When you're a brand and you've turned to video for your advertising needs, you might like to know how exactly those videos are performing. Who are they reaching, how are they finding it, and are they enjoying it? Luckily, YouTube provides analytics, a load of statistics that can explain all the who-what-when-why-where questions you might have. In the final section of the YouTube Advertiser Playbook, "Tracking Your Success," YouTube explains where you can find data to interpret, and how that might be used to target the right audience and how you can use that information for future videos.
Measuring Your Success Through YouTube's Tools of the Trade
The final section of the Advertiser Playbook is split into two sections, Learn the Tools of the Trade and Gather Insights & Enhance Your Results, which we will cover next time. For now, we'll go over Tools of the Trade, which are:
1) YouTube Watch
YouTube Watch is the very bare minimum of analytics. It gives you a broad overview of your views and engagement. These stats just scratch the surface of what you can do.
Underneath your video, you'll see the view count and a graph button, along with your likes and dislikes. Click on the bar graph button to see some basic analytics. Click the bar graph and you'll start seeing all sorts of other graphs.
Total Views: This is the graph for "Charlie Bit My Finger," just for an example. You'll see a basic graph of how the views started to climb. The "A" and "B" are significant discovery events, which we'll take a look at right after this.
Significant Discovery Events: This will tell you where exactly the video started catching fire. Notice there's a "show more events," which when you click will reveal even more stats about the video.
Here's what it looks like after you click "show more events:"
This will tell you where your video is particularly popular, and the gender/age of your top viewers. You might look at this and say, "But I want to reach a different demographic." This might say something about your video and what you might need to change in order to reach the right people.
Ratings, comments, favorites
This is your basic number of comments, likes, and dislikes. Almost every popular video is going to have a strange amount of dislikes, because: the internet. But you can see a really good ratio here of about 9:1 where people like it. If you're seeing anywhere past 30-40% disliking the video, you might want to analyze why that might be.
There used to be a "World Map" which would highlight the areas of the world where the video was most popular, and there would be all these shades of green. That's now in Analytics (below). But they've replaced that in Watch for the simple stats in the "Audience" part of the graph.
2) YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics is where your video's stats are given deep amounts of analysis. You can spend a long time analyzing this data, and this is where you might start to see a clearer picture of where your videos are succeeding/failing. To get there, you can go to www.youtube.com/analytics, or go to your user name in the top right corner and click Video Manager, then Analytics.
So here's an overview of Analytics:
View Reports give you a detailed look at your channel views: daily, weekly, and monthly. You'll usually see spikes on new videos that are released. "Compare Metric" gives you a second line to compare your views with "monetizable views" and "unique viewers."
Here's a sample of a simple View graph, with "daily" selected:
View graph with compare metric, "unique viewers:"
And the world map:
You can split the world map into geography: it will show you the amount of views in all the countries that have been represented. While this map is US dominant, the other parts of the world are represented in a much, much lighter blue, and it breaks those down with hard numbers underneath the map. You can also look at individual video numbers across each country, and views, monetizable views, and unique viewers by date.
As you can see, it breaks down the simple male/female numbers by age, giving you handy percentage numbers with a bar graph and pie chart. Underneath this graph, you can break down all the demographics by country.
Here, you can break down where people are watching the video: on YouTube's page, embedded on another website, a mobile device, or the channel page. Not shockingly, you can see very few people actually watching on the channel page. But when you see embed numbers like above, you can see your video spreading around the internet and you know you're catching fire when a very large source of your views don't even come from YouTube. Again, you can break these down by daily, weekly, and monthly.
With Traffic Sources, it gives you a graph much like the Playback Location does, only now, it's giving you referrals, which is provided here. This is how people arrive to your video.
This tells you how long people are staying around for your video. It will provide the video underneath, and you can actually follow where people are turning it off, where they're rewinding it (which can actually give you more than 100%), and so on. While the video plays, a red bar tracks where in the video you're seeing the dropoffs, rewinds, and so on.
Engagement Reports are directly underneath the View Reports. This tells you the feedback numbers. Again, a lot of graphs. You can take a look at subscribers, likes/dislikes, favorites, comments, sharing, and annotations (currently in beta), which will tell you your CTR (click-through rate) and close rate for your annotations.
Here's an engagement report for favorites:
Pretty much all your engagement reports are like this for each video, and again you can compare the graphs with how much of your engagement increases and decreases, daily, weekly, monthly, and by country.
Play around with Analytics, and I'm pretty sure you can find what you're looking for. It's made to break down just about everything you can think of when it comes to making your videos a success.
3) AdWords for Video Reporting
AdWords for Video reports can tell you how your ad campaign is performing. We talked quite a bit about AdWords for Video in the this section of the Playbook, and in this section we'll discuss the campaign reports you can generate.
You'll go to adwords.google.com/video and view the All video campaigns report. Once you get into this, you can pick specific campaigns and look at:
- Impressions: the number of times your ad has been displayed.
- Views: the number of times your ad has been viewed.
- View Rate: the number of times people have chosen to watch your ad.
- Average CPV (cost-per-view): the average amount you pay every time someone watches the ad.
With a campaign report you can click on 4 different tabs:
- Ads Tab: Allows you to see how your ads are performing by TrueView format, network, and targeting group.
- Videos Tab: If your YouTube and AdWords accounts are linked, you can look at your audience retention and how well your Call-to-Action overlays are performing.
- Targets Tab: How well your ad is performing across demographics, keywords, and more.
- Settings Tab: Adjust daily budget, change the regions you target, and other adjustments.
AdWords for Video basically allows you to target who you want at a budget you set. And like all the YouTube Analytics, you can break the performance of these ads down to virtually every metric. You can figure out whether you're hitting the right regions, and refocus if you think you're coming up short. With all three of these services, you'll get a good idea really quick whether or not you made an effective video. And like anything, they take time to use properly so that you can interpret the data and make better campaigns.
If you are absolutely serious about making video work for you, you'll want to start getting good at interpreting the data that you find, and you've got the power of Google behind it. Don't go into serving up ads blind: make the data work for you. Learn from your mistakes, keep pounding out what succeeds.
Catch up on our other YouTube Advertiser Playbook posts:
- 4 Steps for Shooting Successful Web Video – The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 1
- Tips and Best Practices For Shooting Your Business Video – The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 2
- Basic Video Editing Tips for YouTube – The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 3
- How to Optimize Metadata for Your YouTube Business Video Ad – The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 4
- Channel Discovery and Design for Brands: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook – Part 5
- Reaching Wider Audiences & Creating Discussion Through Video: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook – Part 6
- Kick-Start Your Video Traffic With AdWords for Video: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook – Part 7
- Tips to Promote Your Videos Outside YouTube: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook – Part 8
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