Before we begin, we should state that we are aware that the headline of this article sounds like the kind of trickery nonsense you usually only see in adverts on adult websites (‘dentists HATE this one weird trick!’), but here’s the wacky thing – this is actually real. According to a comprehensive study conducted by YouTube channel management companies TubeBuddy and Hey.com, you can increase your video views by up to 97% and the solution comes down to one thing; in fact, it comes down to one word.
The two companies studied nearly 30,000 videos. According to TubeFilter, the the videos all had at least 40 views and were all uploaded between April 1st and December 1st, 2016. Additionally, the channels they came from all had at least ten subscribers and five uploads.
They found that videos in which the word ‘you’ was said within the first five seconds of a video had 66% more views than videos that didn’t. Mad, right?! Here’s some more stunning findings, at a glance:
- Videos that featured two uses of “you” or a you-like word (like “y’all”) had 97% higher view counts than videos that did not feature any use of “you” in that time period.
- Using “you” in the first five seconds will increase video likes by 66%.
- Using “you” within the first five seconds increases engagements (comments) by 68%.
From a psychological standpoint, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that YouTube videos, which are a particularly intimate and interactive form of video content, should benefit from the creator directly addressing and involving their audience from the outset. Simply using the word ‘you’ is an act that draws the viewer into the video; turning them from a passive observer to someone who has some (albeit tiny) layer of investment in what’s happening. Conclusion: Say the word “you” in the first five seconds of your videos – preferably twice.