Can you evaluate whether your video content is working? Or is it impossible to tell if your budget is going down a black hole?
Some things are hard to measure. Colleges and universities give out thousands of prospectuses each year, but have a hard time calculating what the impact is. We believe video marketing is a game-changer, and that its impact can be evaluated.
We use up to eight metrics to answer your video marketing ROI questions. Four evaluate the performance of the video asset itself, and all of them are almost always relevant. The other four evaluate against your business objectives, and one or two are usually most relevant for each project.
Here’s the detail on how we evaluate your video marketing content:
1. Content Evaluation
First, we look at the performance of each video asset individually, across views, play rate and engagement data.
View totals are overemphasised, because they are the easiest metric to see and understand. However, remember that they are only useful in telling you about a video’s reach, not its success. If you’re targeting a niche audience, perhaps 100 views counts as a success. Perhaps 10,000 views is too low. Either figure doesn’t tell you much on its own. What view totals can tell you is whether your video is getting the reach it deserves, or whether you need to amp up your distribution and promotion activities.
Play rate is the percentage of people who click the play button on your video after landing on the page hosting it. This is a measure of the effectiveness of your landing page, title and thumbnail. They all provide the context that your web traffic uses to decide whether to watch your content or not. We aim for a play rate of 25%.
Aggregate engagement data
Aggregate engagement data is how many people continue watching over the duration of your video. This metric shows whether viewers’ expectations of the video were met and how engaging the asset is. We look to retain 65-70% of the audience until the end. We also look out for a sudden drop in engagement in the first 10-15 seconds, which indicates that the title/thumbnail combination needs optimising, as viewers’ expectations aren’t being met.
Individual engagement data
Individual engagement data shows how different people are viewing the content. Are they watching the whole thing through from end to end, rewatching segments that they didn’t understand first time around or skipping around trying to find the bit they want? This data (obtained through our video marketing platforms) gives early hints about whether a re-edit is needed.
2. Objectives Evaluation
Secondly, we evaluate against your objectives. We talk again and again about how important it is to know why you are creating each piece of content. Without deciding this upfront, how will you know if your video was a success? That’s why we work with you to clarify what you want to achieve before we create your video.
We’ve found that our clients’ objectives tend to fall into one of the following:
Objective A: driving more traffic
If you’re looking to send visitors to a piece of content, such as an article, a PDF download or a landing page, then we measure the click-through rate using tagged URLs, or tracked links within the video.
Objective B: building a database
If you’re looking for prospective students to register for an open day or sign up to a newsletter, then we measure the subscription rate. This is different from the click-through rate, as we want to track whether viewers are sufficiently motivated by what they’ve seen to hand over their personal data. We compare this to subscription rates from other videos, or other marketing activities intended to build database contacts.
Objective C: engagement
This covers any action that viewers take in response to watching the video, such as shares, likes and comments. It measures how many people were interested enough in your message to act on it in some way, shape or form.
Objective D: conversions/micro-conversions
Conversions are our invitation to bring in the ultimate metric, return on investment (ROI). This can be tricky to do in practice due to the extended decision-making cycle of student recruitment. However, we have two suggestions. Firstly, we can work with you to use unique identifiers that track students through to enrolment. Secondly, we can focus on tracking micro-conversions. If a student is worth, say, £10,000 to the university, and one in five who apply go on to enrol, than an application is worth £2,000. If half of the people who register for an open day eventually apply, then an open day registration is worth £1,000. A video that cost £10,000 to create and distribute which achieves 100 registrations therefore has a potential ROI of 10.
Ready to evaluate your video marketing campaigns?
Get in contact. Whether you’ve already created video assets, or if you’re starting from scratch, we can help. We’ll ask about your goals for your video content and your campaign and discuss your options with you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01582 410892.
You may also be interested in in our blog post: Measuring video marketing ROI: 10 practical tips for colleges and universities.