Do Video Views Matter? CMOs Weigh In On The Video Marketing Metrics That Count

AARP, Tough Mudder, and share their methods for measuring video advertising success.


What’s a video view worth these days? YouTube says 30-seconds, but Facebook counts a video view at the three-second mark.

Just last month, the Media Rating Council and IAB both defined a video ad as viewable as long as 50 percent of an ad’s pixels are visible for a minimum of two-seconds. 

But, do any of these metrics matter if a video fails to achieve true engagement with the viewer?

“Our consumers are increasingly viewing videos across their screen of choice, so we’re always looking for effective ways to engage with them during that experience,” says Taco Bell’s VP of media and sponsorships Juliet Corsinita.

According to Corsinita, the industry is still in the early days in the scope of media available to brands, and the guidelines for video measurement standards are continuing to evolve.

To get a true “view” of the marketing metrics that matter, we asked four top brands how they measure the success of their video efforts. AARP, Tough Mudder, and have all achieved substantial results with their video marketing efforts – today they share the insights that helped them get there.

Tammy Gordon, VP of AARP Studios

“Historically, AARP was very YouTube-centric, but we have recently shifted additional focus to Facebook video because baby boomer and Gen X audiences are heavy Facebook users – especially on mobile,” says AARP’s Tammy Gordon, “Facebook video is a great match for AARP because it allows us to publish frequent, lightweight, short-form stories that deliver value across our areas of interest.”

Gordon says YouTube remains an important part of AARP’s video strategy, but the company sees the platform as more of a search engine versus a social network.

“If someone is specifically searching for a topic, they will be more patient when viewing YouTube videos, resulting in consistently higher watch times compared to Facebook,” said Gordon. When asked about video view metrics, Gordon said her team is more interested view-duration, tracking the percentage watched in relation to the full length of a video.

“This allows us to identify where viewers are dropping off, and use those insights to inform the development of future videos,” said Gordon. In addition to view duration, AARP tracks video shares and reach.

We closely monitor comments to better understand our community’s reaction to the topics we’re covering.

“Beyond quantitative metrics, we closely monitor comments to better understand our community’s reaction to the topics we’re covering.”

Gordon notes a recent short video AARP produced on the topic of hearing loss.

“While the 250,000+ views were awesome,” said Gordon, “The more insightful metric was the 150+ comments from people who personally experienced hearing loss or shared stories about how hearing loss has impacted relationships with their family.”

Jerome Hiquet, Tough Mudder CMO

Tough Mudder CMO Jerome Hiquet says YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are the most valuable channels for Tough Mudder’s video marketing efforts. His team has found followers on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are more engaged, and more likely to share on their own channels or tag friends.

“We also use Twitter to push out some of our video content, such as ones we share on YouTube,” said Hiquet, “Which is great to increase reach and engagement.”

He said his team has recently started using SnapChat as well.

Hiquet reports 30 percent of their viewers engage with Tough Mudder’s Facebook videos for around 30-seconds, with many videos earning even longer viewing duration periods on the social network.

“Our YouTube engagement rates show that viewers engage for about 50-60% of the video’s length,” said Hiquet, “It’s important for us to push out content that’s engaging from beginning to end; we create content that reflects this goal, and we often see viewers stay engaged until the very last second.”

When asked about video metrics, Hiquet says video views alone should not be the main KPI to gauge video marketing efforts.

Video views alone should not be the main KPI to gauge video marketing efforts.

“Ultimately, your conversion and click-through-rates are very telling in terms of how your videos are performing,” said Hiquet, “We don’t want consumers to view a video and close their screens; we want them to spend time engaging with our websites and social channels, sharing our videos within their network, and, then, ultimately, purchasing tickets to participate in an upcoming event.”

Hiquet says his brand tracks different metrics based on a video’s objective.

“Our awareness measurement framework is driven by a Brand Lift Survey and/or Search Lift Survey,” said Hiquet, “For engagement, few metrics are more valuable for us than total views and completion rates. It’s important to use view and completion rates to optimize your content strategy to gauge what is and is not working.”

In addition to total views and completion rates, Hiquet also notes the importance of using CTAs to measure a video’s performance.

“Whether that CTA is signing up to receive e-newsletters, tagging a friend in a video, registering for a Tough Mudder, or sharing on social, a CTA is a good indicator of how well your video is performing and whether you’re hitting the engagement rates and KPIs you’re aiming for.”

Hiquet notes how consumption rates have shifted dramatically in recent years, with consumers spending less time on branded content than they did five years ago.

“People also tend to view content on mobile more than desktop,” says Hiquet, “So it’s important that your video content is created with a mobile consumer in mind.”

Hiquet says his brand posts videos approximately six to eight times per month so as not to inundate followers with too much content. This year, the brand’s “Finish Strong” video series generated more than 1.3 million aggregate views.

“Baby Mudder was a huge hit in terms of reach and engagement,” said Hiquet. The video – created as an April Fool’s joke for the brand – earned more than a million views on Facebook, with over 15,000 likes and more than 40,000 views on YouTube.

“We even had people asking how to register their babies for this,” said Hiquet.

Omer Shai, CMO

This year, took its video marketing efforts to a whole new level with its first-ever appearance as a Super Bowl advertiser. In addition to the brand’s Super Bowl ad, released a series of teaser video ads on YouTube more than a month out from game night.

CMO Omer Shai says his brand focuses its video marketing efforts on YouTube and Facebook, and that recorded views are not the only KPI uses to evaluate the performance of its video campaigns.

“We look into all available metrics, from views, percent retention, clicks to the engagement metrics – like comments and shares – but, we developed additional KPIs that are based on our data,” said Shai.

Shai said his team has created an evaluation model for its video marketing efforts that utilizes additional data sets on top of the metrics provided by social networks.

Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing

Home improvement site says most of its videos live on YouTube, but the brand also leverages Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to distribute video content.

“At Porch we believe whole-heartedly in the future of content being interactive, and video is key to our strategy,” said vice president of marketing Joanna Lord, “We have an in house videography team to demonstrate this commitment. Currently we push out a range of videos – from culture, to content marketing, to educational, to testimonials and case studies.” is also developing branded Vine videos.

“We have a great deal planned as we continue to expand our micro content strategy,” said Lord, “Video marketing is just gearing up and we’re excited to try new platforms as they open.”

She says is constantly tweaking and testing its strategy. According to Lord, video is really about brand awareness, engagement and links for

Video is really about brand awareness, engagement and links.

“We believe in building community and viewership both on and off, so it’s most important to us to understand how viewers bounce back and forth between platforms and how their engagement changes based on platform layout.” relies on cross-promotional activity with brand partners and syndication distribution for much of its video marketing strategy.

“When we see a big publisher pick up our videos and share them, linking back to Porch, we weight that heavily,” said Lord, “We also want our viewers to love our videos. We pay attention to whether they complete, re-watch, or share our videos. Did we deliver something they really enjoyed?”

Porch is another brand that pays close attention to what viewers are saying about its videos.

“I do believe, in addition to the more typical video marketing metrics, it’s important to pay attention to true reactions,” said Lord, “How does your audience feel about your videos? We pay attention to what content topics really drive peak responses of delight. We take that into account when planning our next quarter’s video content.”

One video that generated a lot of buzz with nearly 400,000 views was its “4 Ways to Clean with WD-40.”

Lord said Good Housekeeping picked it up, helping the video earn hundreds of shares, “Our goal with video is to leave our audience thinking that was great, I gotta share this.

Curious how YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine measure a video view? Check-out our rundown at: What’s A Video View? On Facebook, Only 3 Seconds Vs. 30 At YouTube.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

(Some images used under license from


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