Editor’s note: this post and the accompanying video originally appeared in a short-form blog post on January 26, 2016, published by Dana Fugate. We have since updated to combine this with another post from Nathan Veer, originally January 28th, 2016 and added more original content. We hope you enjoy this resource.
Marketers love data, it’s true. We embrace both the art and science of our roles, utilizing data and optimizing our efforts to drive demand for our businesses. When it comes to video, many of us are still exploring what it means to create and start a video marketing initiative. And of course, when putting budget into anything you’re going to want to build a business case for your investment. Let’s start strategizing. Video analytics are one of the most useful tools for digital marketers and communications professionals to determine the value of their campaigns. By using video’s deep analytics, we’re going to help you change the conversation from budget to ROI.
Ready to assess the success of existing video content and evolve your marketing strategies for the future?
Why Are Audiences Watching My Video? Play Rate
The question that plagues many a video marketer: “Are people watching my videos?” Are you wondering how often a viewer, given the opportunity to view a video, clicks “play”? This is a play rate. This number is calculated by dividing the views by the impressions. While it might seem simple, it’s actually quite telling. A landing page conversion would be a similar metric: your prospect is signing up to learn more. In this case however, a play button is wildly more attractive and less barrier-ridden than a form, right? Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re using the same vernacular.
_View - when presented with the opportunity to watch the video, the viewer actually clicked play.
Impression - the viewer visited the page where the video lives and had the opportunity to watch the video, but did not._
Video Analytics: Tips for Increasing Your Video Play Rate
Not thrilled with your play rate? Ask yourself:
- Is the still/thumbnail image I’m using interesting? Human faces, close ups, or high-action shots often perform best. Also consider using frames with copy to help jumpstart an understanding for your viewer as to what exactly this video is about. When crafting video content for social audiences watching on Facebook and Twitter, remember they’ll need not just an interesting thumbnail, but an interesting social video lead-in that catches their attention and keeps it.
- Is video content readily apparent on the page? You’d be flabbergasted by how many marketers “bury the lead,” or place video content as an afterthought at the bottom of the page. Consider a placement that best aligns with where you want a visitor’s focus. Utilize heat maps and speak to your web team about testing placement.
- Is the playing experience optimal? Are you allowing viewers to play the video inline on the page or forcing them to open it in an overlay? Aggregate customer metrics tell us that inline video typically performs better than videos embedded in a light box or overlay.
Do Video Viewers Like My Content? Video Engagement Score
Next let’s look at the engagement score. An engagement score is calculated by dividing a video into 100 equal segments (100%), and tracking how many people watched each of those segments. Reviewing this information gives insight to where viewers may have jumped ship before completing the video.
Video Analytics: Tips for Getting More Video Engagement
If your engagement score is lower than you’d like, ask yourself:
- How’s the content? Do analytics show a specific point in the video where people are dropping off? If so, look at your creative. Is there simply a lull in energy or informative content, or a seismic shift? Earlier this year one of our customer’s presented learnings at our annual user conference in which she identified a huge drop-off at about the 85% mark of her video. Upon reviewing content she realized there was a shift from a message about the potential customer, to a message about the company. This video content, which was very awareness and engagement driven, held the viewer’s attention when it was about them and their needs. When it became a soapbox for the brand, viewers stopped watching and didn’t make it to the CTA at the end. Our customer relaunched her content armed with this information and ultimately found her new video to be 93% more effective at delivering sales engagements than other visual content created for this campaign.
- Is the content of my video relevant to its host page? If the video content isn’t related to the page content, viewers will feel duped and bounce back, leaving your site. Remember marketers, it’s important to keep your (implied) promises.
- Is this the best place for a video? Consider the user experience when adding video content to your campaigns. Are you adding a video because it enhances the user experience or because you want richer content marketing data? Also, is the content a fit for the placement? Should a product video be shared socially on Facebook? Maybe not.
- Looking at a collection of video assets, which have performed exceptionally well? Can you create a template for success? Analyze these for trends you can capitalize on. Review video length, a specific talent on the screen, or a specific topic. Analyze these same elements when looking at a group of videos that have performed poorly. Don’t swear off anything, but look for commonalities in your video analytics - infer then, test.
Knowing what is and isn’t working with your videos allows you to evolve your video marketing and video communications strategy thoughtfully and with a focus in business-metrics. By reviewing metrics such as the number of views a video receives, the length of time people view, what they are consuming and where they drop off, marketers are able to revise their strategies and determine new best practices. But play rate and engagement rate aren’t the only metrics you can expect from a sophisticated video marketing platform. Advanced video analytics inform marketing automation campaigns, audience segmentation, and lead profiles. Video analytics, when integrated with a marketing automation platform, tell you:
- Impressions: How many times the video player loads for the visitor
- Total Views: How many times the viewer clicked play
- Play Rates: How many views happened per total impressions
- Device Types: Which devices your viewer is using
- Operating Systems: What operating system your viewer is using
- Referral Source: Where s/he was before coming to your site
Further reading: Marketing Automation + Video: How to Set Up a Campaign and Lead-Score Model
Video metrics can give you deep insight into viewer engagement in a way that other formats such as PDFs can’t possibly do. Marketers can move from intuition to informed decisions using video analytics to prove the business results of marketing campaigns. By tying video performance to these metrics and sharing impact on the business bottom line, video marketing transforms into an effective business tool for the C-suite. Are you making the business case for video marketing?