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Retro Stu's avatar

This is a tricky one to answer because I think there's so many people telling you what metrics you should focus on, what you shouldn't and a lot of does conflict.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you're trying to do. Having worked in social media on and off (and on again now!) for a good few years, it really does vary from platform to platform and content to content.

I'd say a rule of thumb in your social posts is likes/RTs aren't a true indicator or reflection of your contents quality. Anyone can scroll through and quickly press like or accidentally RT something and whilst these engagements may help pitch you to a bigger audience they don't define you so I'd advise not linking your worth to them - you're more than what strangers on the internet think of you!

Given where I'm writing this, and that we're all here to be part of communities the most important metric I focus on and I think most should is engagement in terms of comments be it on YT videos, social posts or whatever. Those comments and conversations can inform you to a much deeper level than 73 likes on a post could. The more comments be they positive or negative on your content give you a good indication of what people like/don't like on your content.

As a Twitch streamer primarily I've honestly found it difficult to truly analyse the numbers and often find it does me more damage than good to focus on them. I try to remember I'm doing this for me and to share my love of things with others - so playing the game that gets me the most viewers may not work for me if it's a game I'm just not into.

I think it's clear to see when a creator just isn't in to the thing they're making content on and often that's as a result of focusing on the numbers - which, I'm not saying is wrong, it's just not for me. So this post is a long winded way of saying - do what works for you, take what you need but try to place more stock in active engagements (people in chat, comments on posts/videos etc.) than those arbitrary numbers on a dashboard.

greybill's avatar

This is a screenshot of my blog's number of visitors from 2017 until now. It's the Wordpress-Integration called Jetpack, and I barely look at it anymore.

You can see it's falling off after 2021.

This is because I improved my content.
Let me explain.

Between 2019 and 2021 I was rather focused on numbers. I liked to see the line go up. "Big number good!" my bored monkey brain thought. And so I made posts about things that I knew had limited shelf-life. Like guides on events and "first looks" at new features in Eve Online (which my blog is about).
After the event was over, they were outdated. If I was lucky, CCP would bring the event back the next year. But in general, it worked. During these events, I got quite some views.
However, when you have to produce any kind of product within a short time frame, you will lose some quality along the way.

After COVID my priorities shifted. The time I had to invest to make the "hot topics" posts wasn't worth it to me anymore.

These days I want to provide stories to inspire, while at the same time enabling my readers by providing the knowledge to embark on a journey to make their very own stories.

And I feel like that is best achieved with a more timeless kind of content.

Gaypengwing's avatar

It’s always a good basic to understand which ages groups you are gaining tractions from the most and how long they are watching for. To help figure out the best way to make sure that people are watching until the end of the video.

I always find it interesting aswell, that since my videos are in English, which videos are popular outside of the uk too.

Trending music and no subtitles help to get it more viral but more niche music and captions, help it to be more accessible and relatable to a specific audience

Makster's avatar

I try not to use the analytics software too much as I think as a content creator you can get lost in the numbers, spending days and days hoping/ watching the number grow rather than honing your craft. It can be quite a toxic and unproductive way of utilising your time.

I think gamifying the numbers however is useful. So using the numbers as a measure of success and striving to boost those numbers can be a good way of positively changing your channel.

Lanah Tyra's avatar

So far I was mostly just winging my content, made guides and posted them because I wanted to help people, and streamed our raids so people who were not in the group could see and learn, helping them prepare for next time.

Since I'm trying to grow my channels I started to look at analytics and either my channels are too small to give useful data, or like Retro Stu said I find them more damaging than useful. In the end of the day I stream what I want to, what brings me happiness, and if others watch it, that's great. The only thing I take seriously is the comments on my guide videos. I get so many hate over my gaming skills, people telling me I shouldn't make guides because I didn't complete a fight under a certain time or used items they consider not pro enough. But for every such comment there are more people thanking me and saying my guides helped them. So whenever I doubt myself if I should make another guide I scroll through the comments to remind myself even if it helps one person, it was worth it.

avrona's avatar

For me it's a bit of a weird one, because of painstakingly analysing my analytics for over 10 years now, min-maxing everywhere possible, at one point they just turn into white noise that don't really tell me much of anything useful anymore that I don't already know. There have been a few exceptions in recent times though:

  • Using data I've been able to gauge how far off my 2nd channel is from getting monetised and thus how many more videos I should make for it.

  • I recently began experimenting with paid ads, and used stats on where viewers are watching from to know which countries to target.

  • If an old video did really well view-wise, I usually end up re-doing it.

EveOnlineTutorials's avatar

Watch Time:

It's a common myth on YouTube that "get 1k views, bro, it will go viral" which is wrong, is 1k people watch a video that is 15 minutes long for 2 minutes and another person puts up a similar video and length and 1k people watch that video for the full 15 minutes, his content will be "suggested" instead of yours

Watch time for me, is the most important aspect of my channels, if I place a video up and it gets terrible watch time, I click into analytics and find out where people switched off the video and then see what it was I did, at that point, to make them switch off.

Was it a stupid noise? Was I too loud? Was I dragging the video out?

This for me, being a YouTuber, is the most important analytic.

Sinclair's avatar

I mainly do content and Live on Tiktok, and as a creator i always do research on my post and stream performance with Tiktok Analytics

For example, in the last 28 days, this is the detailed data about my livestream with the following performance:

in the last 28 days because I rarely livestream, the data displayed is quite fluctuating with the best performance being on June 19, this shows that there was a considerable decline because I did not livestream due to illness & business matters some time back. this is quite a thought because in my opinion good performance starts from a sloping graph and rises little by little, of course with the condition that I have to know what games are trending on tiktok and this is something that I continue to improve until now.

And this is where my viewers coming from (for my content that i post) :

I see based on this data that some of my videos go to the “For You Page” only around 45.8%, with additional data from the search feature and trending songs or sounds that I use. this is quite heavy because as I remember a good creator is a creator who can maintain his traffic source above 55% and this is one of the things that I have to work on

Shovel's avatar

Analytics is such a hard one to sort of achieve and it’s something that I’m still sort of struggling with myself when it comes to the content that I’m creating and trying to get more attention for.

So when I started Art Side of the Ring. I prioritised three research to ensure we had a good start so that included using the platform analytics that’s been really crucial in guiding the growth and refining the content strategy.

So the key points would be audience insights. So identifying key demographics and Taylor in the content to their preferences and also analysing engagement metrics to understand what topics they resonated with the most.

Another point would be content performance so tracking views like shares and comments to see what content was effective in what area. And also experimenting with different formats and times of posting to optimise reach.

And finally, growth patterns. So monitoring follower trends to try to identify successful campaigns and then using the huge data to plan future content to ensure that the audience is consistent with its engagement.

By continually analysing responding to data, when it comes to my business Art side of the ring, it remains adaptive and audience focused.

Sturmer's avatar

Data is very important part of my work.
Most actions I take are data-driven.

Types of Reports

  1. Ad-hoc Reports: Data mining for specific inquiries. For example, investigating unusual traffic to an article.

  2. Regular Reports: Needed daily, weekly, monthly, or on specific occasions. Sometimes ad-hoc reports become regular reports.

  3. Monitoring and Alerts: Reports with thresholds that trigger notifications, like a Slack message when specific conditions are met.

Tools

  • Matomo / Google Analytics for data collection.

  • Google BigQuery as a data lake and warehouse.

  • Metabase for reports, dashboards, and monitoring tools.

  • Power BI for data mining and cleaning.

To answer the main question of this bounty:

Ultimately, all this helps answer questions like "How is the business going?" and "What type of content and where performs better?" For example, if some editor comes up with an idea and decides to add a new type of content like "Daily kitten meme" to the Facebook timeline, I design the KPIs to measure whether the idea is a flop or a success and create a report to track them.

A more detailed article about this, and how I apply that to my daily life is published here.

MURRRAAAAY's avatar

For me on YouTube there is a few things i try to focus on and use to help my channel grow.

Firstly as I have done a lot of videos I look to see what has worked in the analytics, how many views, watch time, revenue etc and the traffic sources as I want to try and target Browse with most of my new content.

I will then take this info into the ideation phase where i decide what content is next up for that channel.

Then the most important part is the packaging, I will look at previous titles and thumbnails which have performed well and see if i can do something similar for this new video if its appropriate, as if nobody clicks on your video, the watch time or whats in the video doesnt mean a thing. So I am looking for a high percentage click through rate here in the analytics, if its way off I will make changes.

Then hopefully if i mix this sauce well I will be welcomed onto the dashboard with a 1 out of 10 video, if not no biggie i let it cook for a while as some content it seems to take a while for YouTube to surface it to the correct audience, especially when its a smaller channel or you are trying to pivot or testing something new out, i have had this with many videos that were not ranked well on the 1 out of 10 scale but then have slowly just grown and grown overtime which is great for evergreen content, instead of maybe getting something that just gets views for a week or two then droops to nothing.

Hopefully this helps some fellow YouTubers out there!

TheGreatestBanana12's avatar

Analytics can be a blessing and a curse depending on how you look at them, there is a lot of different information that can be gained from them if you know what to look at lets take YouTube for example you are able to see where your viewers are coming from, what they searched to find your video etc this is information you can then use to improve your channel descriptions, tags etc would could lead to having better search engine optimization, I help several YouTubers with understanding their analytics with one of them we found out there was a number of views coming from a certain search term so we changed the titles of the video to include this search term and we saw a further improvement in discover ability and views . You can use analytics to your advantage by tweaking your content from the information you get you can see what went well what didn't go quite so well this will allow you to try improve your content. learning about using the analytics is important its more than just looking at which more video got more views, views isn't a good metric to to analyse videos performance anyway if a video has more views but if everyone turned the video off immediately then it's not a good as a video with less views but people are watching the video and subscribing from it. I also said it can be a curse because if you take the analytics to heart to much it can lead to more of a negative effect on both your mental health and content it's important to find that right balance but overall the most important thing to remember above any metric is to have fun at what you are doing.

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