YouTube Shorts, the platform’s short-form video format, has created a new wave of creators who have amassed staggering views in a short period. One standout creator is Jenny Hoyos, an 18-year-old who has garnered over 600 million views in the past year alone. But how does she do it?
In this article, we’re going to dissect Jenny’s strategy to understand the key elements that answer how to create viral YouTube shorts.
|Category||Key Insights||Examples/Tools Used|
|Storytelling||Focus on creating a narrative that captures attention.||Cooking for strangers video.|
|Video Editing||Edit based on viewer behavior; remove parts causing retention drop-offs.||YouTube Studio for retention analysis.|
|Visual Hook||Simple, highly visual hooks; the first frame should grab attention.||Fast-food recreations with a “$1” sign.|
|Readability||Content should be easily digestible, aiming for a low-grade reading level.||Readabilityformulas.com for checking.|
|Engagement Metrics||Focus on micro-moments and viewer rewatching behavior.||Aim for high retention and scroll-through rates.|
|Content Strategy||Frequent uploads and data-driven decision-making.||Daily uploads and iterative content refinement.|
The Virality Equation
Jenny doesn’t just hope her videos go viral; she plans it meticulously. Through a comprehensive analysis of existing popular shorts, she’s managed to develop her formula for success. “If the idea is good, I can make it go viral,” she claims. This audacious statement stems from her understanding that virality isn’t just about the content; it’s also about the story and the twist, especially with YouTube Shorts.
According to Jenny, every video can be entertaining if it has a story. She places a heavy emphasis on creating a narrative that captures attention and keeps the viewer invested. For example, she made a video about cooking for strangers to raise money for her broken kitchen. The twist? She had to cook despite her kitchen being broken, thereby incorporating irony and a personal element into the story.
Breaking Down the Perfect Short: Every Second Counts
While many people focus on retention as the metric to judge a video’s success, Jenny offers a hot take: retention doesn’t matter as much as people think. Instead, she stresses the importance of every second in the video, revealing that even a one-second dip in retention can drastically affect a video’s performance. Using YouTube Studio, she meticulously examines her retention graph to identify any significant drop-offs, even if it’s just for a second, and edits accordingly.
Utilizing YouTube Studio for Detailed Analysis
This approach requires a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of viewer behavior. Using YouTube Studio, a tool that provides detailed analytics about video performance, Jenny scrutinizes her viewer retention graphs. She looks for any significant drop-offs in viewer retention, even if they only last for a second. These drop-offs, she believes, can be indicative of moments in the video that fail to engage the viewer, leading them to click away.
Editing Based on Viewer Behavior
Once she identifies these critical moments, Jenny edits her videos accordingly. This could mean removing or reworking these sections to maintain viewer engagement consistently throughout the video. This attention to detail and focus on moment-to-moment engagement could be the key to her success, setting her apart from other creators who focus on broader retention metrics.
The Impact of Micro-Moments on Viewer Engagement
In a world where viewer attention spans are increasingly short, Jenny’s video creation and editing approach could be a game-changer. It highlights the importance of understanding viewer behavior on a granular level and adapting content to meet their needs and preferences.
The Visual Hook: Simplicity is Key
A good hook is not just vital for long-form content; it’s equally essential for shorts. “The hook needs to be very visual,” Jenny says. The first frame should capture attention even without sound, essentially being so compelling that it could stand alone as a thumbnail for a long-form video. In her series, where she recreates fast-food items for a dollar, the visual hook often features the front of the fast-food location, a food item, and a “$1” sign, giving viewers a quick snapshot of what the video will offer.
- Focus on Simplicity: Simplicity is the key to a good hook, especially for short-form content like YouTube Shorts. It should be straightforward enough to grab the viewer’s attention quickly.
- Make it Highly Visual: According to Jenny, the hook needs to be very visual. This means that the first frame of your video should be compelling enough to capture attention, even without sound.
- Ensure it Can Stand Alone: The visual hook should be so captivating that it could stand alone as a thumbnail for a long-form video.
- Provide a Snapshot of the Video: In her series, Jenny often includes the front of the fast-food location, a food item, and a “$1” sign in her visual hook. This gives viewers a quick snapshot of what the video will offer.
By following these steps, you can create an effective visual hook that instantly grabs your viewer’s attention and gives them a clear idea of what to expect from your video.
Readability: The Fifth-Grade Benchmark
Jenny uses a readability checker, readabilityformulas.com, to ensure that her content is easily digestible, aiming for a fifth-grade level or lower. After analyzing thousands of shorts, including those by Mr. Beast, she found that the most successful shorts are typically at a first-grade reading level. By making her content accessible, she broadens her reach and appeals to a wider audience.
- Using Readability Checkers: Jenny uses a tool called readabilityformulas.com to ensure her content is easily understandable. Her target is to make the content digestible for a fifth-grade level or lower.
- Analyzing Successful Shorts: After analyzing thousands of shorts, including popular ones by creators like Mr. Beast, Jenny found that the most successful shorts are typically at a first-grade reading level.
- Making Content Accessible: By aiming for a lower readability level, Jenny makes her content more accessible, broadening her reach and appealing to a wider audience.
This approach underscores the importance of readability in content creation, particularly for short-form content like YouTube Shorts. By ensuring the content is easily digestible, creators can increase their content’s appeal and reach a larger audience.
Looping and Scroll-Through Rate: Metrics That Matter
When we talk about retention, the conversation often overlooks the importance of re-watching. Jenny aims for a 90% retention rate, which is bolstered by people re-watching her videos. Her ‘scroll-through rate,’ a term she coined to describe the percentage of people who view vs. swipe away, stands at an impressive 85%. By focusing on these metrics, she ensures higher visibility and a higher probability of her videos going viral.
- Understanding Micro-Moments: Jenny pays close attention to ‘micro-moments,’ specific moments in her videos where viewers either rewatch, share, or click away. These moments are crucial for understanding viewer behavior.
- Identifying Critical Moments: By analyzing these micro-moments, Jenny can identify the parts of her videos that fail to engage viewers, causing them to click away.
- Editing for Engagement: Once these moments are identified, Jenny edits her videos accordingly, either removing or reworking these sections to maintain viewer engagement throughout the video.
- The Impact of Micro-Moments: This attention to detail and focus on moment-to-moment engagement sets Jenny apart from other creators. It underscores the importance of understanding viewer behavior on a granular level and adapting content to meet their needs and preferences.
By focusing on micro-moments, creators can enhance viewer engagement, increase the likelihood of their videos being shared, and ultimately improve their content’s overall success.
You might think that Jenny’s strategies are based on intuition, but they are, in fact, deeply research-driven. She scraped transcripts of popular shorts and analyzed them to formulate her strategies. She gathers data from her own experiments, like uploading daily, and refines her approach. “Quantity is what makes quality,” she notes, emphasizing that constant iteration is the path to creating content that resonates.
- Daily Uploads: Jenny’s strategy includes uploading new content daily. This consistency keeps her audience engaged and provides her with a wealth of data to analyze and improve her content.
- Iterative Approach: By constantly iterating and refining her content based on feedback and data, Jenny ensures that her content continues to resonate with her audience and improves over time.
- “Quantity Makes Quality”: Jenny’s mantra is “quantity makes quality.” By consistently creating and sharing content, she hones her craft and increases the likelihood of producing high-quality, engaging content.
- Data-Driven Decisions: Jenny’s approach is deeply data-driven. She analyzes the performance of her videos, using the insights to inform her content strategy and ensure that her content is always optimized for engagement.
By maintaining consistency and leveraging data, creators can continuously improve their content, keep their audience engaged, and increase their chances of success.
Jenny Hoyos is a YouTuber with a massive following, with over 4.2 billion views on her channel 1. She also has a notable presence on other social media platforms, like Instagram, where she has garnered more than 2.3 million followers 2. She has caught attention on Twitter for averaging 10 million views per video on YouTube Shorts 3. Her content focuses on business, finance, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, travel, and personal growth 4 6. Jenny is just 18 years old as of 2023 and started posting content when she was eight, growing up in a large family where all her cousins also had YouTube channels 8.
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The Video Creator
Jay Clouse is an entrepreneurial force in the digital space, best known for his YouTube channel, Creator Science. A well-respected figure in the content creation ecosystem, Jay combines his entrepreneurship, storytelling, and digital marketing expertise to offer in-depth analyses and actionable insights for aspiring creators.
Jenny Hoyos has cracked the viral code for YouTube shorts through meticulous planning, a focus on storytelling, and smart metrics tracking. Her blend of personal narrative, visual hooks, and a deep understanding of her audience’s behavior sets her apart in the world of short-form content.
So, the next time you’re planning to create a YouTube Short, remember Jenny’s sage advice: every second counts, make it personal, and don’t underestimate the power of a good hook.