For most creators, starting out is the hardest part of being a YouTuber. Are you suffering from low view counts, despite how many videos you put out or how much you share your content to your friends? Here are a few tips to boost your view counts and get you noticed on YouTube.
Buy a quality camera and microphone
A key metric used by YouTube to decide whether your video is worth recommending to viewers is the watch time of your existing viewers. Viewer retention is drastically affected by the picture and audio quality of the video. Viewers won’t want to stick around to watch your video if you’re using a bad camera, or if your microphone sounds horrible.
Our friends at GadgetGang have compiled a list for the best cameras for YouTube, click here to check their top picks. Their choice for a DSLR camera, the Canon 90D is a great choice to up the production value on your videos. If you pick a camera with an interchangeable lens, you may also wish to pick a lens to pair with your brand new camera. Looking for a lens with a wide aperture helps achieve a cinematic look with high depth of field.
Another key bit of kit you can’t go without is a decent microphone. If you’re looking to mount a microphone on the top of your camera, the Rode VideoMic Pro is a high quality microphone you can just plug in and get recording with. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your gaming videos or if you’re doing voice over work like video essays, a good condenser microphone is a must to have. I’d recommend the Blue Yeti. It’s a USB microphone, so you can simply plug this into your computer, open a voice recording program like Audacity and hit record and you’ll get smooth and crisp audio for your videos.
- Edit your videos!
To make sure viewers will want to keep coming back to your content, you’ll need to make them as engaging as possible. If you don’t already, I highly recommend cutting the ‘blank space’ and silences out of your footage. Investing in a good editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Magix Vegas Pro, they can be pricey, but if you’re willing to put the time into learning a professional tool, DaVinci Resolve is both powerful and free to use.
I’d recommend watching some of your favorite YouTubers to get a taste of what editing style interests you. You might find you’d like fast paced jump cuts with comedy sounds placed in to increase the energy of the video, or perhaps you’d prefer a more relaxed editing approach. You won’t know what style suits you until you go ahead and play around making a video. It’ll take some time but you’ll identify what you like in no time.
Pay close attention to the viewer retention statistics in YouTube analytics. There’s a detailed breakdown of when viewers tend to drop off your videos. Study this religiously, as you’ll soon be able to identify what parts of your videos make people want to click away. You’ll then be able to adjust your edits to remove whatever bores your viewers.
Make something that interests you
One look at the trending tab will find some trends and gimmicks you might be compelled to replicate to get views. My one bit of advice on that ground is to avoid making content you don’t like. If it’s not a subject area or topic you are passionately interested in, you won’t want to continue making it. Viewers can certainly tell if your heart isn’t into it, and won’t want to stick around for content that feels forced.
You’ll want to start building a niche around content that you are interested in. Some subject matters are heavily oversaturated, and you might struggle to stand out. Pick a topic that not many people know about, and you’ll position yourself as a unique content creator rather than someone who just follows trends.
Find something you are passionate about and know a decent amount about. Are you a fitness fanatic? Make fitness videos. Do you really like history? Make educational history videos. It’ll be a lot easier in the long run to stick to making videos if you really enjoy what you do, and the videos will turn out a lot better if you’re excited by what you make.
Use interesting titles and make engaging thumbnails
The first thing a potential viewer will see is your thumbnail and title. Make sure these are up to scratch or viewers may not even give your video a chance, no matter how well put together your content is. Your title must be able to give the viewer a brief idea what the video is about without being misleading or clickbaity. Keep your title short and snappy, preferably under 60 characters, to make sure viewers can read it on their feed. You’ll want to spark curiosity by offering something a viewer might want the answer to.
An example of someone using their video titles to full effect is the educational/explainer channel Vsauce. His video titles asks an impossible question to his audience, like Did The Past Really Happen? or What Does Human Taste Like? These spark the curiosity of potential viewers, and by the end of the video Vsauce confidently answers these questions, making new viewers more likely to stick around to watch his other videos.
Another key aspect is designing a great thumbnail. You can apply the rule of thirds to compose interesting images, overlay your branding and descriptive text. If you add text, make sure that you use a font that’s easy to read on screen and make sure its big enough to read. A lot of successful YouTubers put their faces in the thumbnail as it creates an instant personal connection between a potential viewer and you.
If you’re misleading in your title and viewers find that your video is not what was described in your title or thumbnail, they’ll quickly switch off, hurting your viewer retention rate. This makes it less likely YouTube will recommend that video. Do not try and mislead in your titles.
Following these simple steps will put you on the right path to increasing viewer engagement, in turn making it more likely YouTube will want to push your video to new viewers. Get out there and create what excites you and don’t just follow trends. Putting in the hard work and making sure your videos are of the highest quality will certainly help you get noticed on YouTube.