For the last few months I haven’t been able to keep a consistent video release schedule. We’ve been shooting for Wednesday and Sunday video release days, but getting good videos out keeps getting derailed by family events, talks, illness, other projects, inclement weather, a videographer with morning sickness, etc.
My ideal video is one that is well thought-out, scripted, artistically shot with excellent B-roll, interspersed with good original music, provides useful information and is at least ten minutes in length. It’s even better if it has a skit or a rap or a great joke in it.
Yet we have found that simply standing in the garden and relating some information about a particular plant, method or technique, with almost no B-roll and very little time and editing… still gets good views. Oftentimes the views are even better.
It seems to come down to three things:
- A great thumbnail
- A great title (yes, this means clickbait-esque)
- An interesting or provocative idea that increases debate
That’s really it. My personal favorite videos rarely take off at all.
It seems our main audience is really only interested in information, not artistic beauty, entertaining skits, great camera angles, etc.
When I imagined doing YouTube years ago and how I wanted it to work, I pictured a channel where I would present some good gardening information along with lots of humor and music, and sometimes just funny skits that had nothing at all to do with gardening.
Like this one:
More related to gardening, we recently did a video which was highly written and planned out, with lots of work in the editing, costuming, etc.
Yet that video is stalled out with roughly 23k total views. That’s a decent view count; yet I’ve already gotten more views from this video (28k) which was easy to film and edit:
And this one, which took only about 15 minutes to film, has beat them both with 32k views only 5 days after release:
Clickbait title? CHECK!
Classic REACTION IMAGE thumbnail? CHECK!
PROVOCATIVE idea? CHECK!
Okay… so here we are.
The grand artistic ideas simply take more time to execute and seem to make little difference – and perhaps even a negative difference – on views.
On YouTube, views are the lifeblood of the channel. If we spend two days making a video which does not get many views, we do not reap much ad revenue or gain many subscribers.
That means, in effect, that we are punished for making more creative content. It might pay only $1 per hour or so, whereas throwing together a rant video might pay us $100 in revenue for an hour of work.
But, all that to say, this spring we have not been able to stick to a regular release schedule of videos which are highly planned, artistic, and time-consuming to produce. And that may not matter, since our simple videos seem to do as well – or better – than those we consider Classic Good Content(TM).
So, with that said, we’re going to try and up the amount of videos we’re releasing while decreasing the amount of time it takes to create them. That means more “talking in the garden” style vids.
Which may, by the numbers, just be what people want anyhow.
What do you think?