Know about the importance of audience retention on YouTube and learn how to increase audience retention on YouTube by 11 ways.
If you have big plans for your audience on YouTube as well as long-term career goals for yourself as a YouTuber, then your audience retention should be of concern to you.
If you have had a poor audience retention rate on YouTube, then you should know by now that it’s not ideal for you in the long run.
In this article, we will show you how to increase your audience retention on YouTube.
There are many ways through which you can increase your audience retention on YouTube and some of them are, monitoring your audience retention report, hooking the viewers, writing engaging scripts, getting to the point, creating visually appealing content, sharing credible information, choosing a suitable video length, keep changing the screen, keep the intros short, avoid hinting at video completion, and avoid using YouTube cards prematurely.
If you pay attention and follow the strategies we share in this article, you will find your audience retention increasing, much to your delight.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents:
How to increase audience retention on YouTube?
- Monitor Your Audience Retention Report
- Hook the Viewers
- Write Engaging Scripts
- Get to The Point
- Create visually engaging videos
- Share Credible Information
- Choose a Suitable Video Length
- Keep changing What’s Happening on The Screen
- Keep The Intros Short
- Don’t Hint at Video Completion
- Avoid Using Youtube Cards Prematurely
1. Monitor Your Audience Retention Report
You must learn to monitor your audience retention report.
This report shows or measures how many people are still watching your video during your video playback.
It also shows when your audience stopped watching.
This report gives insight into areas of your video to show you the opportunities for improvement.
Audience retention report usually takes around 1 -2 days to process.
To view your audience retention report, simply sign in to YouTube studio.
Select content from the left menu.
Click on a thumbnail or video title.
Select Analysis from the left menu.
Select the engagement or Overview tab and find the audience retention report.
You can further click See More to observe how your video compares to all YouTube videos of the same length.
As a YouTuber, you have a channel-level audience report and a video-level audience retention report at your fingertips.
If you would like to have your channel-level audience retention report, which is documentation of your YouTube audience retention rate average across all the videos you have posted on your channel, then sign in to your YouTube studio.
Then select the ‘Analytics’ on the left-hand side.
Finally, select the ‘engagement’ tab, and your channel-level audience retention report is right there.
If you want the video-level audience retention report for a specific video, you need to first sign into the YouTube studio.
From the left menu then, select ‘videos’ and click on the video whose audience retention report you would like to see.
Go to the left-hand menu, then select ‘analysis.’
Finally, select the ‘engagement’ tab from there.
Your video-level audience retention report is right here.
2. Hook The Viewers
Do you want to keep your audience glued to your video?
Then you need to make sure you have something called ‘a hook’ at the beginning of your video.
So, what’s a hook?
A hook is a point where you give a very brief introduction to what your video is going to be about.
This is important because if someone clicks on your title or your video thumbnail, you want them to be sure they are not in the wrong place.
This is because click baits are everywhere on YouTube.
However, keep in mind your content.
You can begin with a quick catchy story that addresses a pain point your audience is having and then assure them of a solution in the video.
If you are a blogger for instance, and you do not churn out content like ‘how-to’s,’ then you can just start by telling them how your day is going to be like.
Tell them what it is you want to accomplish that day and that way, then can follow through to see if you accomplish that thing or not.
You can do the same thing for gaming videos.
Simply tell your viewers what portion of a game you will be completed today and let them watch to see you complete it and how it ends for you.
You must think carefully when it comes to your YouTube structure.
At the intro, tell them that you have got something absolutely amazing you will share with them later on in the video.
It could be a tip, a tutorial, something hilarious, or even a new product you are yet to unveil.
This is called the hook.
Whatever your hook is, just be sure to tell them that they are going to love the surprise.
The goal is to get them hooked enough to want to stay through the video.
Keep reminding them to watch from start to end to get this surprise.
This does not in any way imply that you should not give your viewers great content.
It simply means using a reward system to increase their attention span in your favor.
3. Write Engaging Scripts
This is the important stuff, but many people skip it or miss it entirely.
You do not want viewers falling asleep in the first two minutes of your video, however long it is.
So, go ahead and do all it takes to make sure you have an engaging script.
You should have an effective script that is thoroughly crafted out written before you begin the process of creating your video.
All it takes is a few simple steps.
First, you need to begin with making sure you understand who you are creating the video for and why.
This is what will help you to determine the style of your video and the tone you use in the video.
Using the right style, language, and message in your video will ensure that it naturally resonates with your audience better.
Also, make sure to use a very engaging introduction, end screens, plus transitions.
Go for high-quality visuals and pay attention to the other elements like motion graphics and text, which are very effective ways to deliver great storytelling.
Finally, you do not want to make your video so long that viewers begin to tap the screen to see when the video is ending.
Try to make it engaging at every point.
Use different displays per time and make sure you don’t come off as uninteresting.
Also, you need to understand the nature of people.
Humans are naturally curious; your job is to exploit that nature to your advantage, in a non-harmful way of course.
Keep this trait in mind when you are writing your script.
This is the secret to creating an engaging video.
You should be able to make the audience see or sense a gap in their knowledge, that way; they will be more engaged in your video because there is something in it for them at the end of the day.
You also want to be sure you know your audience enough to predict the kind of content that will grab and keep their attention.
Facebook’s video consumption data analysis proved in 2016 that people who watch the first 3 seconds of a video will stay on it for at least 30 seconds.
This is where you need to hold and nail their attention.
You can do this by making sure your video is fun to watch.
Life is dreary and already too serious for many people, so they should have something fun to look forward to in your videos.
Use visual storytelling to your advantage.
Storytelling is key when we talk about creating engaging video content.
This is exactly what you need to pay attention to when writing your script.
Make sure to include facts in your storytelling.
This can increase your engagement because your audience views you as an authority in that field or subject.
4. Get To The Point
Don’t we all have that one friend who can go on and on without ever getting to the point?
While that might be pardonable in real-life situations, that is shooting yourself in the leg if you ever try that in your videos.
Get to the point already.
Nobody wants to watch a video for 5 minutes and still try to figure out the point the speaker is trying to make.
YouTube viewers have an incredibly short attention span, it’s been proven already.
We don’t want you shortening it any further with a long speech.
Know this: when a viewer clicks your video, you have exactly 3 to 6 seconds to grab their attention or you lose it and they move on quickly to someone more interesting.
To improve your audience retention on YouTube, grab the viewer’s attention with the very first sentence.
Simply get down to the point and you will do just fine.
The secret is to be concise.
Do not ramble, whatever you do.
This goes even beyond your talking.
It shows in the length of your video as well.
Many creators make their videos longer than it really needs to be.
What is the point of making it a 15- minute video when you can effectively pass across your message in 7 minutes?
Keep it short and simple.
Go straight to the point and be sure to communicate effectively.
Brevity is the key, or you’ll be watching your video yourself.
5. Create Visually Engaging Videos
This one is a deal maker or breaker.
You will lose out big time if you do not create videos that are visually engaging.
There are millions of video content on the YouTube platform, so why should viewers choose you over others?
You need to know that viewers love to see the visual content changing and videos with a variety of scenes are far more engaged than those with just the camera on the speaker.
Think about ways you can insert other scenes into your video and be creative about it.
6. Share Credible Information
You should know by now that this is your ticket to becoming an authority in your field.
Your information should by all means be credible.
This means you need to research your facts before putting them out there.
Your viewers must trust you before they engage your video content, and they can’t do that if your content cannot be trusted.
Make sure you get your facts right.
7. Choose A Suitable Video Length
We have addressed this before in passing, but let’s talk about it again.
Try to make sure your video is just the appropriate length for what your content is about.
Don’t outdo yourself in a bid to create lengthy video content.
Now, this does not mean you should stuff an 8-minute long video into 2 minutes because you want to keep it short.
Shorter doesn’t always equal better.
YouTube is also focused on promoting videos that contribute to a longer viewing session on their platform.
If you search for something on interior lighting, for instance, you will see videos with longer-length pop up first.
This does not mean that there are no shorter videos on the subject.
They are just way down on the list on the results page.
Keep in mind that your viewers are smart enough to figure out when you are just stretching a video to keep them watching.
The key is to create videos that have viewers in mind.
Just make sure the time is commensurate with the content of the video and the viewers’ needs.
8. Keep Changing What’s Happening On The Screen
Keep this in mind: staring at one screen for a long time can bore you out.
This is why many viewers lose interest in your video.
When they look at one thing on the screen for too long, they get bored and move on to the next interesting video.
This will affect your audience retention rate in a dramatic way.
You want to avoid this by changing the screen on your video at least every 5 seconds; you can use B-rolls, cards, text, and graphics.
9. Keep The Intros Short
Make sure you keep your introduction short.
Don’t beat around the bush trying to say one thing.
We are talking about 5 seconds short or less.
Keep everything you have to say at the barest minimum and make sure that you don’t exceed the 5 seconds limit.
10. Don’t Hint At Video Completion
Whatever you do, do not give viewers hints that your video is complete.
A lot of people do this without even knowing they are.
Statements like ‘and that is how you do ABC,’ or ‘so, that is how the journey to ABC went,’ is a teller that you are done with the main content of the video, and because people want to save up time to do other things, they will leave your video before you get to the end of it.
This is because you have given them the perception that the subject matter of the video has been handled.
You can see this in your audience retention report when you view it.
As soon as you are done saying what you need to say, drop your in-screen and carry out every call to action you have crafted.
11. Avoid Using YouTube Cards Prematurely
You should know when it is the right time to use YouTube cards.
A lot of creators use them prematurely.
You don’t want to make the mistake of putting YouTube cards at the beginning of your video.
When people are referred to another video, they leave the video unto the next one and the main video suffers because of that.
YouTube has recommended that you reserve using your cards until the last 20% of your video.
These are the ways to increase your audience retention rate on YouTube.
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Anita is a part of Weshare’s writing team. She has social media marketing experience for over 4 years and has been writing in-depth guides and articles about marketing, social media, and online education for the past 7 years.
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