YouTube videos: How to increase your reach and retention


YouTube is definitely a site to consider if you’re looking to add more videos to your marketing strategy. YouTube has over 122 million active users every day, and is the second most visited search engine behind Google. That’s a lot of people with the sole purpose of watching videos. So with more than 500 hours of new content uploaded every minute, how can you increase your reach and retention on YouTube? Take a look at our top tips below.

1. Give yourself a script

Consider introducing scripted statements in your videos. You might feel awkward at first but it’s worth it. It allows you to stay focused on the objective of your video so you don’t miss any important information or end up waffling and losing the viewer’s interest. You can also use scripted segments to engage with your viewer, whether that’s with you on screen or as a voiceover, so they feel you’re talking directly to them.

You don’t have to script the entire video. Little statements are enough just to make sure you get across your key points. For example, as demonstrated by Rotolight above, you could start your video by saying, ‘In this video, we’re going to…’. Such a simple 5 second statement does so much for your viewer and their journey. It ties in with their initial search, matching your title and video thumbnail (more to come on that later), so they know they have the right video from the moment they press play and are less likely to click away. There’s nothing quite as frustrating on YouTube than misleading titles.

Having a script doesn’t mean you have to read it like the weatherman (unless of course that’s the character you’re going for). Just be yourself.

2. Show the end at the beginning

We know lots of people don’t like to give away the big reveal too early. But trust us, just a quick glimpse of the end product before cutting away is a great way to tease the audience, grab their interest and improve retention. They want to know the process.

It can work for lots of products and video styles, whether it’s tips on creating a lighting setup, stylish makeup videos (beautifully demonstrated by Sculpted by Aimee below) or addictive unboxing reviews (my kids can’t get enough!). It also applies no matter what length your video – 1 minute or 10, it’s always worth trying to hook your viewer right at the beginning.

3. Viewers love a top tip

Throw in top tips or short cuts throughout the video. Viewers love things that can help make their lives easier or better. It’s good to add these in as snappy graphics as well if you can, even if it’s just a simple image that says ‘top tip’ that slides into frame. Not everyone will watch videos with the sound on, so having extra graphics that jump out will help draw attention to important points you want to get across or think they might find useful. You can also use the top tips to subliminally sell extra accessories – nothing quite like a discreet upsell!

4. Keep videos between 2-4 minutes

Although YouTube is of course ideal for longer videos, the average view duration is between 50 and 60%. That’s a huge drop out rate and applies across all video lengths. Naturally, having shorter videos increases your chances of keeping a viewer to the end, something YouTube pays attention to.


Get straight to the point!

5. Don’t forget to like and subscribe

Everyone’s favourite part…it sounds cheesy and yes, everyone does it, but it’s for a reason. Either at the beginning or end of the video, script in a ‘hit like and subscribe’ with an edited in graphic.  If you don’t proactively point it out, people won’t do it. It encourages them to subscribe and immediately see any new content that you upload. This will increase your reach and retention on YouTube as your new videos are more likely to get views, get them quicker and, in turn, reach a bigger audience. The more your videos are watched, the more YouTube and Google bumps them up the search engines.

6. Create a video thumbnail

Create a separate thumbnail image for your video after editing. It’s the first thing people see and it needs to be clear to the viewer that your video is the content they want to watch. Make sure your thumbnail matches or has the primary content from the title of the video.


A prime example of video thumbnails by Rotolight.

These simple recommendations will help you on your way to creating slicker, more engaging videos that keep your audiences hooked and coming back for more. If you need a little extra guidance, feel free to get in touch.