Simply getting visitors doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s competitive online landscape – you need them to convert! Leaving a comment, subscribing to your channel or pressing the like button is considered a sign of their engagement with the video, leading to higher rankings, more traffic, and more revenue from your work. We will take a closer look at why getting large number of likes is so beneficial in the long run.
Monetizing attention: views or likes?
There are two main reasons for the growing importance of likes over views. Firstly, analytical tools have become much more advanced, enabling you to monitor audience retention over the course of any given video. Which means that it is no longer enough that someone simply opens your YouTube video for you to get the full benefit of that visit. That point is applicable to other things, like subscriptions and comments, or whether viewers skipped the video and at which points. We will touch on that briefly later.
The other reason is people’s short attention span. This makes longer video watch times much more valuable when it comes to monetizing them.
If there are multiple videos covering the same subject and having similar amount of views and subscribers, the one with most likes is likely to be chosen by potential viewers. This can lead directly to increased traffic, even more likes, shares and subscriptions. It is also possible, that the video where the amount of likes is vastly larger than that of dislikes, will be prejudged by the viewer – increasing the likelihood of them “liking” the video later on. At the same time, it may make them keep watching even if it didn’t wow them at the very beginning – and audience retention of that kind is an important statistical data, we will elaborate on that in just a moment.
On a similar note – if a certain video has many likes it makes people more eager to “like” it or to subscribe to the channel. After all, everyone enjoys belonging to a group of sorts, even if it’s only due to clicking on the same thing.
To further explain why audience retention is an important data, we have to shortly touch on how YouTube uses it to optimize its search results. If this is all new to you, we highly recommend YouTube’s Creator Academy analytics series . For now, it is important to know that a 60% audience retention for a video, means that viewers watched 60% of that video on average. The higher the retention, the higher relevance is ascribed to the video when it comes down to listing search results. Which means that if there is a way to keep people watching your videos for a longer time, it is important to try it out.
Remember that people enjoy belonging to a group. This means if the video is well-liked, it is more likely to be shared with others. But at the same time there is also an important distinction to be made. Likes, or dislikes for that matter, can be given out with the intention of either judging the video and its quality, or agreeing (or not) with its content. Which means that even if a certain video has a ratio of likes to dislikes considered terrible from an analytical point of view – it may still be viewed and shared almost just as much. This often happens to content related to hot political debates or social issues.
What also happens a lot with such content is, it tends to be pre-emptively “liked“ and “disliked” by their support groups or their opponents respectively. Ironically enough, both of those actions help with giving exposure to such videos, even if the perception will be overwhelmingly negative within one reception group. It is important to keep that in mind though, because recovering from what is sometimes called “a dislike bomb” can be impossible.
Bottom line is, having people engage with your content is vital for your success. It affects both your viewers and statistics – which makes it a kind of self-sustaining eco-system. If you can encourage your viewers to give you likes and subscribe to your YouTube channel – you should definitely do it.