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YouTube Tips Breaking 4k: Tips On Getting Your Watch Hours

Stanley Orchard

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
1,376
24
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250000
I saw a couple people asking about this in the forums and decided to take a moment to break down the things that idid to hit 4,000 watch hours in about 8 months.

Go Big
The first thing I did was to start with a desire for creating content that was catered towards mainstream television. I wanted my videos capable of pulling a 30 minute timeslot for Netflix, Hulu or even network/cable television. Which means a video run time of 19-21 minutes. Now that was several years ago and I have adjusted my formula for the platform, but I still aim for 15-18 minute videos WHEN I AM ABLE TO DO SO. If that content that I have captured only warrants a three minute video then I do a three minute video, but I try very hard to capture 3-4 hours worth of footage that is then edited down to a 15-20 minute time slot. Making longer-form content like this really helps to fill in the watchtime, but you need to be careful. Don't start making 20 minute videos just because you want it to be 20 minutes. If you start turning off your viewers because your videos are too long and don't offer content that keeps them interested for the full 20 minutes then you are going to start losing views, your video is going to underperform and get lost in search and then it isn't going to gain anything at all. Initially I would suggest simply bumping up your video length by...

Adding Some Creativity
Outdoors guys do this by buying a drone. That is like the first thing we do in order to to dress up our videos, but the premise behind that is simple. You want to start adding some nice b-roll to your videos. Keep them punchy and fun to watch with some real nice cutaway shots. Drone footage is awesome, but so is some buttery-smooth slow-motion, some cinematic sunsets and enjoying margaritas with the friends set to a jazzy soundtrack. If you can use a montage of cool footage to increase your video length by 1 minute then that is a win! Another trick that I tend to do is to add in the before and after sequences. That is to say that when I go on a fishing trip I often try to cut that into 2-3 videos. Since I know I am doing this in advance it allows me to double up on the number of posts I make per week but it also allows me to recycle some of that footage. I make the first video, and then I end it with a small montage of what is coming up in the next video. The next video begins with a montage reflecting on what happened in the last video etc. This adds maybe 15-20 seconds per video. But literally every little bit helps.

Go Live
Doing a weekly livestream is not going to make or break your overall watchtime... but man it will make a difference. If you can be consistent and do your livestream every single week you are going to collect followers who enjoy that time when they get to sit back and spend an hour chatting with their friends. Another trick is to make friends with other YouTube creators who go live and come up with a schedule; if you take 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. and then they take 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. you are creating a block of content that is going to be very appealing for people who want something to take their mind off their day at that time. You will need to help promote for two shows etc and you only get only hour out of it, but the value to your audience can be immeasurable if done right. And look at the math of this:
Go live for one hour per week 50 weeks per year and get just ten people to watch. That equals 500 watch hours. No, it isn't going to kill the 4k but man it puts a serious dent in it.

Master Your SEO
Every conversation on TubeBuddy seems to end with this, and for good reason. These videos and livestreams don't do much for you if you have no reach and 80 subscribers. You don't need 1,000 subscribers to reach people though. You just need to find things that people are searching for which they are not getting answers for. Make 50 videos that people enjoy watching on topics that they need information and give them compelling, actionable thumbnails to click on and you will win the 4k battle quickly. It only takes one video to perform really well and garner that watch time... but it absolutely doesn't hurt to have 25 videos performing every single day in search as you continue to drop new vids for the audience that you do have.

Bonus Tip For Gaining Traffic
Just a little note for those of you looking for an extra way to get noticed and gain some watchtime in the process. Go make friends with brands that align with your niche. For example I do a fishing channel and I made friends with the social media account of a cast net company. They were active and seeking engagement on Social Media. I jumped in to help them promote their product. I never asked for anything in return mind you, I simply provided value for them. At one point I heard they needed some help with their blog, and so I offered to do some writing for them and when i did so Imade sure to write articles that I could then include my own affiliate links and my own video links into. Now I am getting contstant traffic from their website, and I made a valuable friendship in the industry! Total Win-Win!
 

Oliver & Liz

Active Member
TubeBuddy Star
39
9
Subscriber Goal
1000
I saw a couple people asking about this in the forums and decided to take a moment to break down the things that idid to hit 4,000 watch hours in about 8 months.

Go Big
The first thing I did was to start with a desire for creating content that was catered towards mainstream television. I wanted my videos capable of pulling a 30 minute timeslot for Netflix, Hulu or even network/cable television. Which means a video run time of 19-21 minutes. Now that was several years ago and I have adjusted my formula for the platform, but I still aim for 15-18 minute videos WHEN I AM ABLE TO DO SO. If that content that I have captured only warrants a three minute video then I do a three minute video, but I try very hard to capture 3-4 hours worth of footage that is then edited down to a 15-20 minute time slot. Making longer-form content like this really helps to fill in the watchtime, but you need to be careful. Don't start making 20 minute videos just because you want it to be 20 minutes. If you start turning off your viewers because your videos are too long and don't offer content that keeps them interested for the full 20 minutes then you are going to start losing views, your video is going to underperform and get lost in search and then it isn't going to gain anything at all. Initially I would suggest simply bumping up your video length by...

Adding Some Creativity
Outdoors guys do this by buying a drone. That is like the first thing we do in order to to dress up our videos, but the premise behind that is simple. You want to start adding some nice b-roll to your videos. Keep them punchy and fun to watch with some real nice cutaway shots. Drone footage is awesome, but so is some buttery-smooth slow-motion, some cinematic sunsets and enjoying margaritas with the friends set to a jazzy soundtrack. If you can use a montage of cool footage to increase your video length by 1 minute then that is a win! Another trick that I tend to do is to add in the before and after sequences. That is to say that when I go on a fishing trip I often try to cut that into 2-3 videos. Since I know I am doing this in advance it allows me to double up on the number of posts I make per week but it also allows me to recycle some of that footage. I make the first video, and then I end it with a small montage of what is coming up in the next video. The next video begins with a montage reflecting on what happened in the last video etc. This adds maybe 15-20 seconds per video. But literally every little bit helps.

Go Live
Doing a weekly livestream is not going to make or break your overall watchtime... but man it will make a difference. If you can be consistent and do your livestream every single week you are going to collect followers who enjoy that time when they get to sit back and spend an hour chatting with their friends. Another trick is to make friends with other YouTube creators who go live and come up with a schedule; if you take 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. and then they take 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. you are creating a block of content that is going to be very appealing for people who want something to take their mind off their day at that time. You will need to help promote for two shows etc and you only get only hour out of it, but the value to your audience can be immeasurable if done right. And look at the math of this:
Go live for one hour per week 50 weeks per year and get just ten people to watch. That equals 500 watch hours. No, it isn't going to kill the 4k but man it puts a serious dent in it.

Master Your SEO
Every conversation on TubeBuddy seems to end with this, and for good reason. These videos and livestreams don't do much for you if you have no reach and 80 subscribers. You don't need 1,000 subscribers to reach people though. You just need to find things that people are searching for which they are not getting answers for. Make 50 videos that people enjoy watching on topics that they need information and give them compelling, actionable thumbnails to click on and you will win the 4k battle quickly. It only takes one video to perform really well and garner that watch time... but it absolutely doesn't hurt to have 25 videos performing every single day in search as you continue to drop new vids for the audience that you do have.

Bonus Tip For Gaining Traffic
Just a little note for those of you looking for an extra way to get noticed and gain some watchtime in the process. Go make friends with brands that align with your niche. For example I do a fishing channel and I made friends with the social media account of a cast net company. They were active and seeking engagement on Social Media. I jumped in to help them promote their product. I never asked for anything in return mind you, I simply provided value for them. At one point I heard they needed some help with their blog, and so I offered to do some writing for them and when i did so Imade sure to write articles that I could then include my own affiliate links and my own video links into. Now I am getting contstant traffic from their website, and I made a valuable friendship in the industry! Total Win-Win!
Wow great advice! I wish I could go live weekly but making videos with my young kids is a challenge on its on lol. Maybe one day we'll go live.
 

golfwithjohn

Active Member
37
5
Subscriber Goal
100
Drone footage is awesome but so is some buttery-smooth slow-motion, some cinematic sunsets and enjoying margaritas with the friends set to a jazzy soundtrack
I really like this line because I see many YT'ers in my niche (golf) use drone shots and they look freaking awesome. I don't have the money or capability to buy one and learn at the moment but I can add special effects easily! Reading this I immediately thought about adding slow-mo to my golf swing and possibly the putt. I think it can add some drama :D
 

Travel Interesante

Recognized Member
TubeBuddy Pro
97
10
I really like this line because I see many YT'ers in my niche (golf) use drone shots and they look freaking awesome. I don't have the money or capability to buy one and learn at the moment but I can add special effects easily! Reading this I immediately thought about adding slow-mo to my golf swing and possibly the putt. I think it can add some drama :D
It really is all about finding little ways to improve in each video. Focus on 1 or 2 things, watch a YouTube video or a tutorial somewhere if you can swing it and try and improve in areas that you can.

And naturally, another great post by Stanley. We actually hit 1k subs well before 4k watch hours... it was a struggle for us. Then we hit it and had a few videos take off and all at once the next few videos easily doubled our watch hours. It can happen at any time if you keep chugging along and finding ways to improve and add more value for your viewers.
 

SILTHW

Professional cat wrangler
Moderator
3,273
26
Subscriber Goal
1000
It really is all about finding little ways to improve in each video. Focus on 1 or 2 things, watch a YouTube video or a tutorial somewhere if you can swing it and try and improve in areas that you can.
I just want to point out this is life advice. Focus on improving a few things at a time!
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
1,376
24
Subscriber Goal
250000
I really like this line because I see many YT'ers in my niche (golf) use drone shots and they look freaking awesome. I don't have the money or capability to buy one and learn at the moment but I can add special effects easily! Reading this I immediately thought about adding slow-mo to my golf swing and possibly the putt. I think it can add some drama :D
Also don't underestimate the value of a couple beers with a buddy who owns a drone... my brother owns one and i bought him a case of beer to film for 30 minutes at the beach on maybe three occasions. Been recycling those same shots for b-roll for over three years now.
 

lestingrabe

New Member
2
4
Subscriber Goal
1000
I saw a couple people asking about this in the forums and decided to take a moment to break down the things that idid to hit 4,000 watch hours in about 8 months.

Go Big
The first thing I did was to start with a desire for creating content that was catered towards mainstream television. I wanted my videos capable of pulling a 30 minute timeslot for Netflix, Hulu or even network/cable television. Which means a video run time of 19-21 minutes. Now that was several years ago and I have adjusted my formula for the platform, but I still aim for 15-18 minute videos WHEN I AM ABLE TO DO SO. If that content that I have captured only warrants a three minute video then I do a three minute video, but I try very hard to capture 3-4 hours worth of footage that is then edited down to a 15-20 minute time slot. Making longer-form content like this really helps to fill in the watchtime, but you need to be careful. Don't start making 20 minute videos just because you want it to be 20 minutes. If you start turning off your viewers because your videos are too long and don't offer content that keeps them interested for the full 20 minutes then you are going to start losing views, your video is going to underperform and get lost in search and then it isn't going to gain anything at all. Initially I would suggest simply bumping up your video length by...

Adding Some Creativity
Outdoors guys do this by buying a drone. That is like the first thing we do in order to to dress up our videos, but the premise behind that is simple. You want to start adding some nice b-roll to your videos. Keep them punchy and fun to watch with some real nice cutaway shots. Drone footage is awesome, but so is some buttery-smooth slow-motion, some cinematic sunsets and enjoying margaritas with the friends set to a jazzy soundtrack. If you can use a montage of cool footage to increase your video length by 1 minute then that is a win! Another trick that I tend to do is to add in the before and after sequences. That is to say that when I go on a fishing trip I often try to cut that into 2-3 videos. Since I know I am doing this in advance it allows me to double up on the number of posts I make per week but it also allows me to recycle some of that footage. I make the first video, and then I end it with a small montage of what is coming up in the next video. The next video begins with a montage reflecting on what happened in the last video etc. This adds maybe 15-20 seconds per video. But literally every little bit helps.

Go Live
Doing a weekly livestream is not going to make or break your overall watchtime... but man it will make a difference. If you can be consistent and do your livestream every single week you are going to collect followers who enjoy that time when they get to sit back and spend an hour chatting with their friends. Another trick is to make friends with other YouTube creators who go live and come up with a schedule; if you take 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. and then they take 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. you are creating a block of content that is going to be very appealing for people who want something to take their mind off their day at that time. You will need to help promote for two shows etc and you only get only hour out of it, but the value to your audience can be immeasurable if done right. And look at the math of this:
Go live for one hour per week 50 weeks per year and get just ten people to watch. That equals 500 watch hours. No, it isn't going to kill the 4k but man it puts a serious dent in it.

Master Your SEO
Every conversation on TubeBuddy seems to end with this, and for good reason. These videos and livestreams don't do much for you if you have no reach and 80 subscribers. You don't need 1,000 subscribers to reach people though. You just need to find things that people are searching for which they are not getting answers for. Make 50 videos that people enjoy watching on topics that they need information and give them compelling, actionable thumbnails to click on and you will win the 4k battle quickly. It only takes one video to perform really well and garner that watch time... but it absolutely doesn't hurt to have 25 videos performing every single day in search as you continue to drop new vids for the audience that you do have.

Bonus Tip For Gaining Traffic
Just a little note for those of you looking for an extra way to get noticed and gain some watchtime in the process. Go make friends with brands that align with your niche. For example I do a fishing channel and I made friends with the social media account of a cast net company. They were active and seeking engagement on Social Media. I jumped in to help them promote their product. I never asked for anything in return mind you, I simply provided value for them. At one point I heard they needed some help with their blog, and so I offered to do some writing for them and when i did so Imade sure to write articles that I could then include my own affiliate links and my own video links into. Now I am getting contstant traffic from their website, and I made a valuable friendship in the industry! Total Win-Win!
Thank u for that info... much appreciated
 

Nah_mah_rah

New Member
2
4
Subscriber Goal
1000
I saw a couple people asking about this in the forums and decided to take a moment to break down the things that idid to hit 4,000 watch hours in about 8 months.

Go Big
The first thing I did was to start with a desire for creating content that was catered towards mainstream television. I wanted my videos capable of pulling a 30 minute timeslot for Netflix, Hulu or even network/cable television. Which means a video run time of 19-21 minutes. Now that was several years ago and I have adjusted my formula for the platform, but I still aim for 15-18 minute videos WHEN I AM ABLE TO DO SO. If that content that I have captured only warrants a three minute video then I do a three minute video, but I try very hard to capture 3-4 hours worth of footage that is then edited down to a 15-20 minute time slot. Making longer-form content like this really helps to fill in the watchtime, but you need to be careful. Don't start making 20 minute videos just because you want it to be 20 minutes. If you start turning off your viewers because your videos are too long and don't offer content that keeps them interested for the full 20 minutes then you are going to start losing views, your video is going to underperform and get lost in search and then it isn't going to gain anything at all. Initially I would suggest simply bumping up your video length by...

Adding Some Creativity
Outdoors guys do this by buying a drone. That is like the first thing we do in order to to dress up our videos, but the premise behind that is simple. You want to start adding some nice b-roll to your videos. Keep them punchy and fun to watch with some real nice cutaway shots. Drone footage is awesome, but so is some buttery-smooth slow-motion, some cinematic sunsets and enjoying margaritas with the friends set to a jazzy soundtrack. If you can use a montage of cool footage to increase your video length by 1 minute then that is a win! Another trick that I tend to do is to add in the before and after sequences. That is to say that when I go on a fishing trip I often try to cut that into 2-3 videos. Since I know I am doing this in advance it allows me to double up on the number of posts I make per week but it also allows me to recycle some of that footage. I make the first video, and then I end it with a small montage of what is coming up in the next video. The next video begins with a montage reflecting on what happened in the last video etc. This adds maybe 15-20 seconds per video. But literally every little bit helps.

Go Live
Doing a weekly livestream is not going to make or break your overall watchtime... but man it will make a difference. If you can be consistent and do your livestream every single week you are going to collect followers who enjoy that time when they get to sit back and spend an hour chatting with their friends. Another trick is to make friends with other YouTube creators who go live and come up with a schedule; if you take 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. and then they take 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. you are creating a block of content that is going to be very appealing for people who want something to take their mind off their day at that time. You will need to help promote for two shows etc and you only get only hour out of it, but the value to your audience can be immeasurable if done right. And look at the math of this:
Go live for one hour per week 50 weeks per year and get just ten people to watch. That equals 500 watch hours. No, it isn't going to kill the 4k but man it puts a serious dent in it.

Master Your SEO
Every conversation on TubeBuddy seems to end with this, and for good reason. These videos and livestreams don't do much for you if you have no reach and 80 subscribers. You don't need 1,000 subscribers to reach people though. You just need to find things that people are searching for which they are not getting answers for. Make 50 videos that people enjoy watching on topics that they need information and give them compelling, actionable thumbnails to click on and you will win the 4k battle quickly. It only takes one video to perform really well and garner that watch time... but it absolutely doesn't hurt to have 25 videos performing every single day in search as you continue to drop new vids for the audience that you do have.

Bonus Tip For Gaining Traffic
Just a little note for those of you looking for an extra way to get noticed and gain some watchtime in the process. Go make friends with brands that align with your niche. For example I do a fishing channel and I made friends with the social media account of a cast net company. They were active and seeking engagement on Social Media. I jumped in to help them promote their product. I never asked for anything in return mind you, I simply provided value for them. At one point I heard they needed some help with their blog, and so I offered to do some writing for them and when i did so Imade sure to write articles that I could then include my own affiliate links and my own video links into. Now I am getting contstant traffic from their website, and I made a valuable friendship in the industry! Total Win-Win!
Wooww this was really helpful and I will try most of this , o hope for better results
 

spookyboo

Active Member
45
5
I found that premieres work great for keeping people watching especially if you stay in the chat with the watchers and chat with them. I am sure premieres count toward the 4K, but I am under the impression that livestreams that are not converted into VOD are not counted and I learned that lesson the hard way, I'm sure. Years ago I was not approved for monetization because of a bug (I found out through others) and had asked YT for years why I was not getting monetized and they couldn't/wouldn't answer the question. I believe now it is because when they had told me my content was "reused" I began removed videos of what I thought they considered reused and I was told those minutes would not be deleted. They were. Unfortunately, they were not communicating with me.

So, learn this lesson now before thinking that livestreams are going to help and never delete your videos with a lot of watch time. Do not delete livestreams and do not delete videos with a lot of minutes racked up.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
1,376
24
Subscriber Goal
250000
I found that premieres work great for keeping people watching especially if you stay in the chat with the watchers and chat with them. I am sure premieres count toward the 4K, but I am under the impression that livestreams that are not converted into VOD are not counted and I learned that lesson the hard way, I'm sure. Years ago I was not approved for monetization because of a bug (I found out through others) and had asked YT for years why I was not getting monetized and they couldn't/wouldn't answer the question. I believe now it is because when they had told me my content was "reused" I began removed videos of what I thought they considered reused and I was told those minutes would not be deleted. They were. Unfortunately, they were not communicating with me.

So, learn this lesson now before thinking that livestreams are going to help and never delete your videos with a lot of watch time. Do not delete livestreams and do not delete videos with a lot of minutes racked up.
The problem with livestreams is that you have to keep them public. It's a double-edge sword; they count for your watchtime as long as they are listed as public but when they are public they will also soak up impressions from your other videos. You can do things like place them in their own playlist so that they don't clutter your landing page, but they do still take up impressions. It's up to you how you want to proceed with that.

Premiere's are excellent in their ability to allow you to engage with your audience and that definitely keeps people onboard.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
1,376
24
Subscriber Goal
250000
I am notorious for adding TOO MUCH b-roll! lol

I need to get better at that lol
Oh man I am the same way... I LOVE B-Roll!!! lol It's comical how much I take. But I'm doubling down on it; I use what I can for my channel and what doesn't get used is recycled for social media. Win-Win
 

Avocado

Known Member
TubeBuddy User
141
9
www.spreadtheavocado.com
Subscriber Goal
1000000
I've been told that my videos are like a rollercoaster. When you see me talking or interacting you are going up or you're doing the fun loop de loops. The b-roll is the boring parts, less fun and engaging. The slow steady parts of the coaster. lol
 

Brave Starr

Life ain't no Nintendo Game
Moderator
1,718
24
Subscriber Goal
1000
@Stanley Orchard another amazing post. Have you considered making a "How To Be A YouTuber" channel? LOL. Since you like making fishing videos you can call it "Captain Orchard's YouTube Academy". ;)
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
1,376
24
Subscriber Goal
250000
@Stanley Orchard another amazing post. Have you considered making a "How To Be A YouTuber" channel? LOL. Since you like making fishing videos you can call it "Captain Orchard's YouTube Academy". ;)
Of course I have... anybody who has ever made a YouTube video has considered at one time or another starting a 'YouTube How To' channel lol. I was just never able to determine my niche. I considered doing YouTube How-To content specifically for Outdoors creators and even tried a few videos out but they fell totally flat.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
1,376
24
Subscriber Goal
250000
Ooooohh... but I gotta say 'Captain Orchard's YouTube Academy' has a nice ring to it lol