Video marketing is becoming more and more popular and shows no signs of slowing down. Once you’ve begun your journey into video marketing, it’s important to understand the powerful analytics tools behind your content. YouTube’s video analytics provide an incredible amount of information about how people are viewing and engaging with your content—but there’s a lot of data to look at.
We’ll go through some of the most important metrics for understanding your YouTube channel’s performance. These data points all work together to tell a larger story about your content—and once you’re familiar with the basics, it’s easy to keep reading more of the story.
View Count and Watch Time
View count refers to how many people have clicked on and watched your video. Sounds good, right? But having a high view count alone isn’t enough. This number doesn’t mean much if the watch time is low. Watch time is the total amount of time viewers spend watching your video (as opposed to average view duration, which is the average amount of time individual viewers spend watching a video).
YouTube prioritizes videos that have high watch times and flags content that has high view counts but low watch times. This is because a high view count means that lots of people are clicking on the video, but a low watch time means that users aren’t finding what they were looking for. In short, this combo screams “clickbait” to YouTube’s algorithm.
YouTube ultimately wants people to stay on the site for as long as possible, so they want content that keeps people engaged. Watch time is just one way to measure how satisfied users are with their on-site experience. You can increase watch times by uploading high-quality content that gets people talking. Try adding text to your videos, or create a stellar promotional video with After Effects templates.
Remember, this data doesn’t exist in a vacuum. That’s why it’s important to look at watch time with view count, as well as other metrics that we’ll explain below.
One of the most helpful metrics available is the absolute audience retention report. This report shows you which parts of your videos are most popular and which parts see a drop in viewers. If the watch time is low on one of your videos, the absolute audience retention report is invaluable for troubleshooting. You can also look at trends among all of the videos on your channel and look for viewing and drop-off patterns.
The first 15 seconds of a video are the key to keeping audiences engaged, so if you’re seeing a drop in views before the 15-second mark then you might want to adjust your intro strategy. You can also look at the relative audience retention report to compare the audience retention of your videos to other YouTube videos of similar length.
YouTube doesn’t just want users to stay on the site—they want users to be active participants. This means that likes, comments, and shares will help boost the overall performance of your videos. High levels of engagement increase the chances of your videos becoming suggested or featured content.
So how do you keep users engaged? You ask them! Engage with your audience directly by asking them to take action. Pose a question that they can answer in the comments, or ask if they have any questions for you.
Treat your relationship with your audience like a conversation. If they ask you something in the comments, don’t leave them hanging! Respond quickly and be helpful by directing them to other content on your channel. In the Overview section of YouTube Analytics (pictured below), you can take a quick look at recent interactions data and respond accordingly. You can also check out the more in-depth interaction reports to learn more about how users are engaging with your content.
Your content’s reach helps you understand how your videos are getting to users on YouTube. In YouTube Analytics, reach is broken down into 4 metrics: impressions, traffic sources for impressions, impressions click-through-rate, and unique viewers.
The number of impressions on a video is how many times your video’s thumbnail was shown to YouTube users. This is a great way to gauge how well your content is performing within YouTube’s algorithm. You can also see where your thumbnails appeared by looking at the traffic sources for impressions metric.
Just because users see your video’s thumbnail doesn’t mean they actually clicked, so this is where impression click-through-rate (CTR) comes in. This metric measures how often users clicked on your video when presented with the opportunity. If your CTR is low, then it might be time to try something new with your thumbnails and/or titles.
Finally, unique viewers is simply an estimate of the number of people who have watched your videos. This information can be helpful in understanding the overall size of your audience.
Now that you’re armed with these key YouTube channel analytics tools, you can go forth and optimize your content! When in doubt, go for high-quality, professional stock footage and After Effects templates that are sure to wow your audience.