I’m trying different methods to increase the retention percentage of my videos. Prior to that last few, the average was around 35%. This means only one-third of my videos were being watched. So, what can I do to increase that watch time?
Well, aside from being more interesting, anyway. It doesn’t matter what topic you cover, if you have the personality of a slug on valium, no one’s going to watch you.
That, and picking better and more sought-after topics is key. Sure, you might think it’s a great video. But, does everyone else?
Utilizing Jump Cuts Better
First of all, I have a LOT of jump cuts in my YouTube videos. This is because I am a far better writer than speaker. I mess up a lot while recording.
In fact, on average, I usually trim down 50% of all recorded footage for the video. So, if I record a 20-minute session, I’ll wind up with about 10 minutes of useable content.
At any rate, I’ve decided to start using those jump cuts to zoom in and move the frames. I’ve seen a lot of YouTubers do this as it breaks up the video and keeps the eyes focused on what’s going on.
I think I went a bit hog wild with it in my first attempt. However, I do believe I’ve come across a good flow for moving the jump cuts around.
Adding Image Overlays
Something else I’ve began to add more of is image overlays. This is when you show an image or graphic overlapping what you’re saying. The image is supposed to add greater context to the video text.
And now that I know how to use keyframes in Adobe Premier, this has been a lot more interesting and fun.
In many instances, I still have to use free stock images. But, I’ve been able to incorporate some of my own to drive a point. And, in the case of list videos, I’ve been using a lot of images created in Canva to separate the points.
Using B-Roll More Often
The B-roll is video content that overlays the original while retaining the audio of the main content. It functions much like images above in the sense that it gives the viewer addition elements to watch.
Instead of me sitting at my desk the entire time, I can show a variety of pre-recorded elements to accentuate what I’m talking about.
Unfortunately, I can’t find video for a lot of the points I make on the channel. Perhaps I’m not using my imagination enough. But some of the B-roll I’ve created still makes me giggle to this day.
Adding Background Music
Over the past few months, I’ve been adding background music to the videos to help with view duration. I started with the free YouTube audio library. However, I’ve since upgraded to using Epidemic Sound at $15 per month.
Originally, I started with Epidemic because I wanted better sound effects for the Despair videos…my book readings of a story I’m writing.
However, Epidemic has a lot of really nice soundtracks that I’ve been using more of lately.
What Has Been the Impact Thus Far?
So, I’ve only done the above a handful of times on the channel. I can’t really say that images, zooms, and B-roll is a definitive improvement yet.
But, let’s take a look at the current numbers anyway.
The top 10 videos on my channel in terms of views for the last 28 days have an average view duration of 29.27%. These are all videos with no background music, images, or B-roll.
The last four videos, where I’ve added all of the elements above, have an end result of 60.03% average view duration!
So far, the extra effort has resulted in keeping viewers watching nearly twice as long. But, these videos also have far fewer views than the top 10.
This means it could just be my avid fans who watch the majority of the video. After all, I’ve seen far fewer views from the Suggested source of YouTube.
This means YouTube isn’t suggesting my videos to people who are not subscribed. Unfortunately, this is another problem I’ll have to see if I can address.
In the mean time, I guess I’ll keep adding the extra stuff above to keep people watching. If I want to hit 4,000 hours any time in the near future, I’ll need to keep eyeballs on my content.
Taking Longer to Make Videos
Now for the downside of this entire process. Videos are now taking me twice as long to make. And this only provides uploadable content that is only half as long as before.
Sure, it’s been improving my view duration. But if the videos aren’t as long, does it really matter? I’m still stagnating at the total watch time for the month.
In the end, it balances out to being the same overall total time. Especially since the videos are not being suggested.
Need Better Topics to Cover
One of the biggest problems I’m having is coming up with better topics to cover on the channel. I want to pull away from the Textbroker content and do more about blogging and writing in general.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been going all that well. I seem to be all over the map. It’s like throwing a ton of pasta against the wall to see what sticks.
I suppose I’ll do some more research to see how I can get into the Suggested bracket more often. As it stands right now, I just don’t get a lot of love from the YouTube algorithm.
And from the videos I’ve watched on the topic so far, I’m doing everything “experts” are telling me to do. There has got to be something else I’m missing somewhere.
Still Fine-Tuning My Craft
I got a long way to go before I would even call myself a YouTuber. If someone asks, I tell them I make videos teaching people how to do what I do.
I’ll find what I’m missing eventually. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.