Having a good number of viewers on the YouTube channel does not justify its real success but figures expressing how many of them watch videos completely does matter.
YouTube audience is one of the most important metrics on the YouTube creator studio dashboard that helps rank the videos on the search engine. The ability of the videos to retain the audience till the end of the content is a major factor in improving the overall authenticity, credibility and rank of the channel beside SEO, keywords and views.
The YouTube audience retention report provides complete insights about content performance in terms of the views and watch-time. The data available on the report can be utilised in designing improved video content structure that will assist creators in achieving increased audience retention.
What is YouTube Audience Retention?
A measurement of how much of the video on the YouTube channel is watched by the audience is termed as YouTube audience retention. It is also known as viewer retention which is the length percentage of video watched by the viewers of the channel. For example, if the total duration of the YouTube video uploaded is 1 minute and a viewer watches it for 30 seconds then the audience retention percentage will be 50%. Similarly, if it is watched for 45 seconds out of the complete 60 seconds then the number will rise to 75%.
The data is available in the YouTube analytics section that also defines the part of videos with a drop in views or what areas were skipped. This presentation can help develop a better structural pattern of the video content so as to ensure that viewers do not drop watching it further.
YouTube audience retention is different from the views metric that shows a mere number of people who watched the video. The audience retention parameter lets the creator know about the convincing or relatability factor of the video that compels viewers to watch it completely.
Why is YouTube Audience Retention important?
YouTube’s algorithm detects the overall performance of videos uploaded on a channel to compare and rank the best of all. Having a lower YouTube audience retention percentage can affect this evaluation drastically and bring down the rank of the video on the search engine.
Lower the ranking of video, lesser the appearance on searches. This decreases the chances of getting the video content explored by audiences on YouTube which in turn will reduce the view count, watch time, engagement and other factors accountable for the overall success of the video.
Videos can have decreased audience retention percentage despite publishing them with attractive titles, descriptions and thumbnails. It is because viewers may lose interest in the content or due to faulty video structure. Data figures, graphical representations related to the where the content sees a dip in audience attention, parts of the video that are skipped routinely, points where the retention stops indicate the key portion that can be rectified for improved viewership.
Therefore, keeping a tap on the YouTube audience retention option in the creator studio helps understand the content performance and function accordingly.
How to Increase YouTube Audience Retention on videos?
#1 Re-evaluate & compare videos
Watch out for the major points on the YouTube audience retention metric graphs that show a significant rise or fall of viewers. Compare the videos that have the highest retention and note down the activity taking place in the video during the peak point. Pay attention to what kind of content makes viewers lose their attention and skip the video besides highlighting what kept them most engaged. Such comparisons and evaluations will assist in building better content, strategize the video, organise sub-topics within the video etc. It will enhance the overall video performance thus helping retain more viewers and have an increased watch time.
#2 Quality of video
As people have very little time these days and almost everyone uses video to express themselves in a much elaborate manner, make sure you grab the attention as quickly as possible. Keeping a shorter introduction, being clear about the video, in the beginning, not running much around the bush can help manage the quality. Make your point before they skip or change the video. Too many words may create confusion, giving strong comments on incidents may discourage viewers hence, it is better to keep the beginning of content short, crisp and to the point. Making some attention-grabbing remarks in the start can also build interest thereby retaining the audience. Experimenting with questions, exclamatory statements, breaking news headlines can also create a sense of curiosity at times. Do try these points to know what works best for you.
#3 Add graphics
It is researched and noted that videos with more range of scenes changing have better viewership than the other counterparts. It doesn’t matter if you are a make-up artist, gamer, pet trainer, educationist or vines creator as long as the frames are changing, gifs & emoticons floating across the screen or jingles making the moment more expressive, there is a greater chance of retaining the viewers. Just a good camera, tripod, perfect lighting and fancy styles are not enough to grab attention. Try new features with your videos and learn about what is making them seem more interesting and continue using it for more benefits.
#4 Create a hook
Begin the video by announcing a shout-out at the end of the video, or tell them a surprise is waiting for them in the video so that they watch to find it out. Make sure the hook is equally convincing, interesting and leaves a memory with the audience otherwise it won’t work for other videos. A hook can be as interesting as you can think of making it and totally depends on the type of channel that you own on YouTube. Rewarding loyal viewers at the end of the video, speaking about the best comments in the video or addressing a viewer related topic on the video can help improve the YouTube audience retention for the video.
Modify your videos as per your own needs and do not overdo the content. Make sure you are listening to your audience to find out what is best for them and what is a strict no-no. Do experiment with content and omit the ideas that are failing continuously. Moreover, be positive with the videos on all aspects to stay away from unnecessary chaos or problems online.
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