< Go back to blogThe Art of YouTube Editing: Lessons from a 5 Billion Views Editor

The Art of YouTube Editing: Lessons from a 5 Billion Views Editor

Published: July 6, 2023

Mastering YouTube: Keys to Billions of Views

Embrace Your Authenticity

For YouTube creators, the secret to standing out in an oversaturated market is authenticity, according to the renowned editor Hilia Smith. With a track record of over 5 billion views, Smith has collaborated with top-tier content creators and learned that a personal touch in video editing can distinguish your content significantly. He compares this approach to the distinctive editing styles of acclaimed directors like Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino, whose authenticity adds a captivating charm to their films.

Impact Over Everything

Smith insists that powerful content not only grabs attention but also leaves a resonant impact. He suggests striving for videos that are not only easy to consume but also deliver consistent quality, evoking emotions or stimulating the audience’s thoughts by the end. The goal, Smith asserts, is to effect a change, whether emotional or intellectual, in those who watch your videos.

Engage, Don’t Overwhelm

One of the common pitfalls for YouTubers is the inability to predict viewer engagement. By eliminating extraneous footage and presenting only the most compelling slices of their stories, creators can turn hours of raw footage into tight, enthralling content that captivates the audience.

Adapting to the Algorithm

In the constant race to satisfy YouTube’s ever-changing algorithm, Smith brings attention to a crucial shift in video length preferences. Although longer videos had previously received a favorable push from the algorithm, Smith notes that creators today have found success with shorter, punchier content akin to TikTok or the defunct Vine. He cites Logan Paul’s condensed vlogs as a prime example of how content that bucks traditional trends can still lead to binge-watching behaviors. This success presents an intriguing tactic for creators: focusing on ‘session times’ rather than ‘watch time’ to captivate viewers and simultaneously satisfy the algorithm.

The Virtue of Quality

In the pursuit of growth, consistent uploads are often a creator’s focus. But Hilia Smith, speaking from experience, recommends a shift towards quality. Reflecting on his time with Logan Paul, he saw the transformation from the sprint of daily vlogs to a marathon where quality took precedence over posting frequency. This balance, he suggests, is vital for long-term success and audience retention.

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