Getting from 0 to 1 on YouTube

0 to 1 is a term that we use in early stage companies, expressing what it takes not just to get users, but to find an audience that is genuinely engaged with the product (either through retention or a person that pays). This is one of the hardest things to do, and there seems to be some symmetry on YouTube.

As I’ve tested out creating different kinds of content, I believe I need to start with creating content that is tied to my passion—things things that I could talk about indefinitely. The second part is finding trends that are growing and and audiences that are relentlessly searching for more content around those topics.

Over the last videos I’ve published, I’ve covered topics around weight loss, fitness, diet, and some unboxing/product reviews. The ones that have performed the worst are vlog videos, most likely because people are not searching for it… and the things I’m vlogging about are not really viral or trendy. The ones that have performed the best are my reviews around running hats and the Tonal.

👆 This from one of my vlogs recently. Blue line that’s flattening is where it grew from a facebook post I did in a Maryland hiking group. This enabled it to grow above my typical video engagement, but it flattens out after a week since it’s not something that people are actually searching for on YouTube. This is content that I enjoy creating and editing because I feel like it connects with my friends and family (and hopefully new people)… but the reality is that this kind of content (for me) will have a hard time reaching thousands of views. I’ve done vlogs in the past, and the most they’ve ever reached is a few hundred views. I’m grateful for the engagement, but it’s not enough to make YouTube an actual “thing” for me.

👆 This is a video I made two weeks ago that’s a 35 minute workout video about Tonal. It not only has become one of my better performing videos, it has the longest watch time. When I first posted the video I was very discouraged because it didn’t have any viewers… but after a few days, it started to organically gain traction through YouTube searches. The most interesting thing is that people are actually watching the entire work out. Yes, people are actually watching 35 minutes of me using the Tonal.

👆 This an unbox review of Ceile Hats I bought about 2 months ago, and the vews are still growing. I initially published it to Facebook (for my friends to see), but no one really liked or cared about it. As you can see, the audience that’s watching it is certainly there as the line graph continues to grow up and to the right. There aren’t too many people creating content about Ceile or specilized hat gear, which begs the question:

Is YouTube how people shop for expensive things? My hypothesis is that people want to see other people (like themselves) give an unbiased review of a product that they’re considering buying. The videos help them justify the product’s high price, as well as understand the pros/cons of the purchase. All is not to say that YouTube is only for product reviews, but it seems that the search algorithm is pushing my content to new viewers.

The next step for me is to continue testing more content around reviews, products, and potentially different styles of delivery (like comedy, no punctuation, ASMR, etc). As I create more content, I’ll be able to hone in the trends and align them to what I’m passionate about.

More on this soon. To watch these videos, you can go to http://youtube.com/jeffwongdesign

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