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7 Video metrics you need to know to measure success

If you’re looking to ramp up your video marketing strategy, it’s important to know how to measure its performance. And that all starts with knowing the right video metrics to track.

Some metrics don’t actually affect your bottom line, and the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) can vary from video to video. So in this article, we’re going to walk you through some of the most important video content KPIs as well as when to track them and what they mean for your video marketing’s overall success.

What are video content KPIs and why is it important to measure them?

KPIs, or key performance indicators, are quantifiable measurements of performance.

Many types of marketing strategies have their own KPIs that need to be monitored and tracked to see if the strategy is succeeding or needs to be adjusted. You can’t simply launch a new strategy or campaign then just let it live its life. Every campaign needs testing, tracking and adapting to meet its full potential, and that’s where your KPIs come in.

When you select the most important KPIs for your content or marketing campaign or strategy, you’re able to hone in on exactly what needs to be adjusted in order to improve performance.

In video marketing, you’ll be monitoring things like the number of views, watch time, comments, clicks, and more. The specific KPIs will depend on the type of video you’re creating and where it falls in your marketing funnel.

Let’s learn more about what each video metric and KPI means.

Top 7 video metrics to measure

Whether you’re launching a new video campaign or you’re publishing a new video to your YouTube channel, there are certain KPIs that you should monitor in order to measure your video’s overall success.

We’ll walk you through each of the top seven video metrics to keep an eye on and what they mean.

1. View count

Your view count is the total number of people who have viewed your video. It’s important to keep in mind that these are measured differently across different platforms.

Here’s how the major platforms measure a view:

  • YouTube: Someone intentionally watches your video for 30 seconds

  • Facebook: Someone views your video for 3 seconds (same for Live videos)

  • Instagram: Video views count after 3 seconds; Live video views count the second someone joins the broadcast

  • Twitter: Someone watches your video for 2 seconds with at least 50% of the video player on their screen

  • LinkedIn: They have the same policy as Twitter: 2 seconds with at least half the video in view

  • TikTok: A video view counts as soon as your video starts playing in someone’s feed

View count can be considered more of a vanity metric, as the number of views don’t really affect your bottom line if no other action is taken. However, this still shows us that we need to make those first 3-30 seconds hyper-engaging in order to reel a viewer in.

For example, in the Sprout Social YouTube Videos Report, views is the first video metric measured, followed by estimated minutes watched, view duration and engagement. If you have Premium Analytics, you can sort the YouTube Video Reports, as well as the Post Performance Report, by specific metrics available in the reports.

2. Engagement

Just like you measure on every other platform, your video engagementincludes the comments and likes that your video content generates.

It’s a good idea to see how many people are actually taking action on your video, but more than that, you want to pay attention to the types of comments you’re getting.

Taking feedback into consideration can help improve your next campaign, or at the very least, give you some understanding on what your audience would be looking for from you.

3. Play rate

Your play rate is going to be a must-measure metric for landing pages with embedded videos. This KPI tells you how many people actually clicked playto start watching your video. This is a lot different from scrolling down a feed with auto-play on. This metric requires action.

You calculate play rate by dividing the number of people who clicked play by the total number of visitors who access the video landing page.

There are a few things you can do to increase your overall play rate. Consider:

  • Designing an attention-grabbing thumbnail

  • Including a human face in your thumbnail

  • Testing the location of the video on your landing page

4. Watch time

Watch time is the total amount of time that people have watched your video. It’s added cumulatively and also includes replays.

This KPI helps you understand if your video content is resonating with your audience. A longer watch time means people are enjoying the video, while a shorter one means you may have missed the mark.

You can find your average watch time by dividing the total watch time of your video by the total number of video plays, including replays.

5. Social shares

One of your main goals for video content should be social shares. This widens your audience exponentially, increasing brand awareness and potentially bringing in new leads.

Keep in mind that you’re going to generate more social shares on videos at the top of your marketing funnel than you will on videos at the bottom. Don’t be disheartened when you see this discrepancy. If you’re aiming for social shares and brand awareness, you’ll want to create more cheeky, entertaining or educational video content.

6. Clicks and click-through rates

If you’re running a video ad campaign with a call-to-action button, the number of clicks and click-through rate are going to be one of the main KPIs that you need to measure.

The goal with campaigns like these is to get as many people as possible to click from your video to your landing page to learn more about your business, product or service.

Test various CTAs to see which works best and make sure your video content is enticing enough to get people clicking.

You can measure your click-through rate by dividing the number of clicks that your ad receives by the number of times your ad is seen.

7. Conversions

The last major KPI you need to keep an eye on is conversions. In a video ad, conversions measure how well your video persuaded viewers to convert into a lead or a customer.

It’s easiest to measure this when you’re running actual video ad campaigns, but when it comes to measuring conversions based on your educational videos or organic video content, it gets a bit stickier. At this point, you have to rely on tracking and UTM tags to see where your clicks and conversions are coming from.

However, measuring conversions should be a part of every marketing strategy your team deploys. When time and resources are being spent on a campaign, it’s important to measure how it affects the bottom line, and whether it was profitable or not.

How to improve your video metrics

When launching a new video campaign or video content, we always have the highest hopes. But it’s easy to get disappointed when those numbers aren’t as exciting as we’d hoped.

It’s important to know strategies on how to really ramp up your performance metrics and ensure a successful campaign.

Here are a few tips to improve your video content so you’re happy with what you see when you open up those analytics.

  • Design eye-catching video thumbnails: Thumbnails are a viewer’s first impression of your video before they decide to watch it or not. Make sure it’s bright and pops off the screen. This is especially important on a video host like YouTube, when viewers are met with a list of competing videos. You want to make sure yours stands out.

  • Write compelling copy: Your video is the main event, but your accompanying copy also needs to do some heavy lifting. While your video draws people in, make sure your copy is compelling enough to get them to take further action.

  • Add captions to your video: Not everyone will be scrolling through their social media feeds at a time when they can listen to the audio, so captions are a must. This is also helpful for accessibility and ensuring that anyone can watch and enjoy your video content.

  • A/B test important video campaigns: Don’t rely on a one-and-done marketing strategy. A/B test everything. Find out what resonates best with your audience so you can replicate that in your future campaigns for even better results.

  • Share videos in optimal sizes: Social media platforms have different specs for photos, videos, GIFs, you name it. Make sure you adjust your video content so you’re sharing the best size for each platform.


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