YouTube’s vast and engaged user base makes it central to firms’ digital marketing effort. With extant studies focusing on viewers’ post-view engagement behavior, however, research into what motivates viewers to click on and watch YouTube videos is scarce. This study investigates the implications of marketers’ video optimization practices for video views on YouTube.
The study employed a data set of videos (N = 4,398) gathered by scraping YouTube’s trending list. Using a combination of text and sentiment analysis, the study measured four video optimization practices: information content of video titles, emotional intensity of video titles, information content of video descriptions and volume of video tags. It then analyzed the effect of these video optimization practices on video views.
The study finds that greater availability of information in video titles is negatively associated with video views, whereas intensity of negative emotional sentiment in video titles is positively associated with video views. Further, greater availability of information in video descriptions is positively associated with video views. Finally, an inverted U-shaped relationship is found between volume of video tags and video views. Up to 17 video tags can contribute to more video views; however, beyond 17 tags, the relationship turns negative.
This study investigates the effect of marketers’ video optimization practices on video views. While extant studies mainly focus on viewers’ post-view engagement behavior, such as liking, commenting on and sharing videos, this study examines video views. Similarly, extant studies investigate videos’ internal content, while this study investigates elements of the video metadata.