Can you manage and improve something without measuring it? Can you know whether your project is successful or not if you have no idea what success looks like?
According to the great management thinker Peter Drucker, the answer to these questions is NO.
Drucker was a firm believer in the importance of clearly established measures of success and for good reason. Defining and tracking success makes it possible to monitor, adjust and optimize the process of achieving any desired outcome. And this applies to creating successful videos, too.
How do you know whether your videos are successful? A lot of marketers assume that the success of a video is measured by the views it gets. However, it turns out that view count might not be the metric that correlates the most to return on investment (ROI) or profitability. So, before you can measure video success effectively, make sure you pick up the right key performance indicators (KPIs). How do you do that? By choosing KPIs based on your overall marketing goals.
How to match your video goals to the right KPIs?
Creating and distributing videos requires a lot of energy, focus and time. So, no wonder that more and more people are looking for data that can help them improve videos’ performance. The challenge is that you cannot increase the ROI of marketing activities unless you pay attention to your sales funnel. Your sales funnel includes the marketing experience you create to turn prospects into leads, then leads into sales. Potential customers have different needs and desires at different stages of the funnel (top, middle, and bottom). So, it is necessary to align marketing goals, messaging and performance indicators with those specifics.
1. Video Marketing Goal: AWARENESS (Attracting new leads)
KPIs: Ad recall lifts, Awareness lifts, Impressions, Unique users, Video views
At the early stage of the sales funnel, you should focus on capturing the attention of potential customers, educating them about the problem you address and raising awareness of your brand. You can attract new leads by creating explainer animations, educational videos, company culture videos or day-in-the-life-style walkthrough videos. If your goal is reaching the broadest audience possible, then focus on the following 5 measures of success: views, impressions, unique users, awareness lifts and ad recall lifts.
The more VIEWS your videos have, the more people have been introduced to your products and brand. Therefore this is one of the most widespread video metrics. However, it is important to underline that different platforms define and count views in different ways. A view on Facebook and Instagram counts as watching a video until the 3-second mark. On the other hand, YouTube counts views after 30 seconds.
If you want to know how many people your product or brand has been introduced to, track IMPRESSIONS. However, take into consideration that this metric can also be a source of misleading information about engagement. Why? An impression is counted as soon as viewers see the first frame of a video. So, you can never know if people have engaged with your video or they have just scrolled past autoplays in their newsfeed.
If you are looking for a more specific measure than IMPRESSIONS, track UNIQUE USERS. This will allow you to estimate how many distinct people have seen your videos. Even if individuals are watching your videos multiple times, they are counted as one unique user. This means that you can easily determine the level of interest by comparing the number of views and unique users. There are less UNIQUE USERS than VIEWS? This means that your videos are not reaching a wider audience, but people are willing to re-watch them.
Are you wondering if there is a lift in the number of people who remember your brand or product? If so, measure the metric AWARENESS LIFT. It shows how many people remember your brand after a particular period of time has passed since you launched your video.
Whenever you run video ads for raising awareness, pay attention to one more measure of success: AD RECALL LIFT. The more time people spend watching your video, the more likely they will remember your ad after a certain period of time.
2. Video Marketing Goal: CONSIDERATION (Engaging with prospects)
KPIs:View-through rate, Watch-time, Brand interest lift, Favorability lift, Consideration lift
When your prospects reach the middle stage of the sales funnel, they are aware of your brand. However, they are looking at multiple options.
Therefore, you should create tutorials, testimonials and product videos demonstrating that you can solve their problems better than your competitors. In this stage, it is important to focus on engagement. So, rather than measuring views and impressions, consider tracking metrics like view-through rate, watch time, favorability lift, consideration lift and brand interest lift. This will help you evaluate how interested viewers are in your brand.
It is nice to know that your videos have attracted a lot of viewers. However, it is also important to know how many of them are watching your videos until the end. Having a lot of people watching the entirety of a video indicates that the video is successful in engaging audiences. So, if you would like to determine how engaging your video content is, pay attention to the VIEW-THROUGH RATE (VTR).
Other metrics that can help you improve the process of engaging prospects are WATCH TIME and AVERAGE VIEW DURATION. The WATCH TIME shows how much time viewers have spent watching your video. And the AVERAGE VIEW DURATION gives information about your video’s ability to engage viewers. Monitoring these metrics will help you create more engaging videos that get prioritized by platforms like YouTube.
Marketing activities at the middle stage of the sales funnel are focused on increasing the likelihood of conversion. Therefore, pay attention to metrics such as BRAND INTEREST LIFT, CONSIDERATION LIFT and FAVORABILITY LIFT, too.
The BRAND INTEREST LIFT is all about how interested prospects are in your brand.
The CONSIDERATION LIFT metric reveals whether watching your video ad increases the conversion likelihood.
And the FAVORABILITY LIFT shows you whether potential customers perceive your brand more positively after they have watched your video. This can help you identify your most engaging videos so that you use them on a landing page or website.
You can measure and track these 3 metrics by running consumer research or tracking changes in brand-related search queries and interactions.
3. Video Marketing Goal: ACTION (Nurturing decisions to buy)
KPIs: Click-through rate, Calls, Sign-ups, Purchase intent lift, Sales
At the bottom stage of the sales funnel your videos need to address any barriers to making a purchase. It is also important to help viewers understand that they can trust your ability to meet their needs. You can do so by creating videos that convince your viewers of your service’s/product’s benefits. To determine whether you close sales effectively, measure clicks, calls & sign-ups, sales and purchase intent lift.
A lot of videos aiming at nurturing decisions to buy include an external link (i.e. product page or website). Therefore CLICKS can be a useful way of measuring how engaged people are with the content you offer. Keep in mind there is a positive correlation between the view duration and how likely a viewer is to click.
The CALLS and SIGNUPS metrics show how many people are interested in receiving more information about your products/services. You can measure levels of interest by giving access to appropriate contact information. Then track cookies on prospective customers’ phones or use dynamic call tracking. Another way to nurture the decision to buy includes providing a lead capture form. For example, you can request data such as full name, email etc.
Naturally enough, SALES are the most direct estimate of the ROI of your marketing activities. At the same time, sales are quite easy to measure. You simply need to track how many viewers purchase your service or product after watching your videos. The challenge is that a lot of potential customers do not make a purchase immediately afterwards.
That is why it is important to track the increase in PURCHASE INTENT. This estimate shows whether your viewers become more willing to buy your service/product as a result of watching your video.
A FINAL NOTE
If you want to increase sales, do not forget to delight customers into purchasing again by continuously adding value. To determine how successfully your videos delight customers post-purchase, track FAVORABILITY LIFT (see explanation above), SOCIAL INTERACTION and RETURN VISITS. RETURN VISITS are affected by various factors but they certainly give information about how effective your video content is. On the other hand, SOCIAL INTERACTION includes social shares, fan counts or comments that serve as reviews.
To sum up, if you want to make sure your videos are successful, monitor the right metrics. Use the information in this article so that you attribute the right KPI to the correct goal and accomplish your video marketing outcomes.