Online Video Analytics: YouTube Insight - Advanced Techniques

Last time, I presented an overview of YouTube Insight and went into some of the common metrics that you could find through utilizing this unique video analytics tool. Hopefully you're ready to roll up your sleeves, queue up Excel, and dig deeper into your YouTube data.

Google tends to reward those who are more curious than others. I don't mean black hat techniques or anything of the sort. It just seems that, for the most part, the reports that are given to someone through many Google properties are aimed at the layperson or meant as an executive summary of sorts.

Seriously, when was the last time a hardcore search marketer looked at a pie graph in an analytics report as if it held the location of the Holy Grail somewhere deep in its midst?

Pie Chart Holy Grail

Leave the graphs for your executive summary sheet. If you're going to get down and dirty with online video analytics, then you should move to a tool that will get stuff done for you -- Excel.

Luckily, Google (and in this case You Tube) loves the spreadsheet and is willing to give you more data through it then they do with their dashboard interface. At the bottom of any report within YouTube Insight you will see a link to: "Download reports for this video".

YouTube Analytics Download

Clicking on this link will yield a Zip file that will make your pie chars cry out in agony while your actual statistics revel in moans of pleasure.

Here is my video export to download for your reference.

Inside this Zip you will find three different files:

  1. gBpFE3u0WPc_2010-04-28-2010-05-11_world_views_1.csv
  2. gBpFE3u0WPc_2010-04-28-2010-05-11_world_referrers_1.csv
  3. gBpFE3u0WPc_demographics_1.csv

Anatomy of a File Name

gBpFE3u0WPc_2010-04-28-2010-05-11_world_views_1 csv

The first series of letters/numbers is the ID of the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBpFE3u0WPc

The second set is the reporting dates: 2010-04-28-2010-05-11 You can change the reporting dates by adjusting the date range on the graph in the Views tab.

YouTube Insight Date Range

The third part of the file name is the type of report you're viewing: world views, world referrers, or demographics.

Armed with these three reports, let's look at what info is given.

World Views Report from YouTube Insight

World View Report

This shows us the date the video was viewed, the country the view was in, the ID and Title of the video, number of views, unique viewers, number of comments, number of people who made this video a favorite, and the ratings that people gave. This is a lot of sortable information about your YouTube video that you won't find in other places. The good news is that it only gets better from here!

World Referrers Report

World Referrers Report

This is the most important YouTube report because it gives you data like source type (how people were referred to your video), detail (original keyphrase referenced or site the video embed was on), and referred views (how many people came to you video through this source).

For example, we can see that X amount of people came to this video by doing a Google Search (GOOGLE_SEARCH) for: "asus f3 keyboard"; Y amount of people watched this video due to it being related to (RELATED_VIDEO) video ID "X2p8qYPIT_o"; and Z people found this through searching YouTube (YT_SEARCH) for a particular phrase.

This is a tremendous amount of insightful data to be looking at. In addition to telling you what data is popular over a given time frame, it also looks at where that data came from and what they did with your content. This is invaluable for advertisers on YouTube and even could help craft your keyword targeting efforts on related videos.

Demographics Report

Demographics Report

In this report we find a lot of information that we could use as advertisers to target our ads to the precise people who are watching our videos or find a demographic that we could target our future related You Tube videos or annotations towards.

This report shows the YouTube video ID, title, gender of the viewer, age range, and percent of viewership.

As you can plainly see, digging into the CSV downloads of YouTube data can clearly yield some valuable information that isn't available elsewhere. If you're handy enough with Excel you might even be able to make an impressive pie chart out of it. Good luck!

Tune in next time where we look at what the leading third-party video site, TubeMogul, offers from a video analytics perspective.

About the author

Greg Habermann has been working at SageRock, Inc. since 2005 where he is the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President. He's intrigued by just about everything that web marketing has to offer. Greg has worked in many facets and forms over this unique space, from design and search engine optimization (SEO) to crafting pay-per-click (PPC) and social media campaigns for some of the top brands in this country.