Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
How to Make the EXACT Videos YouTube Subscribers Want to See
JUMP TO SECTION:
- Study Your YouTube Audience Demographics
- Identify Viewers’ Problems, and Deliver Solutions
- Test Different Videos to See What Subscribers Like
- Create a Persona for Your YouTube Viewers
- Got Multiple Personas? Identify What Connects Them All
Do you ever wish you could get inside a viewer’s mind and read their thoughts? If so, what secrets would you unravel about your YouTube subscribers?
We’re willing to bet most creators want to know one thing: Which videos will you, the viewer, watch without question on my channel?
It’s impossible to read minds, but maybe you can do something else. Perhaps you can take a slight detour from guessing what viewers want, and instead, letting their actions show you.
In this episode of TubeTalk, we chat with Kristina Smallhorn, a real estate creator, about understanding your YouTube audience. Kristina has 144,000 subscribers and enough channel research to gain thousands more. Her not-so-secret advice is to determine which videos people will (or won’t) watch on your channel.
It sounds simple, but getting to know your audience isn’t easy. Here’s a guide for discovering your viewers’ interests and making videos they love.
Study Your YouTube Audience Demographics
Want to get inside your viewers’ heads? You’ll need a few basic details first. It helps to know three things at the beginning of your research: your viewers’ age, gender, and location. That tells you what stage of life they are in, plus the types of videos they might enjoy.
Here’s how to find those demographics on YouTube:
- Log in to YouTube and go to the YouTube Studio.
- Click Analytics in the left navigation menu.
- Click the Audience tab at the top of the screen.
- Near the top-right of the screen, select a period of data to analyze.
- Scroll down to see your channel’s audience demographics.
You can also check out two more panels on this screen: “other channels your audience watches” and “other videos your audience watched.” Here is what one of the panels looks like:
Kristina used this same audience data to make irresistible videos on her channel.
“I found a pattern.... they really like watching people have an alternative life,” she says of her audience. “They have a dream of living off the grid. They may not necessarily do that, but they definitely like watching that stuff.”
Identify Viewers’ Problems, and Deliver Solutions
Most people come to YouTube for a reason, and that’s to answer a specific question. How do you kill a computer virus? What’s the best recipe for cajun chicken wings? There are plenty of videos to watch, but only one will be clicked.
Winning that battle is possible if you know your viewers’ interests and hobbies. But winning the war? That victory goes to creators who can identify problems and offer a solution.
“My specific [audience] is very concerned with a housing crash,” Kristina says, referencing the pandemic housing shortages. “I wanted to tie that in specifically to affordable housing options. So, for example, in my most recent video, I said, ‘A housing crash will not make housing more affordable, and then I explained the reasons why.’ That, I know, will appeal to my audience.”
What does your audience struggle with daily? If you can make videos about those things (and offer solutions), your channel will grow exponentially.
Test Different Videos to See What Subscribers Like
When Kristina wanted to increase her YouTube subscribers, she went into learning mode.
She tested different videos to see what viewers:
- Absolutely hated.
Kristina stuck to her niche but took detours to the other side of real estate – topics like house flipping and expensive home renovations.
“I started doing these ‘real estate agent reacts’ type of videos, and they did OK,” she says. “But not anything to write home about. It was a test. I tried it, it was a failure, and I learned from it. And then I moved forward.”
Testing content that fails until you find the perfect match can seem daunting. But then again, that’s how Kristina gained enough insight to grow her audience. Without those learnings, it may have taken her years to reach even 10,000 subscribers.
Create a Persona for Your YouTube Viewers
Have you ever given your subscribers a name or a fake personality? Have you ever penned a list of their unique traits?
If so, you’ve already created a persona for your audience, or in other words, a short story about who they are.
Kristina named her audience “Frank” because to her, that describes them perfectly. Her viewers tend to be:
- 55 and older.
- Mostly male.
- Interested in affordable housing.
Over the years, Kristina has learned that “Frank” doesn’t watch videos about:
- Buying a house with Bitcoin.
- An eco-friendly house tour.
- Millionaires buying homes.
- Millionaires selling homes.
“Frank” wants what he wants, which is an affordable home. That’s it. Those are the types of videos he’s willing to watch, and nothing else will retain his attention.
Before you create your next video, think about your audience’s persona. Then ask yourself if you’re prioritizing what viewers care about or what you want to film.
Got Multiple Personas? Identify What Connects Them All
Knowing your main persona is a step in the right direction. But what if your audience has multiple personas across thousands of viewers? Is there a way to make all of them watch the same video?
Yes, but you have to send the right signals in your video titles and thumbnails.
For Kristina, that meant writing titles for two personas that love the same thing: affordable housing. That way, no viewer feels alienated, and Kristina gets the maximum number of clicks. Check out the thumbnail for the video below, which sticks to the "cheap house" theme.
But what if one video is all about an affordable, eco-friendly home? Kristina knows most of her audience doesn't care about sustainability. The solution is to mention that detail briefly while emphasizing the main topic: affordable housing.
“If I’m showing a house, I can literally say in the video, ‘These are eco-friendly materials, and it actually costs you less,’ Kristina says. “That’s not me forcing the fact that it’s an eco-friendly house and shoving it in their face....and then it’s not [them saying], ‘Don’t force me to do something.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, that’s cool that it’s eco-friendly too, but I really just wanted a cheap house.’”
If you discover just one thing that connects different viewers, you can convince all of them to watch the same thing.