Is there really a best time to post on YouTube or can you post whenever?
The answer might surprise you.
In general, it's best to post a YouTube video between 3 PM and 6 PM, but there are many nuances.
In this post, we'll explore further so you can pinpoint the optimal time to post for maximum engagement.
Let's dive in.
What is the Best Time to Post on YouTube in General?
According to a HubSpot Social Media Marketing report, the best time to post on YouTube is between 3 PM and 6 PM.
Other reports recommend a slightly different and tighter slot of 2 PM and 4 PM.
Weekends are also different, with many sources agreeing that early mornings between 9 AM and 11 AM are best for optimal engagement.
|Best time to upload on Youtube
|3 to 6 PM or 2 PM to 4 PM
|9 AM to 11 AM
In general, these are the best times because they fall outside of working hours, resulting in more users on the platform.
Therefore, posting between these times can attract early engagement and signal YouTube's algorithm to promote your video.
However, the time you post isn't as important as video quality, plus there are other factors that contribute to the overall success of your channel.
It's also important to consider the lifestyle and location of your intended audience to get the best results.
Pro tip: If you've got enough engagement, the “Best Time to Publish” feature in TubeBuddy will tell you when your audience is most active.
Doesn't it Depend on Where Your Audience is Located?
The times recommended in this post are in local time, so it's best to post according to where your target audience resides.
If your audience resides in a different time zone, you'll need to account for that.
For example, if the majority of your audience is located in New York and you're in the UK, then you'll want to post between 7 PM and 11 PM UK time, depending on the current time zone difference.
Furthermore, there is a waiting period where it can take up to a few hours for your upload to be indexed and seen by YouTube.
Other Things to Consider When Posting on YouTube
When identifying the best time to post on YouTube, there are other things you might want to consider.
These include things like the YouTube algorithm, your niche, and audience demographics. Let's explore these now.
YouTube's algorithm is similar to Google Search and requires some time to index new content. This differs from immediate platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.
For a video to reach its maximum visibility, it should be uploaded two to three hours before the peak viewing time.
That's because the algorithm needs to understand the video content before it can be shown to the right people.
So, if the best time to post a video is between 3 PM and 6 PM, then you'll want to experiment with uploading between 12 PM and 3 PM for maximum results.
Your Niche and Type of Content
In addition to timing, your content's niche plays a crucial role in determining the best time to post your YouTube videos.
For instance, educational content may perform better during the early afternoon when students are searching for study material.
On the other hand, entertainment or lifestyle content might see higher engagement during evening hours when viewers are unwinding.
Analyzing your channel's data and understanding your audience's behavior are key.
To get the best results, it's recommended you experiment with posting at different times on different days to see which works best for your niche and content type.
Also read: Best Format for YouTube Videos to Make Your Videos Stand Out Online.
Talking about audience behavior, the demographics of your audience can have a huge impact on when they're most active.
Knowing the age, location, and interests of your viewers can help fine-tune your posting time.
For example, if your audience is primarily teenagers, it might be beneficial to post when they're out of school. Whereas an older audience who are retired might prefer to watch your videos earlier in the day.
3 Reasons Why YouTube Post Time Matters
If you're not convinced already, here are a few reasons why it's important to post YouTube videos at the right time.
1. Audience Engagement
Audience engagement counts when people watch, like, or comment on your videos. This is what YouTube wants people to do, and it's a sign your channel is growing.
When posting during peak audience activity, there's a higher chance your audience will see it.
If you post when fewer people are active on YouTube, your video won't get the visibility it deserves.
2. Algorithm Optimization
Posting content at the right time can increase the chances for immediate interaction and engagement.
This can have a knock-on effect and signal to the YouTube algorithm that your video is valuable and should be recommended to other people.
When this happens, your video will show up more in people's home feeds as recommended videos and rank higher in searches.
3. Global Reach and Time Zones
Depending on who your audience is and where they're based, posting at specific times can help you reach a wider audience.
As YouTube's platform has global reach, it's possible to attract viewers from multiple time zones.
Therefore, posting at strategic times can result in a spike in views from around the world.
What is the Best Day to Post on YouTube?
Much data online suggests that Sundays are the best day to post on YouTube. The time of day ranges between 9 AM to 11 AM and 12 PM to 4 PM.
In general, however, posting from Thursday through to Sunday are all considered good days to post.
|Best days to post
|Best times to post
|3 to 6 PM
|3 to 6 PM
|9 AM to 11 AM
|9 AM to 11 AM or 12 PM to 4 PM
This is largely because most people are more available towards the end of the week and on weekends, so viewership is much higher.
Still, these are only general trends for the average YouTube channel and specific times for you may differ depending on your audience's viewing habits.
What Time of Day Should I Avoid Posting on YouTube?
By now, you should have a general idea of when the best time to post on YouTube is.
But when should you avoid posting on the video-sharing site?
Just like there are optimal times to post, there are certainly times that don't yield as much viewership.
Here are some time frames to avoid:
- Early mornings, particularly between 8 AM and 12 PM on weekdays, as most viewers will be focused on work or starting their day
- Late nights, especially after 10 PM, when YouTube users are likely heading to bed
Which Day Should I Avoid Posting on YouTube?
The worst days to post to YouTube are when people are more focused on work.
This tends to be early in the week, particularly on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, when people are less likely to be browsing YouTube.
|Best Days to Post
|Worst Days to Post
These trends may not apply universally as different audiences have different viewing habits or are available at unconventional times.
For more accurate times, it's best to take into account your channel's specific audience behavior.
Using YouTube analytics, you can identify when your subscribers are most active.
Using YouTube Analytics to Find Your Channel Posting Sweet Spot
Did you know that YouTube provides analytics to help you determine the best posting schedule for your specific channel and audience?
No more guessing when the best time or day of the week is to post content on YouTube.
The “When Your Viewers Are on YouTube” Graph
This graph is a valuable tool that reveals when your audience is on YouTube the most.
It's based on data that spans over the last 28 days, so you know the information it provides is recent and up to date.
To access this information, go to YouTube Studio, click on Analytics in the left-hand menu, and you'll see it under the Audience tab:
The purple lines get darker at the times and days your audience is more active and interacting with your content.
Alternatively, you can install the TubeBuddy extension for recommendations for the best upload times, as seen in the image above.
The only downfall is that you need sufficient engagement from your channel for this graph to show.
So, if your channel is new, a good strategy would be to post every day at the overall peak times for several weeks for this graph to gather the data it needs.
It might also be worth posting at different times to experiment, as this could provide you with more accurate data.
The “Realtime” Graph
Another useful tool is the Realtime graph. This bar graph shows how many views your channel has had each hour over the last 48 hours.
The benefit of this graph is that it's always available from the analytics overview screen. The downfall is that it only covers the last 48 hours.
Still, it's helpful to see when you're getting the most engagement at a glance.
To see more data over a longer date range, click on Advanced mode in the top right of the analytics screen.
From here, you can gather tons of insights on how your audience interacts with your channel and content.
Specifically, the date tab reveals some useful stats.
Learning how your audience interacts with your content is an excellent way to know when the best time to post on YouTube will be for you.
When is the Best Time to Post YouTube Shorts
A YouTube Short is quite different from the typical YouTube video and resembles an Instagram Story, TikTok post, and other social media posts.
In general, the best time to post these shorter videos is from 12 PM to 3 PM and 7 PM to 10 PM on weekdays.
Many brands report that posting on Monday and Tuesday gets a boost in engagement, which is quite different from normal videos.
So there you have it; the best time to post on YouTube, in general, is between 3 PM and 6 PM on weekdays and between 9 AM and 11 AM on weekends.
However, these are rough guidelines for the average YouTube channel. If you want to get really specific, it's highly recommended to look at your analytics to see when your audience is most active.
Remember, post timings are just a small piece of the puzzle to increase YouTube subscribers. Creating high-quality videos and posting regularly is essential for contributing to consistent growth.
Check out our info on the best time to post on Instagram or if you want to schedule your posts to take advantage of the best time to post on YouTube, take a look at our article on the best social media posting services.