Popularity doesn’t always equal success

Are your video analytics missing the bigger picture?

Aug 19, 2020

The way we measure video performance has failed to keep up with our increasing reliance on data, but interactive video changes that.

Popularity doesn’t equal success. Just because a video clocks up hundreds or even thousands of views, doesn’t necessarily make it a winner – despite what your video analytics might show. There’s no guarantee that people hitting the play button will actually like or act on what they see. They may not even be the right audience for your content.

Traditional metrics such as views and completion rates are useful for measuring video effectiveness, but they don’t tell the whole story. The truth is, they’re limited in how well they can quantify a video’s success and, by extension, the ROI on video content.

Traditional video performance indicators

The success of most videos tends to be judged on the following key metrics.

View rate: The figure most people get excited about, this is the number of times a video is played. Content is made to be seen, after all, but the limitation of views is that they only tell us that somebody hit play, offering no insight into what happens after that.

Completion rate: This is a powerful metric that puts your view rate into context, showing the percentage of viewers who actually watched your video to the end. If only a small proportion sits through the video, those thousands of views look less impressive. The completion rate has the potential to mislead, however-just because a video plays in full is no guarantee anyone is paying attention, a definite possibility in the age of multi-screening.

Retention rate: Knowing how long someone watches (and where they drop off) provides greater context to the previous video metrics. You can generally make assumptions about video performance based the moment people switch off. Perhaps your content attracts the wrong audience or the video duration is too long-using this data to re-target or edit your video may help improve retention rates.

Deeper insights through interaction

Traditional video metrics are important, but they’re most effective when supplemented with richer video analytics from interactions-clickable elements that allow audiences to respond to the content they see. For instance, retention rates let us extrapolate reasons why viewers might hit the skip button at a certain moment, but a clickable information box, call to action or interactive selection actually tells us how people react to the content they’re watching.

Interaction rate: This is the percentage of viewers that click on any messages or calls to action in a video. We can not only tell that someone is actively engaged-taking time to click or tap on an interaction-but also paint a clearer picture to measure a video’s performance. Each interaction creates a data trail for instant performance tracking and, over time, you see which ones work… and which don’t.

Conversion rate: Here’s a metric that shows the number of leads or customers gained via an interaction placed in your video. Interactions can direct viewers to your site, capture information or sign-ups via a form, or facilitate a purchase. Whatever interaction you choose, the analytics give you insights into any leads, sales and responses driven by your content.

Custom analytics: Interaction and conversion rates are not the only metrics available through interactive video. To gain qualitative data and a sense of what your audience is thinking, you have the option to build in feedback forms and polls for real-time, reportable insights. Traffic source statistics can show which channels are the most effective for delivering success for a video.

Interactivity not only gives us deeper insights, it drives engagement and improves traditional video performance metrics. Take Australian NRL club, South Sydney Rabbitohs, who used interactive video to highlight the ways fans can shape the club’s future with a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ branching approach. The video had a completion rate of 70%, impressive for any kind of video content. It also drove 58% engagement with its unique branching style.

The reason data has become such a crucial part of doing business is because it allows us to learn, and to fine tune our campaigns and content. In short, better metrics mean better videos-a richer experience for the audience and deeper insights for the publisher.

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