We all know, or at least should know by now, that you shouldn’t even start production videos until you have a plan in place to measure their success. Without one, you’ll almost definitely end up learning later on down the line that you’ve wasted your time in one way or another.
The thing is, contrary to what many of the videomakers, marketers, brands, and individuals who are using video to accomplish their mission believe, measuring the performance and, hopefully, success of video content isn’t as easy as it seems.
Yes, total views will tell you something about how your videos are doing, but not nearly everything, and in most cases, they won’t even tell you want you really need to know. So, as longtime NY / NJ video production pros, we thought we’d try to clear up some of the confusion.
Define your goals and don’t underestimate the basics.
First of all, for some basic tips on the subject, check out this post, Tips for Measuring the Success of Your Video Production Efforts, but the bottom line is that before doing a thing, you need to make sure you’ve clearly defined your specific goals.
After all, how can you measure how well your videos are doing in terms of achieving those goals if you’re not completely sure of what they are yet? You can’t, so make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish with every video you create.
But no matter what your objectives are, like mentioned above, the basics still have something to say about your video content’s performance. The view count will always be a good indicator of your impressions and overall level of reach.
So, don’t deem basic metrics like the view count useless, because trust us, it’s not. Just remember that there’s a lot more to learn from your video’s performance than simply how many people viewed it—like who those people are and how long they watched—and that this metric is best used in conjunction with others.
Play rate, watch time, and audience retention are all key.
Play rate refers to the percentage of people who clicked your video’s play button and started watching it, making the metric, for one thing, a good way of measuring how well your content is generating leads.
It’s also a metric many marketers, videomakers, etc., use when experimenting with the placement of their videos on a web page, the size of the player, the video’s thumbnail, and other web design-related aspects. Their logic is, if people aren’t hitting play, maybe the video’s just in the wrong place or not drawing enough attention.
Then there’s watch time, which refers to how much of the video viewers are actually watching after clicking play, and it’s another extremely important metric. After all, there’s a huge difference between a viewer who clicked play and hung around for a few seconds and one who watched your video through until the end.
Watch time lets you know what’s making people stick around, or conversely, what’s pushing them away, as well as when, exactly, that exodus is commonly happening. And make no mistake, that kind of data will prove to be extremely valuable when it comes to making future adjustments to your video strategy.
Watch time also says a lot about how viewers are engaging with your videos, as does audience retention, which indicates whether or not viewers are staying engaged throughout the entire length of the video.
Likes, shares, and comments indicate high levels of engagement.
Like mentioned at the top, the metrics that you need to pay attention to depend on your specific goals for your video content, and if engagement and building some loyalty among viewers are your goals, then likes, shares, and comments are a few more major metrics to watch.
In this day and age, we’re all trying to make shareable content. It’s the name of the game now, and likes and shares aren’t just an indicator of the quality of your content in terms of getting viewers to engage, but also of which specific platforms are best suited for your videos.
The same goes for comments. We’ve been in video production in NY and NJ for a long time now and, in our experience, if people are taking the time to share and comment on your video content, then it’s usually a good indication that they’re somewhat invested in it, at least enough to engage.
Yes, there’s always the possibility of viewers leaving bad comments, but even the comments of a more negative nature prove that your videos are inspiring some type of reaction on the part of viewers.
It also indicates a level of loyalty. If viewers aren’t just clicking the play button on your videos, but are then actually watching them through until the end, sharing them, and even taking a few moments to comment on them, you can bet you’ve gained some loyalty at some point along the way.
Conversion rate seems simple enough…
Conversion rate is another one of the basic metrics that cannot be overlooked. After all, getting people to actually do something and engage in some way is always at least a part of the plan, and the conversion rate lets you know if they’re doing that.
It tells you how many people are actually taking action after watching your video, whether that means downloading something, filling out some type of form, subscribing to something, reaching out to you for more information, actually making a purchase, etc.
However, at times, this metric can be a little challenging to track. Think about it, you’ll have to decide how much watching your video actually contributes to conversion. For example, does it only matter if they immediately convert after watching the video?
The point is that you have to determine just how valuable watching your video is pertaining to converting people, and how you should go about attributing conversion success to your video content, specifically.
Everything needs to align.
Now, those are just a few of the most important and telling metrics that you need to pay close attention to when it comes to measuring the performance of your video content, but just remember to make sure the metrics you’re measuring align with your particular goals and the viewers you’re trying to reach.
About Us: KVibe Productions, a full-service film & video production company in NJ / NY, can handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a commercial, corporate video, or a feature film, etc., at KVibe, we create to inspire.