Your book trailer is finally live on YouTube! Now what? Well, if you’ve followed the advice in our recent blog post on how to use your book trailer, people should be watching your trailer! But how do you know if it’s working? What do all those analytics mean, and which numbers should you care about?
How to view analytics on YouTube
First things first, you’ll want to sign into YouTube Studio to view the analytics on your channel and videos. On the left side panel, click on Analytics to see an overview of stats on all videos across your channel. This is especially helpful if you have multiple trailers and want to see which one is performing better. If you only have one book trailer though, you’ll want to click on Videos (in that same left side panel) to see stats broken out by video. From here you can hover your mouse over the video you want and choose the bar graph icon to view analytics for that individual video. For more detailed instructions on how to view analytics, click here.
What are the 9 Most Important YouTube Analytics for Book Trailers?
1. Watch Time
How long did someone watch your book trailer? Looking at the individual “watch time” metric will tell you how long people watched your video. If your book trailer is only 30 seconds long, you want to see that “watch time” is equal to or pretty close to 30 seconds.
If you’re noticing that people aren’t sticking around to watch the entire book trailer, try watching up until the time stamp where most viewers stop watching. Are they only watching the first 20 seconds because the last 10 seconds are just a title card? That’s totally okay. Are they leaving the video after the first 5 seconds? It could be the person watching wasn’t the right audience for your book trailer, or it could be that your video didn’t capture their attention soon enough. If you have the skills and resources, you can always experiment with different edits of the same book trailer to see what works best.
2. Average View Duration
Similar to Watch Time, the Average View Duration takes the total watch time of your video and divides it by the number of video plays to create a percentage. This is an easy way to see at a glance how much of your book trailer is being viewed. So, for example, if your Average View Duration is 90%, that means most people watch almost all of your video.
3. Audience Retention
Audience Retention measures how long people stick around to watch your book trailer and displays this information as a line graph. The dips in the graph show where in the video viewers decided to stop watching. While this line will always trend downward eventually, you want to see the steepest decline toward the end of the video. If you’re seeing a steep decline at the beginning of your book trailer, you may want to rethink how your book trailer is structured so that the most interesting part of the video comes first.
How many likes or dislikes did your book trailer get? How many people shared it? What sort of comments did people leave on the video? This is all valuable information about how your audience is receiving the book trailer. If you’re getting tons of positive feedback and people are sharing it like crazy, that’s great! Hopefully they’re going to buy your book! If you’re seeing negative feedback, breathe, take a step back, and think about what people might be reacting to in your book trailer that you could change to make the book trailer more appealing to your core audience. Also, keep in mind that not everyone is going to love your book as much as you do. It is the internet, after all, and some negative comments are to be expected from time to time. Most videos will have vastly more views than likes/dislikes or comments, so don’t worry if you don’t see any at first. Give it time.
5. Impressions Click-Through Rate
Under the “Reach” tab you’ll find the Impressions Click-Through Rate. Impressions are how many times someone saw the thumbnail for your book trailer (in YouTube’s search function, or in suggested videos), and the Impressions Click-Through Rate tells you how many times someone actually clicked on your video after seeing the thumbnail. If you find that you have a high Click-Through Rate, but a low Average View Duration, it could be that your title or video thumbnail are misleading so viewers stop watching your book trailer as soon as they realize it’s not what they were looking for. Similarly, if you’re finding you have a low Impressions Click-Through Rate, it could be that your video thumbnail isn’t clear or enticing enough. Experiment with a different thumbnail to see if that helps. However, if your Click-Through Rate is low but the Average View Duration is high, it means your book trailer is for a very specific niche audience that absolutely loves the video.
6. Unique Viewers & Views
Measuring the Unique Viewers who’ve watched your book trailer will tell you exactly how many individuals have watched the video, whereas total Views includes people who may have watched the video more than once. If you’re seeing 100 Views, but only 10 Unique Viewers, for example, it’s possible each of those unique viewers watched your video 10 times (or maybe one viewer watched it 50 times, we don’t judge). However, if you’re seeing 100 Unique Viewers and 100 Views, each person watched the video once. Ultimately you want as many Unique Viewers as possible. If you’re curious to see how many times your book trailer is watched on average, you can check the Audience tab for Average Views Per Viewer.
7. Audience Demographics
Once your video has enough views, you’ll be able to see metrics for where your video is being viewed (Top Countries) and who’s viewing it (Age and Gender). If, for example, your book trailer is for a young adult novel, you would expect to see lots of viewers in their teens and twenties. If it’s for a picture book, expect to see lots of views from people ages 30-60+ (parents and grandparents). This can help you identify which groups of people are most excited about your book.
8. Traffic Sources
Under the Reach tab you’ll be able to see the various Traffic Sources. This tells you how people discovered your book trailer. If you shared your book trailer on your website or via social media, or if you emailed it to anyone, those will show up under Traffic Source: External. If someone discovered your book trailer on YouTube, you’ll see that noted either as Traffic Source: Suggested Videos, or Traffic Source: YouTube Search. The different percentages will help you identify what’s working best in driving traffic to your book trailer. Was your email newsletter incredibly successful? Are visitors on your website discovering your video? Or are tons of people discovering you through YouTube? Knowing what drives the most video views will help you understand how best to reach your audience.
9. Link Clicks
While this isn’t technically a metric you can view within YouTube’s analytics, it is still worth noting. Whenever you share a book trailer on YouTube, you’ll want to include buy links so viewers can quickly and easily purchase your book if they’re interested after watching the trailer. One way to measure how often people click on these links is to use Bitly. Bitly allows you to convert any url into a shortened, trackable link. After creating a free account, you can create trackable buy links for each book retailer (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). Copy the shortened, trackable link from Bitly, and then paste it into the description of your video. After your video goes live, you can view link analytics in Bitly to see how many people watched your book trailer and decided to click on your buy link. This will help you understand how many people are buying your book as a result of the book trailer.
Megan Barlog loves great stories, be they books, movies, TV shows, or anything in between! She has studied both creative writing and screenwriting, and worked for both a library and a major NYC publisher. When she’s not writing a novel or screenplay, she’s probably out for a run or binge-watching something on Netflix.
If you liked this article on animated book trailers you might enjoy How Much Do Book Trailers Really Cost?
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