In 2022, we surveyed over 500 video marketers and found that YouTube sees the highest usage, more than TikTok and Instagram. It’s also the platform marketers will invest the most in this year.
With so much emphasis placed on the platform, we wanted to know what times and days publishers saw the best results.
Keep reading to learn what we discovered.
Creating a video for YouTube isn’t an easy task. First comes ideation, then scripting followed by filming, and finally editing - and that's just at a high level. Imagine doing all that work just to upload a video that doesn’t get much traction.
When you’re first starting out, you’re bound to struggle. However, if you’ve been at it for a while and are still not getting any traction from your videos, your upload time could be the culprit.
Back in 2021, we surveyed 300+marketers in the United States for our Social Media Trends Report and asked them, “What’s the best time to post on YouTube? ”
To start, our report revealed that most marketers surveyed say they post on YouTube four to six times a week – as much as they post on Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, and many other social platforms. The only platforms where respondents posted every day were Facebook and Twitter.
As such, it’s surprising that marketers are posting as often on the platform, given that it’s a platform focused on long-form content.
As for the best times to post on the platform, here’s the breakdown:
- 31% of respondents said 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- 23% of respondents said 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- 19% of respondents said 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Note: Respondents were instructed to answer in their current time zone and for context, roughly 40% of respondents were located in the Eastern time zone.
As for the best days, data shows that it’s the weekend with Saturdays being the most popular answer, followed by Fridays and then Sundays.
One way to explain this is that the weekend gives consumers more time to explore the platform and dive into their favorite long-form content.
Other video platforms like TikTok and Instagram focus on short-form content, making it easy for consumers to get what they need during breaks throughout the day. YouTube, however, requires a bigger time commitment.
When is the worst time to post on YouTube?
Wondering when you shouldn’t post on the platform? According to our social media trends report, Mondays aren’t so popular among marketers.
Only 5% of marketers surveyed said Mondays were the best time to post on the video platform. The second least-popular day was Tuesday, followed by Wednesday.
As for the times, here’s the breakdown:
- 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight)
- 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fewer than 20% of respondents said an early morning posting (between 6 a.m. and noon) offered the best results.
Does it matter what time you post on YouTube?
The answer to this is both yes and no. Yes, it does matter what time you post on YouTube in the short term because it will impact how many views your video gets within the first few hours. Optimizing your views during this time period can help you generate more traffic to your content and help the growth of your channel.
However, it doesn’t play a huge role in the long term. Say your video was posted at 3 a.m., that has little impact on how many views it can garner over the next couple of months or years. Unlike a platform like Instagram where fresh content is key to success, novelty is not the biggest ranking factor on YouTube – relevance is.
This means that even if your video may not perform well initially, if it’s the most relevant video to a user’s query, it can quickly gain traction.
How to Find Your Channel's Best Time to Post
Your Analytics dashboard is the best place to go to find the most accurate and reliable data on your channel - including the best time to post.
If your channel generates enough traffic, you'll gain access to an advanced report which shows you when your viewers are most active on the platform.
To access this page, follow these steps.
- Open YouTube Studio.
- Click on "Analytics."
- Open the "Audience" tab and view your report.
Knowing the best times and days to post on YouTube isn’t meant to be a strict ruling on when you should post. Instead, it should be used as a guide to optimizing your channel for short- and long-term success.