What is YouTube View Velocity and Why You Should Care?
YouTube view velocity.
What is it all about and does it really matter among everything else you need to consider when publishing video?
Here’s the thing:
Producing video content doesn’t guarantee marketing success.
Yes, video is the ‘new black’, but to really stand out, you’ve got to do more than just create something catchy. You’ll have to make an awesome YouTube video.
And to accomplish that, you have to pay attention to your analytics and what they’re telling you about your audience.
Fact is, engagement matters most.
In YouTube’s words, “Our systems have no opinion about what type of video you make and doesn’t favor any particular format. Rather, they try their best to follow the audience by paying attention to.”
Their algorithm sorts through all video content to find and rank it according to:
● what users watch
● what they don’t watch
● how much time they spend watching videos
● likes and dislikes
● ‘not interested’ feedback
And this isn’t news for most video creators. We’ve known that engagement is one of the most important metrics to track. To understand the link between YouTube view velocity and the success of your channel, let’s take a look at what view velocity is.
YouTube view velocity is the speed at which your video receives more views and is measured over a period of 72 hours.
View velocity and higher rankings
On its own, view velocity doesn’t influence rankings. Velocity is an indicator of how much attention your audience is giving your videos.
Rankings are based on a number of metrics and certain actions you take to create and position content. These also include SEO, watch-time, and how appealing your video thumbnail design is.
View velocity is influenced by the above metrics. For example, a search-optimized video with an appealing thumbnail will likely get more clicks that one that doesn’t embody these characteristics.
Paid media’s influence
There isn’t any proof that paid media helps or hurts view velocity. YouTube also doesn’t appear to support a means of tracking view velocity for paid ads yet, but this shouldn’t stop you from getting a little creative.
Locate your total views for a video and see how many clicks you’ve gained. From within your Google Ads account, locate your paid video ads and see how many clicks the ad generated. This should show how many paid views would have helped boost your view velocity within the first 72 hours.
So, what is view velocity good for?
View velocity is best used as an overall indicator of what your audience is really paying attention to and interested in right now. It’s important to note that “interest” is influenced by a number of elements. These could be the types of videos you create or keywords and video titles you use to capture attention.
And as view velocity is measured as an aggregate of views over the first 72 hours, it’s easy to tell what really resonates with your audience.
An important metric view velocity provides
Beyond shedding light on what your audience is really interested in, view velocity pulls back the curtain on an area that many creators have wondered about for some time.
It answers the question:
“What keeps my audience coming back?”
Unfortunately, access to how many viewers keep coming back isn’t something you’ll see in YouTube’s dashboard. Instead, you’ll have to sign up for a Morningfa.me account (your first month is free).
Morningfa.me is an analytics platform that will show you how your videos perform and provide recommendations on how to grow your channel.
It helps you easily figure out how many of your subscribers watch each of your videos. From within your Morningfame account, click on the Velocity tab and you’ll see an estimate of how many subscribers watched each of your videos.
So, as you can see, view velocity is perfect for influencing the direction of your content.
Since view velocity was introduced, few analytics tools have included it as a metric. In addition to Morningfa.me, VidIQ allows you to gather unique and valuable insights on videos. You can compare videos you own or those of any channel on YouTube. This level of insight can be used to figure out what competitors are doing that’s actually working
How to boost your video view velocity
Now that you understand how view velocity can positively influence your YouTube channel, here are seven steps you can take to help boost your videos.
1. Use SEO
YouTube SEO is similar to website SEO. In fact, like Google, YouTube also ranks videos based on how well the content you produce satisfies your audience.
To get more views on YouTube, optimize your video titles and descriptions. This way, people searching for content are more likely to come across your video because YouTube can easily find it based on a keyword search.
2. Increase your Watch-time
Watch-time is a measure of how much time your audience spends watching your videos. It’s a metric creators obsess over because it indicates how valuable your content is. The more watch-time, the more YouTube sees your content as helpful and will potentially rank it higher in YouTube search results.
If you’ve struggled to keep your viewers’ attention, incorporate pattern interrupts. Based on research in the Neuro-Linguistic Programming field, pattern interrupts capture attention by introducing a new idea that’s often unexpected or unrelated. When applied, they can be highly effective. Buffer used them to give their YouTube channel a 59% growth spurt in just 30 days.
3. Design captivating Thumbnail
Thumbnails are typically the first thing your audience will see in search results. The smartest and most successful channels know this and create thumbnails that stop YouTube users from scrolling through their feeds.
For example, a search for the term “how to market using video” shows the importance of incorporating color contrast, text and a character (preferably a person).
Together, these elements make viewers pay attention. They are forced to stop scrolling and spend time reading and digesting thumbnails before moving on.
4. Use CTAs (ask people to like and share)
Call to actions are necessary and important, but often neglected. When used correctly, they can help position more video content to be viewed, helping boost your view velocity.
As a simple rule-of-thumb, ask viewers to like and share your content. Also, be sure to also ask them to click on the notification bell for updates and new content.
5. Promotion. Promote. Promote.
Like all content, you must spend time promoting your new videos to generate as many views as possible. It’s easier than you think and can help boost your view velocity. Here are three ways to get the word out about your new content:
● Use social media and spread the word on every account you own.
● Send an email broadcast to your list.
● Reach out to friendly channels (social and YouTube) and ask for mention of your new video to help get the word out. If possible, try and secure an email broadcast via a partner.
● Use YouTube Premiere to build anticipation for new video.
6. Use suggested videos
Suggested videos are the perfect tool for keeping viewers on your channel. If you publish videos daily, suggest your latest content at the end of your videos to give the last three videos a boost in views.
7. Get smart about publishing time
Ever wondered when the best time is to publish your videos? According to YouTube and Video marketing consultant Derral Eves, it all depends on where you are in your journey to growing your channel.
He recommends that newer channels focus on producing content and less on when the publish it as they have less of an audience to generate enough analytics-based insights. For more established channels, Eves finds that establishing your peak viewer times is important. But that doesn’t mean you should publish content then.
Eves has found that you should find your peak time and publish content three hours earlier. This window will allow YouTube to notify users so they can consume content during your peak viewing time.
Image: Derral Eves
Eves also recommends consistency. Publishing content at the same time and on the same days helps set the expectation of new content for your audience.
Whether you’re planning to monetize your videos online or market your business, YouTube view velocity tells you what resonates with your audience right now. While there’s no proof that it is used as a metric that directly influences rankings, it indirectly influences rankings through other metrics (think likes, watch-time and views) that YouTube’s algorithm measures for rankings. Therefore, the higher your view velocity is, the greater the probability of your videos ranking higher in results.
Altogether, velocity is best used as a guide. Lean into insights on which videos generate the most views in their first 72 hours to inform you of to create for your audience.
Guest Post By: Amir Shahzeidi
Amir is the digital marketing manager at Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live streaming platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving businesses around their videos.
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