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2 Things You Must Do To Build a Successful Podcast Presents on YouTube
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The podcast listenership data on YouTube is staggering! If you want to build a successful podcast on YouTube, it takes work. Is your podcast getting the traction that YouTube claims is possible? In this blog post, Jesús Ramirez, the creator behind a YouTube channel with over 2 million followers, explains the top 2 contributing factors to gaining traction as a podcaster on YouTube. From uncovering the pivotal metrics that impact your visibility to mastering the art of crafting compelling titles and thumbnails, Jesús will provide insights to skyrocket and elevate your podcast’s YouTube presence!
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Hi. My name is Jesús Ramirez. For the last decade, I’ve run a successful YouTube channel. Now, with over 2 million subscribers. Most recently, I started a video podcast and had to start with a brand new channel from scratch.
Fortunately, at least this time, I’m starting a channel with the knowledge of creating a successful YouTube channel. So far, I published ten episodes, each receiving over 1000 views on YouTube, not counting the plays from the audio-only podcasting platforms. Not huge numbers, but not bad, considering this is an entirely new show, and I’m still learning how to be a good podcast host. But I’ve had relative success because I understand what YouTube wants.
The Two Determining Factors of Podcasting Success on YouTube
And that is two simple things: a high clickthrough rate and a high retention rate. That’s it. You can spend much time worrying about other metrics and analytics. But in my experience, from growing in my original channel, I can tell you that these two metrics are responsible for more than 80% of my traffic. In case you’re new to YouTube, analytics are the numbers that give you insight into how a video or channel is performing.
They are the tangible evidence of your audience’s behavior and engagement. They tell you who’s watching, where they’re watching from, how long they’re watching, how they’re interacting with your content, whether they are commenting, liking, and much more. Now, why are these metrics important? Well, imagine you’re sailing a ship. The metrics and analytics are your compass, map, and weather forecasts.
They guide your journey, helping you understand where you’re doing well and where you might need to adjust your course. Without them, you’re sailing blind. In the context of YouTube, these metrics help you measure the success of your content. They allow you to understand what’s resonating with your audience and what’s not. They guide you in making informed decisions about your content strategy, helping you create more content your audience loves and less of what they don’t. This is the point and the key to having a successful podcast on YouTube!
The downside is that YouTube provides hundreds of individual metrics in the analytics. Luckily, not all metrics are created equal. Some are more important than others. And in my opinion, most creators should only focus on two clickthrough and retention rates. That’s it.
If you focus and improve on these metrics, I can guarantee that you will get more views, and your videos will be recommended to more people. It’s all I focus on to make sure my videos get seen by a larger audience and what got me to over 2 million subscribers on my original channel. But why are these metrics out of hundreds of others? Well, it’s simple if you think about it. YouTube is a business; they make more money the longer people stay on their platform.
Focus on improving your clickthrough and retention rates; your YouTube channel will reach a larger audience.” – Jesús Ramirez
So they reward videos that can do that for them. In other words, YouTube promotes videos that more people want to watch for longer. The best part about all this is that you can do that by creating good content—no need for tricks or misdirections. Let’s dive in and explore each of these metrics in more detail, and I’ll give you a few tips to improve them.
#1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
Let’s start with the click-through rate, also called CTR. Clickthrough rate is the percentage of people who see your video in their YouTube feed and decide to click on it. It’s essentially a measure of how enticing your video appears at first glance. So if your video gets shown to 100 people and then click on it, that’s a 10% CTR. Why is this important if you want to have a successful podcast on YouTube?
Well, think about it. No matter how fantastic your video is, if people aren’t clicking on it, they won’t watch it. A high CTR means your video grabs people’s attention and makes them curious enough to click. If your video has a high CTR, YouTube interprets that as a sign that viewers find your video appealing. As a result, YouTube is more likely to recommend your video to other viewers, increasing its visibility.
Can You Improve Your Clickthrough Rate?
So, how can you improve your clickthrough rate? First, and perhaps most importantly, your video’s thumbnail must be compelling and accurately represent what your video is about. So, in the context of a podcast, I would avoid repeating the same thumbnail for all your guests. This doesn’t get anyone to click, and it’s not compelling if you use the same thumbnail for every episode. Even if you change the guest photo, I can almost guarantee your videos are not getting a lot of views.
“Don’t underestimate the power of a compelling thumbnail and title. They are the keys to grabbing people’s attention and getting them to click on your videos.” – Jesús Ramirez
Think about it this way: why would you expect anyone to be excited or intrigued to click on the thumbnail if they’ve seen it a thousand times before? Each of your guests is unique, and they bring something special to your show. That’s why you have them on; you must convey that in the thumbnail. If I’m the biggest fan of your show, how will I know if I watch an episode if the thumbnails are all the same? Even if I want to click, I may not because I might assume I’ve already watched that episode.
Test Your Thumbnail
The thumbnail is encouraging me not to click. So please do not use the same thumbnail for all your shows. I cannot stress this enough. Make each thumbnail unique and exciting. And if you have the money, hire a designer and even spend some money on thumbnail A.
B. Testing Platforms for YouTube: I constantly test to see what thumbnails get the most clicks. I do it on both my channels. I cannot recommend this enough. If you can’t afford a designer, use free platforms like Adobe Express to design the thumbnail yourself.
Adobe Express has a ton of templates and cool features like AI generation, background removal, and so forth. Also, consider Mid Journey to generate engaging images using AI. Do whatever you need to. There’s no way around it. You cannot have a successful YouTube podcast with bad thumbnails.
And I’m sure you can find someone who is the exception to the rule. But that doesn’t mean it will also apply to you. Many other factors are at play with the people who are the exception. Also, you’ve already spent much time and effort recording and editing the podcast. Don’t let it all go to waste because of a bad thumbnail.
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If you need inspiration, look at your homepage. See what YouTube is recommending to you. Odds are that those videos have a high CTR and good thumbnails. Or you can search for a topic or a guest and analyze the top videos. Again, those videos probably have high CTRs as well.
And here’s something fundamental to remember: this has worked well for me. Don’t write long paragraphs in the thumbnail. People will not be able to read them, especially on their phones. I rarely use more than three words, and those three words need to be impactful and further entice people to click. Don’t just repeat the title on the thumbnail.
If You Add Words, Do This
If you’re going to add words to your thumbnail, then make it complementary to the overall packaging. Keep it all easy to read and engaging. Also, it’s essential to note that misleading thumbnails or titles may increase your CTR in the short term, but they can harm your retention rate in the long run. We’ll get into retention rate in a moment, but realize that you cannot clickbait people and expect to have a successful YouTube channel. It would be best to deliver on all the promises your thumbnails and titles make.
And talking about titles, this is the other essential component for getting a high CTR. An engaging or intriguing title can help increase the number of people who click on your video. And please avoid this mistake. I see this one often on video podcasts on YouTube. Don’t waste valuable real estate by putting the episode number in the title, especially at the beginning of the title.
An Example of Successful Podcasting on YouTube
For example, a title like episode 23 Mark Heaps on Artificial Intelligence and the Creative Industry. This title wastes the first ten characters on something that will not encourage anyone to click. And it’s information that doesn’t matter. Who cares what episode number it is? A good show is a good show.
Then I mentioned the guest’s name, which is essential for sure. But unless you’re dealing with a person who’s very well known, their name is probably not important enough to be in the beginning part of a title. Instead, use a short, engaging title to get people to click something like The Truth About AI getting Creative with Mark Heaps. The title now gets to the point immediately. It sparks intrigue and can all be read with just a glance. This is the title for my first YouTube podcast episode, which received over 3000 views.
These are not huge numbers, but relatively speaking, they’re good. Considering it was my very first podcast episode on a new channel, and in that context, I think it did very well. And I’m very confident that a good thumbnail and a good title were significant contributing factors to the success of this first episode. Again, don’t let all your hard work recording and editing your episode go to waste because you didn’t have a well-crafted title. If you need to research titles, maybe your guest has been on other successful podcasts, and you can take inspiration from those titles.
Think About It This Way
If you see a YouTube title you like, note it and return to it when you need inspiration. Now, I haven’t talked about a good CTR because that depends on the size of your channel. For example, a seven to 10% CTR on my channel with 2 million subscribers is excellent, while those percentages on my podcast channel wouldn’t be as good. My videos get served to fewer people in the podcast channel, so the CTRs will generally be higher. I recommend looking at the average CTR per video and using that percentage as a baseline.
#2. Retention Rate
Then, try to increase the CTR by a few percentage points on your videos. And by the way, you can change the thumbnail on older videos to help increase your CTR. You can revive and get views on older videos by creating new thumbnails and titles. Let’s now discuss the other important metric: the retention rate. How long do people, on average, watch your video?
Example: Successful Podcasting on YouTube in Action
For example, if a ten-minute video most people watch five minutes, you’ll have a 50% retention rate. The higher the percentage, the more valuable YouTube will see your content and the more people it will promote it to in search results and recommendations, thereby reaching a larger audience. If people click away from a video as soon as it starts, then YouTube assumes your content is bad or misleading. This is why clickbait doesn’t work. If you don’t deliver on your promise, people will click away, and YouTube will punish you by not promoting your video to a new audience.
Deliver on the promises your thumbnail and titles make. Misleading viewers may get you initial clicks, but it will harm your retention rate in the long run. Always provide valuable content that keeps your audience engaged. – Jesús Ramirez
But how can you increase retention rates? First, the content itself needs to be engaging. It needs to grab the viewers ‘ viewers attention and hold it. In other words, you need a good show. The structure of your video can play a significant role.
A compelling opening can hook viewers, so avoid long intros. People will click away if you have introductions that add no value. Just because you paid some guy on Fiver to create an introduction for you doesn’t mean you have to play it on every episode, especially if the analytics show people click away before it ends. Also, you’ll note two numbers that YouTube finds significant overall retention rate and the retention rate of the first 30 seconds. Pay attention to the retention rate.
Check How You’re Doing With Having a Successful Podcast on YouTube
This shows how well your video is hooking the viewer. Your hook is not working well if this number is less than 60%. I would spend much time getting this number as high as possible. ODS is that if people stick with you for 30 seconds or longer, they’ll listen to or watch most of the video. If you lose most people before 30 seconds, you should be concerned.
Look at the intro. Is it long? Is it boring? And is it delivering on the promise of the title and thumbnail? It could be multiple things.
Whatever it is, try changing your introduction until you find one that constantly gets you a high retention rate. Also, look at the overall retention rate. If only one or 2% of your viewers make it to the end, then you know that your show might be too wordy, and you might need to edit it a bit so that at least half of people make it to the end. The point is that the longer people watch, the more YouTube will recommend your video. You must create content that people want to watch, which is what YouTube wants.
Focus on that and use retention rates to help you make informed decisions about how you craft your show.
About Jesús Ramirez
Jesús Ramirez is a graphic artist and educator specializing in Adobe Photoshop. With over 20 years of professional experience, his clients include Adobe, Microsoft, and Conde Nast. Most recently, he has worked as a Finisher with some of the biggest names in entertainment, creating film and TV posters for CBS, Discovery, HBO, HULU, and Netflix. Jesús has a passion for sharing his expertise and knowledge. He is perhaps best known as the founder of the Photoshop Training Channel, a popular YouTube channel with over 2 million subscribers. As a sought-after speaker, he has participated in over 40 conferences, including some of the largest industry events in Australia, Asia, Latin America, and the US.
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