How do I measure the success of my video content?

Common question. Common challenge.

With such a variety of ways to use video and the lack of standardised reporting across platforms, I know that defining the right metrics for your video content can prove pretty tough.

Setting video content KPIs may get easier, with the launch of the Global Video Measurement Alliance, whose mission is to establish a standard measurement for global online video. However, until then, below are some common metrics which you can call upon to set some important KPI’s for your video content.

To help you see how they work in action, I’ve applied them to a series of videos we produced for the Branston Pickle and Pilgrim Choice #whatcouldyoudowithit campaign. The videos were distributed on facebook and became their highest performing videos at that time.

  1. View count

Video Metrics View Count

View count tells you how many times your video has been viewed. Basically your views indicate the reach of your video content.

Branston Pickle gained 424k views for their Mac & Cheese & Pickle recipe video, which is pretty impressive. However, View Count doesn’t provide any insights into the viewing. It also makes performance comparison across platforms tricky as each platform measures a “View” differently. For example, Youtube defines a “View” after 30 seconds of watch time, while Facebook defines it as 3 seconds.

It is a good starting point to validate your video distribution strategy, which it does well for Branston Pickle’s choice of facebook, however it shouldn’t be set as a sole KPI for video content effectiveness.

  1. Play Rate

Video Metrics Play Rate

Play rate is the percentage of people who actually clicked play and began watching your video. This metric is a good measure of how successful your video content is in enticing visitors to watch it. It starts to give some depth to your View Count.

If your video has a low Play Rate, it could be an indicator that the thumbnail may not be relevant, the page location or platform choice is poor, or the headlines and supporting copy aren’t resonating with people.

Branston Pickle tweaked and tested varying headlines on facebook, shifting the focus between the recipe and the campaign’s prize.

  1. Watch Rate

Watch Rate gives even more insight into your video content by showing how much of your video each viewer has watched and it is normally expressed as a percentage. Watch rate varies across platform but to give you an indication, average watch time on facebook is 10 seconds.

This metric is useful as it shows how people as a whole watched, re-watched and stopped watching your video. It also gives valuable information as to where in the video people drop off. This can give you an indication of where people are losing interest, enabling you to tweak messages.

Branston Pickle only placed their video content on facebook, however if you are using multiple platforms, I would recommend setting a defined time to your Watch Rate, for example, a “Watch Rate to 10 seconds.” This will enable you to compare video success across platforms much more effectively.

  1. Social engagement

Video Metrics Social Engagement

Social engagement shows how many people are interacting with your video content, usually measured by likes, shares and comments. This is a good measure of how appealing the content is to your audience and can also feed in to your brand tracking.

Branston Pickle’s Cheese & Pickle Pizza recipe video gained 1.2k likes, 882 comments and generated 553 shares. This is good validation of Branston Pickle’s recipe choice and importantly indicates a healthy affinity with the brand amongst its target audience.

Video Metrics Social Listening

Engagement for the video was across the board and importantly two-way, with Branston Pickle replying to comments promptly and in a friendly tone which suited the campaign. People commented on how delicious the pizza looked, suggested other Branston Pickle recipe combo’s, and expressed delight with the campaign’s prize, all of which ticked campaign objectives.

Branston Pickle was able to develop further recipe videos based on the suggestions people made. Invariably, these recipe videos have had even more appeal, generating even more interaction and affinity with the brand. Top marks!

5. Click through rate

This KPI moves measuring the attention and affinity people have with your video content, to measuring people’s action. Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of viewers that click on whatever call to action (CTA) you include in your video content.

Your CTR will give you an indication of how successful your video is at encouraging viewers to take action. For Branston Pickle, the CTA was to visit the campaign website and they would have been able to measure traffic referral through their website analytics software.

Video Metrics CTR

Never measure CTR in isolation, otherwise you will miss all the amazing insights and learnings noted above!

If CTR is low, but play and watch rates are good, look at how relevant your CTA is. Does it match the video’s topic? Is it relevant? Is it the right tone?

If CTR is low and play and watch rates are too, then people probably aren’t getting to the CTA, so a little rethink is needed.

  1. Conversion rates

This is the ultimate KPI to measuring people’s action. Conversion rate is the number of leads or customers that you gain thanks to your video content.

Conversion rate is a vital metric to measure, however can prove tricky as it will often depend upon analytics software or your internal sales software. Also, it can be challenging to define how much the conversion was a direct result of the video. You will need to determine your own attribution model for this.

For Branston Pickle, conversion rate was measured by how many people entered the competition to win a 12 month supply. This was tracked through the analytics software of the campaign website.

The metrics you ultimately use depends on how you use the video, the platform it is on and its purpose and goal of your video marketing overall. Having a combination of the above metrics however, which tracks attention, affinity and action will at least set your video content measurement in good stead.

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