There’s no doubt about it – video is a great medium for startups. As a vehicle for emotive storytelling and a sales channel that allows you to bring customers on a journey with you — you can’t do any better than video. Startups live and die by what their audience wants, and 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. Video is a no-brainer for your 2018 content strategy.
If you are an ambitious founder embarking on your first video campaign or production, it’s important that you get to grips with video analytics first. Data can help you to make smart, profitable decisions and ensure that your startup budget is being put to good use. Don’t get carried away with a video strategy that’s not aligned with your audience or business goals — here’s how to embark on your first video journey the right way.
Start by defining your video goals
The #1 mistake you can make with video as a startup is get confused about what you’re actually using video for. Defining your video goals before you get going will ensure that you get maximum value from your video strategy. Therefore, the first step to running a data-driven video strategy is making a quantifiable list of what you want to achieve with video:
- Are you using videos as traffic drivers, or engagement clickbait?
- Do you need to attribute specific actions like sales or sign ups to the video?
- Do you want to mainly increase website conversions?
- Is video an information sharing tool for your business (software demos etc)?
You will probably find that your video strategy includes a mixture of different goals, so ensure that each video is being measured against the right standards. You don’t want to be judging a software demo on sales figures, or just looking at traffic levels for a conversion-focused video.
The next stage of a data-driven strategy is agreeing on how to measure success — which means getting to grips with video metrics, and mapping them onto other business figures like sales, revenue, cost of sales etc.
You will also need to decide where you will be sharing and embedding your videos, ensuring that any web design plans factor in sufficient space for a video.
Match metrics with purpose
The great thing about video marketing is that you have 24/7 access to invaluable user data to help you make better commercial decisions.
You might already know how to interpret website metrics like bounce rates and dwell time, but video brings a few new metrics to the table that you need to familiarize yourself with:
Total view count – the number of times your video is viewed
Percentile play rate – the percentage of visitors who actually started watching
Average engagement – how much of your video ALL viewers watched on average
Post-play click-through rate – the percentage of people who followed your CTA
Post-play conversion rate – the number of new customers you gained as a result of the video (could also be sign ups or downloads)
Social shares – how many people shared your video on social media platforms
Feedback – how viewers reacted to your video through comments, etc.
Monitoring each of these metrics can teach you useful lessons about what’s working, and what isn’t, once you launch your first video.
Perhaps your video placement is off — leading to low play rates. Perhaps engagement is lacking because the messaging is off. Maybe you haven’t achieved the view counts you wanted because you failed to promote your video and give it enough reach. Perhaps your video is simply too long, so viewers stop watching before the end.
Understanding any issues is the first step to resolving them, but don’t just rely on one video or dataset to tell you everything. Test things out across different parts of your website — you may find that videos get much more engagements on product pages than category pages or blog posts. Equally, each video will have its own ‘sweet spot’. A demo video won’t get a lot of social shares, but is more likely to have high play and engagement rates.
Track videos on your website
As has been hinted above, videos can work wonders on your website. They increase website dwell time, engagement rates, and conversion rates; and if you get video compression right, they won’t slow your mobile site down one iota.
Here are some popular video formats you may want to consider for your website:
How-to guides & demos
‘Meet the team’ videos
Once you have embedded videos on your site, you need to track them in order to ensure they’re having the desired effect.
Video tracking through Google Analytics requires a bit of set up on your side — but it’s well worth the effort. Google Tag Manager is an indispensable tool for more advanced tracking needs.
The best way to make the most of Analytics is to use event tracking. If you are not embedding videos through YouTube, you may need to also create some custom dataLayers to get your video platform and Google Analytics to speak to each other. You can also invest in a video analytics tool that already integrates with Google Analytics — probably a wise investment in the long run. The easier and better your data tracking is, the more value you can get out of website videos.
Select the right social video channel
On a startup budget, cutting up website videos into shorter social media clips is a clever way to make your videos go further. Videos get a lot of traction on social media, and many startups have burst onto the scene with a viral video.
It’s a frequently asked question in the world of video marketing: just which social platforms should you be posting your video on for maximum results? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – but your metrics can certainly help you decide where your time is best spent.
As we know, not every social channel is the same. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are each used differently and have different ways of directing users’ attention. YouTube, for example, often relies on people searching for specific clips – or finding suggested clips in the autoplay column.
- Your video is more likely to be found
- More likely to assist with your website’s rank, since YouTube is owned by Google
- Billions of hours of video viewed every day
- Can be used to drive action with annotations and links
- Unless your video is very well-optimized, it will get lost
- The most widely used social media platform on the planet
- Easy for users to comment and share
- If the video generates a buzz it’ll appear high up in users’ feeds – ideal if you already have an engaged audience
- Videos have a limited lifespan – once engagement drops they disappear from users’ timelines
- Only seen by people who are already engaged with your brand (unless your paying for views)
- Brilliant for firing a debate and drawing attention to a topic
- Very fluid engagement
- Has an enormous number of users
- With so much content shared, many Tweets have a very short time to be effective
Use tools to prove video ROI
A common complaint of marketers is that they struggle to accurately measure video’ ROI. This, of course, is important if you want to justify the expense of creating them in the first place. All you need is a solid framework and some reliable video tools that will help you measure and track ROI in the long term. Keeping up with your latest video data will help you pivot your strategy and make better commercial decisions.
Here are some essential video tools:
Brandwatch – a social listening tool that helps you stay aware of consumer trends in your industry. Brandwatch allows you to track ROI of your videos by monitoring hashtags you have used when uploading them, along with letting you measure the influence and sentiment levels attached to your brand. These last two are particularly useful because you can compare the levels of each metrics before and after the release of your videos, letting you see how much an impression has been made by them.
Clicky – Clicky is a service that provides you with web analytics in real time, so you can see the traffic flowing to your website – and where it’s coming from – as it happens. Using Clicky, you can also break down your website visitors into handy demographics and keep track of their activity. Using Clicky means you can watch what your users are doing after they have watched your video. You can then measure which videos are leading users to make a sale and which ones aren’t, enabling you to refine your video making strategy.
Wistia – perhaps one of the best video analysis tools out there, Wistia offers internet video hosting and analytics to help you better understand your viewers. One of the best things about Wistia is that it integrates with many of the most popular CRMs. This means that it is easy for you to track when specific videos are being watched by your leads.
Split test to be sure it’s working
Of course, it’s one thing to be able to measure your ROI. The next step is looking at ways to improve it. Split testing is a useful way to test what’s working, and what isn’t. It’s also a good way to steer design and video production choices by providing proof of concept.
Consider the following questions when building an A/B test hypotheses:
- Are you getting any negative feedback? How could you address this?
- Are viewers rarely watching up to the end of the video?
- Have you targeted your video adequately to reach your core demographics?
- Are customers responding to your CTA?
- Is the video providing users with a good user experience?
- Is the video generating some good engagement, social shares, etc?
Video is an excellent content format and channel for startups, but don’t dive in without doing due diligence first. The beauty of video is that you’ve got a lot of data to play with when it comes to making informed marketing decisions — so use it wisely.
What tactics have you used previously to measure the success of your video campaigns? Did analytics help to inform your decisions? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Victoria Greene: Writer & Digital Marketing Specialist
Now that I’m freelance, I love spending my days writing, learning more about digital marketing, and sharing my tips with fellow entrepreneurs. I live for digital and am always on the lookout for the next big thing.