Ok, you’ve got viewers to click on your video, but how do you keep them watching all the way through and what is good audience retention on YouTube?
In the video I’ll explain what audience retention is, what YouTube has to say about it and show you 7 ways to increase audience retention on your YouTube videos.
Why does audience retention matter?
Audience retention is a measurement of how much your audience watch your video. For example, if you upload a 10 minute video and two minutes of it was watched, then you’ve got a 20% audience retention rate.
If you get a high audience retention on your YouTube videos, then YouTube will recommend your videos on the right side of the video watch page, on the videos that play next after a video has ended, and under Up Next below the video on the YouTube app.
What is the official word from YouTube about audience retention? Here’s a quote from Amy, a product manager on YouTube that works on recommendations.
“There is no magic number that the audience is looking for when they choose a video. Similarly, there are no magic numbers of minutes or percentage our systems optimize for. More is better.” “As for the importance of absolute versus relative watch time, it varies by surface. For example, Search, Home, Up Next, et cetera, and changes over time. Our advice would be to find a good balance. Use your audience retention reports in YouTube analytics. If you see viewers are abandoning at a certain point, try to figure out what in your video might have led to that. If most viewers are watching the whole way through your video, you probably have room to experiment with longer-form content.”
In a nutshell, it completely depends upon your audience if they’re going to watch your video all the way through.
If they do, you can experiment with creating longer videos as long as they keep watching. This is what YouTube recommends if you look in YouTube analytics and studio beta. You can increase the chance of YouTube suggesting your content by increasing your click-through rate and your video watch time.
If you want to learn more about how to increase the click-through rate of your YouTube video,to watch the replay of my livestream.
Here are 7 ways to increase the audience retention on YouTube videos.
1. Grab viewers attention in the first 15 seconds of your video
If you do this, there’s a high probability they’ll watch it all the way through.
A few ways to do this is to ask you a question. Another way is to teach them about what’s coming up later in the video. Another way is to try to do something entertaining at the beginning of your video. Most importantly, your hook should relate to the thumbnail and title of your video. Otherwise, they won’t keep watching.
2. Create compelling content.
If your content doesn’t deliver what was promised in the thumbnail and title of your video, then your viewers are going to leave. Ideally, you want to offer solutions to the problems that they may be asking.
Instead of saying that your video is coming to an end, suggest a related video that dives deeper into the content that they just watched. Use a card or an end screen to redirect them to that video. Even better, send it to a playlist of related videos so they can binge watch your content.
How you deliver your content will make a big impression on your viewers. Be passionate about your content and make it easy for them to digest, such as step-by-step instructions like I’m doing here in this video.
4. Add B-roll and transitions.
Adding stock video footage, graphics, and transitions helps reset the attention of viewers so they keep watching your video all the way through.
5. Remove the fluff.
Most people watching YouTube videos have the attention span of a mosquito. It’s very short. Therefore, make sure you get to the point very quickly and remove extraneous content. If you waffle on about a particular topic, you’ll quickly lose your viewers.
6. Tell a story.
Another way to create compelling content is to tell a story. People love stories.
“Yesterday, I went skiing with my friends. When we got up in the morning, it was freezing cold and there was freezing rain, not ideal conditions for going skiing. When we checked the weather forecast of the ski field, it said it’d be a mixture of freezing rain and snow. We decided to take the risk and just go for it. It was really worth it because it ended up snowing the whole day with perfect temperatures, no lines, and perfect pile of snow.”
As you can see, I just painted a perfect story of my snow skiing day.
7. Create a series of videos and add them to a playlist.
When you create a series of videos that’s organically connected to each other, it’s easy for people to continue watching video after video. This increases audience retention and watch time. Instead of watching one video, a viewer may watch several videos in a row.
You can also link to this playlist in your cards and end screens.
So what is a good audience retention on YouTube?
Most of my videos have an audience retention of around 50%. Therefore, I would recommend shooting for 50% or higher on your own videos. As Amy recommended from YouTube, if you find that your viewers are watching your video all the way through, experiment with creating longer-form content.
Let me ask you a question….
What’s the highest audience retention you ever got on a video from your channel? Post your answer in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it and I’m sure others would too.
Do you want a grow your YouTube Channel this year so you can attract more views and subscribers? If so, pick up a copy of my 100+ page YouTube Marketing Guide at