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Find Out Who's Watching Your Videos So You Can Give Them More of What They Want Use YouTube Analytics (or any number of online analytical tools) to find out exactly who's watching your videos.

By Jason R. Rich

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The following excerpt is from Jason R. Rich's book Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

As you may know, in conjunction with your YouTube channel, YouTube and Google offer a free, online tool set called YouTube Analytics. These tools can help you track, in real time, information about who's watching your YouTube videos. In some cases, more powerful traffic and viewership tracking tools are offered by third parties for a fee or are provided when you take advantage of online paid advertising to promote your videos.

The data provided by YouTube Analytics can help you plan and execute successful video-marketing strategies. Google is constantly upgrading these free tools and adding new functionality. For example, in addition to quickly determining who is watching your videos, where they're from and how they're engaging with your videos, you can now track their quality of engagement and see if people are clicking out of your videos before they're over, and if so, exactly when. Knowing this, you can go back and fine-tune your content to prevent people from exiting early.

Social Blade is an online-based service that compiles data from YouTube, Twitter, Twitch and Instagram, and uses the data it collects to help content creators track their progress and growth when it comes to current traffic, projected viewership and estimated earnings, for example. In addition to the tools the service offers, the company's blog (https://socialblade.com/blog) is continuously updated with articles and news of interest to content creators, helping them stay on top of evolving trends and ways to better use YouTube and other social media services.

Based on YouTube's current revenue sharing formulas for YouTube Partners, Social Blade offers a free online tool to help channel operators calculate potential earnings by displaying ads within their videos and on their channel's page. This tool can be found here. https://socialblade.com/youtube/youtube-money-calculator.

Another free service offered by Social Blade is a free subscriber counter, which updates in real time and displays your current number of YouTube channel subscribers. You can customize this tool at https://socialblade.com/youtube/realtime. Plus, the company offers a personalized consulting service, designed to help content creators maximize the impact of its YouTube channel and content. To learn more about this fee-based service, visit this site.

If you don't want to invest further time tracking your efforts and figuring out what worked and what didn't, there are companies you can hire to assist with these tasks. For example, a service called Adobe Advertising Cloud (https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/advertising/introducing-adobe-advertising-cloud), which was formerly called TubeMogul, is operated by Adobe and offers fee-based tools that go beyond what YouTube Analytics offers and can help you measure things like brand awareness, message recall, favorability and purchase intent when it comes to implementing an online advertising campaign simultaneously across several platforms.

Other online-based alternatives to YouTube Analytics, some of which include tools for promoting a YouTube channel or YouTube videos, in addition to monitoring channel traffic, include:

  • ChannelMeter -- This service offers tools for simultaneously tracking all of a company's social media efforts, including a You­Tube channel.
  • StatFire -- This service publishes lists of the most popular YouTube channels, based on specific categories and time frames. For example, you can view a comprehensive list of the most popular YouTube channels of all time, in the past 30 days or the past seven days, plus view the most popular channels based on YouTube's categories (Autos & Vehicles, Comedy, Education, Entertainment, Film & Animation, How-To & Style, Movies, Music, News & Politics, etc.).
  • Traackr.com -- Use this tool to handle "influencer marketing" related to your company, YouTube channel, and other social media activities. According to the company, "Influencer marketing is the process of identifying, researching, engaging, and supporting the people who create high-impact conver­sations with customers about your brand, products, or services." To learn more about how this process works, visit: www.traackr.com/influencer-marketing.
  • VidStatsX -- Use this tool for researching current popular YouTube channels, based on Most Subscribed, Most Viewed, Top Gainers and Top Losses. This information will help you see how other channels are success­fully targeting the same audience you're striving to reach with your content and quickly analyze what they are doing right or wrong. You can also access analytics pertaining to your own channel and see how it is performing, compared to other channels.

Jason R. Rich, based in Foxboro, Mass., is author of more than 55 books on topics including ecommerce, online marketing, digital photography and interactive entertainment, as well as the Apple iPhone and iPad.

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