The Challenges Paranormal YouTubers Face In Getting Discovered

June 15, 2024 1:00 AM ‐ YouTubeParanormal
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With a seeming growth in interest in paranormal investigation, many teams have taken to uploading their investigations to YouTube. There are some huge channels uploading spooky content, like The Paranormal Files, which is approaching one million subscribers and nearly a billion views.

Many paranormal content creators on YouTube are reporting feeling frustrated that their channels and content aren't reaching the dizzying heights of some of the more established, popular channels. Are these teams just too late to the game, or is getting paranormal content discovered on YouTube harder than ever?

Success on YouTube has never been easy. It requires creativity, adaptability, and consistency. But even those who put in the work argue that it is becoming more challenging to make a success of YouTube due to increased competition and higher audience expectations.

This isn't just anecdotal, many YouTubers are voicing their concerns about the platform's shifting landscape, making it more challenging for paranormal YouTubers to get their content noticed.

The primary culprit appears to be YouTube's algorithm, which is designed to keep viewers engaged on the platform for as long as possible. It has undergone significant changes over the years, these changes often prioritise certain types of content, sometimes at the expense of niche genres like paranormal investigations.

To keep viewers engaged, the algorithm identifies videos that generate high engagement, such as likes, comments, shares, and watch time. The algorithm then promotes these videos to users on the homepage, in the "Up Next" section that appears after a video ends, and in the suggested videos that appear alongside the video being watched.

When users search for keywords related to paranormal content, videos with higher engagement metrics are more likely to appear at the top of YouTube's search results, increasing the likelihood that they will be clicked on and viewed.

The claim that YouTube is "getting harder" often comes from changes in the platform's policies, monetisation rules, and algorithm updates. Over time, YouTube has shifted its focus towards more mainstream and advertiser-friendly content. This means that genres with a smaller but dedicated following, like paranormal videos, can struggle to compete.

Additionally, YouTube favours content that adheres to certain guidelines and standards that make the platform appealing to advertisers. Paranormal videos, which often feature dark settings, eerie music, and potentially unsettling themes, may be deemed too disturbing or controversial for many advertisers. This can result in a reduced likelihood that these videos are promoted by the algorithm.

Simply put, high-quality content that engages viewers is more likely to be promoted. This includes compelling thumbnails, intriguing titles, and well-edited videos that hold viewers' attention.

However, creating compelling paranormal content faces unique challenges and opportunities that aren't always present in other genres. For example, paranormal content often faces a high level of skepticism from viewers. Maintaining credibility is crucial, and any perceived fakery can damage a channel's reputation.

Unfortunately, credibility doesn't always translate into entertainment. Many balanced investigations result in little to no paranormal activity and can consist of nothing more than a team sitting in the dark talking to themselves. This can drastically impact the content's watch time, a key metric used by the algorithm to measure a video's engagement. Paranormal videos need to be both entertaining and credible to keep viewers engaged.

While there is a dedicated audience for paranormal content, it remains relatively niche. This can limit the potential viewer base compared to more mainstream content. Add to this the fact that there is a massive amount of paranormal content being uploaded all the time, all of which is vying for those viewers' attention, which makes it harder still to stand out.

There are streaming platforms dedicated to the paranormal, but the already limited audience base means these aren't a viable option for anyone hoping to pull in a larger audience. So really, cutting through on YouTube is the only option for many, but with an abundance of paranormal channels, it's challenging for new or smaller channels to gain visibility.

The YouTube algorithm tends to favour content that already has high engagement, making it harder for newcomers to get noticed. Plus, with so much similar content available, viewers might become desensitised or less interested in new paranormal videos, particularly if they perceive them as repetitive or lacking originality.

What Paranormal YouTubers Can Do

While it is true that some creators in this genre find it particularly hard to gain traction, many creators still find success. Despite the challenges, there are several strategies that paranormal content creators can use to try to improve their visibility on YouTube. Instead of viewing the algorithm as an obstacle, seeing it as a tool to be understood and leveraged can lead to more positive outcomes.

Perhaps the most important thing to focus on is optimising video titles, descriptions, and tags. Clear, descriptive, and keyword-rich titles and descriptions can help improve a video's searchability. Including general terms like "ghost hunting" and "paranormal investigation" is helpful, but it's also crucial to use specific keywords related to the video's content. Mentioning the particular method used, such as "EVP session, or the location by name can make videos more discoverable to viewers searching for detailed and specific information.

Stay on top of trends within the paranormal world and optimise your content with this in mind. This might involve using trending keywords, creating content around popular paranormal topics, or using new investigation methods and techniques. Listening to feedback from your audience can help with this.

Thumbnails are often the first thing potential viewers see, and an engaging thumbnail can significantly increase click-through rates. Using high-quality images, bold text, and compelling visuals that accurately represent the video's content can attract more viewers.

Once you start growing your subscriber base, consistency and a regular upload schedule is key. Uploading videos on a regular basis helps in building a loyal audience, as your subscribers will come to expect and look forward to your videos. It's like training your audience to know when to check for new content. Regular uploads also signal to YouTube's algorithm that a channel is active and committed.

Another great way to get discovered by new audiences is to collaborate with other creators. Collaborations can introduce content to new audiences. Partnering with other paranormal teams or creators can help you reach viewers who might not have found your channel otherwise.

It's also vital to stay informed and keep up with trends, both in the world of paranormal investigation and in YouTube best practices. Staying informed about YouTube's policies and platform changes can help creators adapt their strategies. For example, leveraging YouTube Shorts, which are short, vertical videos, has become a popular way to reach new audiences quickly. Successful paranormal creators have also adapted to changes by incorporating live streams, engaging with their audience in real-time, and using the Community tab to post updates, polls, and behind-the-scenes content.

Since there are countless paranormal channels all focusing on ghost hunting content, experiment with different formats. This could include documentary-style content, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with experts, or interactive content where viewers can participate in investigations.

While it may be harder for paranormal YouTubers to get their content discovered on YouTube, understanding the platform's algorithm and implementing strategic changes can help. By optimising their content, paranormal content creators can improve their visibility and continue to share their ghost hunting adventures with a broader audience. The key is to remain adaptable and resilient in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
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