5 Ways to Measure Video Marketing: The Most Important Video Marketing Metrics

On Facebook, video and image content has the highest engagement of any post type.
Research by Eyeview Digital has found that video can increase landing page conversion rates by up to 86 percent.
A forecast and trends report from Cisco states that video will account for 82% of all IP traffic by 2022.
Cisco video report says video increasing

An exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes (Source, Cisco)

Clearly, video has the potential to be an important part of your marketing strategy.
It’s easier than ever to produce video content. Smartphones are a viable option for many small businesses, and more and more medium-sized businesses are turning to high quality video production.
But as you look into adding video to your marketing mix, you might find yourself with questions. How do you measure the success of video content?
It’s not always easy. At ActiveCampaign’s conference Activate, Unbounce founder Oli Gardner described a video measurement approach that takes some technical skills.

swatch 2

Oli Gardner’s talk at Activate. He walks through a unique way of measuring video content.

The wide variety of ways to use video, and the lack of standardized reporting across platforms, can make online video metrics challenging.
The metrics that matter will depend on how you use videos, on which platforms, and for which purpose. A metric like “subscribers” would be more relevant on YouTube than for a landing page on your website. If you’re running Facebook ads, clickthrough rate might be your most important KPI.

Questions to ask before measuring video performance

Because there are so many different uses for video marketing, it makes sense to take a step back and ask a few questions before you jump directly into measurement.
At the Google BrandLab, researchers have spoken to hundreds of marketers to uncover digital insights. Through their research, they developed four questions that are essential to ask when developing video marketing:

  • What is your primary marketing goal for this campaign?
  • What are the KPIs for that marketing goal?
  • What are the best video analytics to measure your KPIs?
  • How will you optimize for engagement?

By defining the goal and determining the metrics that are related to that goal specifically, you can avoid wasting time optimizing vanity metrics.
think with Google video metrics

The KPIs that Think with Google recommends to measure video (Source, Think with Google)

Of course, answering these questions also requires a sense of the most common ways to measure video marketing.
As you work on answering these questions, here are five ways to measure video marketing.
Here are 5 video marketing metrics you can use:

  1. View count
  2. Play rate
  3. Watch rate
  4. Clickthrough rate
  5. Conversion rate

1. View count

View count is the simplest number there is: how many times your video has been viewed.
Of all the video marketing metrics, view count is one of the most appealing because of how easy it is to measure. Different platforms sometimes count views differently—a YouTube view requires 30 seconds of watching, whereas a Facebook view is counted after 3 seconds—but all will give a single number that measures reach.
Total views is useful for an at-a-glance look at how popular your videos are. If your goal is to get your brand in front of as many people as possible, view count could be an important metric for you.
At the same time, views are not the be all and end all of videos.

YouTube lead magnets example
Speak English with Vanessa uses lead magnets to connect her views to the rest of her business

Your promotion efforts can skew views—are your most views video really more popular, or have you simply put more effort into promoting them?
And though a high view count means that more people are seeing your business, that may not matter if your conversion rate stays low.
Bottom line: views are an ok starting point for measuring video marketing. But for most goals, you’ll want to dig a little deeper.

2. Play rate

What is play rate? The definition of play rate is a bit tricky because it changes depending on which platform you use.
For a hosting platform like Wistia, play rate is the percentage of page visitors who start watching an embedded video.
For Google AdWords, on the other hand, play rate is the number of people who watch a video divided by total impressions (the number of people who saw it).
In either instance, play rate is a comparison of the number of people who watched your video compared to the number of people who had the opportunity to watch it.
Why is that helpful?
A low play rate may indicate that your video isn’t attracting as many viewers as it could be. If your play rate is low, look to make adjustments. To improve the play rate of a self-hosted video, for example:

  • Add a play button over the video thumbnail
  • Change the thumbnail to be more eye-catching
  • Move the video elsewhere on the page
  • Change the copy and headlines surrounding the video

Play rate is helpful because it helps you make adjustments to your video marketing. If you make adjustments and the play rate for your video stays low, it might make sense to use a different form of content to deliver information.
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3. Watch rate

What happens after someone hits play?
Watch rate is a measure of how much of your video people actually watch. Are people hitting play, only to hit pause before you reach the meat of your content? Watch rate gives you the answer.
If your watch rate and general video engagement are low, there may be fixes you can implement.
First, check the opening of your video. Are you grabbing attention right away? Videos that start with boring introductions before delivering the promised value are more likely to drive away viewers.
Second, check the length. Long videos can be effective—but only if the content warrants it. Research from Wistia shows that people are much more likely to finish watching shorter videos. If your videos are longer than they need to be, people are going to start leaving.
how much does video length matter

Source: Wistia

Third, notice at what points of your videos people stop watching. If most of your viewers start leaving around the 20 percent mark, there may be a content-related reason. Insert periodic “hooks” to keep viewers interested.

4. Clickthrough rate

Most relevant for videos distributed outside of your site, clickthrough rate is the percentage of viewers who click on your video’s call to action and visit another page.
If you’re posting video content to Facebook or using video content on YouTube to drive traffic back to your site, clickthrough rate may be your most important metric.
Vidyard clickthrough rate experiments

Vidyard did an experiment to improve their clickthrough rate. It involved testing different video thumbnails. (Source, Vidyard)

Clickthrough rate can be difficult with video, and is treated differently across platforms. Whereas YouTube offers multiple opportunities to add pop-up CTAs, Vimeo includes no option to include a clickable link whatsoever.
If you’re distributing video outside of your website, it may be worth creating a custom URL—so that you can track who is coming to your site after viewing the video,
If you’re looking to improve your clickthrough rate, check your calls to action. Are you promising clear value, to be delivered at the link you provide? Improving your CTA can improve clickthrough rate—as can explicitly calling out the desired action in the video itself.
And of course, the most reliable way to improve your clickthrough rate is to produce high quality video content that leaves viewers wanting to hear more.

5. Conversion rate

Conversion rate is the final, and arguably most important, video marketing metric.
What percentage of video viewers are becoming customers? That’s your conversion rate.

a model for direct attribution of content

How many customers are you getting out of your viewers? (Source, Grow and Convert)

Conversion rate is sometimes difficult to measure, and whether or not you measure it will depend on the purpose of your video marketing campaign.
Still, when you include a video on a landing page, A/B testing can help you discover whether or not it improves your conversion rates.
When you use videos in Facebook ads or sponsored posts, conversion rate is a crucial metric to discover how much it costs to acquire new customers.
How you optimize conversion rate with videos depends heavily on your product and industry.

  • If you’re a B2B marketer, a video overview of your company and services could be a quick and valuable way to deliver background information to potential clients.
  • If you run an ecommerce store, or an online business that sells information products, product videos may be able to boost your sales.
  • If you bring in business through Facebook ads, Facebook’s analytics can provide information to help you optimize your customer acquisition costs.

How you use and measure video marketing can vary.
But no matter how you use video in your marketing mix, understanding video marketing metrics can help you improve performance—and get the best results for your business.

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