In our attention economy, all social platforms have the same goal – to get more viewers to use their service for the maximum amount of time. What does that mean for YouTube creators today?
First and foremost, this means that the top metric for the YouTube algorithm is now, watch time, not subscribers. Since YouTube has been around for a bit now, many channels have subscriber demographics that don’t properly represent the video viewing audience. Perhaps the creator started in 2008 and 50% of their subscribers no longer even watch the channel. This can be due to aging out of the service or the content category as a whole. Essentially, this concept describes the churn rate of the subscriber base.
Because the algorithm now takes the churn rate into account, subscriber numbers signal creator credibility to the audience though they don’t ensure a successful video. The two key ingredients to a successful video in 2021 are high click-through rate and high watch time. These metrics tell the algorithm that the video is being appreciated by their audience and should be shown to more people.
1. How to Achieve a High Click-Through Rate
Making a visually appealing thumbnail and catchy title with keywords are two ways to get clicks. Remember that 70% of people view YouTube content on their phones so the thumbnail should be mobile friendly with bold text and expressive faces.
Since we know that the algorithm responds to videos that have a high number of clicks in the first 24 hours of publishing, try to publish at a specific time and day in your posting schedule so viewers can standby.
2. How to Achieve High Watch Time
Watch time is a reflection of how long people have stayed on your video before clicking out of YouTube or clicking onto another piece of content. Ideally, most people will watch the whole way through but realistically, good watch time is considered 40% of the video. The best way to achieve this is by keeping viewers engaged throughout the video and by managing their expectations at the outset so they have an incentive to watch to the end.
Check out the VideoAmigo watch time tool to learn how to improve your channel’s watch time.
While these two simple tricks are exactly what the algorithm looks for, they take practice to master. For more tips and tricks follow the VideoAmigo blog and learn about our free resources for creators and brands on YouTube.