9 essential video metrics companies should be tracking

WRITTEN BY
Ema Lukan
PUBLISHED ON
January 15, 2024
Table of contents

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Management consultant Peter Drucker famously said, "What gets measured gets managed."

But video production management isn't just about measuring; it's about measuring what matters and making proper correlations.

In this blog post, we dive into what video metrics to track, their limitations, and how to use them to get actionable insights for your marketing strategy.

What are video metrics?

Video metrics are activity measurements that provide insights into video performance and effectiveness. They show how viewers interact with your video content and the impact on your video marketing and communication objectives.

Video metrics can fall into one of three categories:

  • Quantitative metrics: Quantitive data refers to metrics with numbers you can count. For example, view count, watch time, number of comments, number of likes, and number of shares.
  • Qualitative metrics: Qualitative data cannot be counted numerically and requires a different type of analysis. In the case of videos, you can collect qualitative data from the content of comments and direct viewer feedback via a survey or DM.
  • Conversion-related metrics: Conversion rates are video metrics that show how effectively the video content drives viewers toward a desired action, such as buying or signing up for a service. They typically include the click-through rate for accompanying links or buttons. 

Why should you measure your video metrics?

Measuring the most important video metrics can feel like chatting with your audience without actually saying a word. Each metric, from view duration to engagement rates, acts as a feedback loop, revealing not just how many people watched but how your video content resonated with them.

The right video metrics provide a treasure trove of insights, allowing you to tailor your storytelling to the pulse of your audience's interests and preferences.

In other words, you should measure your video metrics to understand engagement and video consumption habits better and make data-driven decisions. It will help you optimize your content for a successful video marketing strategy, improve your SEO and online presence, and, ultimately, increase ROI.

9 important video metrics to track

Tracking video metrics will help you deeply understand what type of content works for your audience. To learn how to track all these metrics, keep reading to the end of the post, where we cover some key strategies.

Tip 💡

If you have limited resources and need an instant look at video performance, we recommend tracking these three video metrics:
Play rates: The number of people who see your video and actually play it.
Completion rates: How many viewers hit play and watch until the end.
Clicks and click-through rates: How many viewers follow your CTA and click on your link.

Metric 1: Video plays 

Video plays count how many times a video was played, meaning a viewer hit the play button.

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Topic attractiveness: People can hit play on video content because they're interested in the topic.
  • Video marketing effectiveness: People clicked play because of the video's thumbnail, title, or on-page placement.

Social platforms prioritize user experience. Because they aim to give users exciting and engaging content, they organically promote videos with many plays.

Note that this metric shows the sheer volume of play actions, irrespective of watch times, and doesn't provide viewer retention or video engagement information. Metric #2, view count, is a more accurate way to see if your video content engages viewers. 

Metric 2: View count 

View count indicates the total number of times a video has been played. "Played" usually counts for a specific amount of time, with each social or video platform counting views differently. In other words, it's the number of times someone started actually watching your video. 

What counts as a view on Facebook (minimum 3 seconds) doesn't count as a view on a YouTube video (minimum 30 seconds). Some platforms differentiate unique viewers (individuals who have watched a video) from total video views (the number of times a video has been watched, including rewatches).

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Brand awareness: When high, it indicates the content is popular, and the video resonates with the intended audience.
  • A baseline for other metrics: When high but correlated with low engagement, even in videos with interactive elements, the content might not resonate with the audience as intended.

Note that view counts don't distinguish between a viewer who watched the minimum amount of time and one who watched until the end. Short views, repeated views, and bot traffic can make this metric misleading. And since it isn't tied to a direct business metric (like sales), view count can be a vanity metric. So, look into it, but analyze it in correlation with other important metrics like shares or average watch times.

Metric 3: Play rate

Play rate measures the percentage of visitors who play a video on a web page out of those who have viewed the page. It's calculated by dividing the video's number of plays by the web page's number of impressions (or views). So, for example, if your web page has 30,000 unique visits, and your video view count is 3,000, then you'll have (3,000 / 30,000) * 100 = 10% play rate for that web page. 

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Effectiveness relative to context: A high play rate on a product page indicates the video effectively draws interest to the product.
  • Best performance context: Shows which videos perform better in specific contexts, helping with content placement optimization.

Generally, a play rate of around 15% is considered fair performance. Achieving a good play rate depends on context, platform, audience, placement, and content. For example, videos at the top of a webpage might have a higher play rate than those buried at the bottom.

Metric 4: Watch time 

Watch time calculates the amount of time viewers have spent watching a video. It can be broken down into total watch time (the cumulative time spent by all video viewers) and average watch time (the average view duration per viewer).

For example, if 3,000 people have watched your 90-second video from start to finish, the average watch time metric would indicate 90 seconds, and your total watch time would be 75 hours. 

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Engagement and appeal: Indicates how engaging and captivating your video content is to viewers.
  • Content improvement insights: Shows if viewers watch the video content until the end or drop off early, guiding current content adjustments and future content development.

Note that video watch time doesn't indicate viewer satisfaction, and it's hard to compare between longer and shorter videos. It should be analyzed along with engagement (likes, quality of comments, shares) and completion rates.

Metric 5: Completion rate

The completion rate shows the percentage of viewers who watched a video from start to finish. It's calculated by dividing the complete views — instances where a viewer watches the entire video — by the total number of plays and multiplying that by 100.

For example, if your new video was played a total of 200 times but only 50 viewers watched it from beginning to end, the completion rate would be 25%. It's calculated as (50 / 200) * 100 = 25%, meaning that 25% of the people who started watching your video watched it all the way through to the end.

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Audience relevance: It's a key indicator of whether the video length and content are appropriate for the target audience.
  • Engagement depth: Shows how deeply the audience engaged with the content and if the video persuaded viewers to watch through to the end.

Bear in mind that completion rates can be difficult to compare across videos of varying lengths. So, it's best to pair them with metrics for engagement rates, feedback, or subsequent viewer actions.

Metric 6: Clicks and click-through rates

Clicks are the number of times viewers have clicked on a link or call-to-action (CTA) within or associated with a video. The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of clicks to landing pages from the number of times the video (or the CTA within the video) was shown

For example, if you have a video ad with an embedded CTA like "Sign Up Now" and the video is viewed 1,000 times, but only 50 viewers click on the video CTA, the CTR will be 5%. It's calculated as (50 / 1000) * 100 = 5%, meaning that 5% of the viewers who watched the video clicked on the CTA.

Track these engagement metrics to measure:

  • Viewer action efficacy: Gauge how effectively videos prompt viewer action.
  • Conversion: Helps assess ROI in video marketing, showing the content's effectiveness in converting viewers into leads, customers, or followers.

The quality and relevance of the CTA itself heavily influence clicks and CTR. Poorly designed or misplaced CTAs can result in a low click-through rate, regardless of the video quality. So, you need to use relevant keywords for your audience and nail the call-to-action to make sense of these two video metrics.

Metric 7: Social shares

Social shares count the number of times viewers across various social media platforms, or other social networks and messaging apps have shared a video. Whether your video campaigns are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever you share videos, especially if you're using the same content, it's a good idea to separate view counts by platform as you track metrics. This approach will give you even more valuable information about what platform works best for what type of embedded videos.

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Engagement: Shares indicate deeper engagement and are more valuable than passive video views or likes.
  • Shareability: Social sharing suggests the content is consumed and appreciated enough to be shared. Thus, it resonates with the audience.

Social sharing is context-sensitive. No matter how appreciated internally, a video designed to train employees on handling sensitive customer data won't make it on external platforms because of the content's nature and the company's policies on sensitive content and confidentiality.

Metric 8: CTA conversion rate

The CTA conversion rate shows the percentage of viewers from those who click on the CTA that go on and take a desired action on the landing page — purchasing, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a resource, etc. It's calculated by dividing the number of conversions (viewers who took the desired action) by the total number of CTA clicks and multiplying by 100.

For example, you have a new video ad with a CTA at the end that says, "Go here to buy this product." People who watch the video might click on the CTA, but not all will follow through with the online purchase. So, the conversion rate tells you the percentage of people who actually bought from those who clicked on "Go here to buy this product." 

If your video received 1,000 views, of which 50 viewers clicked on the CTA, and only 10 viewers purchased the product, the conversion rate would be 20%. It's calculated as (10 / 50) * 100 = 20%.

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Goal achievement: Shows how the content achieves intended video marketing or communication goals.
  • ROI: Helps assess the ROI and whether the video contributes to business objectives.

The conversion rate depends on the quality of the video and landing page, the clarity of the CTA, and the overall user experience, but also on the industry, the nature of the video, and the type of action being measured.

Make your CTA clear, compelling, and highly actionable to increase conversion rates.

Metric 9: Video ROI (Return on Investment)

The video ROI is the percentage of cost vs. income generated from the video. It's calculated by subtracting the cost of the video production and promotion from the revenue generated by the video, dividing this by the cost, and multiplying by 100.

At its most basic level, if it costs you $5,000 to produce and promote a specific video, like a product demo, and, as a result of that video marketing campaign, your sales amount to $15,000, the direct ROI for this particular video is 200%. It's calculated as [(15,000 - 5,000) / 5,000] * 100 = 200%, meaning that for every dollar you spend on the video, you earn back two dollars in revenue.

Track this video metric to measure:

  • Financial effectiveness: Shows how well your video's doing, money-wise.
  • Strategic planning: Helps you map out long-term video marketing game plans.

ROI for videos quantifies direct and indirect revenue generated within a time frame. Remember, ROI calculations typically don't account for benefits like brand building, audience engagement, or customer education, which can indirectly contribute to long-term profitability.

Tip 💡

Your video might need a longer timeframe to calculate its real ROI. It's a good idea to review a video's ROI periodically so you can develop an average estimate of how long a video might generate revenue.  

How to track your video metrics

There's no single, all-encompassing platform that automatically aggregates all video analytics data across every possible channel. The best way to track video metrics is to use a platform or a tool that does it for you. 

For example, native analytics in entertainment tools like YouTube or video training tools like Synthesia will automatically track and report on key performance indicators.

‎When you publish videos to multiple platforms, you'll likely need additional software to build video tracking metrics. For example, you could use Google Analytics to track ROI and something like Hootsuite to track video analytics across platforms.

Create AI videos in minutes and access analytics in one place

By focusing on key metrics, you can turbocharge your approach, make smarter decisions, and get your videos to shine in all future campaigns. 

And here's the cherry on top: With Synthesia, you can create AI videos and measure their impact all in one place. Check out the free AI video creator here.‎

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