Online video is consistently showing its value well beyond the one-off viral hit. For the evolution of video marketing to continue, it is important to define what constitutes a "win". At the 2014 ReelSummit, a panel of video industry experts discussed what kind of video marketing performance metrics, tools and tricks to track, and why. Moderated by Julie Perry of StrataBlue, the panel featured John Holdridge of Fullscreen, CJ Bruce of New Antics, Allison Stern of Tubular, and Reed Lucas of Bent Pixels. You can watch the full session in the following video, and read some of the highlights below. If you are a video marketer or a brand strategist, the video is a must-see:
What Metrics/Results Constitute a Win in Video Marketing?
There are a number of metrics that brands and agencies have traditionally used to track the performance of their videos, including Video views, Subscribers, Watch Time, Shares, Likes, Search Rankings, Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, etc.
But the industry has matured, and there are now a number of tools that marketers can use to analyze a huge range of performance data. These tools can be used to guide digital strategy, determine resource allocation and, most important, prove the ROI of a video campaign.
What Has Changed & What's Important for 2014 & Beyond
Julie asked the panel what had changed in the last year in terms of what to track, and what metrics were no longer worth considering.
Reed Lucas: We're seeing a huge shift away from watch metrics, i.e. views, to Watch Time metrics. Also, traffic via 'Recommended' videos is incredibly important. On YouTube, you don't need millions of views any more to get higher rankings, you need your content to be shared, watched, and recommended.
Allison Stern: It's been a really interesting year for YouTube as a platform, it's really growing and developing and people are thinking about the site in different ways. Watch Time is the KEY metric that YouTube is evaluating content on right now and that's a big deal. At Tubular, we have data available for brands to determine metrics within different strategies for reach, community, and monetization so they can really understand what is working in terms of engagement and conversion.
John Holdridge: Everything we have heard [during the conference] is about making great content. In terms of connecting with your audience, Watch Time and other types of engagement are really vital. long-term content that works focuses on the 'message' rather than the product or service being sold is what works.
CJ Bruce: What excites me is the shift away from views as a key metric. Its data that is so easy to game and it doesn't really give you the full story in terms of ROI and success. Watch Time is very important to YouTube but it's not a metric that brands necessarily need to track if they are going after other goals such as CTR and conversions.
Best Tips for Setting Metric Goals and Proving ROI
CJ Bruce: My main tip would be not to get stuck trying to track specific metrics on one video. Look at the overall trends on your channel – are subscribers increasing, how are people engaging with your content etc. Commit to a content strategy and don't get lost in the metrics that don't match your business goals.
Reed Lucas: Employing your fan base and using influencer outreach is an incredibly effective strategy that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. (Reed takes a deeper dive into this on our Creator's Tip series:)
John Holdridge: Human thought and technology can combine to make some great strategic campaigns. Start with an audit of your channel, then do some competitor research, then build on that knowledge to set future goals. Get to understand the space so you can acknowledge what has been working well for others in your vertical.
Allison Stern: Think about your goals on the platform and where you are in terms of brand visibility and message. Once you have worked that out, start thinking like a creator and get to know your audience. Engage with your fans, reach out to influencers, and really become a part of your YouTube community.
We'd like to say a big thank you to Julie for moderating the panel, and to John, Allison, Reed and CJ for their invaluable insights in video metric tracking at the 2014 ReelSummit.