How many views does it take for a video to be considered viral? For large companies, nothing less than a million maybe and for small businesses, a couple thousand views and everybody is happy. For a lot of marketers, the focus is the view count. But if you really want to know what’s driving your video campaign, you have to dig a little deeper. When it comes to your video being successful and getting you results, you want to look at more than just the view count.
What the view count isn’t telling us…
When we look at the view count, what we can’t see is exactly who is watching. If over half of your total views were not your target demographic, then those views were essentially worthless. You might get a few converts, you never know, but the goal is for your video to reach the right crowd.
The view count also doesn’t tell us if the message is working. Instead, you have to look at how long people are watching the video. If most of your viewers make it all the way to the end, that’s a pretty good sign that you have an effective message. On the other hand, if a higher number of viewers drop off that’s an indicator that something isn’t right. Looking at these numbers can help us with determining the best form of delivery for your message and/or figuring out the best place for your video to live.
Video metrics you should be looking at…
Ideally you want to know who is watching so you can start the conversation. A professional player will match IP addresses of viewers with the email addresses in your system. This way you can see who is watching what videos and focus the conversation on topics that are hopefully more relevant to that customer.
The play rate. This number comes from the percentage of people who actually clicked play to watch your video, divided by the total number of people who visited the page where the video lives. It gives us more insight as to whether your video is actually appealing or not. I wouldn’t want to see a play rate below 50%, especially on a page where the video is front and center. A high play rate suggests that the thumbnail is enticing, the description of the video is accurate, and the content is worthwhile.
Ok, so obviously we want our viewers to watch the entire video. But we know that doesn’t always happen. The average engagement will tell you the average amount of time your viewers are watching your video. If a significant amount of people only watch the video for 3 seconds before moving on to something else, then you know your video does not have the impactful hook it might need. This also shows where people chose to re-watch the video, so you can tell if there was something that attracted a lot of people’s attention at that time.
Your video is the icebreaker, now start the conversation! When the comments start rolling in, you know you’ve got good content. And when your audience is sharing your video, you can give yourself a pat on the back. Your community is engaged and participating in the conversation. Job well done!
Now with all these people on your site and watching your videos, how many people are actually following your call to action? Ultimately, we want to know if our video is helping us make the sale. This can be a little tricky depending on what kind of business you are and what you sell. So you may have to do a little testing of your own. If a product page displays testimonial videos of happy customers, are viewers more likely to purchase? Do the sales numbers change at all if you have an explainer video about how to use the product instead of testimonials? If you’re offering a service, try testing a newsletter sign-up around the video.
Alright, so there you have just a few basic video metrics you can monitor to see how your video campaign is doing. You’ll also want to keep an eye on how long people are spending on each page of your website. The pages with the most view time have the most appealing content. And the pages with a decreased bounce rate means your video made people want to look for more!
If you watch the right metrics, you can use video strategically to accomplish your campaign goals. So in terms of virality and number of views, sometimes it’s better to focus on quality over quantity.