YouTube is becoming an increasingly important tool in a brand’s marketing arsenal. This is because video has emerged as one of the preferred ways to consume content by online users, and you cannot talk about videos without mentioning YouTube.

With more than 2 billion hours of content consumed every day according to data from Backlinko, YouTube is the top distribution channel for videos. But with so many videos competing for user attention, it can be difficult to cut through the noise. Strategically leveraging YouTube Analytics will help you uncover valuable campaign insights to help you improve performance.

Read on to learn how to use YouTube insights to refine your content strategy so you can create great videos that motivate your users to keep watching.

Why YouTube Analytics is critical for measuring marketing performance

With its large and highly-engaged user base, YouTube is the perfect platform for connecting with your online audience through video content. When you post a video, your channel subscribers get notified that you have published a video, and they will see it on their feed when they log into YouTube. The more views the video receives, the further it gets distributed to other users on the platforms, thus helping you acquire more subscribers and fans.

But to get to the point where your videos get lots of views and engagement, you need to constantly monitor your YouTube channel to understand what’s working and what isn’t. YouTube Analytics is a valuable resource in this regard, as it provides you with all the metrics you need to determine if your content is performing well or not.

YouTube metrics will let you know how many people watched your video, how much time they spent watching it, and the average percentage viewed. You need to pay close attention to these critical data sets as they will tell you how popular your content is with viewers. The average percentage viewed metric measures your ability to engage viewers to the end by giving the percent of each video the average user watched. When you realize people are not watching your videos to the end, you can decide to create shorter videos that deliver the intended information quickly.

You will also be able to compare different videos to understand which videos resonate with your audience. This information allows you to replicate success by creating popular video content and optimizing those that fall flat to attract more video views.

Learn more about creating YouTube video content that converts in our blog, The Benefits and Best Practices of Video Marketing. 

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Important things to monitor on your YouTube channel

As you think of the best ways to improve your YouTube content preparation and promotion strategies, you should leverage YouTube Analytics data to help you make data-backed decisions.  YouTube provides publishers with all the crucial metrics and statistics they need to manage their channels better.

Below are the top metrics you need to pay close attention to improve your YouTube marketing and generate more content views.

Man looking at an analytic monitor


Subscribers are your most loyal fans. They watch twice as many videos as non-subscribers and are the first to get notified when you post a video. Getting your subscriber count is easy since it’s the first thing you see when you open your channel. However, you need to monitor your subscriber growth to see how it compares to the average. If there is a significant change from the standard, find out the cause. Did you publish more videos than usual? Did one video perform particularly well or poorly?

Your subscriber count also predicts how many organic views you can expect when you publish a video. For example, when you post a video and don’t initiate any form of amplification on social media or paid promotion, you can expect 5 percent of your subscribers to translate it into video views. So, with 1,000 subscribers, you can expect around 50 organic views.

Watch time

This is the total amount of time (in minutes) users have spent watching your videos. Watch time is important because YouTube elevates videos with higher watch times in the search results and recommendation section. YouTube promotes such videos because they believe they contain valuable content that can benefit its users.

Your analytics dashboard will show the total watch time your videos have accumulated so far. You can rank the videos by watch time to identify your most engaging videos.


Views are the estimated gross number of people who have watched your videos over a given period. This metric will help you understand the actual size of your audience and give you a glimpse of how frequently users watch your content on YouTube.

When analyzing your views, you should assess the average view duration (AVD) and average percentage viewed (APV). AVD will tell you how long people view your video and when they start dropping off. APV measures the percent of each video watched by the average user. It will help you gauge your video’s ability to grab the attention of viewers till the end of the video.

Audience retention charts

Audience retention charts inform you of the percentage of viewers who watch and drop off at every moment of the video. YouTube values videos with high audience retention rates and elevates their recommendations and search rankings.

Audience retention information is an important metric that will help you improve your video strategy. By watching your videos during moments with low engagement rates and high drop-offs, you will understand what’s boring your audience and scrap those elements from your future videos.

Work with a growth marketing agency to study your YouTube analytics and use the insights to create a compelling video strategy.

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How to optimize your channel using competitor research

Your channel’s analytics will provide valuable insights for growth and channel enhancement. But since no business operates in isolation, you will still need to analyze your competitors to identify gaps and opportunities in your strategy. Here’s how to grow your YouTube channel by accessing your competitor’s efforts.

Understand and leverage your competitor’s content against them

You may have great content for your audience, but it’s vital that you check what your competitors are posting. Analyzing your competitor’s content will help you understand what’s trending in your industry and the successful elements in their videos. With this information, you will tweak your videos to appeal to the audience your competitors have managed to attract.

So, how do you go about conducting competitor analysis? Follow these steps to identify your top competitors on YouTube.

Competition design

Identify competitors in your niche

Use YouTube’s search button to identify the top competitors in your industry. From the search results, make a list of similar brands with a strong following and presence on YouTube. For example, if you operate a digital marketing agency (like us), you can search “Digital marketing strategy” to see videos that rank highly on SERPs. The brands that rank high are the direct competitors you need to focus on.

Youtube search

Figure 1: YouTube search ” digital marketing strategy.” Source: YouTube

Review their content

Open your competitor’s channels and review the following:

  • The type of videos they are creating.
  • The type of content with a high engagement rate.

This exercise could take some time since you have to review all the top-performing videos to understand the style used in video creation. For this analysis, you should focus your efforts on videos with high view counts and extremely positive engagement in the form of likes, shares, and positive comments.

Using our “digital marketing” example, if you notice that storytelling is the most prominent style in all the top-performing videos, it would be worth using it for your next videos as it resonates with your audience.

Besides looking for the good things your competitors are doing to gain lots of views and positive engagement, you should also be on the lookout for untapped growth opportunities in their content. If you notice that they’ve ignored certain vital issues in their content, incorporate these elements in your videos to make your content more valuable to your users.

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If your target users aren’t interested in your channel, there are ways to fix that. By tracking the effectiveness of your channel on YouTube analytics, you will gain valuable insights to grow your reach and influence.

But don’t do it alone — let us help you with YouTube marketing services! The team at Growth Marketing Genie is here to help you make sense of the data and metrics you will come across on your dashboard.


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