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Now that you have your story thought of, it's time to tell that story through editing.

Quick sidenote: Editing is such a huge topic and there is no way I can do it justice in just one lesson. If you want to learn more about editing, I recommend checking out HillierSmith, a YouTube editor who has edited for creators like Mr Beast. He documents his editing process on his YouTube channel, making him a very good resource.

In this lesson, we will go over some editing tips in order to tell your story while maximizing viewer retention.

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Why it's important to maximize viewer retention

Viewer retention is one of the single most important statistics that determines whether your video will go viral. Hence, it is very important you maximize it by keeping viewers watching your video.

A good viewer retention to aim for is 40-60% on a 10-20 minute video. If the video is shorter, you should aim for higher, and if the video is longer... well, you should still aim for higher but a lower retention is to be expected!

That being said, your best viewer retention is anything better than you're getting right now. If you average 30-40% viewer retention on your videos, try aiming for 40-50% on future, similar length videos.

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In addition to viewer retention, CTR (click-through-rate) is another crucially important statistic, hence why you should read the title and thumbnail lesson if you haven't already.

Editing strategies to maximize viewer retention

Here is a list of editing strategies to maximize viewer retention and tell your story in the best possible way. We also include video examples!

Cold open

A cold open typically occurs in the intro of the video and is a good way to foreshadow what is coming up in the video.

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Either before or after introducing the video—after is probably safer—show a short montage of the best parts of your video. This montage should be no longer than 10 seconds.

Dual plots

A good way to keep the viewer engaged is to have two plots going on at once and switch between the two. When one plot starts to get boring, switch to the other. This also works well with contrast editing, which we will discuss next.

Since it can be hard to have two plots going on at once when you record on your own, this retention strategy works best when your video contains multiple people.

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Contrast editing

A good way to keep the viewer engaged, especially when utilizing dual plots, is to utilize contrast. For example, you can have one super dramatic scene cut to a scene of where nothing is going on. This can also work as a solo creator. You can start by feeling super motivated to build a level, only to cut to you struggling to build said level, like the linked example shows. These cuts are especially good for humour!

That being said, it can be used for more than just humour. Cutting between a dramatic scene and a chill scene frequently can be used to lock the viewer's attention to your video because things are constantly changing.

How your title and thumbnail impact your intro

Make sure you show whatever is in your title and thumbnail immediately when the viewer clicks on your video. A good place to put this is in your cold open, but if you don't have one, you can just show it in the first few seconds of your video. This will increase viewer retention a lot because viewers will know that you didn't clickbait them with a misleading title and thumbnail.

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I cannot state this enough, but editing deserves an entire course on its own. It is such a big area of study that I cannot do justice in this single lesson. Hopefully I gave you some ideas on how to go about editing your story! Now, let's talk about uploading your video.