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Disappointed By Your Videos Viewer Count?

Posted by on Dec 17, 2011

Early this past year I did my first video and popped it up on YouTube, then onto this blog. It was very short and just an introduction, and I knew I had to get better at it. To date I think I’ve done 9 videos, and I think my last one wasn’t all that bad, even if it wasn’t totally for the masses.

However, I have to say that I was kind of shocked when I looked at the numbers of people YouTube said had seen it. Actually, for the longest while it showed only one person had seen it, and I was surprised by that because a number of people had told me they had looked at it. Today it’s up to 4 views, which is still way down. Then I looked at the numbers for my other videos and only one of them seems to have kind of popped. What’s strange is that another video of mine only shows 4 views, yet I know more people than that viewed it because I put it up on Facebook and it was probably one of the most commented on posts I’ve ever had, if not number one.

Then I started to realize something. If you post your video anywhere else YouTube can’t count it. I started doing some research about it and it seems to be true based on a number of people writing about it. Even Google, in its own subversive way, indicates that those numbers won’t show.

Well what the hey? How are we supposed to know how effective our videos are if we can’t get an accurate count? Are we supposed to drive everyone to YouTube instead of our own sites just so we can find out how many people are really viewing our submissions?

Although I’d already been thinking about this for a couple of weeks, it was a post on Adrienne Smith’s site titled How To Get More Views On Your YouTube Videos that got me to think about writing on the topic. I asked a question about the post, where she’s promoting a guy named Paul Wolfe that’s put together something telling us how to get more visitors to our YouTube site. Her response to me was that getting people to your YouTube page could help get more visitors to your blog or website.

Love Adrienne but frankly, seeing the numbers I do, I’m not sure that’s going to occur any time soon. To date I have 13 subscribers to my page, and to be truthful I didn’t learn until the beginning of November that one could subscribe to a YouTube page; shows how little I’ve paid attention to the video aspects of social media other than one’s webpage. I’m not sure how many of those people have turned around and visited any of my blogs, and to be truthful I’m not realizing that I’ve missed out because I’ve never given the URL on any of my videos to this point, and seeing I’ve done videos for 3 different sites that’s a major thing to overlook.

Now that makes 2 questions I have no answers to; how many people have visited my site(s) because they’ve seen a video and how many people are watching my videos when I post them elsewhere. Man, I hate not knowing stuff like this, but there seems to be no way around it.

Do I decide to stop doing videos then? No, that’s not the answer. Do I stop posting videos on my blogs? No, I don’t think that’s the answer either. I think if one wishes to get some kind of idea on how a video might have performed one has to look at other analytics. In this case I went to Google Analytics to take a look at this post on my business blog celebrating Post #900 there.

I only wrote 2 paragraphs on that post and then popped in the video. According to Analytics, people have spent an average of 4 minutes and 54 seconds on that page. I know almost no one needs that long to read 2 paragraphs, so this tells me that there had to be a good number of people watching the video, based on the number of people that actually visited based on those same analytics. The video is just over twice as long as the time on that post; no, I’m not about to dig deeper. lol

This is one of those times where the numbers one gets aren’t even close to accurate, but you have to be prepared to push past it. If I didn’t have other ways of checking my statistics, I’d think no one cares about my videos and would stop making them. Course, it’s not like I’m getting Bieber numbers, but maybe one day… 😎

And I wish I could figure out how to get YouTube to stop on a picture without my having that goofy expression on my face all the time!
 

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26 Comments »

Hi Mitch

I have uploaded over 40 videos on YouTube. And the view count varies from video to video. In my experience. You will get more views and shares from a video series. Rather than a single video.

Of course their are exceptions. For instance if you already have a large subscriber base. You can leverage your list. To obtain more views to your video.

Also the rules of basic SEO apply to videos. The same as it does for written text.
Paul Profitt recently posted…Should I Start A Blog On Affiliate Marketing?My Profile

December 17th, 2011 | 3:52 PM

Paul, I’m not necessarily worried about a high number of views for the videos as much as hoping there’s a way to get a more true number of how many people might be seeing the videos when they watch them on my blogs. That seems to be the thing I can’t determine, nor can anyone else. Maybe later, if I actually start making a lot of videos, I’ll start looking to generate higher counts through YouTube itself.

December 18th, 2011 | 1:49 AM
jim syyap:

In direct marketing, we track and monitor response rates, but not on a daily basis–not even weekly. There is always so much variance involved. It’s good to gather information in the first few days, but to measure effectiveness, there has to be a good sample size for us to work with.
jim syyap recently posted…The Illusion of Choice (Infographic)My Profile

December 17th, 2011 | 5:32 PM

And that’s my gripe Jim; there’s no data to evaluate how videos work on blogs.

December 18th, 2011 | 1:50 AM
Carl:

I’ve started video marketing for companies somewhere at the end of 2008. Pretty much depends on the content, trend, optimization and the way videos are promoted. Actually I can’t say that I have been very successful with this, just checked one of the previous videos that I’ve market and the record is 175k views, but it is related to beauty contest. The 2nd most viewed videos that I’ve produces is tourist resort new years video with 80k views actually on MetaCafe and 45k on Youtube. I personally think the key is to promote on as many as possible websites. And there are free and paid services for video distribution that work well at least for the multiple upload stage, after that it is recommended to make some more tweaks on keywords and as you mentioned in the last paragraph thumbnail. Editing video thumbnail can be done at and edit video place. It will give you an option to choose between 3-4 thumbs, however not guaranteed that it will be the perfect one.

December 17th, 2011 | 9:31 PM

Carl, you know, I’m starting to think I’m not communicating well based on the responses I’m getting from folks. It’s not the number of views on the YouTube channel; it’s that I can’t verify how many views I get on videos on my blogs.

December 18th, 2011 | 1:51 AM

Most likely, Youtube comments and replies on comments doesn’t really work that well as on blogs. Actually you can see this statistics somewhere on Youtube, I am not sure exactly for the path, but analytics are implemented and you can see top referrers and plays, however I am not certain how accurate is that.

December 18th, 2011 | 8:57 PM
Anna:

I am still afraid using video precisely because I think that investing time and money in that and then not having great amounts of public is very not-motivating…I don’t know how did you manage that?
Anna recently posted…cheap dentistMy Profile

December 18th, 2011 | 10:48 AM

Anna, I always believe in self motivation. So even though I may not have a lot of views, that’s not really my issue overall. Just the fact that I’ll make a video here and there, at least to me, feels like a major accomplishment, and that’s what makes me think about creating more of them.

December 19th, 2011 | 10:40 AM

Promoting a video is a bit harder than promoting a blog post for sure. From what I can tell, you can do a fe things with your video tags to build up its SEO. One effective way that I found to get some views is to post my video as a video response to a popular video on the same topic. That’s probably one of the most direct ways that Ive found to promote youtube videos.
Richard recently posted…Adventures in Ecommerce: 5 Free Ways to Promote Your New Ecommerce BusinessMy Profile

December 18th, 2011 | 11:01 AM

Richard, actually I’m not really worried right now about promoting the video channel. I am more concerned with trying to find ways to see how many views my video gets when I have it on a blog.

December 19th, 2011 | 10:41 AM

I just watched the video and left a comment, but there was a notice that the comment would have to be approved. Good job for the first one. I guess I missed this or it was before I started visiting your site. I have watched some of your other ones.

Hope you figure out how to monitor count. I wonder…I’ve seen some cases where when you click on the video on the web page you’re blocked and a message come up saying that it must be watched on Youtube. Can you set your Youtube account where that has to happen? I don’t think it would stop anyone from continuing any further and it seems like the quality is better anyway. Just a thought.

Lee
Arlee Bird recently posted…Deja Vu: Make Target Practice, Not WarMy Profile

December 18th, 2011 | 7:55 PM

Thanks Lee. I have comments moderated on the YouTube channel on purpose, which might seem contradictory because I don’t like moderation on blogs, but I’ve seen some horrible things said on videos on that site and since I can’t control that site as well as I can control blogs, I’m going with the moderation for now. And I could set it up to send people to YouTube, but that would mean I’m sending people away from my blog and they might not come back to comment; don’t want that! lol

December 19th, 2011 | 10:43 AM

And I wish I could figure out how to get YouTube to stop on a picture without my having that goofy expression on my face all the time!

Mitch, if you go to edit your video you should be able to choose from 3 video thumbnails. Hopefully one of them will be minus a goofy expression 😀

I’ve also noticed the discrepancy between the number of views displayed by YouTube being a lot lower than actual views and always attributed it to the video views from my post not being counted. The only way to get it up would be by using SEO in the title, description and tags etc.
Sire recently posted…Update On Adbeans – Can You Make Money With AdbeansMy Profile

December 19th, 2011 | 8:54 AM

Sire, it seems that all 3 thumbnails on all the blogs are pretty much the same. I’m in the middle of talking and that’s the image that comes up. Maybe I need to pause more, but then I still wouldn’t know how to make it pick a thumbnail at the proper time. Oh well…

December 19th, 2011 | 10:45 AM

You could always make up an intro or something and maybe it will pick that up being at the beginning of the video.
Sire recently posted…Why I Believe In Merry ChristmasMy Profile

December 19th, 2011 | 5:14 PM
julie@free radicals:

Promoting a video is a bit harder than promoting a blog post obviously but you can do a few things with your video tags to build up its SEO. if you want some views, why not post a video as a video response to a popular video on the same topic.

December 19th, 2011 | 10:12 AM

Thanks for the comment Julie but that’s still not quite what I was talking about with this post. I’m just trying to see if anyone has figured out a way to track the number of views of a video on a blog instead of the YouTube site.

December 19th, 2011 | 10:46 AM

Hi Mitch

You have stated that you use Google Analytics. But are you using The new Event Tracking Feature? Which I believe is specifically designed for the kind of tracking data you are looking for. Here is the link if you want more information.

http://cutroni.com/blog/2008/07/29/tracking-youttube-videos-with-google-analytics/
Paul Profitt recently posted…Why Search Engine Traffic is Crap!My Profile

December 19th, 2011 | 12:48 PM

Wow Paul, I’d never heard of that. It looks really complicated as well. I wonder if there’s an updated process, since this one was written in 2008. In any case that’s interesting; might have to think about trying that if I can get the instructions down. Good find!

December 19th, 2011 | 10:57 PM

Hey Mitch, you and I need to do a Skype chat so we can talk more about this.
I know that YouTube stats can be a little slow to catch up and I think that as you get more views the stats seem to catch up. At this point you’ve already watched the video I did about YouTube Analytics and I hope that shed some light on the subject for you.

I saw Adrienne’s post and I’ve chatted with Paul Wolfe over on his blog too. Like you said keeping your goal in mind is really important. For example, people talk about getting more views on YouTube, but what they really want is to get more people visiting their blog. Hmmm…which is it?
Everyone needs to decide that for themselves and in your case it seems to be that you want people to spend more time on your blog and embedding a video should do that. But that’s only if the watch it right. LOL
For me, it’s really the opposite – I want people to go to my YouTube channel and subscribe. Right now I have over 300 subscribers. Might sound like a lot, but it takes somewhere around 1,000 subscribers to get into the YouTube Partner program (I need a whole blog post to explain why I want to be a partner). At this rate it will take me another 2 – 3 years and who knows if they won’t increase the criteria between now and then.
Ok this comment is getting really long but I hope it’s been helpful.

Happy holidays Mitch and I hope we get a chance to Skpe or Hangout really soon!
Ileane recently posted…Track YouTube Traffic and Social Engagement With YouTube AnalyticsMy Profile

December 24th, 2011 | 5:32 AM

Thanks for this Ileane, and for the tutorial; at least now I know I can check some stats. And I saw your response to my comment on your blog as well; definitely need to bone up on that because I’ve never noticed settings before.

I only subscribe to two channels on YouTube, and truthfully I’m not sure why because I don’t get any notifications of new videos so I’m not quite sure what it’s for. Yes, we will definitely have to talk about this. But my goal, as you know, is to drive more people to my blogs, and of course a couple of weeks ago I realized I’ve never mentioned a single website on any of my blogs so no one would know how to find me anyway; ugh! lol

December 24th, 2011 | 7:25 PM

Mitch,

I have 173 videos posted on YouTube. I LOVE doing videos and I promote them I have one video that has over 2000 views. Why? I have NO idea because it’s not one I’ve promoted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6p3sDHkxVw Then I have another one I promote every Christmas, which has over 7000 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOMHFgFWFiY&feature=plcp&context=C36fd995UDOEgsToPDskIlAJM9eMZjYUcDv46jPEMv

I am a strong advocate for videos and I’m definitely going to keep doing them.
Beverly Mahone recently posted…Should You Age Disgracefully?My Profile

December 24th, 2011 | 11:22 AM

Beverly, you’re a media maven! lol I’m new to the entire thing, and I’m thinking I might need to add to my camera collection because I’m stuck with the webcam I have on top of my monitor, so I can’t be mobile at all, whereas I’ve seen you doing some of yours outside. One of these days if I can stand while doing a video I might feel more at ease, which seems strange because one might believe sitting down would make you more comfortable.

December 24th, 2011 | 7:30 PM

Mitch,

It IS more comfortable to sit down and talk on camera but I think I’m more comfortable standing up because that’s what I did as a TV reporter. We rarely got to sit down and report a story. That’s just for anchors at the news desk.
Beverly Mahone recently posted…Should You Age Disgracefully?My Profile

December 26th, 2011 | 1:00 PM

Beverly, I think I’d be more comfortable standing up as well but it’s not going to happen so I need to get more comfortable sitting and talking. Actually, when I do your radio show and other things I’m okay sitting down, but then y’all can’t see me. lol

December 26th, 2011 | 7:25 PM