Once your video is out on the interwebs, as a good marketer, the first order of business is to monitor how well (or poorly) your video is doing. If you decided to go for a popular means of distribution like Cincopa in business video hosting or YouTube and Facebook in social media, you are going to have quite many graphs and numbers plastered all over your dashboard.
View count alone is a terrible way to measure how well things are going, and most people have no idea what to do with all the data the first time they come across it. A holistic view of the data can be an empowering way to help your video strategy evolve.
For instance, a 2016 study by Facebook showed that about 45% of all people who view a video online for 3 seconds, would remain watching the video for at least an extra 30 seconds. This is an example of how, whereas video views can be a useful metric, a lot of other factors (like longevity and video engagement) come into play to tell how hooked your users are. Metrics are extremely useful, but only if you understand them and deduce the right information from them.
Using view count to measure reach
Nobody ever said view count wasn’t an important metric. Most relevant, in fact, the view count is used to measure how wide an audience your video has been able to reach. The more widely shared your video is, the higher the view count and, consequently, the more diverse your audience will be.
Views are also the perfect way to make brand impressions and to create a feeling of familiarity with your franchise. Whereas useful, however, they far from tell the whole story behind your videos.
Using engagement to measure quality
Another useful metric you will come across in your standard video analytics is video engagement. This is a measure of the percent of a video that a viewer has watched and goes much further than view count. It can be thought of as the quality of the views your videos receive; more engaging videos can be considered as being more useful because they were watched for longer.
With regard to this, however, keep in mind that low engagement on a video isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Context is always relevant, after all. If your video addresses a specific question, for instance, maybe viewers are just getting their questions answered and taking off.
Using play rate to measure relevance
A video’s play rate is defined as the number of people who have clicked on your video and watched it. The most common way to calculate it is to divide the number who viewed the video against the number of people who accessed the video’s page.
This metric can be used to determine the effect of a video on a particular page. For example, whether the said page gets more visitors because of the presence of the video. It’s a value of data best used for determining the best context for a video. If the play rate is not satisfactory, it can be improved by moving the video around on the page and finding where most people are interested in viewing it.
Time spent on page & bounce rate to measure user experience
Video engagement can also be an indicator of how good your video’s user experience is. In the same way, time spent on a specific page, especially if it has a video, is usually used to gauge your content flow, and, ultimately, how captivated your users are with your videos and page.
Time spent on the page goes hand in hand with the bounce rate. This is an important metric to keep in mind if you are looking to make conversions from your site. Experiment with the video until the bounce rate is as low as possible.
Audience retention to measure quality
The number of people who keep watching a video from straight to end is an excellent piece of video analytics data that indicates your content is useful. At the very least, it is a way to know your content is enjoyable to your viewers.
A sudden drop in the retention curve, as shown by sites like Facebook and Cincopa, could mean something happens at a specific point in time. Studying such areas of your video could help you understand why the viewers react the way they do. Chances are, whatever appears either a few seconds before or after the drop-off point doesn’t interest a significant majority of the audience.
Most videos follow the ‘nose, body, tail’ format graph when it comes to viewer retention rates. The nose represents the first 2% of the video, and an immediate drop means some people are immediately disinterested in your video; he body represents the meat of your content where drop-off rates should be steady while the tail represents a sudden drop in viewers. This is a typical (and healthy) video analytics graph.
Average view duration
The average view duration of a video is the total amount of time a video has been watched divided by the total number of times the video has been played, including replays. This is a great way to measure the average time spent watching your video.
Average view duration can be used to measure the ideal length of content as preferred by your audience. For instance, a 2-minute average indicates the optimal length of content needed to keep your users’ attention span is about the same time – 2 minutes.
Watch time to monitor engagement
This is the total amount of time that’s been spent watching your video. This metric is primarily used to measure how long viewers stay engaged with your content. The prevalence of this metric in the industry can be illustrated by how Youtube, for example, uses when ranking content creators in a search. The same principle also applies when selecting appropriate channels for video monetization. Videos with a higher cumulative watch time are more likely to be approved than those not often watched.
Aside from video monetization, watch time is an excellent indicator of videos that tell a compelling story. More exciting videos get more watch time – the point is to try and keep the viewer hooked for as long as possible.
Average completion rate
Right alongside watch time, the average completion rate is also an excellent metric for measuring how engaged your viewers are. This is how much of your video your audience watches on average. At the core of it, it’s meant to measure how well your video can hold people’s attention. The most notable site that makes use of this metric is Facebook. On your news feed, this is the essential data used to rank videos. If your video is going to find its way on Facebook, it’s essential your viewers watch the video from start to finish.
For the most part, the completion rate depends on the length of your content. The average completion rate for videos grew from 65% to 70% in 2018 from the preceding year, according to a report by Extreme Reach. Relatively short videos (predictably) have the highest completion rates.
Areas of the video that are re-watched
A re-watch is the number of times a person in the audience has watched the whole or a specific part of your video after going over it the first time over. A defined area of your video being re-watched by multiple viewers could mean that part of your video is the most interesting. You will probably want to go over it and find out which topic was being covered then. It’s very likely one that resonates well with viewers.
On the other hand, multiple rewatches at a specific part of your video could also be an indicator of you not having done an excellent job. An explainer video with people going over the same area, again and again, could indicate a misstep in your procedure. If used in combination with the number of viewers that stopped watching the video at this point, you should get a better idea of what’s going on at that point.
The videos’ click-through-rate
Video CTR is a measure of how good your video is at encouraging your viewers to perform the desired action. A low video CTR means you should consider where your call-to-action has been placed in the video. The average internet video is not watched to the end. Unless yours is a definite exception to the rule (thanks to dealing with an already popular channel, for example), you’re advised to place the CTR at the beginning or middle of your video.
On the other hand, you could try and make your video more engaging, so you can place your call-to-action towards the end of the video. The advantage in this would lie in that if a person was willing to view your video all the way to the end, that viewer is the most likely to act than someone that just clicked on the play button. To find the best location for your CTA, keep metrics like average watch time in mind.