Understand how viewers watch your videos

Playback and retention

These two important metrics pertain to how long viewers watch your video (both in seconds and percent) and how many times an individual views your video. If you notice your playback or retention rates are low, tweak your content to hook your viewers, then watch and see if those numbers improve. Don’t get bummed out if it seems like no one is “staying tuned” — depending on the length of your videos, a 30% or 40% average is actually pretty decent.

What’s actually more important to note is if there’s a trend of when people click out. If most viewers stop watching 46% in, though the playback rate isn’t bad, think about why they’re choosing that point to stop watching.

Traffic sources

Monitor your traffic sources to see what kinds of referrals are generating views, whether that means people are watching your content via a blog embed, social media shares, organically via YouTube search, etc.

Besides helping you track where and how your content is being shared, traffic sources can also help you make future decisions about promoting your videos. For example, if you notice there’s more traffic and views after premiering your new music video on a blog versus when you launched your last one via social media, you can draw a conclusion that’ll help you figure out how to release your next one.

Devices

The name of this metric is a tip-off. Device information — i.e., are more people watching your videos on their phones and tablets vs. desktops — can help you determine what kinds of content are appropriate for the majority of your viewers. (If most views are coming from mobile, for example, you might not want to incorporate tiny lyrics or text into your videos, since it can be difficult to read on a small screen).