It can be a little tricky figuring out when to post your videos to youtube. But, don’t worry! There’s a really nice simple way to figure it out so long as you are getting some views on your videos.
Head over to your realtime analytics and look for any peaks. If you’re a smaller sit that isn’t getting any views chances are you won’t have a really nice steady rise and fall. You’ll just have a load of jagged bars like the two sites realtime analytics below.
When you’re looking at the data you want to split the bar graph in half vertically so that you’re seeing two 24 hour periods. Then look for peaks in the left half (the first 24 hours) and check the corresponding times in the right half (the last 24 hours).
Do that for your two highest bars and see which one’s got the best figures.
For some of you the numbers will be so far apart that it’s an obvious choice which to go for, but sometimes it’ll be a close call.
If you’re not sure which on to choose then take a look at what’s happening in the hours leading up to it, and the hours after it.
For site one you can see that the top arrows (7-8pm) have bigger better peaks surrounding them so this would be the one to use as a starting point.
On site two, one of the top arrows and one of the bottom arrows were the best peaks, and both are fairly similar with their counterparts having no views around them. If that’s the case, total up all of the views of the peaks and see which one comes out on top overall. Don’t go too many hours on either side though, stick to two or three hours max. For site two the top arrows come out on top again.
If you’re a small channel you’ll probably notice that your peak time is around the time you upload your videos (if you upload on a schedule) and when you check your realtime data the peaks may shift to your upload time. If that’s the case you might want to dive into your google analytics and check the location data of your visitors. Choose the most top spot out of the country that are visiting your site and schedule it around that.
You’ll also want to check out the age ranges of your viewers as well to help you decide when would be a good time. If the bulk of your audience are children then they’re probably not going to be watching youtube at 2am.
Another thing that can cause your videos to get a peak around the upload time is your subscribers getting notified and coming and watching the video. Check what percentage of your views are coming from your subscribers to see if that’s the root of it.
Set your Schedule
Ok, so now you should have that magic hour of when your video is getting the most views, or when you think based on the age and location data would be the best time. Some people make the mistake of scheduling their videos to go live at that exact hour, but its actually better to schedule it for an hour or two before it’s peak. Videos tend to get a little initial burst of views so it’s better to let that happen a couple of hours before your peak time.
Don’t announce your fancy new schedule just yet! There’s still more to do.
You’ll want to start being consistent with your schedule and keep checking in on those realtime analytics, if you’re not consistent there’s not much point in keep checking the analytics. If you have problems with consistency I’ve put together a little guide on how to stay consistent on youtube to help you out.
You’re basically looking for the same thing. Is the peak shifting? Are the hours surrounding the peak getting more views? Had the change had a positive or negative affect?
If your peak is shifting and you did it just based of the realtime data, you might want to go through the location, age and subscriber metrics and select a good time for your target (or most popular) country. A shifting peak could mean that those initial views are coming from mainly your subscribers so it’s worth switching to a time that would suit them best and see if you manage to get a peak that holds it’s spot.
Don’t change things up too frequently. Ideally you want to find your magic time to upload and stick to it, so you want to get it right by testing out potential times for a couple of weeks to see if those peaks change before trying out a new time.
Even if you think you’ve done it, you’ve found your time slot and it’s working out perfectly, you’ll still want to check in to see how the realtime analytics are looking once in a while and what the peaks are up too. Once you’ve set on a time the only real reason to change it would be if you saw that a new peak developed that overpowers the one that you have set.
From the example sites above, maybe initially you go with the top arrows, but notice in the future that the bottom arrows have created a larger peak than the top ones.
When you’re a small channel it’s likely that your upload schedule will change over time because as your channel grows it’ll become much clearer when the best time to schedule your videos is. But, working on scheduling early means you’ll be able to take advantage of the best times to reach your potential audience.