Build a Solid Community thru Youtube and Tiktok with Todd Clouser

Build a Solid Community thru YouTube and TikTok with Todd Clouser (Episode 105)

video marketing podcast May 02, 2022

One of the best strategies to build sales is to grow a community. And these days, what better way to build a following than sharing video content about your business on video sharing platforms dominating the space today: YouTube and TikTok. And boy, do people love watching videos from these sites.

With 1.9 billion users, YouTube has become the world's second largest search engine and most visited site after Google. People would watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, more than Netflix and Facebook videos combined. On the other hand, short-form video app TikTok has over 1 billion users and has become more popular than Instagram for Gen Z users in US. As of 2021, users worldwide spends approximately 19.6 hours per month on TikTok. 

While that sounds promising, it may pose more of a challenge to stand out from all that noise. So how do you build your own community on these platforms?

Welcome to 'Video Made Simple' video podcast featuring marketers, entrepreneurs & clients who help take the mystery out of video and break through the monotony of day-to-day communication. 

In this episode, Chris Schwager (Co-founder and Video Marketers of Ridge Films) is joined by Todd Clouser (Senior Brand Manager at Refine Labs) to discuss how to build community on YouTube and TikTok, understanding your audience's intentions for using the platform for their needs, making use of thumbnails to grab attention, and understanding why attention is more important in creating video content and not duration. 


FOLLOW TODD CLOUSER or check out his TIKTOK account, or take a look at the YOUTUBE channel he helped build. 

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Video Transcription:

Chris Schwager 0:36
Hello Video Marketing Professionals. Welcome to the podcast that takes the mystery out of producing videos. I'm your host, Chris Schwager. And today our guest is Todd Clouser from St. Petersburg, Florida, senior brand manager at b2b SaaS companies demand accelerator Refined Labs. Todd started his marketing career in the welding and fabrication industry by opening a YouTube channel back in 2011, offering how-to videos, educational content and resources to the trade industry. This bought him a solid community of about 750,000 subscribers and over a million views per month. And he's now using Tiktok for his sales and marketing content. He's going to explain to us how he's built a solid community through YouTube and Tiktok videos and why this is the thing to do first, before building your sales. Here's our chat with Todd.

Chris Schwager 1:39
How'd you get started in Refined Labs, what do you what do you do?

Todd Clouser 1:42
So at Refined Labs, I was brought on to really launch the Tiktok program as well as kind of jumpstart the YouTube program. So when I came on board, they already had a, I'm gonna say a dominating podcast, it's one of the top marketing podcasts out there. And the company was, was and still is very established on LinkedIn. So they kind of had all those processes in place to, to continue that. And they wanted to expand to different channels. And I just so happened to have experience in both YouTube and Tiktok. So that's how I got on and why I was brought on.

Chris Schwager 2:28
So how do you grow a YouTube channel, because we've been on YouTube for many, many years, we've not given it any investment really. And it's only in the last couple of months where we thought, you know, what we should probably put out, you know, Video Made Simple shows up there. So we're just starting to get ourselves organized and so we're definitely on the backfoot with regards to the more outbound video hosting platforms. But tell me what's your tip for listeners?

Todd Clouser 2:54
I think the biggest thing with with you to do, especially if you're already, if you're already playing in like the short form scrolling type platform, so like LinkedIn, or Tiktok, or an Instagram or any of those, you kind of have to reassess your strategy for YouTube. It's kind of this like really good combination of search engine and social media platform slash like content, distribution, platform, whatever you want to call it. But I think the mistake that most people make when they come over to YouTube is they just take the piece of content that they had somewhere else, and they just dump it on YouTube, kind of like it's a warehouse for all your content. And they, they don't really optimize it for the channel at all.

Todd Clouser 3:47
But when you're going on YouTube and think about like the content that you watch, there's there's basically two reasons somebody goes to YouTube one is they have like a specific task that they have to accomplish, they don't know how to do it. So they're looking for a how-to video, which is very, like search-focused. And that's okay. If you're looking for like one-off views, if there's like some, some like something new happening in the in the news that you want to kind of like hijack that trend. That's one way to go about it. But that's that's not really how you build community. That's kind of how you get these, these one-off views.

Todd Clouser 4:28
When you're building community, you really have to engage with the audience. And it's, it's difficult at first to do that on YouTube for a lot of people because they don't view it as a social media feed like a LinkedIn or an Instagram or anywhere else where people are very, like they accept the fact that if I want to build my audience on LinkedIn, my first step is going out and commenting on all these other people's posts and building relationships and then it kind of comes. Where on YouTube, that doesn't happen. And what I tell people like step number one before you start, like messing with editing and like trying to optimize for the platform is go out and find like the top three channels in whatever niche you're in, go on their channel, and then and then you can go in their videos and just like stack-rank them by views. So stack-rank them by the most views and then like in the past six months I would say, like go on their most viewed videos, and then drop down into their comments section and any comment that has like significantly more engagement than anything else mainly questions, instead of because most most successful YouTubers no longer have the time to answer every single question. So you can basically go in there. And where you can see other people are answering like in the comments via via text and typing. Use that as like your playlist of what you start creating.

Todd Clouser 6:03
So like, for example, if if there's a if there's a video out there on how to start a YouTube channel, and it's got a million views, and then down in that in the comments, somebody asks, What's the best time to post on YouTube, and it doesn't get the response, like you can go in and make a video out of that. And from there, like you do that 5, 10. 15 times, and like, you have to look at not only YouTube, but but any any social platform like you have to build your community one person at a time. And that starts if I can go beyond like what what even the person that created the original video is doing by instead of just typing them a generic response or even a detailed response. If I can take that question, create a video piece of content behind it, and then call that person out. Like, hey, you know, Chris asked me what time I should post YouTube videos. Like, here's how you figure out when your audience is online. Here's how you post it.

Chris Schwager 7:05
And arguably, it's, you know, in some regard have to be far quicker. If it is just a simple FAQ, to do it via video, rather than trying to knock up a half an hour. Explain it.

Todd Clouser 7:17
But here. Here's the thing, though, it doesn't necessarily like, like when I say that, the normal response is like, well, if they asked a question on a Tuesday, I gotta get this out on a Wednesday or Thursday or like at the very least this week. Yes. Which, if you can, that's great. But here's the thing that you're doing. When when you put out that piece of content, like when you answer that person's question, even if they already figured out the answer. When I posted on my channel, what I'm broadcasting to everybody out there is I am here answering your question. They don't know that it was it was two weeks ago, I'm still answering the question, because if that person had it, somebody else probably has the same question.

Chris Schwager 8:01
Yes. So very controversial question here. But what is the difference? I guess with regards to or the value of shorter videos compared to longer videos for YouTube? What's your average video length? For instance?

Todd Clouser 8:13
When you say shorter videos, do you mean just like...

Chris Schwager 8:16
In duration?

Todd Clouser 8:17
In but you're not referring to like actual shorts? You're talking about like...

Chris Schwager 8:21
No, no.

Todd Clouser 8:22
Five-minute video compared to a 10-minute video?

Chris Schwager 8:24
Correct. Yes.

Todd Clouser 8:25
Honestly, my my answer to this is it doesn't matter at all.

Chris Schwager 8:28
Yeah. Because there's a lot of speculation, I guess. And a lot of people approached me about this question I'm like, fucking you know. Do what feels right, you know, and at the end of the day, it comes down to audience attention, not duration, and shouldn't and content should never be governed by duration, if, if it's being helpful and useful, and it's actually serving a benefit, then that's its purpose, right? Irrespective of any Google algorithm.

Chris Schwager 8:52
However, there's a lot of people still considering, I guess, video SEO and really looking at the active benefits of posting so that they can build channel, build community, and build their business because then they've got higher lead gen flowing through. So on that, that's really the question I'm answering for people is like, is there I guess a one size fits all? Or is it just hey, do what feels right?

Todd Clouser 9:18
Initially, it's the do what feels right. Like, it doesn't take time. But like you can instead of trying to figure out how long should a video be and just set like, a generic time. Like, I want my videos to be 10 minutes, what you can do is whenever let's say you post your first videos, 10 minutes, you go into the back end into YouTube Analytics. And you can see in your retention graphs, where people drop off, where they're engaged, like, and for me, what I tell people is, you want at least half of the people that start your video to finish your video. So like you can see at the very end which is different from average view duration. You you can see, at the very end, like the percentage of people that hit the last second on your video, if you can get that to 50%, it's usually a pretty good sign.

Todd Clouser 10:12
The beauty of that graph is not only, it doesn't only tell you where people are getting bored, or how long your video should be, but it also tells you like, in specific spots, like where people are skipping over, like in these averages, like you can start to figure out like, what the audience like. So like, for example, when I was creating welding content on YouTube, we had something that was called an arc shot, which was essentially like, the camera was looking at, like what a welder would see through their, their welding helmet. So like it was it was kind of like the the molten metal kind of flowing along. And like after doing this for for years, and years and years, like I knew with 100% certainty, if I showed arc shot for more than eight seconds without voice over on top of it, people dropped off. Like those are the things that you have to look for, like over the course of time, like, what, what specific things do you do that are that are regular throughout your videos, that will increase or decrease watched?

Chris Schwager 11:18
So you're obviously like any good video marketer looking at trends and seeing what works and what doesn't. And so what kind of content do you, does your audience on YouTube love the most?

Todd Clouser 11:20
Kind of depends. Like when I was when I was creating welding content, like I could tell you, there was three or four hot topics, controversial topics that like, even before I released the video, or film the video, like I knew that they would do good, just based on like, a knowledge of the industry. And like my community, like I could say, like, for example, and this won't, this won't mean anything to the viewers, or to the listeners of this. But like in welding a, a very controversial topic is like, when, when you have a weld, and you're trying to fill up like a gap like this, you can either run like, like stringers, which is a bunch of like straight welds, or you can kind of weave it like this.

Chris Schwager 12:16

Todd Clouser 12:17
And it's a super controversial topic, because like, there are 1,000 ways to skin a cap, but everyone has like their preferred way to do it. And that would always do well, because I'm playing to that, like, this group is going to butt heads with this group. And they're going to kind of do this.

Chris Schwager 12:32
So how important then, you know, knowing that you've got something that's probably a little bit hot and creating a bit of friction, what do you do to make sure that that gets the viewership that it deserves? So let's talk about headlines and thumbnails, for instance, what what type of engineering I guess do you do around that, because I know that it can be quite tedious, and it can be hard to get the, the, you know, the appropriate tagline and the appropriate thumbnail. So how much engineering do and effort do you put into that,

Todd Clouser 13:05
Especially the thumbnail should be very intentional about what you use. That varies greatly depending on what your industry is, in welding, it was super easy, because it's a very visually driven, you know, community or type of content. Whereas like something like b2b marketing is a little more difficult to do. So like, within like the, the Refined Labs content, we try to essentially take a, some sort of, because they're, they're very much like this right there. They're talking head-style videos, it's not me like going out and demonstrating "this is how you do X, like, let me show you" it's, it's very much talking head style. So what we will generally do is, as the as that conversation progresses, we'll, we'll look for like key words or something that that the subject matter expert says that we can kind of turn into a, a more visual things.

Todd Clouser 14:13
So like, for example, this may not be the best example. But for example, if he's talking about like, the funnel, like we may have some sort of funnel in that image and him kind of next to it. But it should definitely a lot of a lot of companies use it as an afterthought. Here's my my thought process on what's important to to YouTube success is you've got your thumbnail, you've got your title, and then you've got essentially your story. And they're important in that order, which most people will be like, Nah, that's such bullshit. Like your, your, the content you create is more important than your frickin thumbnail. But, but what they don't consider is like, your thumbnail is the most and important because as I'm scrolling, that's what catches my eye.

Todd Clouser 15:03
Once that makes me stop, then it's my title, because that's what kind of like, hmm, that sounds interesting. Let me click on that. And then after I get them into the video, now is where the content and the story comes into play so.

Chris Schwager 15:20
Well let's talk about Tiktok, I mean, you've demonstrated there the validity and the importance of those two elements, the title and the thumbnail. What about Tiktok where you don't, thumbnails and titles aren't I guess the primary consumption? It's very much a scrolling exercise. How do you optimize for Tiktok?

Chris Schwager 15:42
I just had this conversation today. It's almost the same thing. You just have to think about it a little differently. So for instance, like I had somebody today asked me, they said, hey, you know, I want to get into Tiktok. But I have all this, I don't have the time but I have all this like, backlogged, you know, podcast content with many clips, like, can I just repurpose it over there?

Todd Clouser 15:42
And what I told him was like, honestly, like, it's not my favorite, like, it's not the best use of the platform and less, like, for example, like at Refined Labs, they're, they're filmed in a way that it almost feels natives to the platform. So like, it works, it works for that. But like most people, it's kind of what we're doing right now. It's a zoom, you kind of chop the top and the bottom off, you have the title appear, and you've got like the, the transcription on the bottom. And what I told him was like, what I would do is whatever that piece of content was, like, essentially use that as your your bulleted list.

Todd Clouser 16:06
So like, instead of just posting it, whip out your phone, say the same thing or the same concept like you can, you can repeat the concept in two minutes, however long it took you to record the original like it doesn't have to be perfect. And then I said like whatever the title was on that micro clip. So like for example, if it's the three most common mistakes in ABM, that becomes your, your title or your your thumbnail, which on Tiktok is essentially like, you've got, we've all heard this before, you've got like, three seconds to in this case, it was like, you kind of have like, a lot of people will use motion in the beginning of their Tiktok to get people like into it. And then it's like, you use that same title. So if it's, if it's the three biggest mistakes in ABM, you start out with, you know, I've been running ABM programs for X amount of years, there are three biggest mistakes. I see people making like that was your title on your on your LinkedIn post. It's still the title on your Tiktok. It's just you it's presented in a different way. Like you're, you're summarizing, like super quick, what the rest of the content is going to be about.

Chris Schwager 17:57
Yeah, nice, nice. Thank you so much for joining us today. Todd. Where can the audience reach you?

Todd Clouser 18:04
Todd Clouser on Tiktok. And actually, recently, I'm testing a little change on Tiktok. So it's currently @content marketingtodd. I'm running a little experiment. It was Todd Clouser. But I'm, I'm testing to see if the if the name has any bearing on on whether people stop and watch content, knowing what it's going to be about prior to actually seeing the video.

Chris Schwager 18:31
Right, right. and you're on site there. It sounds like there's construction going on in the background.

Todd Clouser 18:38
Can you hear that?

Chris Schwager 18:40
Yeah, that's okay. Hey, thank you so much, man. It's been great hearing some insights. If you want to learn more about growing your audience on Tiktok or YouTube channel, Todd. Also have a look in the show notes for details.

Chris Schwager 18:50
When you start creating a video, think about what you could do first to build your community. Thanks for tuning in. That's all for this episode of Video Made Simple podcast and see you next week.  



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