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Need Advice Average View Duration Dropping

Yours Truly

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Hey all. I have been putting out a lot of videos lately, and I personally feel like they are great quality (well, great for me anyway) and well optimized. However, my views and average view duration have decreased dramatically. I've tried adding in B-roll and doing a few different things to increase view time, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. I'm down to where I'm only getting 3min view times, and only about 11 views on a video that the keyword came back at excellent.
 

Damon

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Well, you need to look at the entire year. You haven't been making content for a year yet. Most of your views will come years down the road. The real question is do you care more about the b-roll or the views? If your sole reason to add b-roll was to get more views, then you've missed the point. The point of b-roll is to help you tell a more compelling, deeper story. You can never film with an expectation of some guaranteed result. In other words, you destroy the film.

Also just because you have found an excellent keyword doesn't mean that that keyword is a quality keyword, nor does it mean that you are guaranteed lots of views from using said keyword. The point of getting an excellent keyword is that you can more easily rank for it. The results of which no one knows. I argue you won't know the true results of targeting that keyword for the next year at least.

If your primary motivation is getting views, then people will sense that and stay away. If your primary motivation is producing quality content or serving a specific people group, you will build an audience over time. That audience may be big, it may be small, but you will develop an audience.

From looking at your channel, your Wal-mart video "took off." You made a follow-up video, and it ran flat. That's how it is. No one can predict "success," despite what all the habit books talk about. People don't like the sound of it, but you have no control over how many subscriber you get, nor the views you will amass. The only things you can control are:
  • the quality of your content
  • the quantity of your content
  • the length of time you spend producing the above, i.e., short-, mid-, and long-term.
The results of the content simply, no one knows. You simply gauge the results over very long periods of time--one year at the barest minimum--and make decisions from there.

Also most anytime you start cranking out more videos, you will see some drop off. As you may be producing content at a faster rate than they can watch. This isn't a bad thing. Remember your current audience and your future audience are two separate people groups. The people watching your content today may not watch seven years from now. If your content only appeals to here-and-now, you will never be able to build anything toward the future. Produce content that will be relevant seven years down the road, and you will pull traffic for years on end.

In my business all my sales come from videos I did years ago. If all I did was appeal to the here-and-now, I wouldn't have a business.
 
Last edited:

BensTechLab

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If your sole reason to add b-roll was to get more views, then you've missed the point. The point of b-roll is to help you tell a more compelling, deeper story.
Damon has some good advice here! B-roll can help keep users engaged by highlighting important things you are saying and making it more clear. For example if I say "This monitor has 1 HDMI port, 1 DisplayPort and 1 USB-C", I could then add B-roll close-up of all the connections on the monitor as not everyone will know the name and shape of each connection. So the B-roll adds value by making something you are talking about clearer to the viewer. B-roll for the sake of b-roll may not add any value or even worse become a distraction from what you are saying rather than helping people relate or understand.

That said good b-roll can help break up long periods of "talking head". So yes b-roll can increase watch time if it breaks up what would have been several minutes straight of the same camera angle on the same person talking... but gotta make sure whatever you use here is adding to your message and not taking away.

And last but not least as Damon mentioned above, YouTube is a "long game". Don't obsess over the numbers early on, but rather look at your analytics for what clicked with viewers and what didn't. You will slowly learn some video/editing techniques or even presentation techniques that resonate with people and what things you did that weren't well received. Don't judge too early on, just try to make each of your next videos better than your last and after a year or more you will suddenly notice you've come a long way, bit-by-bit, 1 video at a time.
 

The Jungle Explorer

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Hey all. I have been putting out a lot of videos lately, and I personally feel like they are great quality (well, great for me anyway) and well optimized. However, my views and average view duration have decreased dramatically. I've tried adding in B-roll and doing a few different things to increase view time, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. I'm down to where I'm only getting 3min view times, and only about 11 views on a video that the keyword came back at excellent.

Honestly, I am not sure view duration matters much anymore. I mean, YT is pushing YT Shorts with everything they got and hundreds of millions of dollars out of their pocket to boot. It used to be that YT wanted view durations in excess of 5 minutes, but I do not know if that matters to them anymore since they are now obsessed with 30-second videos. It seems a little contradictory if they were, like a double standard.

Duration can drop for several reasons.

1. The content is not holding the viewer's attention.
2. The viewer is jumping ahead through the video to get to the part they want to see.
3. YT Auto Chapters has added chapters so the viewer can know which part of the video is of interest to them.

People these days are not gonna sit through a whole video just to see the one part they came for. These are not the days of VHS tapes where you had to go through the whole tape. Most people have an attention span of about 15 seconds and that is it. Some have even less. If they have to wait for what they want for more than 10 seconds they are already thinking about leaving. Unless you have amazing content that is fast pace and keeps the viewer on the hook, it is hard to get view durations over 3 minutes.
 

Hiking with Shawn

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I read in the above comments that your channel isn't a year old yet?

Perfect time to start experimenting IMO. Do some A/B testing. Do different styles of videos. See which ones do better and which ones don't.

When making a video though, I like to suggest this. Treat like you're writing a book. Every second needs to grip the viewer like every sentence in a book needs to grip the readers.

If you can accomplish that, you'll win more.
 
OP
OP
Yours Truly

Yours Truly

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I read in the above comments that your channel isn't a year old yet?

Perfect time to start experimenting IMO. Do some A/B testing. Do different styles of videos. See which ones do better and which ones don't.

When making a video though, I like to suggest this. Treat like you're writing a book. Every second needs to grip the viewer like every sentence in a book needs to grip the readers.

If you can accomplish that, you'll win more.
Yeah, I started my channel last May but have been posting consistently since about August. My views are good, but my AVD is super low. Most of them less than 1 minute. Idk how to fix it! I think my videos are interesting lol!
 

Stanley | Team TB

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You are going to go through some ups and downs in your content... and you are smart to focus on watch time. While you will never get a single view until you can compel a random viewer to click on your video the real challenge is keeping them interested. People only have so much time to cram as much content into their tight little viewing schedule as possible and you are asking for ownership of that.

So, I'm going to be blunt and openly honest about what is happening here. You started a channel and that was intriguing for your initial audience. This was (and currently is) the origin story for your vlog and these viewers are curious to see how things evolve over the course of the next few years. But the newness has worn off, you are not creating content that really stands apart from the other videos that they are watching and you are suffering from what you could call a 'sophomore slump.'

The good news is that this is a fun and easy thing to fix... Experiment! You need to step outside the box! Play with your videos by trying new camera and editing techniques.

I have two tricks for you to try. The first; when you are done editing your video and you are ready to publish go back and re-watch your video; then cut 25% of it. This sucks, I know. I do this to myself 3-4 times per video. I always wait until the end, and then I go back and cut out all those crap moments that slow things down and drag on far too long. And I literally give myself a goal of cutting the video down to an exact amount (typically about 25% less than where I started). You don't want to just give the viewer a video about what is happening, you want to leave them wanting more. You can do that by not giving them so much of the video that they feel 'done' with the subject. This will have a positive impact on your AVD and your retention overall.

Another thing I do to increase retention is to watch a really good video... often something outside of my niche. Mr. Beast's Squid Games video is a perfect example, as is anything that Peter McKinnon or Casey Neistat do. Try to reproduce their video, but with your own vlog. Obviously you aren't going to make a Squid Games video, but copy their style; the crazy camera angles, the way they tell their story, the way they edit their shots. Push your limits as far as what you are capable of accomplishing.

Of course more explosions. That helps too lol
 
OP
OP
Yours Truly

Yours Truly

Familiar Member
TubeBuddy Pro
63
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Subscriber Goal
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You are going to go through some ups and downs in your content... and you are smart to focus on watch time. While you will never get a single view until you can compel a random viewer to click on your video the real challenge is keeping them interested. People only have so much time to cram as much content into their tight little viewing schedule as possible and you are asking for ownership of that.

So, I'm going to be blunt and openly honest about what is happening here. You started a channel and that was intriguing for your initial audience. This was (and currently is) the origin story for your vlog and these viewers are curious to see how things evolve over the course of the next few years. But the newness has worn off, you are not creating content that really stands apart from the other videos that they are watching and you are suffering from what you could call a 'sophomore slump.'

The good news is that this is a fun and easy thing to fix... Experiment! You need to step outside the box! Play with your videos by trying new camera and editing techniques.

I have two tricks for you to try. The first; when you are done editing your video and you are ready to publish go back and re-watch your video; then cut 25% of it. This sucks, I know. I do this to myself 3-4 times per video. I always wait until the end, and then I go back and cut out all those crap moments that slow things down and drag on far too long. And I literally give myself a goal of cutting the video down to an exact amount (typically about 25% less than where I started). You don't want to just give the viewer a video about what is happening, you want to leave them wanting more. You can do that by not giving them so much of the video that they feel 'done' with the subject. This will have a positive impact on your AVD and your retention overall.

Another thing I do to increase retention is to watch a really good video... often something outside of my niche. Mr. Beast's Squid Games video is a perfect example, as is anything that Peter McKinnon or Casey Neistat do. Try to reproduce their video, but with your own vlog. Obviously you aren't going to make a Squid Games video, but copy their style; the crazy camera angles, the way they tell their story, the way they edit their shots. Push your limits as far as what you are capable of accomplishing.

Of course more explosions. That helps too lol
Thanks! This is great advice! I already try and copy styles of other vloggers/influencers that I enjoy watching, but so far that hasn't seemed to work. With my videos I struggle to get most of them to 12 minutes lol. Would you still say cut out 25% of the footage? Meaning if I were to make a Pinterest Crafts video that is 12 minutes, cut it down to say, 9 minutes? (Idk if my math is right lol, it's too late at night to use my brain!)
 

The Kitchen Gamer

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Thanks! This is great advice! I already try and copy styles of other vloggers/influencers that I enjoy watching, but so far that hasn't seemed to work. With my videos I struggle to get most of them to 12 minutes lol. Would you still say cut out 25% of the footage? Meaning if I were to make a Pinterest Crafts video that is 12 minutes, cut it down to say, 9 minutes? (Idk if my math is right lol, it's too late at night to use my brain!)
I'd say don't try and copy other channels cause then it can come across as being a copy cat when you should try and make your own style of presenting and flair but take inspiration from them. In terns of video length I'd say just first have an idea or storyboard it out with what you'd like to talk about etc and then film it while don't force content to be in videos cause sometime the best videos are short 3-5minute videos instead of 10+minute ones but just find what works for you along with what your audiences retention is on your videos cause that's also a good indicator on the length they'd most likely watch.