Who’s the most important person in a YouTube video? Well today I’m going to tell you. HEY.com.
Hey, it’s Dane Golden from HEY.com and this is the channel where we give you video content marketing tips to help you get your customers coming back to your videos again and again.
THE VIEWER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
So, who is the most important person in a YouTube video? Well, here’s a big surprise. It’s not the subject, it’s the viewer.
So it’s not me, it’s you. Yep, that’s you, the person watching. You, you, you. And I think of you as a single person, a viewer. Not an audience, not viewers, not a membership, but one person. I think of you as one person, the viewer. When I’m looking I’m talking to one person. I have a person in my head that I’m thinking of and it’s you.
So how do you like that? You are the most important person in this video.
Why is this? YouTube is a very personal medium. You might be looking at me on your phone, on a very small screen, and that’s why I’m getting all up in your business here with a very tight shot because I have to look at you as sort of you would as if you’re using FaceTime or Skype. I want to be really really close to you. Because that’s how we can connect on a one-to-one basis.
You know, I don’t know your name. I’m sorry, I’ve been faking it all this time. I’m just calling you “you” because I don’t know your name.
STUDY OF 30,000 VIDEOS
Why do I think this is true? Well I actually did a study. HEY.com did a study with the company TubeBuddy, which is a great app for YouTube, and it’s the you in YouTube study, and what did we find out? We looked at 30,000 videos to find out if saying “you” or a word like “you,” like “yours” or “yourself,” in the very first few seconds can make you watch longer or give the video more views. And we found out, 30,000 random videos, that it did.
So how do you do this? For instance, if I say, “Today I’m going to show you how to fix your car.” Well that’s actually two “yous,” right? “You” and “your.” “Today I’m going to show you how to fix your car.” That’s two times I’ve said it in the first five seconds of a video. Now you, the viewer, actually want to pay attention. Because I said you, you think I’m talking directly at you. Well I have your best interest at heart. And the truth is I happen to have your best interest at heart. And I’m showing you by saying you and I’m looking directly at you.
DON’T DO ‘DOCUMENTARY STYLE’ ON YOUTUBE
A lot of business videos, they’ll look off camera, right? At an interviewer because they may not be comfortable speaking to a camera. A lot of business videos look very similar, don’t they? They have that documentary style where someone is looking off camera, at probably an interviewer that’s asking them questions.
But on YouTube, are they really connecting with the audience when they’re looking off camera? Even if they’re looking slightly off camera. You can probably tell, I’m looking at a green light here, you can probably tell I’m not looking directly at a camera. Even though it’s only one inch from the lens, right? You can tell I’m not looking at you, the viewer, which is the most important person in the video.
Now, the funny thing is that I’m a proxy for the business, as a person on video representing a business, whatever that business happens to be. Whether I’m a dog food company or an aerospace company, if I’m talking on video I am in effect the sales person for that company. I’m the only person at that company that the viewer knows.
But as a sales person, would you ever look over the shoulder of that sales person? No. You want to look directly at that person, right? Isn’t that right? Isn’t that what your dad taught you? When you were a little kid, he said, “shake their hand, son, and look them directly in the eye.” I don’t know maybe it was your mom or your brother, or your aunt, or your uncle, or your grandfather, your grandmother, somebody like that, who taught you that, right? You probably learned that.
“Look them in the eye, son. Shake their hand.” I don’t know where that voice came from.
So why is it when we get on video and on YouTube to represent our company, we look over the shoulder of the client as if they’re not there? No, “YOU” are the most important person. You’re the customer, you’re the client, I want to talk directly to you.
And that’s why I tell people to say “you” in the first five seconds. Because if you say “you” there’s no way you could be looking over this way, there’s no way you could be ignoring the customer.
SAYING ‘YOU’ DOUBLES YOUR VIEWS
Now, what kind of numbers can you expect to see if you say “you?” Well, we looked at 30,000 videos and we picked the medians. So what we found is that if you say “you” once in the first five seconds, you will get a median of 66% more views. The reason you get more views is people watch longer, the YouTube algorithm recommends the video more, and so you get more views. If you say the word “you” twice in the first five seconds, you will get 97% more views. That’s essentially 2X more views!
So if you had 100 views before you’ll have 197 now! “I want to help ‘you’ fix ‘your’ car.” So I want to help “you” fix “your” car. “Your” is essentially the same as “you” in this instance because I believe you and your, I’m talking to you, right? Right, you are the most important person.
“Yourself,” “you all” (y’all), “yours,” “you’ll,” “you’d” (Y-O-U’D). These are all “you” words. And that’s who I’m talking to.
I want to make sure that “you” are the most important person in this video. It’s not about the subject, it’s about the viewer. To reverse that old Seinfeld thing where they said, “It’s not you, it’s me,” actually it is “you.”
“It’s not me, it’s you.” You’re the most important person in this video. So now that you’ve watched this video I made a special video just for you to watch next. I put it right here. So go ahead and click on that one next and “you” will find a big benefit in that video.
See you next time. HEY.com!
Dane Golden is CEO of VidiUp, a video content marketing agency. His mission is to help brands get viewers to come back to their videos again and again through use of helpful how-to content, driving loyalty, conversion and ROI.