By Hope Horner, CEO and founder of Lemonlight
It’s a common story: Your content team produces a video. As soon as it goes live, it starts to gain viewership. While all those views look impressive on a marketing report, they don’t tell the whole story. After all, as noted by American Marketing Association researchers, customers require about 10 brand touchpoints before converting. So yes, you’re getting views; however, the raw number of views doesn’t tell you much because you don’t know if a view was a first or ninth touchpoint.
Therein lies one of the biggest video measurement challenges facing any marketer. Views are the most appealing of all measuring sticks, but they only give a bird’s-eye perspective of how your video is performing. What you need is to supplement those views with other metrics designed to bring more meaning to your data.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Video Metrics
To decide which video content metrics (aside from views) make the most sense for you to collect, start by laying out your goals. In other words, decide what you want your video to do for your company.
For example, let’s say you want your video to attract people to your brand. That’s a good objective, especially because the majority of brand buyers cite video as the number one way they found out about a company’s offerings according to this Lemon Light article. In that case, you’ll want to track your video’s impressions and unique users. What if your overall aim is pure engagement? View-through rates and watch time will give you a sense of what kind of interaction you’re getting with consumers.
As you go through this process, remember that you may need a balance between your quantitative and qualitative metrics. Many marketers forget that qualitative measurements like social listening can give great insight into a video’s performance. Yes, quantitative metrics are essential, but they can’t necessarily tell you things like whether the public’s sentiment about your brand is a positive one. If one of your hopes is to humanize your brand or change its overall perception through video, you need to fold qualitative metrics into the mix.
Top Video Performance Metrics — Beyond Just Viewership
At this point, you may be starting to think more about your upcoming video marketing campaign strategy. As you go through the process of setting long-term goals, consider using some or all of the following metrics. Each offers you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of whether your video is doing what you want it to do.
Though you have to be careful not to fall into the rabbit hole of being blown away by the adrenaline rush of high views, you shouldn’t ignore viewership altogether. Your views help you find out whether you’ve reached a wider audience and potentially drawn more customers into your sales funnel.
For example, marketers don’t hesitate to check out the views of their Super Bowl ads. They know the Super Bowl is a prime chance to get in front of millions of people. They also know that the more people who watch their video, the more likely they are to get some kind of action.
2. Watch Time
The watch time for any video can be incredibly revealing. With watch time, you can see how long people were actually engaged by your messaging. This is compelling information as it can inform your future content creation.
For instance, say that your video garners 10,000 views. Yet you discover through your watch time metrics that 50% of people fall off at the eight-second mark. Naturally, you would evaluate your video carefully to see what was happening eight seconds into the content to make so many viewers lose interest. Your findings could make all the difference in how you convey future messages — and make your next video spectacular.
Signups. Clicks. Every video needs to have a call to action to drive conversions. Just be certain that you’re paying attention to the conversion rates for all your videos. Why? Conversions indicate your video’s effectiveness in garnering audience trust. Without conversions, you can’t be sure whether your video was truly successful in regard to its return on investment.
Be prepared to get innovative with your conversion tactics and make sure you know which conversions make sense for your video’s goal. If you want your video to purely drive sales, the conversion metric you want to use is how many people made a purchase directly after watching your video. On the other hand, if your video’s main intent is to reengage and delight existing customers, you would want to keep an eye on conversion-related metrics such as return visits and click-through rates.
Moving Beyond Views: Evaluating Your Videos More Clearly
The bottom line here is that views are a great entry point metric. They tell you that your hook worked and that your video was enticing enough to draw in viewers. Those are essential video marketing aspects to know, especially if you’re already storyboarding your next video piece.
Nonetheless, video views alone will never tell you how many viewers were interested enough to avoid skipping over your content or if they took your call to action seriously and moved forward. To do a deeper dive, you need to look closer at other quantitative and qualitative metrics based on your video goals.
There’s little doubt that video content marketing works, which is why so many brands use it. The key is to exercise thoughtfulness and patience when it comes to evaluating each video’s success. Therefore, spend time considering which metrics are best suited for your intentions. You’ll wind up feeling more informed and able to produce more relevant videos as the months roll by.
About the Author
Hope Horner is CEO and founder of Lemonlight, a video production company that produces branded video content at scale. Hope is a three-time entrepreneur who has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other publications highlighting her successes in the Silicon Beach community over the past decade.