Struggling to get the views that you’d hoped for? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this guest post, YouTuber @YoinkedGaming shares his favourite tips and tricks for optimising content.
Analytics are your best friend!
Let’s start with what I consider to be the most important aspect of being a successful creator: understanding your analytics. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why a specific video performed great and got 10x the views that your videos normally get — the answer is hidden in the data.
Analytics are the only way to understand how your viewers react and interact with your video. YouTube takes a lot of factors into consideration before promoting a video on its home page or the suggested videos section. However the three most important things you need to increase in order to be consistently successful are your watch time, click-through rate, and viewer engagement.
Going through your analytics without having a specific goal in mind can be exhausting and confusing so always try to have a specific question you’re looking to answer when studying them.
Some examples: “Why did people watch more of this video?”, “Why did this video get more comments than my previous one”, “A lot of people are skipping through my intro, is this affecting my watch time?”,“Should I change the segmentation of my videos to increase my watch time?”
Such questions can greatly increase the average performance of your videos if you are able to find the answers. Optimally, you want to understand the performance of every video you upload by studying your analytics, but a nice way to start implementing this into your workflow is to have a couple of hours each week dedicated to improving your knowledge and understanding your data. This is going to make a huge difference to your YouTube journey in the long run, so try to be consistent and don’t skip out on this very important part of your work.
Following trends vs staying in your niche.
The answer to this question is very easy. Around 99% of the time you’ll want to follow any breakout trend — even if it expands slightly outside of your niche. Emerging trends are an amazing way to import new viewers to your channel that under different circumstances wouldn’t discover you.
Think of it this way: whenever something exciting is happening in the world, people are going to search for it, to try to find out all the new information they can, and engage more. This is a goldmine for content creators and this influx of viewers is very important to utilise towards the growth of your channel. But how exactly can you discover an emerging trend?
Google Trends is the go-to for finding out what people are searching for and what they have searched for in the past. It is very useful for comparing keywords when you are thinking about what to add as your metadata in your titles, description, and tags.
Another tip for uncovering emerging trends is to scout your “competition”. Always be on the lookout for what similar channels upload, what topics they cover and always try to understand how they interact with emerging trends. A common misconception in the industry is that you should try to avoid doing what the others are doing.
The more that a topic is discussed and covered by other creators, the more chances you have of YouTube associating your channel with other creators in the same niche.
Normally, I highly advise against working outside of your regular schedule. However, when a trend occurs it might be a good idea to put in extra hours to publish as much content as possible — even more than one video a day.
Having a standout video during a trend can skyrocket your channel and increase your numbers by a larger amount than usual. Keep in mind however to always make sure not to compromise quality over quantity when you put in the extra hours of recording and editing.
Metadata is generally referred to as the accompanying text of your video, mainly, the title, description, and tags. Having proper metadata can have a huge impact on the performance of your videos. The most important metadata with regards to YouTube video is the title.
There is always a big tradeoff to keep in mind when choosing the title of a video. Do I make my titles more clickable and focused on the viewers? Or do I try to add as many keywords as possible and hope that the algorithm associates my video with the given topic?
Here’s an example: let’s say I make cooking videos and my next video is about a tomato salad. What is the best title for this video? Something like “YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS NEW RECIPE!” is a more appealing title and viewers might click the video more frequently. However, it contains no actual information about the content of the video other than the word “recipe”. A title like: “THE BEST TOMATO SALAD! NEW SALAD COOKING TIPS & FLAVOUR (SEASONING)” has many relevant keywords and helps YouTube categorise your video easier, but may have a smaller click-through rate.
Even though there is no clear-cut answer as to which kind of title you should lean on, I find that providing relevant metadata to your title is better in the long run. A title that caters both to viewers and provides relevant keywords is ideal. Feel free to experiment with your titles and go back to your analytics to see what works best for your own channel.
As for your description and tags, you should try to include as much relevant information as possible. Try to think of your description as a way for YouTube to understand what your video is about. Always keep in mind that you should implement a descriptive story for your viewers in a way that contains many relevant keywords.
Overall, your metadata is not something that should be taken lightly. Nor should you rush to add them to publish your videos faster. Writing your metadata is usually the last thing you’ll be doing before an upload, and you’ll want to get the video out as fast as possible to see how it performs and how your viewers react to it. I highly suggest adding a small time frame before every upload during which you brainstorm a number of titles for your videos. This will help you organise better titles and do proper research on your keywords before the uploads.
This is a topic that is not talked about often, but it’s of great importance. Being a content creator can be mentally taxing at times. Creators can face burnout regardless of their channel size or audience. It must always be your top priority to take care of your mental and physical health first and foremost.
I find that having a work schedule similar to any other job can limit overstressing or overworking. I try to have a set number of hours that I can work on during a day. If my video is not finished during that time frame, I can always continue tomorrow. If you want your content creation career to be successful you have to think of it as a marathon. A slow and steady pace will get you to the finish line.
When you force yourself to work extra hard or longer hours, you might not get the results you hoped for. Your productivity could plummet and you might exhaust yourself without achieving your desired goal. Don’t forget that, ultimately, being a content creator is about being entertaining and creative. You only achieve that if you’re at the top of your game.
So far, I’ve only gone through a number of less obvious but very important aspects of being a content creator. However it’s very clear that in order to juggle each task, you have to be in a very focused state.
Don’t hesitate to take some time off if you feel like you need to. Don’t stress over views and numbers if your videos are not always performing as great as you would like. Stay cool and collected and try to identify what is not working out (if anything) and always keep your composure.