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YouTube Tips The Metric Nobody Talks About...

Stanley | Team TB

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There are a lot of ingredients that go into determining where and to whom a video is going to be served to; obviously if you make a video about 'Chocolate cake' then you are going to want to feature the word 'chocolate cake' in the title, description and the tags in order to let YouTube know that this is the video that needs to be seen by ANYBODY searching for anything to do with chocolate cake.

But why then do so many seemingly subpar videos seem to get shared out to the tunes of million of views while my videos sit like a yeastless dough in an room-temp oven? What must I change in order to satisfy the almighty algorithm to get my video shared out to those in need of a delicious video about the worlds greatest treat?!

Sadly there is one metric that can be neither changed nor predicted, it can not be accounted for y anything other than hindsight and yet it holds a major impact on exactly how your video is going to perform.

Time.

You see, timing is a critical element of the publish process. People worry about their publish times; whether they should post on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and whether it should be posted at midnight or noon... these are actually far less important factors (the YouTube 'algorithm' actually boosts a videos discovery for the first seven days in order to give it the necessary time to show how the audience responds to it). But timing includes factors that are simply unpredictable.

Holidays are an excellent example of this. January is an exceptionally poor time of year to post a video about chocolate cake. After a holiday season filled with rich foods and decadent desserts people are now setting their sights on gym memberships and exercise as they ramp up their new year resolutions. In a month trends may change as users begin searching for topics that pertain to chocolates for their Valentine's, although the impact that has on the search term 'chocolate cake' is likely to be negative. YouTube will see people searching for chocolate and after the sucess of the glutton of chocolate cake videos only six weeks prior may give impressions to these chocolate cake videos again, only to have their CTR drop as viewers continue to scroll past those videos towards more Valentine's Day oriented treats.

Something that few people think about is the timing of their video in relation to that of a video produced by a larger channel. For example, if HowToBasic (a 'cooking' channel) were to put out a video about chocolate cake and one-million of their viewers saw that video it will create a 'micro-trend.' That is to say that HowToBasic will actually create a trend that will cause an uptick in the amount of chocolate cake videos surfaced for more viewers across the platform and if you were to publish a video about chocolate cake one hour after HowToBasic then it is conceivable that you would ride the 'wake' of views that follow. Of course for anyone who has seen a HowToBasic video you can imagine that your video will likely not perform as well... the audience will not be looking for the same chocolate cake video that they just recieved from the comedy-routine that is a HowToBasic video.

The success of your video is determined entirely by how it performs for those who have watched it and as such there can be times when something out of you control interupts an audiences ability to be served your content. You can make the best chocolate cake video ever to have been shown on the platform and if you publish it during the Olympics, a national tragedy, severe weather or other ill-timed events it is entirely likely that a large portion of your audience is indisposed. They may miss the video entirely as their focus is simply not on YouTube at the time. Adversely the same could be true that your video happens to surface at a time when people are snowed in or under quarantine. Either way YouTube can not account for these trends; the algorithm sees only performance and acts accordingly.

And some times timing is simply the act of being in the right place at the right time.

In 2007 John Mitzewich wanted to be able to show people how to make chocolate cake so he recorded a video and posted it to YouTube. It was one one of his first videos and one of the earliest chocolate cake videos on a video-hosting website that was at the time only about a year old. 13 years later Chef John's 'Food Wishes' is now not only one of the oldest and most respected cooking channels on the second-most visited website on the internet. If anybody ever were to have their cake and eat it too, it would be Chef John.

The purpose of this is not to encourage anyone to focus their videos in an attempt to game the system by riding the wake of a larger creator, nor am I attempting to discourage the creative flow by bogging you down with another thing to worry about. Don't. You can't control the effect your timing has on the performance of your video. you can rest assured that you did everything you could and that it was simply poor timing that maybe stopped the progress of your video. You can also rest assured that just as readily as the timing may have killed your current velocity it can always bring it back just as fast, even years later. And you can create videos with the vigor and enthusiam of knowing that at any moment not only your new video but any video you have ever created could pop as a result of a well timed trend. And of course never forget to have fun and enjoy your work. The revenue, the fame, the fortune... everything else that comes with the success of a well-timed video...

Well that's just icing on the cake.
 
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Damon

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Major truth. Such vanity in the world these days. Honestly, most people don't care about virtue. They just want to look good in front of everyone. Humility comes before honor. People want honor, but they are not willing to be humbled. Humble pie is a dish best served warm and without fancy toppings.
 
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Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
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TubeBuddy Staff
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Major truth. Such vanity in the world these days. Honestly, most people don't care about virtue. They just want to look good in front of everyone. Humility comes before honor. People want honor, but they are not willing to be humbled. Humble pie is a dish best served warm and without fancy toppings.
Could not have said that better myself