Danika Herrick's YouTube video series "How to Happy Hour" provides faux-finishing techniques and
a cocktail recipe. Professionals can learn from Danika's model: Create videos that are fun!

 

YouTube: Perfect for Faux Finishers

This is the second in a series of making the most of a social media presence

By Tanner McMullen and Tammy Adamson-McMullen

Admit it: You’ve watched them and probably more than a few: Cute cat compilations, “David After Dentist” or “Charlie Bit My Finger.” These are among the top YouTube videos of all times, with hundreds of millions of views to their credit. They are a cultural phenomenon, making their creators very wealthy indeed.

But you don’t have to draw millions of viewers to enjoy success with YouTube. YouTube is a natural fit for small businesses and, it can be argued, particularly worthwhile for faux finishers who already are involved in visual arts.

To see a long list of faux-finishing videos on YouTube, go to YouTube.com and do a search for "professional faux painters." Here's one that pops up from the search and is worth noting, if only for the sheer number of views (more than 133,000): "How-to Happy Hour: Faux Carrera Marble." However, there's another reason to watch this video: It's fun! Created by Danika Herrick, the video is part of a larger "How-to Happy Hour" series that combines faux-finishing techniques with cocktail recipes. 

Why should you consider a YouTube channel? Consider these statistics:

• YouTube has more than a billion users—almost one-third of all people on the Internet. Everyday people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.

• YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the United States.

• The number of hours people spend watching videos (known as “watch time”) on YouTube is up 60 percent year over year.

• The number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40 percent year over year since March 2014.

• You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95 percent of the Internet population).

First Glance
All it takes is a camera and an easy-to-set-up YouTube account to get started. After that, it gets a little more complicated, but just a little.
Arguably the most important moment your video will ever have is when a viewer first glances at the link. When your video is in a list of hundreds of other videos, why would a viewer click on yours?

Thumbnail: Human beings are visual creatures. Having an aesthetic thumbnail is key. Large, white text with a colorful image is best. Viewers will be seeing your thumbnail over many platforms. Can a viewer still read your text and see the image on a mobile platform? Is the resolution high enough to be viewed on a large screen?

Title: A video needs to have a catchy title, but you don’t need to tell the viewer everything in your video. A review video on Katy Perry's newest album might simply read: "Katy Perry's Album: Epic Fail?" This will attract people and fans of all opinions because of their interest in the subject and desire to participate in the conversation. Remember that even though you want to urge the viewer toward a click, there is a difference between intriguing and deceiving.

Description: Although less important than the previous title, the description isn't just something that appears under the video. Part of it will be displayed next to the thumbnail. Make sure that the beginning of your video description is catchy and informative.

Another value of YouTube? It can be watched anywhere! The key is to
keep 
viewers watching.

Once Clicked
You've captured the viewer! They've clicked your video! Now what?

Retention: Viewer retention is the hardest part of making a YouTube video.

Make it HD: If a viewer sees that your video does not support full 1080p HD, they may leave. In today's world, full HD is incredibly easy to attain. Make sure that when you are exporting your video from your creation program that you use 1080p. You can export in 1080p using almost any video-editing software. AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) is a great export format because of the way it compresses audio. The audio will be much higher quality than standard MP4.

Concise and Precise: Okay, now your video is HD, and the audio sounds great. What now? Get to the point. We live in a world of Twitter. Our lives are moving at a brisk pace, and your video needs to keep up. No one wants to listen to someone introducing a subject for a third of the video. Be concise and precise.

Annotations: YouTube has a function called "annotations," and you need to use them. Make sure not to cover more than a small corner of your video. But including a pop-up annotation in a video that encourages viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel for more updates is crucial. You can even make the annotation click-able to automatically subscribe anyone who clicks it.

Cards: Cards are a nice new addition to YouTube. A small banner will appear in the top-right of your video with any text and function you want to provide. It could read "click here for more videos" and, once clicked, will open a display of your videos that you would want the viewer to see. Make sure these videos are relevant to the video that is being displayed, or they won't ever be clicked!

Other Platforms: In your video, encourage the viewers to follow you on other social media as well.


Behind the Scenes
Once you’ve made your video and uploaded it, what are some things you might want to monitor?

Thankfully, editing a video doesn't involve physically slicing film like in the
"old days." Video-editing software, available from office stores or online,
can easily
do the trick.

YouTube Content ID: YouTube's crusade against copyrighted content is both fierce and effective. If you use a song or a visual you don't own, it will catch you. When it does, it will do one of two things. First, it will monetize your video and place ads on it. All revenue made from that video will go to the content owners. Secondly, it may block your video. If that is done, you have been issued a formal notice that your video will not be displayed on YouTube. If either of these two things happen, you will lose the rights to edit and download your video. Use caution.

Caution: If you own the content but still receive a claim, proceed cautiously. You want to protect your image and your brand at all costs. YouTube will give you the option to file a dispute. Once you do, you will be required to provide evidence that you do indeed own the content in question.

Next, the claiming company is given the chance to approve your claim and remove the block or to remove your video. If they choose the latter route, your account will have a copyright strike filed against it. Once you receive three of these strikes, your account will be taken down and banned from YouTube. The good news? This is unlikely to happen. Many copyright claims are filed by individuals who do not actually own the content they say they do. In this case, getting the block removed is as easy as proving that you own the content.

Editing is Best! That all sounds scary, is there another option? YES! Take down your video on your own accord and take note of the sections that got claimed for copyright. Then edit the video by removing the claimed content from those sections and re-upload it. It’s easier to change content than file a dispute and will not put your YouTube presence at risk.

Comments: Read viewer comments, but don’t take them too seriously. This is the Internet. It can be professional and thoughtful, but the harsh reality is that it can also be a very toxic place. Expect to receive feedback of a helpful nature and even praise. However, also be prepared for negative feedback and aggressive comments. If a comment is too offensive, you have the ability to remove the comment, but do so carefully.

Roll With It: This is the most important part of releasing a video. People will make requests for new videos, make both kind and rude comments, and will like and dislike your video at their discretion. Accept the feedback, let the rude comments roll off your shoulder, and go with the flow.

Should You Respond? The rule of thumb on YouTube is the same as anywhere else. When you respond to a comment, the world will see it. Do not sacrifice your brand's image by responding quickly to a comment. Also, remember that grammar, punctuation and poise are just as important on YouTube comments as they are on your company's official statement.

Last piece of advice: Don't be boring. The industrial world is full of informative YouTube videos where a CEO sits in a chair at an offset angle and addresses the audience from an office room. As a faux finisher, you have proven ability to think out of the box. Set up a video on a job site as you create a finish and then try posting it at super-duper speed. Then add some light music in the background (something that isn’t copyrighted). Fast-speed videos are easy to achieve, since many of the latest cameras offer this function, and will be fun for former and future clients to watch.

Remember: This is your company and your brand. You want to look professional, but you don't want to look stoic. Use different shots and bright colors and SMILE.