You made the wise choice to incorporate video into your marketing strategy. You zeroed in on a specific goal, decided what type of video would work best to achieve it and worked with professionals to bring your vision to life. Finally, and with great excitement, you put your video out there for the world to see. So…how’s it going? As with any marketing effort, the only true way to ensure your video is doing its job is by tracking its performance—and that starts with understanding video metrics. Once you get a handle on how and why these analytics work, you can begin to optimize your projects to hit your desired mark.
From major corporations to kids, everyone naturally wants the views. After all, doesn’t a high number indicate a popular video? It might, but there’s a lot more to gauging successful performance than perceived popularity. For one thing, it’s important to consider the platform; a video of any length that has rolled for 30 seconds counts as a view on YouTube, and a Facebook video requires just 3 seconds to count. There’s also the matter of auto play, which may count a video that’s playing as a user scrolls through their newsfeed or a web page.
Still, this measure, which some consider a “vanity metric,” does have its value. When widespread visibility is the main goal, such as with general brand awareness, you can certainly celebrate a high score here. Paid promotions and multi-channel distribution can help give view count a boost when it matters.
Here’s where the metrics get a little meatier. Critical for embedded videos—that is, videos hosted on a platform such as YouTube but accessible on your website—play rate refers to the percentage of people who actually click play, relative to the number who simply access the web page or open the eblast. Unlike technical view count, a good play rate indicates a video has captured the user’s initial interest, at least enough to see what it has to say. Set up your video for success with an interesting thumbnail visual (never a default one!), effective page positioning and engaging introductory copy.
As any social media user knows, likes and positive comments are a good thing. But more than simply nice to see, these responses to your marketing video show that it’s resonating with the audience you want to reach. Sharing is even better; as HubSpot notes in its video marketing guide: “If a viewer watches your video and takes the time to share it with their network, you probably created a great piece of content”—and will see your view count rise, to boot. When it comes to getting more shares, one of the most effective strategies for any desired action applies: just ask!
Maybe a viewer has seen your posted video, and maybe they’ve even proceeded to click play—but will they stick around? In general terms, audience retention refers to how long a video holds your viewer’s interest. Fully analyzing this metric involves:
- Average watch time – the total amount of time a video has been watched divided by the number of video plays
- Completion rate – the number of times a video has been viewed in its entirety, divided by the number of video plays
- Key moment measurement – a YouTube Studio feature that tracks where viewers are stopping a video, as well as skipping parts and rewatching
Audience retention tools are extremely useful in determining the overall effectiveness of your video, including both its content and length.
Click-Through Rate and Conversions
For most marketing videos, this final metric combo is what it’s all about. It shows how well your video has motivated your audience to take the next step—and, hopefully, all the ones that follow.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) is most critical when your video includes a clear call-to-action (CTA), such as to learn more about a service, sign up for a program or request an appointment. The CTR is the number of times users click your CTA link, divided by the video view count. If once they land on the page, the user actually takes the desired action, that’s a conversion—the ultimate measure of success.
In cooperation with our agency partner, Market Mentors, we’re here to help you meet your business objectives through consumers’ favorite form of media: video. Contact us to get started—and discover just how far you can go.