When the normal output of YouTube videos is a new one every day or two, it can be tough to make sure that each and every video meets your standards for quality and entertainment value. There are, however, some techniques that you can take advantage of as you schedule the content on your channel. All it takes is a little preparation, and your viewers should be up-chucking rainbows over your content in no time.
Now, before you advise your viewers to put rainbow-proof guards on their keyboards (you know, for safety), let’s get to the root of what I’m talking about when I mention making each of your videos a “must-watch.” This isn’t so much a formula for making awesome videos, it’s a formula for making your next episode in the series something that your viewers are eager to see. Ever heard of cliffhangers?
No, not the edge-of-your-seat Sly Stallone movie from the 90s. Think instead about how you dig your fingers into your armrest at the end of every Game of Thrones episode, wondering which of your beloved characters George R.R. Martin is going to gruesomely slay next. That, my lore-hungry readers, is a cliffhanger.
“Sneaky you, you introduce another reason or two to watch in
episode 2, and leave one more cliffhanger for episode 3…”
This nifty little gadget for your content is the idea of introducing 2 or more reasons for your viewers to watch an episode, and only concluding one of them by the end of it. You then let them know that the conclusion to #2 will happen in the next installment of your series. Sneaky you, you introduce another reason or two to watch in episode 2, and leave one more cliffhanger for episode 3 – and so on. George R.R. Martin is a master of this, making Game of Thrones one of the most successful Television series of all time in terms of viewership and public opinion.
Now, it doesn’t work with every style of content, but it can quite easily be applied to yours if you have some kind of storyline or lineage to a series. There are a few simple things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about implementing cliffhangers into your strategy:
- Make sure each reason or plotline is significant enough for people to flip to the next episode.
- Be sure not to annoy or frustrate your viewers with cliffhangers – it can be a tough balance between ensuring that the episode offers satisfaction on its own, and carrying interest into the next part of the series.
- This strategy requires that you plan a few episodes ahead, otherwise your cliffhangers are likely to lack the kind of substance that you need to keep your viewers interested.
- Be sure to pair up this strategy with playlists and annotations so your viewers don’t have to work too hard to find the next episode. Remember, you can always add annotations later once the next episode has been uploaded.
That’s the basic rundown of cliffhangers, my friends, now run off and start producing some nail-biters. Next week, I’ll let you know how to step-up those annotations and playlists to suit your cliffhanger strategy even more effectively.
See what I did there?