YouTube Analytics for Direct Marketers

For direct marketers, there can be nothing more foundational than understanding the numbers, so that’s the topic of todays Online Video Marketing Deep Dive blog at Target Marketing Magazine. And as direct marketers, we like to pour over data. With YouTube, you have easy access to data and metrics that are a direct marketer’s dream. We’re going to show you several specific charts using examples from our own videos so you can see many of the analytic tools that are available.

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There two broad categories of reports from YouTube that you can use to evaluate your own videos. Those two categories are Views Reports and Engagement Reports.

Today we’ll take a deeper dive into the Views Reports. Within Views Reports, you can drill down into five more reports that include Views, Demographics, Playback locations, Traffic Sources, and Audience Retention. Let’s look at each of these one-by-one.

When you log into your YouTube account, click on a specific video that you wish to evaluate, then click on the Analytics link at the top right.

On the left side, under the word “Overview” you’ll see a list of reports.

Under Views Reports are “Engagement Reports.”

First, let me point out a couple of things before you start running reports and getting excited about the numbers. Here, in the upper right you’ll see that you can view your statistics by geography, with options for the entire world, regions of the world, and countries.

You can also search your preferred date range, from the most recent 30 days, to the past 365 days, up to the lifetime of the video. You can also choose your own custom date range.

Let’s take a look at a video that we originally posted in February of 2010. There are over two and a half years of data on this video, and over 6,100 views. As a direct marketer, you might think of views as an impression with the opportunity to have generated a lead or a sale.

On the summary page, you can see several thumbnails of charts that give you an overview of the performance of this specific video.

In addition to the number of views, you’ll see the total number of minutes it was watched, engagement information, demographics including top geographies and gender, along with the top playback locations and traffic sources. We’ll detail some of these one-by-one.

Click on performance and you can see a chart that shows you views of the videos on a daily basis over time. With this information, as a direct marketer, you can better identify seasonality.

Change your date field to the most recent 30 days, for example, and it becomes much more granular and easier to read. Using this more granular view, you can determine if there is a day of the week when you have more video views which could influence deployment of email or social media campaigns.

You can also compare views to other metrics such as unique cookies, estimated minutes watched, and subscriber net changes.

Demographics reveal the gender who watches your video, along with their ages. This chart also shows the top locations by country along with the age and gender of the viewer by country. As you can see in this example, 70% of viewers of this video are female, with the highest concentrations among ages 45 to 54, and most views come from the United States. We know in direct marketing that we want to reach specific audience niches. In this instance, you would know that your message should be decidedly female in orientation, and geared toward a Baby Boomer.

When you view Playback locations, you get a sense of where the video is being played. In this example, 71% are played on YouTube’s individual page, which is the most common. Nearly 19% are viewed on Mobile devices. For direct marketers, this is important to understand. With a high mobile reach, it’s vital that your video be produced with tablets and iPads in mind.

When you click on Embedded player on other websites, a new view appears that reveals where your video has been embedded (such as on your own website), and the traffic that came to YouTube from those other sites. This will help you pinpoint your most productive online direct marketing efforts.

Now click on Traffic Sources and you get a whole new look at how your video was found.

Finally, you can get audience retention statistics. This example is from a recent Online Video Marketing Deep Dive video. This view is of the Absolute Audience Retention, and it enables you to see the expected gradual decline in viewers as the video progresses. This is a 6:30 video and when you look at Absolute Audience Retention, it shows that about half of viewers who started the video stayed to the end. You can also see that at 3:30 and 4:00 minutes the viewership went up slightly, indicating that was a place where listeners rewound, and re-watched that segment of the video.

Next, compare your video’s performance to other videos of similar length on YouTube, when you click the Relative Audience Retention tab. You can see the audience retention in this example was actually above average. Use this information to know where to edit your videos, or identify words or phrases that either enhance, or detract from, your retention.

With these five reports, you can get a good understanding of how your video is performing, and what opportunities you have to improve your direct marketing initiatives.

Finally, we had expected we could review the Playbook in a series of three videos. But what we’ve discovered is that there is so much material to be covered that we need to make a choice, and we’d like your input: would you prefer that we produce three long “deep dive” videos? Or would you prefer multiple short videos over the next several weeks? Please email us your opinion using the link in the text, or comment below.

In addition, we’ve considered producing a set of videos that would take you deeper within YouTube analytics, and show you how those numbers can be used by direct marketers. If you would be interested in subscribing to an educational program like this, again, please use the email link on this page, or comment below, to let us know your thoughts.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.