So you’ve created some videos. You’re peppering them into your marketing, sales, support, and elsewhere throughout your business. You’ve even integrated your video platform with your marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to track views on the lead and account level. That’s all terrific. But how do you know whether it’s, you know, working?
If your CEO was to suddenly ask which videos have been the most effective—which ones you should continue making—how would you answer?
In this section we’ll look at the importance of measuring your videos’ performance against preset goals, as well as how to use your audience’s video metrics to determine if your videos are earning a return on investment (ROI).
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Video metrics give marketers the power to improve. It’s only through tracking views, attention spans, click-through rates (CTR), and more that they can identify which videos work, and whether they help to generate leads, crack key accounts, add pipeline, retain customers, or realize revenue. To this end, video analytics are essential.
More than one third (36%) of businesses now use video analytics software and growing, one Vidyard study found. This is because—no surprise—measuring your videos tends to help you increase your ROI. Companies that use advanced video analytics and have access to detailed video usage data are twice as likely to report that the returns on their video investments are improving, according to data from Demand Metric.
Video data is also uniquely useful to data-driven teams. Unlike traditional assets like blog posts, eBooks, and emails, which only tell you whether someone visited or opened something, videos produce intent data. Teams can measure how much of a video individual prospects watched, what parts they rewatched, and who they shared it with.
Metrics for individual videos tell you whether particular topics or stories, such as a brand and culture video about Halloween, resonated with your audience (ours did!).
Overall video program metrics, on the other hand, tell you whether your video program has been a profitable investment, and suggest ways to increase those returns. Let’s explore both.
The first question marketers get after a new video goes live is often, “How many views did we get?” It’s a fair question, and while interesting, it’s also misleading—views are just a vanity metric unless paired with more meaningful measurements like video engagement stats.
For example, if an HR software company released a heart-tugging holiday video that went viral to the tune of millions of views, it could be a whopping failure if the none of the viewers were in their target audience of people who’d actually need their solution. If, on the other hand, the video earned just 200 views, but they were all decision makers at Fortune 500 companies, it could be a huge win.
If your find that your view counts are low, or begin to drop, revisit your distribution strategy. Are you publishing on channels where prospects are and are likely to watch? Are you using interesting titles and thumbnails?
Attention span data shows you how much of your videos viewers watch. This tells you whether it resonated or if it they abandoned it—a possible sign that the video content needs refreshing.
In retaining viewers, video length is important, but its not everything. Despite the pervasive myth about goldfish-sized attention spans, modern viewers will sit through anything that’s genuinely entertaining or useful.
While 75% of B2B videos are under two minutes long, the average is still nine minutes. Meanwhile, lots of companies have success with in-depth explainers that exceed 30 minutes. It all depends on the video type, funnel stage, and audience, which is something you just have to test for yourself.
Broadly, you can consider a video successful if at least 60% of viewers watch the whole thing, also known as the video completion rate.
If your finish rate is significantly lower, it could be that you have the wrong format or length. Shorter videos are more effective higher up in the funnel, when prospects aren’t yet invested, and longer ones work better at later stages.
It could also be that your videos contain the wrong subject matter. Early-stage prospects are often interested in hearing about benefits whereas later stage prospects want to know about cost and implementation.
When prospects see your video, do they click? Total video click-through rate (CTR), also known as the play rate, or view rate, is the total views divided by the number of people who clicked.
Video click-through rate = # of views / # of people who clicked
CTR has nothing to do with the quality of your video content and everything to do with how interesting your title, CTA, and thumbnail are. Make your titles as intriguing as possible while still accurately explaining what the video is about, and without giving away too much. Use a verb in your CTA and customize your thumbnail image so it invites viewers to click.
The best thing you can do to increase a video’s CTR is to make it the main focal point of your landing page or email. If you take a look at Vidyard’s campaigns, you’ll notice our video player occupies most of the space above the fold and the pages themselves don’t distract viewers with excessive text, buttons, or graphics.
Another great way to drive up CTRs is to A/B test your video’s thumbnail image. Within Vidyard, users can select multiple images to test against one another, so you know which one your audience prefers.
You can also select a GIF as the thumbnail (like the image below), because motion draws attention.
Similar to the total CTR, link CTR measures which links or interactive elements within the video viewers clicked such as a popup to download an eBook.
If your link CTR is low, try testing different CTAs, or move them to earlier in the video so they appear right when viewers are most engaged.
In the second phase of video analysis, you’ll want to measure the performance of your video marketing analytics efforts as a whole to determine whether they’re:
To determine this, you’ll need to integrate your video platform with your marketing automation platform and CRM. Inside one of those two, you’ll be able to view reports and find answers.
Are your videos generating net-new leads that can be passed along to sales? If your team practices ABM, are videos influencing deals and helping engage the whole buying committee?
Examine first-touch, last-touch, and, if it’s set up, multi-touch attribution for your video program as a whole to get a sense of where it plays a part in deals.
If you use a lead or account scoring system, make sure you’re using your lead data to push prospects forward in their journey. Teams can set scoring rules so that different video formats count differently. For example, a long testimonial should be worth more points than a sales video, and the same goes for when a prospect views an entire video versus just the first minute.
Teams can also create automatic alerts so the sales rep tied to an account gets notified if a prospect begins binge-watching demos like they’ve discovered a bonus season of Game of Thrones.
As prospects’ scores grow, you can also tailor the types of video content they receive. Any prospect that’s enjoying demo videos is probably past the point of needing an animated explainer, and should be receiving late-stage content from that point on.
Teams can cross-reference their revenue data from their CRM with video viewing data to determine:
It’s within these CRM reports that you can see a visual breakdown of videos watched by contacts associated with closed-won opportunities. You can determine which videos are being watched the most often by contacts that actually convert. That is, you’ll know exactly which content is making a difference on revenue.
Whatever you find videos with an outsized impact—say, a particular webinar that shows up in nearly every deal—do more of it.
When calculating your video ROI, remember that not all analytics are created equal. Don’t confuse the analytics that come with your distribution channels, such as YouTube video analytics and Facebook video view statistics, with the analytics that come from a dedicated video platform
Distribution channels are great for making sure videos are widely seen, but they only provide high-level viewership data that isn’t tied to leads or accounts.
Remember—view data isn’t much good unless you know who viewed, what they did, and whether they bought. Plus, without integrations into the marketing automation system or CRM, it’s a non-starter for teams that need to trigger actions off things viewers do. To get the full view, teams need a dedicated video analytics platform.
Setting video goals should happen before you ever draw your first storyboard. Otherwise, it’s easy to get lost in publishing videos for the sake of publishing videos, and that can be an expensive habit.
Goals differ from video to video, but they generally fall into categories based on the stage of the funnel they’re intended for. Each video can also have multiple goals, so long as you prioritize them.
The following are some common and practical goals for improving your ROI.
Top metrics: Overall CTR, link CTR
The first goal of most video programs is to get eyes on the content you’re creating. You can measure that by your CTR, or how many people click to play. Alternatively, you can measure the performance of individual links or forms within your video.
Top metrics: Subscription rate
Need to build a list of contacts or generate more leads? Use post-roll lead forms that pop up right when prospects are most engaged, and collect their email or other contact information.
Top metrics: Playing, sharing, and site action
Have visitors but don’t know who they are? Or wish you knew them better? Use post-roll interactive elements to request additional information. For example, ask a yes or no question, such as whether they’re the decision maker, whether they’re in an active evaluation, or whether they’d like to be contacted by sales.
Top metric: Return on investment (ROI)
Want video investments to translate into pipeline and revenue? To come to accurate figures, you’ll have to consider equipment costs, production fees, travel expenses, and time spent and salaries from everyone in-house who was involved, from planning to launch. Divide the total pipeline or revenue from your video program by the total investment. If it’s positive, you’re in business.
Now you have the tools, it’s just a matter of putting them into practice. Determine your goals, decide how you’ll measure them, and give it a try.
Congratulations, you’ve done it! You’ve made it to the end of our complete guide to video marketing. We’ve covered everything from video strategy to storytelling. You’ve learned that video doesn’t need to be expensive to be great, and that it’s a must-have for breaking through to prospects no matter your marketing approach.
You are, in short, ready to create your own video marketing strategy!
Successful video marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and we don’t expect you to remember it all in one go. But this guide is here when you need it (so be sure to bookmark it for future reading).
– The Vidyard Team
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