The efficacy of using videos in online marketing has long been known to digital marketers. Video content has come to dominate the web and, with it, the nature and focus of many a big brand’s marketing strategy. The power of video to increase the reach of businesses, build brand identity, boost social followings and secure valuable new leads is becoming plain to all and sundry.
Yet, despite this universal acclaim for video (something that can be seen through rising budget spend on video), there is still a huge amount of confusion as to exactly how it is helping businesses achieve their aims. Perhaps a lot of the confusion comes down to the slippery and often misleading nature of video marketing data and with it a difficulty in pinning down a reliable idea of ROI.
In this article for Search Engine People, I want to look at ten video marketing metrics and how they can be used to establish ROI. First though, let’s take a look at the importance of goal setting.
A Quick Note On The Importance Of Goal Setting
It should go without saying that video virality isn’t guaranteed, whatever your strategy. This is why it’s so important to set clear, realistic and attainable goals from the outset, will form the foundation of every solid video marketing campaign. Ensuring you have a thorough understanding of precisely what you want to achieve, balanced with realistic expectations, will help you to nurture a video marketing campaign that will flourish.
The success of any video is always related to what it is trying to achieve and not every video will be trying to achieve the same thing, depending on where it sits in the help, hub, hero content spectrum. Measuring the success of a low budget how-to video on your YouTube Channel will be very different from your latest television commercial or brand film, most notably because the production costs are far smaller and more tied into a longer term strategy of building brand awareness and advocacy over time, something that is notoriously harder to quantify.
1. Search Rankings
Monitoring how well your content is ranking for key search terms should always be one of your top priorities, especially if your video content aims to help your target audience resolve a specific issue or query.
As well as ensuring your content is being seen by the right people, ranking highly will help to increase your reach and boost a variety of other key metrics that will yield important data for further enhancing and altering your digital strategy.
Although arguably the easiest metric to measure, it’s important not to automatically equate a high view count with success.
Your view count will provide you with a good understanding of how much traction your video has achieved, but it doesn’t mean people are watching your videos to the end for example, or acting on your CTA.
Don’t let great viewing figures distract you from delving into some of the other metrics that will provide you with additional information and context.
3. Play Rate
Providing your view count with a deeper context, this subset of data will tell you what percentage of your visitors are actually clicking the play button and engaging with your video content.
Understanding these figures is key for ensuring your videos are well-positioned on your website as, if this figure is lower than expected, you will be able to efficiently ascertain whether additional attention to placement is required.
4. Watch Time
A key metric for tracking engagement, these figures will tell you exactly how much time your viewers are spending watching your video content.
This metric will be displayed as a percentage and, generally speaking, the higher the percentage, the more successful you have been at engaging and interesting your audience.
Conversely, if you discover that your viewers aren’t finding your content engaging, closely reviewing both format and length is important, especially if your call to action is positioned at the end.
Establishing a strong subscriber base will be a key contributor to the success of your regularly produced hub and hero content.
Expanding your subscriber base will help you to increase your reach, but it will also provide you with important data that you can analyse to ascertain the demographics of your existing audience.
From here, you can look at whether your video content is attracting people from your target audience, or whether your approach needs adjusting in order to do so.
6. Social Shares
Monitoring your social shares will give you a good idea of how well your audience is engaging with your videos on social media.
If you’re making videos specifically for social media then this is obviously a very important metric.
Alongside increasing your reach, views, and subscribers, the knowledge you will gain about the types of content your target audience wants to share with their friends and followers on social media should form a key part of your video content strategy moving forwards.
Video is an extremely sharable type of content which means other people are more likely to link to it.
Although video isn’t necessarily the best method for building lots of backlinks, keeping an eye on this metric will help you assess how your video content is playing into your SEO strategy.
SEO metrics are often far more tangible in terms of ROI, as rankings increases ultimately lead to more onsite traffic which can be closely assessed through Google Analytics.
It’s also worth noting that more backlinks to your videos mean higher rankings in Google and, more importantly, YouTube, meaning more views and more exposure.
8. Click Through Rate (CTR)
This data will provide you with a clear indication of how persuasive your video content is at encouraging viewers to follow your calls to action.
If you want your audience to click through to a specific page on your website for further information, sign up to your mailing list or follow you on social platforms, it’s important to understand what percentage of your audience is following through and how you can improve these figures to achieve your goals.
9. A/B Testing
Although not easy to track directly through video sharing platforms, A/B testing is an extremely useful technique to assess video efficacy on your own website or within your email marketing newsletters.
Monitoring conversion rates or click through rate over set periods of time, across two different approaches, will clearly tell you which are providing you with the best results and which to ditch.
10. New Leads
The golden ticket of all marketing data; keeping a close eye on your lead generation and sales figures will always give you the most comprehensive understanding of the levels of ROI your video campaigns are achieving.
The trouble of course is that new leads generated from individual videos can be difficult to measure when you have multiple campaigns and tactics playing out across multiple platforms.
A lift in leads and sales figures are the most important indicator of good ROI however and so must always be closely monitored following the launch of a key video campaign.
Adjusting Your Video Strategy To Boost Roi
Digital marketing is in a constant state of flux, with video marketers needing to adjust their approaches to account for changeable audience expectations, variable conditions of the marketing landscape, and seasonal changes and trends.
As with any marketing strategy, accurately measuring ROI is important to help ensure you are consistently investing time, energy and resources into the areas that will yield the most positive results. This means regularly and accurately reviewing your data to ensure your tactics and campaigns are working and then acting accordingly if they aren’t.
Is your content reaching your target audience? Are your viewers are engaging with your videos in the ways you expected? Are your calls to action are working effectively? These are the questions you need your video data to be answering with as much accuracy as possible.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com