Mr. Beast, Exposed! Top YouTube Metrics You Need to Know!

Image of Steven Adelmund from Adelmund Digital Strategies looking shocked at Mr. Beast, famous YouTuber.

The Two Must-Know Metrics used by Top YouTubers!

To streamline video digital marketing and content marketing efforts, I analyzed the top YouTubers, TikTok Pros, and tips from the official YouTube Creators Channel. I knew there had to be some ultra-secret formula that all the Full-time YouTubers know and I was determined to crack the code!

After discovering how Mr. Beast, a content creator with over 69.8 million subscribers broke YouTube algorithms, I identified a few best of best practices that any aspiring YouTuber needs to know.

First things first...

The first thing we need to establish is that there are a few differences between Shorts best practices and full-length video best practices. Let's start with Shorts.

For creating viral "micro" video content, here are my Top 5 tips:

1) Planning- Determine the main goal and message of the video and figure out how to make it as clear as possible.

2) The first few seconds are key. Hook your viewer early and fast.

3) Keep engagement in mind to draw the viewer into the experience. This means clear audio, crisp lighting, and great video elements.

4) If promoting services, emphasize the USP- Unique Selling Proposition- What's the reason to choose you over competitors?

5) Don't skip or forget the CTA (call-to-action).

These are also the core best practices for longer videos, but for longer videos, we must go deeper and more strategic.

YouTube's recommendations algorithm focuses on two main metrics: Click-Through Rate (CTR), and Average Viewing Duration (Watch Time or AVD). Both metrics can be found in Analytics.

Basically, the thing to know here is that the more people who see a thumbnail and click through to watch the video, then proceed to watch most of your video, the more valuable YouTube thinks it is. This makes sense because the primary goal of YouTube is to keep people on the platform as long as possible.

Ultimately, we need to produce videos that get people to click, then stay to the end.

So, breaking this down, CTR is all about optimizing things like the title, description, and of course the thumbnail, while AVD is all about getting creative with editing.

To increase CTR:

1) Optimize the Title. this is where keyword research comes in. We want to use as high-interest keywords as possible.

2) Optimize the Description. The first line should repeat the title with different wording and use other high-interest keywords in the description. We want it to be readable but know that our true target with the description is the algorithm here to help the video get found in search. This is also where links to external sources, other videos, and use of hashtags helps.

3) Thumbnails need to keep branding and human psychology in mind. They should contain easy-to-read text and be recognizable as being one of YOUR videos. Basically, if someone is scrolling through their feed and really likes your content, recognizing a thumbnail as yours is the first thing that will grab them and automatically reduce their decision time. Consistent font and coloring help here.

As for human psychology, people like to see faces. having a reaction face or close-up of a person plays a huge role in increased CTR.

My final thought on thumbnails is to keep mobile in mind. it needs to be easy to read/understand on a cell phone.

For increasing watch time, it’s all about the editing.

The average watch time for a 10-minute video is about 40%. In the eyes of the all-seeing algorithm, a "Good" watch time is 50%. The ones that get recommended most are the ones that YouTube calls "Outliers" and have an average watch time of 60% or higher. The key here is retention.

The best advice is to keep the following structure in mind: Tell a story. Videos need to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

The Hook

Early on, you need a really great way to grab attention and give the viewer a reason to keep watching. Sometimes this is a promise of things to come (like a sneak peek), other times its tons of action, right away.

The best of the best uses the second approach. They show tons of action right away. Like lots. They are super-fast-paced, use quick cuts, seamless transitions, and then show the money shot.

For example, Mr. Beast likes to use a simple black screen with Quick cuts to one or two words that transcribe the voice-over.

Things like "We broke into this house and left $50,000" with a jump cut to them leaving a giant bag of cash.

Now that's a Hook.

As for retention in the middle, cut dead air or any useless or boring parts that aren't relevant to the story. By having big moments every 2 to 3 minutes, you bring your viewer back in. The worst thing that can happen is to have a lull long enough that the viewer thinks they have seen all the video has to offer so they click off.

As for the end, your conclusion should always include a Call to action but should be relevant to the video type. It can be something canned like "We hope you enjoyed this video, if you did, make sure to subscribe and share with your friends. Maybe tell us what you thought in the comments below!"

Your CTA can also be contextual. So for example, if you just did a reaction video, reflect on your favorite part, or an overarching theme you noticed before going to your Call to action. Give your audience something to relate to.

One last tip

Be consistent with your types of content so your audience knows what to expect. Beyond YouTube, this can be platform-specific, but people turn to video to connect with others, feel something, or escape. They like to know what to expect but still be surprised.

Finally, viral videos typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Reaction

  • Drama

  • Challenges

  • Money Related

  • Pranks

Feature big recognizable YouTubers either as collaborators or in the title.

The YouTubers that consistently dominate the platform find ways to blend multiple categories seamlessly while telling a compelling story.

The biggest takeaway here is that practice makes perfect. The more you do, the more you learn, the better you get.

Quick Author's note: I'm all about repurposing content. What you just read was a sneak peek at the content of an upcoming episode of The Deep Gripping Reality Podcast.


Do you have specific questions about your video content strategy? Let's talk!

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