With the prediction for video to account for 82% of all web traffic by 2021, now is the time to start investing in this channel from content production and advertising perspective. And YouTube brand channel is the best starting point for growing video presence. But what metrics really matter when analysing the performance of your channel?
Accessing YouTube Analytics is really straightforward – just visit https://www.youtube.com/analytics and select the channel you want to see the metrics for. Here the reports are divided between watch time and interaction categories, but I recommend looking at the metrics from either video or channel perspective first.
Of course, the most popular metric used for video analysis is the number of views. It’s a great initial indication of the reach your video has achieved, however it does not provide for a full picture. The views are showing the number of times someone started watching your video – that’s why Average percentage viewed is your next go-to metric. You can find it the Watch Time report, giving you essentially an average view completion rate. This is very handy when you’re structuring the content of your video, as it shows at what point majority of the viewers drop off – allowing you to ensure that next time the key information will be included before that tipping point is reached.
When it comes to video engagement rates, this is highly related to category you’re operating in. Insurance video most likely won’t generate the same number of likes or shares as a per or travel related content, so always make sure you’re benchmarking yourself within your category. Once you know what you’re aiming for, the Likes & Dislikes, Comments and Sharing are the next 3 reports to investigate. For Sharing, you can also view the Sharing Service to understand better which platform your viewers use to virally distribute your content:
A good starting point is to review Traffic Sources. This report shows you what is generating views of your content, be it advertising, recommended videos or external embeds. You dive in deeper into some of those categories and subcategories for more detail.
When analysing channel performance, marketers often focus on Subscribers as key metric. While it is always beneficial to grow your subscriber list, as that increases the chance of them seeing your new content. You Tube claims that overall, subscribers also consume more if your content, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the number of new followers. You can also analyse the source of new subscriptions, to know how to generate more in the future. All this information is available from the Subscribers report.
Similarly to video engagements, not all channels will generate big numbers of subscribers. If you’re planning on producing a lot of video content and want to build up a reliable audience, you should spend more time analysing what is generating your subscriptions and structure your videos and calls to action to generate more. You can use Cards and Annotations to encourage those organically also.
You can also extract information about the demographic breakdown of your audience – from the age and gender, to location. This can be found under the Demographics report and can very helpful in refining your video campaign targeting or building better custom audiences.
One of my favourite reports is the Playback Locations, as it shows you how far your organic and viral reach is stretching – and it can be used to build relationships with other platforms. The Embedded in external websites and apps section shows you all the locations where your videos are shared and viewed outside of YouTube.