7 YouTube Video Metrics You Need to Start Tracking

If you don’t have a strategy for measuring the success of your video content, you’re throwing money away.

Can you count on one hand the YouTube metrics you actually use? If so, you’ll want to read on…

By 2019, video marketing is expected to account for around 80% of total internet traffic. That should tell you exactly how important it can (and should), be to your business.

With over 1 billion users (almost 1/3 of the internet), YouTube is the perfect platform for video marketing. But with so many ways to grow your business through video, how do you know what’s really working?

Thankfully, a powerhouse like YouTube generates vast amounts of big data. Businesses should harness these metrics to measure ROI and inform future decisions.

Read on to find the seven best ways to leverage YouTube metrics for your business, starting today…

1. View count

View count is the classic benchmark for digital success. It speaks to the total reach of your content and is a useful indicator of general trend and interest.

Anybody serious about video marketing should be able to recite their channel’s five most popular videos, with ease. Keep track of views for this purpose, either weekly or monthly, dependent on volume.

However, don’t let views consume your perspective. A ‘view’ is anything longer than 30 seconds – who knows if a viewer even saw your primary message or call to action?

View count can be a valuable point of leverage, but it’s incomplete data. Make it your first stop and not your last.

2. Total Watch Time

Total watch time tells you the average duration that your content is viewed. Sound simple? It is. But what’s great about this YouTube metric is the insight into your content’s impact.

Watch time is also a contributing factor in YouTube’s discovery process i.e., their search rankings. A low total watch time means two things:

  1. The video content itself is ineffective
  2. YouTube considers your content unworthy of showcasing

Remember, view count often doesn’t correlate with conversions. Sky-high views may be the result of a previous, non-video related campaign. If you want video content to drive your marketing (tip: you do!), focus on a high total watch time.

To do this, invest in quality video production that will hold viewers attention. The search rankings will follow and so will the conversions.

3. Audience Watch Ratio

Audience watch ratio is the data that feeds your total watch time statistics. It tells you the rate of viewers for any segment within each of your videos, by comparing specific video portions to total video views.

Take the time to monitor this YouTube metric for each video, keeping your eyes peeled for sharp drops in the graph. You want to see most users in the 90%-100% range.

Sudden drops suggest a specific part of your content is making viewers disengage. If people skip out on your video before the best bits, it’s time to dissect your content. It may be turning potential consumers away.

4. Views by Device

Views by device is a neglected metric in video marketing. Not all video content translates well to smaller screens. Marketing content must be created with this in mind.

In fact, YouTube users are now watching more than an hour of mobile content per day. Just as companies were forced to optimize their web pages for mobile use, the same is now required for video content.

Mobile devices are also becoming the only tool used in purchasing decisions. As such, video marketing content aimed at mobile viewers must draw on this.

First, consider the device metric to source your views. If most come from mobiles – ramp up your purchase-based call-to-actions.

5. Subscribers Gained/Lost

Like views, subscriber count is one of the most straightforward YouTube metrics to interpret, but much more valuable.

Subscribers are users that have expressed interest in your future content. That means they’re much closer to engaging with your business in other ways.

Communicating with subscribers via video descriptions, annotations or within the content itself, can be a great way to build relationships. Developing a community feel, no matter the form of your video marketing is always a good idea.

Make sure to track subscriber growth alongside views. Any sudden spikes are worth investigating, but as long as you’re trending upwards, don’t panic. People unsubscribe, it happens.

If you want to find out why, engagement metrics are the best bet.

6. Engagement (Comments, Likes, Dislikes)

Engagement metrics are potent indicators of the likeability and value of your content. Here’s a tip on how to use engagement to inform strategy:

  • Choose 5-10 of your most engaging videos
  • Note similarities in content, length, and CTAs
  • Repeat for 5-10 videos with least engagement
  • Compare findings

Using the engagement metric for this research helps you tailor future video content and appeal to your audience’s interests and expectations. In YouTube’s analytics dashboard – keep a keen eye on engagement graphs. You can also trial A/B variations and assess the differences in interaction.

This is the most critical YouTube metric and can have huge variance across content.

7. Sharing

It’s part of engagement, but the sharing metric deserves separate mention. Quick and easy for a viewer, but more impactful than a like or comment; shares are a great way to increase your awareness.

Asking viewers to share as a call-to-action is an easy way to improve any video marketing campaign. As sharing is a relaxed decision-process for viewers, it’s a low-cost way of increasing organic reach. When it comes to sharing, explicit asks work.

Draw on the sharing metric to understand which asks are most effective and can be incorporated into future videos.

YouTube Metrics

Video marketing is on the rise, in a big way.

Here’s the bottom line…

A content strategy is essential for anybody investing in visual media and it can’t be done without comprehensive tracking data.

So if you’re serious about maximizing your content (and you should be!), go beyond the basic numbers. Start tracking YouTube metrics that can help you understand and develop your following.

If this article has left you brimming with video ideas you’d like produced, get in touch today for a free quote!

Which YouTube metrics do you find most useful? Leave a comment below and let us know!

7 Video Metrics You Need to Start Tracking

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