The past few years have seen a significant uptick in the amount of video as a means of media consumption among a significant part of internet users. Videos on Facebook get a staggering total of 8 billion views per day, which, alone, should at least be a pointer towards how much video continues to dominate our lives. Our brains are wired in such a way that they retain visual content much better than words alone.
Accordingly, people stay on a website for as much as two minutes longer and are about 64% more likely to purchase being shown a product video. With video view rates on YouTube growing by as much as 60% every year, and over 100 million hours of video watched daily on Facebook, the number of people watching videos online is only projected to grow in the coming years.
As the number of video consumers continues to grow, we, as marketing professionals, are going to need ways to make our videos as useful as possible. Considering how much target markets differ; no magic formula works for every business out there. However, video engagement is a great place, to begin with.
What is video engagement?
There isn’t a single, reliable definition of what video engagement means to every player in the market. It’s affected by a variety of factors like the length of your videos and how you generally structure your video. Generally, however, video engagement is considered the primary factor that determines how much information viewers will retain from videos they watch. In other words, viewers both stay to view your content and don’t tune out in the middle of your presentation. In other words, the higher the video engagement, the higher the effectiveness of the video.
A definition that will resonate with a significant number of people, however, revolves around what happens in the first ten seconds of the video. This could be the number of viewers retained over that period or the number of clicks your banner receives. Since this isn’t necessarily so for all video-some run for less than ten seconds-most businesses, measure engagement in other ways. Actions like liking the video, sharing and subscribing are all part of the metrics that go into their definitions.
Depending on the kind of data your video host provides, there are a lot of other metrics that can be put into the mix to fine-tune the data output.
How to measure video engagement
The key to video engagement is collecting the right kinds of data. Different video host provides another type of analytics metrics that you can then use to measure engagement on your videos.
One thing to remember is that as you create your video content, you will be better off building engagement strategically rather than using the kinds of tricks lots of marketers often swear by. What you need more than anything is to find what your target audience thinks is relevant to them and discover new ways to build on top of the information you already have. The viewer should be pulled into the viewership cycle and provided with material that helps them learn more. If necessary, support content and conversations can be thrown into the mix.
How far is the video watched?
One of the basic metrics when it comes to engagement is quarterly tracking. How many users make it to the 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% marks reflect on how engaging your video is. Keep in mind that fewer people are likely to reach the 100% mark than reach the 25% mark. That’s completely normal, especially if your videos tend to be significantly longer.
For instance, videos that are just a minute long have the highest viewer retention up to the 30-second mark, with 80% retentionship, while relatively long videos that drag on for 5-10 minutes have just over 50% retention, according to data from Cincopa. In other words, it’s nearly impossible to get 100% viewer retention. Besides, it shouldn’t be given more weight when measuring your engagement rates.
Once these metrics are compiled, you can then create a report for each video to better understand which videos have better retention rates. It’s then possible to deduce which content is more engaging towards your target audience.
Even better, if your videos are broken down into more specific categories, you can study each one of them individually and find out which content interests your users the most. If any ads appear at any point of the video, you can also use their completion rates to measure the effectiveness of your video.
How do people interact with the video and its content?
Beyond hardcore metrics, the kind of interactions that happen within the player itself can also give you some more insight into the minds of your viewers. Interactions such as if or when the size of the video player is changed, whether the video is shared on social media or other such are usually factored into the engagement calculation equation, which brings us to video interaction rate.
Video interaction rate is calculated by dividing the total number of interactions on all your videos against the number of times your video has started playing. Here, the kind of interactions you want to measure is entirely up to you. However, it’s more advisable to use metrics like video rewatches, player, resizing, and other such metrics over social media analytics. There’s no harm in using them if you’re confident they won’t break anything in your final report.
Video interaction rate can also be used on specific videos rather than your whole collection. This will allow you to take note of which videos are doing better than the others, which can help you dig deeper into what’s helping keep your viewers engaged.
Create segments of your videos using collected metrics
Different people will interact with your content in different ways. To measure the impact of videos across the board, you can define your market into different segments depending on how they interact with your content.
Take the modern example of a typical online store that offers a range of products to customers all over the globe. To promote the products, it creates a few product videos and uses them on the detail pages. They can then use the viewership segmentation metric, and find out that, on average, higher completion rates of videos correlate with higher conversion rates. People who complete watching the video have as much as 50% conversion rates than those who don’t watch the video at all.
This information can then be integrated into various forms of marketing campaigns such as paid advertising and social media outlets to bring in potential clients to your site. The video completion metric can be used to specifically target users who have completed about ¾ of the content or more. Various channels can then be tested, and whichever works for specific people can be used to increase eventual conversion rates. Once a user makes a purchase, the channel should be adapted accordingly.
This should be the beginning of how you put your metrics to good use. Several strategies can be adopted, each of which has different implications. It’s up to you, the marketer, to understand how the video content fits together with your target audience and which kind of videos work best, i.e., have the highest engagement and conversion rates.
There are several ways to measure video engagement, but regardless of whichever you choose, a compelling video is defined as that which delivers the intended message to the viewer. And, despite common tropes, engagement encompasses much more than just the number of viewers or how many video minutes have been watched on your channel. If the content of your video isn’t very interesting or you didn’t do a good job at stimulating the audience, retention and recall rates will be low. Depending on how complex the topic you are trying to address or how niche your market is, you may need to adjust your strategies to boost engagement.
Additionally, there’s no magic potion you can use to create an engaging video. It takes a lot of experimentation and tweaking to get things right. It won’t always work out, to begin with: not everyone will be interested in whatever you have to say, but with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of research, it’s a lot easier to come up with a successful recipe. Every mistake you make serves as an opportunity to learn something new.