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Sam Utz Vlog Channel Review


Sam Utz Vlog Channel Review

Introduction


Follow Sam!

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Hello and welcome to Youtuber Shoutout! Today I'm doing my first review of a Youtuber. His name is Sam Utz living in North Carolina as a college student learning about recording production. He does Youtube just for fun but recording and videography is a major part of his life clearly. Why he makes this list is because he's willing to put time and money and energy into learning more about video editing, and being a content creator. In essence this is a what a Youtuber really is in function.

Based on the channel name it's clear he is a vlogger, showing behind the scenes of his life. Giving us an experience of what North Carolina is like. Not to mention what college life is like, but also life as a recording production student.

Sam tries to be a daily vlogger, however he does face some challenges in that regard. The videos I'll be reviewing explain some of the circumstances in those videos. His about page also mentions this fact that he does struggle with daily vlogging.

First Impressions

To get a feel for Sam check out his trailer!


As I had a look at Sam and his channel I had a connection immediately. For one his trailer shows off the various adventures that he's had in the past. In fact the trailer had very few words spoken and relied heavily on showing rather than telling.

I had a connection because honestly my life isn't that exciting admittedly. At least not yet. My attempts in the past to do a vlog channel was tough because I didn't have much to really show in my day. They became rather repetitive. Sure vlog channels do run into that at times especially daily vlogging, however mine was very much the same from day to day, week to week, month to month, just different words. But anyway enough about me.

Because Sam was always doing something it enticed me to watch. There was always something different that he was doing. This created an impression to me that even though he was a college student in North Carolina, he had an eventful life enough that it won't be the same thing over and over again.

Not only that but he would also be spending a good portion of his videos actually showing rather than telling.

Before I get to delving further into his channel, I asked Sam to provide me a list of his gear that he is using. This gives you an idea of what he's using and by checking the videos you can determine the quality of these pieces of equipment he's using.

Equipment Used


Canon t6i DSLR 

Rode videomic go

joby gorilla pod

canon 10-18 mm wide angle lens  

DJI Mavic pro

DJI Osmo Mobile 

Samsung Galaxy s7 edge

The Review

Channel Look

Before we delve into the content, first I spent time carefully looking at Sam's profile. Here's a few shots of it.


Main Look



Sections

Playlists



First let's start with the main look. This is the first thing that you'll see when you land on a youtube page. Immediately I gravitated towards the channel trailer. One because it made a booming sound that I did not expect. It didn't scare me but it didn't give me time to actually check out the rest of the channel until the trailer was over. I believe the trailer is done very well but looking over the rest, everything seems to be conflicting.

First is the heading as it doesn't give additional information about the channel. Sure it's a vlog channel but I had to scroll down to where the videos were to actually realize it was a daily vlogging channel. There wasn't any kind of indication of a schedule.

I also feel the images are conflicting in the heading because the channel art is so colourful and bright yet the channel icon, or Sam, is black and white. Those two pop out, but not in the best way.

These two issues might prompt a person to click away and move to something else. Unless the trailer (which is again pretty good) got their immediate attention like it did for me.

Sections

Next we have the sections. Sections are important especially if your channel offers a large variety of different series. Sections allow you to personalize your channel for your audience. Since Sam only does vlogs with a few non-vlog videos sprinkled haphazardly, it makes sense to have a section showing off the most viewed content but also his vlogs.

This gives me an opportunity to look at the thumbnails and I can say that the thumbnails are very much consistent in the text style and format. The only real difference is the images which are consistent with the titles and tie them in nicely. However at times it can be difficult to make out the words.

As far as playlists go, Sam does use them and he uses them appropriately.

Content

In The Studio #2 - Part 1



The first video I watched of Sam's (excluding the trailer) was an adventure of him at a recording studio. Titled "In The Studio #2 - Part 1", and looking at the thumbnail, it was clear he was involved in a band on some level. Being someone new to the channel, I learned more about Sam and with the trailer in mind I was thinking he would be doing a lot of showing off.

The video opened up with the signature booming that the trailer had and also a very catchy tune that played throughout the video.

Sam greeted everyone and explained why he hasn't been recording for a while but he wanted to do something special today. He wanted to show off the recording studio as some of his viewers requested it in the past. He was calm and clearly he was a very approachable individual and has already established a sort of conversation with what viewers he's brought to the channel.

That being said I did notice he spent more time talking than actually showing. In this video it was understandable just because he was gone for a week and wanted to explain things. But at the same time some areas he could've simply shown rather than told us. This was a little more prominent in the second video that I watched which was Part 2 of In The Studio 2.

In The Studio 2 - Part 2



The second video I watched to better understand Sam was this video, "In The Studio 2 - Part 2". It made sense because again I watched Part 1 and wanted to know what Part 2 was.

The first thing I noticed was there was no music and it wasn't until the end of the video when there was music. This bugged me a bit because the trailer and the previous video all had music playing throughout. Even if one song didn't cover the full video, editing could've been done to make it loop or make it sound like it's looping. That or have brief periods where there was no music and put a new track in the video.

What was also prominent is Sam spent a lot more time talking and a lot of things he was talking about he could've showed instead. There was a time where he talked about himself and I'm thankful he did because by the trailer I didn't know much about him except he did a lot of fun stuff with friends. But at the same time those could've been sprinkled about in a channel trailer rather than a vlog video. 

Most people who are new to a channel will get a feel for the person over time by watching their content or by watching the channel trailer. Or a combination of both. For vloggers, generally you use both the trailer and the videos. Vloggers shouldn't be required to explain basic details about who they are in their videos unless it's a channel trailer. That's what the trailer is for but also the About section. The About section was also incredibly brief so I was really in the dark about who Sam is until this video.

All that being said, Sam still connected with me. Being a college and university graduate, I can understand some of the struggles and difficulties he's facing, especially with running a Youtube channel. Even though I didn't run a channel while I was in college or university, I do understand time management and life as a college student can be very demanding and time consuming than most who have a 9-5 job and that's it. I can sympathize with Sam.

That makes a nice transition to Personality.

Personality

All throughout this review I've said that I feel a connection with Sam. Even though there are some things that he could do better, the personality he has I can connect with. 

I am a content creator but I was also a college student once in my life. The fact that he's mellow and articulates his problems and struggles is very similiar to how I talk about my own problems and struggles too. His personality still shines in the comments as well.

This I believe is his greatest quality. The fact he is relatable but also takes the time to sit down and really talk with you.

Marketing (On Youtube)

Sam's channel is a good example of what matters most in getting views. When it comes to Youtube algorithms, what makes a video rank better is views, comments,  and likes/dislikes. That's right dislikes too actually rank a video BETTER in search results.

Tags, descriptions and other technical marketing stuff is actually secondary, but it never hurts to have them in there.

Looking at Sam's tags (how I get to view them is through a tool that I'll talk to you all about soon) it was clear he was getting his results by the fact that people watch his stuff. Here's a screen shot of his tags for In The Studio 2 - Part 2


As a marketer, he's using something called short-tail keywords. Basically keywords with one or two words. Generally using these isn't a wise idea because these are very commonly used. This means it's very competitive to actually get your video even seen when someone is searching for those particular words.

As you can see, Sam hasn't had his videos ranked in any of these keywords. There would be a green box next to the word with a number. This would indicate what number it is on the first page if you search for that word. What also helps with tags is that the keywords should be in the description of the video.

Youtube's robots don't actually watch videos to determine how well a video is performed. Instead they relay on the use of tags but also the description of the video to get an idea of what the video is about. Generally if you want your tags to work you should be putting those keywords in the description three times (rule of 3). They also have to form a proper sentence. So that means if you want to rank in say "vlog" you can't just say "vlog vlog vlog vlog....." in the description and get ranked. There should be some space in between and would look like this: 

"Hey welcome to my vlog Blah blah... In this vlog I'll blah blah blah... Enjoy the vlog!"

Here's what Sam's looks like.


Very short and to the point. Explains the video but it's not good on a marketing stand point.

Mind you you don't need to write lengthy paragraphs. Generally you want to focus on a few keywords so having five or six sentences is more than enough.

But again as I stress, views, comments, and likes/dislikes are overall better. All the marketing stuff will only help you to boost those three things more.

It really goes to show that he has a small, but dedicated fan base. And that can only attract a few more people to his channel at a time.

Marketing (Outside Of Youtube)

After moving away from Youtube, I checked out his posts on both his Instagram and Twitter page. Sam does have a Facebook page however it promotes more of photography than his vlog channel. I've included a link above and below of his Facebook. But I didn't review his Facebook page as it's a little outside of the scope of this review. 

Let's check Instagram first.

Sam's Instagram



I'm relatively new to delving into Instagram but it's important to realize that each social media platform has it's own sort of culture to it.

For Instagram, a lot of emphasis is placed on what you see in the images. In essence you want a sort of theme. What can attract followers is consistent content. But also the display of the persons profile looks good.

Sam clearly has a lot of nice pictures and knows about photography (he is a recording and productions major after all.) However they are very inconsistent. Especially the last two which I only just barely managed to capture. One is about his youtube channel, the other is a picture of a Netflix show.

Also checking out the dates posted of these there are long periods where nothing is posted. The first image was recent, the others were posted one week or even three weeks ago.

On Instagram, consistency isn't a huge deal breaker for people. What matters most is when you do post content it looks good but also meshes well with your profile. Sam's posts are good individually. However combined they're rather random at times. But most have been geared towards photography. The images also match well with the description of himself.

The only other glaring issue is the fact that he has way more people he's following than followers. It's an issue with me because it suggests he followed a large group of people and some of them followed him back. This is a tactic to gain followers but any person can do this.

Next is Twitter

Sam's Twitter



Twitter is something I'm a little more comfortable and familiar with. Firstly, Sam is using the same tactic that we saw on Instagram, his following is higher than his followers. Not only is this a basic tactic but the reason I'm up in arms with this is that if you had more followers than who you are following, it gives other people the impression that what you post is actually quality content that people want to see and share.

Yes it may be an illusion at first but eventually that illusion will be a reality once you get people engaging.

Also much like with Youtube the heading doesn't give an idea of who Sam is and we have to turn to the bio and his tweets for more detail.


The description of who he is tells me about him, but his tweets are a bit of a different story. True he is a vlogger as his pinned tweet is clearly that of a new vlog. But he talks about giving tips and tricks. I haven't seen many tweets about helpful tips and tricks. Also looking at his videos, there's only a few I'd consider are advice oriented. He's posted about news and some thoughts he's had but not really anything of the tips and tricks nature.

The other thing is that, unlike Instagram with posting, on Twitter you need to be consistent with your content. In order to attract more followers you need to be tweeting on the regular. You need to be tweeting good content but also on a regular basis. I suggest once per hour every hour you're awake. Some others suggest four times per hour. And I can tell Sam isn't consistent. But I don't blame the guy, he's a college student and has other pressing things.

With all of this said what are my final scores for him?

Total Score & Grade

Channel Look - 3/5
Content - 4/5
Personality - 5/5
Marketing (On Youtube) - 2/5
Marketing (Outside Youtube) - 1/5
Total -15/25

Grade - C

Reasoning

Overall Sam is a really good guy. I connected very well with Sam through his content and I'm happy to say I will be watching more of his content. That being said, there is a laundry list of things that he needs to work on if he wants this to be a part-time or a full-time job.

One of the major things is branding.  Some of the root problems with Sam's work is there is a lot of inconsistencies. The descriptions he uses over his social media pages are inconsistent. What he posts on social media. And also the headings are all different and don't mesh with his profile picture. I believe if Sam has a brand that some of his issues would be solved when it comes to his growth.

For one his brand can be used to explain what he's about. This means changing the description boxes to match with the content. Having the heading mesh well with the default picture. Even having the headings explain what he's about. 

For the images I would suggest using Canva. It's a free tool that provides templates for social media whether it's for a profile or an actual post.
They also have an assortment of free images and icons that are royalty free so you won't be flagged for copyright if you choose to use them. You can even upload your own images on there.

Next is the description and that's a simple fix and should match with the content. It should also coincide with the heading. For example photography is a big thing for Sam so mentioning he's a photographer on twitter and tweeting about photography would be acceptable as long as he mentions in the heading he is a photographer too.

The next thing is consistency. This is tough as a college student for reasons I said above, but I believe it can be manageable through the creation of some other series. Whether it's small little snippets of his life (which can be posted on Instagram as well) scattered throughout the week or a handful of days it's something. Even showing off some of his photographs he took. Having a sort of video reel of images. Again vlogs don't need to be lengthy ten or thirty minute videos every time. A few minutes of footage is enough. 

Consistency also needs to be in his posts on social media which can be automated. I personally use Buffer, which allows you to schedule up to ten posts per day on two social media accounts for free. Not only that but you can also reuse the same post so if you are advertising your channel videos you can reuse the same post the next day.

The last thing is a few tidying up items. 

First is to start unfollowing people who don't follow back. I use a tool called Crowdfire which is free but gives you limited access each day too. Still it does what is needed. This will help with Twitter. On Instagram I tend to do that manually but not as frequently though. The idea is again to have more followers than you are following so don't be afraid to unfollow a few people you are following who have followed you back.

The second thing is improve the trailer. Sam's channel trailer is great, however it can be built upon a bit more. Explaining a bit about his life in that trailer could help, but what also could be good too is filling the About page with more detail. Even though some people may not check it, it's still good on a marketing standpoint to fill it out.

The other thing with the videos is again focus on showing rather than telling. Sam's personality is relatable and he can connect very well with the audience. However there are times where it's better to show rather than tell. Showing actually takes less time than telling and can be used in far more creative ways as well.

There are many good things about Sam, but I believe that having a brand and cleaning up a few things can lead to more growth for him and his channel.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it! Let me know what you think about the review and also what you think about Sam! Again I strongly encourage you to check Sam out! Here's his links!

Sam's Facebook

Until next time!

Eric S Burdon

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