One of the reasons why we’re all so addicted to YouTube is because it has nearly perfected the algorithm to get you to watch videos on the platform which didn’t even exist a few minutes ago as well as the ones which its sure you’ll be interested to watch.
It surely isn’t a surprise to know that one billion hours of YouTube video content is watched by people all around the world on an average day. At CES 2018, Neil Mohan (Chief Product Officer, YouTube) revealed that 70% of the videos watched by the people are recommendations of YouTube’s advanced algorithm. He also added that these recommendations keep mobile users watching videos for more than 60 minutes at one time, on average.
YouTube Recommendations cannot be missed since it’s the first thing you see on YouTube (website and app) if your account is logged in. These suggestions are tailored to each user’s behavior on the platform from their searches, watch history, likes/dislikes and even where they are watching videos. This is all fueled by Google’s A.I arm that is called Google Brain. It is especially known for being able to see the user’s watching patterns which are less obvious, thereby driving a 20x increase in time spent watching videos via the YouTube Recommendations Section, than it was three years ago.
So considering the immense potential of the YouTube Recommendations Section, creators and brands should keep in mind some tips and tricks that would help their channel videos appear there. There are no sure shot ways to make that happen since the YouTube algorithm considers multiple factors, but there are ways to ensure that your videos are well-maintained for the algorithm to catch it. Here are five things we suggest:
Video Optimization Is Key
When you are creating content on YouTube, don’t just go and dump your videos there. The key to discoverability on the platform is video optimization. There are some simple basic things that a creator/brand needs to take care of. The first optimization tactic is to ensure that your video metadata is stuffed with all the relevant keywords in the title, description, and tags.
Make sure you keep the title relevant, short and non-clickbaity. The next important tactic is to ensure that your thumbnail represents your video well – it needs to be of high quality, creative and relevant to the video. By carrying out these basic hygiene steps, your video is likely to surface on the YouTube recommendations section.
Keep Curating Your Content
After you’ve created your YouTube content and optimized it well for discovery, another important step is to ensure that your overall channel hygiene is maintained as well. For that, you need to keep curating your video content in a way that is easy for your audience to discover once they land on your channel.
This is done by simply creating themed playlists which is a great way to divide your channel content into various categories and give your audience a chance to explore. These playlists add to your overall channel metadata and help them surface on the YouTube recommendations and homepage of your current and potential audience.
Don’t Forget About Interlinking
As a YouTube creator, your aim shouldn’t be to just ensure the success of your recent video but your channel as a whole. Interlinking is a great way to get your audience to watch more videos from your channel. This requires you to put related video links as annotations, cards and in the description box. If your video is part of a series, it is imperative for you to have a series playlist in the desired order so that the suggested videos algorithm is able to pick up on it (at least indirectly).
Insert Engagement Boosters
Success on YouTube doesn’t only entail high views, engagement plays a huge role in that too. As a creator, you need to encourage your audience to not only view your content but also engage with it by rating the video (like/dislike) and commenting on it. An audience engaging with a particular video has potential implications that they will be watching more content on the platform – leading to a high watch session, which is YouTube’s basic aim.
The most common way creators encourage engagement is but requesting the audience to do so by mentioning it within the video. But there are more ways to do that. A great way to engage your audience is to leave a comment under your videos, asking them a question to respond to. This will not only boost comments but also potentially help condition the platform’s algorithm around relevant keywords. You can go also go back to your older videos and share recent video links in the comments section.
Focus More On Watch Time
It’s a well-known fact that the YouTube algorithm is highly optimized to promote videos which have a higher watch time and contribute towards a longer watch session. Therefore, you need to create your content in such a way that there are minimal drop-offs and a major section of your viewing audience actually finish watching your video. An in-depth understanding of what works and doesn’t for your audience is necessary and you can do that by keeping a close eye on video metrics such as average view duration and audience retention graphs.
I love to explore challenging opportunities in the field of Digital Media. Primarily, my skills revolve around Digital Video in terms of Content Strategy/Marketing, Analysis and Audience Development. My natural affinity towards diverse audio-visual content across platforms helps me develop a multitude of perspectives. In totality - I'm a keen learner, collector of new enriching experiences and have an undying conviction to always stay curious in life!