A YouTuber whose Tesla videos have over 30 million views breaks down how to create an 'information gap' with your title and thumbnail to boost your click-through rate
Paying close attention to your YouTube titles and thumbnails is critical if you want people to click on them, according to Ben Sullins, who makes videos about Tesla and electric vehicles. Sullins' strategy is to create an 'information gap' by posing a question the viewer wants answered. Sullins has over 200,000 subscribers, and his videos have received over 38 million views. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Scrolling through YouTube can be overwhelming. Even if you know you're looking for a workout routine or investing tips, the sheer number of options makes it tricky to choose what to watch. Just as tricky: Figuring out how to get viewers to click on your video, among a sea of alternatives. Ben Sullins, who makes videos about Tesla and electric vehicles, pays careful attention to the titles and thumbnails on his videos to make sure viewers don't scroll past them. "It almost should be, you have an idea for a video, and you figure out the title and the thumbnail first before anything, before you shoot the video, before you script the video," Sullins said in an interview with Business Insider. His strategy is to create an "information gap" by raising a question, either directly or by suggestion, in a way that makes the view want to learn more. Titles for recent videos include "Fixing Model Y Dumbest Flaw for $12" and "Choosing Our Favorite Tesla After Owning All 4." The thumbnail, Sullins said, should amplify the curiosity the title creates. His photos sometimes feature him making an exaggerated expression and text set against a red background. "The opposite of what you would consider a beautiful photo is what works well on YouTube," he said. Once a viewer clicks on your video, it's important that you deliver on your premise and keep them hooked; the longer people watch your videos, the more YouTube will share them. To keep the viewer's interest, Sullins uses a technique familiar to playwrights and screenwriters: the three-act structure. His videos begin by setting up his topic, creating a conflict, then resolving that conflict. Doing so makes the viewer more likely to become emotionally invested in the video, even if its topic is far from typical Hollywood fare. "These storytelling techniques work because they play to our evolutionary heartstrings," he said. And they have helped Sullins build a subscriber base of over 200,000 people and amass over 38 million views for his videos since he started his channel in 2013. "Focusing on that information gap — trying to entice people to click in and learn more — and then delivering in a way that's going to keep them engaged," he said, are "the keys to success that not a lot of new creators think of."
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How much money YouTube pays creators with 100,000 subscribers per month, according to a fitness influencer
Joe Farrington, 18, lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe...Joe Farrington, 18, lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe Fazer" with 139,000 subscribers. Farrington told Business Insider that he treats YouTube like a full-time job and earns money through sponsorships and ads in his videos. YouTube creators like Farrington earn money off the platform through YouTube's Partner Program, which lets creators monetize their channels with video ads. On average, Farrington's YouTube channel earns about $560 a month from the ads that play in his videos, he said. In response to the coronavirus, and taking college classes from home, he's thought about potentially taking a year off from University this fall to focus on his YouTube channel, he said. Click here for more BI Prime stories. How much money YouTube pays creators with 100,000 subscribers each month varies based on the video content and audience the channel attracts. Joe Farrington, 18, lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe Fazer" with 139,000 subscribers. Farrington started his YouTube channel in 2012 and created multiple different channels throughout the years, he said. Today, he treats YouTube like a full-time job and earns money through sponsorships and ads in his videos, he told Business Insider. "Before I started this channel I got into fitness," he said. "I posted my transformation – which a transformation will always get a fair amount of views – and after I posted it, it went absolutely viral with 26 million views." Creators on YouTube earn a certain amount of money for a video from Google's AdSense program based on their CPM rate, or cost per 1,000 video views. CPM rates vary between creators, and no creator consistently has the same rate. CPM depends on a number of factors, from the place in the video where viewers normally drop off to the type of advertisers the video attracts. Many creators have ad-placement strategies for earning the most money possible. Advertisers pay more for an informative business-related video than a vlog-style video. The rate also depends on seasonality, with lower CPM rates at the start of the year and higher ones toward the end. Some videos that contain swearing or copyrighted music can be flagged by YouTube and demonetized, earning hardly any money for the creator (or none at all). One of YouTube's biggest stars, David Dobrik, recently said in an interview that he earned only around $2,000 a month from AdSense, despite weekly videos gaining an average of 10 million views. He makes most of his money on custom merch, Dobrik told The Wall Street Journal in March. After posting his "1 year body transformation" video 2 years ago, and seeing how well the video performed, Farrington decided to post more fitness-related content and continue sharing his journey with his growing audience. That video (with 26 million views) earned over $8,000 in AdSense, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. "The viral video definitely helped," he said, adding that he gained around 60,000 subscribers from that one video. "But there's a difference between subscribers and subscribers who actually want to watch you. Some people find a video, subscribe, but then they don't watch the rest of your videos. Because I've been consistent I've gained more subscribers who actually watch my videos." Monthly, Farrington's YouTube channel earns about $560, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. "I'd say it's about a 70/30 spilt," he said about his sponsorship revenue compared to his ad revenue. "Sponsorships 70, YouTube 30." Farrington has a long-term partnership with the popular UK protein powder company, My Protein, he said. He earns revenue when his followers use his discount code. How influencers like Farrington make money online Many influencers are getting smart about finding ways to diversify – especially in recent weeks with the ad business hurting for influencers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, YouTube creators experienced a decline in direct-ad-revenue rates from the platform in April, likely because of shifting ad budgets. Some creators have larger business ventures outside of ad-supported revenue models, like YouTube creator Preston Arsement who is also the CEO of the digital-media studio TBNR, which Forbes estimated earned $14 million before taxes from June 2018 to June 2019. Others sell consumer products like makeup, merchandise, or books that have the potential to become New York Times bestsellers. These types of revenue streams are more important than ever for influencers, as brand deals and AdSense revenue fall dramatically. "I'm getting double the amount of views now, but half the revenue," Farrington said about his YouTube channel in recent weeks. In response to the coronavirus, and taking college classes from home, Farrington said he's thought about potentially taking a year off from University this fall to focus on growing his YouTube channel. "I'm debating whether I should take a year out and focus on YouTube," he said. "And if that doesn't work out then the next year I will go back to University and do YouTube on the side." Sign up for Business Insider's influencer newsletter, Influencer Dashboard, to get more stories like this in your inbox. For more on the business of YouTube creators and influencers check out these posts on Business Insider Prime: How much money YouTube pays for 1 million views, according to 5 creators: YouTube's Partner Program allows influencers to earn money off their channels by placing ads within videos. 5 YouTube creators break down their monthly incomes from the platform: YouTube creators are paid out monthly and Business Insider spoke to 5 influencers who broke down how much they'd earned in a month from the platform. How to get in contact with top influencers using Instagram direct messages, according to a CEO who has landed clients like TikTok star Addison Rae with a simple DM: Unlike LinkedIn or Twitter, on Instagram users can direct message anyone – no matter how famous they are. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button
$141,000 from YouTube in February alone: A real-estate and finance creator explains how he took his channel from a side gig to 1.6 million subscribers
Graham Stephan is a YouTube creator with 1.6 million subscribers known for sharing personal-finance, investing, and...Graham Stephan is a YouTube creator with 1.6 million subscribers known for sharing personal-finance, investing, and real-estate tips with his followers. Stephan launched his YouTube channel in 2016, filming a video on his journey as a real-estate agent. Last year, he switched to focus on his YouTube business full time. Since then, Stephan has turned his YouTube channel into a lucrative career, with his channel making $141,000 in February alone, according his YouTube dashboard, which was viewed by Business Insider. Click here for more BI Prime stories. In April 2017, one of Graham Stephan's YouTube videos took off. He was elated. He made $181 that day, which at the time was a lot of money for him to be making just on the side. "I was so excited, thinking if I made $2 a day just from YouTube, that pays for my phone bill, so when I had that one day of $181, I was like wow, there is really a lot of potential in this," he told Business Insider. At the time, Stephan was working full time as a real-estate agent, and when he got home, he would work on YouTube from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., he said. His YouTube channel quickly became a great source of side income, and by the end if 2018, he had earned over $250,000 in total from his YouTube business, he said. That's when he went all in. "It was in December of 2018 that I really felt like I had a small chance with this, and thought, there's a lot of potential in this, I need to give this its full attention," he said. Stephan now focuses on his YouTube channel full time. He has 1.6 million people subscribed to his YouTube channel and earns money through the ads that play in his videos, by selling a course on how to grow your YouTube channel, sponsorships, and through Amazon's affiliate program. Creators like Stephan — who is known for sharing personal-finance, investing, and real-estate tips with his followers — often earn more money on their YouTube videos per view than others because the finance-focused audiences they attract are more valuable to advertisers. In February, he earned a total $141,356 in AdSense revenue alone, on 8.9 million views in 29 days, according to his YouTube dashboard, which was viewed by Business Insider. His video, "How I Bought A Tesla for $78 per month," with 6.3 million views, made $56,329 so far to date in under a year, he said. Was sorting through my mom’s old pictures and came across this 😂 A post shared by Graham Stephan (@gpstephan) on Jan 22, 2020 at 6:08pm PST on Jan 22, 2020 at 6:08pm PST How Stephan got his start on YouTube In 2010, Stephan started watching YouTube and felt it was the future of TV. And after four years of watching, he decided he wanted to get involved somehow, but thought he wouldn't be a compelling enough star. "I didn't think anyone would want to watch me, so I remember thinking maybe I could invest in a YouTube channel," he said. "I wanted to be a silent investor because I knew at the time these people weren't making much money and weren't doing it full time." Stephan said almost every channel he reached out to turned him down, and in December 2016, he finally filmed a video of his own and uploaded it to YouTube. "I held up the selfie side of my phone and just recorded for 25 mins straight were I talked about my journey getting into real estate and just some of the things I learned along the way, and that was it," he said. He created his YouTube channel that night and began posting videos once a week. At the time, he would leave a comment on any of the other videos he would watch, or any relevant channels like business or real estate, which he said helped him initially grow his audience. Stephan said he has always been passionate about money. Now, he shares his personal experiences with saving money and investing with his audience. He told CNBC in November that he saves roughly 99% of his income, estimating that 85% of his total yearly earnings come from YouTube. How he grew his YouTube channel, and his advice "Once I started posting three times a week, the whole thing took off," he said about his YouTube channel. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3:30 p.m. PST, Stephan will have a new video up on his channel. "I responded to 95% to 98% of all my comments until I hit one million subscribers," he said. "I couldn't get out of bed in the morning until I answered all of the comments that came while I was sleeping. I'd spend 30 mins to an hour in the morning responding to comments, like 'thanks for watching' and 'really appreciate it.'" At the start, he used his iPhone and natural light to film his videos, and still today he uses his phone to film vlogs, and for his sit-down videos, he upgraded to a used Cannon 70D which he purchased on eBay. For editing software, he uses iMovie, a free app that comes downloaded on Apple computers. His tips: build community by replying to comments and focus on having a catchy title and an intriguing thumbnail image. "Any time someone has a notification turned on they just see the title," he said. "If enough people click on it from that notification, YouTube is going to be placing it temporarily on the homepage for people who have maybe watched me once or twice in the past. So the thumbnail has to be eye catching." Sign up for Business Insider's influencer newsletter, Influencer Dashboard, to get more stories like this in your inbox. For more on the business of influencers, according to YouTube stars, check out these Business Insider Prime posts: How much money do YouTubers make a month? A minimalist influencer with 77,000 subscribers shares exactly what she earns and spends: The minimalist influencer Kyra Ann, who has 77,000 subscribers, shared how much money YouTube paid her in February. 10 YouTube stars explain which of their videos earned the most money and why: We spoke to 10 creators with vastly different channels, and they shared the most amount of money YouTube paid them for a single video. How much YouTube pays for 1,000 views: 11 top creators reveal their average CPM: Influencers who are a part of YouTube's Partner Program can earn money on their channels by placing ads within videos. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal
In 2019, Disney made up almost 40% of the US box office, with "Avengers: Endgame" becoming...In 2019, Disney made up almost 40% of the US box office, with "Avengers: Endgame" becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time, according to the Associated Press. Some channels on YouTube have uploaded hundreds of videos since the last Marvel Cinematic Universe movie was released, theorizing about what comes next. The channels make up the "Marvel Theory-Industrial Complex," an ecosystem of video content creators fueled by second-hand information and Easter Eggs. The videos create hype and anticipation, and turn the films into full-blown events. Read more stories like this on Insider. It's hard to pinpoint the moment the algorithm picked you. Maybe it was after a casual viewing of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," when you decided to search how many post-credit scenes you had to sit through. A YouTube video says there are five. Who is Howard the Duck? You don't know, but he makes a cameo, so you watch another video explaining his significance. This will be the last Marvel movie for two months, but each video helps extend the dopamine rush that comes with watching Iron Man and the guy from Parks and Rec work out their issues through CGI explosions. Instead of mukbangs and ASMR, you start getting videos titled "The Ending Of Spider-Man: Homecoming Explained" and "BLACK WIDOW Trailer Breakdown" in your recommended section. After only a few videos, YouTube's algorithm has siphoned you into the Marvel Theory-Industrial Complex, an ecosystem of video content creators, fueled mostly by "details you might have missed" and second-hand information surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. An MCU movie's release is only part of the spectacle, with speculation coming before and explanation after. Everything from the set, cast, and plot is up for deliberation. Trailers are dissected. Actors get interviewed. Leaked scripts are faked. In July, Marvel Studios announced their "Phase Four" timeline for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, laying out ten different movies and shows from now until 2021. The details in the timeline are limited, giving only titles, release dates, and logos for each film. The Phase Four timeline, like the three before it, lays the groundwork for all of the predictions in the Marvel Theory-Industrial Complex: what characters will appear, which comic book will be used as inspiration, and the overarching plot of the phase itself. Any theory video has to work with this timeline. To make it into a video, a theory doesn't have to be right, it just has to make enough sense to be plausible. One video, covering Avengers: Endgame just two months before release, listed 20 different predictions. The description says that Screen Rant "gathered together some of the top Avengers: Endgame theories and check this out: a majority of them could be true!" Only 6 turned out to be correct. Easter egg videos give viewers the payoff without the work In 2019, Disney made up almost 40% of the US box office, with Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time. The theory videos within the Marvel Theory-Industrial Complex are essentially free advertising for Disney, as channels often upload multiple videos a day with view counts in the hundreds of thousands or more. New Rockstars, a single channel with over 2 million subscribers, has published almost 100 videos about the MCU since the last movie was released. Some of them are as short as five minutes, like one discussing deleted scenes from "Spider-Man: Far From Home." Others cover a range of topics and can be almost an hour-long, about half the time of a Marvel movie itself. The second cycle of a comic book movie, explanation, begins after the movie hits theaters. Channels will rush to get their video out as soon as possible, while simultaneously attempting to catch every detail. Marvel purposefully adds "Easter Eggs" for fans to discover upon subsequent rewatches. Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, said that some Easter Eggs "tie back to ten movies ago," and can only be noticed "if you've been tracking them very closely." Watching an Easter Egg explanation video acts as a shortcut to that process, making the movie feel rewarding without having to find all the hidden moments by yourself. A video from ScreenCrush with almost 12 million views, released the same day as Avengers: Endgame, showcased 209 individual Easter Eggs. The Marvel Theory-Industrial Complex will frequently overcompensate during this process, "finding" Easter Eggs in places where there are none. For years, there have been rumors surrounding Nova, a fan favorite from the comics who has yet to appear on screen. The rumors consistently say that he will make his appearance in the next movie, from "Guardians of the Galaxy," to "Captain Marvel," to "Endgame," yet he never does. After "Endgame's" release, the directors joked that you could see Nova if you looked closely at the background of the final battle scene. Hundreds of videos were made about his secret cameo, with many claiming to find him. When the directors later clarified that no such cameo existed, more videos were made to explain why. YouTube videos hyping and dissecting Marvel movies turn them into events The constant obsession over the minutiae of the franchise echoes recent criticisms from Martin Scorsese, who called Marvel movies "worldwide audiovisual entertainment" to be seen as events, rather than cinema. In addition to the regular prediction and explanation videos about the MCU, channels started posting videos explaining Scorsese's criticism itself. Most of them, for obvious reasons, thought he was wrong. But within the Marvel Theory-Industrial Complex, viewing a movie as an event is a plus. The wait time until the next movie is usually the first thing a video will discuss, counting down the days until everyone finally gets to know what happens. If a Marvel movie is a ride at a theme park, as Scorsese has compared them, the theory videos are chatter from other people standing in line. You talk about what you have heard, get excited for how great the ride will be, and all finally get on together. The difference is, the Marvel line takes months to get through, and once you reach the end, you start standing in a new one. That feeling is part of the reason critics thought that "superhero-movie fatigue" was on the horizon for years, but the pendulum has failed to swing in the opposite direction. Instead, the videos keep fans invested even when there is nothing to discuss, and some fans are prepared to wait in lines for the rest of their lives. A video titled "Every Marvel Studios MCU Film in Development From 2020 to 2028" shows the host sitting in a gaming chair, with the screens for both his PC and PlayStation glowing behind him. The channel has almost half a million subscribers and talks exclusively about comic book movies. "Let's go over everything we know is coming, what I think is going to happen, and how much bigger the MCU is going to get in the next decade." This is the logical endpoint of the Marvel theory phenomenon, stretching the prediction timeline so far into the future, the year itself seems like science fiction. To put these predictions into perspective, a baby born tomorrow would be in the 2nd grade in 2028, just in time to see the Silver Surfer reboot the video envisions. After two more presidential terms, fans expect to see the Marvel machine still running as it always has.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How to find water when you're stuck in the desert