Every video creator needs this YouTube analytics guide

Every video creator needs this YouTube analytics guide

If you’ve ever explored YouTube analytics, you’ve probably fallen down a data collection rabbit hole. YouTube has over 2 billion users logging in every month – and they collect a ton of stats on them and their activity.

But for many video creators, all this info might feel a little bit TMI. After all, what good are metrics if you don’t know how to put them to use?

To help you create data-driven, on-brand video content, we’re covering all the must-know details of YouTube’s analytics.

How to use YouTube analytics:

1. Overview

When you click on YouTube’s analytics tab, the first thing you’ll see is the Overview. Here, you can analyze trends in your channel’s views, watch time and subscriber count.

These stats are essential to your channel’s success – but they don’t tell the full story. If your Overview section is looking a little bleak, you’ll need to explore the rest of YouTube’s analytics to find out why.

Computer and smartphone displaying analytics graphs

2. Reach

The Reach analytics section focuses on impressions, which can be a little misleading. YouTube defines impressions as “how many times your video thumbnails were shown to viewers”. Vanity metrics like impressions look good on paper, but don’t necessarily help your brand achieve its goals.

However, YouTube’s Reach section does offer up important traffic source data. With it, you’ll discover how viewers found your videos in the first place (so you can build on that success). You can even see the search terms that led people to your videos! Make note of these terms – they could provide inspiration for your content calendar.

YouTube reach analytics graph

via YouTube

3. Engagement

Since engagement is a key factor with YouTube’s algorithm, pay close attention to these stats.

Which videos perform the best? What do they have in common? Is it the subject matter, the keywords in the titles, the thumbnail images or the length of the videos?

Also take a look at which end screen elements, cards and playlists get the most clicks. Ideally, your audience should watch several of your videos in one sitting. Optimized playlists, end screen elements and top cards are a super-effective way to make it happen.

Man waving to camera as he films YouTube content

4. Audience

Is the amount of data YouTube collects on viewers a little creepy? Perhaps…

But the info contained in the Audience section is super important for crafting target audience personas. Over time, this data will make it easier to understand your audience – and create content they can’t get enough of.

Do most of your viewers fall within a specific age group? Are the majority of views coming from desktop computers, as opposed to mobile devices? Click one of the “see more” links on the Audience page to get all the details.

In this section, you’ll also discover other channels and videos your audience watches. Take this opportunity to scope out the competition, and figure out what makes their content watchable (so you can compete).

YouTube audience analytics graph

via YouTube

5. Individual video stats

YouTube’s analytics allows you to track the performance of individual videos.

What patterns do you notice?

Are your explainer videos top performers? Make sure to add similar videos to your content schedule.

Did a specific video lead to many unsubscribes? Examine the view duration to figure out what might have prompted viewers to jump ship.

YouTube analytics view dips charts

via YouTube

With analytics, it’s all about drawing conclusions while remembering that the data collected doesn’t always represent your entire audience. Stats and metrics can revolutionize your video strategy – as long as you remain true to your brand. 

By motioning these stats on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, you’ll be able to make informed, strategic choices for your YouTube channel. But if analytics just aren’t your thing, we’d love to help you (and your digital strategy) out! Get in touch with us, and start putting your analytics to the best possible use.

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