How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Video

If you’ve done any research on video marketing solutions recently, you’ve probably noticed that there are a whole lot of companies offering video analytics that will tell you all kinds of things. But how do you determine what statistics are worth looking at?
Let’s break it down, shall we?

Drop-Off Rate
The glitziest video analytics tools on the market are those that measure what’s called drop-off rate. This is a measure of when the average viewer clicks away from a video, supposedly indicating where your video content begins failing to hold the attention of the viewer. The data can be presented in all kinds of different ways (one company even offers a heat-map), each of them visually appealing.
Unfortunately, this data ain’t worth squat.
Drop-offs are triggered when someone navigates away from the page on which the video resides. So what happens if thirty seconds into a two-minute video I decide that I’ve seen enough to make me want to buy your product? Does that mean that the video failed to hold my attention? Quite the opposite: it engaged me so thoroughly that I immediately converted to a lead. But because I only stayed on the page for 30 seconds, I dragged down the drop-off rate.
And because drop-off rate is so easily skewed (in either direction — what if I was so bored that I walked away from my computer to go make a sandwich and left the video running?) this data is not trustworthy and therefore not useful.
Player Control Data
In theory, if someone rewound* your video to watch a particular part of it again, that must mean that the part of the video they’re rewatching is highly engaging or entertaining — so much so that they want to see it again, right?
Videos are rewound, paused, stopped, fast-forwarded, and replayed for a variety of reasons. If the audio levels are off in one part of your video, people might rewind it so they could try to hear it correctly. If someone in the background of your video looks like my estranged uncle Ted, I might rewind the video multiple times to see if it’s really him. Who knows why people interact with media the way they do? There’s not an analytics program in the world that can accurately predict the human motive behind rewinding a video. Any company or program that claims to is lying. This data is completely without use.
Actual Engagement
So how can you measure the effectiveness of your video? Well, that depends on your goals. In most cases, the goal of any marketing effort is to gather leads in the short term in order to increase revenue in the long term. So if you want to measure how effective your video is, judge it on the leads it directly creates, and the revenue earned from those leads.
If you want your video to augment your social media efforts, judge the effectiveness of your video based on new followers, positive mentions and sharing activity.
If you want your video to help you rank higher for a particular search term, then… well, you get the idea.
Forget the silly froo-froo “engagement” graphs (and heat maps — oi). If you want to measure how engaging your video is, judge it as you would any other medium: by actual engagement. Everything else is just fluff.

*Note: “Rewound” is an antiquated term, as no one watches tapes anymore, but I’m at a loss for what its digital equivalent might be. Can someone help me out?

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