Herman Drost On The Top Mistakes YouTube Marketers Make

Last updated on June 15th, 2024

Herman Drost

Herman Drost of Drost Video is an expert YouTube educator, helping both businesses and creators make money on YouTube. On the show today we talk to Herman about the biggest mistakes marketers make on YouTube.

GUEST: Herman Drost of Drost Video | YouTube | Facebook Group: Tube Video Boot Camp | Course: Tube Video Boot Camp DrostVideo.com | Twitter | The Biggest YouTube Marketing Mistake (and how to avoid it)

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HOST: The VidAction Podcast is hosted by:
– Dane Golden of VidAction.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

Herman Drost:
Yeah, you definitely want to have a strong purpose for your YouTube channel. Usually, I advise people to hone in on a particular niche. So, if you have a clear theme, clear purpose, then it’s much easier to plan ahead and cater to the audience, because it’s really all about the audience.

Dane Golden:
It’s time for the VidAction 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 VidAction.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 save time and money through more targeted YouTube ads. Along with my cohost, 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 car with a full tank of gas and an open road ahead to be co-hosting this podcast with you.

Dane Golden:
That’s all the people leaving the West coast because of the fires as we’re recording. Renee, what do you do at VideoExplained?

Renee Teeley:
Yeah, VideoExplained 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 in your podcast app for the transcript and links and send us a message on social media like Twitter, hey tweet Renee or me, let us know how you liked the show or if you have a question. Today, we have a special guest, Herman Drost from Drost Video. Welcome Herman.

Herman Drost:
Thanks Dan, I appreciate being on the podcast.

Dane Golden:
We are so glad to have you. I’ve been talking about getting you on for a year and we asked you on the VidAction Podcast today because you’re an expert and YouTube educator and you help both businesses and creators make money on YouTube. And I found this video you did a while ago that we’re going to ask you about, about the top business mistakes businesses make on YouTube, but first, give us a couple of sentences about who you are, what Drost Video is, what your channel’s all about.

Herman Drost:
I started my channel in 2006. I originally started as doing web design for many years, professional web design, and then I found that after a few years, Google changed the algorithm as they usually do and I had had my website ranked at the top there, but then disappeared. And I thought, well, what can I do to get it back? And then, I was looking at different videos and different people were talking about them and discovered that YouTube was a great way to generate traffic, leads and sales. So, and a lot of people in my web design business were also talking about video and had a lot of questions. So, I started doing video 2006 onwards. I just did it very lightly, but then over the last probably five or six years focused more on it. I found I enjoyed it more than I did web design, so I got full time into it. And, currently I’m using YouTube to generate traffic, leads and sales for my own products that I have as well as helping local businesses with their YouTube marketing as well as do coaching.

Renee Teeley:
Yeah, that’s great. So it sounds like you have been pretty early on in the YouTube space starting in 2006. So, I’m imagining you’ve seen things evolve quite a bit over the duration of your experience. So, there are a lot of things that businesses tend to get wrong with YouTube, so really excited to have you on for the podcast today. Just to kick things off, just starting at the very beginning, should a business define a purpose for their YouTube channel or should they just start uploading videos that someone in their company records?

Herman Drost:
You definitely want to have a strong purpose for your YouTube channel. Usually, I advise people to hone in on a particular niche and then when you’re starting off, if your plan is to consistently upload videos once a week or even once a month, and you want to create 10 or 20 topics that could be, it could have a general theme and then go more deeply with a lot of subtopics and then create a list of 10 to 20 topics. And then, you can plan to upload videos, say once a week, once a month.

Herman Drost:
So if you have a clear theme, clear purpose, then it’s much easier to plan ahead and instruct your videos and have some flexibility, because you also want to look at your analytics, get feedback, are people commenting on the videos? Are they getting views? What kind of traffic are you getting? So you have got to have some flexibility to see can you adjust to cater to the audience because it’s really all about the audience. So, especially if you’re a business, it depends, if you’re a local business, then of course you’re going to be looking at what appeals to the local population rather than maybe a national population.

Dane Golden:
And, what if somebody, a business uploads a video and you know what, just doesn’t get thousands of views right away. Is that it? Is it a failure? Should they quit YouTube? What does it mean?

Herman Drost:
Well, I think what happens and I’ve experienced this many times is when you upload a video, especially when you’re first starting off, then you’re not going to get thousands of views because you’re still trying to find your audience, they’re still trying to find you. But I would say when you’re first starting off, you want to have a focus of uploading 10, 20 or 30 videos just focus on creating great videos, and because this is like a practice practicing your video marketing for your business.

Herman Drost:
And then those videos, sometimes I have videos that take off weeks, months, or even years down the road because search traffic changes, people’s interest changes. So, definitely not delete the video, but you always want to tap into the mind of your audience. That’s where you’re doing keyword research, where you’re looking for particular keyword phrases that people are entering into the search engines, and then orientate your topics around there.
But yeah, you’re not going to get thousands of views immediately, but what I’ve found is that as you upload more videos and maybe do it more frequently, you’re going to get more and more views. And if you create a series of videos that are around a similar topic and the way that the YouTube algorithm works is if people can watch, if they watch it for a long time or watch successive videos in a row like they watch one, two or three videos that you might even put them on a playlist and they binge watch the videos, then that extends the watch time session on YouTube. And that tells the algorithm that this person or these people are really interested in this topic, and then the algorithm will serve your video out to more people, more people’s watch pages so that there’s, what’s called suggested videos. They appear on the right side of the watch page or the videos under the video that’s playing on your YouTube app.
And so, the ultimate goal, the most traffic that you get from YouTube videos usually comes from suggested videos. And then so if you get that long watch time and you have a thumbnail that attracts the clicks, because you got to get people to click on the thumbnail, then the longer they watch the video, then the more high probability that that video is going to do well in the search engines, so.

Renee Teeley:
Yeah, there’s a lot of [crosstalk 00:09:41]. There’s a lot of such great information that you’ve just said there, there’s a couple of key things that I want to call out. So one, I do feel like a lot of businesses get this wrong when they’re starting on YouTube, in terms of the expectations of their videos just immediately getting thousands of views. And that just doesn’t happen for most companies right away. It takes time to build up that momentum. But the other things that you’re pulling in there too is talking a little bit about playlists.

Renee Teeley:
So a lot of, I think playlists are one of those things that get overlooked with new creators specifically, but for businesses too, in terms of figuring out what are those topics that go together. And if someone is interested in one video and even if it’s a small audience, they may be interested in that next video that’s part of the series, and so putting that playlist together just leads them to that next video. So really good point there. In terms of traffic, now I know a lot of engagement happens on YouTube with comments and views and those types of things, but is YouTube good for driving traffic to your website?

Herman Drost:
Yeah, definitely is because, well one is that YouTube is the second largest search engine, so then people as you build your YouTube channel with more different keyword phrases, different words that you’re targeting, then that traffic begins to accumulate and what you can do to drive traffic to your website you can place a link in the description. And then, if you build your channel up to where you become a YouTube partner, which mean you need 1000 subscribers, 4,000 watch hours in 12 months, over a period of a year, if you build a channel up to get yourself under the YouTube partner program, then you can link your website in a card or an end screen.

Herman Drost:
The card you can put at any stage during the period of your video, and then the end screen is usually put at the end of your video.
And in that end screen, you can add a link to your website. And also you can put a little graphic. I think it’s 300 by 300 pixels graphic that people can click on and goes to the website. But generally, most people, they just put that link to the website in the description. And then you can even embed your YouTube video on the website. And, generally, it takes longer to rank your videos in Google search, but if you can get that Google search traffic and YouTube search traffic, then you double the amount of traffic that you get. So, if you have a website, I highly recommend maybe attaching a blog to it or something, and then embedding your YouTube video in the website. And that will help, it’ll send a signal to the YouTube Google search engine to try to get your video in there. So I find that my top traffic source on my channel at the moment is Google search, so-

Dane Golden:
Wait, wait, wait, your top traffic source on your channel is Google search. It’s not external, it’s not YouTube search, it’s Google search.

Herman Drost:
Google search, right [crosstalk 00:13:29].

Dane Golden:
Oh my God.

Herman Drost:
Yeah, incredible, ain’t it? And the great thing is that you sometimes, not all the time, but you can get that whopping great thumbnail in Google search the kind that dominates half the page almost. So, that stands out more than all the videos you see on YouTube.

Dane Golden:
And I think what you’re talking about there is you’re … I think they call it, I always forget if it’s called featured snippets or suggested, I think it’s suggested clips, which is the video part of featured snippets. So that’s when you see the full video in Google search and you just click to play and it starts playing.

Herman Drost:
Yeah, it gives that snippet. Yeah.

Dane Golden:
So, I want to ask you about Facebook video in comparison to YouTube video. Now, hey, Facebook videos can get a lot of views, but little bit harder to find them anytime other than when you’re watching them. Different from YouTube, right? YouTube is more long tail.

Herman Drost:
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Plus, well, the big differences that is that YouTube is a search engine, so people searching YouTube say like how to tie a tie or whatever then they go on YouTube or trying to fix your tie then you go on YouTube, find the video. Whereas on Facebook, it’s not really a search engine, it’s more like a social platform, but very different in that way. Now you can get a lot of views, but generally I find that people don’t spend too long on Facebook. They’re checking their Facebook pages or checking their Facebook feed and they’ll scroll through it really fast, and so they’re scanning it more.

Herman Drost:
Generally what I do, I don’t get a lot of traffic from Facebook, but I do take the YouTube video and I’ll take a snippet from it and I’ll make it into a square video, say maybe 10 or 15 seconds, something like that, just introducing the video. And then, I’ll put that on Facebook and then I’ll put the link to the YouTube video in the comments because Facebook hates YouTube and YouTube hates Facebook. So, they don’t really get along very well, they’re both trying to outdo each other, I guess. But, that’s the way that … You’d probably get some traffic. Some people swear that they get a lot of traffic from Facebook, but I think for the long term, because the YouTube is the search engine, you’re going to get longterm traffic, evergreen traffic.

Renee Teeley:
Let’s talk about traffic a little bit more. So, you talked about putting some videos on Facebook like a little teaser and directing people to your YouTube channel. So, that’s one way people can find out about your YouTube videos. And I know that you talked about YouTube search a little bit and Google search, but can you talk a little bit more about some of the main ways that people are finding your videos on YouTube?

Herman Drost:
Yeah, sure. YouTube search is probably one of the biggest ones than suggested videos. YouTube search is great because you can get … You put say a keyword phrase in the YouTube search box, immediately it gives you suggestions of what people are searching on YouTube, and you can take those phrases and make videos about them. So, and then the good thing is that people can find your video through entering a phrase in the YouTube search. So if you’re ranked on the first page of YouTube, then you can get a lot of traffic from that.

Herman Drost:
Now, if it’s very competitive, then you definitely want to look for, as you mentioned, for a long tail keyword phrases, like three, four, five, six or seven words long, but you could have your main root keyword phrase at the beginning, which is very competitive, and you’re probably not going to rank for that. But then, you extend that to the longer phrase, which is less competitive. And then if you target a good search volume for your root keyword phrase, and then the longer phrase is less competitive, then you have a higher chance of ranking on the first page of YouTube. And then if you get multiple search terms on the first page, then you can almost, you can even dominate the first page of YouTube with all your videos. So, it’s a great way to get traffic that way.
With suggested videos, that’s a little bit trickier because as I mentioned before, the suggested videos is based upon you getting a high click through rate. So, you have a great thumbnail and people click on your video. Same applies to search, but then if you want to get that long watch time, so if you have a five or 10 minute video, then if people are watching 50 or 60% of the video, that’s a higher probability that that video is going to be suggested out to those videos that appear on the right side. And when a video finishes playing, then your video will pop up after that. So, to get into suggested, then you got to have that long watch time, higher click through rate.

Herman Drost:
And then that’s pretty tricky because most people these days have short attention spans. And so, they might only watch one minute. And then, if you go onto YouTube analytics, you’ll see that dip after 15 seconds. If you continually see that, that’s not a good sign that your video is going to do well on suggested. But, if you get 50%, 60% of the people watching the video, watching it all the way through, then you have a high probability that that video is going to appear in suggested videos. And also the browse features, the browse features is where your video appears on the home screen. So, if you’re logged into YouTube channel and then you go to youtube.com, what YouTube does is they’ll suggest or recommend videos to you on the home screen. So if you can appear there on other people’s channels, then you also get a lot of traffic from the browse features.

Dane Golden:
And let me ask about, you talked a little bit about business niches, and we also talked about, do you need 1000 views. What if you’re a different business that most people wouldn’t normally expect to be on YouTube? You’re a B to B, you have a smaller audience, or maybe you do something that some people might consider boring like you make concrete or something like that. Do you think that if it’s something like that, nah, don’t go into YouTube, don’t do YouTube, or are they mistaken because maybe they could totally dominate in their category?

Herman Drost:
Yeah, that’s true. If it’s a business to business person, maybe they have a coffee shop or maybe they’re a veterinarian, a lawyer or something like that. You probably, if you’re just appealing to local audiences, it’s not going to be as larger audience as a national audience, but if you can … Generally what I advise people is just make little how to videos, like how to do this, how to do that, take your top questions that your customers are asking and make little videos on them. And the beauty about video is that you’re seeing something, you’re hearing something, you can get real personal with the video and that makes a good connection with your potential audience. So people can feel like they’re in your store, they see you working away at your store or making things or doing things. So, you can connect with that.

Herman Drost:
And then, if you get feedback and comments, then you can also interact with that person and it’s also a great way to add testimonials from your customers. You get a customer in your store say, hey, can we shoot a quick testimonial? And then you put that on your YouTube channel, on your website. So, instead of just using your website, you’ve got another medium where you can attract more customers. And if nobody else is doing it in your town or in your city, then you could possibly dominate those listings or dominate the area with video. And that way you’re actually attracting new customers and wowing new customers, and you’re spreading your outreach in a different way.

Renee Teeley:
Yeah, that’s a great way for local businesses to get on YouTube and really show off their expertise, and maybe get a leg up from other local businesses. You talked a little bit about local businesses getting on YouTube and that there’s some differences between if there’s a local business or a nationwide. Can you talk a little bit more about what the difference in strategy might be for a local business versus a nationwide business on YouTube?

Herman Drost:
Yeah, I think with a local business, you can definitely be more personable with it, and also you can also bring in some of the … If you’re very familiar with the local area, you can also collaborate with other business owners. You can also talk about what’s going on in the city or in the town. And so then when people go to watch your video, they can relate more with you by bringing them that, rather than if you’re just a big corporation, you’re not going to talk about local events, that sort of thing. So say there’s a local event going on, then you could bring that into your videos. So you’re talking about interests that people are familiar with and then that will help that local population to want to connect with you. So I think the collaboration, and then also you can also target specific things related to your business that are in the local area.

Dane Golden:
And, what I really like about what you do is you’re really good with your email list. You don’t just collect the names and send them, whatever, but you actually, each email has, you have recommendations of different products, but email’s a great way of connecting with your audience. And so, a lot of people don’t really understand how you can best make the connection. And I do this very poorly sadly, make the connection between a YouTube channel and building an email list. And I think you do that extremely well. How do you do it? What’s a good way of doing it and that others can follow, other businesses? Because I think a lot of us make this mistake.

Herman Drost:
Yeah, email list is a definitely a good strategy because you don’t own the YouTube platform, but you can own an email list. So, if you build an email list, then you own the list and you can send out offers and promotions and that sort of thing. So, and if anything happens to your YouTube channel, you violate their policies, you can get your channel terminated. So, it’s good to build something that you own. But to build an email list, usually what I do is I’ll offer something free for the viewers that they can download. So, it could be a cheat sheet, it could be a small video course. It could be a template or a checklist, something that maybe people would want to pay for, but they’re getting it for free.

Herman Drost:
So then, when you bring that into your video, you can say something like, hey, if you want to learn more about my business and know how to get more people to your business or something like that, download my free checklist or check out my video course and just enter your name and emails, or you can just send them to a landing page. So, you need actually some free what they call on business, a lead magnet, so that would be a checklist, et cetera. Then you’d have to have a landing page where you can put that small, a one page website type of thing. But, if you have a website already, you can just use a separate page on that website where when people go to the link in your description, for instance, they can click on that link, go to your landing page, and then they fill out their email, their contact information in exchange for the free checklist, so they come onto your email list.

Herman Drost:
And then to build an email list, you also need an email list provider, something like Aweber or some other ones. I use Aweber, it’s a pretty common one. And then, you can automatically build your list when people enter their contact information and submit it, then it automatically is taken care of by that software and then it builds up the email addresses. And then from there, you can even schedule promotions or products or services that you may offer from that email list. So, it’s a great way to use YouTube to get that free traffic and build a list that you own.

Renee Teeley:
To me, this feels like the real connection between YouTube and building a business. So whether you’re using YouTube to market and sell products you have, or you’re trying to generate revenue from your content in some way, building out that email list, having those lead magnets, all of that is really part of that connection of having a business with your YouTube content. Can you talk a little bit about, for businesses that are just getting started on YouTube, what types of conversions can they expect from their YouTube content?

Herman Drost:
Well, as far as conversions go, I think one thing to keep in mind is also the lifetime value of your customers. So, you might, when you’re first starting off, you may not get many conversions, but depending on your business, say if you’re a construction company and you get one customer from YouTube on your email list that’s worth $50,000 or $3,000, then you don’t have to necessarily build a huge list to get great customers, or if you’re a lawyer and you charge extraordinary amount of money, then just a few customers from your email list that are coming from YouTube would definitely make it worthwhile.

Herman Drost:
But as far as conversions go, usually I find that with the email list, people don’t know you initially, they’ll watch your video, they get on your email list and you might promote your product or your service, but they still may not convert or convert to a paying customer. But, the larger list gets the higher probability that conversions happen. And also it’s good to do a followup series. So, if you create, say five or seven follow up emails, so once they get on the list, then in your email software, you can have multiple touch points by feeding them more information, give them a deeper information about what they first signed up for. And this helps reinforce the message and also gets them to then to know, I can trust you.

Herman Drost:
And as you develop more relationship with them, then they’re more likely to purchase your products and services. So, you may not necessarily get that conversion right away, but I have people that have started buying a products and services weeks, months, or even years down the road. Sometimes people are not ready to buy, or maybe you have a lead magnet or an offer that doesn’t jibe with them, but then suddenly you come up with a product that, hey, yeah, that’s the right time, the right place, the right person, and you get that conversion. So, the focus is just to build your list and keep up putting out good content.

Dane Golden:
And that leads into my next question, which is what’s should the goal be? I mean, some businesses make the mistake I think of thinking that just like a cost per click on Google. Well, I have this link, people should click and if I have this YouTube video, every single person should click from YouTube to go to my website. Is that the goal? Should they leave the video as soon as possible? Or, is it better them to watch all the way through this video and maybe a few other videos before they are ready to buy?

Herman Drost:
Yeah, that’s a good question. It’s a catch-22 because, the goal of YouTube or the hope of YouTube is that people stay on the platform. They don’t want them going anywhere else. And the YouTube algorithm rewards people, rewards a channel owner for keeping them on the platform. So, if they watch several videos, one after another, that gives you more watch time, and then as a result, the YouTube algorithm will surface more, put your video on other people’s channels and suggested videos. And so, you want to get that, but then as a business owner, you also want to get them to download your lead magnet, get them on the email list.

Herman Drost:
So generally what I do is I’ll create like a video series and maybe the first few videos, I’ll try to give them information that they’re really interested in. And then maybe the second or third or fourth video, I’ll try to get them onto the email list because you’re already signed on to your content. So you don’t want to necessarily try to get them on your email list on every single video, but mix it up a bit, strategically get people to watch the video all the way through. And then, also to maybe one dedicated video in every three that’s just focused on getting them on the email list. You can do both. If you find in your YouTube analytics that people are watching your video, 60, to 70%, then you could just, at the end you could tell them to check out the lead magnet in your description if you’re still keeping the people to the end.

Herman Drost:
So I think, you definitely just want to keep an eye on your audience retention. People are dropping off in the first few seconds then, you don’t want to start trying to get them on the email list by mentioning at the end, because they’re not making it to the end. So, it is a catch-22. You want to keep them watching the video as much as possible, but also you want to keep on getting those leads from your YouTube channel.

Renee Teeley:
In terms of getting people to watch your videos, so it’s my last question for you, but should your videos really focus more on talking about what different trends and news things that are happening, very topical events, or should you really focus more on longterm evergreen topics that people might be interested in?

Herman Drost:
I would go for evergreen topics because they are the ones that are going to be evergreen. They’re going to sit on YouTube forever, and when people search for those topics, they find your video there. I’d also go for trends or things that are happening in the news, mix it up a bit. Because sometimes you can, if there’s a trend like the trend right now could be COVID. So if you’re into, I don’t know health, the health business or something like that, you could utilize a trend that may be happening now or happening in the future. And sometimes when you jump on a hot trend that’s related to your business, you can have a video that can go viral.

Herman Drost:
Now, the chances of happening with that is not huge, but it’s definitely worthwhile to throw that into the mix or have it part of your strategy, because if you hop on a hot trend, you don’t have to necessarily worry about getting the suggested videos or getting the search, but because the trend is so hot, you automatically are attracting a lot of traffic. And then if you get a lot of traffic from one video, then they see your other videos that lifts up all the other videos, then your channel can really take off.
So, I would say focus mostly on evergreen longterm traffic, but then keep an eye on hot trends. You can sign up for Google alerts and get them in your email, keep an eye on if there’s any news related to your business and create topics around those trends. And that could help build traffic to your channel.

Dane Golden:
Fantastic Herman. You’ve given us a lot of really good tips as to the right and wrong ways that businesses go about this. And I think you’re going to help a lot of marketers avoid mistakes. Could you tell us how people can find out more about you and Drost Video?

Herman Drost:
Yeah. I’ve got my YouTube channel, which is at a youtube.com/Drost Video. And then I’m also on Instagram @Drost Video, and then I have the website, drostvideo.com as well. So you can find me there.

Dane Golden:
Excellent. Thank you Herman Drost.

Herman Drost:
Well, thanks Dane and Renee.

Dane Golden:
My name is Dane Golden and we’re here with my cohost, 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, right, Renee?

Renee Teeley:
Yes, absolutely. And today I want to leave you with a quote, as I once told my good friend, Winston Churchill.

Dane Golden:
Oh, come on now.

Renee Teeley:
We’re tight, we go to lunch. You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give. So just like Dan and I do on this podcast every week, I want to encourage you to take time to provide value to others.

Dane Golden:
And I want to invite you the listener to review us on Apple podcasts or reach out to us on Twitter. Renee and I do this podcast and our various other independent YouTube videos and projects because we love helping marketers and business owners just like you, do YouTube and video marketing better. Thanks to our special guest, Herman Drost. Thank you, Herman.

Herman Drost:
Thank you.

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

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