Measuring video marketing ROI: 10 practical tips for colleges and universities

Just 18% of brands judge their video marketing ROI as “very successful”, according to a Hubspot survey. So how can colleges and universities prove their video marketing delivers genuine ROI?

Fifty-two percent of marketers consider video marketing to be the type of online content with the greatest ROI. Yet, we often find that one of our clients’ main challenges is measuring their video marketing ROI. If you spend £16,000 on a promotional film, how can your college or university marketing team know what impact it has had? And what about the impact of paid social campaigns?

Often, brands struggle to quantify their video marketing ROI because they are unsure how to measure it. For instance, a five minute video with 100,000 views might seem like a success. But knowing that 97% of the audience stopped watching after the first three seconds would change your perspective.

Our 10 practical ideas to measure video marketing ROI will help you to figure out the strength of your video marketing campaigns:

1. Set realistic and relevant business goals

Before measuring the ROI of your video marketing it’s crucial to set some goals. Often colleges, universities and big brands rely on the number of video views to determine the success of their video marketing campaign. Unfortunately, views only tell part of the story. “Going viral” isn’t a business goal for your college or university, and neither is having 100,000 views. Of course, it’s important that your video content has the right kind of exposure to the right kind of people. However, business goals should be measurable, concrete and, if at all possible, linked to your marketing budget.

Your first step should be to outline your campaign costs. What are the projected costs, and how many marketing hours will you spend promoting it? Then think about how many students need to enrol  to make for your video marketing campaign break even.

For instance, imagine your are spending £5,000 on a targeted video marketing campaign for a new photography short course offered by your college or university. For the project to break even, your video will need to generate £5,000 worth of new enrolments on the course. If the course fee is £500 per person, that equals 10 enrolments to compensate for the cost of the video. Everything else on top is profit. So the starting business goal for your video marketing might be to generate 30 new enrolments on your photography course totalling £15,000, resulting in £10,000 profit. Simples!

2. Calculate your revenue

When it comes to ensuring senior leaders understand the value your marketing team delivers, nothing’s more convincing than demonstrating your video marketing is generating extra enrolments. Unfortunately, revenue can also be one of the most difficult metrics to measure. You may never know for sure which of your students enrolled solely because they watched one of your videos. But there are important steps you can take to ensure that you have a good idea of how many enrolments were influenced by it.

Tracking the people who flow from a video and go on to make an application online is the easiest way to calculate revenue and profits from your video marketing. You can do this by using web tools to embed links that are specific to your videos. Adding tags – called UTM parameters – to links shared alongside your videos will help you to track them more effectively in Google Analytics.

Google’s URL builder makes this easy. Just enter the basic website URL, campaign source, medium, name, and any other differentiating information. This will help you organise your data in Google Analytics so you can see exactly where your traffic is coming from. You’ll be able to see how many prospective students watched your video and calculate the resulting revenue.

3. Compare average time spent on pages

Want to know more about video marketing ROI for specific videos on your website’s course information pages? If you don’t know, it’s easy to find out – and worth your while. A study by video hosting and analytics provider Wistia looked at data from the highest-trafficked 100 pages on their website from June 2013 to July 2016, focusing specifically on time on page. They found that, on average, people spent nearly three times longer viewing pages with video content compared to pages without. That’s pretty amazing.

Your video content could already be having the same kind of impact, without you even realising.  The best thing of all is that this is one of the easiest metrics to track. Within Google Analytics, simply compare the Average Time Spent on Page for each of your pages with video content, before and after the video content was added. Voila – another metric to prove your team’s video marketing is delivering awesome ROI.

4. Make comparisons with non-video content

Do all your landing pages from social media include video marketing content? If not, they should! According to Hubspot, including a video on a landing can increase conversion rates by 80%. Comparing the revenue generated, or time spent, on landing pages before and after video content was added is another way of measuring ROI for video marketing. You could also trying comparing revenue generated from course information pages with videos, compared to those without.

5. Capture emails

Some video hosting platforms give your college or university the ability to include email capture in your video player. Wistia’s Turnstile is a fine example. Tracking the number of emails captured on each video is an easy way to figure out how well those videos are working for lead capture.

6. Quantify brand awareness

There is still something positive to be said for measuring good old fashioned brand awareness as part of your video marketing ROI. In addition to publishing your number of views, YouTube Analytics can help you to break down your video viewership by demographics and through tracking outgoing clicks.

Consumer brands still see brand awareness as a crucial metric. For instance, Fisher Price aimed to boost its brand awareness with this heartwarming video featuring new mums revealing their innermost thoughts about their newly born. The video has been watched on YouTube nearly two million times and also drew plenty of media attention when released.

7. Measure engagement metrics

The next step forward from brand awareness is engagement. All of the major social platforms – where the most engagement is happening – offer first-rate analytics suites that make it simple to track engagement, including Facebook Page Insights, Twitter Analytics and YouTube Analytics. But with so much information available, what is most important to track? In our opinion, the following are essential for measuring video marketing ROI for your college or university:

Actions taken

When someone takes a step further than simply scrolling past your video in their news feed. The primary metrics for measuring engagement around your video are how many people liked, commented on, or shared it.


How many people saw your video? This is a direct result of the number of engagement actions taken on your video. As people like, comment, and share, your video gets further reach. This is great for brand recognition of your college or university, and opens doors to new audiences.

Watch time

How much of your videos are people actually watching? Are they only watching a few seconds before losing interest or making it all the way to the end? This can help you get a sense of how people are reacting to your video content.

8. Combine video hosting platforms with analytics software

Video hosting platforms like Wistia offer comprehensive video analysis suites to help you track demographic information and direct engagement for your video marketing. They also integrate with Google Analytics to bring your most important metrics into one place and help you understand your video marketing ROI. Useful information you can track includes:

• Video views

• Email capture from videos

• Most popular videos

• Best-performing videos by number of leads generated

• Videos watched more than 75% of the way through

• Videos which received the most clicks on calls to action.

9. Capture feedback from surveys

Bill Gates was right when he said: “We all need people who will give us feedback – that’s how we improve.” It’s why you probably send post-event surveys to attendees at your open events.  But, as part of your surveys, do you ask visitors if they have seen your video content? And what they thought about it? Or whether it influenced their decision to attend? If not, perhaps you should. You could be missing out on vital insights about your video marketing ROI – and how you can improve your content in the future.

10. Finally, ask yourself some awkward questions

Last, but by no means least, it’s time to look back at your analysis and start asking yourself a few critical questions:

  • Is your campaign targeted to your core audience, in a voice and format they understand?
  • Are you targeting each demographic separately?
  • Are any core audience demographics responding negatively to your campaign? For instance, is it performing more positively among females than males?
  • Are viewers abandoning your video marketing? If so, why?
  • Is your video marketing campaign giving prospective students a solid call to action? If your video audience isn’t converting, it may be that people aren’t certain what steps they should take next.
  • Are you establishing an ongoing relationship with people who engage with your video marketing?

Once you know the answers to these awkward questions, you’ll be well-placed to create more super engaging videos that achieve the marketing goals for your college or university. But with improved ROI.

We want as many colleges and universities as possible to be among the top 18% of brands who judge their video marketing as an unmitigated success. There are, in our opinion, two steps towards your college or university achieving this:

  1. Ensuring you can effectively measure your video marketing ROI
  2. Publishing inspiring, brave and targeted video marketing content that pushes boundaries.

Now you know how to achieve part one, let us help you with part two. Clearhead are moving image experts, working with brands and universities to create brave and strategic creative content solutions.

Request a free copy of our Little Purple Book of Video Marketing for HE and FE Marketers now by emailing or call us on 02074941589

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