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YouTube Tips Update Thumbnails & Titles Annually?

MattCommand1

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This morning, I received an unexpected newsletter titled "I hated my business and my content" from Vanessa Lau (known for helping people create Instagram content).

It was a confessional she wrote about how she felt about her business in 2021 (not good). It is a good read and has some good nuggets about life, business, and failed attempts to grow a business.

In any case, the one nugget I immediately thought about for the TB Forums was this sentence:

(And yes - I change the title and thumbnail every year so I keep getting views #contenthack ):

The context of that sentence is the paragraph below.

At some point last year, I hated everything that I posted. I felt in order to stay relevant on Youtube, I had to always post videos about Instagram.
The Youtube algorithm had pegged me as the Instagram girl, and so, the Instagram content had to continue - anything else was just a flop.
But here’s the thing: I never asked to be the Instagram girl.
Back in 2019, I decided to do one video about Instagram, and to my luck, it went viral.
Today it still remains one of the top viewed video about Instagram. I credit a lot of my success to that video, because it put me on the map
(And yes - I change the title and thumbnail every year so I keep getting views #contenthack ):

Vanessa Lau says that she goes back and changes the title and thumbnail of her best-performing video each year (since 2019). She considers this a "content hack". I don't have an opinion on this but I imagine it forces a "relook" by the YT algorithm. She seems to imply that it is a good thing to go back to your best-performing videos and update thumbnails and titles.

What do you guys think? Go back and update thumbnails and titles of your best-performing videos every year? Yes, No, Maybe?
 

ScarTV

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I can see this working on some cases. Like if you make a video in 2020 titled "How to Build a PC in 2020" and the thumbnail also includes "2020", you can update it as the years go on to 2021, 2022, etc. That's a pretty common practice I think. I think in a lot of cases though, you should leave your older (especially more popular) content relatively untouched. It makes it easier for those who have seen it to find it and share it as time goes on.

On the contrary, updating videos that aren't pulling views with different titles/thumbnails is definitely worth doing.
 
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MattCommand1

MattCommand1

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I can see this working on some cases. Like if you make a video in 2020 titled "How to Build a PC in 2020" and the thumbnail also includes "2020", you can update it as the years go on to 2021, 2022, etc. That's a pretty common practice I think. I think in a lot of cases though, you should leave your older (especially more popular) content relatively untouched. It makes it easier for those who have seen it to find it and share it as time goes on.

On the contrary, updating videos that aren't pulling views with different titles/thumbnails is definitely worth doing.
Now that I have had some time to ponder it, if a video is already performing, I am not inclined to touch it even if has been over a year. That falls under the "Don't fix what is not broke".

I have gone back to tweak a few thumbnails simply because I wanted a consistent look and style. I was a bit embarrassed by my earliest thumbnails. My thumbnails are not artistic masterpieces by no means but at least they have been updated to my current standard. People browse the thumbnails of people's video libraries even if they don't watch the video. I do it all the time.

And so, knowing that people are browsing me, I do want the super bad thumbnails replaced even if they don't result in any improved views. Same with the titles. I've gone back to make sure my titles are more readable and more concise even if they don't improve performance.

So much discussion surrounds actual video performance (rightfully so) but I am in a business where "first impressions" matter. People see your channel art, your profile pic, thumbnails, titles, etc. Collectively, they make a first impression on peers and channel browsers.