Why I Will Never Trust YouTube Again. Plus, essential tips from a video producer about creating cannabis video.

I’ll fully admit that this video opens with a rant about YouTube. But it’s a good cautionary tale if you are planning on posting cannabis video. Afterward, I share with you my tips for creating cannabis video that will save you time and money.

Scojo: Hey, everybody. Scojo the Herb Advisor here. Boy, this is not your typical Cannabis Unknown. No, it’s not. But YouTube did something to me this week that just kind of inspired me to want me to get in front of the camera and tell you a little bit about, first, what they did, because it’s a cautionary tale for you. But then, two, I’ll tell you about the upsides to cannabis video, and then three, I’ll tell you the downsides to cannabis video.


Why should you trust me? Well, many of you don’t realize this, but I am a professional video producer. I was actually a TV weatherman for seven years. I then went to Xbox and wrote and produced my own weekly show, and now I’m an independent video contractor. So this is my bailiwick, as they say. Somewhere. I don’t know, where do they use the word bailiwick?


YouTube, just this last week, sent me something on a … I believe it was a Tuesday, that said, “Hey, one of your videos has been age restricted,” which I couldn’t figure out, but I didn’t feel like fighting it, because it’s cannabis video. Who cares? Then the next day, I got two emails sent, basically at the same time, one of them saying, “One of your videos has been completely removed from YouTube because of violent or dangerous content.” Check out the video and tell me what you think.


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Scojo: Violent or dangerous? Not seeing it. So then, the next time I got a email saying, “This one has been completely removed,” this video you’re going to see here …


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Scojo: Violent or dangerous is what they called that. I could appeal, which I did, but I can’t get a human on the phone. You literally can’t get a human from YouTube on the phone. So I sent in an appeal five days ago. Guess what? I have video all over the world that has been embedded on people’s sites because they, you know, I interviewed them or did whatever, and now all of those people have big gray boxes on their websites, and I have 275 videos, three years’ worth of work, that’s out there in the ether somewhere right now. So it’s a little nerve wracking because I haven’t heard a word from them in five days. So, yeah, watch out for YouTube. You know what I’m going to do? I’m moving over to Vimeo.


Okay, but as we’d established, I am a video producer. Video is really my passion. I do it for a living, and I also do it for fun, so I am a big believer in video. In fact, in 2019, 80% of the content that’s consumed is going to be video. Video’s been hot and it’s only getting hotter, and it’s only getting cheaper too. That’s kind of one of the nice things about it, but video is something, as a business, you pretty much just have to build that in as a must-do type of thing.


Good news is, well, first, let’s look at the budget. Now, if you’re clever and spend a little bit of extra time, you can use an iPhone and make something that’s really quite good. The challenge you’ve got to watch out for is, if it’s not all that good, and the video doesn’t look all that good, you don’t look all that good. But if the video doesn’t look all that great, but you have a great concept, it’ll still come off pretty good. So you can do video essentially for free with a little bit of investment of your own time.


Now, as a video producer, I will tell you, this is an industry where you get what you pay for. It’s very rare that you spend extra money on video and it goes to waste or to the wrong person. The reason we get paid what we do is because we’ve been doing it a long time and we know how to make things look good. Like, for me, I can make a $2,000 video look like a $5,000 video, and that’s worth the investment. If you want to look good, if your brand is high end, you especially need to have high end video.


Now, one of the things I will for sure recommend is called leveraging your content. When you go out to shoot a video, think of it as potentially four, five videos. You could even do one big video with a couple of chapters, and then somebody could have an iPhone behind you and could be a shooting a behind the scenes video. So realistically, if you think about leveraging your content in advance, that’s a big help.


The other word I’ll give you is evergreen. Whenever possible, you want to not mention specific dates in your videos. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but the less that you get specific about dates in your video, the longer that content will be relevant, well into the future. This is damned good stuff, isn’t it? I’m good at this. Mommy says I am.


Now, the downsides to video. Well, obviously, again, cost. I mean, you’re looking at, if you want decent video, you’re going to look at around $1,000 a minute, if not $2,000 and up. It really just depends on what city or market you’re in and just really how lucky you get, because good video’s going to cost you in the thousands of dollars per minute to have it done. Is it going to be worth it? Yes.


The other thing about video you’ve got to watch out for is to correctly vet the people you want to choose. If you’re going to pay them a lot of money, make sure they do a good job and make sure that they have a resume that shows they know what they’re doing, because a kid in the edit bay can take something that was shot really well and … all up in the [heezy 00:06:12].


The good news and the bad news in video, also, is social media. The good news is that you can put your videos on Facebook and that works pretty good because you get the … the thing starts to auto play, so it immediately catches people’s attention as it’s going down their feed. That doesn’t happen on YouTube, so it’s a good place to put your videos. Hard part is, Facebook is iffy with cannabis. You have to be careful because you can’t give them money to advertise. If it’s cannabis video, they will not promote it, but that’s true of all of the social medias right now, other than MassRoots. So keep in mind, trying to market cannabis, if you don’t already know, is extremely hard these days. Video does help, but you have to watch out, because any of the social medias right now could shut you down at any minute.


But, as I said, the good news is all of them … Twitter, I believe, lets you put up a minute. Instagram, I believe, is a minute. Facebook, I don’t even know if there is a limitation, but I haven’t gone over it yet, and you can post in full HD. YouTube, I don’t even want to get into at this point, but Vimeo has good plans, but you’ve got to pay a little extra for them. So video is a tool you can use everywhere and leverage that content. It basically is going to be what will speak for you when you’re not there. Does that make sense? Have the video tell the story you want it to tell.


Give me a call if you have any questions, because I’m a professional video producer. And don’t worry if it’s just a big mess in your head about what to do with video, you can reach out to me. Just email me. I’ll give you some free advice. You could even hire me. I’m … well, I’m not cheap. Anyway, that is the props and pitfalls of cannabis video. There’s a lot more, but you’re going to have to ask me some questions in the comments section, so go on down there.


I’m Scojo the Herb Advisor, with this special edition of Cannabis Unknown, subtitled … YouTube, but we could call it something else, too. Power to the flower.



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