How I Manage My YouTube Videos — Letting the Numbers Decide What to Film Next
Leverage Popular and Persanl Metrics to Better Understand your Viewers
The above image shows a handful of my videos from around a year ago — can you spot the outlier?
Making videos is more than just marketing and counting views, its about story telling. It doesn’t matter if you are using YouTube for fun, to get established, to be discovered as the next star, or to continue grinding out a living, if you listen to your viewers, and in aggregate, their message is pretty clear, they'll tell you exactly what to do next.
Where Are You Trying to Go?
I’ve been making videos for the past 5 years and I’ll admit that when I started it was for the sheer pleasure of the subject matter — anything related to data science. But I quickly saw the overwhelming interest and benefits this was giving back and decided that if I tried to understand this process, I could take this somewhere special, not just indulge in the pleasure of making videos and online friends.
The outlier I mentioned above is the video smack in the middle of the screenshot, the one with 20k views. It has about 40 times more views than the rest. Clearly, the topic of reinforcement learning beats the others. This is also a clear invitation from viewers that additional material around this topic is needed.
You can access these simple but very interesting metrics by clicking on the “VIDEOS” tab in your YouTube account. And for transparency, here are mine:
Neil Patel’s Advice
If there is one thing I got from Neil is that you should focus on content that converts. It took me a while to agree with that (just like most people who start writing for fun). Unfortunately, I am not currently selling anything on those videos so I’ll consider the viewership numbers as my income (and I do get a little AdSense money every month). So, what can we do when overwhelming interest is staring you in the face? Plenty and some require very little work:
But There’s Much More to Those Metrics
I’ve derived plenty more from those metrics, maybe a little less obvious but still critical. These have taken me a few years to really understand.
My Videos Are Too Long
For starters, it tells me that my videos are too long. The average video lengths are just under 5 minutes (https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/2/comScore-Releases-January-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings). Long videos tend to discourage people, just like long articles do. Unless they have a burning desire to learn about this material, if it feels like work to get through it, you’ll lose them.
My Titles Meander
It also shows that naming your videos is important as well — get to the point, use the keywords that will quickly convey and hook interested viewers. Don’t lose anybody by using poetic or mysterious wording — get to the point. For more on this topic, see How to Write The Perfect Title.