One of the top-ranking search queries on YouTube is how to increase 4000 watch hours for channel monetization. This is one of the two important qualifying criteria besides a base of 1000 subscribers. Because I started my journey on YouTube on April 6th, 2020, much like you, I am also working on the same challenge to gain 4000 watch hours. This led me to study a lot and progress methodically toward increasing 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscribers. In this article, I share some of the key factors that I am following to impress YouTube’s algorithm to increase 4000 watch hours for my channel.
Subject Matter Determination
Many people get started on YouTube on an impulse because they think it is easy to make money on YouTube or get famous overnight. After all, it doesn’t take any effort to start a channel which is so easy. These are the people to flood YouTube with substandard content, content that doesn’t inform, educate, or entertain.
If you are serious about YouTube, then know your domain. Don’t just blindly follow a niche just because it is cool or gives you easy traction. You may soon run out of topics, or say you start feeling awkward about pretending something t hat’s not natural to who you are. So, come with authority in the subject that you can’t stop talking about. That confidence will automatically find its tribe.
Top Ranking Videos Help you Increase 4000 Watch Hours
Now, this is smart work. You have to pay attention to everything I say here. Go to YouTube homepage & type in your niche/domain. If you are in health and wellness, type health and wellness in the search bar. You will see a list of top-ranking videos in that domain. You can use filters such as-
i) Upload date,
iv) Features &
v) Sort by Options to adjust your criteria.
Most of the times, I go by upload date because that brings to me what is happening now. It tells me content that is already there and content that I can develop. It helps me avoid being redundant and sometimes a new arena from where I gain a fresh perspective of challenges I am trying to solve. So, depending on your search adjustments, study the top 7-8 videos. Go for top 7-8 dominating UK search, US search, & Asia search. Do this by adjusting your channel to regions. Practising this step for every video you upload helps you increase 4000 watch hours.
Videos that Fit YouTube Search Flow
Remember that a while ago I asked you to create a list of trending videos and their creators ranking your domain search results? Now, go through each video & understand something they left out and didn’t cover. It can be in the form of a question or a suggestion to the creator in response to the video you have watched that you can develop to create your YouTube video.
When you create a video that is a natural progression to something that is there on YouTube already, YouTube understands that and recommends your video to viewers watching the video from where yours began. It is clear, right? Your video ideation should naturally fit into the watch page search flow. This is a skill to improve your video retention & requires expertise that you are likely to gain with more practice.
How can a YouTube Content Calendar Increase 4000 Watch Hours?
Once you are done with the research, and you know topics now trending, it is time to create a basic 3-month content planning. Whether you do it for yourself or a company as a digital agent, calendar new video content ideas on your computer. If you try to keep your research outcome in your brain, you may lose the cues based on which you’ll ideate your video topics and develop them.
Our world is moving at a rapid pace, and so I do not recommend going too far into the future in planning your Youtube content calendar. Now, depending on your situation, mark a frequency at which you’ll release your content. If you are new, your Youtube content calendar should have videos released every alternate day or two to have YouTube algorithm frequently crawl your channel until it gets familiar with your presence. Need I explain more on how it helps your channel increase 4000 watch hours?
How to make evergreen videos for YouTube, and what is it? If you want a YouTube channel that grows while you sleep, then you need to be making evergreen videos as part of your YouTube strategy. These are videos that don’t go out-of-date for a long time if not ever, and they are the frequently searched items. They say that “evergreen content on YouTube is a way to catch three birds with one stone.”
Evergreen videos do well in YouTube Search, Home, and Suggested Videos at the same time. To show you how important this is, I invested in checking 1000s of top-performing videos in the evergreen content category. Trust me it is a much underplayed YouTube algorithm hack. Check my video that has a list of evergreen content ideas. They are fun and interactive, and based on messaging; they can get you new viewers and improve your retention rate.
Don’t Fluff, Don’t Drag
YouTube shows your videos to more people if you can keep viewers watching longer. So far that you have heard me in this video, you may have noticed that I haven’t wasted your time talking of stuff that’s opposite to the title video of this video. Right? If you have come so far watching this video, it is because I have been able to engage you with the information needed for your YouTube growth. In short, you have heard no fluff.
So this is something you too got to implement in your videos to ensure viewers watch your videos for a longer time by which you improve your retention rate and thereof build on your watch hours. These small changes to your content make a big difference and help YouTube recommend your videos to more viewers because the YouTube algorithm sees it as content with the power to retain users on its platform.
Design Stunning Thumbnail
Because of the quarantine, I haven’t seen handsome people around me for a long time. Imagine if YouTube too betrays pleasure to my eyes, how disappointing that’ll be? Looks do matter, and that’s why graphic designers will never run out of work. You know why Canva today is rocking the world?/ It is simply because of the premise they dominate as designers. And so, ensure that you have custom thumbnails for every video of yours.
The thing is when you upload y our video with a 7-8 sec trailer, YouTube automatically determines that section as the thumbnail but ensure you have uploaded a separate thumbnail that visually sums up your video content. Since I mentioned, Canva, you can use that platform for $120 annually or for $10 you can order from me through Fiverr account. If I were you, I would try and pick up this skill myself and save every dollar, which again is work and you may consider it if you are going to start YouTubing for your company.
Write Effective & Non-Clickbait Titles
Who wouldn’t agree with this? Isn’t this the reason that you have to think twice before subscribing to my channel? You see that I have no YouTube creator family trophy to establish the fact that I would always create credible content that adds to the digital marketing knowledge repository on this platform, right? So, this proves humankind responds better to titles that help a brand position itself.
You may say that you are aware of many YouTubers who have great view count and engagement even with a short and non-optimized title. My friends, go back and run a quick awareness check of how their content independent of YouTube’s recommendation is proactively sought by the public, which is not your case. So, what should your title be like? It should have-
i) Keyword on which the video is based,
ii) Related keyword, &
iii) a hook!
YouTube SEO: Tags & Meta Description
When you have uploaded your video on YouTube, before publishing it, you have to do some work here. And it is your YouTube SEO. This takes place right below the bar where you add your YouTube video Title.
Here you have to write Metadata to describe the video. Writing a compelling one is extremely valuable in terms of driving traffic to your site and increasing your click-through rate. You start with-
i) Overview of the topic,
ii) Summary of what the whole video is about,
iv) Links to your social account, &
v) Any other link that you have referred to in your video for your user to take action.
Once done with the metadata, you have to add relevant keywords. Keywords are bottle openers. They open a search query and pop your video for a viewer to watch. You start with your primary keyword and then use related keywords. If you are doing a video on cars, you shouldn’t use “digital technology” because it is high on search.
What happens when you do this? The viewer gets annoyed by the wrong recommendation and downvotes your video and tells YouTube not to recommend your videos. Youtube obeys.
Where to get free keywords? Add Keyword Research Tool to your Chrome extension that will show you keywords for every video. You can use Tubebuddy, Tubics, or VidiQ as well.
YouTube Video Retention Feature
So you have done it all already. You have got the video on a well-researched trending topic that naturally fits into your domain search query by a user, an exciting thumbnail, and an SEO optimized title and meta description. What should you do next? Upload, right? So you have uploaded it already, and this is not something I have to explain to you, crazy! So are you done? Not yet, my friend.
All your hard work so far has gotten you a viewer. The viewer is happy with your video. So, should you let them go without further nurturing the relationship? NO. For this-
i) Use cards such as Channel cards, link cards, video or playlist cards etc., ii) Add end screens with YouTube video elements (1 playlist & 1 highly viewed video), &
iii) a prompt to SUBSCRIBE.
Ok, this tells me, please subscribe to my channel, if you haven’t already. Now your viewer will have many options than strictly leaving your video.
User Comment Engagement
Comments on your youtube get more views on your videos. Now don’t kill yourself if you have overlooked this aspect so far. If a viewer has commented on your video, it means that they have invested their time and given you some insight which depending on your intelligence can be used to better your YouTube videos and your brand positioning. So, the least you can do to every user comment is to engage with them.
If you carry the attitude of a celebrity by not responding to YouTube comments particularly as beginner, you are doing a great disservice to your YouTube channel. Discussion, dissent, & disagreement not only contribute to the discourse but also help you gain insight into your user demographics and behaviour with which you improve your channel marketing & likeability. The more you engage with your viewers, the more you impact your relationship with them and invite more comments to engage with.
YouTube Channel Retention Feature
Earlier in this video, we discussed the Youtube Video retention strategy. Now, let’s talk about YouTube Channel Retention strategy. Of course, your Youtube Video retention adds to your YouTube Channel Retention strategy, but here’s yet another way of increasing your channel retention. Dude, you want more people to hang around your shop, and so this is important too.
So, what do you do for your YouTube Channel Retention? Simple. Create playlists depending on the various categories of your videos. You can create a playlist based on video time duration, subject, content format, anything that is distinct for a specific set of your videos. This is almost like how Marie Kondo organizes her wardrobe.
A well organized YouTube channel with well-curated playlists makes it easy for your viewer to navigate through your channel. If you think that user retention gets higher by keeping it all messed up because a user will then spend time searching your videos, you are fooling yourself because, if the user trusts you a lot to do this, they will do it for one time but never come back. But if you keep your videos in order, maybe it will lead your viewer to exit your channel sooner but with a higher possibility of return.
Use Social Share & Join Facebook Groups
I know that you are already very much aware of this Social Sharing part, so I won’t spend much time explaining this. Just a couple of things to keep in mind-
i) Join some good Facebook groups where you can use someone’s experience to navigate your YouTube experience effectively
ii) Verify everything you know from the YouTube Creator community, don’t be misled
iii) Beware of sub4sub spammy communities or communities where group admins use you as their follower without allowing you to share your work, & finally,
iv) when you share your video link, tell a quick story with a hook instead of just sharing the link.
Use Google Ads to Promote your Videos
As a Digital creator, I feel this is the most important part which new YouTubers with negligible means and resources may not afford. But it is still a valid way to increase your watch hours instead of resorting to scamming websites and apps that charge you a lot for views from external embed that YouTube hates. Who said it is easy to get started with YouTube? I didn’t say that, and you know it already if you have started as a YouTuber.
Great content gets overlooked or gets crushed under the weight of big YouTube channels no more producing significant content. Social Share can only take you so far, and if you are someone straightforward like me, you have almost a negligible support system who may not have a great social network to plug your content for support. In this situation, Youtube offers to promote your Videos using Google Ads. There’s no shame to promote your videos because someone overstuffed your head with “organic.” Even when you promote, it is your content that’ll speak to the viewers, and if you upset them, you lose them nonetheless.
Anyway, If I explain How to promote your YouTube videos through Google Ads here, you’ll think if it is that simple why many YouTube videos create so much hype about it? That’s not for me to answer, but I tell you it is darn simple. Use the link I have in the video description to learn how Google promotion works directly from Youtube. Remember this does not directly increase 4000 watch hours but helps you gain visibility that further leads to new users checking your content.
How does Standard Language Help Increase 4000 Watch Hours?
Please speak the language in which you think and feel. I see so many YouTubers, new or old, they don’t seem to care for the language, and it reflects in the way they use the language throughout the YouTube video creation journey. I see videos with misspelt titles, titles that make no sense because they are over-drugged by SEO, no punctuation when needed.
If you are not comfortable in English, it takes away nothing as a YouTuber. So, feel comfortable in your language as an independent creator or just outsource it if you have an audience that speaks a language different to yours. As a writer, it is my request to every YouTuber that let’s not screw the vital grammar of any language. Language issues can disorient YouTube’s algorithm too, and you don’t want it.
So, this brings me to the end of sharing with you my YouTube Best Practices to increase 4000 watch hours. I have covered all the points that I follow to grow this channel. I have tried to make things clear for any new YouTuber with simple instructions and necessary links to deepen further a foundational understanding of advancing with YouTube as a new creator. If you are watching this as an experienced YouTuber, I would appreciate if you share your best practices in the comments.
If you wish to see how my YouTube is performing on following these steps, visit my channel.
Finally, you gain 4000 watch hours when you take care of your digital wellbeing because that’s the engine to steam your success!
If you need any support beyond the coverage of this article for your YouTube video marketing initiative, connect with me here.