5 Key Ingredients of A Successful YouTube Video

If you figured creating good content is the ultimate key ingredient of a successful youtube video, this is true. Good content is key. However, just because the information in your video is valuable, doesn’t mean you’re creating and sharing your information in a compelling way.

If you want to create a successful youtube video, you have to learn how to arrange your video clips in a way that keeps people watching.

No matter if your niche is educational or entertaining, on Youtube, you are a visual storyteller. In order to create a successful youtube video, it’s time you take a lesson in storytelling.

This means learning the art of pitch, how to create suspense within your content, and developing a satisfying ending that makes your audience want more.

In today’s post, we will discuss the 5 Key Ingredients of a Successful Youtube video (plus how to tell if a video is any good).

The Hook

First, let’s get into the art of pitch.

In writing, a hook is two sentences that sum up what you’re writing about in a succinct, interesting way.

On Youtube, it’s pretty much the same thing. Show your audience right away one of the following:

What problem you will help them solve.
A funny or captivating highlight of the video related to the topic you’re discussing (For example, if you come up with an amazing quote or line that inspires and most importantly, excites people.)

If you’ve been working night and day on perfecting that 15-second intro or theme song for your video, you may want to scrap it.

Viewers usually decide if a video is worth watching in the first 10-15 seconds. Instead of wasting those precious seconds on an intro that doesn’t tell them anything about your video, you could entice your viewer to keep watching by giving them a hook.

Want to know what content creators are really good at this?

Beauty Gurus.

The majority of Beauty Gurus have the same format.

  • Show A Clip of Stunning, Finished Makeup Look
  • Tutorial
  • The End shows off the Final result.

The hook is a captivating highlight. The tutorial consists of the problem (how to) and the answer (steps to create the look). The end consists of the final result which is the conclusion.

You may not have realized this before, but this. my friends. is storytelling.

If it isn’t already obvious, this formula works because no one wants to sit through a tutorial for a makeup look they’re not even sure they are even going to like.

If you want to create a successful youtube video that keeps people engaged, use your first 10-15 seconds wisely, and leave the babbling to the end of the video.

Create Suspense In Your Video Using Bread Crumbs

After you’ve filmed, edited and placed your hook in the front of the video, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to keep your viewers watching so that they can receive the information you want to provide. While the information is in the filming, the magic is in the editing.

I know it may not seem like it, but every 30 seconds feels like a century to your viewer so you will need to keep that in mind when you’re editing the beef of your content.

You will want your content to be dynamic. Dynamic videos have sharp changes in the content as the video progresses.

To accomplish this you will need to keep two things in mind while your editing: What information you keep, and where you leave your breadcrumbs. If you’ve outlined a script for your video, this process will be easy peasy.

Key Ingredients to a successful youtube video

While filming, we tend to talk a bit more than truly needed to convey information to our audience. If your video is educational, your video will most likely be broken up into various components of information. Within each component, you need to audit, and decide how much of that content is absolutely necessary to have in your video. Every second counts.

For example, if I was filming a cooking tutorial. I would need to decide…

  1. How can I share the ingredients and tools needed in the shortest time possible.
  2. How can I share the cooking steps in the shortest way possible.

Get rid of the repetition. Your audience is way smarter than you think. Get to the bare bones of things. Talk only about what is needed, and consider only talking about things that cannot be shown or acted out visually.

You will also want to use creative elements in your video to keep things spicy. You can accomplish this via…

• Sound Effects
• Sound Chops
• Visual Effects
• Inserting Footage that visually illustrates or acts out what you’re talking about.
• Jump Cut Editing


You’ve seen it all over Youtube but probably didn’t know what the heck it was called. If you want a hack to creating a successful youtube video that requires fairly little editing skills, you will want to make use of jump cuts.

Jump cuts are intended to increase the perceived speed with which someone conveys information, emotion, and fun, such that it all comes at you faster and feels more stimulating. — Will Wister

A jump cut is an abrupt transition from one scene to another. That means removing all of the ums, ands and run out thoughts and use a rapid fire style of editing to arrange content.

(BTW, if you want a hilarious example of jump cut editing, you can check out this old video from when I was a beauty guru: DIY | How To Make Your Own Eyeliner with Almonds? . While I’m speaking so fast you can’t even tell what the heck I’m saying, on average, most people watched 2 minutes and 8 seconds of the 2 minute and 17 second video. Clearly my speaking is crap but the directions are clear and the cuts are fast. Ah, The power of the jump cut.)

The point of all this is to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Just when your audience starts to get bored, you need to shake things up. A good way to do this is to use a mix of editing tactics to keep your audience hanging on 30 seconds more, and then another 30 seconds more and etc, until they’ve reached the end of your video.

You don’t have to be an Academy Award winning editor or even an intermediate editor to create a good video.

You just want to use a combination of different tactics to keep your video interesting such as sound effects, jump cuts and maybe a few visual pop ups here and there. You can learn how to do this if you take a day to play around and learn your video editing program. Your creativity is only limited by your imagination.

Finally, Throughout the beefy portion of the video is a good time to give your subscribers visual prompts to like, subscribe, sign up for your email list or follow you on social media.


Finally, we’ve reached the end and this is where a lot of us get sloppy, including myself.

We’ve spent hours filming and editing our video, now we’re over it and ready to release it to the world so we can flop on the couch and grab our favorite glass of wine.

Now is a good chance for you to annotate and link some of your other videos that are similar in nature. Not only is this a good way to increase views, but it’s also an amazing way for you to display some of your best videos to your audience, and remind them to subscribe for more.

If there is a future video you plan on releasing this is a good time to end with a hook! Give a two sentence hook on what your NEXT video will be about, the day you will release it, and then tell your audience to subscribe so they can be the first to know when you drop it!


Every month I do an audit and I analyze how well my Youtube video’s have performed. Regardless if you receive a lot of views or not, you will want to know how the people who are watching your videos are reacting to it.

Youtube has it’s own built in analytics system that is robust with a ton of information about video performance yet it’s a lot simpler than Google Analytics.

Here is where you can find out how much time your audience spends watching your video, how your video is performing compared to videos of similar length, and if the video inspired people to subscribe, like or share. (You can find Youtube Analytics at YouTube Creator Studio > Analytics )


(Visit… YouTube Creator Studio > Analytics > Audience Retention)

Audience Retention is a pretty accurate summary of how your audience feels about your video. A good audience retention is over 50%, and audience retention above 60% is phenomenal, and 70% or higher is glorious.

Absolute Audience Retention shows the average amount of time your viewers watched a video.

Here is an absolute audience retention report from one of my best performing videos.

Good Audience Retention

Relative Audience Retention shows a video’s ability to keep viewers compared to all YouTube videos of similar length.

Here is the relative audience retention report from the same video.

Want to know what a video that didn’t captivate people looks like?

successful youtube video

35% of my traffic left within the first 15 seconds. It’s not until 48 seconds where you see things plateau. As evident in the above graph, if a viewer makes it to this point of the video, they’re most likely staying till the end. 48 seconds in is also where I got to the point. By then, I had lost 52% of viewership.

I would say this is pretty average across Youtube as most people don’t realize how important the first 10-15 seconds are.

successful youtube video

While in no way would I say my audience loved this video, it’s definitely not the worst that I’ve seen.

I’ve helped people improve their videos and upon reviewing their analytics, I saw videos where people lost 50% of their traffic within the first 5 seconds. Again. If it wasn’t clear before, every second counts.

The Audience retention is a vital analytic because you can pin point areas of your videos where people are losing interest.

Youtube favors videos with high retention rates and rewards them with higher rankings.

If you want your channel to grow, before focusing on getting more views, you will want to make sure you’re creating engaging content and that starts with good storytelling.

Natasha Solae is the Founder of GirlCEO, the only network dedicated to helping women build massively successful empires using video marketing, the Internet's most powerful secret. Check out her FREE course for female entrepreneurs looking to Get Started on Youtube » How to Get Paid to Be Yourself.

  1. Sara Graham

    23 February

    A lot of great actionable info here. Thanks Natasha!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

Skip to content