Applying Design/Product Testing to YouTube

As I create more videos on YouTube, I’m testing out more content and directions. I just published a 30 minute long form video that shows off a Tonal Workout. The goal was to ride the Tonal search terms and give people an authentic look at the Tonal workout before buying. It’s too early to tell if it’s working or not, but it’s definitely not breaking out yet. You can watch that video here.

To experiment further, I’m testing the other end of the spectrum, creating shorter form content about Tonal, more focused on sharing learnings. I just created a video last night about 3 things I wish I knew about the Tonal before installation, which ended up being 2 minutes long after editing. In some ways, I hope that the shorter form content will perform better because it takes less time to plan/edit/render. Less time is also better because most of these tests will probably fail.

When I was working on AddThis, I learned that testing variables meant that you needed to understand what levers you’re “pulling” to trigger different results. In addition, I learned that most test variants were disposable, so it’s best not to waste too much time and test things that are wildly different. I’m hoping to apply this learning to my YouTube videos because on average, it takes at least an hour to plan/edit/render each minute of video.

This is a screenshot from my latest video talking about the Tonal. It has 3 tips and includes on additional tip from one of the viewers. The talking head style videos are the easiest to create because I have a setup that doesn’t require any building/tearing down. The lighting is controlled as well, so I don’t have to worry about messing with the settings. The background/set is pretty bland, but I want to focus on delivering content first, and then I’ll add additional things to the stage for visual interest in the future. I’ll be publishing this content in a couple of weeks, since I have a bunch of other videos scheduled for release.

In addition to testing my own content, I’ve been helping Annie create her YouTube channel as well. She is focused on talking about plants from a overhead view. In her latest video, we experiment with a shorter video (2 minutes) that talks about the availability of the Monstera Peru at Home Depot. I’m hoping that it does well because of the search term and the seasonality of the topic. The goal is to have the video grow organically from search. You can check out her latest video here.

Hopefully one of these tests works. I’m going to keep playing around with YouTube for a couple more weeks and see what happens. I don’t think it’ll turn into a paid career anytime soon, but I’m learning a lot.

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