If you would like to be a part of YouTube’s Partner Program and want to monetize your channel through AdSense revenue, you’ll need to have generated 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time on your channel over the last 365 days.
But getting 4,000 hours watch time or 240,000 minutes to be precise is quite overwhelming for a new YouTuber, but we’ve got you covered on how to get more people to watch your content and hit that goal ASAP!
1. How long should videos be to increase watch time?
You may think that longer video = more watch time hours.
This is not entirely true. As you know, YouTube ranks videos based on its ability to keep its audience hooked on to the platform. If you have viewers abandoning your content mid-way, the less likely YouTube is to show it to more people on the platform.
A successful strategy would be to create shorter videos that people watch longer, which in turn increases your opportunity to reach more people and boosts your watch time.
So, how long do your videos need to be? The answer is simple! As long as you need to be to get the point across. Being able to condense and package your videos in the shortest amount of time possible will have a positive impact on your channel.
2. YouTube Shorts and Watch Time?
If short-form content gives you the highest audience retention, should you be focused on YT Shorts content instead of longer-form videos? Not necessarily.
Subscribers gained from your Shorts will count towards your goal of reaching 1,000 subs you need to qualify to join the YouTube Partner Program.
BUT the watch time generated by YouTube Shorts, will not count towards the 4,000 public hours needed.
3. Focus on Audience Retention Metrics
Your YouTube studio will have some historic performance data giving you feedback on how your content resonates with viewers.
If you see a dramatic drop-off in retention, that’s the first thing you should address in your content strategy. Because that’s the point of making videos. To keep viewers hooked to your channel. Watching your audience retention after you’ve uploaded a video will help you to see where improvements can be made.
4. Publish Your Videos When Your Audience are Online
When you publish a video, you want to ensure that you get as many viewers as possible to see it. One invaluable metric is knowing when your viewers are online.
Why is this so important? The first 24 hours are crucial after you upload. YouTube loves it when videos keep viewers on the platform for longer. When your video gets some good initial traction with views and engagements, this sends a strong signal to the algorithm which optimizes your video for better ranking and suggests it to more viewers.
In YouTube Studio Analytics under “Audience”, you will find the ‘When your viewers are on YouTube’ section. The report shows, when your viewers are online across all of YouTube in the last 28 days. Analysing this will help build your community, understand when to schedule a Premiere, or plan your next live stream.
5. Make the Most of End Screens
End screens are an extremely powerful feature that can direct your viewers and keep them hooked to your channel. This can give your viewers more context on a topic you’re discussing or can enable you to promote more of your content. You can add them to the last 5-20 secs of the video by pointing them to other videos, playlists, merchandise or asking them to subscribe to your channel.
Using a scripted verbal or visual call to action works well when placing end cards. It encourages viewers to click them, which will boost your views, watch time instantly!
Generating 4,000 hours of watch time may feel like a mountain to climb but with the right content and promotion strategy can easily be achieved. Being consistent is the most important in reaching your goal. When you continue to publish videos and work on improving production and content, you will reach your 4,000 hours, and we will be here to celebrate your success!
Need help with your YouTube channel promotion and advertising strategy. Start your campaign with us here: www.socioinc.com