I have been running a YouTube channel about value investing for over 4 years with hundreds of videos uploaded but hardly making any progress recently in terms of the most popular metrics such as views and subscriber count.
My channel peaked in February 2021 and has been declining since then.
Even if we look at another popular metric, watch time, we will see a decline. And YouTube too has stopped promoting my videos.
In fact, my core audience has significantly dropped in the last few month with my videos not going to new potential viewers.
I have done an audit of all my videos to see what's working and what's not working so that the channel can survive and grow again.
While views, watch time, and subscribers are the most popular metrics, I always preferred looking at Click-Through Rate (CRT) and Average Percentage Viewed (APV). My aim was to have a CRT of at least 4.5% and APV of at least 45%.
As we can see on the chart above, CRT is doing well, but viewers don't find my content engaging enough to watch it for longer.
I first looked at some of the most successful videos on the channel, and it is clear that evergreen content does better than viral content, but there is no way of knowing which video will be evergreen or viral. It is about acting on these videos. If a video goes viral, I should act on this and post videos that will encourage the new viewers to come back. And if a video has become evergreen, I should make more content on this particular topic since probably I'm one of the few YouTubers talking about it. But viral and evergreen content shows the same results, viewers don't watch till they end and they don't come back for more.
Videos that do well in terms of AVP have something in common, the viewers who watch the first minute keep watching. Once the viewer is committed, they are likely going to watch till the end.
Another interesting finding was how viewers find the videos.
I looked at the best-performing video of the last 90 days.
A mixture of YouTube recommending and people looking for it, made it a success.
What’s interesting is that YouTube started recommending it after people have been looking for it and finding it. Posting more news-related videos can be useful as long as I have something unique to add to the conversation.
This is the first time I have done real auditing of my channel, and I've learned so much about how it can be improved. There are a few things I will be implementing immediately. Here's the conclusion of the audit and the actions to be taken.
1. Titles and thumbnails can be more creative - Goal of 4.5% CRT has already been reached but can always be improved since if we are aiming for more views, CRT will go down.
a. Use of curiosity, emotions, comparisons
2. Evergreen content working better than viral videos
It is impossible to predict which video will become evergreen or viral
Videos can be posted which are more relevant to stocks that work well on the channel (eg. GEO, WBD, FCX)
Posting more news-related content about these stocks
More YouTube search views lead to more Browse Features views
Post videos that are linked to competitors' recent viral videos
3. Goal of percentage viewed of at least 45% not reached
Start videos stronger. People committed to the first 30 seconds are more likely going to continue watching. Make sure the first 30 seconds is of the highest quality possible. Use of charts, B-rolls, and other items that keep viewer engaged
Talk slower and clearer ← Write your script well
Call to action → more purposeful
4. Use of other YouTube features