The Perfect Tutorial Video Structure With Gwen Miller Of Kin

Gwen Miller Of Kin has been helping creators build audiences for years. Today on the show Gwen gives us tips on how the structure of your tutorial video should be in the digital world.

GUEST: Gwen Miller of Kin | Twitter | LinkedIn

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HOSTS: 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 |
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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

Gwen Miller:
The intro, I wouldn’t say it’s the most important part of the video, but let’s put it this way, if you don’t get people past your intro, you’re never going to get them through the rest of your video. The algorithm is going to frown, and poo-poo your video, it’s never going to get anywhere. So, if there’s one thing you’re going to do in your video, you better make sure that intro is great.

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, my new business is called VidTarget.io, where we help you get a higher return on your YouTube ad spend with targeted YouTube video placement lists. And, with my co-host she’s Renee Teeley. She’s the video marketing powerhouse from San Francisco, Renee Teeley. Welcome Renee, from VideoExplained.

Renee Teeley:
Hello Dane. Today, I’m happy as a penguin in an ice skating rink, to be co-hosting this podcast with you.

Dane Golden:
But are you thrilled?

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

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

Renee Teeley:
I do all the things.

Dane Golden:
You do all the things.

Renee Teeley:
I do all the things at VideoExplained.

Dane Golden:
That’s right.

Renee Teeley:
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 that as always, you can follow along on your podcast app. We’ll have a link to the transcript on there, and we’ll have the links from our great guest. I’m not telling you who it is quite yet. And, today we have the special guest, it’s Gwen Miller of Kin. Welcome, Gwen.

Gwen Miller:
Thank you, Dane.

Dane Golden:
We asked you on the Video Marketing Value Podcast today, because at Kin, you have been helping creators build audiences for years. Now on this podcast, we mostly focus on YouTube for marketers and business owners. But, you’ve worked with many brands, and the structure you’ve advocated for creators to do their videos, holds true, across many business how-to videos, and can help a lot of marketers. So, is this a good topic for today?

Gwen Miller:
Absolutely. I’ve worked with a lot of brands. And, I will say that, the more your content can be similar to the cadence and the structure, to a lot of the great stuff that creators are putting out, the better it will be for your brands.

Renee Teeley:
Awesome. Well, I am thrilled to have you on the show. This is our first time meeting, but I know a little bit about your background, and it just seems spot on for this podcast. So, I’m really excited to meet you, and to have you on the show. Just to jump in, let’s talk about, what are some of the do’s and don’ts for tutorial intros?

Gwen Miller:
All right. So, yes. The intro, I wouldn’t say it’s the most important part of the video, but let’s put it this way. If you don’t get people past your intro, you’re never going to get them through the rest of your video. The algorithm is going to frown, and poo-poo your video. It’s never going to get anywhere. So, if there’s one thing you’re going to do in your video, you better make sure that intro is great. And, there are some simple things that I see a lot of brands doing, that are simple fixes to make sure that intro really has high retention. And by retention, we mean people don’t drop off when they start your video. The first tip that I have, is do not put your logo first. I know it can be very tempting.

Dane Golden:
Yes, I’m sorry just laughing. Go on.

Gwen Miller:
Yes, don’t put your logo up first. And, there’s a couple reasons for that. One, it just kind of screams that, this is just to promote my brand, I’m not offering you value. But number two, which I think is probably more important than that, is that you really don’t want anything that is visually repetitive at the beginning of your videos. Because, even though it’s just up for a couple seconds, that’s enough time for them to be like, “Wait, have I seen this video before?” And, if it’s the same logo they saw the previous time, obviously you think they’d wait, but people in digital do not wait. So, you don’t want to have anything between your audience, and the content that’s going to compel them to stay.
So, what’s your solution here. It’s not just totally get rid of your logo, it’s give us a cold open. So, give us a cold open, this can be kind of one of two things. Since you’re doing how-to, it’s likely going to be an explanation of what you’re going to get in this video. If it’s something that you feel is really self-explanatory from the title, you could do something that’s more a smash cut of, great exciting moments from the episode, do you smash yourself on the thumb, while talking about your products. And, it’s funny. You could open with that. But the point is, you’re giving us at least five, 10, 15 seconds of something that’s going to make me say, “Huh, and this is interesting, I could watch more of this.” Then feel free to pop up your logo.

Gwen Miller:
This might be just over the shoulder of your host, is probably the most seamless way to keep things going. But, you can also at this point, once you have the strong cold open, you can also hit us with full screen logo, with some great music. I just want to emphasize that, you just really want it to be less than five to seven seconds. Seven seconds, it’s a really great, interesting open. This is not the time for TV level intros, for sure.

Renee Teeley:
Actually… So, one of the things I’ve noticed on Netflix recently, and Hulu shows, and some other things is that, the intros actually are getting shorter. I feel they’re taking a key from social video, and instead of doing these big elaborate intros, they’re making it very subtle, and there’s maybe just the title of the show comes up. people don’t want to stick around for a long intro.

Gwen Miller:
For sure. Look, it really only made sense when you were in a television world where, okay, this program starts on 9:00 PM at the dot, people are probably running to get their popcorn, coming in to sit. So, you wanted to give them a little bit of a visual and auditory warning, that their favorite show is coming up. But, once you move into a digital world, whether that’s social or just Netflix; they can start at anytime they want, and they want to start it, on the content that they love.

Renee Teeley:
Yep. Absolutely.

Dane Golden:
Now I’m looking at your VidCon presentation here, and you said something about the body, which of course comes after the intro. And, it’s something that… You know what, it sounds stupid, I’ve never been able to say this so succinctly. It says, “One thought equals one video” And, it’s brilliant. But, what do you mean by that?

Gwen Miller:
Okay. And I want to emphasize, this is one of those rules that, as soon as I tell you this, you’re going to point out all these different YouTubers that break this rule. And that is very true, because it’s one of those rules, that you must understand before you can break it. And, I can also give you some tips on ways to break it. But fundamentally, when you start making a YouTube video, what I encourage people when they’re starting to think about, what is my video about, to think about it this way. One video equals one thought. So each video, if you’re going to have like six different topics, don’t jam that into one video, because it won’t perform for several reasons. The most simple reason is, clickability. YouTube is a click platform. And, that title plus the thumbnail, but in a big portion, it’s the title on that topic, is what gets them to click.

Gwen Miller:
So, if it’s something really vague, like my favorite moments of the week, nobody’s going to click on that. I don’t want to hear it, or know if I like your favorite moments of the week. I don’t know. If it’s something that’s a little more specific, like my most embarrassing moments of this week. Okay, that’s better. I might be like, “Oh, I like embarrassing things, I might like that.” But, what’s even better is having one single thought, like, “The time I almost let my left my brother, at a truck stop.” It’s a very specific thought. I’m going to click on that, because I want to hear that story. The more specific your thought is, the more clickable your video is. But, I think there’s actually an even deeper reason for this, that is the true reason why it’s difficult to jam a bunch of different thoughts, into a single YouTube video.

Gwen Miller:
And that is simply, changes in thoughts are opportunities for people to leave. And, why is this? Every single thought of your video is a little story arc. You’re bringing people in with, “Here’s what we’re talking about, on this thought.” And then, they stay because they want the resolution. If you ever read a book about a script writing, that was the thing, you’re going for that resolution. As soon as you have that resolution to a thought, it’s an opportunity for people to mentally leave. They’re going to be looking at the rest of videos, “Oh, I have 10 minutes left of this 15 minute video, I have all this stuff I should be doing, I better get out, before the next thought starts, and then I’m sucked back in, and need to find that resolution all over again.” Now we know it’s a lie, because statistically they’ll spend another 45 minutes on YouTube, anyways. But it’s very psychological, that they will take those opportunities to look, to leave.

Gwen Miller:
So, you do not want to signal to them that, this is an opportunity to leave. And, if you look at your retention graphs, you will see this very, very stark in your data, where you will see spikes in retention at the beginning of a thought, because you’re pulling people in; and then, it will slowly go down, and then it will spike at the beginning of a thought. But, the end of those thoughts is usually the deepest step.

Dane Golden:
Whoa.

Gwen Miller:
So, you really want to make sure that, you’re at least convincing people, that your single video is a single thought.

Renee Teeley:
So, I think this notion of one thought equals one video, is pretty powerful for a lot of reasons, that you’ve just mentioned. And also, I think that a lot of businesses when they’re first getting started with video, have a hard time figuring out the topics for videos, and what to create. And so, this is powerful in the sense that, instead of trying to cram five thoughts into one video, you break those apart, and each thought becomes one video. And so, then you have five videos right there. Yeah. So, I think that’s great.
I also really liked the way that, you’ve talked about this in terms of story arc. And so, do you have some tips on how to incorporate storytelling into tutorial videos?

Gwen Miller:
Yes. And, people always look at me a little bit strange when I first bring this up, because they’re like, “I’m doing a fricking DIY, or a cooking video.” “This is a tutorial, there’s no story here.” But, I would say that there’s just as much of a story arc here, as there is, in any other type of video, including scripted ones. Anytime you and I encounter a piece of content, a piece of entertainment, we’re still being brought through those story elements. We get introduced to the characters. We need to keep our attention engaged throughout the middle of the video. And then, that ending better give us, like sense of satisfaction. And then, we had better end on a high note. And, that’s where I would really say it’s key, especially when you’re doing, how-to videos; is really think about your story structure carefully.

Gwen Miller:
And remember, even if you’re doing an instructional video, this is still entertainment. So, there are pieces of your video that you’re going to want to dwell on, because it gives this bigger emotional impact. So, we’ll take a cooking video, for example; if there is sizzling bacon in the pan, oh my God, that is something that people are visually eating, I would say slow-mo that, repeat it, let it sizzle. We know that people find blending really, really boring. And, it’s a loud, obnoxious sound. They don’t like the sound of it. So, what I would encourage you not to do is, well, like your explanation over the top of a blender. In your storytelling, you’re going to be like, “Okay, this is now going to be half a second of the story.” Obviously, you got to show that you’re blending, because it’s part of the process, that doesn’t mean you have to spend 30 seconds on the blending. So, you just have to do that.

Dane Golden:
I’m sorry. I have to interrupt you. So, you are so granular and know so much about what’s going on in the audience retention of all of the videos you guys put out at Kin, that you know blending, the sound is bad for the audience. Is that what you’re saying?

Gwen Miller:
Oh yeah. Because look, we do a lot of lifestyle at Kin, and this is over many, many channels. So, there are things that when you look at your own data, you will find a very specific, to your specific audience. And, I have a lot of funny of those ones too. But, we find these things that no matter what channel we’re looking at, the blending, I do not… There is not a single video that I’ve watched, where there’s been blending, that there has not been a retention dip. Swear to God.

Renee Teeley:
Well, I mean, that makes sense. Because in real life, most people don’t like to hear the sound of the blender.

Gwen Miller:
Yeah.

Renee Teeley:
Even my animals go crazy, when I blend something.

Gwen Miller:
It makes sense when you think about it, but it’s not something you often think about when you were making a video, especially when you have a host, who’s just trying to patter, patter, patter. And, this recipe calls for two minutes of blending. Their instinct is going to be, let’s talk over this two minutes of blending, and keep this video moving. Whereas, what you should do is just shut up, be quiet, take your shot, let’s look at this blending; and then start the explanation, once you move on to something that’s less auditorily annoying.

Dane Golden:
That’s hilarious. That’s hilarious. And go on with more storytelling tips.

Gwen Miller:
Perfect. Perfect. And I would say now this one seems, you know, it seems a little bit weird and you know, it doesn’t happen often, but you need to really be thinking about the emotional story arc of your, even your how-to videos. Like, look, there is emotional climaxes in your, your content. Now, obviously if we’re doing something more like a Q and a, it’s more likely to happen where they start crying somewhere in the video, but I’ve seen it happen in how-to, you’d be surprised. And you just got to realize that when you have something, if they really hit like the height of emotions, whether it’s excitement about the thing they’re making or the, or crying over something that touched them, maybe they’re doing a DOI with their mom with your product. And, Oh my God, it’s great. The problem there is, if you’re emotional, like peak doesn’t happen near the end of the video, everything that comes after that, I don’t matter what it is.

Gwen Miller:
Like. It could be something that an any regular day people would love, but because you pit the emotional peak of your video already, everything feels like a disappointment after it. So try to in your pre-production crop, your video, that if your host is going to get really like an emotional high how’d that happen as kind of be the, at the moment at the end, when you come out with your final, like here is the DIY thing that I’ve done. Oh my God, I’m so excited. And just make sure everything is building in a very nice story arc so that they, again, remember, it’s what we talked to in the one thought one video portion. This is what is going to give people that filling a completion, and they’re going to want to come back because you have fulfilled their emotional needs throughout your video.

Dane Golden:
Great. And, there’s also an area of world-building when you create a channel, when you’re a creator, and this holds true to businesses as well. And, as an amateur understander of film, we know this world building from when we watch like Marvel comics, movies, etc. But, what does world-building mean when you’re creating a YouTube channel for a business, for instance?

Gwen Miller:
You really need to think very carefully about how you want to portray yourself throughout. And as a business, you’re probably really familiar with building out your brand. I’m like, “What is our brand personality?” “What is our brand persona?” You can’t lose that, once you go into the video world. But, it does apply a little bit differently. You need to be thinking, what is the best way to engage my specific audience. Start with who your audience is… Are, English. Start with who your audience… And by that, I mean, not just like basic demographics. And, the more you get into and see your data and read your comments, you’ll figure out who this person is that you’re talking to. And, you’re going to figure out how are they best going to engage with your brand? Maybe if you’re some sort of cool camera brand, maybe that’s in very slick, like action fields shots.
And, you’re going to do a lot of drones, and you’re going to do a lot of like cranes, and all this cool stuff. More likely, you’re probably going to try to create some sort of feeling of authenticity and engagement with your audience. In that case, you might want to shoot it a little more personally, like very much close-ups. You want to make sure that you’re talent is always looking straight into the camera. Because, if the conversation…. You are convincing someone about some premise, it’s best to do that straight eye contact, straight eye contact.

Gwen Miller:
One of the big things in building this illusion of this world, that I always say is super important is, do not shoot like they do in TV, and have a straight on camera, and a side camera. Because this would be like, you and me having a conversation face-to-face, I’m staring deep into your eyes, telling you something super important. And then, while you answer me back, I start to move to the side. So, suddenly I’m staring sideways at you, while you keep talking straight ahead. That would feel really awkward for both you and me. So, every time you switched straight away from that straight on camera, to that side angle. While I know, that’s how TV does it, in digital, it just screams in-authenticity.

Dane Golden:
Yes. I agree, a hundred percent. Yeah. I hate that when you’re not looking at a camera.

Gwen Miller:
Yeah.

Renee Teeley:
I’ve never really heard someone talk about it in that sense of like, when you’re answering the other side, vision is like of someone looking away, but it makes a lot of sense. I think that’s a great visual way to explain that too.

Gwen Miller:
Yeah, for sure. And for the same token, if I was going to do, say a personal story, about a talents struggles with endometriosis. The last thing I want to do is include a drone shot. Because, what world is that building? That is building a very exposed world, where we’re talking about something super personal for the audience; and suddenly, it feels like this eye in the sky is on you. So, it’s so cool to play with all these toys, but you have to be very careful in digital, about what are you communicating with the tools that you use. I’m not saying not have great production values, but you put those in the places that really count. Like, making sure your audio sounds really good. The audience is smart, but they’re not professional production people. They can’t hear that,
“Ooh, they have really good equipment.” “Ooh. They have a lot of experience.” They just hear crystal clear sound. But, if you have a lot of these TV tropes in there that they recognize as produced TV tropes, that’s when they start to read this as, “Oh, this is just a fake brand thing, and this is inauthentic, I’m not going to watch it.” So, you just have to be very careful, that what you feel is making you look cool and shiny, isn’t actually communicating to your audience that you’re inauthentic, and you’re not being real with them.

Renee Teeley:
Awesome. I love that. So, we’ve talked about some tips for your intro, making sure that you’re giving value upfront, and giving people a reason to care, continue watching your video. We’ve talked about, some tips in terms of the body of the content storytelling that arc, building this world. So, let’s wrap this all up. And, do you have some advice for crafting a compelling outro to your video?

Gwen Miller:
Oh yes. This is where I find that, at least personally my experience with digital, is where I spend a lot of my time kind of really finessing. Because, I do feel like you’re up against a lot of these teenagers, who literally will just end their videos, like this randomly mid sentence. And you’re like, “Whoa, it’s very frenetic.” And at a certain level, we don’t want to do that. But, there is a reason they’re doing that. Which is that, as soon as people are signaled that the end is coming, and they feel like they’ve gotten the body of the content, they’re going to be out of there. So, you need to make your endings, A, really compelling, and B, really succinct.

Gwen Miller:
I always say end your video when it’s over, which seems intuitive, but it really isn’t. And, I think the reason why it’s not, is because we feel like we’re ending a conversation, and none of us are good at getting out of conversations. So, we all just start rambling. “Hey, so guys, I hope you enjoyed watching this video.” “I really enjoyed making it.” And, you just kind of sputter, because those words don’t mean anything. Great, you had fun doing it. Did I have fun watch… It doesn’t add anything to the video. It just is a huge signal to people that this video is over, I better beat it. And, the whole goal here with these endings is to get them through to your calls to action, and get them to the end card, so they have the opportunity to click on more of your content.

Gwen Miller:
And, if you’re just sputtering out, then not knowing how to end the video for 30, 45 second, you can really kiss that goodbye. So, you just need to be very succinct. And I always say so again, let’s go back to our cooking video analogy. When you pull that lasagne out of the oven, and you have that hero shot of that beautiful lasagna, you were done with the videos, you’re going straight into your CTA. If you want to taste the food, do it under the end card. Don’t do the fake TV, “Mmm, this is so good.” People think that’s very fake. They want to see the beauty shot, and then you need to get to your end card, to get people through. If you want to taste, do it on end card. Don’t stand around and say, “And then, I take this casserole to a potluck.” You’re going to talk about anything like that, do it in the middle of the video. Your ending should be, “Here’s my beautiful casserole, “here’s the results. And bam, we’re out.

Dane Golden:
I saw your presentation at VidCon a couple of years ago. And, one of the things you talked about was ending language. And, I had heard a couple of other people mention… I was hearing a lot of people starting to talk about that. But, but right after I heard you say that, I think I even asked you right after I said, “So what are you talking about with this ending language?” Exactly. And so, you said some words, “Last, finally, almost done,” etc., like that. But, I made a video of just like words that sort of fit into that, because I didn’t really know what ending language was until you, and a couple other people started talking about it. So, I just made a whole video about that says, “Don’t click off, but these are words that make you click off.”

Gwen Miller:
I love that. Yes, I saw that video. It was very good. The past five years, this has been my like rallying cry, and it excites me that people are starting to pick up on it. Because, it is truly one of the most distinct things we see in data, that I can almost go to a new retention graph, and be like, “Oh, somebody said an ending word right there,” Because you can just see this certain type of drop. It’s crazy, but it’s fairly universal. And there are, to your point Dane, the easy words that are very obviously like last, finally. Step 10, if you’re doing one to 10, as soon as you say 10, they’re going to look at that final product and be like, “Do I like that or not?” “I’m out of here.”

Gwen Miller:
There’s simple things like that. But then, there is just psychological training that we’ve all gone through for years on YouTube, that really starts us to think, “I hear that this video is ending.” Like, it’s the, “Thank you guys for watching this video.” Even the type of vocal tones you start to use, that we all recognize as people wrapping up a conversation. That’s the point when I…. And, I know I do this when I watch videos, I’m like, “Crap, what am I going to watch next?” And, I’m now totally distracted.

Gwen Miller:
So again, it feels a little bit, I guess, like people; but you just don’t want them to be triggered to think the end of the video is coming before, it really is. If really it is, we’re about to go to end card, fine, use it. But, I find a lot of people start using these vocal tones or these words, and they have a couple of minutes left in their video. So, some of you giving YouTube this retention graph, that shows that people somehow don’t like the last part of your video. And, they’re going to be like, “Oh, people are disappointed in you, they don’t want to watch it.” And, that’s when you start to see your great video, not getting the exposure that it should, and it all comes down to how you presented yourself in your ending.

Dane Golden:
And just to emphasize, the reason you want to get people to the end of the video, is that more than anything, a signal that is how the video will rank; is if somebody watches to the end, and they watch another one of your videos after that, that is what will rank your video, the highest, the fastest. Would you agree with that?

Gwen Miller:
Oh, for sure. And you will notice, I mean, in all clarity and honesty, that if you look at your data, like not a lot of people click on the end card. Still doesn’t mean you don’t want to get it there, so they have the opportunity to. So, there is still value in having your audience watching only the end, even if they don’t click that end card. But if they do click that end card, and keep watching stuff, that is kind of the magic pièce de résistance, if so, to say. But, YouTube very strongly takes signals on both overall retention, but also individual parts of the video, and how long you’re staying below average at the end of that video, can really indicate, overall satisfaction with your video.
YouTube is not going to say that a video with a fairly straight averaged line, is the same as a video that goes from above average to way below average, back to way above average, and back down way below average, because they feel like this is probably yanking people around, probably true. So, you need to watch how much you have that below average retention. And, the biggest place, and I would honestly say the easiest place, to have some great strides and fixing that, is in your ending

Dane Golden:
And, Glenn Miller, how can people find out more about you and Kin?

Gwen Miller:
Great. So, if you want to learn about the shows that Kin is working on, go to kincommunity.com, we have all our shows there. You can learn a little bit about the company, and what we’re doing in terms of digital lifestyle programming. For me personally, you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter, Glenn Miller, look me up, find me. I’m getting more active on both platforms. I’m still a little bit hazy on Twitter, so if anyone wants to come over and talk digital strategy with me on Twitter, I could use some moral support. But I am very, very active on LinkedIn, if you want to follow me there.

Dane Golden:
Excellent. Thank you, Gwen Miller. My name is Dane Golden, with my co-host she’s Renee Teeley. And, we want to thank you, the listener, for joining us today. Right, Renee?

Renee Teeley:
Yes, absolutely. And, today I want to leave you with a quote. “As I once told my good friend, Albert Einstein, it’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” So, really I want to encourage you to work through those tough issues, it can help set your business apart.

Dane Golden:
You got to introduce me to that guy, I really want to meet him. And, I want to invite you to review us on Apple Podcasts. And, if you can’t find that review button on your podcast app, click the share button instead. We like either one. And, let your friends know that, we want to help them with video marketing tips from this podcast, as well. Renee and I, do our various other YouTube videos, and the podcast, and training, and our clients. Independently, we’re not in business together, we’re just in business on this podcast together. But, we want to help you marketers, and business owners do YouTube and video marketing better. Thanks to our special guest, Gwen Miller. Thank you, Gwen.

Gwen Miller:
Thank you.

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