting on the front page of Reddit for sure.

Derral Eves:
I think the essence of it is you have a clever idea that could be a knock it out of the park or it could be just a strikeout moment, right? The next would be is understanding what we were trying to do. For us, it was shifting the people that are actually consuming the Squatty Potty. Because before, it was 65+ that are health conscious. What they wanted to do is resonate more with Millennials, right? Millennials are more health conscious than any other generation before. They have a different process and so we needed to have a targeted messaging that would resonate with them.

Derral Eves:
As we did that, we started to see what would actually be on brand, but we were creating a new brand for that. I remember, Bobby Edwards, who’s the CEO of a Squatty Potty is like, “Oh, my gosh, this is really a big risk because we can really tarnish our brand.” I says, “Well, if you just don’t take the risk, then you’re always going to be where you’re at because you’re going to be hitting the same people over and over again.” It resonated. He took a huge risk, even with advice of not doing it with us, but he did. It was all coming back down shifting that and so the messaging was geared to that, the age group. We wanted to make it funny. We wanted to make it engaging. We had it very programmatic in the sense of a shorter form video that was like four minutes, that the timing of it is just impeccable, every little detail.

Derral Eves:
We worked with some amazing writers that that did sketch comedy because this is a sketch comedy-esque type thing. A YouTube channel that I was working on at the time was Studio C. I got one of the main writers there to write the copy for it and then we brought our sales idea into it and then really punched it up, but it was taking that moment. Now I do remember after we got done and we were just right before launch, I wanted to get it out there into some of my friends, video marketing friends out there. This is where the big discussion was, “Do we actually trim it down or prune it down so that it meets the mold of maybe two minutes or do we keep it at a four-minute mark?”

Derral Eves:
I remember showing this to very well-known, and I’m not going to throw them under the bus, but very well-known video marketing or video experts. I says, “What do you think?” and they’re like, “Dude, it’s four-minutes long.” That was the common discussion, but I always followed up, I go, “Did you watch to the end?” They’re like, “Yeah, it was funny, but it’s four-minutes long.” We had that discussion. I remember going back and Jeffrey and I … Jeffrey Harmon was the other executive producer. I was executive producer as well. We were having the discussion what to do and I go, “Jeffrey, this is a four-minute ad. Every person I talked to is there.”

Derral Eves:
I says, “What are we going to do?” He goes, “Yes, I got the same thing. Everyone in my space was saying that it’s too long, too long. We need to cut it down.” I remember talking to him, I says, “Jeffrey, if we cut it down, we’re going to lose the secret of what this is. There is something organic about it. We need trust in this creation that we created.” I would have never had that trust if I’d never worked with YouTube creators, right? We would have literally cut it down. We made a huge decision, but Dane, this is so true, man, when we released that video, not only did they get ROI in just a few hours, which is return on investment was about half a million dollars of what they invested into the campaign, but the more importantly, the first two weeks of the campaign 96.4% of the people that started the video finished it. If I would have listened-

Dane Golden:
That’s incredible.

Derral Eves:
I would have listened at all to what people says that is the status quo, then I guarantee it wouldn’t be the success that it is today. It wouldn’t have disrupted the platform.

Dane Golden:
What I’m hearing is several things, but knowing you and combining with what you said, there’s a combination of a huge amount of research, research, research, test, innovate and then when it comes right down to it, go with what you believe is going to work and try things and that’s summarizing a multimillion dollar revolutionary experiment, but would that be correct in saying that?

Derral Eves:
Yeah, we did 125 title variation tests before we even did it. We did 45-

Dane Golden:
That’s just the title.

Derral Eves:
Yeah, 45 thumbnail variations with the winning title. It’s like we put our research into it and I’m telling you, the hook, we made sure that it looked good without sound because the bulk of the advertising and push was on Facebook. We knew how that would be across, and right in that first few moments, you see a unicorn pooping sherbet ice cream and then the prince picks it up and takes a lick. Who’s not going to click on that thing? I don’t care who you are. It’s like a magnet, right? Then it’s just coming in where they rewind it, we had a huge another people, they wanted to see what was being said because we didn’t do burned-in captions at the time. We did a little bit later on some testing and stuff like that, but yeah, that was a very, very, very, very disruptive ad.

Dane Golden:
Now you’ve got a ton going on. You write the book. You’ve got the VidSummit Conference. You’ve got multiple, multiple Gold Play Buttons that you’ve worked with and you’ve owned yourself, started in each different type of variation of category. You’re a partner with MrBeast on a lot of projects and businesses. A lot of us aspire to do a lot of things, but you actually do have your hands in so many different pies and are able to succeed on so many levels. How is what I’m saying. How do you manage it? Do you just have a whole bunch of elves doing this all for you? Do you just never sleep? What’s your secret?

Derral Eves:
So I think passion fuels everything, right? For me, I take on passion projects. I’ve never went out and solicited business in the last 12 years. I just haven’t done that. The business always finds me. One of the projects that I work on, and this will give you very, very, very specific context, but I was introduced to an opportunity of a creator that I just knew was going somewhere. Before you know it, in one day, I became his business partner running all the business and marketing and audience development for a project, but the goal was is to break the out all-time crowdfunding record in film and television. Well, that had me at number one because I like to do things that are disruptive. I like to make statements. If I can get the all-time crowdfunding record in film and television, then I’m going to do it. I’m going to do projects like that. That motivates me more than anything else, is just trying to do the impossible, right?

Derral Eves:
I actually had a partner, Dallas Jenkins, who’s a current partner right now and it was getting him on board to become an influencer for the project. I want everyone to do it. We became the number one crowdfunding project of all time, and film and television. You can look it up. It’s called “The Chosen.” You can download it on the iOS or Android app. The second thing was we distributed it differently. We’re now over 82 million views on the first season of the show that was totally crowdfunded, but our crowdfunding was a little bit different. We didn’t do like a pat on the back and a T-shirt. We actually got approval with the Securities and Exchange Commission and we were able to do a Reg A offering. We were able to bring in public money and we had 19,000 people became our partners into the project which was the first facilitation of really growing an audience.

Derral Eves:
We are now some of the top 20 most downloaded apps of 2020. We’ve had almost 20 million people download the app. They can do that worldwide. The crazy thing is we’re shooting season two right now, we’re in the middle of it, shooting season two for “The Chosen.” It was all paid for and brought through our ecosystem because we’re profitable and we’ve been able not only to bring in the money to support our needs, but also do future seasons of “The Chosen,” which we’re in season two.

Gwen Miller:
That’s amazing.

Derral Eves:
All right. That’s what it is. Dane, to answer your question, it’s about passion and then you got to prioritize your passion. You got to figure out where your thing is. For me, I’m really good about ideation, execution on launch strategies. That’s my jam and building an audience and then putting in place the team that would actually be needed to fulfill with all the plans. Right now, we have a ton of people working with “The Chosen” and other projects. Then I do more consulting for the companies that I own. I just come in and say, “Okay, that’s what we need to do.” I might train them on the stuff that needs to go, but the day to day stuff, I try to have someone do it and then I come in for the bigger campaign-type project.

Gwen Miller:
That makes perfect sense, so story time.

Derral Eves:
Oh, dear.

Gwen Miller:
I know, right? Now into the OCD brain of Gwen, I keep these playlists that I use to send to creators and businesses when they ask me like, “Where do I start on YouTube?” I have a beginner’s playlist, I have an intermediate playlist and I have an advanced playlist. Now the advanced playlist, I warn people, I’m like, “This is super complex mind bendy stuff.” My absolute favorite video that I include in that playlist is the entire 45-minute of what I believe was your last VidCon presentation where you really dive into how YouTube uses its AI capabilities to physically watch videos, which I understand is a super complex topic and not something we can summarize in two minutes on a podcast. Since this is something I’m obsessed with and I think you explained it better than anyone I’ve ever heard, is there a non-head splitting way to give us just a quick glimpse into that technology and what Google might be doing with it?

Derral Eves:
Yeah, absolutely. I think the easiest way, this is why the book is so important, is I wanted to go in depth and give it the depth that it’s needed because I think that there’s a lot of people that want to really deep dive into it. In 2012, YouTube would do these experiments. They do thousands of experiments every year. One of the experiments was they wanted to reach a goal where they could predict what the people wanted to watch, instead of just doing it off the other way, the archaic way of getting videos in front of people. They put it in play January of 2012 and the views in that test went way down. It went way down. It’s 40% less than normal and the team was really freaking out if they were going to lose their job, but it slowly gradually started to get. By May, it was 10x more viewership.

Derral Eves:
What happened was, YouTube, the YouTube AI, it was an AI test, was able to get the data and start seeing patterns and people. Then it took a little bit of time, about four months, before it started to translate into predicting what people want to watch. What happened next was, YouTube got excited, Google got excited because it’s achieving the goal what YouTube is, is get people on the platform and have them stay longer. The best way to do that is give people an amazing experience. Between that and 2013, they translated over to Google Brain which is the AI of Google.

Derral Eves:
Now that we have that set, let me just make it very simple for everyone listening. The whole purpose of the AI is to understand patterns of people, what people watch, how long they watch, where they engage with and what they watch next. They can see patterns that we normally can’t see and they can see things. What they do is they look very closely at different traffic. This is where we’re going to get a little geeky, but every traffic source, so like YouTube homepage and subscription feed is a traffic source. Suggested video is a traffic source. You could have search as a traffic source. Every single one of them has a different Algorithm that that manages it and they have bots that the Algorithm uses to do its bidding.

Derral Eves:
At the end of the day, every Algorithm on YouTube is to make sure that people are getting the videos that they want and that they’re able to either dig a little bit deeper or keep on the platform a little bit longer where they’re doing related videos or just related off of their browse history. If you want to really succeed on YouTube, the biggest thing to do is, if you released four videos in a given month, in your watch history, if you have a big, big component of people watching the same type of videos in their watch history, then YouTube can see that and then they can go out and serve it up to more people. They can actually predict your audience better than anything else.

Derral Eves:
For me, 75% of all views that happened today on YouTube is when YouTube’s AI says, “Oh, this is the perfect video for this person,” and that’s what you got to jump in on. I dig deep into that in part one. I read every book there is on YouTube. I literally ordered every book, I read every book and there’s no book that goes into the depth that I do. You think that 45-minute presentation at VidCon was heavy, wait until you read part one of the book. It goes into so much depth, but it puts it in practical language of what you can actually understand, so that you can take that opportunity in part two and really leverage that Algorithm in part three by doing The YouTube Formula which is the human formula.

Dane Golden:
I’m just going to rename the name of the book right now and it’s called “The YouTube Formula.” Let me get it right here. Let me get it right, “The YouTube Formula: How Anyone can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience and Grow Revenue.”

Derral Eves:
You got it right.

Dane Golden:
“The YouTube Formula: How Anyone can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience and Grow Revenue.” One of the one of the tools in doing that is how often and how frequently do you upload to your YouTube channel and is it once a week? Is it several times a week? Is it less? Does it depend on the maturity of your channel? You’ve emphasized this as one of your teachings, so how often should someone upload?

Derral Eves:
Yeah, it’s the nature of it. We, as a company, and one of my companies, we own a lot of YouTube channels. In fact, there’s 17 and we just started another one that we just started a couple weeks ago. Each one of them has its own cadence of release. I have a personal YouTube channel where I give YouTube advice. I literally will post on that when I have a free moment. You’ll see that I’m very sporadic, but that’s not my main core business. I’m able to make 100x more money on other channels that we own and that’s where the bulk of my time is. My main channel for the YouTube tips is to give back. If I have advice to give, that’s where I generally will do it. I’ll put one video out every other month or something like that.

Derral Eves:
At the essence, the cadence of release is really important for the content creators they work with and then also for our own channels, but I want to give you the best example because I think a lot of people are getting misinformation from Clubhouse and other places out there. They think they need to upload every day and they don’t. They need to look at who they’re giving content to, where they’re bringing value and then how often do you need to stay top of the mind. One content creator, he wrote a testimonial for the book. His name is Mark Rober. You can go look him up on YouTube. You should because he’s one of the smartest creators I’ve ever come across.

Dane Golden:
How’s it spelled? How’s Rober spelled?

Derral Eves:
R-O-B-E-R.

Dane Golden:
Thank you.

Derral Eves:
The thing about it is he is, by far, one of the most disruptive creators out there, one of the smartest. His release strategy is once a month. He only does 12 videos a year. His videos will get anywhere between 50 and 100 million video views. They’re very, very well done. He’s in the education space. He makes science fun. You should literally see some of his biggest videos where he looks at things that happen to everyday people and then he brings science into it. It’s really an amazing channel. You have somebody like that that’s doing that and then you have someone like MrBeast that goes out once a week or three times a month, but you look at it, it’s like you just got to bring value in. When people see your content, it should evoke an emotion in them. That emotion should be a very positive thing that they’ll actually be looking forward and anticipating that next video.

Gwen Miller:
Amazing. All right, I want to circle back on something that you were talking about a little while ago. I was laughing because I literally in my Evernote have a rogue slide wandering around that’s just marked, “YouTube Ecosystem from Derral Eves,” which I think looking back is from that same VidCon presentation, but you were mentioning how you know each different feature or surface or traffic source part of YouTube has its own optimization system behind it, its own Algorithm. I think a lot of the times one of the top questions I get from creators and businesses is like, “I’m looking at my traffic sources and I’m getting a ton of traffic from one traffic source, but not a lot from others,” or like, “My top traffic sources X. Should it be that?” Is there any right and wrong answer when it comes to where your traffic should be coming from for a long-term health?

Derral Eves:
I really love the question, it’s probably one of the most complex questions that you could ask and most people think it’d be simple, but there’s just too many variables. Let me share with you a strategy that will hopefully simplify it. I just mentioned we just started a brand new YouTube channel. Every year, we start two YouTube channels that we start on our own for a company and then we get two that we partner with. Then once a quarter, we’re really focusing in on getting that ramped up to get the views. That’s where we literally have 25 Gold Play Buttons is coming through that process now. The essence with this new channel, we need to say, “Okay, how do we immediately get traffic?”

Derral Eves:
Now I am probably the most sensitive person when it comes to traffic than any anyone out there. I don’t think that there is a creator out there that cares as much as traffic as I do. The reason why is because when you actually do something I want, I want to give an example, YouTube has to make a decision. If I launched a brand new YouTube channel and I posted it in Facebook and I says, “Hey, guys, I launched a new YouTube channel,” and you get thousands views coming in from it. That is 1,000 random people that don’t have any correlation data, okay? Every single one of them are going to watch it because there’s just supporting you and seeing what you’re doing, right? They might snoop in for 10 seconds of the video. You’re not even getting great data coming from that.

Derral Eves:
You might want to post it on Twitter and then people are doing the same thing. You might want to share with your family and friends in an email and you might go from there, but it’s so segmented out that the AI doesn’t see a pattern immediately. This channel that we started, this is literally not even just a couple weeks old, our first video that we did was optimized for search. I knew it was going to be for search. Everyone was going to find it in search. I knew that it would be in search. I knew that because of that it would generate traffic for people searching it out because that’s what searches for.

Derral Eves:
The next video was our best video we’ve ever made on that channel ever. Now when someone found finds it through search, they’re going to see that recommendation come in because of the nature of the channel, and then also, there is a higher amount of people that are now finding in search that watches the second video. If they click on that one video and they’re captured in and they do a great job, then we’re able to do that. Now that alone, we got 200 subscribers in two weeks. When we released the third video, the third video is still heavily in search, but the fourth video was more of a suggestion video.

Derral Eves:
We’ve only released four videos in two weeks, but we have well over a thousand subscribers now because of that strategy. Some were very geared to search and we wanted that to be search and then it would lead to suggestion. Now, I want you to keep in mind the best video we’ve ever made was the second video, but the one that’s been suggested the most has an 82% retention rate on a 14-minute video and it is now getting browse feature traffic which is YouTube homepage and also suggested videos. I guarantee you that first video that we released will probably be our best video that we’ve released in the first quarter. It’s still gaining steam. Every day, it’s getting more video views outside of search. That was the key because once I said before, 75% of all views that happened today is when YouTube recommends, we do not dilute who’s watching it. We want it to be the actual people that YouTube will go and find. The faster that we can have an identification of the audience, the faster the AI can see that pattern.

Derral Eves:
The follow-up question that you should be asking me, “Well, how long did you do the research on the video, the viewers, of who you wanted that viewer to be?” Six months we spent learning about that audience.

Dane Golden:
Wow.

Derral Eves:
I don’t know if there’s a creator out there that would spend that amount of time besides MrBeast, but we spent six months. The reason why we did is we were testing. We were testing content and how would it do. There’s a reason why we got well over 80% retention is because we understood what worked and we took a lot of time. We’re in a position where we can take that time, but I can guarantee you that channel will be at a million subscribers and it’s going to get hundreds of millions, if not billions of video views is because we understand the opportunity there and we can leverage that.

Derral Eves:
Gwen, to answer your question is you got to you got to select a traffic source. If I was starting first, it would always be search, but I would be thinking, “Okay, what’s the best video for them to watch next that wouldn’t be found in search?” and then I would try to create a tie and a tease within that video so that they’ll actually want to click on it and watch more. Because as soon as you can get to that, I don’t care for your brand, I don’t care if you’re a creator, as soon as you can get to YouTube recommending your content, that’s when you explode on the platform.

Dane Golden:
A followup onto that search approach, so let me make sure I’m hearing you correctly, you’ve got a brand new channel, you’ve done a lot of research on, your goal is to very quickly get an imprint of a certain avatar of viewer, but in order to get them into that, you could call it a funnel or a system or a series or a sequence, you first are going to give them a searchable video and then try to get them into that second video which really is something that is going to fit more into a browse or suggested videos arrangement, is that right?

Derral Eves:
That is one strategy that I was using for this channel. Like I said, it’s a complicated question because there’s no just clear cut way of doing it. Every channel is very specific and you have specific goals. If it was for me a brand, if it’s about conversions, I literally would do an ad. There’s no way you can make me create content that’s organic if the whole goal is conversions because you can get immediate results faster that way. You just need to get through a different lens. Then two, there might be … This is a brand that you’re familiar with, Dane, but we actually had Amy Wiley come and present at VidSummit a couple years ago. She is the YouTube Queen at WWE. She is one of the smartest people on the planet.

Derral Eves:
They have 82,000 videos that’s uploaded to YouTube. What people don’t know is the fifth watch, but her strategy is more about suggestion. She can release 82 videos in a day or 32 videos in a day. It won’t disrupt anything that she’s doing because all her views are coming from YouTube recommending our content through suggestion because they know that that’s the type of viewership that happens. She doesn’t get a massive amount of views in the first 24 hours, but it accrues up over the lifetime of the video. It just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until she has a lot of views.

Dane Golden:
Just search in general, and this is a two-part question, because search used to be one of the absolute main topics any YouTube strategists would say, “You need to do search.” I want to ask, is that less so? Also, for someone like me who works with businesses that are never going to have a million views, however, using a tutorial approach, with just a few thousand views, B2B in a niche market can do very well in just establishing their footprint. People know they exist, they know they want to help, and in this niche market, they can do really well by establishing that they are the experts and that’s the person someone should work for. YouTube search in general still a powerhouse for businesses and also B2B?

Derral Eves:
This is where get thrown under the bus by some other YouTube educators and experts is because I poo-poo search. The reason why I do is it’s like putting training wheels on a Ferrari. Why would you want to put training wheels on a Ferrari?

Dane Golden:
All right.

Derral Eves:
For me, the true growth and explosion comes when YouTube understands who you’re creating content for. Trust me, I’ve probably done more SEO than most because I started an agency in ’99 and immediately got into search engine optimization in 1999. It was called spam back then, but I was pretty, I think, good at it and getting traffic going. I built an agency off of ranking websites, ranking videos. Trust me, I know the power of search. I understand where the volume can be and it can be a substantial amount of views, but it’s a drop in the bucket, compared to when YouTube understands what your content is and finds the viewer for you.

Derral Eves:
I’ve seen it like even on a local level. It’s like you can do this. You can literally do this on a local level brick and mortar business, but you have to understand your audience. For me the tutorials is great, but when it really resonates that people can go into it, then you can go you can go a lot deeper. Let me give you just a little bit of context. I share a story in the book about Jenny. She actually filed bankruptcy in the state of California because one of our kids got really, really sick and they had a whole bunch of medical bills. They just picked on a map where they’re going to move to and they moved to Hamilton, Missouri and population is 1,700 people.

Derral Eves:
She was a costume designer for a lot of the movies and theaters that are in California. Well, there’s no work in Hamilton and so she picked up quilting and loved it. It was her hobby and just fell in love with it. Well, her and her son decided that there’s an opportunity to bind these quilts together and so they bought this machine. It’s like $30,000 and the kids all went in so that their mom would have some support. They decided to do a blog and be on Facebook and do ads. They started to grow a little bit here and there, but it was when she wanted to bring more value in her emails by doing a tutorial on YouTube. That everything changed.

Derral Eves:
Now that tutorial actually exists, but the difference was her tutorial was smart because the tutorial was featuring a product that she was selling in her online store and that people will watch it and not only engage with it, but they can buy. She went from bankrupt to barely making it by, squeezing it by. Now she pretty much owns all of Hamilton, Missouri. She owns several restaurants, several hotels. She has five stores there. She employs pretty much half the town from her business and it’s the mecca of quilts. If you ever want to take a look at an amazing business that’s leveraged YouTube to do hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, check the Missouri Star quilting company.

Derral Eves:
The difference would be, and this is where I want everyone to understand that yes, it can start out search, but her main growth was when YouTube decided, “Oh, this is about quills. We know that these people like quilts. Let’s go ahead and show them this content,” and she was able to grow and not only grow on YouTube, but also grow in the dollars that she was doing. She became the number one, the biggest retail fabric retailer in the world, in Hamilton fricking Missouri. Don’t tell me that search is the only way to do it. I will literally just put these case studies in their face because, yes, you can do it and she did pay a lot for ads and she still does because it works.

Derral Eves:
Her strategy is getting people into the daily deals and building up her email lists and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, the real growth comes from community. There was a community around her and she is a celebrity. When they go to town, people are literally taking pictures around her cardboard cutouts in all of her businesses that they have and they’re posting because it’s a social moment for them to be in Mecca. They’re literally in Quilting Mecca. She’s built an empire off of that. For me, I don’t like it … That’s why I use that as a major case study in The YouTube Formula because I think anyone can do this, but don’t put freakin’ training wheels on your Ferrari. Treat it for what it is.

Derral Eves:
If you’re not magnetic, that’s fine. Find someone that is. That’s at the end of the day and she became that person that was magnetic. She was very petrified of even making any videos. There’s a whole story in the book about how she broke her leg and had the emergency ambulance come on her first video shoot, but the reality is, is there’s opportunity for anyone and I don’t necessarily don’t believe that search is a great value, I think it is, but the real opportunity to get really where people are talking about organically when they feel something part of something bigger and there’s a lot of people that you know, Dane, and I know that have plumbing businesses and HVAC businesses that have blown up because it started with search, but it’s now more about a community and YouTube defining who those videos are. That’s where they were able to grow really fast.

Gwen Miller:
I do a podcast about her, this fascinating story. One of the things I really appreciate about you is that you’ll tackle the crazy mind-straining stuff and also really dig into the basics. One of my favorite videos of yours is literally just you showing people how to upload a video which seems really simple. That is the big barrier for first launching your channel, is that first time you’re uploading a video. What are some of the common mistakes you see people making when they’re uploading videos for the first time to YouTube?

Derral Eves:
That they probably didn’t spend more time on their title and thumbnail than they did their video, maybe the last two minutes that they’re, “Oh, I need a thumbnail. Oh, I need a title.” That’s the worst thing you could ever do. That’s where I would spend the majority of my time because if you can’t get them to click, you can’t get them to watch. It doesn’t matter how amazing your content is.

Dane Golden:
We’re running towards the end of our time. This is already the longest podcast we’ve ever done. We have 10 more questions. I know Gwen has a lot more questions. Gwen, you want to ask him one more question?

Gwen Miller:
I want to ask you about this because I would love to know if you’ve experimented with this. I do think that this could be a tool that would be a lot of interest to the businesses out there. Look, I think one of the biggest fears in any YouTubers heart is to get a copyright strike or somebody calls and then complains and demands they take something out of their video. Now, as we know that, that’s a big deal because you’re going to have to pull down the entire video and re upload it. In recent history, YouTube has come out with tools that allow you to actually go into existing videos and snip out the app then and pull things out. Have you experimented with this? Have you used it? What are your thoughts on innovative ways these tools could be used in the future?

Derral Eves:
First off, don’t put content that’s not yours in your video. Let’s just get that over with, okay? Let’s not do that, but yes, YouTube has tools that you can actually edit things out. For me, it’s getting super creative. There is something with fair use. I think that there is a style of using fair use that is something you can debate and you can fight and you can win, but you need to have a clear understanding what that is. You can’t just use someone’s content if it’s just two seconds. You just can’t. It’s their content. You can’t use it. Now if it’s really bringing it in and you’re using some education, then absolutely. That’s called fair use, but you need to have a good understanding of the law on that, but I like to look at when I’m creating content, I’m like, “How can I do this by referencing something that I love and something that would really engage and you can bring elements in?”

Derral Eves:
However, there are some laws trying to be passed right now that’s absurd when it comes to copyright. You won’t even have a logo in a video. You might have to blur it just because that’s where a lot of these laws that are happening right now and it’s pretty ridiculous. Hopefully creators and brands use their creativity and then create those elements that they need, maybe they create their own type of memes that that is amplified in it or it can create a juxtaposition or a transition in that. That right there is the key in that content creation is really understanding how to make the content interesting and pulling the viewer in deeper to your content.

Derral Eves:
Trust me, out of all the people in the world, I understand the power of that pattern interrupt and using some of the other’s content, so you just have to make sure that you own it or you license it or you create it yourself.

Gwen Miller:
I will say sometimes with even the best laid thoughts of getting permission, I’ve had brands come in the past to an existing uploaded video and be, “We just noticed on a second pass that you have a snapshot of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower. Technically, the Eiffel Tower is a trademark. Can we pull that?” I do think there’s a lot more nuance to copyright law than I think a lot of creators even realize.

Derral Eves:
Let’s just get it clear. Europe is weird when it comes to copyright. Seriously, let’s make sure that that’s out on the table.

Gwen Miller:
For sure.

Dane Golden:
This is amazing, Derral. We’re really excited about your book, “The YouTube Formula: How Anyone can Unlock the Algorithm to Drive Views, Build an Audience and Grow Revenue.” How can people get it right now and find out more about you, Derral Eves?

Derral Eves:
You can literally buy anywhere at the bookstore, but if I was in your position, I would go to YTformula.com because that’s the only place that you can get some extras that I’m offering. Some of these extras are off the chain. It’s like some of the things that you definitely will need to navigate the book. You can find that at ytformula.com. I do want to make this one statement. I do believe in education, and where this is a video marketing book or YouTube book, I actually have a mini course in the book. I felt like that was important to really bring in video concepts so that you can really understand what I’m teaching because written form is great, but I really love the visual of video. I wish it could just be a video book, but that’s not happening yet.

Dane Golden:
It’s amazing. Thank you very much, Derral Eves. My name is Dane Golden, with my cohost, Gwen Miller. We want to thank you the listener for joining us today, right, Gwen?

Gwen Miller:
Yes, absolutely. We could not do it without you. While you’re listening to this podcast, particularly you’re probably on Apple podcasts because that’s where most people are. Just click that share button or maybe review us. Just click that dot, dot, dot, give us a nice review. Gwen and I do this podcast and our various other YouTube videos and projects and full-time stuff because we love helping marketers and businesses just like you do YouTube and video marketing better. Thanks to our special guests. Thank you, Derral Eves.

Derral Eves:
Thank you, Dane and Gwen.

Dane Golden:
Until next week, here’s to helping you help your customers through video.