Maximize your Video ROI: Understanding What Your Video Analytics Mean

By Michael Litt in Video Optimization on January 16, 2013

4 minute read

In order to properly optimize your videos and get your return on investment (ROI), it is important to understand what your metrics are saying about your video marketing efforts. The metrics that you receive from Vidyard’s video hosting platform is analogous to an x-ray, highlighting the strengths and weakness of your video content. When you fully understand what the analytics represent, you can begin to diagnos the problem areas and start tweaking your marketing campaign so that it effectively conveys the message you intended.

Split testing is a great way to verify ideas that are backed by trackable measurements, we did this before we launched using Unbounce’s landing page technology.  The science of online video marketing is highly focused on understanding the metrics of viewership behaviour to make changes to content where needed, ultimately getting your business the metrics needed to drive sales.

Below is a breakdown of some detailed analytics variables, so that you are able to confidently understand the results of your video marketing strategy:

Vidyard Blog Imagery


Vidyard Blog Imagery


Video views:

These are different than page views. The people who go to your website and land on a page with a video on it contribute to your page views. Your video views are people who actually click “play” and watch some or all of your video. The number of video views tells you how many people were able to find the video and showed interest in viewing it. By tracking this metric over time, you can begin to source the best place to put your video on your site so viewers can find it and optimize the video thumbnail & headline to prompt clicking. Pay attention to all views  and unique views as this can be misleading to your overall numbers, the Vidyard platform measures all views & unique views to give you accurate results. It is generally understood that the ratio of video views to page views ranges from 10-50%, this means that if more than 50% of your page views results in a video view, your page layout & video thumbnail are considered to be highly optimized, anything lower means there’s room for improvement.

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Average Attention Span:

Literally translated word for word, this variable measures how long your viewers watch your video content before they move on to something else. If your attention span totals 100% the length of your video content, then you may be in the sweet spot of capturing your viewers interest or alternatively, you may have the opportunity to include a bit more footage with your video message. Anything less than 50% the length of your video means you’re losing up to half of your viewers, it may be worthwhile to take a look at your content to ensure it’s meeting your marketing objectives. Research has shown that videos 1-2 minutes in length are peak for retaining viewership attention.

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Minutes Watched:

The distinction of these numbers is important to understand in order for you to evaluate your video content, you may need to increase or decrease the length of your video & its content to retain longer viewership. The relationship between video views and minutes watched gives a good sense of “stickiness” of your video content. Here’s an example:

If you have a 2 minute long video on your site and 30 visitors watch the entire video, your analytics will report that you have 60 minutes viewed (2 minutes x 30 visitors= 60 minutes viewed). However, if you have 30 visitors watching your 2 minute video, but total minutes viewed is 15, then the average visitor is only watching 30 seconds of your 2 minute video. 

If the length of videos on your website range greatly, than the number of minutes viewed is a much more effective business metric than the number of video views. A longer video with less views but 3 call to actions within it may make more money than a short video with more views but only 1 call to action. The first example may have fewer video views but more total minutes viewed while the second example may have more video views but less minutes viewed overall. It’s important to understand what results you’re after so you can focus on the right metrics to monitor.

Vidyard Blog Imagery


Vidyard Blog Imagery


Geographic Region


Depending on your video marketing strategy, geography may play an important role in the reach of your marketing efforts. Our dashboard allows you to zoom in at various scales to report broad regional at-a-glance features showcasing the reach of your video content while also having the capabilities to see detailed information like the number of views by city that your video is reaching out to.

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Video Engagement

Where do viewers drop off? How many viewers watch the entire video? Maybe there’s sections in the video that viewers like so much, they replay it, where are these sections? All of these factors contribute to the video engagement metric. It is one of the hardest analytics to track but provides you with the most thorough understanding of how your visitors interact with your video content. Video engagement is not measured by a number and unit like the other metrics, rather is it the overall plot of the graph. Seeing steep drops in your graph means that many visitors stopped watching your clip at that point. Bumps on the graph implies that visitors are replaying that section over and over again, take note of what’s going on in your content there. All of these indicators can teach you something valuable about user activity.

Beware of vanity metrics, make sure your are measuring the right variables against the intent of your video marketing efforts. It may be natural to focus on video views to correlate with conversions, but this may be misleading  as in the example above with integrated call to actions.

Vidyard Blog Imagery


All of Vidyard’s analytics can be tracked by day, week, or month. Alternatively, you can specify your own window of time that you’d like to track or view your metrics in real time, this may be useful to see detailed activity for a particular marketing event that was launched over a unique period of time.

It is important to track these metrics because if you can’t track something, you can’t determine if your efforts are improving or not. Once you have enough data from a reasonable window of testing time, then you can start to use these metrics to incentivize the behaviour you want from your viewers. Aside from a consistent focus on metrics, content is King. If your metrics are not improving the way you imagine, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the quality of content you’re pushing out. Ask yourself if it provides value for your viewers, valuable content will incentivize viewership behaviour. Viewers who naturally speak on behalf of your brand, sharing your content organically for you, and ultimately generating conversion are signs of good content rolling out.


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