I walk you through my top 6 tips to help you increase your YouTube Watch time.
😊Grab the Thriving YouTube Creator Blueprint here😊:
1:28 What watch time is
3:07 Give your thumbnails thought
6:02 Create relevant videos with search traffic
8:08 Add visuals + sound effects
10:58 Structure your videos
13:10 Keep your video concise
14:24 Livestreaming for more watch time
Canva (I use to create my thumbnails): 🔥Get Canva Pro for free for 45 days🔥 https://saranguyenonline.com/canvaprofreetrial
Increase YouTube Watch Time – Top 6 Easy Tips – Video Transcript
And welcome to the live stream, whether you are joining live with me now, thanks for being here or if you’re watching the replay. In this live stream, I’m going to be talking about a topic that I get asked from you guys all the time.
And that is how do you increase your watch time on YouTube? And whether you are trying to get monetized and into the YouTube partner program so you can start earning revenue from AdSense, or if you already have a channel and you just want to get more reach and earn more money, or get more eyeballs on your videos.
I’m going to be talking through my top strategies to help you increase your watch time because everyone gets obsessed about subscribers, but really watch time is the thing that you need to focus on if you want to get monetized, and if you really want your channel to succeed, right?
Because watch time is where it’s all at. Let’s get started today. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Nguyen, and I help you build your business using video on social media with ease.
Now, whether you are live now, or if you’re watching the replay, please put your questions in the chat or in a comment, and I’ll answer them at the end of the live stream or after the live stream. And everything as usual that I mentioned in this live stream will be, any resources will be added to the description below.
Watch time. Let’s quickly talk about what watch time is. Now, if you go into your YouTube studio, your YouTube channel studio, you will see if you haven’t been monetized yet, within the monetization tab, within your account.
You’ll see what I’ve got on the screen now. It will tell you how many subscribers that you have and how many watch time, how much watch time you currently have and how you know, and the requirement is 4,000 hours of watch time in a 12 month period in order for you to be monetized, right?
This is the requirement from YouTube. You can’t get monetized, you can’t start earning money on your ads, they won’t switch it on until you’ve got the 4,000 hours of watch time.
Everyone that I know who’s monetized in a short period of time, or who has gone through the journey of being able to get monetized, including myself, have found that it’s easier to get subscribers once you start your channel on YouTube, it’s harder to get watch time because watch time, I believe, pardon me, requires a bit more strategy, a bit more thought, and that’s what we’re going to cover today.
We’re going to talk about my top strategies. I’ve got six for you today to help you increase your watch time so that you can get monetized so that you can improve, you know, retention on your channel. And, you know, you can get that glorious YouTube money coming in.
Let’s start and get right into the goodness. Make sure you stay until the end, because the sixth tip that I have is the one that I found changed the game for me. And it’s also the one that I think changed the game for a lot of people, when I said, just do this, just do this and it’s going to help you get monetized really, really quickly.
The first thing I want to talk about in terms of strategies to help you increase your watch time is to give your thumbnail some thought, right? I think the problem that people have is that when they’re releasing videos on YouTube, you know, the thumbnail, it’s kind of a throwaway.
It’s like they put all of the effort into creating the video itself then when they go to upload it, it’s like, okay, I’ll just put a screen, a freeze frame from the actual video as the thumbnail. Now, the problem with that is that if you think about the user journey, the viewer journey, as they’re looking for a video and yours comes up, they’re looking at– they’re scanning the title, and they’re looking at the thumbnail and it’s the thumbnail that makes them click, right?
Some people say, no, I don’t think so, people just, you know, don’t care about thumbnails, but they do. I want you, if you want to increase your watch time, to give your thumbnail a little bit more love. I want you to, if yo are putting text on your thumbnail, and I do all the time, make sure that it’s big, bold text.
This is not the space for cursive texts. This is not the space to be all fancy. And it’s not the space to write an essay. You have a couple of words, really, really big so that people, when they glance at your video, they can see what it’s all about, right?
Those are the tips that I want you to apply when it comes to your thumbnail and you’ll start to see that it will start to make a difference. The other thing is when it comes to thumbnails, one of the things that I do that I find has made a difference is as I’m doing the research for my video, I have a look at how other people are doing their thumbnails for that same topic.
For argument’s sake, if I’m doing a tutorial on how to create a Facebook page, and I see that everyone in the thumbnail has the Facebook blue, I will make it a different colour. I’ll make it a brighter colour so that when people are scanning, my one will stand out. Right?
Just try to see how people are doing theirs and make yours different. The problem that people have is that they copy other thumbnail because they’re like, Oh, that must be doing really well. And it’s like, yes, but then you start to look the same.
Try to make yours different, whether that’s changing the colour of it and making a brighter compared to everyone else’s or just taking it, you know, having a different angle on how you represent that thumbnail visually. That’s the first tip I have for you to actually increase your watch time, because you can’t get watch time until people are clicking on your thumbnail.
Give your thumbnails some load. I use Canva to create all of my thumbnails and they’re a great tool because they help, they’ve got lots of templates to help make help you make your designs look really, really good. And it’s really easy to use, and it’s not expensive unlike, you know, trying learn Photoshop or expensive tools like that.
Give your thumbnails some love, make them stand out. And, yeah, just give your thumbnail with a little bit more thought. Strategy number two is, relevant videos with search traffic. I understand, my friends, the desire to create videos on a creative topic that you are really passionate about.
But what we need to do is find the balance between a video that you really enjoy creating that you have expertise on, and that has search traffic. Why? Because if you have a great video that no one is looking for, or you haven’t optimised it for keywords, there is zero chance that people will find it right.
Pretty much zero. You need to be creating videos with keywords that are actually in demand. Why do I do a lot of Canva tutorials? One, I love the product and I personally use it. And I think they’re fantastic.
The second reason is because there’s a lot of search traffic for Canva. I know that there’s a big chance that people are constantly looking for Canva tutorials. And I can see from my keyword research and the tools that I use.
VidIQ is a great tool with keyword research data. And Keywords Everywhere is another great tool that I use. I can see that this particular video has keyword traffic. And I can validate that. I am often saying on my channel that you can’t just go of emotions.
If you make decisions based off the, I really want to create a, you know, video based off this topic. That’s great, but you need to back it up with data and use your keyword research to make sure that there is actually traffic, you know, going people actually looking for it.
Otherwise, you’re not going to get the watch time because no one’s looking for your video to watch. So please, please make sure that before you even write the outline of the video that you create, that you verify that there’s actually traffic for the keywords that you’re going to release the video for.
That’s tip number two, making sure that you have relevant videos with actual search traffic. Now tip number three, and this is a bit contentious and this is to add visuals and sound effects. Now, please take this with a grain of salt.
I am not saying that your entire video needs to be B roll and sound effects and music if it’s not relevant to your video. I find that if, if you do look to add B roll, animations, like what I have here, just the little transitions, this helps increase watch time, because it breaks up your video a little bit, right?
It adds some add some movement to the video, or it adds some visual to the video, or some sounds to your video, whether it’s a uploaded video or a live stream. And this helps increase watch time, because one kind of eases the cognitive load.
If I am talking, if I’ve just got my talking head the whole time, that’s a lot for people to absorb, but if I add little visual cues, it helps their brain process the information easier. Use visuals as they’re appropriate.
What I don’t want to see is you adding B roll, so if you adding a clip of a waterfall in your video, if that has nothing to do with the video, right? Don’t add visuals for the sake of it. Add it if they actually enhance the video or help you tell the story, or if they, you know, you feel that this really will help break up the video, this really will help increase the production or the value perceived value of your video.
Only do it as it’s relevant. I do a lot of animated titles and I get a lot of questions on how I do things like this. I have a template that I had created, and that’s the secret. Every time I go to create a video, I’m not recreating these titles from scratch, ’cause that would take an enormous amount of time.
I’ve got a template that I use that I had created. You can get templates from a bunch of resources, whether it’s Envato, Envato marketplace, whether it’s Video Hype, lots and lots of places. I’ll put the links in the description.
And once you have these templates, you can edit them yourself, right? You can add your own text, you can modify them. Alternatively, you don’t always have to have animated things that move around. It can just be static images that you add as overlays.
And that works just as well, because it’s still something visual on the screen just because it’s not blinking doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be effective. The secret that I have with the animated titles is that I have a template and a series of ones that I use that I can just switch in and out.
And that saves me time. And that saves me money as well. Use them as appropriate. Don’t go crazy. Only use them as they will add value to your actual video. Now, the fourth tip flying through today is to structure your videos.
Now, it’s important to structure your videos. Creatives, I’m looking at you. I understand. I have a lot of creative friends who are like, Oh, I hate structure. You know, I just want to be able to be free to express myself and deliver the video however I want.
And I’m like, that’s great. However, we need to take that creativity and put it in a structure even if the structure is as simple as having an introduction where you open the video, the main content piece, where you deliver it and there’s structure for you to deliver it so that within that delivery of it, you actually deliver on teaching people something so they can complete a task, entertaining them or whatever it is that you’re doing.
And then you end the video. I can tell when someone is winging the whole video. For one, they look pretty uncomfortable because they don’t know what’s next, right?
There’s a lot of pauses, you know, they’re kind of looking around and it’s not as smooth as it should be. Having structure helps you and it helps your audience. Once again, it helps with watch time because your audience knows what’s coming.
With this video, as you can see, there’s a structure. There was an introduction where I talked about the topic. I’ve got my six tips that I’ve got for you. And within those six tips, I’ve got a structure so that you know once this tip is ended, I’m going to the next one.
And then there will be an end, right? Structure. People like structure, people need structure, their brain needs structure in order to process information as well.
Make sure that at the very least you plan out your video, map out what you’re going to say so that it can increase the watch time because people know that this is going according to plan, they’re going to continue to get value.
And this will help you with your watch time. I promise you this. Structure your video, particularly for you creatives, at the very least introduction, main content section and end, please, please, please do that.
And then you’ll see that this will make a difference to your video because it will also force you to be much, much, much more concise. Now let’s look at tip numeral five, talking about concise. This one is keeping your video concise.
Now, how does this help your watch time? Now, before YouTube had changed the rules in terms of, you know, you could only monetize a video that was greater than eight minutes or whatever it was.
People work creating videos to the length so that it would actually be able to be monetized. And the problem that that created was that, you know, a video that probably could have been done in four or five minutes, they would stretch to eight just so that they could be monetized.
I know they’ve changed that rule now, but the point of it is that I feel that the length of a video needs to be as long as it needs to be in order for you to deliver the content concisely. Now, I think it’s really important that you cut out the fluff wherever you can, because people don’t have time, you’ll get more watch time because people aren’t sitting there going stop telling your life story, stop going on and on stop telling jokes you’re not that funny, stop dancing, keep it concise, give them the information, give them what they came for.
And they will keep watching your video. And that leads us to the last tip. This is the tip that really changed the game for me in terms of getting watch time.
And it’s the one that when people, when my clients listened to me and actually did it, they saw that they were able to get monetized much faster, right? Well, they were able to get the watch time to get monetize much faster. And that is to live stream.
Now, think about it. When you are on a live stream even if you have a couple of people live, I find for the most part, you’ll probably keep those people for at least half of your livestream, right? So you will be able to get at least 50% watch time for your live stream.
And whether you go for 10 minutes or 15 minutes, 20 minutes, half an hour, that watch time accumulates faster, then you know, a video upload that you have where you need to get the views on a video, like it’s easier to get keep people engaged to online during your live stream, and this contributes to your watch time.
And I think a lot of people are really afraid of going live because they’re like, I don’t know if I can fill the time. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but if you go back to my tip where I say have a structure, then this won’t be a problem for you because you’ve planned out what you’re going to say.
When you’re live you know the information that you need to deliver and then people will be able to actually follow along, watch along and contribute to your watch time. I know I’m a little bit biased because I teach live streaming. You’re like, well, of course you would say that because you teach live streaming.
But I find that it’s worthy to say because it’s one of the game changers. I know there are a couple of like larger YouTube creators who I follow. And in the last year with all of the things that have happened, uploading has been a challenge for a lot of people.
Instead of uploading what people are doing as live streaming, whether that is just jumping on and doing a Q and A for a period of time where they’re interacting with their subscribers, or, you know, they’re just delivering their content in a live stream, as opposed to uploading.
Live streams the hack, right? Live stream is the biggest watch time hack because it’s not as hard as you think to get people watching and to keep them watching once you’re on a live stream. That essentially wraps up my top six tips for increasing your watch time.
If you have a think about the things that I’ve talked about, really, it’s about doing all of these little things and then improving your video every single time. Improving your live stream every single time. I think people are constantly looking for hacks. They’re constantly looking for shortcuts in order to get monetization.
And I see it all the time and I understand it. I understand why people are so seduced by the ability to be monetized and make money off YouTube AdSense. But I think if you keep the focus on your content and improving your content by 1% each and every time, you’ll be really surprised how much, how, how easy it is and how much faster you will get, watch time up so you can be monetized.
Keep the focus on the content, keep the focus on having a great structure, having a great thumbnail, you know, making it visually appealing so that people can keep watching it, keeping it concise. And that will make a big, big difference.
And I think that we need to shift from being so obsessed about subscribers because it’s not subscribers that will actually, you know, it’s not only subscribers that will actually get you monetized. It’s the watch time.
And that’s what I want you to focus on. And that’s pretty much wrapping up today’s live stream. I’m just going to jump quickly to the comments section. Just want to say hi to everyone who’s jumped on. Hey, Giga Art. Hey, Cops Court and Community.
Great to have all of you guys here, Cops Court and Community said, ‘I’m trying hard to work on the thumbnails’. Keep at it. When it comes to thumbnails, there’s also a tool called TubeBuddy that lets you split test your thumbnails.
Remember I said, don’t make decisions off emotion, use data. With TubeBuddy, what they allow you to do is they allow you to upload two different thumbnails for the same video. And then TubeBuddy, will push it out and you’ll be able to see which thumbnail performs better.
You’ll have data to help you make an informed decision on which thumbnail will perform better. Let’s say for argument’s sake, I was going to do a thumbnail where one is a pink background and the other one is a blue. I can test with data to see which one gets the higher click through.
There’s tools out there, like TubeBuddy, that will be able to help you get the data to make those informed decisions. Hi, aesthetic crossing. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being here. Cops court and community said, ‘I used TubeBuddy and never really used that tool’.
I think that it’s a feature of their paid plan so have a look into it, but it’s worth trying out, right? It’s worth trying out to kind of get that data. Rolling on three wheels says ‘You helped my livestreams a lot’. Thanks so much for saying that that’s such a nice thing for you to say.
And I talk about live streaming as a big watch time hack because it is, and that’s, that really is the truth. And it helps me keep my channel watch time up and my channel engagement up and I wouldn’t recommend it unless it was something that I personally do myself, as you can see, I’m live streaming right now, which makes it all incredibly fun for me.
With that said, that essentially wraps up today’s live stream. Trying to make it as concise as possible. I’m trying to practice what I preach. That said, if you found this video useful, please give me a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already, where I do lots more tutorials and training tips and tricks to help you grow your channel and your business using video with ease.
Now, I will put a link to it in the description, but I’ve got a free download for you guys. It’s called the Thriving YouTube Creator Blueprint. And this really is the framework that I use to go from zero to being able to be monetized and making money off YouTube for my business as a creator.
These are the steps that I’ve got. I’ll put it in the description, make sure you grab it. It’s a free download. It’s pretty new. I just finished it a couple of weeks ago. I’m really excited about it.
Grab it if you haven’t already. Absolutely love these live streams. Thank you so much for joining me and I will see you in the next live stream. Bye for now.
- [Thriving Creator Podcast] Episode 40: Want Better YouTube Videos? Use This Tool. (Yep, it’s his simple)
- [Thriving Creator Podcast] Episode 41: Someone Needs Your Rescue from Fyre II – Will You Answer the Call?
- [Thriving Creator Podcast] Episode 39: YouTube Success: Revealing the Not-So-Secret Formula