In order to build a successful channel on YouTube, creators need to consider a lot of statistical data that they get as they grow. The well-known stats that everyone tracks are the number of subscribers, likes and video views. One metric that is lesser known, but still extremely important to YouTube, is customer loyalty. This article will walk you through what audience retention is and why you should look out for it as a YouTube blogger.
So what is it anyway?
As we know, in addition to SEO, viewing data and keywords, audience and behavior is a major indicator that affects the video ranking mechanism. And retention is actually the ability of the content to hold the spotlight on a viewer until the end of the movie. So what we understand here is that audience retention indicates users’ interest in your content. Ranking systems increase the authenticity of your channels, which increases your rates and expands your target group.
Technically, this is how the retention rate is achieved. If the uploaded video is 20 minutes long and the user has followed it for 10 minutes, the percentage is 50%. If he watches the film for 15 minutes, the retention rate increases to 75%. The higher the proportion, the better your overall rendering would be.
You can easily find your retention information in YouTube Analytics. In the same section, you can also see which part of the video is often bypassed. Knowing all of this can help you improve your content and change the structure or length of your videos.
Why is this metric so important?
And here comes the revelation – sometimes the number of views doesn’t matter at all. As a provider of high retention YouTube views, you’ll get the highest quality content that is rated higher by both YouTube algorithms and users. However, this metric is vital for the platform’s algorithms to work in your favor. The lower your retention rate, the less your content will show up in search queries. That way, you lose the chance of getting your videos out to a larger audience. Simply put, the algorithm thinks your content is boring and not useful. And the consequences are immediate – you lose viewer numbers, engagement, time and other important metrics that determine the wealth of your content for YouTube mechanisms.
What can lead to a decrease in audience loyalty?
The main reason viewers can lose interest in watching your video is because of the wrong structure. Unfortunately, you won’t save yourself any well-designed SEO-approved titles and descriptions, as well as impressive thumbnails of high-quality film equipment. A detailed analysis of your previous performance can help you find your mistakes and fix them. Typically, audience retention can be influenced by:
- Long intros
- Lots of promotional items or they are too long
- Boring presentation of content
- Assembly and processing errors
- Unimportant statements, information garbage
In fact, there is one way to get rid of most of these factors – by rethinking your performance and improving your skills as a creator. In the above paragraph it was mentioned that all of this data will be presented in your analysis to make the improvement process easier.
How can customer loyalty be increased?
There are a few ways to improve your outcome. Most of these involve revising your video production process. Depending on the knowledge you gain from your analysis and best practices, you can adapt to the interests of your public. And here we’ve also rounded up some more universal tips to help you improve your performance on YouTube.
# 1 Educate yourself
It is impossible to keep your channel at its best if you don’t invest in your knowledge. Self development helps you stay on top of the wave. And for beginners, taking or passing online courses on technical things like editing is vital to fuel their growth on the platform. In fact, these days there are also special classes for bloggers that give you information on how to avoid typical mistakes, create scripts and make your content attractive to users.
Being technically well trained and fluent in your industry shows your professionalism, and people like to see someone who is sure of their content.
# 2 Compare your videos
The data offered by YouTube can help you reevaluate your content in comparison. Look at your rates and graphs to find out which activities are causing lower audience engagement. Find the general points that users are losing interest in and what they are skipping over in different videos – this is the field for your further work. Constantly comparing your videos will also help you develop your strategy and organize your content into categories and units within the video.
# 3 Find the perfect video length
YouTube users are a tough crowd. With the development of mobile technologies, people often consume information on the go. This is why you should learn to cut all of your content into shorter lengths. Quality in this paragraph does not mean the 4K resolution, but the way in which the information is presented in the shortest but interesting and unusual way, also strategically presenting the most important points.
Another vector of your development can be longer videos – about an hour or so. However, remember that the overall length of your videos will depend on the specifics of the industry and your personal style. For example, Casey Neistat, one of the most popular bloggers in the American YouTube segment, films his vlogs for an average of 10 minutes. Kara and Nate, travel bloggers, keep their videos an average of 15 minutes.
# 4 Drop the hooks to get your viewers interested
To encourage your viewers to watch your videos until the end, trigger their curiosity. Put a few hooks in to keep interest in your content high. And along with compelling titles and general thumbnail rules everyone knows, there’s a relatively new feature here that can help you increase not only your audience retention rates, but also your results in general. We’re talking about animated YouTube thumbnails! This feature is available for both mobile and desktop versions of YouTube. When a user navigates with the cursor on the thumbnail of the video (on PC) or scrolls through the feed (mobile), the small image starts the short animation like a GIF. Technically, you can create such thumbnails with the help of paid software such as Adobe Animate or Photoshop. There are also free options, but they don’t deliver the same high quality result.
In terms of audience retention, animated thumbnails are the perfect preview that will give users a glimpse into the content of this video. When you add the right highlights to your materials, users will want to see those moments in a full-length movie.
Audience engagement is a really important metric as it is not only a key indicator of your performance on YouTube, but also a good indicator of improving your content and drawing a bigger crowd into your audience’s army. So it pays to pay a lot of attention to this matter and make an effort to acquire good editing skills and do industry research to figure out what is best for your viewers.