Creators create because they are passionate about what they do. However, on a very superficial level, we do what we do for the views, after all, it is our job. No views, no subscribers, and no engagement means no paycheck. Therefore, knowing what to do to increase viewership should be a core part of your YouTube content strategy.
According to metrics published on Alexa.com, watch time for YouTube increased by 12% in the last 90 days. This means people are consuming 12% more content on a platform that already has 300 minutes of content uploaded every hour.
But for the average creator, this 12% increase in watch time isn’t being reflected in their views. There are two reasons for this:
- Subscribers Are The Primary Source of Views
- Lack of Evergreen Topics and Hashtags
Subscribers Are The Primary Source of Views
I detailed in a previous post how you can turn viewers into subscribers. That doesn’t decrease the importance non-subscribed viewers have on your success at YouTube. Why is that? To receive a significant amount of growth you need room to grow. This means having an audience, or potential audience, of non-subscribers interested in what you have to say. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming far too niche and only appealing to your subscribers, making it nearly impossible to achieve any worthwhile growth. Here’s the reasoning behind this.
Ask yourself: If most of my viewers are subscribers, who would YouTube recommend my videos to? Let’s use a real-life example to answer this. For example, if you were given the task to sell insurance, and you decided to target friends, colleagues, and neighbors, at some point you’d run out of people to sell to, requiring you to expand. The same goes for viewers. If you’re targeting subscribers, leading to everyone watching your videos being a subscriber, then you’ve hit your ceiling and you no longer have the ability to grow! What you need to do is, enhance your content so it reaches an audience beyond your subscribers and is appealing to anyone interested in topics within your niche.
Lack of Evergreen Topics and Hashtags
To excel at creating video titles that will assist in increasing viewership, you need to become a viewer. While I could recommend doing workout videos, as there’s significant evidence to show that workout videos have received more views during the lockdown, if you’re not in the fitness niche, this is probably not an area where you should share your expertise. Instead, it’s better to find a tailored approach to attain maximum efficacy – an approach you can create yourself.
Therefore, part of finding what is trending and how to utilize it is to dive into the trenches to discover what applies to your niche. It’s also essential to look beyond the current crisis to create sustainable content. This requires you to combine seasonal trends with content that you can sustain in the long run. If you get stuck creating COVID-19 content, as soon as the crisis ends, your content will become irrelevant, and the audience you’ve accumulated during this crisis will no longer be interested in your content. Rather, your content strategy during this time should be based on relevance in the current crisis while allowing yourself the ability to remain relevant long after this ends.
A good approach to determine sustainability and relevance is to think about two primary factors: Necessity and context.
Necessity means how compelling, valuable, or worthwhile your content is, and context means, how compelling, valuable, or worthwhile the content will be over time. By evaluating necessity and context, you’ll be able to determine the sort of videos you should create, as they’ll be both sustainable and relevant. You can determine this by asking yourself:
- How universal is my content?
- How significant is my content?
- What are people gaining from watching my content?
- How will this content mature?
- How appropriate is this content?
For example, people will always be bored. If you base your content on targeting bored people, you’ll find more people will watch your videos. The same goes for productivity or any topic. If you use it in your videos in a lockdown context, it will lose value the moment the crisis ends.
As there’s no evidence to suggest that content that includes keywords like “lockdown” or “quarantine” receives any significant increase in views compared to content that excludes these keywords, adding this element to your videos is ineffective.
Instead, the best advice would be to improve your content, make it exciting, relevant, and work on the fundamentals needed to master YouTube.