The Complete Guide To Using YouTube Insight To Monitor Your Viral Video Success

Most people measure the success of their YouTube video campaigns by views alone and aren’t even aware of the fact that YouTube offers a much more in depth system of analytics. The video site’s analytics program, called YouTube Insight, can tell you everything from the age of your viewers to which parts of the world you are most popular in, how people are discovering your videos and more. However, if you aren’t versed in reading analytics and charts it can be hard to navigate and understand this information. For this reason we’ve put together this guide to YouTube Insights to help you better understand the success of your online video campaigns.

If you are ready to start measuring the success of your YouTube video campaigns using Insight, the first thing you need to know is how to get to the Insight page, which isn’t exactly intuitive if you don’t know what your looking for. The best way to get to Insight is by going to your ‘My Videos’ page. You can then click the ‘Insight’ tab in the navigation bar at the top of the page to see the analytics for all of your videos, or click the ‘Insight’ button on a specific video to see the analytics for that particular video. For the purposes of this guide, we are going to click on ‘Insight’ from the navigation bar to see the analytics for all of our videos. If you are following along, the page you arrive at should look something like this:

Now, lets explore each feature of YouTube Insight in more detail, starting with the number of views your videos are getting.


At the top of your YouTube Insight page you will see an interactive chart that tells you the ‘Total views of all videos’. The chart spans the entire time frame of your YouTube career. However, you can click and drag the bar on the bottom of this chart to focus in on specific time periods.

In the example below, you can see that I have focused in on the time period between 8/20/10 and 9/12/10. When you focus in on a specific time frame you will see, in the ‘Summary’ section of the page, a chart for the number of views on your videos during this specific time period, as well as a ‘My Videos’ analytics section that will rank your videos by which percentage they made up of your total views during this time period, and demographics and popularity information. In our example, our video ‘Bieber Fever! Dogs Love Justin Bieber’ accounted for 83.8% of my total YouTube channel views during this time period.

You can take your analytics a step further by clicking on the map on the top right side of the screen, next to the ‘Total views of all videos’ graphic, to narrow the analytics down to a specific country. In the example below we have clicked on the United States to select that region and we see how many views our videos got in the United States, as well as the fact that our Justin Bieber video accounted for 88.2% of all United States views.

Being able to see your views and analytics in particular countries and regions is extremely valuable. If you don’t think so consider this – imagine that you are a Japanese marketer trying to sell a toy that is available only in Japan. You see that the viral video you made about this toy has been viewed 4 million times so you assume that your campaign has been a success, right? Wrong! If you search using YouTube Insight you may find that 99% of those 4 million views came from YouTubers in the United States and your video has gotten hardly any coverage in Japan, where your target audience lives. You can then back up and see where you went wrong in your promotions and work on spreading your video in the right market. Case in point: views really aren’t everything when measuring the success of your YouTube campaigns.


Just like the location of viewers is important to people targeting specific regions around the globe with their content, demographics are important for people targeting specific age ranges, males or females.

Looking at the demographics analytics for my YouTube channel, during the time period that we specified earlier, we see that 66% of my viewers are female, 33% are male and that I appear to be most popular among the 45-54 year old YouTube population (whoopdeedoo!). We can also click to view the age ranges for women watching videos and the age ranges for men watching videos.

Why is this important? For me demographics don’t really matter at this point, as none of my videos have been targeted towards specific demographics. However, if you have created branded content for a target aimed at women between the ages of 25 and 40 then it is nice to see whether this is the demographic that is actually viewing your content.


You know how many people are viewing your videos, but have you ever wondered how they are finding them? Using YouTube Insight’s discovery analytics you can see how people are finding your YouTube content.

In the navigation bar on the left side of the YouTube Insight page, click on ‘Discovery’. You can then view a stacked chart or line chart that shows you the links people followed to get to your video, as well as the location of the player when your video was viewed (i.e. the YouTube watch page, and Embedded player, a mobile device or your own YouTube channel page).

As you can see, most people arrived at my videos from ‘Related videos’ during the time period we selected. My second highest percentage of views came from direct searches on mobile devices, with no link referrer.

Curious about which related videos are directing YouTubers to your videos? You can find this information out by looking at YouTube Insights for specific videos. Click on the ‘Insight’ button from your ‘My Videos’ page for the video you’d like to see Insights for and choose to see the ‘Discovery’ analytics. If you have referrals from related videos, then you will be able to click on a ‘Related videos’ link to see how people found out about your video. As you can see from the analytics, the ‘Dancing Merengue Dog’ video accounted for 2,863 of our views.


YouTube also offers some insight into how engaged your viewers are with their ‘Community’ Insight feature. The community analytics show you how many times viewers rated, favorited and commented on your content, as well as in which country viewers were most engaged.

As you can see from the screenshot below, during the time period of 8/30/10 to 9/12/10, 100% of my ratings, favorites and comments were on our Bieber Fever video and viewers were most engaged in the United States.

However, if you really want to see how viewers are engaging with your videos, your best bet it to head over to the actual video page to see how many people have given your videos the thumbs up or thumbs down, as well as what people are saying in the comments.


Finally, you can use YouTube Insight to find out information about your subscribers, including which countries viewers are subscribing from and how many people subscribed or unsubscribed during a specific time period. Of course, you can find out the most about your subscribers by visiting their personal YouTube channels to see what information they have provided about themselves or what kinds of videos they have uploaded.

Remember that all of the YouTube Insight features are available to help you check the success of your channel as a whole, or of specific videos. When you use Insight to measure the success of your campaigns you can go a step beyond tracking views and learn about the audience you are reaching, from their age and sex to where in the world they are located, how engaged they are and more.

Do you have experience measuring the success of your campaigns with YouTube Insight? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments.