From this experiment, what I hoped to see was a higher click-through rate on the video, a longer watch time before the drop-off, and increased views for LTM 2K #3 from the recommendation at the end.

The initial results looked promising. I didn’t languish at 4 impressions and 4 views all day. I shot up to around a hundred impressions and 3 views shortly after releasing the video. Then the plateau hit. I didn’t see any major change in stats until around 6:30 pm. I looked back at #3, and this too was about the time the impressions started to increase. Combining YouTube’s statement that keywords don’t play a large role in the distribution of the video and that both videos started to grow about the same time, I suspect two things. Keywords really don’t help much for my videos, and YouTube thinks my target audience is more active at 6:30 pm on a Friday night.

Initially, the thumbnail did lead to more clickthroughs per impression compared to last week’s video. And those who clicked it did watch for a longer time on average. Only 2 people clicked off right away. So by all accounts, the changes did work. However, I didn’t end the day with a high impression count. The video was only recommended about 330 times by the time I went to bed on Friday night.

Now, those were my initial day of release results. After going through the entire week, nothing changed. And I mean nothing. That video has only garnered 8 views and around 420 impressions. However, it still maintains a relatively high click-through rate. What this tells me is that YouTube doesn’t think there is much of an audience for this video outside of those to whom it already showed the video.

I don’t even need to mention that with so few views, no one viewed #3 from the end suggested video insertion.

So, what do I take away from this?

Well, I took two things away from this, which led me to do a few things differently in the next LTM 2K. The thumbnail worked. When it was shown, the video did better. So I worked on the thumbnail for The Devil’s Handyman a bit more than letting YouTube just suggest one. The second thing I took away from #4 is that my description probably didn’t provide enough to reach the widest possible audience. I also tried to address this with The Devil’s Handyman.

I also went on a bit of a deep dive to learn about what other YouTube creators do to increase watch time. Aside from good titles and thumbnails, they focus heavily on the first few moments of the video. Momentum carries the day. So if most people are dropping off early, that is where I need to put in more work.

I addressed this by creating an LTM Opener. I like how movie producers have short 5-second or so clips that have their logo and branding, so I decided to make one for LTM. I posted this on August 13th to see how much traction it would get. It did quite well compared to my normal video performance, and it was only 8 seconds long. I used it in the photography video I released that Tuesday. It too did better than my previous videos. I tried to give the photography video a good relevant name as well, so “The Old Graves” fit the bill.

When Friday came, it was time for LTM 2K #5. I put to work a more detailed description, a better thumbnail, and the new opener. When that video premiered, I knew I was improving in the eyes of YouTube viewers. I got more views faster than any video I had released before. It’s still low compared to established channels, around 24 by the end of Friday, but way better compared to my channel. I had done something right. And the watch time also outperformed my expectations. I got nearly 2 hours of watch time by the end of the day.

In my efforts to continually improve, I have made a few more changes to this week’s LTM 2K. Let’s see how it performs.

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