How to Analyze a Videos Performance

How to Analyze a Video’s Performance

Introduction

So you have a video on either your website, your blog or a YouTube channel, and it’s getting some activity – that’s terrific! Now your colleagues and bosses are asking you how it’s performing…

…Uh oh…

“Well it has 547 views on YouTube…so it’s doing great!”

Yikes, that may not have been the most educated answer to that question.

Next time, instead of instinctively blurting out the last view count you saw for your video on YouTube, take a minute to tactically think about what your goal was with your video before you created it, and then report a stat or idea that correlates to that goal’s overarching success.

To help you understand how different videos can evoke different responses from audiences, I’ve broken down three different scenarios – each for a video with a separate goal – so you can identify the behavior of your audience and gauge the response to your video.

We created a video to…

  • Entertain our viewers

  • Generate more sales

  • Educate our audience

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Scenario 1:

“Our goal was to create a video designed to entertain our viewers – is there a way to track that?”

The metrics that define “Entertainment” for your viewers has come a long way since the adaptation of the classic Neilson and Arbitron Ratings. Now, we as marketers can define entertainment simply as delighting your audience with content that adds value and feeling to their personal or professional lives.

To gauge whether or not your video content added any noticeable value to your viewers, it’s important to look at such metrics like social media shares, Likes on Facebook, Re-Tweets on Twitter, comments or responses (on any media sharing platform) – basically anything that reflects audience interaction.

It’s also smart to count in any kind of offline behavioral action. This could be something as trivial as a friend or business associate mentioning they liked your video, or a customer benevolently calling attention to the video while on a sales call. This is an indicator that the person was entertained by your video (so much as to bring it up in conversation), so it added somewhat of value and feeling to their life.

The key is that you aren’t just looking at a view count to conclude that your audience was entertained. You must look to qualitative feedback for you to understand their response.

If you don’t have any of this type of feedback readily available, don’t worry, you’re not alone, and your video isn’t a failure. It takes time for audiences to get comfortable enough to share their feelings online, especially if they are doing so under representation of their company.

In that situation, you must ask yourself – “What are we doing to facilitate discussion or sharing that will benefit not just us, but our audience’s needs as well?” Are you giving viewers an opportunity to respond to your video? Do you have a section on your blog for people to comment?? Are YOU responding to the comments they make?

All of this must be planned in advance of you releasing your video, or else you won’t have the necessary tools to accurately measure your audiences’ response.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

To track the entertainment level of a video look at Shares, Likes, Re-Tweets, Comments, and qualitative feedback from your audience.

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Scenario 2:

“We made a video for our website to generate more sales – is it actually helping us get business like we want it to?”

This type of goal is a doozy and at this point in time in the modern internet age, is a little more difficult to prove definitively, but not impossible.

To better gauge if you are prepared to prove this goal, there are three ideas you must confront within your marketing/sales process:

  1. How are you tracking marketing activity?
  2. How are you tracking video activity?
  3. How do you tie this information to your sales pipeline?

I’ll go over these individually to give you better context as how we connect video activity to tangible sales information.

1. How are you tracking marketing activity?

First and foremost, you must be utilizing marketing automation software to collect your individual contacts’ behavior information. Without this information, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a way to connect a marketing activity to a sale.

Some marketing automation providers are companies like Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot by Salesforce, and Act-On. Among the countless things these providers offer, the key idea is that they keep a record of your contacts’ individual marketing behavior (emails opened/clicked, page visits, contact form fill-outs, PDF downloads, etc.) and score that behavior as higher or lower for a potential sales contact for your company.

As you can see now, and as mentioned, the integration between your marketing automation platform and your sales team’s CRM is ESSENTIAL. Enabling a sales person’s ability to see what an individual contact’s marketing behavior is can be extremely valuable while conversing with the lead, so you’ll want the integration to be organized, cohesive, and insightful.

The next step is to monitor and understand why an individual’s marketing behavior is the way it is, or find their intent. Make sure both the marketer and the sales person have an idea and complete transparency as to the company’s overall sales/marketing efforts.

For instance:

  • For the sales team, be familiar with what marketing campaigns are going on and on what day of the week.
  • For the marketing team, make sure you’re viewing your sales teams’ activity with leads, like calls and emails, and don’t just rely on data from your digital strategy.

Lastly, it’s important to utilize a lead’s timeline throughout their customer journey. Many marketing automation software platforms have this built in to their dashboard, but it can also be done manually as well.

You’ll want to do this because it physically maps out how and when a lead interacted with your company on their path to purchase. This will come in handy especially when you tie in video views as one of those marketing activities.

2. How are you tracking video activity?

Tracking individual viewing behavior is a relatively new technology that when utilized correctly and meticulously, can be very valuable to your video creation efforts. I’ll explain more on that in just a second.

As much as your marketing automation software provides insights to your individual contacts’ digital behavior, their video viewing activity offers even more information to their engagement level and intent.

“Woah, woah,” you’re asking…

“I can I track what each viewer is watching within YouTube?”

…No, you can’t, not within YouTube.

But there is software out there that you can do that with, and it all ties into your marketing automation platform.

Video hosting platforms are video sharing mediums like YouTube and Vimeo. These two are of course free, but that’s because they offer very limited metrics and statistics. If you’re serious about the value of video marketing for your business, you should be encouraged to check out paid video hosting platforms like Wistia, Vidyard, or Brightcove. All three of these platforms offer many of the same services, like heatmapping, lead generation, and advanced analytics like engagement rates and percentage of videos viewed.

As you’re starting to see, video hosting platforms are almost an extension of your marketing automation systems, because that’s exactly how they work – through using their advanced integrations to many of the most popular platforms.

The most important aspect to grasp on is that paid video hosting platforms offer individual viewing behavior statistics, where others simply offer cumulative data.

3. How do you tie this information to your sales pipeline?

The third part to this process is coherently connecting your video viewing data to your sales data. Much like how we talked about with your marketing automation data, tie in your video views and engagement along your customer’s journey to sale.

Ask yourself questions like:

“What videos did they watch after they went through your product demo?” Or, “What part of the video did they re-watch after they came back from your tradeshow?”

“Once you have a visualization of a lead’s touch-points and the videos viewed along their customer journey, it’s easier to see which of these videos helped influence a sale.”

The final step is compiling the data and proving a video’s success rate. Take an hour and dig through all of the data you have on converted customers within the past two months and see how many of these customers also viewed a video along their path to a sale.

Take note of their engagement level (percentage of the video viewed), and also their follow up behavior. What did they do after they watched the video? Did they watch another video? Did they immediately go to your Pricing page? If so, it’s a clear indicator that this video has influenced their buying decision, even if it’s just slightly.

Also worth noting is the acquisition of this converted sale. Video hosting platforms now feature built in forms to the displayed video as call-to-action to acquire lead information. See whether or not your lead submitted one of these video forms. If so, you are in great shape, because your company wouldn’t have collected their information if it hadn’t been for your video.

So as you can see, proving if a video helped convert a sale is a tough task, but not impossible. If anything, it helps show:

  • How your video marketing strategy is working in connection to your company sales
  • The number of leads or form submits your videos have generated
  • Which of those form submits eventually became customers
  • Which customers have watched a video somewhere within their customer life cycle

All of this data is excellent for continuing the creation of valuable content for your audience and what is generating viable conversions for your company.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

To track whether or not your video is helping generate more sales, pay attention to conversions, or, the percentage of viewers who watched the video and also converted on a sale.

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Scenario 3:

We’re looking to build trust with our audience, so made a video designed to educate – are the people who watched it actually learning something?”

Educating your audience with video – whether it’s how to’s or topic specific content – is extremely important for your business because it helps a viewer build trust with your brand. That being said, and this should be a no-brainer, your content MUST BE valid and research based.

Educational videos are also great for increasing your website traffic through organic search. If your audience has a problem, the first place they’ll most likely look is a search engine like Google or Bing. Educational videos tend to fare very well in this situation, even if they don’t directly relate to the products or services you’re offering.

So now for the tricky part – How do we prove that people are actually finding the educational video we produced useful? To answer that, you have to think about how people learn, and apply that to the viewing data you have at your hands.

The data point we’ll be looking at is viewer engagement, or the amount of your video they watched and re-watched.

Within your video marketing platform, you’ll be able to see a heatmap of which portion of your video viewers repeatedly watched. This metric easily pinpoints what viewers are engaging with the most, and which section of your video is working or not.

Are viewers following along with the script of the video and making it to the end of your instructions? Do they re-watch a crucial learning point?

The key is for you to be familiar with the content of the video, or else you are risking misinterpreting that data. For example, if viewers are watching and re-watching a specific part to your video that is just exposition, but maybe with a neat shot or background, it’s probably more likely that they are engaged with that aspect rather than the education provided.

That being said, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, and learns their own way. The point is to take the overall trends to these engagement graphs and try to provide a reason as to why viewers are behaving the way that they do.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

To track whether or not your audience is actually grasping the learning concepts of your video, track their engagement, or, the amount of video they watched and re-watched. Also pay attention to and RESPOND to any comments they make.

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Conclusion:

As you can probably tell, there is a lot of really insightful data out there relating to video consumption. Having the ability to actually see viewer behavior is a technology beyond our wildest dreams as marketers and can really prove some valuable overarching company goals.
That being said, you must take all of these data points as insights, not guidelines, for creation.

Video is a magical tool that can be used as the most human way to communicate a message, so don’t let the data do the dictating when it comes to new ideas and production tactics.

Use your creative skills and heart to explain the message you’re trying to get across AND THEN let the metrics do the illustrating as to how your audience is reacting to your content.