D’Laina Hunt On Wrong Assumptions Businesses Make About YouTube

D’Laina Hunt from VideoCreators helps businesses correct what they are doing wrong on their YouTube channels. Today’s focus is breaking myths on what channels get wrong on YouTube.

GUEST: D’Laina Hunt | VideoCreators | YouTube | VideoCreators Podcast | Instagram

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HOST: The Video Marketing Value Podcast is hosted by:
– Dane Golden of VidiUp.tv and VidTarget.io | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube
– Renee Teeley of VideoExplained and ReneeTeeley.com | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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

TRANSCRIPT

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 we’ve got another business VidTarget.io, where we help you save time and money through more targeted YouTube ads. Along with my co-host, she’s the powerhouse video marketer from San Francisco. It’s R-E-N-E-E T-E-E-L-E-Y, Renee Teeley from VideoExplained. Hello Renee.

Renee Teeley:
Hello Dane. Today, I’m happy as a cowboy walking off into the sunset to be co-hosting this podcast with you.

Dane Golden:
But are you thrilled?

Renee Teeley:
I’m thrilled. I’m delighted. I am all of the things.

Dane Golden:
She’s all the things. And Renee, what do you do at VideoExplained?

Renee Teeley:
Yeah. VideoExplained, I offer video production and consulting services to help companies use video to build credibility, generate leads and convert those leads into paying customers.

Dane Golden:
Okay. And for you the listener, you should know as always that we will have in your podcast app, you can follow along with a transcript and links and send us a message on Twitter or wherever to let us know how you liked the show. And today we have a special guest. It’s D’Laina Hunt Hunt from VideoCreators. Welcome D’Laina Hunt.

D’Laina Hunt:
Hello, hello. I’m so excited to be here.

Dane Golden:
We are excited and we’re very thankful you’re having a storm in your house and the electricity, internet, things are going in and out. We appreciate you making time for us.

D’Laina Hunt:
I was about to be so bummed if this wasn’t going to work out because I’ve been looking forward to this. And so I was emailing Dane and I was like, hold on, let me see what else I can do to try to get connected through my phone. So yeah. I was like, this is nuts. This storm is not going to take me down.

Dane Golden:
All right. And D’Laina Hunt Hunt, now I’m going to spell your name because it’s a little bit unusual. It’s capital D’-L-A-I-N-A. Your last name is Hunt. Did I spell your name right?

D’Laina Hunt:
You absolutely did. Yes, beautiful start.

Dane Golden:
Is the L capitalized or not capitalized?

D’Laina Hunt:
It depends on your mood, but I think technically legally it’s supposed to be capitalized, but I usually do it not capitalized.

Dane Golden:
All right. We’ll go on formal today. And we asked you on the Video Marketing Value Podcast today because in your job at Tim Schmoyer VideoCreators, you consult a lot of YouTube channels, including businesses and marketers, which is our focus of this podcast. And on a recent podcast with Tim, you talked about how YouTube channels often get it wrong. And I thought we’d talk about how that applies to businesses today. Does that topic work for you?

D’Laina Hunt:
Ooh, yes. I love this topic. I’m super pumped.

Renee Teeley:
Awesome. So first off, I’m really excited to have you on the show too. And I’m a big fan of Tim Schmoyer and VideoCreators. And you know you guys are creating amazing content over there. So it’s really exciting to have you on the show.

D’Laina Hunt:
Thank you.

Renee Teeley:
And I’m excited for this topic too. So we’re going to do a little bit of mythbusting. So we’re going to mention some common things that YouTube channels get wrong and you can tell us why it’s inaccurate, are you ready?

D’Laina Hunt:
Ooh, yeah. Like rapid fire style?

Renee Teeley:
It doesn’t have to be rapid fire. Well, we may say it quickly, but you can take your time with the answers.

D’Laina Hunt:
Okay. Cool, cool I like it.

Renee Teeley:
So the first thing is, keyword research is the way.

D’Laina Hunt:
Ooh, that’s a good one. Okay. So whenever creators typically think whether you’re a business owner or whatever kind of channel that you have, and you’re trying to get momentum on YouTube, we tend to put so much weight on making sure that we’re kind of plugging in the right keywords and the title and our tags and stuff like that. And making sure that everything is going to match up because ultimately what we want to do is we want to match up for search results, right? But there’s a couple of different angles here.

D’Laina Hunt:
One of them is that YouTube is actually not paying attention much to keywords. It pays a lot of attention to user intent. And you’ll actually notice whenever you go into, whenever you search for something on YouTube, there’s a lot of search results that pop up that actually don’t perfectly match the phrase that you searched for, but that are still very relevant to what you searched and will still answer the same question. And so YouTube is actually paying more attention to the human behavior of whenever I show this video within this certain search result or something like that, do viewers click on it or do they not, not necessarily does this perfectly match up with the term that the viewer searched for.

D’Laina Hunt:
So there’s that angle. And then there’s another angle of that YouTube is, actually search is not like our bread and butter. On growth, we find that the channels that have the most success, most of their traffic isn’t coming from search results. It’s coming from browse features, which means the YouTube homepage, like the user’s homepage. So that first page that they see whenever they sign into YouTube and or suggested videos. So whenever you’re browsing on YouTube, and you see those videos on the sidebar, as you’re watching another video, those are all suggested videos. So that like really explosive, huge momentum that you see channels get sometimes it usually comes from those traffic sources rather than search.

Dane Golden:
Okay. And how about using keywords, your targeted keywords in your video file name, for instance, like makemoremoney.mp4. Is that a good idea?

D’Laina Hunt:
Yes. So this is actually something that a long time ago, whenever YouTube actually did rely a lot more on like the words in the title and the words that you put in your tags, as well as it would put a little bit of weight in, it would look at that PDF file, but they pretty quickly kind of solved that. They learned that that really didn’t hold much weight. And so that was something that was quickly solved. It did kind of rumor around for a while and it was true for a very short time, but it is not, it holds no weight nowadays. Well I’m-

Dane Golden:
And I’m sorry to interrupt, but you said PDF file. You meant the video file.

D’Laina Hunt:
… Yes. Sorry. Sorry. Yeah. The video file.

Renee Teeley:
Well, I’m happy to hear that the MP4 name or your video file name doesn’t hold much weight because mine are always named something weird. So I’m happy that doesn’t do much.

D’Laina Hunt:
Like draft number five.

Renee Teeley:
Yeah. I often do like final, final really final.

D’Laina Hunt:
Yes. Yes.

Renee Teeley:
Because it goes through so many different versions. All right. So the next topic is closed captions. You need closed captions.

D’Laina Hunt:
Oh, okay. So closed captions, they’re important in some ways, but not important in others. They are important I would say if you’re somebody let’s say who has a heavy accent and you want to make sure that the viewers watching you, like you have a large english following and you want to make sure that the viewers following you can fully understand what you’re saying. Then it would be important in that regard, but that’s kind of looking at the human side of how we use YouTube. And you always, always, always want to be optimizing your videos for humans and how they’re going to interact and engage with the content.

D’Laina Hunt:
And so they would be important in that regard, but in terms of just again, like showing up in search results or something like that, or YouTube pushing your video more because it has closed captions in it, that’s not going to happen. YouTube pays attention to how viewers do or do not respond to the content, how long they watch it, whether they click on it whenever it shown them, et cetera, et cetera. And so your close captions will not really move the needle in terms of it getting shown more.

Dane Golden:
What about like YouTube has something called channel keywords, which are like keywords for the video, but they’re for the overall channel. Important, not important?

D’Laina Hunt:
Not important. Use best practices they’re still there, YouTube still makes it available for you to plug those in. So I would use best practices just to have them there, but we’ve worked with so many channels who have never even touched, don’t even know that that part of their channel exists. And they’ve seen massive, I mean, most channels don’t really know that that exists and they still see a ton of growth without filling that in. So again, that’s another one of those things that YouTube puts very little weight if any on anymore.

Renee Teeley:
Yeah. So there’s another I often hear the people say, you need to optimize your video descriptions and tags. What do you think about that?

D’Laina Hunt:
I think that this all comes back to, I love these questions because they all kind of point at people kind of paying attention to the algorithmic kind of robot side of YouTube, where what they really need to be paying attention to is the humans, because it’s the humans who are responding or not responding to the content, right? And so that’s what all YouTube is paying attention to. So if we want to make YouTube work for us, we’ve got to pay attention to what YouTube is paying attention to, which is the people.

D’Laina Hunt:
So whenever it comes to writing a description, I like to say kind of write it as a mini blog post in a way that would engage your followers or catch the attention of somebody who’s scrolling past this video, deciding whether they want to click on it or not. And so kind of have the most important part that you feel is the most important to the viewer at the top of the description, because that’s what shows in the little preview right under the video, and then kind of write it out from there. So optimize it for them in that way and have any resources or anything that they need.

D’Laina Hunt:
But in terms of the tags, that’s again, one of those things that YouTube is now putting very, very little weight on. In fact, they made a blog post on their, on YouTube blog, I think two, three years ago now that it was an official statement, that they are no longer using that as a primary source for gathering context on what this video is about. But they’re actually primarily using it for just common misspelling. So if you have a complicated name or business name or something like that, that people tend to misspell, you would want to put that in your video tags, maybe your channel tags too.

Dane Golden:
A common misspelling might be, D’Laina Hunt Hunt, I think. That’s a tough one.

D’Laina Hunt:
Absolutely. Yes. Starbucks is hopeless with me.

Dane Golden:
What has your name been at Starbucks?

D’Laina Hunt:
Oh, I’m trying to think what was the weirdest one. One time I had, I think the one that I get the most frequently would be D-E-L-A-N-A. So there’s just, they add an E and they mixed the I. That’s the one that I get the most frequently or sometimes they just, sometimes they write Selena. That’s a weird one. They think that I’m saying Selena instead of D’Laina Hunt. So yeah.

Renee Teeley:
That’s pretty funny. My name, I feel like it’s actually pretty easy, but I have a collection of photos that I’ve taken from Starbucks cups of like all of the weird, interesting spellings. And oddly enough, more times than not the place that gets it right is when I’m in Canada. So if I’m at a Starbucks in Canada, they can spell my name correctly, but not here in the US.

D’Laina Hunt:
Wow. That is so… Oh, you know what I was thinking of? It was, I got a piece of mail recently. I don’t remember where it was from, but they spelled my name as Blaina. So it was no apostrophe, B-L-A-I-N-A. I was like never gotten that one before.

Dane Golden:
So speaking of weird spellings, how about comments? Is it true you need more comments to succeed on YouTube.

D’Laina Hunt:
Oh, this is such a good one because here it’s a common misconception of like correlation and causation. So where this came from was somebody did a study of like a bunch of different channels and they kind of pulled all this data and they were like, Hey, we found that the videos that get the most comments are the ones that get the most attention. And it was a little bit backwards because it wasn’t that the video was gaining more traction because it was getting more comments. It was the other way around.

D’Laina Hunt:
The videos were good videos that resonated with people on some level, whether they were really helpful or whether they were entertaining, whatever it may be, maybe emotional, anything in-between. And thus resulting in more comments because people felt a strong pull to engage with that content. And so it was more so that the content resonated with the person rather than it was that the comments cause the video to gain traction.

Renee Teeley:
Well, that’s fascinating. I think that’s one of the most common things that I hear. And so it’s interesting that it’s kind of the reverse of what people assume. So it’s pretty interesting. Another potentially misconception is that there’s a perfect video length. Can you talk about video length and is there a perfect video length?

D’Laina Hunt:
Yeah. This is a question that I answer I feel like almost a daily basis with consultation calls and stuff like that. I believe where this started was whenever YouTube started to put a limit on how long your video needed to be in order to start putting more ads in it. So it was like the 10-minute rule that your video, once it hits 10 minutes, you can start putting mid-roll ads in it, which now actually recently that has changed. It’s eight minutes and you can start putting more mid-roll ads in there.

D’Laina Hunt:
But, so then people kind of took that. They kind of took an inch and ran a mile and then were like, Oh, if you can show more ads and YouTube is going to want to show your video more. And also you’re going to gain more watch time because that’s another thing that kind of where this came from is that people started learning that YouTube values watch time, which is true. And so they felt that, Oh, well we need at least 10 minutes of video because longer videos, more watch time, more views, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But that’s actually not true. YouTube is paying more attention to the viewing session time as a whole. So whenever it puts your video out into the YouTube universe, it is paying attention to three main things.

D’Laina Hunt:
One thing, first thing, whenever I put this video in front of somebody, do they even click on it? And then the second thing, whenever they do click on it, do they like the content? Are they dropping off within the first 10 seconds? Or are they watching it all the way through? And then the third thing is where are they going afterwards? Are they leaving YouTube afterwards? Are they watching more of Joe Bob’s content afterwards? Are they watching more of your content afterwards? It’s always trying to figure out what the perfect viewing session is for that video. And so like kind of where it fits into all of the videos within YouTube. So all that to say that YouTube is paying more attention to how a video contributes to an entire session, rather than just how much watch time one video contributes. Does that? Yeah.

Dane Golden:
Yeah. That’s a fantastic answer. And I also love this little, I don’t know if it’s a homespun expression or something that you use, that they took an inch and ran a mile. I know what that means, but I’d never heard that before. Is that like a popular expression? I just have never heard that before.

D’Laina Hunt:
I feel like it’s a popular expression in my household, my husband and I say it all the time. I’m not sure. Yeah. I feel like that’s such a common term. I feel like I say that every day, but you’re right. I don’t actually hear a ton of other people say it, but I have heard it before. I didn’t make it up.

Dane Golden:
But I love it. I love it. I love it.

D’Laina Hunt:
Thank you.

Dane Golden:
Okay. So here’s one that, gosh, I keep feeling that I want to believe this, but I know that it’s probably not correct. So if you get more subscribers, the algorithm will give you more viewers. True, not true?

D’Laina Hunt:
So this is where it starts to get a little bit complicated because let’s say that the viewer, let’s say that you have 10,000 subscribers. And with that 10,000 subscribers, a certain percentage of those subscribers tend to come and they watch more. There’s two aspects to this. One is that, yes, you’re going to get more views right off the bat because you have subscribers that are loyal to you. Right? But also what comes along with that is that with those subscribers, YouTube can take their viewing history and they can compare these viewers viewing history to others like them. And it can start to show your content to the viewers like them. So it can gather data on who this video is for faster than it would if you didn’t have loyal subscribers that are coming back and watching more of your content regularly.

D’Laina Hunt:
So it kind of does give you a leg-up in that regard. But I think what a lot of people do is that they go to these bigger channels that have millions subscribers or several 100,000 subscribers and they’re like, well, they’re consistently getting these views because YouTube loves to show their content. But being behind the scenes and working with a lot of channels of that size, I see that they often, even those channels, the viewers that they’re getting, a large majority of them are their subscribers. And so that’s what we want to keep in mind is that, yeah, you’ll get more views, but if they’re all coming from your subscribers, that’s not necessarily healthy for your channel anyways, but it can give them a leg-up because it can compare those subscribers data and viewing patterns to others like them and thus show your video to more people. So, but it’s all a snowball effect. That doesn’t mean that channels who are smaller, that don’t have subscribers can’t grow.

Renee Teeley:
Yes, speaking of loyal viewers and subscribers, I think this question kind of dovetails into that nicely. Should you pay for ads to get more views and will that help you grow your channel?

D’Laina Hunt:
Oh, this is such a good question. Okay. So with this one you can pay for ads and yes, it will get you more views. Let’s just get that right off the plate. But those views are not, and again, this is coming from all of the channels that I’ve worked with, that I’ve seen pay for ads. And I have them come to me in consultations and stuff like that. And they just feel like, well, I’m getting the views, but they’re not commenting. They’re not subscribing, they’re not liking my videos or anything. They’re not engaging with the content.

Dane Golden:
Fantastic. And D’Laina Hunt, how can people find out more about you and VideoCreators?

D’Laina Hunt:
Yes. So you can just go to videocreators.com. We do have a free audience, helping you grow your YouTube audience that you can sign up for if you want, if you’re interested in that. You can also just go to youtube.com/videocreators. And we do have a podcast as well. So you can just search for VideoCreators. And we talk about all these fancy things over there and help you with your YouTube growth strategy. And then for me personally, I’ve mainly been focusing on my Instagram here recently. So you can find me at instagram.com/D-L-A-I-N-A.S-H-E-A-R-I-T. That’s Dlaina Shearit.

Dane Golden:
And Renee, we’re big fans of VideoCreators and long time fans and friends of Tim Schmoyer and everything that they do with training and consulting and the video products they put out, right?

Renee Teeley:
Absolutely. And you know, I think correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we’ve both been on the podcast as well, VideoCreators Podcast. I know I’ve been on it a few times, but I believe you were on it quite recently, too. So yeah, I’m a big fan of VideoCreators and D’Laina Hunt, I think you guys are creating just wonderful content and Tim Schmoyer is the best.

D’Laina Hunt:
He is. And he’s just as awesome to work with as he seems like he is on video. I just want to say that. He’s just as cool behind the scenes.

Dane Golden:
Excellent. Thank you, D’Laina Hunt Hunt. My name is Dane Golden with my co-host, she’s R-E-N-E-E T-E-E-L-E-Y, Renee Teeley. And we want to thank you the listener for joining us today. Don’t we Renee?

Renee Teeley:
Yes, absolutely. And today I want to leave you with a quote, as I once told my good friend, Ted Lasso, “Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse. If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong. So make sure that you’re truly challenging yourself, so it can lead to personal and professional growth.”

Dane Golden:
And these cracked me up, that’s a TV show on Apple TV.

D’Laina Hunt:
I love that.

Dane Golden:
That’s TV show on Apple TV that only Renee and I know about so far.

D’Laina Hunt:
Oh, my God.

Dane Golden:
And I want to invite you the listener to review us on Apple Podcasts. And if you can’t find that review button on your podcast app, click the share button instead and tweet out to your friends, letting them know how awesome we are, because we love helping people with video marketing tips on this podcast. Renee and I do this and all our various independent videos and projects because we love helping marketers and businesses just like you, do YouTube and video marketing better. Thanks to our special guest, D’Laina Hunt Hunt. Until next week, here’s to helping you help your customers through video.