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How to calculate and increase engagement on YouTube?

Simon Lebrun
October 24, 2023
Last modified on
October 25, 2023
YouTube engagement rate

If you're here, it's because you've realized that maximizing the impact of your YouTube videos isn't just about getting views. What really counts is the engagement of your audience: their reactions, comments, shares and much more.

Welcome to the world of engagement rates on YouTube, thekey indicator for evaluating the success of your content and marketing campaigns.

The engagement rate gives you an invaluable window into the effectiveness of your content in capturing attention and encouraging interaction. It's not just about looking at statistics, it's about building real connections and lasting impact.

It's time to move beyond the race for views and focus on what really matters for success on YouTube.

In this article, we explore the secrets of the engagement rate. Learn how to measure it accurately and share strategies for optimizing it. Because on YouTube, creating an engaged community is the real key to standing out.

What is the YouTube engagement rate?

The YouTube engagement rate is a direct reflection of how well your target audience interacts and resonates with your content, whether it's a video or your YouTube channel. This crucial KPI (key performance indicator) is an important barometer because it tells you not only whether your content is pleasing, but also whether viewers care enough to interact with it.

For YouTube content creators, the engagement rate is an indicator on which brands can identify good interest beyond the number of subscribers on their channel. A high rate indicates that the influencer's community is interested in his or her content, and therefore will take more interest in his or her recommendations .

But the role of engagement rate extends beyond collaborations and marketing. It also plays a considerable role in YouTube's suggestion algorithm. How viewers interact with your content - whether through comments, likes, or shares - sends a powerful signal to the algorithm, influencing the likelihood that your video will be suggested to a wider audience.

In short, engagement rate is a thread that links the perceived quality of your content to its potential success, both for independent creators and for companies looking to consolidate their presence on the platform.

The average engagement rate on YouTube

Before calculating your own, it's a good idea to find out what constitutes a good engagement rate on YouTube.

Obviously, there's no easy answer to this question.

Firstly, it's essential to recognize that the average engagement rate on YouTube is subject to annual fluctuation. For example, it was recorded at 1.7% in 2023, up from 0.75% in 2020.

What's more, this rate is influenced by content genre. Gaming-related videos enjoy a robust engagement rate of 5.47%, while music videos, despite a high volume of views, have a lower rate, stopping at 2.28% for "Like" clicks.

Channel size also plays a role. According to Statista, channels with more than 15,000 subscribers have an engagement rate of 1.63%. It's common to see engagement decline as the subscriber base expands. Macro-influencers on YouTube have an average engagement rate of 1.99%, while micro- and nano-influencers can post rates of 2.8% to 5.22%.

Overall, engagement on YouTube tends to be lower compared to newer platforms like TikTok, which enjoys a higher overall engagement rate of 5.96%, thanks in part to its more condensed and interactive format.

How do you calculate the engagement rate of your YouTube videos?

Calculating the engagement rate differs from one social network to another. The method for YouTube will therefore not be the same as for TikTok, for example.

Choose a recent video and apply the following formula to calculate its YouTube engagement rate:

(Total number of engagements / total impressions)*100 = Engagement rate %.

The interactions considered for engagement on YouTube therefore include : 

  • Likes (also known as "likes" or "thumbs up") and dislikes. This is the simplest metric for assessing whether or not users have enjoyed a video. It's also the most important interaction on the platform, since it only requires one click. However, likes are a relatively superficial KPI that gives little indication of your community's interest.
  • Comments are a higher form of engagement than likes. In fact, they enable you to create a direct dialogue with your subscribers, and require more effort on their part. The more comments a creator has under his videos (and the more he responds to them), the higher his engagement rate. They can also draw on more developed opinions and suggestions for improving their content.
  • Sharing also has a significant impact on engagement rates. It's also a crucial interaction for multiplying a video's reach, since it will be directly suggested by a user to his or her friends and family. 

The more a video combines these three elements, the more likely it is tobe featured on the platform and reach a wider audience. The engagement rate is an indicator of the relevance and success of a piece of content. Thanks to its analysis, it becomes easier to better target an audience's expectations and position oneself effectively against the competition.

Examples of engagement rates on YouTube

Let's take an example: if an account has one million views and 100,000 interactions (likes, comments and shares), the average engagement rate for its channel will be ;

 (100,000 interactions / 1 million views) x 100: 10%.

One of Youtuber Squeezie's latest videos on GP Explorer (at the time of writing) boasts : 

(256,500 interactions / 3,278,000 views) x 100: 7.8% (which is an excellent engagement rate for YouTube)

Strategies for increasing engagement on YouTube

To improve your content and boost your visibility on the platform, it's therefore crucial to calculate your engagement rate (and how it stacks up against your main competitors in your niche). We'll come back to using YouTube Analytics to access your KPIs in a future article. 

To improve your YouTube engagement rate, we recommend :

1. Create quality content adapted to your target audience.

To improve engagement on YouTube, you first need to understand your audience and what interests them. From your metrics (viewing time, number of views, interactions, media on which your videos are watched), you'll have a better understanding of your target audience and the flaws in your content. 

As a result, you can improve what needs to be improved. For example, if your viewing time is too low, it's a sign that you should opt for a shorter format, or rework the hook (the first few minutes/seconds) of your videos.

2. Follow an editing style adapted to YouTube through quality editing

Each platform has its own editorial codes, but YouTube's tend to resemble TikTok's short, dynamic style. To create more captivating videos, don't hesitate to use the editing tools at your disposal. The launch of YouTube Create, for example, will enable you to add visual and sound effects to your videos to make them more engaging. 

3. Keep content short 

YouTube Shorts are becoming increasingly popular on the platform. Don't hesitate to use this format to reach a new audience or boost your engagement rate by creating capsules of your long videos. 

4. Optimize video thumbnails 

The thumbnails and titles of your videosare the first thing YouTube users will see. So it's crucial to make them as eye-catching as possible to grab their attention and make them want to click on the video. However, be careful not to mislead them, as this could penalize your engagement rate (lots of views, but few interactions). 

5. Collaborate with influencers and other content creators

Users are increasingly attracted by authentic content, embodiedby people who look like them. A good way to create closeness with your audience and increase your engagement rate is to create content with influencers. By giving them greater creative freedom, you'll be sharing videos that are more likely to appeal to your target audience, since they'll be based on the codes they're already used to. 

Engagement rate is a key metric to track in order to improve your content and federate an active community of users on YouTube. To implement an effective strategy that boosts your audience's engagement, call on a specialized social marketing agency like Sleeq!

We'll support you in creating content and setting up effective campaigns on TikTok, ensuring that our actions are in line with your marketing objectives

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