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video marketing
October 10, 2016
Content Marketing  |  13 min read

How to Measure Your Success with Video Marketing

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Ben Snedeker

Videos are awesome marketing tools that allow your brand to develop a better, more human connection to your audience.

The data is in: People love to watch videos and learn through them. They pique our curiosity. We listen up.

And when you realize just how many ways video can work for your business, you’ll want to jump right in and get to work.

And yet, as marketers, we have specific outcomes we want for our video. We want to know that our effort is going to pay off 

Unfortunately, many marketers approach video with an assumption about what it can do, but fail to use analytics to identify whether or not the video actually had the kind of effect they’d hoped for. They continue to put time and money into video content that seems great, but in fact has little value for their business. 

What a waste of time and money! 

The right way to approach video is to use analytics to measure success and then build off the wins to make better videos that support your business goals. 

Here’s how.

First, identify your goals 

The old axiom, “Begin with the end in mind,” gets invoked all the time in analytics discussions because it’s by far the best way to understand your success. 

  1. This means you need to zoom out for a second and think how your video project will support your business objectives. You need to understand how your next video will fit in with those objectives.

  2. Next, state your goal for the video. Define exactly how the results of your video support your business objectives and establish a measurable goal for the video. Is the objective to grow sales? Then perhaps your next video needs to bring in more leads.

  3. Establish which metrics you’ll use to determine if you’re meeting your goal. Again, if your goal is to track incoming leads, you may want to track click through to other content that captures leads (such as signing up for your newsletter). 

Once you’ve first mapped out how your video will line up with your objectives, you can then create the video.

Analytics for video 

Each metric tells you a little something about how the video is performing. For instance, take a look at the metrics for this video we created highlighting one of our customers Rock & Rapid, which we shared with prospects after a webinar. 


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Using these metrics (which we'll explain in detail below), we can understand how well our video is doing with our audience. Because we're pushing prospects to this video, we can know that prospects are engaging with the video, which helps us understand how valuable this video is as a lead nurturing tool. Additionally, we can compare these metrics against other videos on our site and use that information to see which videos resonate best with our audience.

Play count 

Play count is the most basic metric for your videos. Simply put, play count tells you how many times people pushed play. Each play is counted once, which means there’s no distinction between a person who clicks once and only watches a few seconds, and a person who plays the video several times. Nonetheless, this is still a good way to determine how well your audience receives the video. 

While it’s tempting to think that a video’s success relies on getting played a bazillion times, that’s not necessarily the best measure of your success. Your success on this metric has everything to do with your audience. Often, you’ll want to dig a little deeper to know what worked and what didn’t. 

Play count is great for measuring interest in the video subject matter, which is very helpful as you plan future content.

Play rate

When you embed a video on your web page, you suddenly have two metrics to work with: page views and play count. Put them together, and you have play rate.

Play rate is the percentage of visitors to your page who watch your video. This can give you powerful insight into things like, what kind of video content your audience responds to, or how best to set up your page so that your audience is more likely to play the video and even what thumbnail to use for the play link. 

This metric is a strong indicator of engagement, while also giving you insight into how to design your web pages to optimize engagement for video. 

Click-thru rate (CTR) 

Everyone keeps talking about the power of video, and click through might just be the big thing that got the attention of marketers. Wistia discovered that using a video thumbnail in emails boosted CTR by 300 percent!   

Of course, this makes video ideal for use in your email marketing campaigns because it drives traffic from email to your website. 

But it’s not just an email thing. You can measure click-thru anywhere you have video. When you embed a call to action (CTA) in your video, it’s a snap to track click-thrus.

Click-thru is a great way to measure your success with lead nurturing and conversion. 

Shares from your website

Sharing says quite a lot about your success. And it can inform how you target your future videos. When you include share options on your videos, you encourage social engagement, which further helps spread your reach to your audience.

Shares on social can help you understand which videos are successful on your social channels and help you hone in on the best content to push to those channels

When people share via email, you can gain powerful insight into what kind of content will work with your email marketing efforts, too. 

Shares from your website are a great way to track and measure reach, as well as interest in the video subject matter. 

Social engagement

When you post your videos on your social feeds, you can track what’s happening on those channels to get deeper insight into how people respond to your videos.

All the major social platforms provide analytics that make it easy to track engagement, including Facebook Page Insights, Twitter Analytics, YouTube Analytics, and others 

Tracking social engagement helps you understand engagement by channel as well as helps you refine your videos so that you can optimize your videos for those channels (some videos do better on one channel over another) 

Heat mapping 

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Heat mapping, via video platforms like Wistia, provides powerful insight into how your audience digests your video content. The heat map will tell you exactly what sections of your video are getting the most attention and which sections aren’t. 

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See what sections of video people are watching, skipping over, and (even awesomer) which sections people are  re-watching.

This is a sophisticated metric that gives you great insight into engagement. Most importantly, it will tell you what you should repeat and what you shouldn’t.


In the beginning, every marketer has to make a series of educated guesses at what will work with their marketing videos. If there was a magic formula for success, everyone would be successful, right?

But at some point, you’ve got to learn from your hits and misses. The only way to do that is to take a chance, measure your success, and then adjust.

Don’t get stuck doing the shotgun approach to video marketing, where you spend a lot of energy making videos with no clear idea how or why some work and others flop. The difference between repeated success and one hit wonders is analytics.



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