Kan: Hi, James.
James: I’ve got questions about YouTube videos. We’re on a mission over here at SuperFastBusiness.com. We want our channel to grow and expand. We’re going to be asking YouTube experts, but you’re my YouTube expert for now. And I want some tips, please. How can I improve our YouTube channel, when it comes to engagement and things like view times, etc? Am I better to have really short videos? Should I have really long videos? Should I work hard on all my graphics? Do I need to become a better presenter? What are all the things that need to happen in terms of getting a better YouTube outcome? And an outcome for me, by the way, is someone clicking through and taking a call-to-action that might be in the video, whatever that video is about.
Kan: Yeah, YouTube, view time and watch time is the number one ranking factor for the YouTube algorithm. And because it’s a video platform, YouTube wants you to watch as many videos as possible. And I’m sure people can understand that, you know, you just click through and you just feel like I’m just going to watch one video and you end up going down this long rabbit hole watching a whole series of videos, right? So view time and watch time just refers to the number of minutes watched for each video. And if your video, it has a strong, what we call retention rate, so people watch most of the way through or all the way through, then it has a maximum view time or watch time.The more view time and watch time that you have and the better the retention rate, the more likely YouTube is to recommend videos. So some of the most viral videos out there have incredible view time and watch time, because people watch it the whole way through, parts of the algorithm, like we talked about in the past, which is likes, comments, engagement, that sort of stuff. So a whole series of factors. But as a number one factor or sort of the biggest influencing factor, it’s view time and watch time.
James: Right. And does it matter if it’s a short video or a long video?
Kan: Length of video does have an impact. But I would recommend people not go out and create long videos for the sake of creating long videos, right? Focus on delivering the information or the entertainment that you are producing to give to people. But just because the video is seven minutes, don’t stretch it out to 12 minutes, because it will actually have the reverse effect and end up having a much poorer retention rate on the video as well.
So from a data perspective, what we’ve seen across all the channels that we’ve done, between 10 to 15 minutes tends to be the best-performing length for videos as well. But we’ve also seen channels that are around about the five-minute mark, and they do particularly well as well. However if you’re looking to grow the channel, you’re looking to maybe drive some business outcomes, you want people to click through and actually inquire with your service or your product, I would recommend around a five to 10-minute range. Because it’s a range that’s workable for most people to create that sort of content, but then long enough for that to benefit with the algorithm as well.
James: What about if people are running ads on their channel? Does that interrupt a view time?
Kan: It does, yes. So if you are lucky enough, and you’ve got enough subscribers, which there is a threshold that you need to hit in order to monetize your channel and be able to run ads on it with AdSense, you will end up losing or having drop off on retention as a result of ads as well. So that’s something to really bear in mind. I mean, we’ve got a particular client right now who could monetize, but they’re choosing not to monetize, because they would rather the retention rate and continue to grow the channel organically rather than trying to make some AdSense revenue, which is probably not going to pay the bills, anyway.
James: And if I had a long video, like 90 minutes or something, would I be better to chop it into parts or just run it as a long video?
Kan: It really depends on what sort of video it is. I mean, most videos if around the 90-minute mark, I imagine, are probably going to be interviews or deep conversations.
James: It could be a documentary or something.. a podcast…
Kan: Right, exactly. Yeah, so in those cases, look, I mean, I wouldn’t chop it up. I mean, if it’s a documentary, I definitely wouldn’t chop it up. If it’s a podcast interview, again, I probably wouldn’t as well. It just needs to make logical sense that someone could watch this either in whole or in pieces. So if you were to break it up into individual parts, it might be because it’s a series and there’s like a part one through to part 10. And you’d break that up. But if you’re just trying to game the algorithm just because you can turn a 90-minute video into 15 different 6-minute videos, I wouldn’t recommend that either.
James: You know what you just said, we should be really taking that to heart. Stop trying to game things and just trying to look after the viewer and like, figure out what the platform’s trying to achieve and to help them do it, and you’ll win. Big high fives for you, Kan. Alright, well thanks so much for sharing.
We can check out Kan at SocialWave.com.au. He’s the man when it comes to video. His team are great, helping lots of my clients, and I appreciate all the tips and hopefully our YouTube channel is going to be stronger because of this. If you enjoyed this video, leave a comment below. Thank you very much!
Kan: Thank you, James. Thanks for having me!
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