We all know we need to watch the metrics of every social platform that we use in order to understand how effective it is for promotion. That said, sometimes we’re not exactly sure of what each metric means, especially when it comes to YouTube. Here’s an excerpt from social distributor Hootsuite’s blog that explains both the audience and video metrics on the platform (emphasis is mine).
YouTube Audience Metrics
“Use YouTube audience metrics to understand who watches your videos. Use these insights to inform your content and community management strategies.
Unique viewers: An estimate of the total number of people who watched your videos over a given period. Unlike channel views, this metric does not include multiple views from the same person.
Average views per viewer: An average of the number of times a viewer watched videos on your channel. This metric includes both views of multiple videos, and multiple views of the same video.
When your viewers are on YouTube: A bar chart that displays the days and times most of your viewers are on the platform. Use this info to schedule uploads at optimal times. If you have an active Community Tab, make sure an admin is available to create posts and respond to comments at this time.
Audience demographics: Take into consideration the age, gender, and location of your audience on YouTube. This information can help you plan content geared toward viewers, or create content for a segment your current audience is missing. Look also to see if viewers are using subtitles, and what languages are most used, so you can accommodate accordingly.
YouTube Video Metrics
Whether a big production or a no frills livestream, it’s worthwhile to track individual YouTube video metrics. When you click on a video, you’ll land on a similar dashboard with Overview, Reach, Engagement, Audience, and Revenue tabs—only all the data pertains to the video in question.
Views: The number of times your video has been watched, including repeat views from the same person.
Video subscribers: The number of people who subscribed after watching your video. This metric provides one of the strongest indications that your content connected with viewers. On the flip side, you can also see the number of subscribers lost with a certain video, too.
Watch time: The cumulative amount of time people have spent watching your video (or videos). Click See More to have a look at how this figure changes over time. Has your watch time been consistent since you published the video, or are there spikes you can correlate to specific events?
Audience retention: See how far people made it through your video. The audience retention report provides you with an average view duration. It also shows you where the views drop off. Notice a big dip? Watch your video to try to understand why people may have left around a specific mark.
Tip: Retention will always gradually decline, so focus on abrupt drops. If you see peaks, they indicate viewers are re-watching certain parts of your video.“
There are many video metrics besides what you’ve seen above. Go to the Hootsuite blog post for the explanation behind all of them.