man in red polo shirt

The need for retention


Remember that now and again I just have to reflect on my journey and so I write a blog post like this to help my thinking.

I’m been working very hard recently, but the outcomes do not really match the effort.

Tackling Instagram

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Instagram over the past two weeks. People are always telling me to niche down and to focus on a single aspect. After several long days of thinking and several nights, I managed to niche down to three areas. Productivity Hacks, Confident Streaming and Positivity and mindset. I grouped all of these under the title of – Unlocking your potential.

I was really pleased with the final outcome and felt that it really matched my skills. There was also the RPG interest. I felt that that would never be on Instagram, so I thought I would just focus on that on YouTube and Twitter. I redid my highlights and started to follow the big hitters in the area of productivity comments as influencers recommend.

My IG profile

Couple with all of this I read and watch a lot of supporting material about creating content that would attract viewers and increase reach. I put all of this into practice creating content and even writing captions as recommended. I thought I would start with the reel with the title – “Instagram is trying to change me!”, followed by a productivity reel asking – “Why are you still doing this!” and then a final one relating to improving retention. I was really positive with these and thought I had really done well. I’ve posted them and well – the results are a little disappointing.

viewing figures of my recent four reels, 1,950  329 121 and 60

The one with me ironing and using the audio, “Everything is content” has outdone all the others nearly approaching 2000 views, the last three that I focused really hard on and gave loads of thought and implemented the strategies have done really poorly. These are just views so I was hoping to improve my reach with these posts but the analytics of these were just as disappointing, The ironing reel is the second highest reel in terms of Reach gaining 1,905. “Instagram has changed me” only getting 278 Reach and the other two getting 89 and 54- pretty dire!

I’m really sure where to go from here. I guess I should give things some time, but I am not sure whether it is the right niche or anything. I had even created some logos for Productivity hacks and live streaming.

But then I turned my attention to my YouTube channel and the situation got worse!

Failing with retention

I was so pleased to have gained a partnership with YouTube but I was very much aware that my videos were not gaining views or anything- the whole channel was quite stagnant. I had put in a lot of work to increase my watch hours and so I thought I better look at retention. This is basically how much of the video your viewers watch. It is given as a percentage for both individual videos and your whole channel.

After watching several videos on how to improve it, I found one by FilmBooth that mentioned what percentage you should be aiming for. He mentioned 80% and I naively thought, I must be close to that – I’ve achieved partnership and got my watch hours up so I skipped over to my analytics. Remember 80% was the percentage we are going for.

retention data for my channel - total = 17.5%

When I looked I was devastated. The overall retention for my channel 17.5%! What! With my highest retention percentage in the forties. This was a heavy blow. Everything that the person was saying about why your retention drops applied to my videos. My jazzy intro – get rid of that – the retention drops significantly within the first few minutes. There are rarely peaks or any fluctuations the line graph just goes down on a steep slope until it drops off incredibly fast at the end.

Basically, my videos are rubbish for retention. People do start to watch them but very few people get past the first couple of clips. There are quite a few aspects that I can implement as improvements – better storytelling, use of my hands and body to convey emotions and interactions, getting rid of my trailer, and the list goes on. But the question would always be do I have the time or even the creativity to achieve these elements.

So much to do with no guarantee of success.

Where I am currently.

I have definitely had a reality check these last two weeks. I’ve gone from feeling very positive about my content and videos to feeling that I lack any real skills in this area.

I always felt that I was providing content that was engaging, informative, entertaining and of value. The retention and reach data shows that this is definitely not the case. Out of a whole video, most people only stay tuned for an average of 17.5%

I suddenly realised that I am a very small person in the furthest reaches of a huge internet. There are people who have taken degrees or courses on creating content, people who have worked in the area of productivity for years and have built up supporters and followers. They have proven themselves with outcomes and have testimonials galore. I’m a small fish that is trying to shout from the middle of the ocean with no one around to listen.

This is when negativity hits and I started to plummet into a downward spiral of despair.

I have to look at where I am and who I am and whether anything is possible. I need to look at reality rather than my dreams. I’ll be 56 at Christmas. On Twitch I am stable with an excellent supportive community by not growing. My retention figures on YouTube are dire and I am experiencing a decline on Instagram rather than growth. It could be that I just need to continue to produce content and wait for the magic to happen, but I am not a spring chicken anymore and there are loads of really talented people producing content.

I don’t want to leave this post on a negative point, but it is how I am feeling at the moment. I need to decide whether I can actually make it in the world of content creation and if I can’t then look at something else.

I will, of course, keep you informed and your support and positivity are really appreciated. I’m off to see if I can plan some videos that will hopefully increase the retention on my YT channel – fingers crossed!

PS – to add insult to injury both my readability and SEO for this blog post are red for rubbish!

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