Youtube Marketing: The Complete Guide To Increase Audience Retention

Audience retention is one of your most important stats on YouTube. It is even more important than your view count. Your view count really only tells you how many people are finding and clicking on your videos, not whether they are actually watching them. Audience retention refers to how much of a video a viewer watches before clicking away, which is very useful information to have. If you know when people are leaving your videos then you know what you need to work on.


1. Create a YouTube channel for business

Before you do anything, open a Brand Account on Google.

When you create your YouTube channel using a regular Google account, only one person—the Google Account holder—can log into that channel. By creating your YouTube channel using a Brand Account, multiple authorized Google Accounts can log in simultaneously.

YouTube channels have a lot of moving parts, so you’ll want at least one or two other people helping run the show.

2. Do correct keyword research

Identify the keywords that your target audience is searching for. You can do this by using the autosuggest feature of YouTube and getting a list of suggestions. Try to avoid very competitive keyword phrases because they’ll be harder to rank for. Instead, look for low competition keyword phrases.

3. Create an interesting thumbnail image

An interesting way of thinking about the thumbnail of a video is to see it as being the ‘title on steroids.’ You need to make it SCREAM exactly what your video is about and be visual. Ideally, you want to show that the production levels are quite high in the thumbnail. The title needs to be there with loud and bold text.If you do that – and the actual video delivers the same experience – your audience retention will increase.

4. Study the analytics

Keep a close watch on the Audience Retention report for all of your videos. (Creator Studio->Audience Retention->Select Video button below the graph->Select any video).

By analyzing the Audience Retention graph, you can find out at what point of time the audience is dropping off from the video. For instance, in the image below you can see that majority of the audience is dropping off at the beginning of the video (between 0 and 45 seconds) and at around 3 minute 44 seconds.

5. Promote your playlists

If you organize your content into a series of videos, this will make it so much easier for viewers to watch a set, rather than just a single video. Obviously, you’ll make to curate content that fits naturally together (i.e. How-to videos, videos about one particular product or service, etc) and once you have done that you can you can guide the viewer to that Playlist.

6. Research your competition

Competitive analysis is essential if you want to pull ahead of other businesses in your niche on YouTube. Fortunately, a lot of the information you need to identify potential opportunities is readily available on their channels.

Browse your competitors’ YouTube channels and take note of which videos got the most and least views. Watch these videos get a sense of what kinds of content your audience likes to watch (and what they don’t) and use that to inform your own content strategy.

7. Spruce up your channel design

Most visitors first impression of you is from your channel and your design. This is where visitors interact and get to know what you are about.  Create a engaging header and show off your brand.  On my channel, we were intentional about our design making it fit into our overall branding strategy. The key takeaway is to design with purpose.

Some more tips:

Besides these main pointers, there are a few other ideas that can help increase the watch time.

Keep the audience informed: Sometimes, requesting your viewers to stick around for some more time actually works! If you’re planning to cover multiple topics in a single video, let the viewers know what what to expect. If you’re planning something exciting for the end of the video, let the viewers know or at least give them a hint.

Keep the beginnings short and sweet: A video that starts with a lot of explanation/introduction is a strict no-no. The attention spans of the users these days is short and they can get bored easily. Long winded introductions or irrelevant content should to be trimmed.

Be creative: Introduce an ending ritual which keeps changing with every video just to add a dash of fun element in all your videos. Loyal subscribers will start waiting for these fun endings.



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