filming on set in a school
PHOTO: Sam McGhee

Video is one of the most effective and powerful ways to communicate with consumers and drive sales. In fact, 52% of marketers believe that video has the best return on investment (ROI) of all content — compelling more companies to make video a bigger part of their communication strategy.

However, brands often face challenges related to resources and budget constraints when it comes to executing a video strategy. That’s why it’s so important for companies to truly understand the factors that contribute to video’s ROI.

Video Metrics Worth Watching

In thinking about measuring any program’s success, it’s important to create an analytics framework that will help you understand what’s working and what’s not. Knowing which metrics to explore will help you refine your strategies, ensure you’re on the right track and pivot when necessary. Some measurement considerations include:

  1. View count: How many people are watching your video?
  2. Engagement: How long are people watching your video, and who is watching which portions of the video?
  3. Conversion rate: How many people are actively taking a desired action as a result of your video, such as button clicks, product saves, page likes and, of course, purchases?
  4. Traffic: Where did your customers come from? Your website, social channel or email?
  5. Social sharing: How many people are liking and sharing the video on social?
  6. Microbrowsers: How many clicks from the video are a result of microbrowser-generated web traffic, such as messaging apps? Are you set up to track that traffic?
  7. Feedback: What types of comments are people leaving in response to your video? Is the sentiment positive or negative?
  8. Cost: How much did the video cost and how does it compare to its revenue impact?

Related Article: 8 Analytics Trends to Watch in 2020

Find Areas to Improve Your Video Program

Now that we’ve identified the metrics to monitor, it’s time to figure out which areas have opportunities for improvement in order to create a strong and compelling video program generating measurable benefits.

  1. Identify clear goals. As always, it’s important to first establish specific and measurable goals for your video campaign. For example, if your goal is to increase engagement, set detailed metrics that answer the question “Did people on average watch more than 85% of the video?” or measure purchase intent by seeking to answer, “Did we increase clicks on product listing/details pages by 25%?” Only when you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve can you find opportunities for improvement.
  2. Create a baseline comparison. Marketers shouldn’t replace an existing non-video campaign with video. Don’t think of it like reinventing the wheel, though. Instead, video campaigns should be built from scratch to present a new way of relaying your brand’s key messages and reinforcing its identity. With a baseline comparison, marketers can fully understand the value of video and accurately recognize how video affects the overall marketing strategy.
  3. Build a measurable distribution strategy. Brands can showcase videos through multiple distribution channels, including email campaigns, YouTube, social media channels and product pages. From there, marketers can analyze the data and identify the ROI for each video channel. They can also identify which channel has the best reach for each target audience in order to create the most impactful campaign.

Related Article: How Vertical Video Is Changing Content Marketing

Use AI to Enhance the Impact of Your Video Strategy

Now that you know what to measure and how to improve ROI, it’s time to get started. One of the game-changers in multiple technology arenas has been the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and concepts around machine learning. These concepts have also made their way to the video world. AI is a powerful tool that has changed the video creation and delivery process for the better, whether it’s a result of automating the creation, manipulation or delivery process. For example, AI can be used to automatically remove unwelcome background elements from an asset or to detect specific objects in videos to focus on. By automating these tedious aspects of production, the process doesn’t just become faster, but also helps create more engaging and impactful content that converts and delivers serious ROI.

The Road to Better ROI

Businesses should take advantage of video technology to manage an ever-increasing appetite for high-value content. They’ll also need to find ways to manage the subsequent volume of content while shortening the amount of time it takes to evaluate all these components.

But with the right strategy, data and tools, marketers can easily refine, enhance and optimize the content they have, and deliver the ROI that great video content promises for every brand.