10 Important YouTube KPIs to Measure Marketing Success
Posted on 10.05.2021 / a 12 min. read
Table of Contents
What are the essential YouTube KPIs that every YouTube marketer should measure?YouTube provides an array of metrics to track your video performance. YouTube equips its own set of analytics and KPIs. We have to apply the right (relevant) metrics to measure your results and progress, adjusting strategy accordingly. A solid video marketing strategy evolves from the following YouTube metric/s.
Here is a list of must-track KPIs for YouTube to watch out for:
- Watch Time
- Video Views
- Audience Retention
- Views-to-engagement ratio
- Actions after viewing
- Subscribers gained and lost
- Subscriber Demographics
- Traffic Source
- Daily active viewers
- Top videos by views & average view duration
1. Watch TimeTraditional wisdom suggests that a list of YouTube KPIs should begin with the number of views. Much as views are important, it is the watch time that is the real indicator of how engaging people find your videos. YouTube’s algorithm focuses more on watch time as it is easier to get a high number of views with clickbait titles and tactics. With a high YouTube watch time, you also stand to reap another significant advantage, to do with YouTube’s algorithm. With a higher watch time, the probability of your video moving up in search results and recommendations is that much higher.
- Compare the average watch times of different videos and set internal benchmarks.
- Group videos by lengths, themes and styles and analyze watch times.
2. Video ViewsIt stands to reason that an important KPI for a video is the actual number of views it gets. This metric helps you identify the most popular videos and benchmark them. What is important, however, is to read this metric along with that of watch time. If a video is high on views but low on watch time, you could get several insights related to:
- Content quality
- Relevancy of title and description
- Comparison between videos with the highest and least number of views can offer insights into content strategy
- Read video views along with watch time to understand viewer preferences.
3. Audience RetentionMuch like the watch time, this is an important KPI to measure. Suppose you notice that a sizable percentage of the audience stopped watching your video within the first 30 seconds, for example. In that case, it’s a clear indicator of the need to revisit your content. Figuring out exactly where in the video audience retention starts to take a beating can go a long way in offering insights into future video content and structure. In your audience retention report provided by YouTube, you also get details about which parts of your video your audience likes to rewatch.
- Analyze where exactly in the story audience interest starts to fade.
- Analyze the parts that your audience loves to watch again and create content accordingly.
- It also throws insights on whether your audience targeting is accurate.
4. Views-to-Engagement RatioEngagement is one of the important metrics when you analyze a YouTube video. In other words, you want to see what kind of likes, comments, or shares the video elicits. While comments hold more power than likes, it is a combination of both that determines the video’s popularity. YouTube algorithms also rank those videos higher, where a user watches a video and then likes or comments on it. It is therefore imperative to look at the views-to-engagement ratio. Pro tip: Consistency is a key to driving engagement, as your regular viewers will potentially be the ones who interact with your videos.
- Analyze audience reactions to figure out the kind of relationship you have built.
- “Dislikes” are also an engagement metric, a substantial number of them may insist you rethink your storytelling.
5. Actions After Viewing/Click-through rateAn important factor in how to grow your YouTube channel is also to gauge what happens after your videos are viewed. It will mean analyzing whether the viewer clicks on the link or the buy button or gets more information at the end of the video. It isn’t just indicative of the engagement levels but also whether or not the call-to-action was strong enough. The metric ensures that the buying intent data does not fall through the cracks.
- Analyze, if you have a strong call to action.
- Actions after viewing can throw up insights on the true impact your videos are having
6. Subscribers gainedThe number of subscribers gained and lost over a timeframe is a good indicator of the strength of your channel. Since people who subscribed to your channel watch more of your videos as compared to non-subscribers, they are the key to improving your YouTube watch time. By analyzing the type of videos your subscribers are hooked on, you can create the best content for YouTube that your ideal audience enjoys and thus widen your subscriber base that is interested in your channel. In addition, if you focus on subscriber growth, you automatically tend to focus on other valuable Youtube KPIs, namely more views, watch time, and engagement. Pro tip: In reading the number of subscribers, take into account that only subscribers who have made their subscription public will appear in your analysis.
- Tailor your content to audience preferences to ensure that you can gain subscribers exponentially.
7. Subscriber DemographicsIn addition to subscribers gained and lost, it is also important to study subscriber demographics. It could be to do with the age group of subscribers, gender, and the devices through which they are accessing your videos. Analysing the subscriber demographics data will tell you who’s your actual target audience. But this data can also be used to have a different approach – since you will get to know which audience is not engaged, you can try to change your content and video strategy to impress that audience and gain their likes and views too.
- Analyze if the subscriber demographics are close to the target audience for which you had planned your content.
- Alternatively, tailor your content to suit the demographics.
8. Traffic SourceIt’s imperative to ascertain how your viewers tend to discover your content. Some of the sources could include:
- YouTube Search
- YouTube Recommendations
- Channel Pages
- External sources and more
- Understanding the traffic sources will allow you to add the right tags or include the right keywords to enhance discoverability further.
- If the “impressions” from YouTube recommendations are flat, a deep dive into the structure of your videos is in order.
- Using this data, you can improve your YouTube channel and video promotion strategy.
9. Daily Active ViewersSimply put, daily active viewers are the top fans and evangelists of your YouTube Channel. It is a number that you would want to grow. Therefore, it is good to keep an eye on how these numbers are growing and study a trend of whether or not they differ by weekdays and weekends. To increase these numbers, consistency in posting videos and tailored Youtube marketing efforts are key. It is easy to start losing these evangelists if your posting process is tardy and you cannot live up to their expectations.
- Study the numbers to see if there is a pattern to active views by day.
- Map the frequency of your posting to these numbers.
10. Top videosAn analysis of the top 10 or even 5 videos by views & average view duration can help you determine what content resonates with your audience. Additionally, it can also throw up important insights about what day of the week or time works best for posting your content. You will also get to know which generic keywords work the best for your videos, which tags boost audience engagement, and what kind of thumbnails attract clicks.
- Determine your content strategy basis high-performing videos.
- Uncover trends on days and times of posting that work well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although there are many YouTube video performance metrics, impressions, click-through rate, video views, watch time, average watch time, and subscribers are important.
Video impression click-through-rate, average watch time, and subscribers are the 3 most important YouTube video performance metrics.
YouTube metrics like watch time, average view duration, audience retention, Re-watches, unique viewers, engagement, impression click-through-rate, average-percentage-viewed, card-click-through-rate, playlist engagement, subscribers growth, traffic sources, end-screen responses can help you measure the effectiveness of your video campaigns. Further, Google Analytics can help you see the impact of embedded videos on your website.
We can calculate the YouTube engagement rate by adding the total number of likes, dislikes (depreciated now), shares, and comments (in a selected time range) for all the channel’s videos and dividing by the total number of channel subscribers. As per the study, the average engagement rate of the influencer on YouTube is between 1.99% to 5.22%.
It reflects how well you retain your audience and understand what people think of your video. Playlists engagement metric can help you see which topics your audience is the most interested in learning.
As per the YouTube creator academy, audience retention remains a big part of the Youtube algorithm. There is no set standard for this, but as per a few YouTube experts like VidIQ’s Rob Wilson, anything above 50% for a five minute or longer video, or if you can hook 70% of your audience for the first 30 seconds to your video, then you’ve done a good job.