Chicken and Egg Question: Which comes first, the mass views or the featured video?
You can increase video views (and its ranking in Google) through targeted YouTube advertising.
However, and this is a big however, the first step must be to make sure that the film is recognised by Google as ‘authoritative’.
Quite simply, the longer people watch your video (the higher the audience retention), the more authority it has.
Google (amongst other undisclosed formulas) will look at two things when determining the ranking of your films:
These two measures will determine whether YouTube ‘features’ your video, making it much more prominent and breaking it out of the black hole that most YouTube video’s languish in. But here’s the clincher, to get your video ‘featured’ by YouTube, you need good audience retention.
Throwing money into pre-roll advertising will increase video views, although people have the tendency to skip adverts and this of course will hurt your audience retention, reducing the likely-hood of it being ‘featured’ by YouTube.
A better strategy (if you want to break the 400 view mark) is to nurture your audience retention first, get your film ‘featured’ and then look at targeting advertising. This will maximise your video’s exposure and is especially important when it comes to high searched terms.
‘Featured’ videos are great way to get your film kicked into the public domain and get seen. Imagine that – your film on page one – or coming up on the watch page next a popular video.
It works wonders for increasing your views and targeting those that are most interested in your content.
The Pink indicates the ‘Suggested/Featured’ Films viewed on your channel.
I’m always banging on about your film needing to generate leads to your website, not your website driving views to YouTube.
A good guide for this is to aim for less than 30% of traffic coming from your website and the rest of the views actually coming from searches in YouTube.
Taking advantage of the ‘suggested’ or ‘featured’ video algorithm will improve the views that you get from within Youtube and if you’ve got the right content and calls to action, the amount of traffic to your website.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, you need a high ‘Relative Audience Retention’ and a good helping of honesty.
If I put a film on Youtube called “Justin Bieber’s Pants” with a pair of pants as its thumbnail, then the keywords “Justin Bieber Pants” (amongst others), I would probably get quite a few views from Beber Fans.
If the film was actually me Vlogging for 10 minutes about how much I dislike his music – I can assure you that my audience retention would be very low. The reason being that my title is encouraging the wrong people to my Vlog. My average viewer would click on, get the gist of the film within 5 seconds and then click off again.
If, however, I did actually get the chance to film an interview with the Bieber about his chosen underwear, then my audience retention would probably be sky high (assuming there’s more Bieber lovers than haters out there).
In turn this increases the chances of me getting picked as a ‘featured’ video – so that every time someone searches for “Justin Bieber” – there’s my film on page one – right in front of my ideal viewer.
So my message for today is, don’t put as much weight on your views when you first release a film.
If your search term is competitive then the chances of it appearing on page one are slim. Concentrate on using social media channels and blogs to increase exposure at the start (hopefully increasing your ‘Audience Retention’ if your film is engaging), then you can boost the views through YouTube advertising if you should so wish – this way you increase your chances of being ‘featured’ and boosting views by a targeted advertising campaign.
NB: It was only during the making of this blog that I actually found there was a film called “Justin Bieber’s Pants”