Video analytics are crucial. They help you to assess the quality of your content, to identify what is and isn’t resonating with your dealership’s audience, and they help you to evolve your strategy so that your next piece of content can perform better than your last one. Plus, when it comes to YouTube (as opposed to Facebook) remember…you don’t have the immediate luxury of a built-in audience of followers, or one that’s necessarily invested in your business, your connection with the local community or your content, itself. You need to build that audience, by creating content of ever-increasing value. And to build that strategy, you need to continually assess the performance of your content.
YouTubers find their analytics under YouTube Studio, which you can navigate to by clicking your user icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This brings you to your Channel Dashboard.
To the left of the screen, you’ll see a vertical menu, and today we’ll be diving into two specific areas: your individual Video Analytics and the bigger picture provided for your Channel Itself.
By clicking on Analytics, you’ll find a secondary navigation tab at the top of the screen which provides (i) an Overview of your channel’s performance, as well as its (ii) Reach (iii) Engagement (iv) Audience and (v) any revenue that your page might be earning through monetization. That said, monetizing your content is an entirely different conversation for another time and it’s important for content creators to walk before you fun. For now, let’s just focus on making high-quality content.
To the right, you’ll also find a drop-down box for the date range of the data you’re trying to collect. You can create custom parameters, or view your data sets across weeks, months, years, or the lifetime of your channel.
Within the timeframe you’ve selected, the overview screen provides you with a basic understanding of (i) the # of views your channel has received, (ii) how many hours people have spent viewing your content, (iii) how many new subscribers you’ve earned, and (iv) any revenue that your channel has earned. On the same screen, you’ll find a Realtime depiction of your channel’s performance which updates live, a high-level overview of the performance of your latest videos, and confirmation of which of your videos proved most popular during the time period set. Each of these windows provides a means of expanding your view, by clicking ‘See More’ or by focusing on the analytics for a specific video.
Under reach, you’ll find a convenient summary of your channel’s views and impressions, and in which direction they’re trending. What is an impression? It’s anytime that thumbnail image of your video is presented to someone, be it through sharing, recommendations, online search or social media posting. You’ll find a representation of the relationship between impressions and actual watch time, which helps you to gauge how enticing your video thumbnail actually is. And of immense value is the depiction of where your YouTube traffic is originating from. In other words, are your viewers finding your content through (i) an active YouTube search for your channel (ii) an active YouTube search for video topics (iii) are they navigating between the videos on your page (iv) are they finding you through YouTube’s suggested videos, which is based on their own viewing and search histories, or (v) did they come from an external source, such as a Google Search.
Under Engagement you gain a better understanding of how your viewers are interacting with your content, and you start to fine tune your understanding of which videos and video playlists are performing the best. And since YouTube allows you to promote your own content through the inclusion of Call-to-Action cards and end screen elements, you can also assess which videos are delivering the most clicks – be it to view a related video, to visit your channel or to become a subscriber.
The final section of your Channel Analytics that we’re going to talk about is your Audience. This section helps you to familiarize yourself with your channel’s viewers based on the information they’ve provided to YouTube through their Google profile. Since many YouTube users aren’t properly logging in, or interested in commenting or reacting to videos, they may not provide that info and – for that reason, the data found in this section may feel incomplete. That said, knowledge of how your audience is broken down in terms of geography, age, gender, whether or not they’re active subscribers and what time of day they’re most likely to view is important to your content strategy.
So, Why is This Useful?
Echoing some of the things that we said a few weeks ago when talking about Facebook’s Video Analytics, it’s important to understand both the audience you have – and the audience you want. By defining both, and understanding how they’re interacting (or not interacting) with your content you can modify your approach, in terms of both your channel branding and your overall content strategy. But let’s dive in a bit deeper.
VIDEO ANALYTICSTo assess the performance of an individual video, simply click the thumbnail image found in any of the views we’ve already discussed. Once again you’ll find a header providing you with the means of viewing an Overview, Reach, Engagement, Audience and Revenue for that specific video. And because we’re looking at individual videos, we now gain some really valuable insights as to what you might be doing right or wrong in the eyes of your viewing audience.
Remember at the beginning of this video when I used the sprint and marathon analogy? The overview section provides you with an understanding of whether viewership of a specific video is increasing, stagnating, or decreasing overtime. Remember, timely and topical content is awesome, but so is evergreen content that retains its value over time. You can also see where viewership of a video decreases or drops off within its own running time. It allows you to assess whether or not you’re grabbing the attention of your audience quickly enough, if you’re maintaining your hold on their interest, or if you’re losing them through unnecessary fluff and padding. You’ll also see whether logged-in viewers are validating your content by clicking the like button. This, of course, is important because your YouTube audience is more likely than your Facebook audience to include genuinely interested parties, aficionados, and/or other professionals. In other words, those thumbs up and thumbs down clicks (as well as comments) can help to shape public perception of your content. As for the information provided for each video under Reach, Engagement and Audience – it’s largely similar to that provided for your channel, albeit specific to that video. It helps you to see where you’re attracting your audience from, how they’re engaging with your content, end screen elements and CTA’s, and who that audience is based on the information provided in their profiles.
Why is This Useful?
By understanding how individual videos are performing, you begin to understand how successfully you resonate with people interested in more specific topics. For us this is useful because we cover a variety of digital marketing insights. Over these last few weeks, we’ve been building our views on discussion of video content, but what about SEO, Social Media, Blogging or Reputation Management? Fortunately, we’ll be back to all of that very soon. For your dealership these metrics could help you to better discern potential buyers, to define their preferences, as well as identify their online research methodology prior to a vehicle purchase.