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Derral Eves X Seattle YouTube Meetup Event Insights

On March 6, I had the privilege of attending an event hosted by PicMonkey's Seattle Office and the Seattle YouTube Meetup community for YouTube master and wizard, Derral Eves. It was incredibly informative and inspiring and I felt that sharing my notes may be helpful for any other aspiring creators out there. Enjoy! xoxo

​The Importance of Thumbnails

  • Make them stop scrolling

  • Use bright colors that pop against each other

  • Use large items to draw attention

  • Don’t be afraid to show your face

  • Make elements that stand out

  • Good Design

  • Elements have a flow or a pleasing movement for the eye

  • Elements are consistent and recognizable as being your personal brand

  • Give them the story in just a split second

  • If you can avoid using words, try or use very few words

  • Don’t use small text!

  • Title should make a promise that the video actually delivers (fast!)

  • Image must tell story and create…

  • Create Intrigue

  • Why should your audience click on YOUR video?

  • Use inspiring questions

  • Offer Incentive

  • Challenge what they think they know (inspire competitive spirit)

  • Don’t raise red flags to YouTube Algorithm

  • Use Google “Cloud Vision” Image tester to find any possible red flags to YouTube bots for censorship (Google’s Image Data and Safety AI, free service here:


Making Data Driven Decisions

  • Spend the time to TEST

  • Spend up to 3x as much time on developing Titles and Thumbnails on video than creation of the video itself

  • Batch test the click through rate of different Thumbnail and Title combos

  • Really research the correct keywords, supporting keywords and keyword hashtags

  • Update/Change old videos’ thumbnails, titles and hashtags

  • Know Your Results and Know Your Audience

  • Create “avatars” (literally write down different personalities) for the audience you want to attract, really understand them so you can really target them

  • Don’t be afraid of results - you are only in competition with your own videos

  • Compare and look at other thumbnails/titles in like-minded channels and use topics that are big magnets in your niche community

  • Figure out what works and then do it again and again and again


Understanding the Algorithm

  • AI Triggers

  • Bots group together videos for specific viewers

  • Algorithm is trying to associate your videos with other similar videos

  • What audience do you want YouTube to find for you?

  • Most new videos/subscriptions are not found in sub list, they are found in Browse features!

  • How does my video compare to the rest of the videos it is like?

  • It’s all about the VIDEO and the VIEWER. Subscriptions do not mean a good ER

  • #1 Metric is Watch Time

  • #2 Metric is Click Through Rate

  • YouTube wants people to KEEP WATCHING

  • Don’t aim for Variety, aim for a very focused Niche so YouTube knows EXACTLY how to market your channel. Help YouTube understand the viewer you want.

  • Keep the audience engaged and watching more videos

  • Link to Playlists in End Card, Playlists are CRUCIAL to click through/watch time

  • At the end of video, don’t ask for subscriptions. Instead, invite audience to watch another video you have linked with a playlist. Keep them watching!

  • Aim for Outtro 10-20 seconds

  • Intro can be more forgivable for “advertisements” such as “Subscribe,” “Follow,” Ads, etc.

  • Keep people watching and engaged

  • How long can you keep 50% of your viewers?

  • Watch out for “hockey sticks” (losing majority of viewers in first few seconds)

  • Sweet spot is 7-8 minutes of >50% viewers engaged

  • Deliver on promises early, make more promises for end of video

  • Sharing a tutorial? Where’s your face? Study gamers for Voice Over techniques

  • Hook viewers by sharing lots of short form content that teases the long form video or “hero” video

  • Create Hype and Anticipation wherever possible

  • Evergreen Content

  • Know your audience and know which topics don’t have an expiration date. Make plenty of these videos to keep viewers continuously engaged with channel far beyond original publishing date


Your Channel - At A Glance

  • Viewer should be able to see:

  • What are you doing

  • What is the focus

  • Is your content consistent

  • Video Publishing

  • Thumbnails

  • Topics

  • Are you giving your audience what they want to see


Getting Sponsorships - Appealing to Advertisers

  • Advertisers look at last 90 days of performance

  • What is your most viewed piece of content?

  • How is audience retention?

  • What does click through rate look like?

  • Advertisers want videos to perform quarterly, especially at end of quarter to make up for any budget losses

  • “Are you good/brave enough to deliver the results that the brand wants?”

  • Pitch your vision

  • Stick with their agenda

  • Deliver on your work ethic

  • Don’t be afraid of results

  • Be brand safe EVERYWHERE

  • Are your tweets/IG posts/FB posts attracting the right attention from brands?

  • Communicating with Brands

  • Send Email with Pitch and Media Kit

  • Email Message = Cover Letter

  • Include your pitch for content if you have something worth investing in

  • Media Kit = Resume

  • Name

  • Metrics

  • Cumulative (the big number across all platforms)

  • Breakdown (the smaller numbers per platform)

  • Brands you’ve worked with

  • Larger ones at the top

  • References and brand contact info

  • Case Study

  • How did you help a brand succeed?

  • Sell Yourself and PROJECT SUCCESS


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