In this episode we speak with Matt Pearce of YouTube channel Matt’sMacintosh fame. In the interview, we chat a little about how to shoot better quality videos and speak about income generating ideas for YouTube. So sit back, relax, turn the volume on and enjoy this weeks episode.
Matt Pearce, is a director, cinematographer and new media creator. His web based videos have garnered tens of millions views and numerous awards and recognitions and have been featured in major traditional media outlets, web publications and blogs.
- Matt’sMacintosh – A brief look at Matthew’s history.
- Why Choose Macintosh as a niche? – Plus tips on choosing your niche.
- Video Quality – Tips on how to shoot better video quality.
- YouTube Tips – Increase views of your videos on YouTube
- Income Generation – Monetizing your content.
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Introduction: Welcome to the brave new world of cost effective communications, tips, trips, and tricks, how to’s, why to’s, and what not to do’s, and using the power of web based content marketing to easily promote whatever you’d like. Welcome to The Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Welcome to the Multimedia Marketing Show, listeners. I’m Jake Hower, your host, and this is episode number nine. We are going back to web video in this episode. Today’s guest is someone that I’ve come across on YouTube. I think I’ve come across one of his particular reviews for the iPad Mini which is an awesome device, and if you don’t have one go ahead get one.
The guest today is Matthew Pearce. He’s has a channel on YouTube, Matt’s Macintosh which as the name implies is a channel focused loosely around Apple but also around tech in general. He puts together some cool reviews and some really eclectic, I guess you could them retro tech videos. They’re really cool. He has a really big audience. His personality shines through on his channel and in his videos. We discussed a whole range of things from shooting better quality video right through to how he’s gone about monetizing it and some of the reasons for choosing the strategy that he has. Righty-o, let’s get stuck straight into the interview.
Segue: We’ll be right back with more of The Multimedia Marketing Show but first this suggestion. Make sure that you don’t miss a single episode by subscribing to us via iTunes and don’t forge to like Jake on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and sign up for email notifications at MultimediaMarketingShow.com, then you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are available. Now let’s get back to The Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Welcome back, listeners. As discussed in the intro, I have Matthew Pearce from Matt’s Macintosh on the line. Matt, how are you?
Matthew: I’m doing great. How are today?
Jake: I’m fantastic. Matt, this, I guess as you’d be well aware, we’d like to go into a little bit more detail and delve into the world of multimedia marketing. I’ve come across your YouTube channel I think maybe when I was looking at product reviews and something like the iPad Mini or something. You’ve built an amazing following on YouTube, so I thought it’d be beneficial to get you on the call today and discuss a little bit about this with our listeners.
Matthew: Yeah, sounds great.
Jake: Matt, so how about for the listeners benefit if you’d give us a little bit of a rundown of your background leading up to where you are today.
Matthew: Ok, sure. After school, I was in the military for a long time. I served in the Air Force here in America, did a lot different stuff in there, and then just through almost on a whim one day I was looking for reviews on YouTube like a lot of people do. I saw some of them out there and I thought this might be fun to do. The next day, I went a bought a camera and because I was bored made a couple videos. Couple of years later, next thing I know it’s doing really well and getting thousands and thousands of views and it’s my main job now.
Jake: Matt’s Macintosh, explain to the listeners exactly what that channel is and what it’s about.
Matthew: When I tell people what it’s about I usually use the phrase tech based entertainment because there’s a lot of channels on YouTube that I think are really great review channels. They get a lot of products in. They do a lot of reviews. I do some of that, but that’s not really my niche. I do a lot of videos about technology history or interesting aspects of the design of a product maybe. Then, sometimes I just do videos that are almost just for aesthetic reasons and not even based on any kind of factual thing at all. It’s kind of a mixed gambit of things I’m doing there which I think has really worked for me because it helps my stuff stand out from the usual just tech review crowd.
Jake: Absolutely. I’d certainly know from my perspective it is very entertaining. I guess that’s a result of how you’re putting together these videos, but it also shows a lot about your personality, some of the things you have out there, a lot of retro videos with retro tech here. I think that’s really interesting and it’s obviously working for you.
Matthew: Yeah, definitely. This, I think, is super helpful when you’re doing any kind of thing online, you’re trying to get into one of those more crowded marketplaces, starting with that niche thing. For example, retro tech is really what made me take off initially, and then I was able to find success in other types of videos as well once I had that baseline of success with that one category.
Jake: Cool. Give our listeners a little bit of perspective. What sort of numbers are we talking here in terms of subscribers, views?
Matthew: My on my main channel, Matt’s Macintosh, I’m over 60,000 subscribers, somewhere in there, below 70,000 over 60,000. I’m a little over 10 million total views for my different content. Monthly views across the board I have a couple of YouTube channels and my Vimeo channel, we’re right under 500,000 is what I average with the vast majority of those coming from the Matt’s Macintosh channel.
Jake: Great. Those numbers, obviously, nothing to really sneeze at. They’re incredible numbers.
Matthew: Definitely. I’ve been fortunate that a lot of people have enjoyed my stuff and liked the same thing I do, so it’s caught on.
Jake: Let’s go into a little bit. Right now, is this your full-time job or are you doing this on the side or you making money from it?
Matthew: Yeah, I’m definitely making money from it. I would say this is my primary job, my primary income source. I do other stuff as well. I’m a full-time student right now going to film school which another thing I wouldn’t have done that without the success I found on YouTube. That’s what sent me on that course. Then, I do a lot of freelance camera work, cinematography stuff for short films, music videos, stuff like that, and then do assistant camera work on some bigger productions, all somewhere in the video field but definitely from the online revenue is where I’m getting most of my money.
Jake: This filming obviously what you enjoy.
Matthew: Yeah, definitely. It’s the amazing the system that’s in place now that wasn’t there 20 years ago, someone who enjoyed making videos. I would never have been where I am now living in Hollywood and doing this sort of stuff without the ability that the Internet and YouTube and these kinds of things have given me. It’s really great.
Jake: Cool. Let’s go behind the scenes a little bit on Matt’s Macintosh. How long ago did you start the channel?
Matthew: It was late 2009 is when I first started making videos. I would say I didn’t really start committing to it with a huge amount of effort until sometime in 2010. That’s kind of when I got started, so a few years now.
Jake: Was that, I guess, roughly 2010 roughly the time the ah-ha moment where you realized that this has got some legs, this thing?
Matthew: It’s funny, because I don’t remember when I got 25,000 subscribers, but I remember when I got 100 subscribers. I thought that was amazing. I was like, “Wow, 100 people want to see these videos that I’m doing basically for my own enjoyment and as a hobby because I’m bored.” Those first milestones were definitely memorable for me. Once you get say 1,000 subscribers and you see it grow, you’re like, “If I keep doing this there’s no reason I can’t get to 25,000 subscribers or 50,000.” It’s just a matter of time at point.
Jake: Let’s continue going through this. How many videos do you have on this channel?
Matthew: I know it’s over 200. I’m probably around 215 maybe, somewhere around there. Actually, my output is a lot less than some of my peers who are in the same tech space. My thoughts have always been I never want to make a video just to make a video. I never want to be like I haven’t put up content in four days I should do something. I usually do it around the idea and wait until I have a good idea of something I think is really going to stand out and people are going to enjoy, and the go ahead and make the video.
Jake: That’s a very good point. It really this change of thought, one’s consistent production and the other one is as you say putting out extraordinary content. You’ve obviously gone down that path. Let’s delve into a little bit about how you put together these videos.
Matthew: Sure. I get video ideas all the time. I have a little notebook that sometimes I’ll jot stuff down in and some of them pan out and some of them don’t, and then some of them are driven by other outside factors. A lot of my videos are actually in response to viewer questions. I do a lot of tutorial videos. Someone will send me a question. I’m a 15-year-old filmmaker and I’m trying to do some kind of special effect in iMovie. How can I do that? I’ll think, that’s a pretty good idea. Maybe I can do that some kind of way and help this guy out and I’ll make a video of that. Those have actually become some of my more popular videos. There’s that way.
Then, there’s my videos I guess almost are unexpected or come from left field but actually work really well. One of my videos that got picked up by a lot of blogs is on Gizmodo, The Verge, a lot of the bigger tech blogs out there, was I did a sketch of Iron Man on a 1984 Macintosh like in the old Mac Paint. The vendor’s movie had just come out and I was just messing around with my old Macintosh and just videoed me drawing on it, and then the next thing I knew that took off. You never know where inspiration’s going to come, especially in the online world. You never know what’s going to stick and what’s going to get picked up and what’s going to get traction.
Jake: That particular video, listeners, is the featured video on the channel at the moment, so if you’re looking at what we’re talking about here head across the channel and check that out. You obviously have a substantial amount of stats and everything, I mean, in terms of the video analytics. Do you pay close attention to this sort of stuff?
Matthew: Yes. I definitely look at my analytics. I think everyone does, even people who aren’t interested in making a career of stuff. People like to see what’s popular and what’s not in terms of their videos. I certainly look at my analytics and see what videos are getting traction, and then more importantly how they’re getting traction.
When you talk about YouTube, the first thing everyone asks is subscriber numbers, how many people are following you, which is good. It’s a good metric. The majority of my views do not come from subscribers, and I think that’s probably true of most YouTubers. Majority of views are coming through related videos and search. That’s something that you definitely wouldn’t know unless you really delved into your analytics and look at them, especially YouTube now with its new home page format and everything. It’s all about SCO, search engine optimization type stuff. Analytics are really key to understanding that and understanding what’s working.
Jake: Let’s get actual tips for our listeners. Let’s look at the top five things, the really obvious things, that you found based on your own videos and your own analytics as to what are musts when someone’s shooting video and optimizing for views on YouTube.
Matthew: Sure. A lot of people when they ask me this question I usually give them the happy answer, just make videos that you’re happy with and as along as you’re having a good time. Since you used the word actionable, I’ll give some more concrete facts here.
Understanding how views are driven on YouTube is really key, kind of what I just alluded to. It’s not subscribers, it’s the discovery is the key on YouTube. You shouldn’t be looking for subscribers, you should be looking for eyes on your videos. The way YouTube is built right how the analytics, how their whole algorithm is working, is based on, one, is total watch time. If you make a great video, what you think is a great video, but people are only watching the first 30 seconds of a five-minute video, it’s not going to get a lot of traction in the search engines and the results. It’s making a video that people watch from start to finish. Sometimes that means cutting out the fluff from your videos, not making these more in depth things.
If you look at my videos, my most popular ones are under three minutes which is maybe a little bit on the short side, but I think it’s helpful because people watch the full video and then it helps your total watch time which helps you in the search results. That’s one thing. That’s my first one.
When I put up a video, I’m not thinking this video’s a success if it gets 10,000 views in the first week. I think this video is a success if when the first couple months I’m at 100,000 views. You want continued views on it. That’s definitely the key to making money on YouTube because the videos that I make the most money from are ones that I put up over a year ago, maybe even two years ago in some cases because the continually get views and continue to get traction. Because of that, YouTube sells the ad rates at higher rates and I get a higher cut of the money. I think that’s key too is looking at the long range viability of the content you’re putting up.
My third thing, and this might be my last one here, I would say make every video your best video because you never know what’s the first video someone’s going to see of your content. The key is for them seeing that one video that they happen to stumble across through whatever method and they’re so impressed with it that I drives them to look at your other stuff and to look at your other videos, and then that turns that one view into a viewer, someone who’s going to come back for more and want to see more of your content.
Jake: That’s great. They’re brilliant tips there. I think one thing that really stood up for me from that is, I guess, you’re talking about it’s not necessarily about the subscribers. That’s something that’s relatively new to me, but it makes a lot of sense. One thing I’ve noticed with the videos of yours that I’ve watched is that you don’t have strong calls to action to subscribe. Why is that? Why don’t you include these?
Matthew: This is actually completely against what YouTube calls the YouTube playbook and what if you go to these YouTube functions they always say is always end with a call to action, always do this kind of stuff. That’s certainly a method that works for people. I’m not going to say that’s a bad methodology, it’s just never been my kind of thing, same thing with the idea of producing consistent content no matter what. Obviously, that works for some people. That’s just not the route that I took. It’s because, I think, because I have found success not through subscribers but through search engine results. I think adding calls to action on my end of the videos are just taking away from the video. People are cutting off before that anyway a lot of times.
That’s another great thing about YouTube analytics. You actually can get watch time per video and see when people are dropping out of your video and when people are staying in. There’s always a cliff at the end if you have a really long call to action at the end. I just decided to avoid that in general, and it’s obviously worked for me.
If you look at my video numbers, my popular iMovie tutorials, for example. They’re 300,000-400,000 views per video and that’s despite the fact I only have 60,000 subscribers. Once again, I really think it’s not the subscribers it’s the views that you’re really searching for.
Jake: I guess as you say, from those tips that you just gave us, optimizing or really creating extraordinary content. What about little things titles and tagging in the description? Do you optimize these or put a lot of effort into optimizing these?
Matthew: Absolutely. Tags are key. That’s part of the algorithm that YouTube is running to figure out what related views to stick next to the video and things like that. I put thought into my tagging. Some people have a standard list that they copy and paste. I try to think per video what’s something unique I can put in here. For example, that Iron Man video, it was when Avengers the movie was out, so I put tags related to the Avengers movie with the video. Because you never know when that video’s going to pop up in a related video based on some kind of tag and when someone’s going to bite on it. I definitely think tagging’s important. Titling is important because that’s part of the system too. Video descriptons I think are important too. All those are playing into the search system and helping you get views.
Jake: Can you over optimize these things, particularly with the tags? Can you add in too many tags?
Matthew: I don’t know the science behind it. I don’t know if actually at some point you hit an overall negative because you put in too many general tags. My personal method is to put very specific tags. If I have a video and I’ve made it on my MacBook I don’t tag it with Mac Pro or iPad because it has nothing to do with that video. Targeted tags have worked for me. Someone else might tell you something different, but that’s certainly something that’s worked for me is very precise and on-target kind of tagging.
Jake: That’s great. That’s really good. You mentioned through that about making money. How you then go about making money from the site?
Matthew: What’s great now and different from when I first started is that YouTube partnership is open to anyone now. If you make all original content and have no copyright anything, if you own all the rights to whatever you’re producing it’s just a matter of clicking a button in your YouTube settings and then filling out the AdSense form and then you monetize right off the bat which is different when I first started doing it. The partnership program with YouTube was something you had to get accepted into and it was much more difficult to get into. That’s the good thing.
The bad thing is that it’s almost discouraging if you’re first starting because now you can start monetizing when you’re only getting 100 views per video. You are not going to make a lot of money right there. The AdSense thing is certainly a way to start but just realize that money is going to be low. It’s low for everyone when they first start. There’re a lot of other great programs out there that’ll do it automatically without you having to talk to people.
I’m also an Amazon associate, so if I review or mention a product I’ll have a link into the description to an Amazon ordering page that people can buy that product. If they do order something, then I cut of that. That’s actually been a really great way to monetize, especially around the holidays. I would say that it was on par and even exceeded in some cases the money I was making through AdSense. I definitely recommend that to anyone who hasn’t looked into that.
The third way, and I’ve only done this a couple times, and that is through some kind of ad deal with a company or a product placement thing. The thing I’m leery about those, the thing with those I’m a believer in a transparency, really clear to your audience that this is a sponsored of deal you’re doing. The good thing about those is you cut out the middleman. You don’t have to give a cut to Google or Amazon or YouTube or whoever’s taking part of the money. Those the three branches that I’ve pursued and that have worked well for me.
Jake: Cool. I think YouTube, I believe, have a couple of different ways you can include ads in your videos. From what I’ve seen, you include the video at the start which is generally like a traditional TV video, and then you have the overlaid ads which is the text in the lower third of your video. Do you get stats on what converts best for you?
Matthew: You do, you do. YouTube analytics tells you what’s working best for you both in terms of what people are clicking and in terms of what you’re making the most money on. There’s actually three types of ads that you can put onto YouTube. There is the preroll ad that is usually a five to 10 second thing that just shows up no matter what and looks like a TV commercial. There’s what’s called the true view ad which is the longer one that you can choose to skip or not or watch it, and then there’s the text based ad on the bottom which is usually partnered with some kind of banner or image over to the side.
Of those, true view ads are absolutely the best, the ones that are skippable. This isn’t an opinion, this is definitely from my analytics and I think true for probably every YouTuber out there. Most people choose to skip that ad. Most people don’t want to watch an advertisement, but advertisers will pay a lot more for the people who do sit through and watch that ad. You’d be surprised how many people actually watch those ads. I’m usually averaging about 50,000 impressions a month on people watching a true view ad. Somewhere out there 50,000 people have watched that full ad and not chosen to skip it. The amount money per thousand views for that is significantly higher. Usually the CPM on that is somewhere $15-$20 or something like that. If you’re making YouTube content, definitely true view ads are the way to go.
Jake: Cool. Just one final thing on that is for those true view ads is there a certain percentage where you kick in and you get paid or do they have to watch the entire ad?
Matthew: They have to watch the entire thing. Even if they leave the one second off at the end you don’t get the money. You’re running a risk with that. It works. I was certainly skeptical. I remember I went to YouTube gathering at the YouTube offices here in Santa Monica, in California, when they were first launching this. I think they were worried that no one was going to enable them because they thought everyone’s going to skip these ads, it’s not going to work, but for whatever reason it works. I think Google is really smart about targeting ads. They are targeting ads towards people that are likely to watch them. It totally works.
Jake: Definitely. I generally skip them, but I’m going to have to start watching the whole things for all of your videos now.
Matthew: I skip them too. I probably shouldn’t say that, but most of the time I skip them. Every once in a while, though the targeting works and I want to watch this one.
Jake: That’s great. One other thing, while we’re on the topic of behind the scenes in advertising, one other thing I’ve noticed that you’ve done once or twice is almost like a hangout or something like that or like a live stream. What’s the reasoning behind that? Is that literally just to answer questions of your audience or are you trying to build a community around that?
Matthew: I would say engagement is the keyword there. I think this is important when you’re looking at building an audience and turning that single view into a viewer and someone who’s going to come back. Engagement’s important. It’s worth spending the time on even when I guess you’re not getting paid for you time. For the live streams, I’ll do a two to three hour live stream. I don’t monetize that in any way. That’s just me doing it. I would say it’s the equivalent of being on Twitter or replying to comments on YouTube which is something else that’s important that I think people do.
It puts a face and a personality behind the person making the videos and makes people interested in watching them and engaging in your content. I think it’s fun to interact with the audience. I personally have a lot of fun doing it, so I think it’s a two-way street and I definitely get a lot out of it.
Jake: That’s fantastic. Do you have a property which you own outright that you try and push your audience to or do you literally play on YouTube’s platform and other’s platforms?
Matthew: I am on YouTube’s platform. Certainly, there’re a lot of people out there that use YouTube as just almost another engagement tool like it was a Twitter or something like that and to drive people to blogs and things like that. I don’t have anything like that. I have a landing page website that just links to my other stuff, so I’m not trying to drive people anywhere. For me, I have debated that in the past, especially when I was thinking about taking my YouTube channel more towards the traditional tech review route, having some kind of website or blog that matches that to drive people to. For me, the time commitment on that is not worth it. I look at YouTube as doing all the legwork for me. They’re doing the logistics right there. They’re doing all the advertisement for me and handling all the back end and page maintenance, so I don’t have to deal with that. For me, the video content is my prime focus.
Jake: Definitely. That makes sense. As you say, the minute you start producing content on your own site it does add quite a lot of maintenance to that and cost as well. That’s interesting. As you say, I think I play a little bit in the Internet marketing space. One of the big things with a lot of Internet marketers is to get people off channels that you don’t own. The reason behind that is you can be shut down at any stage. I’m assuming with something like Matt’s Macintosh is that you’re not at all playing in a dodgy space, you’re playing by YouTube’s rules.
Matthew: Right. There’s certainly risk in that and it’s something that I’ve talked about in private conversations with fellow YouTubers and at these different YouTube gatherings. This is something that’ll come out if you ever go to a gathering in a YouTube corporate office when people are having extra candor. It’s certainly running a risk, right? Google could just decide this isn’t making enough money for us, we’re shutting the whole thing down, and then that would collapse the majority of my revenue stream there. Absolutely that’s a risk.
Chances of that cataclysmic collapse isn’t likely, but even minor changes. A lot of people were up in arms when they changed the search algorithm for related videos when they made based on total watch time and not clicks which is what it used to be base don. You had to enforce creators to rethink how they make their videos. You’re playing by someone else’s rules in someone else’s court and that’s just some that you have to accept if that’s the route you’re going to go.
Jake: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Let’s change gear a little bit here. We’ll round off the interview with looking at how you put together your particular videos. Do you follow a certain, I guess, standard operating procedure or something along those lines when you’re putting videos?
Matthew: Yes. Assuming I have the idea solidified when it actually comes to the production aspect of the video, I shoot video first with no real script or anything. It depends on what it is. If I’m doing a tutorial video, obviously, it’d be a little bit different. Let’s say a standard product video or one of my history documentary style videos, I’ll shoot. For a standard two to three-minute video, I’m probably shooting about an hour’s worth of footage. I’m getting different angles, getting coverage of the product or whatever it is that the subject of the video is. Then, I bring that into the edit, and then look at what I have, and then I have a rough outline in my mind of either what I want to say, if it’s just a video which has music to it, kind of how I want it to flow. Then, I’ll start doing an assembly edit, then do the voice over work, and then tighten up that edit to match the voice over, and then the export and upload.
Jake: That’s interesting and particularly with anyone doing reviews. I know, myself, when I’ve tried to reviews I do the voice over at the time of recording. It can mean that the video’s are not as engaging. That’s interesting that you’re just shooting [inaudible00:30:33] and putting it together at the end.
Matthew: Right. I think it’s a better system. I certainly know a lot of guys who do that. They essentially do the review live. They record with the camera, and then are talking. Maybe I’m just not eloquent enough to do that, but I flub what I want to say a lot, and then go ramble on tangents if I try to do that. It just goes back to our earlier conversations, making that type video that people are going to watch from beginning to end. I think it’s better to just shoot the video first and then do that edited voice over to make it as just as tight and concise as possible.
Jake: Yeah, yeah. Then, on that, this is probably relating personally to me, so it’s a selfish question. I don’t do a lot of the video editing. In fact, I don’t do any of the video editing myself. Do you still it would be possible to follow that concept of shooting your [inaudible00:31:28] footage and then at some stage doing the voice over?
Matthew: Absolutely, absolutely. Even if you’re not doing your editing, you probably need to bring the voice over in a little earlier than you normally would if you were doing the complete end-to-end product. If you look at when they’re producing documentaries for TV, it’s not like the voice over guy is working hand-in-hand. They’re bringing everything together in post separately. I think that’s a good way of doing it. If I had a separate editor, for example, I think I’d give him an outline of what I was going to do, have him build a loose assembly edit, then come in with my voice over, then have my editor tighten it up and turn it into a finished product.
Jake: Cool, cool. You’re shooting all this footage. Let’s look at one particular video. Let’s look at the why you chose the iPad Mini. Are you shooting with essentially the one camera from the difficult angles or you assembling multiple cameras at once?
Matthew: I’m shooting single camera. If you really wanted to you could do multiangle stuff. For me, I’m very conscious of my shot selection and camera set up, so I’m trying to engage in angles. Video is a visual medium. I think that’s lost on some people, especially in the more practical videos. They’re like the tech review space and things like that is that you can be given the best audio information about the product, but if the pictures aren’t engaging as well you’re going to lose viewers. I shoot single camera. I put a lot of thought into the camera angle and what I’m depicting, and then choose a variety of angles based around what the topic’s going to be.
Jake: Cool. A lot of our audience [inaudible00:33:23] content marketers or multimedia marketers, so they don’t necessarily have the video background. Do you have a resource you can recommend where people can learn a little bit more about putting together exciting camera angles and framing pictures in it?
Matthew: I have two sources. One, YouTube. It’s funny is that I learned a lot of stuff from YouTube myself. I am both a YouTube creator and a consumer of YouTube videos. All the time, I wonder how something is done and I Google it and search it on YouTube and watch a video about it.
The second I’d say is that look at content that you like. I think one of the best things you can do as a creator is learn to identify what you like in other people’s products so that basically you can steal it. That’s what people have done since the beginning of time. Someone comes up with a great concept or a way to shoot something or make something, and then everyone else jumps on that. I think if you personally learn to identify, you watch a video, you say that was good but why was it good and go through and pick out those specific things, and then emulate it, and then try to make it better. That’s what I’ve tried to do is try to steal things and then improve upon them or put my own spin on them to make them unique.
Jake: That’s really cool. I love that. It’s so simple, but it’s harder in broad daylight. Final question, this is something that I’ve included in my videos and it’s direct from yours is creating engaging thumbnails. I love you use simple text to create great thumbnails. How much of a difference does that make?
Matthew: Huge, huge. I probably can’t stress this enough. I hate to say it like this because I know that not all YouTube creators have the ability to make custom thumbnails on YouTube because that was part of the old partner system and stuff like that. If you can’t do that it’s a shame. Supposedly, YouTube is rolling that feature out to everyone. Thumbnails are so key. This is something that I’ve actually experimented with, so this isn’t just like an opinion. This is something that I’ve tested and looked at the analytics on.
Clear text with an interesting image behind it is key and it’s key for it to look good not when it’s blown up and you’re looking at it in PhotoShop but when it is that tiny whatever it is, 50 by 50 pixels or whatever it’s going to look like on the actual page before people click on it, I think is really key. I try to choose fonts that stand out, colors so that you can read it, and then the actual titling of it too, just the words themselves, something that’s clickable and that’ll drive people in.
Jake: That’s really cool. I think one thing I need to probably introduce myself is that it looks like you’re not actually using stills from the actual footage. It looks like you’re actually shooting separate stills just for the thumbnail.
Matthew: Most of the time no. It’s a still from the footage that I have then gone back and in PhotoShop touched up and added text to. I’m not completely cheating. I’m not pulling a still image, but I’m modifying a frame from the video.
Jake: Cool, cool. That’s good. That’s handy because that’s obviously an extra step that you have to add in.
Matthew: It’s certainly worth your time, absolutely.
Jake: Just one thing on that, I’ll just add for our listeners, I’ve recently gone through the process of setting up a new channel. YouTube enable custom thumbnails for me after I [inaudible00:37:11] about 100 or 200 views in two or three videos up there. I think one thing they say is you do have to join the partner program which is still an opt-in and you need to enable at least one of your videos for monetization. That’s just my tips. It happened after about 100 views, two videos up there, and simply going through your settings, enabling monetization on at least one of your videos. It’ll just pop up after a little while.
Matthew: That’s great because it’s certainly a great tool, so that’s good.
Jake: Yeah, absolutely. All right, Matt, You’ve shared some really awesome information. I’m really pleased that I was able to get on the call with you today. Where can our listeners find out a little bit more about you?
Matthew: Sure. Obviously, you can go to my main YouTube channel, so YouTube.com/Macintosh, from there. I’m on Twitter. Matt’s MacIntosh is my handle on Twitter as well, or just my main page is MatthewPearce.net. From that, you can contact me if anyone out there wants to work with me on something or just see some of my work I’ve done in the past.
Jake: That’s great. Listen, thanks very much for tuning in. Matt, thank you very much for coming on.
Matthew: No problem, really enjoyed it.