Making a video go ‘viral’ on the Internet is every content creator’s dream, but this shouldn’t be your sole focus when it comes to video marketing.

Understanding the difference between vanity metrics (numbers that don’t bring valuable learnings or insight to your business) and actionable metrics (numbers that help you make decisions and drive scalable growth) is a crucial, yet overlooked marketing strategy.

In-house marketing teams spend a lot of time and resources on creating videos. In order to ensure that investment is well-spent, you want to garner the most value possible from video creation. To do this, you always want to start a marketing campaign by 1) defining what success looks like, and 2) understanding how to measure the performance of your video content.

Concretely, this means instead of setting vague goals like “I want my videos to go viral”, aim for specific objective-driven results such as “I want to make videos that strengthen my customer engagement”, or “I want to increase brand awareness with video content”.

These latter examples focus on tangible results that are easier to measure, and they also provide insight on where you should ramp up or avoid when it comes to business building strategies.

To help you out, here are 7 different video metrics that you can use to measure the success of your video marketing content.

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1. Total views

Total views of a video is the total number of times that your video has been watched in a certain date range, geography, or demographic (depending on how you set up the campaign). This can include multiple views by an individual viewer, although bot views and auto-play videos are generally not counted.

This metric helps you measure the amount of people (could be a designated audience that you’ve targeted for ads) who’ve watched your content.

For example: if your video has 10 total views, that could be from 10 separate individuals who’ve each watched your video once, or it could also be two individuals who’ve each watched your video 5 times.

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Add subtitles to your videos. According to a study by Verizon and Publicis, 80% of viewers have said that they’re more likely to watch an entire video if it’s subtitled. The survey also revealed that 69% of mobile phone users now watch videos without sound. These findings show that adding captions to your videos highly encourages consumers to watch them (to the end)! That's not all: In terms of video SEO, it also helps your videos to be better ranked which means a better exposure to your audience.
  • Promote your videos on more than one of your marketing channels, where appropriate. To get more views, you need to get your video in front of eyeballs – and to do that, it’s essential to distribute your content across diverse channels of exposure. When reusing your content, don’t forget to adapt the content format to fit each unique channel’s specifications.

2. Play rate

The play rate of a video is the percentage of people who actually press play on your video when they see it. For example, if half of the people who see your video ad appear on their Facebook newsfeeds actually click to watch it, and the other half of users just keep scrolling past your video, you have a play rate of 50%.

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Create awesome video thumbnails to capture peoples’ attention and entice them to click on your video amongst others while scrolling. Use creative designs over a screenshot of your video and add text overlay to summarize the video in a couple words.
  • Embed the video on relevant pages such as video landing pages or blog posts. Increase your video’s play rate by presenting it as valuable additional content to supplement the information in your written article.

3. Engagement rate

Engagement rate is a unique metric as there isn’t one standard formula to calculate it. This is because what qualifies as video “engagement” can differ from person to person.

Generally though, engagement rate can be understood as the percentage of users who see your video content and also interact with it.

For example, some marketers include video viewing length (in 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%  increments) as a form of engagement, while others only count any actions outside of simply watching the video. These types of interactions could include clicking a link, sharing, commenting, or liking/reacting to your video post – depending on the platform.

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Tell relatable stories in your video that will make people want to share their reactions, or even their own experiences, in the comments. Emotive storytelling is one of the best ways to create empathy and encourage audiences to engage with your content.

  • Add a CTA to the video. Take full advantage of your viewers’ attention by delivering an easy and powerful call-to-action. Examples are: encouraging viewers to like and comment on the video, or share the video with friends and subscribe to the channel for more content.

4. Social sharing

Social sharing measures the number of times that your video has been shared by viewers across one or more social networks. Social sharing helps your video gain more organic views, thereby increasing brand exposure at little to no additional advertising cost.

Consumers usually reshare video content they find highly interesting, valuable, or relevant to themselves and their networks – so this metric is a good indicator of whether your content is engaging and reaching the right audiences.

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Collaborate with industry influencers. Consider partnering with influencers in your industry to reach a wider audience, as well as micro-influencers who could be your existing employees and customers. Micro-influencers can be more effective than mainstream influencers (with huge yet irrelevant followings) at reaching your niche audiences.

  • Respect the video specifications of each social platform. Avoid distributing your video to all platforms and channels with only one format. In order to optimize your video content for maximum play rate, engagement, and exposure – make the effort to customize your content for each channels’ unique spec requirements.

5. Click-through rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who watch your video and then click on a link afterwards. The link can be either internal (same site) or external (leaving the current site they’re on).

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Add a clear and concise call-to-action to all your videos. It’s crucial to explain exactly what you want your audience to do after watching. You can determine what the best CTA for your video is based on your marketing campaign objective(s).

6. Conversion rate

A conversion is when a consumer performs a desired action after seeing marketing or advertising content. Depending on the campaign, a marketer could define a conversion as a user signing up for an account, downloading content, making a purchase, etc.

So conversion rate measures the percentage of video viewers who take a specific desired action after watching your video content.

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Use relevant landing pages. When viewers click to visit your landing page for more information after watching your video, you want to keep their customer journey smooth, consistent, and on-brand. That means keeping the content, copy, and design of the landing page similar to what they’ve just experienced in the video.

  • Offer special incentives. To incentivize shoppers, you can create special promotional discounts for visitors coming from specific channels. For example, viewers who watch your video on YouTube could receive a unique discount code for 15% off their first purchase. This strategy also enables you to track customer acquisition based on the unique codes used.

7. Qualitative feedback

Numbers don’t tell all – which is why it’s important to factor in qualitative feedback when analyzing your video performance too.

Understanding how to receive and use qualitative feedback to improve your existing and future campaigns requires communication with your both prospects and customers.

This “metric” can help you capture nuances in both unique scenarios and trending patterns that are not measurable with numbers.

How you can achieve success with this metric:

  • Analyze your video's comments. Reply to people who ask questions and thank those who share their opinions on the video. Listening to audiences and engaging in conversation will help you come up with more relevant ideas for better-performing video content.
  • Use surveys and polls to ask viewers, leads, and customers for their opinions. If you have deeper insight on their perspectives, it’s easier to understand the motivations of your target audiences and what they want to see more of.

In conclusion, using both quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure your marketing videos’ performance is a game-changer.

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