YouTube Analytics: 3 Ways to Measure Your Audience and Build Your Video Strategy

Ever wonder who is watching your videos and for how long? These kinds of data were impossible to know in the past world of broadcast television, where the best we could do was monitor a small group of Nielsen Families watching behaviors. YouTube analytics is incredibly powerful and can help tell you how to improve the quality of your content and how to market it — it’s especially easy to use in the new YouTube Studio, which is gradually replacing Creator Studio Classic. In this training video we show some very basic ways to quickly access simple data about your videos in YouTube analytics.

1. Capture and keep attention

YouTube videos should be designed to keep your attention — basically, something interesting should happen within the first 15 seconds of the video. You can use YouTube analytics to see audience retention, or use the time watched graph to see when people are dropping off. You can also see the relative audience retention, to compare how your video is doing against other similar videos.

In the following examples we use YouTube analytics to see a difference of 25% in retention in the first 15 second time frame of our Whole Whale TV video. The screen to the right also helps show what the audience sees at that time. This type of exploration is great for video editors to consider as they plan the initial frames. Keep in mind that the source of traffic and the intention of those viewers can drastically impact behavior.

2. How to watch users watching you

Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty states that you can never know the exact position and speed of a particle, because that act of observation affects the observed </end geek>. What does this have to do with YouTube analytics? YouTube analytics is watching what we are doing and giving the data back to us, but it is not influenced by social interaction – like, say, a focus group.

In the “Reach Viewers” section of an individual video’s analytics on YouTube, a funnel of engagement is shown. This view gives the total impressions and the view percentage in addition to the main keywords that are being searched. These data can help determine if the searched terms are really being answered by the video content. Looking at the overall account for the year can establish the benchmark for impression CTR—in this case, it is 5.3%.
In this view we are just looking at the data from one video, which now shows performance over the past 30 days and the impression CTR of 12.8%, and gives a nice funnel.


Just looking at these data, it is clear that this video is doing well for fundraising ideas—however, we also see there may be an opportunity to create another video or a new version of this video focused on raising money quickly.

3. Steal your next idea from suggested videos

You can use YouTube analytics to see the related videos and traffic sources of your YouTube views. If users are watching more videos after yours, it might be an opportunity to create a smart “watch this next” video based on the suggested videos. You can create playlists and chain relevant videos together to keep users watching.


Want to learn more about YouTube analytics? Check out our newest Whole Whale University course for all the social media tips and tricks! We’ll teach you how to drive nonprofit impact using engagement data and how to be your own social media expert.