When Is the Best Time to Post on YouTube in 2023?
With more than 2 billion users worldwide, to say YouTube can connect you with a large pool of potential customers would be an understatement. Video marketing drives traffic and is an incredibly effective way to reach your audience, which is why many companies use this platform for marketing and sales.
Knowing and sticking to best practices can help you make the most of your overall YouTube marketing strategy, but how do you know where to start? And when is the best time to post on YouTube? We’ve got answers. Let’s dive in.
Does Posting Time Matter on YouTube?
As with your other marketing channels, effective timing is essential on YouTube. While it’s true you can get eyes on your page most of the time, there are prime days and times when you can get more traffic than usual. In general, you should post videos when more people are available to watch them — this is why prime-time TV ads cost more.
Understanding YouTube’s Algorithm
The majority of content a user sees on YouTube is guided by the algorithm, which determines roughly 70% of what people watch. In the beginning, the YouTube algorithm would recommend videos with the most views to everyone. Now, YouTube’s algorithm matches content to people based on their viewing habits, so you’re more likely to connect with people who will like your videos.
Social media algorithms are like laws: first companies implement them, then users find and exploit their loopholes, then companies implement updates to close those loopholes. YouTube is a perfect example of this. Back when people started using misleading tags, descriptions, and thumbnails to game the algorithm and drive traffic, YouTube changed its algorithm to incorporate genuine engagement metrics like watch time. In 2015, YouTube started tailoring its algorithm based on what people liked. Users can like videos, answer surveys, and click “not interested” to better curate what shows up in their feeds.
So what does that mean for you as a business? The best way to find a new audience is to post interesting and engaging videos with accurate and effective video descriptions — all at the right time.
Best Time To Post on YouTube
Overall, it’s best to post your YouTube content in the afternoon, preferably after 3 p.m. When HubSpot examined social media engagement by platform, the majority of respondents said they saw their best results on YouTube from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
While these guidelines are great times to start with, you’ll need to test and find what specific times work best for your business and audience.
Monday is the second-worst day of the week to post, according to survey respondents. This may be because Monday is when most people return to their weekly routine; they’re likely busier with work and home commitments. If you are posting on Monday, try to do it between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. so you can catch people in the car line at school or when they hit that afternoon slump at work — and definitely don’t check social media (wink, wink).
When it comes to the worst day to post to YouTube, this HubSpot survey reported that Tuesday takes the prize. Only 10% of respondents indicated Tuesday as the day with the highest engagement. Like Mondays, if you do have to post on Tuesdays, post between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
In general, Wednesday isn’t great for posting video content, either. For the first three days of the week, people seem to be busiest in terms of work, school, and other responsibilities. If you do want to post on Wednesdays, however, it makes sense to post late afternoon to early evening to capture people’s attention as they’re winding down for the evening.
During the week, people see the most engagement on Thursday and Friday, when people are
counting winding down for the weekend. On Thursday, post your videos between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to catch people later in the afternoon or early in the evening.
Friday is one of the best days to post. Likely because it’s at the end of the week, people are ready to sit back, relax, and catch up with their favorite YouTube creators. Like Thursday, it’s best to post between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to give the algorithm time to circulate your video during peak viewing hours.
Believe it or not, but YouTube is relatively unique among the social media platforms because posting on the weekend is often your best (rather than worst) bet. During this time, you have a more captive audience of people who have more time to scroll through their phones or watch longer videos on their televisions. On Saturdays, it’s best to post your videos between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
On Sunday, people are more likely to watch videos in the early evening, so post your videos between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to get the most traction with your audience.
Considerations for Timing YouTube Posts
Understanding the best days and times to upload a video is a great place to start, but there are other factors to consider.
If you are using YouTube to appeal to potential customers across the country or across the globe, factor in the time zone differences. YouTube offers a feature that lets you schedule videos and limit their visibility. In the schedule tab, you can choose a specific time zone so your videos post at a specific time in your location.
While anyone on YouTube can watch your channel, you probably want the algorithm to target people in your area, particularly if your business is limited to a certain geographical area. Add your business location and website to your “about” section, and use locally-based keywords in your descriptions to make your videos more visible locally.
YouTube offers features that let you, as a creator, maximize your visibility. One feature, “Other Videos Your Audience Watched,” can give you insights into other types of content that interests your audience. Use it to make engaging videos tailored to your audience.
If you have an analytics tool for your YouTube page, see when your audience is most active. While the guidelines above are good for most businesses, you can get a feel for your viewers by seeing how they engage with your videos and when they are watching.
On YouTube, different types of content tend to get more traction. For example, in your industry, “how-to” videos may be the most effective for marketing. If you’re hopping on this trend with a cooking tutorial, you might release it in the evening on a weekend before people start cooking dinner.
Keep track of your engagement trends and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
Types of Content
Different types of content perform better at specific times. For instance, your “how-to” videos will likely perform better at times when people are most likely to use your product or service. Someone looking for a makeup tutorial might watch in the afternoon before a night out, while someone looking for instructions on a new software program might watch in the morning during a workday.
No matter what type of content you’re creating, you’ll need to stay updated with YouTube video ad specs and placements to help your videos feel native to the platform.
How To Measure Success
Unless you’re an expert in going viral, building a YouTube following takes time. That said, there are some metrics you can use to gauge success, including views, traffic sources, and user demographics. As you grow your channel, you’ll likely see more unique views, and you may see people finding your page through multiple sources.
It’s Not a Perfect Science
While it’s good to follow general guidelines to create and post videos, it’s not the same in every industry. Your potential customers may act differently than typical YouTube viewers. If you’re a B2B company, your customers might actually watch your videos during the height of the work week, counter to typical viewer trends.
Use YouTube Analytics
Figure out what works for you by letting your audience be your guide. With YouTube Analytics, you can see when your videos perform the best. You can also see what kinds of content engage your audience the most and use that to create content that drums up interest in your channel.
Along with your likes, views, and subscribers, YouTube Analytics shows you how long people watched your videos and even offers demographic information about your viewers. Use this tool to figure out if you’re targeting the right users.
Test, Test, and Test Some More
We seriously can’t say it enough.
You won’t know what kind of content will perform well until you post it. For each type of video, it’s essential to test variations — even if they’re only marginally different. Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to engagement, audience growth, and conversions.
For example, you could change your messaging or simply write a different description with new keywords. Then look through analytics to refine your videos based on those that perform better with small samples of viewers.
Craft a multivariate testing plan to see which content performs best, and optimize your strategy as you learn more.
Making YouTube Videos at Scale
Shooting and editing YouTube videos can seem daunting, particularly if you need to make a significant amount of content — let alone variations on each video for testing.
But with the right partner, it doesn’t have to be challenging. At QuickFrame by MNTN, we offer an end-to-end video production platform that connects brands with the best creators and video production teams around the globe. Our team will pair you with the right creator, based on your video creation needs and goals, to help you get high-quality video to drive results.
When To Post on YouTube: Final Thoughts
Because so many people watch videos on the internet, YouTube is a great platform for reaching a captive audience. To grow your page, it helps to post at the right time. Generally, across industries, the best times to post on YouTube are in the evening throughout the week or on the weekends — but you’ll need to find the exact times that work for your business.
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