8 KPIs for Measuring Video Performance

Posted by Andrea Keating on January 5, 2017

That corporate video you just made? The CEO loves it. So does the sales manager. The marketing team thinks it’s awesome.

But what about the most important opinion? What do your (current and potential) customers think about it?

Those sentiments are harder to assess, but they ultimately have more impact on your company’s success than the feelings of those who are on the payroll. And unless it’s somehow practical to survey everyone who watches the video, you’ll most likely have to rely on what its key performance indicators (KPIs) tell you.

First, Define Performance

But before you look at the numbers, it’s imperative to determine what the definition of “performance” is. Increasing public awareness of your company, brand, or product? Persuading people who are considering whether to purchase a product or partner with your company? Or getting viewers to take action immediately? The answers to these questions will help you identify the most relevant KPIs to follow.

Here are eight of the most common KPIs that companies can use to evaluate a video’s performance:

1. Views. This one is the most obvious and among the easiest to measure. But simply tabulating the number of times that a web surfer clicks the Play button of the video player won’t necessarily give you a clear picture of the video’s success.

The total views KPI is most valuable if your video is meant to raise awareness of your brand among a target audience who may not be that familiar with your company or the specific product or service you are marketing. To boost your view total, you can actively share it with influencers, post it on social media, distribute it via email, and/or engage in paid promotional methods (like pop-up ads, for instance).

2. Play rate. This metric calculates the number of people who watched the video divided by the number of people who saw the video (but didn’t play it). Depending on how you marketed the video, the denominator of this fraction could be site visitors, page visitors, email recipients, or similar virtual groups.

If your play rate is low, it’s essential to figure out why people aren’t watching your video. Possible solutions may include optimizing the video for mobile viewing, altering its supporting text, picking a different thumbnail image, or moving the video to another page on your site or position on the web page.

3. Watch time. As the name implies, it gauges the length of time that viewers watch your video. For standardization purposes, this is often computed as a percentage of the video watched rather than minutes and seconds.

This KPI can tell you if viewers are interested enough in your video to watch it all the way through. If watch time is unsatisfactory, the video may be too long, not focused enough on its message, or out of alignment with viewers’ expectations for its content.

4. Click-through rate. This tells you how often someone watches the video and then immediately clicks on the accompanying link to visit your site or designated landing page. It’s useful for appraising not only awareness campaigns but also strategies designed to attract and persuade members of your target audience who are considering whether to patronize your company.

In many cases, this KPI helps recognize a moderate level of interest in your video. A high click-through rate may indicate that the video is interesting enough to watch and pique the viewer’s curiosity; but it doesn’t necessarily correlate with higher sales or more conversions.

Corporate video production

5. View-through rate. Often confused with click-through rate, this KPI measures how often a viewer may visit your site or landing page at some point after viewing the video—even if they don’t follow through on the call-to-action immediately. It’s calculated by matching the IP addresses (and similar web location data) of site or page visits with those who viewed the video in the past.

In other words, view-through rates help account for the impact of other marketing tactics which affect a person’s decision to eventually visit a site. Or it can figure out if the video performed well enough to convince a viewer to subsequently turn to your company when he or she was ready to make a purchase.

6. Click-through conversions. This metric is more closely tied to sales, revenues, or other bottom-line numbers. It’s the total number of people who watched the video, clicked through to your site or landing page, and followed through on the call-to-action—whether it was buying something, signing up for a marketing list, subscribing to a publication or feed, or donating money to a cause.

7. View-through conversions. Like its sister KPI view-through rates, it tracks how many people eventually embraced the call-to-action after watching the video—even if they didn’t click through to the destination page immediately. It can help determine whether an overall marketing campaign (of which the video was a single component) was successful.

8. Social engagement. This category encompasses several different peripheral metrics which can impact the success of a video and its accompanying campaign. Social engagement KPIs include comments, likes, shares, retweets, forum posts, and other similar types of social media activity.

These are especially relevant if one of the goals of the video is to “go viral.” Naturally, a strong social media presence and experienced social media marketing staff members (or service providers) can directly influence these KPIs.

Corporate video production

Other KPIs

For companies who want more detailed information on their video’s performance, there are other KPIs that they can monitor. Some of these include time spent on site pages, unique page impressions (which filters out return visitors), and bounce rate (site visitors who leave without viewing other pages or buying anything). Combined with other data, these metrics can often illuminate the reasons a video isn’t accomplishing its goals or a marketing campaign is underperforming.

Finding KPI-Boosting Experts

Maximizing these KPIs for your corporate videos isn’t magic. There are some tried-and-true methods and tactics which can help improve the performance of these videos no matter what you want to use them for. Skilled social media marketers and knowledgeable video producers can be your allies in this mission.

So while the visual elements of your corporate video are important, even the slickest and fanciest videos may not perform as well as they could unless they are placed properly in front of a target audience and supported by an underlying digital marketing strategy. These KPIs can help you position your video so that it can achieve its goals and fulfill its role in boosting your company’s profits.

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