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Interactive Video: Calculating ROI

Interactive Video: Calculating ROI

This week, Brightcove and Demand Metric released a first-of-its kind Interactive Video Benchmarking Study which is filled with helpful, actionable research about the value of interactive video for marketers. One of the more interesting points is that despite marketers reporting amazingly high levels of effectiveness and satisfaction using interactive video, they still struggle to answer the simple question: What is the ROI of Interactive Video?

Unanswered, this question is a significant roadblock that could derail the greater adoption of interactive video. However, the answer is actually quite simple - and we’ll show you how to calculate this ROI with a few specific examples from our customers who are the early adopters.

First, let’s summarize the benchmarking study’s key findings. Interactive Video...

  1. ...has entered the mainstream. 32% of the survey population is already using or beginning to use the technology.
  2. owned by Creative Marketers. 60% are Marketing Managers / Execs,  Creative Directors, Content Managers / Execs, or Video Editors.
  3. ...has significant buy-in from early adopters. The average annual spend is $30k - $40k annually.

And buried inside the report is the final, and we think most important, key finding:

  1. The more you use Interactive Video, the more you find applications and benefits for it. Look at page 21 of the report. 68% of people who use interactive video see the importance as growing. 2% see it as shrinking. That’s rare for a new technology.

The Measurement Problem

OK. So people who use interactive video in their marketing love it. They want more. There are clear benefits and activities. So calculating the ROI should be easy, right?

Here’s the  measurement problem. Right now, what stats do you normally track for your videos? Number of views? Average view time?

These metrics are not meaningful when using video for marketing.

This lack of measurement and accountability is the core frustration that we hear from our  customers over and over again. The CEO of one of our early customers said it best. “I’ve had a vision of the HapYak platform for 20 years. I’ve been looking for something that lets video transcend its own limitations."


At HapYak, we notice a different focus on video analytics from our customers. They treat video like the rest of the web. They:

  • track click-through-rate (CTR) from a video to a landing page

  • track submission rate to in-video polls and surveys

  • track the true engagement of individual leads and prospects (including dwell time and rewatches of specific sections)

  • track direct answers to questions (at a user and audience level)

  • track viewer navigation rate to specific sections of the video (“Oh, interesting. This prospect watched the benefits and pricing section of the video twice.”)

That’s the power of the medium of interactive video. Behind each interaction is a data point and each data point feeds a system of intelligence that lets you track leads, prospects and customers like never before.  

Lead Qualification: Top-of-the-Funnel Video

One of our most engaged Enterprise customers is a large multinational bank that specializes in online trading across global financial markets. Their customers are traders, and the bank needs to educate them to ensure they get the most out of their offerings. So they recently launched their new Academy where video enhanced with interactivity is a core component.

And because each viewer is signed in and tracked, they know which Chapters they watch and if they are engaging in the right content. Those that reach a certain engagement threshold can move down the funnel. They are now an educated lead.

As these customers evolve their Marketing Strategy they view which chapters are most interesting to their audience as a whole and tailor future content to those needs.

Planned Applications of Interactive Video

This early adopter’s application is not uncommon. Looking back at the report you see that the top four current or planned activities of interactive video are all fundamental to a sales and marketing strategy.


But where does it make the most sense to use it? In the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel?

Lead Intelligence: Middle of the Funnel Video

Another Enterprise customer of ours develops real-world research to help businesses get better use out of sales and marketing technology and resources, including Internet marketing, website optimization, lead generation, and nurturing.

Four years ago, they focused on disseminating their research through video. They built a studio. They hired video professionals. But something was missing: A way to track their success.

Luke, the Senior Manager for Multimedia Production, put it plainly. “We know in our core that video is effective but we have no way to prove it.”

So they decided to create interactive videos with in-video surveys and to focus on Submission Rate of those questions as the core metric for video success.

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Those who use in-video surveys and quizzes develop clever ways to subtly introduce them into their videos. And then they use the specific answers to nurture leads through marketing automation.

Because they have a wealth of data to value a qualified lead, they can finally connect the activity of a video viewer to established marketing metrics. Goodbye number of views. Hello number of qualified leads.

And according to Luke, the use cases for interactive video are expanding down and through the funnel. “Marketing, sales and training will all be using it.”

Bringing Video Further Down The Funnel

Moving video down in the funnel was an interesting trend revealed in the Demand Metric report.

When you look at the benefits of interactive video, the more companies use the technology, the more the benefits are focused further down the funnel.

And of course, the further you go down the funnel, the easier it is to quantify the success.

What’s the value of a qualified lead to you? A demo with your sales team? A new customer?

Calculating ROI

So let’s bring it back to you. How can you calculate the ROI of your interactive video rollout? Start with these two steps:

  1. Define the two or three most important pieces of information that indicate a qualified lead.

  2. Use interactive video as a tool to extract that information  


  1. Place a Chapter Menu on your video. Track when specific viewers navigate to the two or three chapters that indicate strong interest.

  2. Subtly place a survey in the video that directly asks for this info.

  3. Place a clickable CTA on the video that allows the lead to download a white paper, view a landing page, or fill out a form.

Rather than measure that 1000 people watched the video, focus on the 117 people whose interaction and engagement revealed them to be a qualified lead. That is, how many clicks? How many downloads? How many people took the next step down the funnel?

The Clarity of Benchmarks

At HapYak we serve more interactive video than anyone but YouTube - with 425 million interactive video data points tracked this year alone.

We’ve begun to dig into this data and reveal simple benchmarks you can use to estimate and calculate ROI. These initial Benchmarks are taken from 13 million interactive video views.

We use these benchmarks internally to estimate the number of leads and qualified leads we’ll generate per 1000 views.

1000 views * 62% Submission Rate * 5.5 Qualified Leads per 100 Submissions = 34 Qualified Leads.

These Qualified Leads activate the sales cycle. We alert the inside sales team when leads have indicated strong interest from the video and push these qualified leads into our CRM, Salesforce.

Properly integrating this technique with Marketing Automation and Email Marketing systems results in a steady stream of qualified leads for a predictable price.

It’s important to note that these are early days when it comes to interactive video benchmarks. Specific CTR, Submission, and Navigation Rates will emerge for each type of video - top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.

We’ll be refining our benchmarks with this in mind and will be sharing these values publicly to help us all determine the ROI of interactive video.