Best Time to Post on YouTube
Content creators often wonder if there is a way to boost views and engagement on YouTube by posting during certain hours of the day.
The question probably stems from our understanding of how television works. We often hear that the success of TV show depends on the time-slot when it airs. It makes sense to assume that a similar kind of logic is at work on YouTube.
To understand how posting at different times affects your YouTube channel, check out our guide on the topic in the paragraphs below.
Does it Matter When You Post on YouTube?
Does it really matter when you post on YouTube? The answer is – it depends. Unlike platforms such as Instagram or TikTok, YouTube content isn’t organized around a main feed. Instead, it gives users multiple ways to engage with content:
- Some users check their Subscriptions feed for content from their favorite channels.
- Others browse the Home section for personalized recommendations.
- Some follow trending videos in their region through the Explore feature.
- Many users follow YouTube links from other websites, blogs, chats, newsletters, or social media platforms.
What this means is that the time of day when you upload is not always relevant.
With that being said, posting at just the right moment during the day can sometimes net you a temporary boost in terms of engagement and views. This initial boost becomes less relevant over time, but it is still worth pursuing.
The Best Time to Post: 3 Key Factors
So, what are the key factors to consider when deciding when to post on YouTube? The three most important ones are your content, your audience, and your timezone.
The nature of your content can sometimes affect the timing of your posts. Let’s illustrate with a few examples.
For instance, if you’re making reaction content, the sooner you can post after the content you’re reacting to, the better. Reaction videos tend to rank for many of the same keywords as the content they’re covering, so the sooner you post, the quicker you’ll get indexed by YouTube.
If you’re making local news content, posting during or immediately after the events you’re covering will net you more views than if you posted a week later.
Another instance where content influences timing is in the case of long-form content. If you create long analysis videos, it is better to post at a time when the audience has enough time to watch your content in full.
Another important factor that determines timing is your audience. If you can meet audience expectations in terms of timing, you will garner more views and engagement.
Regular viewers will grow accustomed to your existing schedule, and deviating from it can lose you views. This is especially important if you’re producing Member’s only content.
To understand you audience and their viewing habits better, you can use YouTube Audience Analytics. This feature is only available once you hit a certain subscriber threshold, and it allows YouTube content creators to learn more about the behavior patterns of their viewers, including when they’re most active on the platform.
Finally, you can ask your audience directly about their preferred time to watch content. Few content creators do this, but it is an excellent way to build trust with your audience while gathering valuable information at the same time.
If the majority of your viewers come from a specific geographic region, time-zones become a major timing factor for YouTube videos. You want to upload videos during hours when most of your viewers are awake, and ideally not preoccupied with things like school or work.
If your audience is global, it can be tricky to find a time-slot that’s convenient for everyone, especially people from faraway geographic locales. You should look for overlaps between time-zones, and post videos during those periods.
What is the Best Time to Upload YouTube Videos?
Taking all of this into consideration, is there a best time to post on YouTube? Opinions vary, but some groups claim to have found certain time-slots that work better than others. Here is an overview of the available research.
The Frederator Network analyzed 1300 channels with over 120 000 000 monthly views, and they’ve concluded that the ideal times to post videos in the US region are:
- Monday: 2 pm – 4 pm
- Tuesday: 2 pm – 4 pm
- Wednesday: 2 pm – 4 pm
- Thursday: 12 pm – 3 pm
- Friday: 12 pm – 3 pm
- Saturday: 9 am – 11 am
- Sunday: 9 am – 11 am
The folks at Boosted argue that Brazil, Russia, China, India, and the UK are often neglected in favor of the US in terms of their impact on YouTube views. Taking this into account, they argue that the highest level of engagement on YouTube occurs on Friday through Saturday and Wednesday. On most days, the best time to post is at 5 pm.
Edgy advises content creators from the US to upload videos to YouTube during weekdays between 2 pm and 4 pm CST or EST. They highlight the importance of giving YouTube enough time to parse and index your videos, suggesting that you should always upload a couple of hours earlier than your ideal time-slot.
HowSociable argues that content becomes more enticing as the weekend approaches. Users become more active online in general, as well as more likely to watch videos. In their view, a Thursday or Friday is probably the best day to upload YouTube videos.
Misfit Hustler suggests that there is merit in posting videos a day earlier than your most active day during the week. Their reasoning is that YouTube videos typically pick up most of their views during the first two days after being posted. So, if your second-busiest day is the day before its busiest day, you should try posting on that day instead. That way, you will benefit from having new content during the two most active days.
As we’ve seen, there is some nuance to finding the best time to post videos on YouTube. The benefits are usually smaller when compared to timed posts on other video platforms, bet they’re still worth pursuing for the initial boost of views and engagement.
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