How to increase audience retention on youtube

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How to increase audience retention on YouTube in 5 easy steps

Generally speaking, videos on YouTube have very poor audience retention because there are so many other distractions.

The problem is that there are just so many other things – other videos – to click on. So, what happens (and we all do it) is, if our attention isn’t grabbed straightaway and maintained by what we are watching, a voice in our head goes, ‘BORED NOW!’ and we click onto something else. If you get audience retention right and you can hold people’s attention to the end of your video, you’re going to see yourself move steadily up the search rankings.

So without further ado, here are 5 easy steps to give your audience retention figures a turbo-charged kick up the backside.

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1.Creating an audience retention busting title

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that people actually click on your video in the first place. Obvious, yes, but in order to do that, you need to pick the right title.

The title must reflect the content that it actually represents. How many videos have you seen where the people in the video don’t actually get to the point until about two minutes in? Exactly. You don’t want to be those guys! Start as you mean to go on. Get in there and make your point quickly. You need to make your point early or you will lose your audience. So, if it’s a ‘How to…’ video you’re making, tell ’em ‘how to’ straightaway.


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  1. Thumbnail image

An interesting way of thinking about the thumbnail of a video is to see it as being the ‘title on steroids.’ You need to make it SCREAM exactly what your video is about and be visual. Ideally, you want to show that the production levels are quite high in the thumbnail. The title needs to be there with loud and bold text.If you do that – and the actual video delivers the same experience – your audience retention will increase.


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  1. Time

If your subject has already been covered in 5, 6 or 7 minutes, then it’s a safe bet that you will be able to cut it down to two minutes by doing one simple thing – just get rid of the waffle. Don’t waste your viewers’ time. If you only include the key points, you will keep audience retention high.


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  1. Entertain

Be entertaining. It’s easier than you might think. All you really have to do is to trick the viewer (in a nice way) into thinking that they are receiving new information after new information after… yep, you’ve guessed it… new information. If you do this, their minds will stay active and it will feel like they are being entertained.


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  1. Editing

The need to entertain fits in nicely with our last point, which is editing. Editing reinforces that entertainment factor. If you cut where there’s new information and you add text, you’ll find that people will stay with you longer.

If you’ve seen presenters that go on for two minutes or more and there’s no editing, just one long take, you’ll know how hard it is to keep your attention (or stay awake). A little bit of movement and some text on screen livens things up and goes a long way.


Text + Movement = Increase your audience retention



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