February 20, 2023

What You Can Learn From Your YouTube Videos With The Most Views

What You Can Learn From Your YouTube Videos With The Most Views

Once your YouTube channel (or your client's YouTube channel) has been up for a period of time and views start trickling in, you go to look at the data. You assess performance, and it seems on track with where you want it to be. 

That’s excellent. But do you know how to leverage that data to take away actionable insights that will help you optimise your campaigns moving forward? 

YouTube, like all marketing platforms, requires an intricate blend of creative inspiration and strategy based around pure data. It’s an approach our social media marketing students and graduates are well familiar with: 

It’s not enough just to see that videos have lots of views; you also need to know why some are gaining traction and how to use that information moving forward.

Since your YouTube videos with the most views are an excellent starting point for pulling actionable data, we’re going to discuss how you can use your most-viewed YouTube videos to learn about your channel performance and guide your strategies moving forward.

Why Your YouTube Videos With the Most Views Are a Good Starting Point to Analyse 

Before we dive in, we want to acknowledge that you should be spending a great deal of time your entire YouTube channel’s analytics, looking at all video performance and not just your most successful videos.

That being said, we can learn an enormous amount from a channel’s YouTube videos with the most views. 

With poor-performing videos, we need to wonder the following:

  • Was it marketed properly so that enough users came across it?
  • Is the topic just not relevant?
  • Was the video optimised for keywords properly? 
  • Were the keywords a miss?
  • Was it an issue with the image design or title?

Any one of these factors could result in a video not performing poorly, and it’s extremely difficult to know which were the culprit.

top views

When you’re assessing your YouTube videos with the most views, however, you can look at trends that consistently led to more views. You know that it did get enough promotion and that enough puzzle pieces fit into place to get results, which you can then use to improve all videos moving forward.

With that being said, let’s take a look at what you can learn from your top-performing, highest-viewed YouTube videos.

What You Can Learn From Your YouTube Videos With The Most Views

In your YouTube Analytics, you can learn a ton about how all of your videos are performing. These are four of the most actionable things you can learn from your most-viewed videos to improve your campaign overall. 

1. What Traffic Sources Brought Them There 

If your video has a lot of views, it means a lot of people found your video. This is so important when you want to increase the visibility of your YouTube content overall, and your most-viewed videos are an important tool to crack it.

Did your top videos do exceptionally well on other social platforms? Was it easily discoverable by search, meaning that you had optimised for the right keywords well? Or were people following direct links to it, perhaps from your own blog?

traffic source

When you discover your most effective traffic sources, you can put more effort into them moving forward to increase visibility substantially. 
You can also troubleshoot existing sources that are not working; if one of your top videos still isn’t doing well in YouTube search, it may mean that you’re choosing the wrong keywords or that you aren’t using them enough in your title or description.

2. The High & Low Points of Audience Retention  

The views aren’t the only metric that matters; you also want to know about how many users actually watched the video through.

YouTube has an exceptional section in their analytics that allows you to see viewer retention rates, along with spikes (most viewed parts of the video) and dips (least viewed parts).

Audience retention rates in YouTube analytics

Take a look at your most-viewed videos and see if the retention rates are also top-performing. Check each video to see where users are watching more or falling away.

You may find, for example, that users:

  • Are skipping the introduction of your video to get to the how-to content 
  • Are watching mostly through to the end but skip the conclusion section and the end frame, meaning you’ve got filler content at the end; this means they aren’t seeing your CTA  
  • Are rewatching certain high-value parts of the video 

When there are more views on a video, there’s more of this data to assess user behaviour. You can use this to improve the structure of your videos in the future.

3. Actions Taken on the Video 

Do you have an end screen element that users can interact with? It may encourage users to subscribe, watch the next video in your playlist, or go to your external site to take an action there. Most businesses, as a result, will add them to their videos.

You want to know if users are actually taking the action you’re laying out for them. These are your most viewed videos… are they also your highest-converting? 

This is an important metric to watch. Which actions are they taking most often, and does it have any connection to the video topics?

End screen element click rate in YouTube analytics

A clothing company, for example, may have a highly watched video of an unboxing of your subscription service that gets a lot of views and a 20% click to the site. Another highly-watched video that features a stylist sharing clothing tips, however, may fall flat in comparison. 

If you realize that some users were searching for “MyClothing unboxing video” to find the first and “summer style tips” for the second, this makes sense; one is a more high-intent, late-funnel keyword. You can take advantage of this strategy again, and consider adding a “Subscribe” end screen element to lower-funnel content instead.

4. When You Got Those Views 

YouTube is an evergreen platform, so you can share breaking and time-sensitive content, you can also have users finding videos today that you first uploaded three years ago.

youtube views over time

During the pandemic, for example, it would make sense that a home improvement channel would see a big uptick in views. Fewer people would want contractors coming into their home, so they might look for content showing them how to add soft-closing hardware to their cabinets instead of hiring it out. 

Take a look at when your top-performing video views came in. Were they associated with a certain social media campaign designed to push them out to more users? Did they pop up following relevant industry news, or being embedded in a blog post?

Final Thoughts 

You always want to look at all of your analytics in close detail when it comes to any marketing platform, YouTube included. 

Data is useless, however, if you don’t know how to act on it. 

Taking a close look at your top-performing and most watched videos can help you assess what you’re doing right and how you can apply those currently-successful strategies to other future campaigns. 

Want to learn more about social media marketing strategies and best practices? We can help. Take our quiz to see which of our courses is right for you! 

Ana Gotter

Ana Gotter

Social Media Marketing Specialist

Ana is a strategic content marketer specialising in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs.

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