Understanding Video Analytics

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You’re probably using analytics to measure interactions on your website, but are you using them for your online videos? If not, you’re missing out on valuable data that could help you make tighter links between the video content you share and your customers’ needs. There are two types of analytics you need to think about.

understanding video analytics

Video Analytics is the secret to improving your video content strategy.

1. Web Page Analytics and Your Video

Your regular web analytics software will help you track what’s happening on your video landing page. (You do have one, right?) This is the page on your site where your video will be placed and it’s where you will send people to view your video from your other online properties. Whether you’re using Google Analytics or another analytics package, you will be able to measure audience, traffic, content and conversions and see how everything works together to encourage people to watch your video and take the next step in the relationship building process.

Landing Page Metrics

You will probably look at metrics like:

  • The origin of your audience, shown in the countries report.  What if your video is a big hit among Spanish speakers and you don’t even know it? With the right information, you could have the incentive to translate your video into a new language or create new videos for this new group.
  • The path of visitors through your site after they reach the landing page. Are they bouncing away before they have had time to watch the video (check the bounce rate and time on page) or are they sticking around to see what else you have to offer (visitor flow)? The answer can help you to optimize that page for better conversions.
  • Technology – If most of your visitors are using desktop devices, Flash-based video will work. If they are using mobile devices, then you might prefer a different video player or your own custom option.
  • Referrals – Are your off-site promotions bringing the right number of people to your video landing page? Analytics data will tell you what’s working so you can improve all parts of the conversion funnel.

Social Media Metrics

If you’re promoting video content on social media, then you can use the data in analytics reports to work out how many people are following your social call to action, linking to your video and sharing your video. This can help you adjust your social media content strategy. Some things to try include:

  • Using two different screenshots to promote your video and seeing which one results in more video views.
  • Changing the text of your social media update and see which version brings more viewers to your landing page.

Viewbix also gives you analytics about how people are interacting with your calls-to-action and email signup forms in your videos.

Try this and you will soon see if your video is converting.

Tracking Video Events in Universal Analytics

Google’s Universal Analytics is available to everyone who’s pressed the upgrade button. It offers some new possibilities for tracking YouTube videos embedded on your page. To do this, you effectively create an event, and we’ve found a couple of options for doing this:

  • Lunametrics has provided a script (using iFrames and jQuery) that tracks video events including play, pause, cue, buffer and watch events. You can customize it to track other video events. Just add the code to the appropriate section of your page and you’re good to go.
  • LovesData also provide code that tracks video plays.

2. YouTube Analytics and Your Video

In addition to the data available via your regular analytics software, most video sites also make their own analytics available. A great place to start with understanding what’s happening is with the analytics built into YouTube. These cover performance, engagement, demographics, top ten videos by views, discovery and ad performance. Let’s look at these in a bit more detail.

  • The performance report provides data on views and the estimated number of minutes people of spend watching your video. you can also see if there is a disparity between the length of your video and the average time that people have spent watching it. These statistics are only available for your top 200 channels or videos but they can help you determine whether your video content is hitting the mark.
  • The demographics report looks not only at the gender and location of video viewers but also of channel subscribers. As with the analytics reports listed above, it’s a good way to assess whether your content is targeted to the right audience so you can provide more of what they respond to.
  • The discovery report allows you to identify referrals to your videos and channels, as well as where people are playing your videos so you can check whether they’re watching it on your blog, using a mobile device or app, looking at the channel page or on the video page itself.
  •  Traffic sources relates to how YouTube’s content discovery mechanism brings your content to the fore, for example via related content, as well as other places where your video is played.
  • Audience retention allows you to see how engaged audiences are with your videos. This includes a comparison with other videos of similar length so that you can see exactly where you fit.
  • Similar to the technology report in regular analytics, the devices report lets you see what devices people are using to access your content.

The engagement report has a number of sub-reports which help you to measure the effectiveness of your content. As well as broad statistics on subscriber gains, losses and numbers, you can see likes and dislikes, favorites (and removals), comments and which sites people are using to share your video content. We’ve previously mentioned the value of annotations in building engagement in your videos. YouTube provides a report on annotation display and impressions as well as click through rate, close rate and clicks. There’s also data on the call to action overlay on your video.

Though it’s the biggest, YouTube isn’t the only game in town for online video. The good news is that most video sharing and uploading sites and even those with customized video players allow you to track your video performance.

How to Use Video Analytics

Like other analytics, video analytics applications allow you to assess what is working for your audience, see which referral sources you should be cultivating, see where you are losing viewers and how you can build engagement. But these tools only work if you take action based on what you learn. That means doing things like:

  • refining your overall content strategy
  • improving your video content strategy to focus on what works
  • using comments, views and thumbs up to guide new content creation
  • connecting with those who have embedded your video when you create new content
  • finding out what’s causing people to stop watching
  • creating a better call to action.

Using video analytics to measure this increasingly important part of the marketing mix will make all your content marketing more effective. Find more help on using video analytics on Entrepreneur and SDM Magazine.

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