You can spend countless hours making a video, and even more time editing every little detail, and then, finally, you can promote your video content to everyone on the internet. But if you’re not using video marketing metrics to track your video’s performance, you’re forgetting one of the most crucial steps to successful video marketing.
Digital marketing, especially video, takes a lot of time, money, and effort. The last thing you want is for those resources to be wasted. Knowing which video marketing metrics to track is key to repeatable success. Before diving into which metrics matter, let’s take a look at why metrics matter in the first place.
Why video marketing metrics matter
Numbers are just numbers unless you know how they affect your business and your goals. Video marketing metrics are essentially more numbers to throw into the mix—the difference here is that this data comes with meaning and useful context.
Video marketing, like any form of content marketing, requires extensive testing to get right. You need to ensure that your target audience is zeroed in, your content performs well on social media, your videos convert people into paying customers, and more. By measuring video marketing metrics, you’re setting a baseline against which you can compare all future efforts. And this is the only way you’ll know if your video efforts are performing better with each iteration.
For example, let’s say you’re looking at engagement metrics for a training video you created. You notice the video has good audience retention, but a lot of viewers drop off about two minutes into the video, right when your boring librarian character enters the scene. You can then experiment and adjust with making the librarian more fun to try and keep your audiences. By tracking view count, you know your second effort was an improvement over the first, as far as view count goes. (This kind of iterative improvement, of course, is much easier when working with animation and not live-action footage.)
This kind of tracking allows you to learn from your successes and recreate them in future videos. In this case, you know animated videos might be the better choice for your audience moving forward.
6 video marketing metrics to track
Before you publish your next video online, there are a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to measure your campaign’s performance. Here, we share several of the most important metrics in video marketing and explain how they work:
1. View count
Every marketer dreams about millions (or billions) of people watching their latest video creation. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, and for video marketers, that’s tons of video views for each piece they create.
The view count is a basic metric for how many times a video has been opened. But one view does not necessarily mean that the video was watched all the way through. Every video platform has its own way of measuring a view. For example, YouTube will consider a watch as a view after 30 seconds, in most cases, depending on the content length. That is why it’s also important to go beyond views and look at whether or not people completed the video.
After all, view count may not be the most important performance indicator for video depending on your business goals. If the objective of the video is to drive sales for enterprise accounts and that video results in one massive deal, you might consider it a success even despite a low view count.
Views stats can be skewed, too. Not all views come from unique visitors. However, there are filters that prevent users from intentionally inflating view stats, so people can’t rally all of their friends to hit Refresh hundreds of thousands of times for 10 million views.
Finding this metric: Your views can typically be found in the dashboard of your chosen platform. On YouTube, for example, views are available on the video itself, as well as in the Analytics tab of your YouTube Studio dashboard.
If you’re not on YouTube, search for the platform-specific view count and you’ll likely find a guide on gathering this metric.
2. Click-through rate (CTR)
Views are great, but your video needs to do a little more than be seen. If you’re a web-based business, you also need people to click a link and head to your site.
Your click-through-rate (CTR) is a measurement of how frequently a visitor clicks a link or button. If a video’s only goal is to drive brand awareness, CTR is likely of little concern. But for everyone else, CTR indicates whether or not someone is acting upon the video.
CTR is calculated by the simple formula:
Clicks/Views = CTR
Basically, you take the number of clicks referred to your website from a link shared with your video and divide it by the number of views your video has. If you’ve added a link to your website in your video’s description box, and your site receives 1,000 new visits while your video gets 4,000 views, then your video has a 25% CTR. A higher CTR means higher engagement with your video and more traffic to your blog, website, or landing page. Check your specific industry to see what the average CTR is, because this number can vary greatly. On YouTube, 50% of channels have a CTR ranging from 2-10%.
A low CTR could indicate a number of things. First, it’s possible your video simply isn’t winning over your audience. Looking at whether or not people finished the video will help clue you in here. If people aren’t finishing the video, they probably aren’t engaged and aren’t going to click.
If people are finishing the video, and the CTR is low, maybe your link or button needs some sprucing up. Use heat mapping to see whether people mouse over the button at all after finishing the video. If they aren’t, the button or call to action (CTA) needs to be more prominent and possibly reworded.
Finding this metric: Some content management platforms have your CTR readily available. For example, YouTube has your CTR on the Analytics page of your YouTube Studio dashboard. If the number isn’t automatically displayed on your platform, use the simple formula: Clicks/Views = CTR.
3. Conversion rate
Conversions are any desired actions taken. These actions can include things like sales, email sign-ups, or account registrations. Depending on your KPIs, you probably want more than viewers or a high CTR. For example, if you sell a product or service, you’ll want your video to help generate more sales. Anyone who watches your video and goes on to purchase from you would be a conversion in this case.
You can optimize your conversion rate in a number of ways, all of which are dependent on the desired action. The important thing is to track and test your conversions. By doing so, you’ll be able to A/B test different approaches and see what affects your conversion rate.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to get more email sign-ups by gating content. You start by gating an exclusive training video behind an email form. You then track the number of people in a month who put in their email address. You then spend the next month trying a different title, different language on the landing page, and a different eye-catching sign-up graphic. Over time, you note which element nets you the biggest spike in conversions and then determine how you can build on that success.
Take the example below from Truework, an employment-verification company. Their ebook is gated, requiring visitors to enter select information in order to download it. If they notice the conversion rate isn’t satisfactory, they can try swapping the image out, changing the text color, and more.
Finding this metric: Your conversion rate is rarely offered by a platform, so it must be calculated manually instead. Calculate your conversion rate using this formula:
Conversions ➗ Visitors
The number on the bottom isn’t always going to be visitors—it could also be ad impressions. For example, if you’re paying for Google ads, a conversion would be someone who clicked the ad, while the number you divide those conversions by would be the impressions the ad got.
Branding itself is a strange, ethereal metric. How does one measure brand? Well, you don’t, exactly. Branding is a collection of metrics that all play a role in the success of your brand.
Typically, branding metrics to include in your monitoring are social shares/likes/comments; number of viewers for live videos; total views on video content; brand mentions; and general attitude toward your business based on comments.
Branding metrics can vary from company to company. Ultimately, brand metrics should serve as a good indicator of how your brand is performing online. You have to measure how your video affects customer experiences in your other marketing channels and how it improves overall sales even if you do not receive many direct sales from your videos.
Great business videos foster more brand awareness. The video serves as a strong touchpoint for potential customers who are more likely to convert as they move further along the sales funnel. While branding isn’t always easy to quantify because it’s not as straightforward as views or conversions, it’s an important metric for all video marketers.
Finding this metric: As previously mentioned, this isn’t a single metric; that makes finding this metric difficult. Instead of looking for an individual number, use a document to organize your various branding metrics—social shares, likes, viewers of live videos, etc. Once you have these metrics gathered in one spot, consider this your branding metric.
5. Return on investment (ROI)
As a video marketer, you should always be thinking about your return on investment (ROI) for each video you create. ROI is calculated by using this formula:
Revenue – Costs = Return on Investment
In essence, ROI is how much money you make (as both a direct and indirect result of your video) after considering all costs for producing and promoting each video. ROI helps video marketers evaluate the actual value derived from their videos.
Video marketing can be costly and time-consuming. ROI makes it possible for you to quickly deem a video profitable or not. This can help you get buy-in from any stakeholders, influence the types of videos you make, and ultimately play a vital role in determining a video marketing campaign’s success.
ROI is particularly important when it comes to video ad metrics, as you’ll calculate revenue while having to cover both production and advertising costs.
Finding this metric: Your ROI won’t be readily available on a dashboard but will require that you manually find it. This is done using the formula above: Revenue – Costs.
6. Video engagement
Video engagement metrics are essential to gauging whether a video is making an impact with your audience. Video engagement is measured via several metrics:
- Comments: Look at the number of times people commented and what the comments say to determine engagement.
- Likes and dislikes: Any kind of rating, good or bad, on your YouTube videos can still show engagement.
- Social sharing: See how many people have shared your videos across social media. A shared video is an engaging video.
- Watch time: Check the total video play your content gets. If people are making it to the end of your video, that’s great. If not, gauge where the watch time seems to cut off, then test whether your video is too long or simply not engaging.
Engagement is one of the most important video performance metrics. A video that’s watched but not engaged with is probably doing a poor job of converting. Start measuring the engagement metrics above ASAP to ensure that you’re tracking whether videos are doing their job.
Finding this metric: Video engagement is a combination of factors, so this number typically requires some manual crunching and intuition. Look at the factors above, and collect them into a single doc, as with your branding metric data. Track this information over time, and note any areas your engagement seems to be shifting. Alternatively, tools like SocialBakers will use proprietary algorithms to assign a numerical value to your engagement.
Achieving your marketing goals with metrics
The success of your videos depends on what you learn from your previous efforts. Tracking the right video marketing metrics can mean the difference between learning from your experience and simply wasting time and effort.
Remember: Nobody knows your goals like you do. It’s a good idea to track the metrics mentioned in this article, but feel free to blaze your own trails and track additional metrics. With all that tracking will come a greater understanding of your audience and your content, along with an increased likelihood that you’ll knock your marketing goals out of the park.