Measuring the success of your video seems pretty straightforward — most marketers think a viral video is a successful video, meaning the more views your video gets, the better. But if your only benchmark for your video’s success is a high view count, you’re likely to be disappointed.
That’s because you shouldn’t rely on view count alone to determine whether your video is doing its job! While tons of views are never a bad thing, view count is often considered a vanity metric — a metric that looks good on paper, but doesn’t actually correlate to profitability or return on investment (ROI).
So, how do you which metrics you should measure to actually know whether your video is a success? Well, that all depends on your overall marketing goals.
Matching Your Video Goals to the Right KPIs
Before you created your video, you created a video strategy. This is where you outlined not only your creative video ideas, but your overall video goals. You decided what stage of the video marketing funnel your audience was in and planned your efforts for optimal results.
Knowing what your goals are means you can pick the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure.
If your goal is to attract new users, your target audience is in the awareness stage. They’re still learning about the problem they face and they’re being introduced to your brand. They’re researching, they’re thinking about their options, and they’re unsure whether or not they need any help. This is the most top-of-funnel stage, so you want to reach the broadest audience possible.
In this stage, focus on measuring:
Views: Views are defined differently based on publisher. A view on YouTube counts as watching a video until the 30-second mark. On Facebook and Instagram, it’s until the three-second mark. Whatever video host you use, be sure your view count is clearly defined and consistent.
Impressions: Impressions are usually counted after the first frame of a video is played. Though not the best measure of engagement, impression count can give you a good idea of how many people your brand or product has been introduced to.
Unique users: This is the number of distinct people who see your video. The same person may watch your video more than once, but they’re only counted once. This gives you a good idea of how many individuals are watching your video and how many are watching it multiple times.
Awareness lift: This number is an estimate based on consumer research of how many people remember your brand after a certain number of days. After you launch your video, you should see a lift in how many people remember your brand or product.
Ad recall lift: This number is an estimate based on consumer research of how many people remember your video ad after a certain number of days (for instance, two days on Facebook.) Studies show the longer a video is watched, the higher the ad recall lift.
If your goal is to engage potential customers, your target audience is likely in the consideration stage. They’ve interacted with your brand in some capacity and are aware of their problem; now, they’re forming opinions, reading reviews, and asking for recommendations. In this stage, you want to make sure your video engages them and peaks their interest. You’re looking past basic interaction metrics, like views and impressions, and measuring how interested the viewer actually is in your brand.
In this stage, focus on measuring:
View-through rate: This is your total view count divided by your number of impressions. It tells you how many people are not only starting your video, but watching it through entirely. Your VTR will be the percentage of people actively interested in your video.
Watch time: Watch time is the total amount of time your video has been watched. It adds up minutes cumulatively, and video hosts like YouTube prioritize videos with higher watch times. Also pay attention to average view duration, which gives you a viewer average of time spent watching your video. The higher both these numbers are, the more engaging your video is.
Favorability lift: This number is an estimate based on consumer research measuring whether people see your brand more favorably or positively after watching your video. Though watch metrics typically measure behavior, this number is usually reached through inferences based on video ad experience and perception surveys.
Consideration lift: This is an estimate based on consumer research of the increase in conversion likelihood after watching your video ad. This is a crucial metric for understanding the effect of your video. If it increases consideration lift, your brand video is likely increasing sales.
Brand interest lift: This is an estimate based on consumer research of the increase in, quite literally, brand interest. It can be measured via direct questionnaire, increase in brand interaction, or increase in brand-related search queries.
If your goal is to nurture your prospects, your target audience is in the decision stage. They’re close to making a purchase and you need to make sure your video helps close the sale. Here, it’s important to track sales-related metrics that show user interest in your brand is high. Your focus should be on providing value and making sure your brand remains top of mind. Highlight your product’s unique benefits and help the viewer visualize themselves using your product or service.
In this stage, focus on measuring:
Clicks: This measures how many times people click on an element in your video, usually taking them to an external link like your website or product page. The longer a viewer watches your video, the more engaged they are with the content and the more likely they are to click.
Calls: Calls are defined by how many people call your company after watching your video. Whether you use dynamic call tracking, or you track cookies on your viewer’s mobile phones, a high percentage of calls show a high level of interest.
Signups: Signups show viewer interest in receiving more information. You may ask for an email, full name, phone number, or more. This is a form of lead capture and, the more you get, the higher the engagement in your video.
Sales: Sales are tied directly to how many people purchase your product or service after watching your video. Sales don’t typically happen immediately afterward, so be sure you’re tracking your users’ behavior at every possible touchpoint and building a reliable attribution model.
Purchase intent lift: Though you may not immediately receive a boost in sales after launching your video, you should measure any lift in purchase intent, or your viewers’ willingness to buy your product or service.
If your goal is to delight your customers post-purchase, your target audience is in the retention stage. You know they’ve purchased from you, and you want to provide as much added value as you can so they come back to you for future purchases and recommend you to their friends. A key to understanding the effect video has on customer retention will be to develop a customer analysis — figure out your customer lifecycle and where their biggest pain points are after their purchase.
Return visits: Return website visits can be a good measure of the effectiveness of your video content. Return visits can be influenced by a number of factors, so make sure your tracking is properly set up.
Social interaction: Social interaction can happen at any stage of the marketing funnel, but happens at a higher rate post-sale. Make sure to pay attention to your social channels — it’s often the first place viewers will go to post a positive (or negative) review. Keep an eye on social shares, comments, and fan counts.
Favorability lift: This is an important metric to measure in both the decision and retention stages. If your video provides added value post-purchase, your brand’s positive associations will increase. Focus on creating videos that will answer customer questions and entertain them.
Knowing what metrics to monitor can make all the difference in determining whether or not your video is a success. Be smart! After putting so much time into your video strategy, don’t let it go to waste by ignoring some of the most crucial KPIs.
Keep an eye out for our next post, which will show you how to use these KPIs to measure the ROI of your video campaigns.
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