As content creators and marketers, we should all be focused on the quality of our content. After all, poor-quality content is unlikely to receive the quantity and type of engagement that we need. And of course, it is that engagement which ultimately gives us our ROI.
However, even the best-quality content will receive fewer views than it should if it is posted at the wrong time of day. Even with a very high engagement rate, this results in your getting much less bang for your buck. And as business people, we understand that failure to optimize your content efforts will ultimately leave money and opportunity on the table.
One of the major content options these days is YouTube Shorts. These are ultimately an answer to TikTok and certain other short-form video platforms. They are also a relatively untapped opportunity for content creators and advertisers to reach out to their audiences.
Just like other social media content, YouTube Shorts should be posted at the optimal time for best results. But how can marketers know that the best times are? Let’s look at the data points in this article.
What are YouTube Shorts?
Before we dive in to the best time to post YouTube Shorts, we need to define the term. If you want a video answer directly from YouTube, watch the below video. If not, keep reading!
Briefly, YouTube Shorts are short vertical videos of up to 60 seconds that users can shoot on their phones and share from the YouTube native app. They allow businesses to quickly and easily share their message with a large audience.
Of course, users are not limited to only recording YouTube shorts on their phone. As I have pointed out before, Shorts are a good option for content repurposing. This is especially true with TikTok and Instagram Reels material that has performed well. You can also record some vertical footage when you create longer videos, and then use the footage for YouTube Shorts.
Check out how easy it is to do this right from the YouTube app on your smartphone:
Further Reading: Repurposing Content: 15 Specific and Popular Methods
The Importance of YouTube Shorts for businesses
In the business world, most of us see short-form video used primarily for commercials. These can be old-school television commercials, or they can be put on more modern forums. However, times are changing. Nowadays, short-term video has more uses than ever.
Specifically, with the rise of video marketing and mobile devices, consumers are increasingly turning to short-form video content for their entertainment and information needs. YouTube Shorts provide an effective way for businesses to engage with their audience, showcase their products and services, and drive traffic and conversions.
Furthermore, YouTube Shorts are an excellent opportunity for influencer marketing and user-generated content. Both of these techniques create a buzz around certain products and services which can significantly increase the number of channel viewers and other important to YouTube metrics.
Benefits of using Shorts for businesses
Besides providing an efficient forum for user generated content, experience so far has shown that Shorts are very effective as marketing tools. In particular, shorts are easy-to-digest pieces of content which people will watch over and over again.
However, watch time merely scratches the surface of the benefits for business people. Here are some other reasons why you should give YouTube Shorts a try.
Increased visibility and reach
One of the great things about YouTube Shorts is its ability to introduce people to new channels. That’s because the YouTube algorithm recommends Shorts that are consistent with each viewer’s interests. In other words, shorts increase the chances that your content will be discovered by the right people.
People may share a short video with their friends and social media contacts in situations where they might not share a longer one. Remember, any time somebody is exposed to your material, there’s a chance that they will not only interact with your brand but also pass on your message. Over time, this creates a snowball effect that can significantly increase both your brand visibility and reach.
Similarly, learning the best time to post YouTube Shorts will help your company increase its engagement on the platform. Naturally, the Shorts themselves help in ways that we discussed above — people love to share. However, proper timing also boosts the number of engagements. Remember, the level of engagement is a major factor that YouTube considers plan recommending new videos to people. This is not an opportunity you want to miss.
Improved brand awareness and reputation
Finally, YouTube Shorts are a great way to improve your brand awareness and your reputation on the platform. Especially when you consider that younger generations gravitate toward social media as an important, the exciting world of YouTube and other networks is not something that you want to pass up. This is especially true when you consider that reputation online is frequently a deciding factor when consumers make a buying decision.
Further Reading: The 13 Powerful Benefits of Video Marketing That Demand Your Attention
Importance of timing in terms of viewership and engagement
Timing is important not just for YouTube Shorts, but for YouTube in general, as demonstrated here:
Timing plays a crucial role in terms of viewership and engagement on YouTube Shorts. By leveraging the best time to post YouTube Shorts, businesses can maximize their reach and engagement on the platform.
Remember, when people consume the right content at the right time, the benefits of proper timing can be felt throughout your content portfolio. For instance, you might advertise your latest white paper or announce an awesome new product. Then, you can put links in the description that will direct viewers to more content or to your product page. And as people engage with the original content, you will achieve a better distribution of your branded message overall.
Conversely, if you fail to master the best time to post YouTube Shorts, your content can get buried in people’s feeds. Your Shorts and other content will be less effective as a result.
So, when is the best time to post YouTube Shorts?
There is no one size fits all solution that determines the best time to post YouTube Shorts. However, the best times for most audiences are and weekends. Because a lot of people also have the habit of scrolling through their TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube feed before going to bed, late evening is also a good time to post.
However, if you are in a B2B industry or if your target audience works nontraditional hours, then your ideal times may need adjustment. That’s because the ideal publication time is when the target audience is most likely to be active and engaged on the platform.
Ultimately, you should analyze your specific audience data and figure out the best times that work for you. YouTube analytics and other tools can be valuable resources because they tell you when your videos are viewed the most often. You can also see if there’s a potential disconnect between the people who are watching your videos and people whom you want to watch your videos.
Factors to consider when is the best time to post YouTube Shorts
Without a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s important that you understand the best time to post YouTube Shorts. While it’s easy to simply say, “post when you think your audience will be on,” he it’s never really that simple.
For one thing, you may have a range of ideal times for your audience, especially if your brand has a universal appeal that covers workers on nontraditional shifts. And for another, different factors like subject matter and degree of competition. Your target audience can easily get flooded with more messages than they can consume.
Target audience demographics and behavior
Arguably, this is one of the easiest factors to measure. Your YouTube analytics and other content marketing tools will help you define your audience in terms of when they might be online, and who was ultimately consuming your content. You may find that your ideal best time to post YouTube Shorts differs from your expectations because much of your audience is retired.
Similarly, you can use analytics and other data points to predict when your target audience will be online. While we don’t always guess right the first time, various marketing software can help us to find answers. For instance, competitor analysis can help determine which times are best for posting. Similarly, analytics helps us find untapped opportunities that we can use to get ahead.
Content of the YouTube Shorts
Sometimes we publish content that’s great for any time of day, while other topics are best left for certain hours. For instance, in the food space, you might want to publish during the evening commute because people often pick up a few groceries on the way home. Alternatively, hungry commuters might be looking for a new idea to use food items they already have in the fridge—and they’ll buy more of it the next time they shop.
Likewise, some content shouldn’t be published at night. That’s especially true in the B2B segment because decision-makers don’t necessarily consume work-related content while away from the office. Instead, you want to give your audience an excuse to watch YouTube (and then contact sales).
Further Reading: The 11 Types of Short-Form Video You Can Leverage TODAY
Competition and trending topics
Competitors make mistakes, too. And sometimes, they hit the nail on the head. It doesn’t matter which event you pick up in your analytics because either way, you can learn something. For instance, if everybody posts their Shorts at 5 PM, then you’ll have a lot of competition for eyeballs. However, you might find that Shorts published at 5:30 also get good engagement, but there are fewer competing new videos. Here, you can take your pick: add your content when there’s the most competition or go for the slightly quieter spot. Conversely, if you find that competitor videos posted at 8 PM get very little engagement, you’ll know that this isn’t the best time to post YouTube Shorts.
Similarly, you can watch trending topics at different times of the day or week. So, if people consistently look for shorts on Football on Monday nights, this is a great time for a Game-focused brand to post their Shorts. The same goes for any niche and any industry. As an added bonus, you might be able to jump into a conversation as it’s still going on if you have ready content.
Tips for finding the best time to post YouTube Shorts
Not everyone has access to high-end marketing tools, and this is especially true for content creators. However, even with fancy tools, there are things that you should consider while analyzing the data. While the best time to post YouTube Shorts is sometimes obvious from the numbers, in other situations, you need to consider other factors.
Here are some ways to maximize your data and fine-tune the best time to post YouTube Shorts based on your audience.
Further Reading: The Top 11 Must-Know YouTube Tricks for Marketers
Use YouTube Studio to track viewership and engagement
YouTube Studio is a free tool from Google, and it’s one of your best allies. Because Google makes money off of people’s YouTube success, they’ve built a tool that can break down all the standard datapoints and then some.
One example of data you can get from YouTube Studio is how many viewers you have, and how many are subscribed. People typically only subscribe to channels that they either deem high-quality or consider essential for another reason. Be sure to analyze your watch time to see when most people watch. Then, look to see how close that is to your subscriber’s active hours. Because subscribers are the backbone of your channel, your posting times must be attractive to them.
Similarly, you can see which videos get the most views and which get the best engagement. From here, you can see what works best for your channel. Cross-reference this with what time of day your top-performing videos are watched, and you have an excellent idea of when to post.
Here is a great overview of the data that can be gleaned from YouTube Studio:
Experiment with posting at different times to see which performs best
This approach is old-school, but it works well. Simply put, sort your Shorts and post them at different times throughout the day and week. One way to do this is to produce some Shorts that are more appropriate for a different time of day, like a bedtime story for baby clothes posted at night. The same brand could feature a baby feeding at midday. Both videos have the same nurturing theme, and knowing which time works better is valuable.
Another way to vary your posting times is to publish Monday’s Short at 10 AM, Tuesday’s at 2 PM, and so on. If the Shorts are your “usual fare,” then you’ll get a good overall picture of when people like to see your videos.
Even though we all love to get things right the first time, sometimes experimentation is the best route to success.
Consider the time zone and location of your target audience
While the best time to post YouTube Shorts is sometimes obvious based on topic, you need to adjust these times for your audience. For instance, if you have a “lunch themed” Short, there are several hours of “lunchtime” throughout the United States. Therefore, you need to time that Short to optimize for people in one or two time zones.
If your target audience lives in several time zones, then consider rotating your publishing time. Alternatively, use your A/B testing to determine which time zone’s audience is the most active, then cater to them. Of course, you can sometimes combine these approaches as appropriate.
Monitor and adjust based on feedback from viewers
Comment sections can be useful, especially if your audience loves to give feedback. You can also create a poll on your Community page or reach out via social media. Either way, listening to your audience often accomplishes more than analysis alone. As a bonus, being responsive helps make your brand more human and approachable. Customers love that.
Further Reading: 11 Tips on How to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 2023
Knowing the best time to post YouTube Shorts can be tricky. There are a lot of data points to consider, as well as topic considerations. However, by using the right tools and talking to your audience, you can discover the answer. Frequently, the optimal time isn’t only one spot on the clock but a handful of them. In this case, you’ll need to juggle priorities and content creation bandwidth, then experiment to get the best results.
Hero photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash