How does the YouTube Algorithm Work?
YouTube for Businesses
In the past few years, YouTube has emerged as a great platform for businesses, especially in the fashion industry, which depend heavily on visual aesthetics. The growing importance of this medium can be gauged from the fact that it is the second-largest search engine after Google. As per industry estimates, nearly 1 billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day.
When a medium is so powerful, it makes sense for any business to understand its working thoroughly. In essence, an understanding of the YouTube algorithm can help businesses get the maximum returns from the platform.
YouTube Algorithm: A Brief Introduction
Brands create content to cater to algorithms to improve their reach on the world wide web. Here is a brief introduction to the YouTube algorithm before getting to the steps marketers can take to make their brands stand out.
The YouTube algorithm is no different. There is not one single algorithm but a combination of algorithms that delivers the best experience to its users. YouTube as a platform is inclined towards finding the best videos for its viewers so that they spend maximum time on the platform.
There are 3 places the YouTube algorithm can recommend videos to the users:
- YouTube Home Page
- Suggested Videos
- Search Results
The videos displayed in each of these options have differing algorithm needs, something the marketers need to understand. All these steps taken together form the YouTube algorithm, which the company actually refers to as the recommendation system.
Over the years, the parameters given importance in the YouTube algorithm have changed as the platform itself has evolved. It started with rewarding clicks and views. However, the clickbait headlines have filled the platform and led to a bad user experience. The YouTube algorithm changed priorities in 2012, giving more importance to watch time. While this was better than clicks and views, it wasn’t clear whether this watch time was a good experience for the users. Thus, from 2017 onwards, the YouTube algorithm has further evolved to estimate user satisfaction in terms of likes, shares, “not interested” clicks, etc.
Why your fashion brand videos aren’t getting traffic on YouTube
There might be many reasons why a fashion brand’s videos may not be working on YouTube, and YouTube may not always be responsible. For example, if you are a new brand and have just started posting content on YouTube, you need to build an audience first.
Of course, the YouTube algorithm can have pointers towards doing this. Apart from this, there are many reasons why your brand videos may not be getting the desired reach on YouTube. Let us look at these reasons and how to increase the reach and engagement on the platform:
Building an audience
The first step for any new brand on YouTube is to build an audience that interacts with its videos. The YouTube algorithm helps by displaying your video to a small number of viewers on their homepage. If they play the video or interact with it, the algorithm then serves it to a larger audience, thereby increasing the reach of your video. Create unique and attractive videos such that viewers watch and interact with them. It is the best way to build an audience. You can even create a series of videos to keep the audience coming back to your page.
Viewers not clicking on the video
If you have been on YouTube for a short while and are not seeing your audience grow, you may look at this data to understand whether or not the audience opens your videos when YouTube displays them. A quick way to do this is to ensure you have a good thumbnail image and an attractive title for the video. You can experiment while checking for the analytics and finetune your strategy based on what is working.
Videos not ranking higher
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Thus, the importance of SEO cannot be overlooked, even in the context of the YouTube algorithm. Work on identifying the relevant keywords and using them so that your video appears in the top search results.
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