Dennis Yu's 3x3 Video Grid

I met Dennis Yu a while back when he swung by our office and showed us everything we were doing wrong with PPC. Five years later, he’s the #1 requested speaker at our annual sales summit and he’s still blowing minds with his brilliant tactics.

To say I’ve spent a while studying Dennis’ ways is an understatement.

As great as the guy is, his guides can be…well…difficult to follow. Here’s my attempt at distilling down his 3×3 video grid strategy and showing you how to execute it.

What is the 3×3 Video Grid?

Dennis says successful marketing requires sequencing people through a WHY, HOW, and WHAT journey. Without this journey, you have random and irrelevant marketing.

The idea behind the 3×3 grid is to film 3 videos for each of those WHY, HOW, and WHAT stages and then sequence people through each stage of the journey with remarketing.

Visually, it looks like this:

It’s called the 3×3 grid because you have three pieces of content in each phase of your WHY, HOW, and WHAT journey.

By sequencing your message, you can guide prospects through the traditional sales funnel—from awareness to engagement to conversion—more easily than if you engage in random acts of marketing.

Step 1: Record your 3×3 Grid

Record the nine videos required for the 3×3 grid.

These videos don’t need to be Hollywood-quality. If there’s no videographer on staff, pull out your phone and get it done.

Here’s what you should cover in the videos…

WHY videos are where you start.

The purpose of WHY videos is to get attention, establish authority, and have a meaningful first touch with potential customers. Here you tell stories from the founder, users, and other authoritative figures. No matter the business, there will always be a story about how it came to be, and by relating to this story, consumers develop an emotional connection.

Example: Health and Wellness

→ Video 1: Talk about a past injury or chronic pain that drove you to open an injury rehabilitation center and help others with their discomfort.

→ Video 2: Refer back to college sports where you pushed your teammates to focus on proper weightlifting, which lead to a career in physical therapy.

→Video 3: Share a story about the first time you received physical therapy and how that drove you to start your own business.

HOW videos come next.

HOW videos teach others what you know—especially what you’d do to solve a problem if your product or service didn’t exist. Teach via simple 3-step recipes of how to get something done without talking about your product. Talk about wider industry issues or interview experts.

Example: Health and Wellness

→ Video 4: Tips on proper stretching techniques for shoulder pain.

→ Video 5: Explain how to deal with mental health issues that stem from a major injury or dealing with the stress of not being able to work due to injury.

→ Video 6: Share tips and tricks for people who sit in an office chair to avoid a tight neck and upper back.

Finally, there are the WHAT videos.

WHAT videos are your “salesy” videos. They’re based on your products, pricing, features, special dates, testimonials, and other traditional marketing.

Example: Health and Wellness

→ Video 7: Promote your one-on-one therapy services

→ Video 8: Promote mental health awareness month (May) specials and talk about the relationship between fitness and stress relief.

→ Video 9: Promote your group fitness sessions.

Most businesses only create videos surrounding their WHAT, but by talking exclusively about your products and services, you are immediately in “selling” mode, which people don’t want. That’s why you need the WHY and HOW.

Ultimately, you’ll have built something that looks like this:

Step 2: Set up your campaign

In Facebook, create a new campaign.

You’ll use different ad sets to differentiate the WHY, HOW, and WHAT videos.

The idea is to retarget “down and across”. People should only see videos from their current stage of the funnel and videos from the next stage of the funnel in order to nudge them closer to closing.

As soon as someone watches 75% of a WHY video, they’ll start being served HOW videos in addition to other WHY videos, like this…

Then, when someone watches 15+ seconds of a HOW video (which Facebook counts as a ThruPlay), you’ll stop serving them WHY videos and continue to serve them HOW videos along with WHAT videos. Like this…

And finally, when a person views 15+ seconds of a WHAT video, they’ll stop being served HOW videos and only see WHAT videos. In the end, you have something like this:

The arrows make it look complicated, but the setup is simple.

Group 1 (WHY) is shown to a standard audience
Group 2 (HOW) is shown when a Group 1 video has been watched 15+ seconds
Group 3 (WHAT) is shown when a Group 2 video has been watched 15+ seconds

You can accomplish this by creating a campaign with the objective of video views.

Next, create a Custom Audience. Use Engagement > Video.

Under Engagement, select People who have watched 15+ seconds (i.e., ThruPlay).

Select your campaign / video source by picking the Campaign you created.

Now, select the videos. Make sure that all videos are in the same published campaign or that they were previously posted to your Page.

Lastly, you have to set up exclusions so that the sequencing from one stage of the funnel goes seamlessly to the next stage of the funnel.

Ad Set 1 (WHY Videos) – In this example, I’m using a standard lookalike audience with the exclusion set to ad set 3 viewers. In other words, this ad set will only show to ad set 1 viewers and potentially ad set 2 viewers, but never ad set 3 viewers.

Ad Set 2 (HOW Videos) – Ad set 2 will be shown when an ad set 1 video has been shown. It will continue to show until somebody watches a WHAT video in the final ad set.

Ad Set 3 (WHAT Videos) – Ad set 3 will be shown when an ad set 2 video has been shown. It will continue to show in perpetuity.

Ad Set 4 (WHAT Videos) – Since this is the bottom of the funnel, I don’t shut things off at this point. I continue to show WHAT videos until they convert.

If any of the targeting is confusing, here’s a summary:

  • Ad set 1 => Ads: WHY videos. Audience: Group 1 (Lookalike), Exclude: Group 3.
  • Ad set 2 => Ads: HOW videos. Audience: Group 2 (Viewed Group 1), Exclude: Group 4.
  • Ad set 3 => Ads: WHAT videos. Audience: Group 3 (Viewed Group 2), Exclude: None.
  • Ad set 4 => Ads: WHAT videos. Audience: Group 4 (Viewed Group 3), Exclude: None.

Just like that, you’ve set up your first 3×3 video grid using Dennis Yu’s WHY > HOW > WHAT sequencing strategy.

Step 3: Optimize video performance

After a while, you’ll want to know if your videos are doing well or not.

Compare your campaign stats to these benchmarks:

If you’re not getting close to $.02 per video view, $3 per lead, or $10 per conversion, your videos aren’t doing as well as they should be. Record new ones and try again.

Eventually, you’ll kill 90% of the videos you film, but that’s the way that testing works. Keep trying new videos and your results will get better and better.

The good news? Once you find videos that resonate with your audience, you’re golden.

By using the 3×3 strategy, you’ll have built an evergreen marketing funnel that will work for you timelessly and tirelessly—no need to keep producing expiring content.

3×3 Grid Tips

  • Keep the videos short, ideally around 30-60 seconds.
  • Each video should be unique. By creating 3 unrelated WHY videos, 3 unrelated HOW videos, and 3 unrelated WHAT videos, you can test which perform best.
  • The videos don’t have to be Hollywood quality. No need for expensive lighting, graphics, or a set. Your phone will do fine.
  • Here are some more examples of grid videos: WHY example, HOW example, WHAT example.
  • Download Vendasta’s 3×3 video grid templates if you’re stuck.

Devon Hennig

Devon Hennig is a writer, marketer, and ex-game-show host. He quit his job as a software executive to make a go of it on his own. Follow along as he tries not to go broke.

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