The more people watch your videos, the more likely YouTube is to show them in their search or recommendation features.
YouTube explains further: “Now when we recommend videos, we focus on videos that increase the amount of time viewers will spend watching videos on YouTube, not only on subsequent views, but also on views consecutively afterwards. ”
That’s a lot of pressure – you not only have to get viewers to watch your videos, but you also have to attract the kind of viewers that will keep watching after they’re done with your channel.
Here are some ideas to increase watch time on your channel and ultimately get more exposure frequent in search results and suggestions.
Table of Contents
1. Start with a great intro
The first step is to engage your audience. Grab their attention in a flash – that’s what Google itself preaches. First 15 seconds is your saving grace to make it happen.
Google YouTube playbooks for brands and agencies offer this advice:
- Create a compelling first frame – visually, through character or with messages.
- Speak directly to the audience, not the entire audience.
- Ask a question or do something to pique their curiosity.
- Preview what they can expect in a short clip.
In the beginning, by using the meat of your video, your audience is more likely to be glued to your content and keep watching.
Here is an example from the YouTube channel Haylsa & Kyle About travel to Tasmania:
True to your promise
For visitors who stumble across your video only seeing the title and thumbnail, make sure to provide at least some of what they expect from the start.
This video is from Crouton Crackerjacks is a good example of how to engage your audience in the first 15 seconds to keep watching the step-by-step guide.
TIP: Don’t start a video with a fancy logo hoping to make it look cool. Straight to the problem.
2. Split video into chapters
Like chapters in books, YouTube chapters make it easier for viewers to understand what’s coming next.
Think about how to break up your video into segments. Each chapter should have a compelling introductory moment followed by a compelling story. Outlines can be helpful in this process.
In this example, Ecom King published a video about a Shopify drop shipping course that spanned over 5.5 hours. Chapter titles are essential so that viewers can choose where they watch or view the sections they are most interested in.
Ecom King posted chapter descriptions next to the time view. The main timeline is also announced in the video’s description:
TIP: Adding chapters based on timestamps requires you to take an extra step. This is instructions from Google on how to do it.
3. Includes sample break
Whether your viewers pay attention or leave in a rush, there is only one thing to focus on – engagement . Interrupt patterns make that more likely.
When similar Picture and the narrative repeats, people get bored and bounce rates go up. But the disruption of the pattern can hold the viewer’s attention during a long game.
Helen Roe, HuffPost contributor explains, “Pattern interrupting is a technique for changing a particular thought, behavior, or situation. Behavior psychology and neurolinguistic programming use this technique to interrupt and change thought and behavior patterns. ”
Pattern interrupts are a technique to change a particular thought, behavior or situation, says @helen_roe. They can capture the viewer’s attention during a long match via @anjan 69230440 via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet
Pattern interruptions can be frequent camera angle changes, B-rolls, or on-screen graphics. This example from Neil Patel illustrates how he combined the graphics so that it’s not just him speaking in front of the camera:
4. Do Keyword Research
You can’t get rid of the value of a keyword just because of it video. As you develop content ideas, make sure to do simple keyword research specifically for YouTube the second largest search engine in the world.
Check out a tool like Keyword Tool (change the default option to YouTube search) and enter a niche related topic to understand its search interest (i.e. keyword volume).
You can also stay on YouTube and use its autocomplete suggestions for inspiration:
Or you can do competitive analysis . Research your top five to seven competitors and see what they’re doing on YouTube, from their tags and keywords to the content they offer. Read comment under their video.
Don’t copy what they’re doing; Use the information to get to know your target audience on a deeper level. You also use this research to find content gaps waiting to be filled with your videos.
Storytelling work for viewers who want to entertain and those who want to learn. Discover how to deliver your story in a unique and interesting way that viewers will appreciate (i.e. stay tuned).
Famous Youtuber Nas Daily both educational and entertaining in almost every video he posts, like this one about green tourism:
TIP: No matter how long the video is, think of it as a story both in narration and in front of the camera presentation.
Partner with like-minded people who share your brand’s vision and purpose to tell their stories. Via work together you can engage viewers who often watch your partner’s video channel, expanding your audience and increasing your watch time.
Youtuber Dhar Mann worked with Nas to tell his story, The Shocking Story of Nas Quitting his Job Daily 6 pictures!, on Dhar’s channel. To date, the video has garnered more than 12 million views:
TIP: Treat these partnerships as collaborations, not influencer marketing. Then it’s all about getting new eyeballs on a product or service. Guest collaboration is more likely to create a sense of shared value or a sense of authenticity.
7. Make longer videos
A shorter video needs more viewers to get the same total watch time as a longer video but with fewer viewers. If you publish longer videos, you can make them more targeted to your niche audience and still get the watch time that YouTube’s algorithm prefers.
When I search for “social media strategy”, longer videos always seem to perform better than shorter videos:
TIP: Think about how to expand on some of the existing short videos that are underperforming. After you publish longer videos, make those short videos private or delete them altogether.
number 8. Grow a chain
A series of videos also has the potential to increase watch time. By connecting relevant videos, you’re more likely to get viewers to keep watching.
Cooking John Kirkwood offers a variety of playlists or series on his channel, including a playlist of pies and cakes:
TIP: Choose the video with the most views as the basis of your series or playlist. Then come up with a bunch of ideas to add to the series.
9.Using YouTube analytics
Check out YouTube analytics that gives you a great insight into both the micro and macro views of your videos and channels. You can see viewership by date, time, etc. You can also see data about the videos themselves. Of particular concern should be drop-off times. You can then go back and look at the stuff around those timestamps to gauge what might not be working. You can get that information to modify those videos and improve future videos.
Increase viewer watch time
Increasing your watch time is a surefire way to be more engaging with YouTube’s algorithm. As a result, your videos are more likely to appear in suggestions and search results.
It might take a while to get everything rolling, but you’ll start to see a nice spike when working one at a time.
All tools mentioned in the article come from the author. If you have a recommended tool, feel free to add it in the comments.
C via image by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute