Your Agency Guide to YouTube Success Metrics: 13 KPIs to Track 🔍
Three years back, the gaming community was so ready for a new Battlefield game. Including me.
But then in May, Electronic Arts (EA) released the official trailer on its YouTube channel—and it was seen by fans as a total failure… It flopped, big time.
Long story short: the game was in the discount bin a week after its release that fall.
EA probably took the hint by tracking its key performance indicators (KPIs) – likes, comments, shares, etc. during this time.
Because all of its subsequent Battlefield content on Youtube has been seen as much high quality content by the fanbase.
Tracking KPIs for YouTube is imperative for modern businesses.
According to a recent survey by Biteable, YouTube is the most preferred video posting platform among marketers.
And for good reason too.
Over two billion people are active on YouTube every month, according to Alexa.com. It’s an excellent platform for getting in front of our audience with or without paid ads…
And that’s great, but how do you measure success with your client’s YouTube content as you invest for GROWTH?
Well, you need to choose metrics that matter the most.
In this resource, I’ll teach you all about:
- 13 KPIs for YouTube that your agency should be measuring in marketing campaigns.
- Why these KPIs help you gauge your clients’ brand growth—and inform you of the next steps to take.
- How to overcome time constraints and ROI tracking deficiencies by outsourcing to AutoGrow.
When it comes to KPI tracking, there’s a lot of options. Let’s try to pick out some of the most important ones!
1. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Total Watch Time
According to an advertising agency, fittingly named Adage, 33% of YouTube viewers will stop watching a video within 30 seconds.
“Watch time translates better as an engagement metric than view counts. If the majority of people are watching the majority of your videos, that means they are going to remember your brand fondly. ”
— Gabriel Marguglio of Nextiny Marketing
Watch time tells you more than just views.
It tells you when you need to change something about your content if people are not spending enough time watching.
Total watch time informs you on what type of content is engaging for your audience.
Higher total watch time also strengthens your YouTube SEO ranking.
2. KPIs to Measure and Track for YouTube Growth: Audience Retention Rate
In one YouTube analysis from consulting firm Uhuru, it was found that the average viewer stops watching a video around 50-60% of the way through.
The audience retention KPI for YouTube is closely related to total watch time.
But retention rate takes things one step further.
Retention rate tells you at what point in a video your viewers are checking out.Use this to understand what kind of content sticks with your audience.
Perhaps your keywords aren’t delivering on your promise. Look back at your top-performing videos, and try to be consistent with the strategy used in those.
3. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Cost Per View (CPV)
A cost per view KPI for YouTube tells you how effective your ads are on YouTube.
This is something to be mindful of. If your CPV starts increasing higher than your target CPV, try changing up the content.
Or try targeting a wider range of demographics.
One example of CPV KPI tracking comes from a UK snack company by the name of BabyBel UK.
- They had great YouTube view rates, but they weren’t hitting their CPV target.
By monitoring their CPV KPI, the team realized they needed to try something different.
With the CPV insight, the team cut its CPV in half by targeting young adults and kids, as opposed to just young children.
4. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Traffic Sources
Having a traffic source KPI for YouTube prioritizes where you want your viewers to discover your video.
Do you want your client’s videos to be found through certain keywords typed in the YouTube search bar?
From a recommended video?
From one of your web pages?
From Facebook posts?
Vincent Kuchipudi posted a gnarly video of a great white shark attacking his wife.He predicted that external sources would generate the most traffic.But when he booted up YouTube’s Traffic Source, it was a different story.
Knowing that most traffic came from internal sources told him to focus on YouTube search and suggestions to gain more exposure.
It might not be a business context, but the same principles apply.
5. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Demographics
Tap into the demographics KPI for YouTube to gauge who you want to resonate with.
Before posting a video, have a target demographic in mind. Then, review the demographic profile of the audience that watched the video.
Are your videos being watched by your target audience?
Maybe you’ll find that what works on another platform doesn’t work on YouTube. Maybe you’ve opened the door to an entirely new audience.
By having a demographic KPI on YouTube, your agency can create videos that are tailor-made for specific segments of your audience.
6. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Impressions
Impressions tell you how many YouTube users have seen your video thumbnail.
In psychology, there’s something called the “mere-exposure effect.” Essentially, people start to warm up to something or someone with repeated exposure.
It’s why a lot of people in movies still end up falling in love after the girl rejects the guy twenty times.
Researchers found that the mere-exposure effect works in advertisements too.
The more times people see your video thumbnail, the more likely they are to click on it eventually. Although, there is a run-off at some point.
Your total number of impressions are counted on:
- YouTube search
- YouTube homepage
- YouTube feeds (subscriptions, trending, history, watch later)
- Up Next suggestions
Tracking this YouTube KPI helps your agency understand what content or titles generate more exposure for a client’s channel.
7. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Subscriber Gain and Loss
This YouTube KPI is pretty basic.
Constantly checking your subscriber count is useful for future marketing strategies.
Looking at your client’s subscriber growth or loss over time tells you what content works and what doesn’t.
Are you hitting your sales funnel goals?
If your channel has less than 1,000 subscribers, your subscriber count updates every time you get a new subscriber. Duh … but listen to this …
Between 1,000-9,999, and it only updates for every ten new subscribers.
The format continues in the same manner as your channel grows more and more.
Just wait until your agency amasses 1 million subscribers for a client. Your count will only update for every 10,000 new subscribers.
But be patient.
On average, it takes nearly two years to reach 1,000 subscribers on YouTube, according to My Work From Home Money.
8. KPIs to Measure and Track YouTube Growth: Impression Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The impression CTR is a YouTube KPI that measures the percentage of people who click on your video after seeing the thumbnail.
You use that information to decide what thumbnail designs and copy produce the most video impressions.
Promise Media increased its client’s impression CTR for two YouTube videos by 1% and 1.6% respectively simply by changing the thumbnail.
With the impression of CTR KPI in mind, think of ways to improve upon it.
Do things like A/B test calls to action.
Or try using different thumbnails.
According to Databox, the average YouTube CTR is 4-5% for marketers.
9. KPIs to Measure and Track for YouTube Growth: Engagement
The next KPI to monitor for YouTube is engagement.
Engagements include likes, dislikes, shares, and comments on your YouTube video. It’s a great indicator of how your content is being received by your audience. Define measurable goals for your marketing campaigns using engagement metrics.
Do you want 1,000 likes for your next video?
Or are you focused on 1,000 shares?
What’s the general attitude of the comments section?
Tracking your engagement KPIs opens your eyes to what content your audience craves.
10. KPIs to Measure and Track for YouTube Growth: Card Click-Through Rate
YouTube cards let you promote your client’s brand by suggesting playlists, videos, and external content such as your blog or e-store to your viewers.
It’s a non-salesy ad within your YouTube video.
According to trends website Social Samosa, an Indian merchandising company saw a 4X return on ad spend using relevant shopping cards on YouTube.
Just like any CTR metric you track, experiment with A/B testing, that is, testing different versions.
Change which videos receive your cards. Make them relevant to the video.
Try different calls to action.
By tracking your YouTube card KPI, you’re better positioned to increase conversions for your client. It lets you know which cards work in each video.
Below is an example that YouTube provided to visualize how card performance would look like in a chart.
11. KPIs to Measure and Track for YouTube Growth: Unique Viewers
If the goal of your video is to attract new customers then one of your agency’s YouTube KPIs must be unique viewers.
With unique viewers, you know how many new people are consuming your content.
Now, when unique views for your videos are much higher than your subscriber count, that’s a good sign because it means that new people are checking out your content.
On the other hand, a unique viewer count that’s significantly smaller than your subscriber list is a bad sign. You might be losing touch with your target audience. Or maybe they need to start setting a reminder to watch your content.
And whether or not you want unique viewers to be high or low depends on your goals.
Generally, exposure to new audiences is a positive thing.
In efforts to attract new audiences on YouTube, you need to set a realistic figure to reach. This should be based on historical performance.
Monitoring unique viewers gives you the chance to see what strategies delight newcomers.
And build upon the content in the past that has attracted non-subscribers.
Sometimes, you need to mix things up to keep people interested.
But don’t change too much or you risk losing your brand identity and your current subscribers with it.
12. KPIs to Measure and Track for YouTube Growth: Amplification Rate
According to marketing insights platform Kantar, 93% of consumers around the world trust brand recommendations from friends and family.
And they trust advertising by 55% less than people they know.
So why am I telling you this?
Because getting your YouTube videos shared means more subscribers. More customers.
But most people aren’t going to get attached to your client’s brand naturally. Social proof is the name of the game in this world.
I’ve come across so many YouTube channels that have excellent content but lack subscribers and engagement.
And that’s because no one else is advocating for them.
Consequently, they aren’t perceived as authoritative because of this lack of credibility.
Avinash Kaushik, a digital marketing expert from Google coined the term “amplification rate.”
What it does is reveal how often your subscribers are sharing your content.
Like other YouTube metrics, amplification rate provides you with insight into what content reigns supreme with your audience.
Now deciding on an amplification rate to target is up to you and your agency’s team. Keep it within reason.
In other words, does your client’s channel actually get a lot of engagement? Then it’s okay to be aggressive.
Conversely, If your channel is still growing, then start small.
Continue to measure and track your amplification rates consistently and long term. Over time, you’ll know your audience like the back of your hand.
Virality rate is the same as amplification rate, only it measures shares from all unique viewers instead of just subscribers.
13. KPIs to Measure and Track for YouTube Growth: Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is perhaps the ultimate YouTube KPI to track.
After all, it tells you how many YouTubers actually followed through with your call to action.
And it doesn’t matter if it’s a TrueView ad or a link in your summary or anything in between. You can’t measure success without the conversion rate.
You can have ten million people watch your video, but it means nothing if no one is responding to your CTA.
For example, Apple recently posted a video on how to take the best pet pictures.
The CTA is for viewers to register for “Today at Apple” in-store and virtual sessions.
With that, Apple wants its customers and prospects to engage with the brand.
And Apple will track the amount of people that register for an upcoming event.
Likely, their target number of sign-ups is based on results from the past.
Setting your conversion rate goal should be done with respect to the average in your industry.
As a quick example, conversion rates in the arts and crafts industry are much higher than cars and motorcycles.
As you can see below, generating conversions through YouTube has been proven to be quite difficult for marketers.
So I hope you’re up for a challenge.
This resource went over 13 essential KPIs for YouTube that your agency should measure and track to increase growth.
In general, successful YouTube marketing campaigns require a list of clearly defined goals with statistical value.
KPIs for YouTube provide direction for your content strategy. They inform you on what tactics work and which ones don’t for each client’s target audience. And they form the basis for your future content.
Before you go, listen to this…
Sadly, over half of content marketers struggle to track ROI, according to Marketing Insider Group.
And 66% of them don’t utilize video because it’s too time consuming, as per a Biteable report.
If your agency can relate to either one of these common feelings, then AutoGrow can turn things around.
We’ve saved clients over 200,000 thousand hours with our digital marketing services.
Using our web-based project management app, you can tell us what to do and you can sit back to watch the results roll in. Even more, we’ll track all the most relevant KPIs for your video content so you don’t have to.
Did this resource help you in any way?
Were some of these KPIs new to you?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.