How To Hook Viewers and Hold Their Attention Longer


It’s one thing to get people
to watch maybe the first 15 seconds of your video. But how do you get them to
watch a minute, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, the full video? Today, I want to
share with you guys some of the common things
that makes it easy for people to abandon your video so you
can correct those mistakes and make it more likely
that people will watch more of your videos, giving
you more watch time, helping you rank
better in search, and get discovered better
overall on YouTube. That’s coming up. [MUSIC PLAYING] Hey, guys. My name is Tim Schmoyer, and
welcome to Video Creators. This channel is all about
helping you guys grow your YouTube audience so you can
spread a message that reaches people and impacts their lives. But how can you reach people
and impact their lives if your videos aren’t reaching
people in the first place, because your abandonment
rate on them is so high? One of you guys in the
Video Creators community actually commented and
asked this question. “Nice video. But what can you do if
most of the video viewers quit watching in a 15
second mark or even sooner?” That is a great question. I think to really answer that,
we need to first understand why a viewer clicks on a
video in the first place, and that is this. The title and the thumbnail they
clicked on set an expectation that they are hoping will be
fulfilled in that content, in that video, when they
click and start watching. When that expectation
is fulfilled many times for a growing number
of people, that’s when YouTube is going
to start getting all the positive signals
they need about your video. That’s when people are going
to not only click to watch, but they’re going
to keep watching. And they’re going to
watch a lot of that video, giving you a lot of watch time. And then they’re going
to go on and watch other videos, which is going
to extend the viewing session time– all really positive, important
signals for Google to get. So that will make them start
to highlight and promote your videos in different
places around YouTube, including related videos,
content to other people’s videos, and suggested videos,
and on the home feed of people who maybe watched one of your
videos but didn’t subscribe, and a lot of places like that. The reasons of why a viewer
would abandon your video are then exactly the opposite. There’s actually two things
that we boil it down to. Number 1 is that the
title and the thumbnail set them up to expect
something different than what they’re
actually seeing. It’s a misleading title,
a misleading thumbnail, in some way. Not that you’re intentionally
being misleading, but they clicked
expecting something, and they’re not getting it. Or number 2, maybe they’re kind
of getting what they expected, but the video is just going– it’s just too slow. It’s too lame. The value just
isn’t tight enough. It’s just boring and
is not delivering that much value, or at
least not as much as they were hoping to get. So what should you do? How do you hook a viewer
and get them to keep watching more of your videos? I want to give you
guys three action steps that you can do right now. Number 1 is that you need to
craft very enticing titles and thumbnails. I know this goes without saying. I know you’ve probably heard
this many times before. I know you have on this channel
if you’re a subscriber here. But the problem is
that most creators think that their titles and
thumbnails are already awesome. Let me encourage you
guys, if you spend just as much time crafting your
title and your thumbnail as you do crafting
the video itself, because it doesn’t matter
how amazing your content is if the title and the
thumbnail don’t entice someone to click in the first
place and properly set the expectation for what someone
is going to get in that video. Another common problem I see
among creators with this, though, is that
most of them, they feel like they’re
thumbnails and their titles are already awesome. They feel like
they’re already good. And they’re like, well,
that’s not my problem. My titles and thumbnails
are already good, Tim. Well, if your channel
is not growing and you’re seeing a high
abandonment rate on your videos at the very beginning,
then I would just ask you to humbly
consider that maybe there is a way you can do better
titles and thumbnails, assuming of course that your
content is awesome. It’s stellar. But that leads us to the next
action step you should take, and that is to make
sure that the first 15 seconds of your video
relate very closely to the title and the thumbnail
that someone just clicked on. For example, in this
video, I opened this video up telling you guys, this is
what we’re going to talk about. This is what I’m
going to teach you. And it’s all related exactly
to the title and the thumbnail you saw to click this video. I didn’t jump straight
into the content. I didn’t jump in by opening
the video by introducing myself or welcoming you to
the channel– nothing– I did all that, but that
came after I set the hook. Something I find
particularly common among entertainment-based
channels, like vlogging and gaming
and things like that, is that their title
and their thumbnail do relate to the content but
often not until something that’s like five
minutes into the video or eight minutes into the video. By that time,
anyone who’s clicked on that title and thumbnail
expecting something, and it’s not coming
till five minutes, they’re not going to hang
around for five minutes to see if that
eventually happens or that thing eventually comes. If the nature of
your content is such that you don’t know
what’s going to come, then you could
start the beginning of your videos
with “Coming up on” Or “In this episode”
and some music and some quick
highlights, a little montage featuring what’s going
to happen, teasing the story, cutting to your branded
intro, and then cutting to your normal content. That’s one way to do it. The way I recommend you
do it, if at all possible, even with vlogging, is you’ve
got to know what story you’re going to tell that day. What are you going into? What’s the main story
you’re going to tell? And then open up
with that story, already having an
idea of what title you’re going to
have for that vlog and what thumbnail you need to
capture for it so that it ties in with the opening
of that video. I get my hair cut. [CHUCKLES] Holly and I are
out on a little date today, and she’s getting her hair cut. Are you excited? Mhm. Your really die-hard,
your subscribers, they’re not going to care. They’re going to watch
anything you publish. What we’re thinking
about right now is how do we get new people,
people who’ve never heard of us before, never seen us. They have no idea that his
might be coming at five minutes. Instead, they just want to
know right at the beginning, should I keep
watching this video? Is it worth my time? And if they clicked on that
title and thumbnail expecting something, the
beginning of your video needs to say, yes, it’s coming,
and let me affirm it for you right away. And the third action
step for you guys is that you need to pay close
attention to the audience retention graphs in
your YouTube Analytics. Go back and study your
previous 20 videos or so, and just look for patterns. What are the reoccurring themes
you see when there’s dips or when it goes up? That means someone went back
and watched it multiple times. Or they skipped ahead in the
video, something like that. Do you notice that, for
example, anytime you talk for more than
20 seconds, people start to leave your video? Or maybe you discover, hey
if I go more than 10 seconds without a cut, I
see people start to leave and abandon the video. Maybe– one person I
worked with noticed that whenever they said the
word “module” in their videos, blip, blip, blip. People would just
leave their video. And so all he
simply did was stop using the word
“module” in his videos, and his audience
retention went up. He got more watch time. His videos started performing,
all because of that. And he would have had no idea if
he wasn’t studying his audience retention graphs and seeing what
are those common things that are making people
abandon my videos? What are those patterns that
I can trace across all 20 of these recent
videos I’ve done? There’s a lot of other
things we could talk about related to this topic. But I want you guys to share
your thoughts in the comments below and the rest of
you to go down there and read the comments
other people are leaving. Learn from each other about what
other tips and ideas and tricks you have for hooking
a viewer and keeping them watching for longer
periods of time in your content. And if this is your first
time here at Video Creators, I would love to
have you subscribe. This channel is all about
helping you guys grow your YouTube audience so you can
spread a message that reaches people and impacts their lives. Thank you for letting me
be a small part of that. Subscribe. I’ll see you guys again next
Thursday at 2:00 PM Eastern time for another
YouTube training video. See you then. Bye.

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