On Valentine’s Day 2005, the domain name “YouTube.com” was officially activated. Just 18 months later, Google purchased it for $1.65 billion.
The geniuses at Google knew that YouTube would become a cash cow. The site now generates over $15 billion every year — that’s a tenth of Google’s total revenue!
Individually, influencers and business owners are cashing in on the world’s second-most visited website. The highest-paid YouTubers regularly earn millions sharing their videos with more than 2 billion viewers. YouTube has more users than Gmail and almost as many users as Facebook.
So here are some questions for you: Are you ready to get your slice of the YouTube pie? Would you like to create high-quality content to post on YouTube and build your online business?
If so, you first need to know the best time to post on YouTube. It’s not a simple matter of posting occasionally or whenever it’s most convenient for you. Successfully posting on YouTube requires understanding its algorithms and your audience’s behaviors.
In our in-depth YouTube posting guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. Keep reading below!
Posting on YouTube: Why Does the Time Matter?
If you’ve already been posting videos on YouTube at random times, you might wonder if the time makes a difference. After all, the video will be there forever, right? If your audience can watch it anytime they wish, why does it matter when you post it?
The short answer is: It makes all the difference in the world.
Reach into your memory bank and think about the concept of “Prime Time TV.” The most popular shows would air weekday evenings because that’s when people got home from work, ate dinner, and were ready to relax in front of the television. A show that aired at, say, 2 AM on Wednesday or 8 AM on Sunday wouldn’t get nearly the same amount of viewers.
The same is true of YouTube videos. You need to post videos when your target audience is most likely to be online. This is a whole separate topic we’ll get to a bit later.
For now, keep these two crucial factors in mind:
- The day and hour you post will determine how many people your video will be suggested to
- The day and hour you post will have a direct impact on the number of views you receive
To be sure, you need to create branded content that’s powerful and engaging. But your hard work and efforts will go to waste if you’re posting those videos at the wrong time!
When’s the Best Time to Post on YouTube?
YouTube works differently from other social media channels because it doesn’t have a feed or endless scroll. For this reason, there’s no single, precise time that’s automatically the best time to post on YouTube.
With that said, there’s still a lot of great YouTube posting advice and research that provide a general idea of the best times to post.
If you’re looking for the broadest trends, here are the best day and hours for posting on YouTube:
- Monday through Wednesday from 2 PM to 4 PM (EST)
- Thursday and Friday from 12 PM to 3 PM (EST)
- Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 11 AM (EST)
Of course, there are other important factors to consider, such as your target audience’s time zone and the type of videos you share. For example, if your videos are related to your business, you may have more success posting on weekdays. If you run an entertainment channel, you’ll likely receive more visitors on the weekends.
Other Research About Posting on YouTube
Many companies have reached the conclusions outlined above, but others have different advice to offer. We’ll provide their insight as well to help you make a well-rounded decision.
Research from Boosted suggests that YouTube receives the highest levels of engagement on Fridays, Saturdays, and (surprisingly) Wednesdays as well. They recommend posting on any day of the week around 5 PM EST, although they say that anything posted before 9 PM EST is okay too.
Their other suggestion, at least for the US market, is to post around 8 AM PST. This allows you to reach west coasters on their commute to work and east coasters during their lunch break.
Edgy offers a different perspective for weekend posts, arguing that people behave differently on their days off. Since they’re not at the office, they’re more likely to be active on YouTube during the afternoons. They suggest posting around 11 AM EST or CST on Saturdays and Sundays.
HowSociable focuses more on the day of the week that you post on YouTube rather than the specific hour. They advise content creators to avoid posting Monday and Tuesday, as these days yield the most negligible rewards in terms of engagement. Instead, they suggest posting on Thursdays and Fridays to give your audience fresh content for the weekend.
Expert YouTube Posting Tips
As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the best time to post on YouTube. The good news is that you can gain invaluable insight into your target audience’s patterns and behavior.
Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes and identify the best times to post new videos to your channel.
1. Upload a Few Hours Ahead of Prime Time
This is one of our most important pieces of advice, so listen up!
It takes time for Google and YouTube to analyze and index new videos. Unlike an Instagram photo that instantly appears in the news feed, there’s a lag time before a new YouTube video is indexed and starts appearing in search results.
In the earlier days of YouTube, it took an average of eight hours (or sometimes as long as 36 hours) before a video was searchable. Thankfully, the process has gotten much faster, with an average time between 2-3 hours.
Let’s say you want your new video to appear just after the end of the workday. This is why experts recommend posting between 2 PM and 4 PM. When YouTube and Google index your video, it will usually start showing up in “suggested videos” between 5 PM and 7 PM — precisely the time you want to reach your audience!
Of course, your channel’s “prime time” may fall at a different time of day, which is where our next tip comes in.
2. Study Your Real-Time Analytics Report
Now that you have a general idea of the best time to post on YouTube, it’s time to talk specifics. Put on your detective hat and get ready to go behind the scenes on your YouTube channel.
To view your channel’s analytics, follow these three easy steps:
- Open YouTube Studio
- Click on Analytics
- Open the tab that says Audience
Here you’ll find a dizzying array of purple bars that offer insight into your audience’s YouTube habits. The darkest bars represent the “prime time” when your viewers are most active on YouTube. The lighter the bars, the fewer viewers are online.
Important note: This report shows when your audience is most active on YouTube, not necessarily the times when they’re watching YOUR videos.
With that said, there’s still a lot to learn from this report. Identify the times, and days your audience hangs out on YouTube, then schedule your videos to post a few hours before those peak times.
3. Consider Your Audience’s Demographics
If you haven’t already created a detailed customer persona, ask yourself questions like:
- Who is my target audience?
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- What time do they go to work or attend school?
- What time do they relax and watch YouTube videos?
Hopefully, you already know the answers to these questions. Why? You need to factor these details into your decision about the best time to post on YouTube.
For example, where is your channel getting the most traffic from? The US is YouTube’s biggest market, but India, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, and the UK are right behind them. If you’re hoping to reach a broader audience in Europe or Asia, you need to think outside the US time zones.
To gain more insight, study the top-ranking competitors in your niche. When are they posting their videos, and how much engagement do they receive? How many videos do they post each week?
If they’re experiencing success with their schedule for posting on YouTube, you can too!
Get Your Startup on the Path to Success
Armed with this YouTube posting advice, you’re one step closer to building your online presence and attracting more customers to your brand. Bookmark this article and refer back to it as you create videos and post on YouTube.
Of course, YouTube is just one piece of the digital marketing puzzle. To turn your startup into a profitable business, you need to continue to learn from like-minded entrepreneurs.
That’s where we come in. Startup Forums was created for business owners, by business owners to bring you the best resources and networking opportunities. Whether you want to connect with others in your niche or get insider advice from successful entrepreneurs, you’re in the right place.
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