Quick question: You say you don’t recommend payed views (i.e. fiverr) which is understandable for various reasons. However, would you say that if you start from scratch (no social network whatsoever and a brand-new video) it could be beneficial to buy maybe 2,000-5,000 views, a bunch of likes/subscribers/etc. just to get it started and then let it grow organically?
I have 1 little problem with your claim about longer videos being better. Personally when I’m looking for a how to solution to a problem I prefer shorter videos because then I won’t have to click through the video to get to my answer. I think eventually it will be about offering the best information in the shortest span of time. I think ultimately that the retention rate of a shorter video with the same quality will beat a longer video just because it has less retention.. because people prefer easy and fast solutions. What do you think?

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It appears that the reason this page from a little-known website is able to rank amongst the bigger players is that the content itself is more focussed. It talks about how to name images for SEO, whereas most of the other pages are more general guides to image SEO—which all presumably mention the importance of naming images correctly, amongst other things.
What about subtitles & closed captions? I see in one of your comment replies that you’ve uploaded transcripts of your videos but looks like Youtube has 1 spot for transcripts and another for subtitles/CC. Have you tested both transcripts and subtitles/CC? Also, I know the difference between subtitles and CC but there doesn’t appear to be anyone that’s tested once vs the other. Might be something to test.
But sometimes there are site-wide technical issues that get in your way of ranking on Google. Luckily, fixing technical issues is not a required step for every single piece of content you create. However, as you create more and more content you should be aware of duplicate content, broken links, or problems with crawling and indexing. These issues can set you back in search results.
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