When you plan your editorial or marketing calendar, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. For instance, the logical sequence of topics, availability of content and tools, current events, your personal sources for inspiration, and business methodology. When it comes to video marketing, an increasingly important factor is the time of day your message will be delivered. More than any other type of content, the success of a video marketing campaign is arguably very device-dependent, and the primary device utilized by your audience changes over the course of a day.

But wait, you say, I already use a video host that provides encoding for my videos so I do not have to worry about devices, right? Wrong. Although device type should not matter in terms of deliverability of your videos, it does matter a lot for placing the right message on the right channel when your potential viewers are paying attention to it. Further, different types of content do better on different types of platforms, just like different marketing channels perform differently over the course of the day. If you can gather the data and figure out when your target audience is most active on different platforms, you can optimize the timing of your messaging around that, and adjust your marketing mix to reach them more efficiently.

Analyze Your Audience

Studies like “Why Online Video is a Daily Habit” from the Yahoo! Advertising Blog are terrific because they contain gems of information that will help you reach your audience more effectively. If you can find data that is more specific to your audience, that is even better, but this can serve as a starting point. As you can see in the chart below, devices are used in a predictable pattern over the course of the day, and interest in video increases sharply after the work day:

Understanding device preference for viewing online hosted video

Looking at that chart from Yahoo!, a optimal time to publish or promote a video is in the evening, when a lot of people are home and watching videos. You can tease your video during the day when people are actively seeking diversions, and then promote it again when they are actually home and ready to view it.

You can use a Google Analytics customized report to analyze your specific audience’s activity as well. Select the metrics you want, like Visits and Conversion Rate to start, and then select “Hour” as a dimension. This allows you to see visitor activity by hour for your website.

Example of Google Analytics custom report to analyze hourly site behavior

Another good place to get data is Facebook Insights for your company page. A large portion of your Facebook audience is likely to be on mobile devices, and you can analyze their activity by hour of the day too:

Example of Facebook page activity for optimizing online hosted video

You can use this information in conjunction with the Google Analytics and Yahoo! data to get a relatively clear picture of when your audience is most reachable on different platforms. For instance, if this example Facebook chart was your audience, you would want to promote your videos on Facebook right after 12 PM, which seems to be a peak for activity, and again around 10 PM. It would be worth testing to see what works, but viewed alongside the Yahoo! data, a video might do better around 9 PM based on the fact that more people will be searching for videos to watch at that time, and are somewhat more likely to be on a laptop. If you follow our other tips for getting people to watch your video, you should get some traction.

In addition, consider the platform hosting your video. If your video is meant to target B2B clients, and you are planning to promote it during business hours, Youtube and other social sharing sites might not be the best place to host your video since they are frequently blocked by corporations. The right hosting platform and a well-timed marketing message can help ensure that your video is accessible to your audience. This largely depends on the nature of the video you are promoting, but this is at least a starting point for breaking out your video marketing strategy by the optimal time of day for your message.

What do you think? Have you ever looked at your hourly website visitor data? Has it influenced any of your marketing plans? Tell us about it in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!

Written by Courtney Purchon

Courtney is the Head of Marketing at SproutVideo. Follow her on Twitter.

Posted March 10, 2014

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