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Making the most of YouTube’s analytical data

I suspect many marketing folk assess the success or otherwise of any videos they produce by looking at the ‘views’ number. After all, if the video is on YouTube, that number is what the rest of the world sees too.

There are reasons not to get too hung up on this simple metric though. First of all, remember that one of the reasons for creating the video was simply for it to exist. It contributes to the SEO effort; and it makes the website look a lot better to potential customers (even if they don’t watch it).

Secondly, I’d rather have a video with 10 views lasting almost to the end, than one with 100 views and a ‘watch time’ averaging 10 seconds. So it’s important to dig into the stats – and YouTube in particular gives us an amazing amount of data.

There’s a big ‘Analytics’ button now underneath our videos (only available to the owner, of course), and that’s the gateway to whatever we want to find out. There are various tabs to explore, as well as a date selector, and the ‘See More’ link reveals some of the most useful stats. For example, has the average view duration fallen? If so, why? Does it tie in with an increase in views from a particular (less relevant) source, or has the video started to fail to live up to its promise in general?

I won’t go through all the analytics parameters available, but there are more than most of us will want. The important thing is to be frequently taking a look at what’s going on, and seeing what we can learn.