Admins: I didn't know the proper forum for this. Please help me find it's home.
Youtube is one of the websites where a person can make a substantial income. There are thousands of people who earn a full-time job income, simply from making quality videos. There is one Youtube channel that has nailed the process down perfectly. It is one of my favorite channels, but I want to share with you WHY they are so successful. There are a few little techniques that they do, to appeal to a larger audience.
The channel that I want to share with you guys is called Primitive Technology. There are many channels that have become copycats of his, simply due to his huge success. Now, I know that bushcraft and primitive building have become quite popular, but it is not just his subject matter that is intriguing or effective for his viewers. His channel is one of the most successful that I have seen. His subscription base is getting close to 8 million people. While his subscriber numbers are impressive, it is his view numbers that blow my mind. When he releases a new video, he gets a million or two views within the first couple of hours. I have been watching his channel for over a year, and have analyzed what is special about his channel. This is what I would like to share with you, because I feel that his methods are applicable for any channel on any subject for Youtube.
As Americans, we often have blinders on. Like the horses walking down the road, we do not want to get distracted from our goals. We know that we want to create a video, and share information about a subject ...... and nothing is going to stop us. I don't know what country the Primitive Technology guy is from, but I would guess South America. His video method should be studied and employed by those who want to become successful at Youtube. I'm not suggesting that you make another channel that imitates what he is doing. There are dozens of those. More pop up daily, because of his huge success .... but none utilize his most important techniques.
You must see that it's not really odd that I don't know what country he comes from. He's in a forest somewhere that looks tropical, but he never speaks. This is one of the appealing things about his channel. It kind of goes against how we think of videos teaching us how to do something. A tutorial has to have words right? Absolutely wrong, and that's our American blinders coming up again. I would propose that a tutorial video is MORE effective without voice. Voice is distracting, and it takes away from the natural beauty of videos. He is sitting in the middle of this lush forest, and we can hear everything. The sound of nature and the sound of his work comes together and is noticeable. We can hear the birds chirping and the wind rushing through the leaves, because there is nobody droning on and on about some random subject. When he is crafting something, we can hear the strokes of his stone mallet, or how the leaves crinkle as he bends them around a stick. It is one of our senses that gets forgotten, our sense of nature.
Having one be in tune with nature in his videos is just a small part of his strategy. His non-voice plays perfectly against stereotypes. It is amazing how often people are stereotyped simply because of their voice. Imagine the response of someone with a British accent. There are some viewers who will say, "Oh, I'm not going to listen to that Tory bastard". There are people who won't listen to an American, because they hate "Those Damn Yanks". They have nothing against the individual person, but they have let preconceptions sculpt some of their actions. This type of hatred is very common in society, and the non-speech Youtube channel plays perfectly against it. Remember, that I've watched his channel loyally for over a year, and I still don't know where he is from!
The next bit of genius of his Youtube strategy focuses around learning, and how he has nailed this bit also. When we watch the traditional Youtube tutorial, we get a person that gives us instruction on the steps, and tells us the important details of the build. I know that this is the traditional method, but this Primitive Technology method utilizes the viewer's creativity and knowledge. This part of the strategy hinges again upon the technique of non-voice tutorials. But, William .... how can we learn if we can't hear what he is doing? Young Padawan, I suggest that you can learn better, and let me explain why. In order to understand how this works, I suggest that you watch one of his videos. I suggest this video:
While watching his video, you will find yourself asking questions. Hmm, I wonder what he's making now. What are those pieces of bark for? Your mind starts thinking of the possibilities while he is in construction, and then you see the mechanisms take shape. Oh, that's what he is creating. Wow, that's really an intriguing way of making xyz. You will find that he engages part of your mind, where you are trying to follow along logically. This process teaches you, because you are paying attention more and trying to figure out what he's doing while he's in the process. If he was explaining everything along the way, it would be much less engaging, and our attention would wane. It becomes a bit of a game. It feels rewarding when you can pinpoint what he is doing next. As you figure out the next step in the process, you find yourself learning in more depth than when someone drags you along step by step.
Let's be honest here, and admit that people explain too much in tutorials. It's natural to want to talk about what you are showing in the video, but this is also the drawback. We find ourselves talking too much, about things that aren't as constructive to the end goal of the video. Did people really come to a tutorial to hear a rant about a side subject? How much extra time did those rants take up in the videos? Primitive Technology's videos are rantless, and so they waste not a second of your time on things that are non-constructive. If you're watching about building a mound to create charcoal, then your attention can be focused on that charcoal mound 100% of the time. People are very attention deficit in modern times. Things come at us fast, and we struggle to pay attention to something for long periods of time. I have found that I have zero problem in paying DEEP attention to these non-voice videos, and I struggle with ADHD quite often.
But William .... What if I don't understand a part of the tutorial? I feel lost, because I can't figure out what he is doing, or why he is doing a step. Have no fear again Young Padawan, because his videos will not leave you in the dark knowledgless pit of despair. When you find yourself struggling for comprehension, just reach over and turn on subtitles for his videos. This is another part of his marvelous strategy, and it helps him appeal to more people. As you turn on the subtitles, you see that he leads you through the steps and tells you what he is doing. He also tells you why he is performing some of the steps. I admit, that you could take the easy way out and just watch all of his videos with subtitles on all of the time. You will learn how to do everything that his videos attempt to teach you, but I would assert that you will not learn them as well. I suggest that you watch the video without subtitles, for several reasons. First, you get to focus on what he is doing initially ... since you do not have to focus on following the text at the bottom of the screen. You are enhancing your creativity and your cognitive learning. When there's a section that you don't understand, you can always back the video up and turn the subtitles on. Personally, I watch the video through completely without subtitles, and only then do I watch it again with them on (if there are parts that I don't completely understand).
His subtitles are another part of his ingenuous scheme for Youtube domination. I say this from my knowledge of internet marketing. I don't know if he planned it out this way, or if he simply stumbled upon this structure .... but it is sheer brilliance. Again, as Americans we must take off our blinders to understand our viewers, or the people who could potentially be our viewers if we were not so restrictive with how we make our videos. Subtitles are one of the most effective tools online, and Youtube has even put in an automatic subtitle feature that pulls words from our spoken voice. Obviously, Primitive Technology can not use this autosub method, because he doesn't speak in his videos. The autosubtitle feature can make errors, as it can incorrectly translate a word into text that can further confuse your viewers.
So, what part of his subtitles is so genius? I thought that subtitles were quite common. That they are, and I would concede that just having subtitles is not too unique. It is his sheer number of subtitles that should draw your attention. Do you remember how I said that he gets a million or two video views in a few hours? There's a reason for that, and I believe that the reason is mass appeal. His videos are relevant to a large number of people, because of his method. One of the cornerstones of this method is his concise subtitles, leading the viewers through his build project. If he took the normal American view, he would have stopped with the single subtitle .... and this would have minimized his impact. He takes it one step further, which actually isn't too difficult with the technology available to us online. His subtitle for his video gets translated into nearly every language possible. It's not that difficult to plug the subtitle text into Google, and spit out dozens of translations. Now, he is speaking to hundreds of thousands of people around the world in their own language. This wouldn't be possible if he had voice in his videos.
If I was listening to his voice speaking English, and trying to read my native Tagalong language in subtitles ..... it would be a bit distracting. The lack of voice allows me to feel as though his video was created just for me. As anyone, I have the choice to watch with subtitles on or off, I can try and figure out the project build on my own, or I can be led through the subtitles step by step. I honestly do not think that all of these foreign viewers want to listen to someone drone on in English during all of their videos. It is as if he has built different versions of this video just for each of the languages ..... but it really hasn't taken that much time. This is one of the most brilliant multi-cultural marketing video schemes that I have ever seen.
Every part of his strategy plays together to entice the viewer to want more. They might not notice their creative side is being cultivated, but they notice that they are interested in the videos. They might not notice the lack of voice, but they get drawn in by the virgin sounds of nature. They might not notice how easy it is to translate subtitles into various languages, but they feel welcomed having their native language on there. Now, you are starting to see the different parts of his equation that really drives viewership. There are good reasons that he has such loyal viewers. He does things properly.
Do some searches on youtube for channels that are similar. They do not understand the system of how he has achieved success. These copycat channels are just hitching their wagons to the primitive building train. I suggest that you hitch your wagon to the non-voice train. Maybe you don't want to change up your main youtube channel. Maybe you like talking and ranting. I'm not saying that you should stop. BUT, I do suggest that you start another channel, and try the non-voice with subtitles and translation variation of your videos. I think we all would want hundreds of thousands of subscribers salivating for our next videos. I think we all want that extra level of connection with our viewers. I just think that we need to get past some of our preconceptions of how videos should be made.
I hope that you've enjoyed this breakdown of why I think his channel is successful. Let me know what you think.