The work doesn’t stop when you publish a video. Like any other part of a digital marketing campaign, videos need to be measured and analyzed to check their performance. You’ll want to make sure it’s achieving what you designed it to do. There are some key video metrics to track.
You’ll want to track the basics like play rates, number of viewers, bounce rate, and shares. Going deeper into the metrics will help you make smart marketing decisions about your videos and strategy. Let’s take a closer look at some metrics and what they tell you about your video’s performance.
Metric: Plays and Views
Seeing those numbers tick up can be exciting, but what do those numbers really mean? The play number tells you if your video is being watched at all. Low numbers may not have anything to do with the content. There might be a technical reason people aren’t watching, like if it doesn’t play in certain browsers or on mobile devices. Perhaps the video isn’t showing up in search results, either on Google or on your website. Or it might be something else that’s causing the problem.
High numbers might not be all that you think they are either. It could be that a significantly higher number of plays and views means people are watching multiple times. Are they doing that because of a technical issue or because the content is too complex to understand the first time around? Plays and views are some of the easiest metrics to find, but you have to go beyond the face of them to find out what they truly mean to you.
Metric: Unique Plays
A play is counted every time the play button is clicked, including multiple plays by the same person. A unique play counts the number of times new people click play to watch the video. It’s the video equivalent of the site visitor and unique site visitor metrics for websites. If you watch a video twice, that counts as two plays, but only one unique play. When a person watches it once on a laptop and once on a mobile device, that often counts as two unique plays. You’ll want to verify what counts as a unique play to make sure you’re getting an accurate count.
What can your unique play counts metric tell you? Well, by itself, it can tell you how many new viewers are watching your video. Combine it with the total play number, however, and you might find out something more interesting. It might mean that it’s being used as a job aid or reference guide, so many new people are watching it regularly. It could also mean that people find it interesting and are sharing it with their friends and network too. You’ll need other metrics to find out for sure, or you could just ask your audience.
Metric: Watch Time
Another good stat to check is the watch time of your video. Watch time is a cumulative amount of how long people have spent watching your video. Five views of a one-minute video equal a five-minute watch time. So does a single view of a five-minute video.
This metric can tell you if people are watching your videos all the way through. If you’re noticing a number that doesn’t add up to the video’s length multiplied by the number of plays, there’s something amiss. It could be that browsers are autoplaying the video when people arrive on the web page, causing them to stop play as they browse through the rest of the page first. It could also be that viewers from specific traffic locations, such as social media, ads, newsletters, earn longer watch times for your videos.
Metric: Audience Engagement
Sometimes listed as audience retention by video platforms, this metric is often shown in a graph that displays how many people watch the entire video. It shows you the stats of who’s watching throughout the entire video. For example, the graph line might go up for the first quarter of the video as many people start it, but as they stop watching, the line will drop. The graph line might then go back up if multiple viewers rewatch certain sections of the video.
You’ll want to figure out why engagement spikes or drops at any time during the video. See if you can determine if it’s because of the content or some other factor. Audience engagement won’t tell you why viewers behaved the way they did, but it can tell you what they did. It’s up to you to map it to the content to see if there was something in there that attracted or repelled them.
Metric: Post-Play Conversions
If your video has a call-to-action in it where you want people to take an action, you’ll also want to know if they did it or not. That’s your post-play conversion rate. Perhaps you wanted them to download something or sign up for a course. Look at how many people clicked the call-to-action and then followed it through. Compare it to your total plays, views, and engagement rates to see how well it’s converting. Test out different calls-to-action for your videos to see how they each affect your conversion rates.
There’s a lot of information and insights to be gleaned from your video marketing metrics. Use these tips to look a little deeper at them and figure out what’s next for your video marketing. You’ll know what topics are popular with your audience, which ones are confusing to them, and if they’re helping you achieve the goals you set.