These are the three big YouTube numbers have been hit by Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. And now it’s our job to figure out how to face the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. On short notice, here’s my best tactical advice:
#1 Optimize your videos and playlists for Watch Time:
Industry expert Mark Robertson confirmed that since October 2012, YouTube’s algorithm has prioritized videos that lead to longer overall watch time or viewing sessions, rather than videos that get more views. So, if viewers watch your videos – and suggested videos – beyond the first view, then your videos are more likely to be ranked highly in YouTube’s search results and related videos. So, use YouTube Analytics to see what videos are successful at keeping viewers watching. Pay close attention to the Watch Time report and Audience Retention report. Keep viewers watching each of your videos by using effective editing techniques to maintain and build interest throughout each video. Then, direct viewers to watch more content by adding end screens to each of your videos. Next, build your subscriber base, because subscribers are your most loyal fans and will be notified of new videos and playlists to watch. Finally, build longer watch-time sessions for your content by using playlists and creating a regular release schedule to encourage viewers to watch sets of your videos instead of just single videos.
Optimize your videos and playlists for mobile devices:
How do you do this? Well, if you’re making content for a mobile audience, then you should really consider making vertical content. For most smartphone users, it’s just more natural to hold the device one handed and upright, so the vertical format is more palatable for many. How important is a mobile-first strategy? Well, December 2016 U.S. data from comScore found the Top 50 YouTube channels, on average, extended its desktop audience (reach) by 218% after including consumption on smartphones and tablets. Plus, total viewing time on the Top 50 YouTube channels increased its desktop engagement by 380% when accounting for mobile viewing. Finally, 69 YouTube channels reached a monthly audience of at least 10 million viewers across desktop and mobile combined vs. just 15 YouTube Partners who reached that threshold on desktop alone.
Optimize your video marketing strategy for YouTube:
Yes, other video platforms are getting “views.” But, 5,500 consumers recently told researchers commissioned by Brightcove that 50% of their social video views currently take place on YouTube, 36% on Facebook, and the remaining 14% is split over networks like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Why is that significant? Because 46% of consumers said they’ve made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on social media. And readers of Tubular Insights knew that before we learned that people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s exceptionally diverse video content each and every day. How diverse is it? Well, the State of Online Video, the recent YouTube video report powered by Tubular Labs, found the top content genres were: Superheroes IRL, Late Night TV, Surprise Eggs, Songs & Nursery Rhymes, Parody, Lip Syncing, Challenge Videos, Holiday Related, Lip Related Beauty, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. So, YouTube has come a long way, baby, since the days of yore when many people thought that YouTube was where you went to watch funny cat videos.
If you have better tactical advice – or want to risk counting to four when listing the YouTube video marketing assumptions that have been blown to bits – please share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.