7 KPIs You Should Be Using to Evaluate Video Content
There’s nothing more exciting than rolling out a new video project or campaign for the first time. All of your hard work spent developing, shooting, and tinkering is finally going on display to tell the world about your brand or product. It can be easy to get caught up in the moment wanting to celebrate your achievement, and you should! However the real truth is that just publishing your video content is only half the battle; the real work has only just begun. The critical next step is now to track that video content and ultimately evaluate your video content’s success.
Whether you’re just starting out in your journey in video production, a seasoned pro, or simply want to know more about the potential of the video content you have hired someone to create for you, it is imperative that you use all the tools available at your disposal to determine if your content is succeeding in the way you need it to. With that in mind, we at Foundation Digital Media have put our years of video production and professional digital media strategy to work in order to create this brief shortlist of 7 essential KPIs, or “Key Performance Indicators”, you can start using immediately to evaluate your video content success.
The simplest of all video evaluation metrics is actually a bit more complicated than meets the eye. Basically, the view count is just as it describes: the amount of people who have watched your video. The problem with this metric however is that it can often be somewhat insignificant and it varies from platform to platform. For example, Facebook’s metrics famously count a watch after only 3 seconds while other sites can require up to 30 seconds of playthrough time. It is a valuable tool when measuring general spread of awareness but difficult to compare and utilize in practice.
In contrast to basic view rate, engagement percentage is a much more valuable means of determining the success of your video. Essentially, this describes the average length of time your audience spent watching your video expressed as a percentage (i.e. if your engagement percentage is 65% then, on average, viewers made it 65% of the way through your video).
This is an extremely important KPI because it can often translate into the most meaningful insights. For instance, if you are not seeing a lot of response to a call-to-action at the end of the video, you might analyze your engagement percentage to see where your audience is stopping and figure out why. Many video streaming services will also allow you to see more detailed information and graphs about your engagement percentage, like rates for those who are rewatching your video after exiting their first watch.
Your play rate might be an interesting datapoint to evaluate, particularly if you are using video for web pages or landing pages. This number represents the amount of viewers who are actively clicking on your videos to start watching them. While this doesn’t typically say much about the content of the video itself, it does tell you a lot about the tangential factors that affect your audience’s willingness to watch your videos. Where you place your video on the page, how it’s formatted, and how it is introduced/titled are just a few examples of the factors that might correlate with changes in your play rate.
This KPI is especially useful when utilizing a closing Call-to-Action (CTA) or other clickable media. What it describes is the number of people who are engaging with the links you provide in, or attached to, your content. Whether you are trying to attract more people to a specific product landing page or build viable leads for a particular niche, it is necessary to determine how many people are clicking these links to ensure you are structuring your content effectively. It is also useful to measure in tandem with engagement rate as the two combined can tell you a lot about the viewer’s behaviour as a result of your video.
While often underrated, analyzing feedback can offer you remarkable insight into the attitudes of your audience or customer base. Feedback includes comments, likes, and dislikes on any particular video. These are notoriously difficult to quantify, as they are more of a qualitative data point, but if you pay close attention to the opinions of those who are watching your content you are far more likely to continue engaging your current audience in a way that maximizes their retention. It can also greatly assist in guiding you towards crafting content that will resonate more deeply with them in the future.
Social sharing is of course simply the amount of times your video has been shared. Observing the amount of times your video content is shared on social media is critical for most broadly targeted awareness campaigns and can tell you enormous detail about how your audience is feeling about those campaigns. It also helps illustrate potential problems in the spread of your messaging that can be altered to be more conducive to sharing specifically, like making specific encouragement for users to share at different points.
This last tip is one that is mostly exclusive to digital media that is focused on customer conversion, or the rate of your audience that becomes a customer or a lead through your video. It could also be used to represent the amount of new members for an organization or subscribed to a newsletter. It’s unfortunately also considered one of the most difficult to track because it can often be extremely complicated to pinpoint the exact moment someone becomes a customer (do you count it if the video was the last thing they watched before buying or if it just played a part in their later decision?) However, these are extraordinarily insightful for videos at a key point in your greater conversion funnel, like when answering a specific question about a product.
In the end, the best way to start in measuring the success of your video content is to establish clear, specific goals from the onset. What is this video’s purpose, what is it trying to accomplish, and how can we determine if it has done so? Setting these markers, often referred to as key performance indicators or video data metrics, is a prerequisite to being able to do good data evaluation in the first place.
If data analysis just isn’t your thing, or if you simply just have too much video metric data to keep up with and need a hand with these kinds of KPIs and those that are more advanced, there are options for you. We have decades of experience in digital media strategy and Washington D.C. boutique web video production to serve you in all of your video content management needs!