05/07/2012 | Joshua Gunn
If you’re reading this post, you probably already understand the power of Web video to delight people, to move them to action, to make a choice, to click that “I’ll take it!” button.
Of course, some Web videos are better at doing all this stuff than others. But how do you evaluate that effectiveness? In a nutshell, how do you determine that you’re getting the best performance possible out of your investment in video?
One option: You could convene a panel of coworkers, friends, and perhaps customers, who could weigh in with their opinions. You’ll likely get responses like this:
“This video really leverages our core competencies.”
“The script needs the word ‘leverage’ in it”
“Love the colors!”
“It needs more eye candy. Can we get more 3D in there?”
Okay, that’s not super helpful.
So, you go looking for something more objective. You look at how many people have watched the video. YouTube will tell you this. Here are some things you might say as a result:
“We got a million views! This video is awesome!”
“We only got 200 views. This video sucks!”
But hang on. That’s not the full picture. Maybe you have really great social media reach, or maybe the video is planted on a high-traffic homepage. Sure, you got a million views but how many people were fully engaged? How many watched the whole thing? How many got bored? Maybe you’ve completely bored a million people. That’s not good. If they’re not making it to the point where they say, “Aha! I want this!” what’s the point?
On the flipside, maybe that video that only got 200 views is actually engaging people and moving them to action, but it’s buried on your site, without a decent push from your marketing team.
So how can you sort out this mess? When it comes to video deployment and performance, how can you figure out what rocks and what’s schlock?
The answer is analytics. But to get truly powerful and useful analytics, you have to look beyond the comparatively basic analytics provided by YouTube.
I’ve talked about Wistia before. In addition to their powerful video customization features, they’re still a leader in Web video analytics. I’m a fan of their video heat maps. With them, you can see precisely where in your videos folks are getting bored and quitting; where they’re rewinding, possibly out of confusion or heightened interest in a topic; and where they’re skipping around, hoping your video will get to the point. Wistia also aggregates all this information into easy-to-read charts that tell you which videos are maintaining engagement the best.
Meanwhile, Vidyard gives you a dandy little chart that compiles a lot of great analytics data. You get daily, weekly, or monthly stats on the average attention span of your audience. If they’re leaving 20 seconds into a 2-minute video, maybe you should tidy things up, or start over with a video that captures attention better. Vidyard also lets you watch results in real-time. I love to launch a video and watch the numbers roll in to see how the initial response is going.
I’ve learned to love video analytics. There’s no better way to see objectively how videos are performing. Producers of Web video need their feet held to the fire of data. It helps people like me make better videos.