Top 10 Video Engagement Metrics for Businesses
This is an encouraging trend for businesses and media companies, whether you're using videos in lead generation, for customer engagement, or as a product you can monetize. Like with any other marketing initiative, however, you can't tell if your video content is successful unless you have a yardstick to measure performance.
Sophisticated video hosting platforms like Flowplayer give you all the data you need to determine how well your videos are performing – but even if you have this information at your fingertips, how do you know which video engagement metrics matter most for your business objectives?
In this post, we'll cover the top 10 engagement metrics you should monitor for video marketing success.
How Is Video Performance Measured?
When you sit down to launch a new video marketing initiative, you probably already have a sense of which video performance metrics are important, such as the total number of views or the average percentage watched for each video.
As valuable as these types of video KPIs are, though, they are intermediate goals at best. What truly matters are your broader business objectives. No company kept the lights on with a high view count alone – it's how you leverage those video views that makes the difference!
That's why we encourage you to define the primary business objective for your video campaign. Here are a few possibilities:
- Increasing ad revenue by X%
- Generating X number of qualified leads
- Building a base of X subscribers
- Growing overall revenue by X%
- Selling X product units
- Gaining exposure through X social shares
This doesn't mean you can't have multiple objectives, but it's crucial to prioritize if you want to be as effective as possible. After you identify an outcome to pursue, then you can decide which specific video engagement metrics are most relevant in guiding you there.
10 Video Metrics That Matter
With a tangible business objective in mind, your next step is finalizing a handful of 3-5 video KPIs you follow to ensure you're on the right track.
To help you pick, we've put together a list of 10 top video engagement metrics. As you read through them, take note of which ones would be most helpful to your organization!
Metric #1: Play rate
After you publish a new video, it's helpful to monitor your video's play rate (also referred to as the video view rate). This metric refers to the number of clicks on a video divided by the number of impressions on the page that hosts your video.
Why start here? Because this tells you whether the video is resonating with your target audience. This includes elements like its topic, title, description, and thumbnail image.
If you think of video marketing as a content funnel, the "play rate" metric corresponds to the top of the funnel. It represents how many people you can convince to start watching a video in the first place.
We recommend closely watching a video's play rate for the first few weeks after publishing. This will give you a lot of insight into how much interest the content generates, and can point you toward the topics that best engage your viewers.
Metric #2: Average percentage watched
Another key metric is the average percentage watched. This tracks the average percentage of a video's duration that your viewers see (before they click away or quit watching).
Obviously, a longer average percentage watched means that people are tuning in longer. This is one of the best indicators that your video content is performing well. In fact, popular video platforms like YouTube employ an algorithm that prioritizes video watch time when deciding which videos and content creators to put in front of viewers, and for good reason: when video watch time is high, engagement is high.
No matter how you monetize your video content (whether AVOD, SVOD, or TVOD), the biggest sign of success is that people are watching a greater percentage of your content – this is especially important if your CTA is at the end of the video!
If you want to improve your average percentage watched, strive to eliminate all fluff and pack as much value as possible into a shorter video duration.
Metric #3: Total view count
The view count simply reports how many times a video has been watched in total.
What qualifies as a view in Flowplayer? If you have the player set to autoplay when a page is loaded, this will count as a video play – otherwise, a view is counted when a visitor clicks or taps the video's play button.
In some ways, the view count is the most important measurement of success, as it proves that your video has received a lot of people's attention. In a vacuum, however, the total view count doesn't signify as much as you might think.
After all, your slick new marketing video could be viewed millions of times by the wrong audience and offer very little real value for your business. You could also get a lot of plays on a video, but also see a low average percentage watched, which means the video didn't keep viewers engaged for long.
So, instead of focusing on the view count in absolute terms, track this number on a relative basis. Establish a baseline for how many views your videos typically get. With that figure in mind, a much higher or lower view count than usual can alert you to important trends.
Metric #4: Completion rate
The completion rate refers to how many people finish watching your video. The formula for completion rate is video completes divided by video starts (where if everyone watched to the end, the completion rate would equal 100%).
This is another important way of tracking how engaged your viewers are. A high completion rate means that of the people who start the video, a good percentage of them will watch until the very end. The more your viewers stick around through the whole video, the more invested they are.
If you happen to have a CTA in your videos, a high completion rate may correlate with better conversion rates. The completion rate also means better ad performance, particularly if you can play unskippable midroll ads on a video without losing a lot of viewership.
To improve completion rate, employ simple copywriting techniques like the "open loop." For example, you can start a video by teasing a surprising statistic that you'll reveal at the end of the video. The completion rate is a great KPI to center a split test around.
Metric #5: Ad requests and plays
With a quality video host like Flowplayer, you get more than just video analytics numbers. If you decide to monetize your content with ads (AVOD), you also get access to detailed ad analytics reports that include your ad fill rate and the total ad requests and plays on your videos.
These ad metrics can tell you how viewers are engaging with your ads, and in conjunction with other metrics, it can tell you if ads are causing viewers to leave, or if they're sticking around and engaging with the ads.
Ad analytics are a massive help if you're looking to maximize your ad revenue, boost your ad fill rate, and improve overall viewer engagement – if ad revenue is important to your business, then you'll want to track ad requests and plays.
Metric #6: Real time viewers
Briefly, let's switch gears and look at the most important engagement metric for live streaming: real time viewers.
When it comes to live stream analytics, there's no better gauge for interest in your content than the number of people who join the livestream and stay watching (measured in simultaneous viewers per minute). This data is valuable because it also gives you a way to discover when any steep drop-offs occur – if a lot of people are leaving your livestream at one specific point, this can give you a clue about what's working and what isn't.
In Flowplayer, it's also possible to convert a livestream video into a published video. If you choose to do this, you can track the number of displays and plays after the live video is over to see if the video continues to engage your target audience.
Metric #7: Number of shares
If your company is active on social media, monitoring video social shares can be a valuable way to measure overall user engagement and reach more brand-new viewers.
By tracking social shares, you also track the impact of your video content – rather than simply tracking the number of views or time watched in isolation, you're seeing how much of an effect each video has on your brand's overall reach.
Social shares also provide valuable insight about which social platforms are getting the most traction for your business, so you know where to focus your promotion efforts.
Metric #8: Clickthrough rate
Depending on the type of video you publish, you may be looking to get users to take a specific action, such as clicking the "Buy" button or subscribing to an email list. Tracking the clickthrough rate (CTR) is as simple as dividing the number of views/plays by the number of clicks related to that goal.
In general, a 2% clickthrough rate is considered average across all verticals, so you can compare yours to this, and also track your current CTR relative to past performance.
Tracking the clickthrough rate connects your video performance to a desired goal, which makes it a more actionable engagement metric than the number of video plays alone.
Metric #9: Total subscribers
Every video you create is an opportunity to convert your target audience into long-term customers or loyal viewers – or in an SVOD model, to keep your existing subscribers happy for higher customer retention.
There's tremendous value in having subscribers, in the form of recurring engagement and revenue. Depending on your business model, your email list or your monthly site members can be a reliable gauge of how your audience is responding to your messaging.
If you're seeing a surge in subscribers from your videos, this is a strong indication that your videos are performing well. Often, the subscriber metric is one of the best for gauging the overall health of your business, so don't overlook this when you're evaluating audience engagement.
Metric #10: Sales growth
Sales growth is the ultimate measure of engagement! If your sales or ad revenues are increasing alongside a solid video campaign, then your videos are doing their job.
If you're familiar with the idea of leading indicators vs lagging indicators, you know that sales growth is a lagging indicator, which is why these other engagement metrics are so important. You need intermediate numbers that can tell you whether you're on the right track before you hit the end of the quarter and realize you missed your revenue targets.
Even if sales growth isn't one of your primary video metrics right now, it should still be on the radar as an arbiter of your video marketing results!
Common Video Marketing Metrics Questions
What Length Should My Videos Be?
The average video length on YouTube is 11.7 minutes (as of Dec. 2018), but your ideal length will depend on your goals and the level of sustained interest you can generate in your content. If it takes a lot of extra time or resources to produce longer videos, you should track the resulting change in your chosen KPIs to see if the additional investment is worthwhile.
Where Do Video Marketing Metrics Come From?
In Flowplayer, each video comes with an in-depth analytics view to help you determine how well your content assets are performing.
How Do I Know If My Videos Are High Quality?
As a general rule of thumb, better engagement metrics will indicate a higher performing video asset. This means if you can get more clicks (a higher play rate), more time spent watching (a greater average percentage watched), and additional actions completed (a better conversion rate), then your videos are successful.
Video Engagement Metrics Wrap-up
Higher video engagement makes all the difference in reaching your company's video content goals. As we've said, no matter which types of video goals you're targeting – and no matter how you monetize them – you should be happy to see higher engagement numbers.
If your organization needs a video hosting solution that can provide you this level of data, Flowplayer plans come with many useful tools to help businesses track engagement on their videos. Find out how effective it can be for video success – try Flowplayer risk-free for 14 days!