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At the recent 2022 VidCon event, YouTube’s top earner in the United States, Mr. Beast, delighted the audience with tips and tricks for how to go about becoming a popular YouTube creator. These are tips that any small business owner or YouTube content creator can follow to become more successful, get more views, and generate more engagement on every video.
Tip #1: Focus on retention, not views
The first thing to keep in mind is that the YouTube algorithm uses a number of metrics in order to determine how popular a video is, and whether it should be recommended to other users. And one of the most important metrics is “retention,” which basically refers to the concept of holding onto a viewer for the entire duration of a video. How many times have you watched a YouTube video and the creator said something like, “Be sure to watch the video until the very end, because that’s where I’ll give you the really important news.”
Well, there’s a reason for that. The YouTube algorithm will give you the most credit if you can hold into your viewers as long as possible. So, when you go about creating content, make sure that you remind viewers of the need to watch the full video. Stop focusing so much on your total number of views, and focus more on retention.
Tip #2: Try to improve with each new video
This might sound obvious, but Mr. Beast also advised users to try to improve at least one thing with every new video. For example, even something as basic as having a better description and title for the video can go a long way in helping YouTube to determine what a video is about, and whether it should be shown to others. The thumbnail sketch used to promote your video is also important, says Mr. Beast, so pay particular attention to this. Mr. Beast said that he routinely goes through his archive of videos from the past, looking for thumbnail sketches that can be improved. All of these are examples of incremental improvements that can lead to future success.
Tip #3: Experiment with different video formats
Finally, says Mr. Beast, think about experimenting with a range of different YouTube formats. After mastering the long-form format (30 minutes or longer), you might then experiment with the new Shorts feature, which is similar to the video format popular on TikTok. You can also experiment with going live. According to Mr. Beast, going live is a great way to build and establish your community. Think about all the great YouTube videos you’ve watched, in which the content creators are responding to chat in real-time, or welcoming new users as they enter chat. This helps to make every video feel like an “event” worth watching.
Of course, it’s a lot easier to give out this type of advice when you already have 100 million YouTube subscribers like Mr. Beast. It would be kinda like asking the Rolling Stones how they became an iconic rock band, and Mick Jagger answering something like, “Play music you love. Make every live concert special. Play a variety of different concert venues, including a few stadium shows.” Easy for him to say. So temper your expectations. As Mr. Beast himself explained, it might take 100 videos before you finally find your true audience and niche on YouTube. Don’t expect to be an overnight success. Instead, focus on making incremental improvements along the way, and you’ll do just fine.