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3 Tips to Increase Your Audience Retention & Boost Your Watch Time on YouTube

3 Tips to Increase Your Audience Retention & Boost Your Watch Time on YouTube

Nov 02, 2021

Want People Watching Your Videos Longer?

When you're creating video content on YouTube one of the major goals creators have, no matter where they are in their journey, will be to grow their channel.

To do this you'll want to start keeping people watching your videos longer.

YouTube also rewards this activity because you're keeping people on the platform longer consuming content versus clicking off and going to another social platform.

This is why YouTube introduced the Audience Retention graphs to show creators specifically where their viewers are getting distracted and leaving.

So, if you want to start keeping your people-watching longer, you need to dive into what's becoming a turn-off in your videos and fix them. 

Today, I'm going to show you how plus a few bonuses!


What is Audience Retention?

Audience retention is the behavior of your audience towards your videos. Audience retention starts when somebody searched a topic on YouTube, saw and clicked your video, and watches it.

Audience retention gives you a clear overview of how people consume your videos.

    ✔️How people are invested in your videos? 

    ✔️Are they leaving in the first 30 seconds of your video? 

    ✔️How many stayed and watched your video until the end?

When your audience retention is high, it means you're maintaining the attention of your viewers across the length of your video.

When your audience retention is low, it means somewhere in your video the viewers that have clicked on the video are being disinterested for one reason or the other, but they're leaving the video.

This isn't a great sign.

If your thumbnails and titles did the work to attract a viewer, you don't want to backtrack on the good progress you've made by having people leave your videos.

Do your videos have low audience retention percentage?

I have 3 tips for you that will help increase your audience retention and boost your watch time on YouTube. 



Tip #1: Your intro should jump right into your viewers pain point

People choose to click your video because your thumbnail or title caught their attention and that’s a good start. Our next goal is to keep people watching your video.

The most critical part of your video is your intro. Audience retention starts within the first 30 seconds of your video.

When you're viewing audience retention graphs and you see a huge dip down, that shows that people are skipping or leaving your videos. When you notice this happening you'll want to assess what's going on by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Within the first 30 seconds of your video, have you started discussing the main reason a viewer clicked on the video?
  2. What patterns are you noticing on the retention graphs? Are people skipping ahead to something or leaving the video altogether?

If you are not giving the core content in the first 30 seconds of your video, more than likely your viewer will skip through your video, or worst, they will leave your video altogether.

Your videos intro should jump right to their pain point.

Give them the core content in the video by the first 30 seconds or sooner. 

You may be asking yourself, "But what about a full video introduction? Don't I need to introduce myself and provide a buffer to the video?" 

Let's consider this, you're in the midst of a problem that you've been searching on YouTube for a good and competent answer for a few days now. You, the viewer, finally lands on your video that does have the relevant information, how likely are you to sit for 2-3 minutes waiting for you to get to the point?

This is the predicament many viewers find themselves in. Keep them in mind, always.


Tip #2: Start your video addressing why they clicked on it

When crafting your intros, always think about the reason why somebody actually clicked on that video.

  • What is the viewer struggling with?
  • How big of a problem is your video solving for them?
  • How anxious would you be in their shoes to get this issue resolved?

Intros don’t have to be that long. You only need a few seconds to actually talk about what you will cover in that video.

Start by telling to them what your video is all about, what you will cover, and what value they will get from your video.

That’s it! Don’t waste their time making them guess and wonder when you'll get to the point.


Tip #3: Study your Audience retention graphs for noticeable patterns.

The audience retention graph is one of the most important YouTube analytics graphs that you'll want to become familiar with as you're becoming a creator.

It shows how many of your viewers are actually watching your video from the intro up to the end. 


How to understand the Audience Retention Graph on Your Analytics?

All the bumps and dips on the retention graph mean something. They represent the viewer's pattern and behaviors in the video. 


When the line on the chart is Flat and continuously smooth up to the end of the segment, it means you get the attention of your viewer and they watch until the end of that segment.

If you see Spikes in the line of the graph, that means that your audience is re-watching that specific part of your video. These spikes can also mean that your viewers are sharing a segment of a video.


⚡️ Pro-Tip ⚡️

If you are using channel chapters, the audience retention graph shows the data for each chapter with a perforated vertical line.

These can be helpful to know where your viewers are more or less interested in topics and where areas of improvement may be within your videos.

When people are re-watching a specific chapter, that chapter is a great piece to post on your social media accounts as micro-content or a great piece to make its own dedicated video.

However, the Dips on the graph mean that your viewers are skipping or leaving that specific part of your video. This is something that you'll want to pay attention to and see where are people leaving and try to identify why.

If the graph is down to 50% on the first 30 seconds of your video, it's good to rewatch that portion or portions of your videos where those numbers are low and see where improvements can be made.

It's good to wait until you're not frustrated or emotionally attached to your video when reviewing your analytics because you need to be able to review your content objectively without being offended at what you're seeing.

This is where tips #1 and #2 comes in. 

Gradual Decrease on the graph is the saddest part to see. This means that your viewers are losing their attention to the video and they’re leaving.

There are some reasons why people are leaving your videos.

Maybe they already got the answer that they need, or this video is not what they looking for, or some part of your videos doesn't make sense to their overall objective of why they clicked on the video.

  • There are also technical reasons people aren't enjoying your videos as much. 
    • Is the audio quality tough to listen to?
    • Is your camera shaking a lot for extended periods of time?
    • Is the music too loud and the viewers are struggling to hear you throughout the video?

Sometimes the content can be great but the packaging makes it a bit hard to receive. So, also looking for visual and audio improvements that may have been a distraction.

Create your whole video the way that you create your intro. Clear, concise, and direct to the point.


⚡️ Bonus Pro-Tip ⚡️ Repurpose Your Cut Clips

During the editing process, there will be clips that will not be included in the final cut.

These may be valuable to you but not to the content of the video. Repurpose these clips and post them to your social media accounts.


Plan to Leverage Your YouTube Videos for Your Business?

These tips will be very helpful to increase the visibility of your videos and your channel but if you are a business owner and starting to use YouTube to reach more customers, I want to share with you some strategies that you can use and leverage YouTube for marketing your business using content marketing strategies. 

To dive into the content, you can watch it here.


Up Next: How to Leverage YouTube for Your Business