Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
A YouTube Viewer Describes Which Videos They Click, Ignore, or Flee
Have you ever wondered what goes through a viewer’s mind as they watch YouTube? Channel analytics will give you a partial answer when you look at click-through rates, audience retention, and subscribers gained per video. This information is good to know, but it’s not the only path to understanding viewers.
On YouTube, the full picture comes from viewer feedback. Asking questions like, “Why didn’t you watch my last video?” or “Why did you click away in the first 30 seconds?” provides an answer data won’t reveal.
In this episode of TubeTalk, we get that prized information from Albert Aydin, a YouTube fanatic who spends three hours a day on the app. As a public relations guy, he’s not on a quest to grow a YouTube channel and launch a video career. Instead, he uses his professional eye to critique content while enjoying tech, gaming, and anime videos.
To help creators understand viewers, Aydin and vidIQ executive producer Vyyyper play a game of Click, Ignore, or Flee. We totally made that up, but the game reveals why Aydin (and possibly other viewers) ignore some YouTube videos to watch others.
What makes you click on a YouTube thumbnail?
I look at a thumbnail, and if it looks relevant to something I’m looking for, I’ll click on it. If it seems unrelated to the content, I probably won’t click as quickly.
But I also don't think too much about it. I don’t look at a thumbnail and say, Oh, I’m not going to click on this because of the thumbnail. That doesn’t deter me too much. It’s more of just, if I see three thumbnails, there might be one I click first. Is this the one that has the answer to my question? Is this the one that has the content I'm looking for?
Which YouTube titles do you ignore?
One thing that makes me think twice before clicking on a title is if it seems too clickbaity. If it’s trying to stuff too many keywords for YouTube search, I’m going to get a little suspicious. I’m going to be thinking, I don’t know if this is the right one.
Are you tossing every word in there to get me to click?
I would love to see more titles that are worded for humans.
Which title would you click? 'Let’s Talk About the iPhone SE 3' or 'This iPhone Will Change the Way We Look at iPhones Forever.'
The first one. It might be because of my background in PR, comms, and messaging, and just seeing all the headlines. I’m not a fan of clickbait like that. The second title doesn’t really tell me anything.
That title can be applied to every year in the tech industry. Every year someone says product X is going to change the game – every iteration, whether it’s a Galaxy phone or it’s an iPhone.
If you tell me, Let’s talk about the iPhone SE 3, sure. I haven’t heard about that iPhone yet, or I don’t know much about it. So yeah, let’s talk about it. Teach me something.
How long do you watch a video before deciding if it’s worth your time?
Without thinking too hard into it, I would probably watch for a minute and 30 seconds. Before clicking out, I’ll fast-forward to see the rest of the video if the intro is taking too long.
When creators add video chapters and timestamps, I 100% use them because it's easy to jump to a section and say, Let me try this part and see if it’s what I’m looking for.
What do you expect to see in the first 30-60 seconds of a video?
I like to see the creator get to the meat of the topic. Fancy intros are great. They’re cool. But after a while, if the opener is from someone I know, I’m going to skip the intro because I’ve seen it already.
Where do you think creators should place ads in their videos?
At the beginning of a video. If you put an ad in the middle, there’s a 50% chance I’m going to click out.
How can creators make the viewing experience better on YouTube?
The video description helps. I go there to see if the video topic is what I’m expecting. I might not read the whole description because some of them can get pretty long, but I check to see if it reaffirms the content itself.
Also, if you’re making a video with a long, drawn-out intro that has additional background and historical information – but the main goal is reviewing a product – make those extra details a separate video. I’m here for the review. Don’t make me search for where the review begins, or if you’re going to do that, add video chapters so I can skip ahead.
Did you learn something valuable from this interview?