As a marketer, you need to examine viewing data on each piece of video content you produce. You need to understand your audience, their tendencies and interests. A simple way to measure this is through audience retention.

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YouTube analytics will give you an average retention rate on each of your videos. That is, how long your viewers are watching the content. You are able to dive deep and look at your videos retention graph to understand at what point in the video your viewers become disengaged.

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Traditional television and film style videos always open with a lengthy introduction. In today’s digital environment you need to capture the viewers attention within the first 30 seconds. If you don’t, they have plenty of options on YouTube or the rest of the Internet to keep their attention. Here’s a quick trick when editing video content for YouTube that will keep your audiences attention.

  1. Guidance: Open your video content with an introduction. Have the talent speak directly into the camera. Have them introduce what the video is about and what the viewer will learn by the time they view your entire video.
  2. Branding: After the lead in, be sure to provide a short branded intro. If your video content truly is valuable to the viewer, your branding will help build trust. Once you gain trust, your audience will be more forgiving and engage in your videos longer.
  3. Content: Finally, keep your videos short. I know that this advice is not ground breaking. There are thousands of articles and studies that share the ideal length of a YouTube video. In the end, audience retention is one of the factors that increases your videos search ranking on Google and YouTube. If your audience retention is close to 100%, Google will raise your search ranking. Reason being, Google is signaled that your viewers enjoy watching your videos in length.

Guide —> Brand —> Content

While you know your video is valuable, your viewer needs to be convinced. Give them information and trust within the first thirty seconds. By following this template you will begin to see your audience retention rate rise and your subscriber base grow.