What is the Best Time to Post on YouTube for Maximum Reach?Aug 4, 2023
Table of Contents
How is posting on YouTube different from other platforms?
How to see when your audience is on YouTube
Experts weigh in on the best time to post on YouTube
DJ Tech Reviews
In addition to creating great content, understanding your audience, and optimizing for video SEO, posting your videos at the right time can boost your YouTube channel’s viewership.
Running a successful YouTube channel entails more than just creating good content. There’s a marketing aspect that should be considered if you want to grow your channel’s subscriber base and overall viewership.
One of these marketing aspects deals with posting your content at the appropriate time to maximize reach.
In this blog, we share insights on the best time to post on YouTube from owners of several successful channels and marketing agencies.
After reading this article, you’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the best time to post on YouTube based on your channel’s audience demographics and analytics data.
Before we dive into those details, let’s briefly discuss why posting on YouTube is different from other channels.
How is Posting on YouTube Different from Other Channels?
You might be under the impression that YouTube works like any other digital channel.
Unlike social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram that show content the moment you post it, YouTube actually functions more like a search engine and requires time to index a video and rank it appropriately.
When you upload a video to YouTube, the platform first runs a number of checks and scans your video to understand what the video is about.
Image source: Kyros Solutions
This is an important distinction to make, since it will influence your YouTube posting strategy.
So no, if you want to maximize reach, you can’t just post a video on YouTube when the majority of your audience is online. Instead, you have to apply some thinking and follow a strategy for posting at the best time.
To post at the best time you do still need to know when the majority of your audience is online.
How to See When Your Audience is on YouTube
You can use your YouTube Studio account to see when your audience spends the most time online. This gives you a good starting point for determining the best time to post your videos on YouTube.
Here’s how you can see when your audience is on YouTube:
- Go to YouTube Studio
- Select “Analytics” from the left menu
- Click “Audience” in the top sub-menu
- Scroll down to “When your viewers are on YouTube”
Different audiences have different viewing habits.
For instance, if you run a channel of humorous videos for night-shift nurses, chances are they have a different viewing schedule than someone with a more traditional work schedule.
What is the Best Time to Post on YouTube?
Once you know when the majority of your audience is on YouTube, just subtract about five hours from peak viewing time to give YouTube time to index your video.
So if most of your viewers on YouTube are online at around 8 pm, then you should upload new content by 3 pm at the latest.
Experts Weigh in on the Best Time to Post to YouTube
Marketers and YouTubers alike have invested enormous resources into studying the best times to publish on YouTube.
We’ve summarized some of the most prominent research and tips below.
Most successful YouTubers experiment with their posting times to determine the best time to publish YouTube videos.
Patrick shared the strategy he uses on his YouTube Channel, CryptoWhat:
“I have also experimented with posting videos at night, so that viewers can wake up to ready videos. Honestly, I’ve had varied success with this. However, Saturday mornings tend to come with higher engagement for videos posted the previous night.”
Understandably, most viewers had a bit more time on Saturday mornings to watch YouTube videos; availability they didn’t necessarily have during the workweek.
Additionally, tracking video posting with social media activity tended to result in higher engagement for CryptoWhat.
For example, social media engagement was high around 5 pm, meaning it made sense to post content around 2 pm or 3 pm so the video was ready by peak viewing times.
A manager of over 50 gaming channels, Zygo Media uses several of the methods we already discussed to figure out the best time to post to YouTube.
The manager of Zygo Media, Gareth Harry, remarks that utilizing YouTube Studio, tracking your audience’s peak view times, and experimenting with different times are all solid strategies.
He adds another recommendation: once you’ve discovered what works, post at the same time each week:
“I think having a consistent release schedule is an important part of having your viewers build habits around the release of your content, much like your parents used to plan around watching specific shows that were aired at specific times… humans are still the same old habit-driven creatures by nature.”
In other words, once you’ve analyzed your data and figured out what works for your audience, stick with it.
What happens when you produce YouTube content and promote it somewhere else?
Nisha Talagala of AIClub, an educational channel for kids, shares her business’s strategy for maximizing YouTube views:
“What we have done is socialize the videos on Facebook (parent, teacher groups) after publishing on YouTube: We usually do that in the late night so that people can see it in their feed in the morning.”
What Talagala and her team have done, then, is to make the most of both YouTube and Facebook algorithms to drive traffic to their content.
This works because, while the viewers may watch the videos, they discover them on Facebook first.
With this strategy, the best time to upload YouTube videos is several hours before the peak time to post on your promotional channel, be that Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Keep in mind YouTube needs a couple of hours to index your video before you can start sharing it.
Max Hockly from the YouTube channel, Silverpicker, personally believes that the most important thing is consistency and uploading at the same time each day/week/month.
He believes this is much more important than the specific time of day.
“Personally I upload once a week at 5pm EST on Thursdays. This gives me the best weekend spike and a good tail throughout the rest of the week. I also corroborated this with my YouTube analytics which shows me when the majority of my viewers are watching YouTube.”
DJ Tech Reviews Method
As with all online content, it’s best not to leave too much up to chance. Jonathan of DJ Tech Reviews determines when is the best time to upload a YouTube video by using Google Analytics tools.
“The GA reporting system analyzes the core data that can promote success. It then delivers results and reports from the times which were monitored. So, you can understand your channel views and behavior just by looking at the numbers.”
This is not hard to do.
- Go to Google Analytics
- Click the “Customization” tab and then choose “New Custom Report”.
- In the “Metrics Group” field choose “Sessions” and in the “Dimension Drilldowns” field select “Hours”.
- Add any other demographic features you want to include in your custom report and save the report.
If you’re already using YouTube Studio, like we recommended above, do you need Google Analytics to figure out the best time to upload a YouTube video?
The short answer is, yes.
This is because YouTube Studio just shows you when your audience is active on YouTube.
While this is an important metric, you can boost it even more by using Google Analytics, which tracks when your audience is online across many websites.
Most people don’t intentionally log in to YouTube thinking we will spend forty minutes watching videos, this just happens. By posting when your viewers are already online you increase the chances of capturing their attention.
Online marketing firm Boosted shares their calculations about the best time to upload on YouTube. Their research suggests that if you time it right, you can capture audiences in multiple time zones.
Most YouTube publishing timetables already take into account that viewers are spread across multiple time zones, which is why ideal times are considered as a range of about three or four hours.
6pm and 9pm both fall within this range and are considered primetime viewing that catches the attention of viewers in California and New York, for example.
Boosted suggests that posting a YouTube video in time for it to be indexed by about 8 am EST on weekdays gives it a chance to be seen both by those on the East Coast heading to work and then by those on the West Coast when they take their lunch break.
The foundations of good online content also relate to the best time to post on YouTube – post quality content that interests your audience. Aleh is the video creator for the sports site MightyTips.
Aleh builds the video publishing schedule around the audience’s needs – the golden rule of content creation.
“There is a direct need to publish tehe video when the audience shows the greatest interest in this event…if you publish earlier, the video will fall down, and on the day of the largest requests for it won’t be in the first position.”
Any YouTube channel that caters to time-sensitive events like sports should publish when interest for that topic is at its highest. If your channel reviews new products, be sure to have a video ready to go near a new product launch, because that is when your audience will want opinions and information.
These special timing considerations often override your regular publishing schedule. Even if Thursdays at 3pm have always worked for you, don’t get in the rut of scheduling only for your own convenience.
While most of the research we shared has been gained from years of YouTube uploads and successful traffic, there are many variables to the best time to post on YouTube.
The best time to upload to YouTube depends upon learning when your audience spends the most time online. You then need to allow for enough time for YouTube to index your video since YouTube is essentially a search engine.