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What does the YouTube algorithm change mean for video marketers?

By June 20th, 2013 Uncategorized No Comments
What does the YouTube algorithm change mean for video marketers?

Historically, YouTube’s search and discovery algorithm rewarded videos that were successful at attracting clicks. A video with a large number of views provided a good indication of popularity. However, what this meant was that these videos were often promoted above those that actually kept viewers engaged.

The recent onsite refresh and update to the YouTube search and discovery algorithm effectively replaces ‘view count’ with ‘watch time’. Now, If audiences are clicking on to a video AND watching content from start to finish, then this presents a stronger indication that it is of some value to others.

For the audience the update means they’ll be presented with more relevant, engaging content that is more likely to entertain or inform. For YouTube, it means that visitors will spend longer on the site, which in turn should open up greater revenue opportunities for it’s industry partners.

So what’s the future for video marketers? Well, you can’t simply make videos shorter. Whilst a high retention rate is a good indication of engagement, YouTube’s main goal is to keep audiences on YouTube for longer periods of time. Equally, you can’t just make videos longer, as this is unlikely to yield a high retention rate!

The answer? For us, the update presents an exciting landscape. At Seevue Digital, Our approach has always been to develop a solid understanding of the target demographic and to produce content that audiences feel genuinely compelled to watch and share with their friends, colleagues or family. In essence, the update means that in order to be successful on YouTube, then marketers really need to focus on more creative and innovative approaches to content production.

Fortunately YouTube provides built in tools that video marketers can use to examine audience retention metrics, so that they can better understand where and why viewers stopped watching their video.

So, whilst an eye catching thumbnail and a punchy title will still contribute to engagement in some way, it’s the intrinsic value of the content itself which will ultimately dictate the success or failure of your campaign.

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