HOW TO MEASURE VIDEO CONTENT ROI

Content marketing video return on investment being measured.
Larry Lubin May 22 ,2019

Videos, while highly engaging and extremely effective, still have one thing in common with other content formats – they need to be measured for ROI.

Understanding how well your video performs is no less important than tracking your blog or social campaigns for their performance. The numbers behind a video’s performance will indicate if your time and money were well spent.

ROI measurement for video content can be made simple if you establish a few key elements early in the process.

IDENTIFY YOUR ROI MEASUREMENT OBJECTIVES

Each and every piece of content should be created with an end-goal. This reigns true for video as well. The objectives you hope to achieve with a video should be more strategic than simply trying to go viral. They should be actionable and measurable conclusions you can reach using strategy and creativity.

COMMON VIDEO CONTENT OBJECTIVES

  • Brand awareness – Increasing the visibility of your brand so a wider audience takes notice.
  • Revenue generation – Increasing your product sales or subscriber base.
  • Customer education – Teaching your audience about new developments, “old” tricks, or give helpful advice in relation to your industry and brand.
  • Thought Leadership – Establishing yourself as an authoritative and leading presence in your industry.
  • Loyalty engagement – Maintaining your existing customers and encouraging them to engage in an ongoing relationship with your brand.

With these objectives in mind, you need to treat your video as an experiment. That means presenting a hypothesis – what you think will work, your testing methods, and what you think your content will accomplish. Developing a strong hypothesis serves a roadmap because it forces you to look at what you want to accomplish and what challenges you currently face.

For example, you can pose your hypothesis in this fashion:

Changing______into “x” will increase/decrease/not affect {Marketing Objective} because:

Of course, there are other ways to frame your hypothesis, but this one is common and can help you begin your content experiments.

DETERMINE KPIS TO MEASURE OBJECTIVES

Deciding which KPIs and metrics to measure is often the most confusing step for marketers and brands that want to calculate ROI. A laundry list of KPIs can be deployed for the sake of calculating ROI for video, but only a few will make sense given your objectives.

KEY VIDEO ROI METRICS

  • Total watch time – The length of time viewers engage with your video.
  • Average watch duration – The total watch time of your video divided by the total number of video plays, including replays.
  • Average completion rate – The percent of the video your audience watches, a metric that measures your video’s ability to hold viewer attention.
  • Audience retention – The percentage of your audience that watches a video as it plays from beginning to end.
  • Re-watches – The number of times your audience watches your entire video or specific parts of your video again.
  • Click-through-rates – A measurement of how well your video encourages viewers to take a desired action.
  • Peak live viewers – Shows you when the highest number of viewers were watching your live video.
  • Live video reactions & shares – A display of the distribution of your audience’s reactions during your live video streams (primarily for Facebook).
  • Play rate – The percentage of people who come across your video and press “play”.
  • Bounce rate – The percentage of people who land on a page but then leave without going to other pages. This can apply to videos featured on a page that users ultimately leave without taking any action.
  • Conversion rate – A measurement of how well your video persuaded viewers to convert into a lead or a customer.

The most important aspect of deciding which metrics to monitor is to identify the ones that align with your marketing objectives. For example, if you want to measure your video’s engagement level, you’d ideally want to look at metrics such as average completion rates, audience retention, and reactions. Or if you’re looking to increase sales and subscriptions, then you’d want to keep an eye on a video’s click-through and conversion rates.

DESIGN YOUR VIDEO AROUND MEASURABLE ELEMENTS

Ultimately, you need to build your video around your objectives and metrics to calculate its ROI. In other words, that means you need to structure it in a way that matches your intended goal and establish your measurement tools beforehand.

For example, if you wanted to produce a video to educate customers about the benefits of a financial product, you’d want to structure the video in a format that’s conducive to learning. You could even create a personalized experience that makes the user feel like they’re already using the product to really help them understand how the product would benefit them.

In terms of measurement, you also want to identify beforehand what KPIs matter most and set up the tools needed to capture such data. For an educational video, the name of the game is engagement, so track social shares and comments, average view duration, and click-through rates.

Considering these elements before you create your video allows you to hire the right talent to create the video that will help you reach your goal. Additionally, it would inform you of the necessary tools for split testing, video optimization, and technical capabilities – all of which can assist you in reaching marketing objectives.

CONSULT YOUR OWN PERFORMANCE & INDUSTRY BENCHMARKS

What should your video performance numbers look like?. There are three areas to consider in this regard: Industry standard rates, trendline analytic reports, and the quality of engagements.

Industry standard rates refer to the average number for a given metric (ie. average watch time, conversion rate). There is no universal number for these metrics as they tend to vary between industries. However, you’ll want to aim to at least reach these numbers and ideally, surpass them.

Trendline reports show the performance of your content. They’re often presented as line graphs in analytics dashboards. Look for particular patterns such as gradual or dramatic sloping of curves (upwards and downwards), jagged lines, and flatlines, as they all reflect different performance and behavioural trends.

Quality of shares is less quantitative in nature but nonetheless a vital consideration. A high number of social shares and comments looks great to the eyes, but if they’re low quality (think spam, fake engagement, etc), your video will fail to deliver ROI. Ideally, your videos will be shared by real people who make authentic comments. Authentic engagements are far more valuable than a high volume of spammy or purchased engagements.

With all of this data in hand, you’ll need to crunch some numbers to determine the ROI of your video. This is where formulas come in handy. Assuming you’ve followed the steps before, you will review your content’s performance (engagements, conversions) and marketing spend (funds allocated to create and promote the video) to gain a better sense of your video’s ROI.

For example, to calculate the simple ROI of a sales video, you can use the following formula:

(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI.

To calculate brand awareness, which is notoriously hard to measure, you can compare direct traffic (viewers) and bounce rates (view time). A rise in direct traffic and views in one time period versus a previous period indicates that people are actively searching for your content, signalling growth in brand awareness.

DON’T WRESTLE WITH VIDEO ROI MEASUREMENT

ROI measurement for video can be tricky for newcomers and even established video creators who are undertaking ambitious campaigns.

Nevertheless, the earlier in the video production process you determine your objectives and metrics (and desired performance level), the easier it becomes to measure them later on.

You will ultimately set yourself up for a more favourable and easy-to-handle campaign down the road.

About the author: Larry Lubin

Larry Lubin

As original founder, Chairman and CEO of Fitech, now part of CGI, Larry began innovating in sales, software development, and financial services. Many leading applications for Financial Institutions including the Reality Check™ series for Scotia Bank were developed by Larry and his Fitech team.

His vision of an optimized and fully integrated sales and customer experience that leverages the power of technology is at the heart of every solution today.

In September of 2003, BlueRush was created with the mission to create the ultimate customer experience. BlueRush currently works with many of North America’s leading financial services, healthcare and consumer packaged goods companies.

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