Measuring the success of your marketing efforts is always a challenge. Video marketing can give particular difficulty simply because a lot of your video marketing efforts are at the top of the funnel, attempting to inform, educate, and entertain your target audience. At the same time, video marketing is used to improve SEO by 31% of marketers. So, video should be part of your overall content strategy.
This means that coming up with the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your video marketing success takes some work. So, how should you measure the performance of your video marketing strategy?
Understand Video Marketing
To start with, you need to understand how video works as a marketing strategy. Your video content may take the form of advertisements, webinars, product demonstrations, and more. However, it’s important to have an overall video marketing strategy to tie all of these together and keep them “in tune” with the rest of your marketing.
So, what purpose do various types of video content serve?
Video advertisements may be embedded in your website or somebody else’s, or they may be purchased slots on a streaming platform or even more traditional television. For example, you may pay for preroll or post-roll advertising slots on YouTube. Advertisements are often the easiest to track as you can count the click-through rate and then use a special landing page to track the conversion rate, just as with text and banner ads. They may be designed for brand awareness or to sell a specific product or service.
Educational content can be public-facing (often on YouTube or a similar platform) or gatekept content that might be behind a paywall. It includes product demonstrations, tutorials, and webinars.
The return on investment on public-facing educational content is more indirect. Much like content marketing, these types of videos aren’t there to directly sell a product to the audience, but rather to set your brand up as an expert. Webinars may also be monetized directly by selling them, but these no longer fall under the umbrella of marketing.
These are posted directly to social media channels as part of a social media strategy. Tiktok is a platform specifically designed for videos, but you can also post videos to Facebook, Instagram, etc. These videos tend to be short and sweet and are designed to get the attention of your audience. You might also take a YouTube video and share it to your social media platforms.
Videos are shared more often than static content on social networks, including ones that are not video focused, such as LinkedIn. This can encourage people to go to your page, and you can often track this impact by looking at how many times a video is shared. A viral video can be shared thousands of times but there is no guarantee that those shares will turn into sales. You have to be ready to leverage virality and that can be a challenge of timing.
These types of videos are all important parts of your marketing strategy. There is a lot of overlap between advertisements and social videos, but the primary difference is that video ads are something you pay to place on a platform or somebody else’s website, while social videos are meant to be shared organically across platforms. Essentially they trick your audience into advertising for you.
Advertisements tend to be more reliable, however. Educational content is much like your blog. All three should work together to improve your digital marketing.
Video Marketing KPIs
So, how do you measure the success of your video? There are a number of metrics, and each of them are more or less useful for a specific type of content.
Here are some metrics you can use to develop the KPIs for your video strategy:
This is the number of people who leave your video at a specific point. This can tell you which parts of a longer video are more or less interesting, which can drive further content decisions. You can also pay attention to re-watch statistics, which show when viewers stop and rewind your video, which can indicate particular interest in a segment. You should check comments and engagement though, to ensure that re-watch statistics are not reflecting audience confusion and the need to listen to something twice to understand it.
Average Watch Time
This is how long the average visitor spends watching your video. It tells you when they got bored and clicked away.
A low average watch time shows that your content is not interesting to your audience. A higher average watch time shows the opposite. The closer it is to the length of the video, the more people are watching it all the way through. This is a less useful metric for social media videos as they tend to be very short, but is valuable for webinars. It is also called average view duration.
Average percentage viewed is a similar metric, but it measures the time not by absolute time but by how much of the video they watched before they paused or clicked away.
This is the same as bounce rate on websites. It’s the number of people who click away from your video quickly. A high bounce rate may show that people are uninterested in your content. On embedded videos it might also indicate that you have not positioned the video well and created a poor user experience.
Bounce rate can also indicate a low quality video. A sudden increase in bounce rate in a short period of time can be a sign that your video is buffering or not loading correctly due to a technical problem.
Impression Click-Through Rate
This is the number of people who click on your video when it is embedded in a website or shared through social media. It shows how interesting your topic is, but does not necessarily reflect the quality of the video itself.
In fact, if you have a high impression click-through rate but a low average watch time, it might indicate that your thumbnail and description are giving viewers the wrong idea. Bounce rate ties into this. It is very important to make sure that your video descriptions are accurate.
Number of Times Viewed
This is the number of times your video has been viewed, that is to say impressions. This includes individuals who may have viewed your video multiple times.
Number of Viewers
This is straightforward. It is the number of people who have viewed your video. This is the same as unique users. It shows how much reach your video has, however it tells you nothing about the quality of your audience. View count alone says more about distribution than whether you have solid leads. However, it is useful for video ads.
Views Per Unique Viewer
Views per unique viewer or unique user is how many times a specific person views your video. If your video is particularly interesting or useful, people may come back to it over and over again. This is useful for tutorials, where people might want to refer back to them and where getting repeat views shows that the video is useful.
If a platform allows comments on videos then you can use these to measure engagement with the video and get direct feedback.
Chat during live video can be used in the same way, and you can also pay attention to questions being asked by the audience.
This is the total amount of time all viewers have spent watching your video. The higher the watch time the better, although the average watch time is often a better indicator of interest in your video overall.
All of these should be considered to some degree. You should also look at the keywords people are using. For subscription-based videos, obviously, subscriber growth is a good measure of success.
How to Set the Right KPIs
Using these metrics can help you determine what KPIs you should set. The first thing to bear in mind is, as always, your marketing goals.
Your video marketing campaign may have a specific goal or more than one. The KPIs for an advertising campaign are very different from those for tutorials aimed at people who already own your product.
On the advertising campaign, you may have a multi-channel campaign that includes videos and your goals are typically going to relate to click-through rate and watch time. With advertisements, you may be able to measure actual conversions directly from the video.
With tutorials this is not possible, so your goal is to ensure that they appear useful and will help with customer retention. This means looking at metrics such as video engagement and views per unique viewer. The most important metric is likely to be customer feedback as to whether the tutorials are useful.
With live video then your goal is typically to get the right audience, which is not necessarily the largest one. You need to consider viewer demographics, but a key measure is a simple one: How many people watch the entire video. If people are leaving halfway through, then your live videos are likely to be boring.
It’s easy to get into the weeds when measuring video performance.
One trap that you can fall into is that if you are using a platform, such as YouTube, you may think that the metrics they have available are the ones you should be using. This can cause you to miss important KPIs.
Here’s an example for a product demonstration video. This video is intended for an audience that is intrigued with your product but not yet made the decision to buy.
The metrics you probably want to measure are:
- Impression click-through rate – this tells you how many people are curious enough about your product to load the video
- Average watch time – this tells you whether the people who click on the video are actually watching it. A low average watch time means you should look at how the video is presented to ensure it is not deceptive.
- Number of viewers – this tells you how many people are actually watching the video
- Views per unique user – this tells you how many times people watch the video
Your goal should be to improve average watch time. Assuming you also have a buy link at the end of the video, you can measure how many people click on the link and then how many people buy the product. Send people to a unique landing page so you can measure this properly.
However, your KPI should focus on watch time and number of viewers not conversions. Many people will watch a video several times before deciding to buy the product. They may also watch the video and then buy the product later. These metrics, thus, tell you more about the performance of the actual video.
You should also make sure that your marketing channels work together properly.
How to Get Videos That Perform
Making sure your videos perform starts with good videos that are hosted properly. While YouTube is great for short content and social videos, a full service video platform generally improves the quality of your videos and allows you control over how they are hosted.
“Public” video platforms can demonetize your videos or even take them down at any time. Using a video platform you control and focusing on good video production values will increase all of your video’s metrics. You can also use these platforms for internal or subscriber-only content.
Using a white glove platform like JWPlayer gives you more control over your videos and helps you measure the specific analytics you need, not the ones a public platform may provide. You can easily embed videos in your website, improving time on page and attracting the attention of viewers.