The easiest metric to measure when making videos is views. All video players from Youtube to Instagram have view counters displaying how many people have seen your video.
I’m here to break your heart to tell you that views are a vanity metric.
View counts look good in corporate presentations - but views don’t mean squat if your video is not performing in other areas. A video strategy that is solely focused on views means your niche is frankly too big or your marketing goals are too broad.
If your main marketing metric is views then you are most likely wasting ad dollars. The reason? Your content is not resonating.
Internet users are constantly bombarded by advertisers and social media channels constantly. To stand out we need to be delivering a message that is hyper-focused and resonates with your audience. Strong messaging should engage your audience and disqualify those that are not in your audience.
Speak to the needs of your audience, not the general audience. For example, we are a video production company that specializes in working with businesses. We don’t care if aspiring filmmakers or vloggers don’t find our content useful. Our content is not for them it is for businesses.
Those that do resonate will feel a higher connection. Your content will feel hyper-focused in their business. It’s the difference between us saying “We help people make videos” and “We work with businesses who are looking to integrate video into their marketing funnel”.
Will your videos get fewer videos by disqualifying potential viewers? Yes, it will and that is ok because we only want to be engaging with our audience and potential customers.
The deeper you dive in your niche the more you can expect your customers to resonate with your content. The reason is the sheer amount of choice. Due to the internet and social media, there are so many options when it comes to anything. However, by focusing on one niche you are reducing the number of competitors and addressing your customer’s needs more precisely.
An example of this would be producing video content with long-tail keywords versus short keyword phrases. It is hard to rank on the top page of Youtube with “corporate accountants” but a phrase such as “corporate tax accountants in Philadelphia” will drop the amount competition and allow you to stand out because your video is disqualifying those not searching for corporate tax help. Disqualifying customers not only filters out bad prospects it also reduces the number of competitors that are vying for that specific piece of the pie.
If not views then what marketing metrics should you be looking for?
Subscriptions: If you plan on putting out a multitude of content then your videos should be driving your viewers to subscribe. Subscribing can be done through a platform like Youtube or through email sign-ups. Both work as a method to stay in constant contact with your audience through video.
Playthrough rate: How many people are watching the whole video? At what point of the video are they dropping off or re-watching. If you’re hosting your video content with a platform such as Wistia you can view all of this data on an easy to read chart. Viewers can then be re-targeted based on the percentage of the video that they watched.
Click through rate: Video works well as a top of the funnel tool to bring your viewers to the next step or engagement point in your marketing. Your click-through links could lead your audience to your website, a new blog post, a product you’re selling, etc. Click-throughs can be tracked through link trackers such as bit.ly or if you’re using Wistia links can be hardcoded into the video.
When it comes to social media and online advertising video is still very new. Every day new methods to track video efficacy are being developed by video hosting platforms and marketers alike. As this field of digital marketing grows you should strive to grow with it and grow your audience by reinforcing your messaging through video content.
If you are deliberate and consistent at releasing videos you will grow an audience and ultimately receive that long-awaited high view counts that your boss was waiting for. I know they don’t mean anything but they do look cool.