WoW YouTube Videos
I love making WoW YouTube videos, I've made hundreds of em! Just me playing the game, having fun. Some day I will stream, but I plan to always make YouTube videos of my shenanigans. It's part of the game for me, and like my PvPing in WoW, I want to improve performance.
I treat every video as an experiment. What are people willing to watch. What works, and if I do it in another vid, does it still work. My focus is battlegrounds and WPvP, which seem less popular than arena. I'm not the most skilled, a drawback. I don't even do rated (yet). How to present my vids, doing what I want to do in WoW, in a way that will entertain consistently on an above average basis. Currently, it's mixed.
I already did a lot of work on understanding thumbnails and titles to improve click through ratio (CTR), but now it's time to look at the actual video content. It's good to look back at past vids, and I have many, to see what worked or not.
In previous battleground vids, I did very little editing. I'm glad I have those full bg vids, but the problem for retention on them is that people tend to skip forward to the end for the bg result, or exit the vid. The main content of the bg is not interesting enough to hold their attention. As the player of the bg, I had lots of fun. As a viewer, I want to skip forward or abandon.
My WPvP vids tended to have more editing, with mixed results in retention. I usually just uploaded vids that I personally had fun in, edited any way I felt like. But that does not necessarily translate to a good vid. Add the factor of WPvP being very subjective in terms of what constitutes a fair fight, skill, and just general is it fun or not.
As time goes by, I am trying to not only improve my PvP skills (still a noob), but also my understanding of what is fun PvP to take part in, versus fun PvP to watch. Quality is improving, but it seems that regardless, people are more interested in some aspects of a vid than other aspects. What parts.
So I took a look at the relative audience retention for some past videos. A few have good relative retention across certain sections of the vid. Why? It's basically the same content, either WPvP or battlegrounds. Sure, quality may vary, but why do some sections of vids get significantly higher retention. Sometimes it just happens to be a genuinely interesting part of the vid. But I noticed on some WPvP vids that had a lot of short clips one after the other, retention was good, but then dropped off. Jump cuts.
I knew about jump cuts, and had done some at the start or in later sections of vids to try and retain the viewers interest. But that was mostly on WPvP vids, which complicate matters by being a type of content that has mixed results for me anyway. That inconsistency is a problem in an experiment.
For consistency in testing, battlegrounds are the answer. Still potential for issues around quality, but for sure a more straightforward content type than WPvP. What would happen if the entire bg video was jump cuts, no single section longer than 30 seconds. On YouTube, jump cuts are a very popular way to edit videos. I just hadn't thought of applying that specific 30 sec rule to a battleground. But can I get consistent above average relative audience retention on fully jump cut edited bg vids?
Take a step back, cut a vid into sections, some with jump cuts, some without. I did a couple of experiment vids, with sections containing jump cuts. And sure enough, with plenty of jump cuts the average retention was much improved in those sections. Compared with subsequent lightly edited battleground vids, the difference in retention was large.
Fully jump cuts bgs for retention. That's the theory, assuming that the content quality is ok. Well it's theory for my vids, because I have yet to prove I can make vids with consistently above average audience retention.
Gonna do another experiment, a fully jump cut vid, the Warsong Gulch The Movie video (jokey attention title) has had approximately 5 minutes of footage removed. Wow, that's a lot. Did I actually expect people to watch 5 mins of excess footage? Anyway, this video will be the baseline, it has jump cuts across the whole vid. I also added music to it, to see if that affects retention. I'm very interested to see the performance of this video. I promo'd it on Reddit as well, which could potentially negatively affect retention, but without that traffic it may not get enough views for good data to analyze.
Whether the video succeeds or fails, I hope to learn something that I can apply to future videos. The next video, may or may not have the music, and may or may not have cam, but the core style of full vid jump cutting should (in theory) be the way to go.