September 23, 2019

How Do You Know if Your Storytelling Videos are Working? Check These 7 Metrics

The world of marketing has seen a shift toward analytics in recent years. Business leaders are more conscious than ever about trackable success across marketing initiatives, which is great news for marketers looking to prove ROI and optimize their efforts over time.

That shift has moved towards video in a major way over the last few years. Many marketers are still measuring analytics as a whole, without digging deeper into the success of individual videos. In a world where videos are a core component of effective brand storytelling, improvements in this area can make a vital difference.

The opportunities are there for the taking. Platforms like YouTube now offer comprehensive analytics that allow you to track much more than surface-level vanity metrics like video likes. Once you know what to look for, you can begin to leverage these metrics for tangible improvements.

1) Play Rate

Play rate doesn’t necessarily matter on a platform like YouTube. It becomes especially important on social media networks where autoplay isn’t enabled. Your play rate is the number of users who saw your video and actually, actively clicked to watch it.

Play rate matters because it determines how good your video is in grabbing attention in a crowded newsfeed. You can use it to improve thumbnails, the first few seconds of the video that might autoplay, and the content/text surrounding the video in your social media post.

2) Video Engagements

Of course, simply clicking play is not enough to make sure your audience appreciates the story you’re telling. Engagements measure the next step: did your viewers like the content enough to react to it in a measurable way?

Typically, engagement measures likes, shares, and comments on a given video. Some analytics platforms even allow you to break down when in the video the engagements typically occur, allowing you to gauge just how successful you are in getting your audience to react to the story you’re telling in real time.

3) View-Through Rate

How many of your viewers actually watch the video until the end? That’s what your view-through rate can tell you. Stated differently, you can see exactly how good your video was in capturing the attention of your audience from the first second until the last.

The insights you gain from this metric are significant. In storytelling, you probably want to get your audience to the end. After all, no one writes a novel intending their audience to stop reading midway through. Higher view-through rates can be closely equated to the success of the video as a whole.


4) Audience Retention

Consider audience retention the detail view of view-through rate. Typically displayed as a graph, this is where you can see exactly how long the average viewer watches the video. What are the peaks and valleys of the story as users gradually begin to drop off?

Audience retention tells you a lot about how videos can and should be constructed. If a high number of viewers drop off after one minute for a 90-second spot, you might want to cut it down to 60 seconds. If they drop off within the first ten seconds, your beginning needs some help. Checking where your videos land, in other words, helps you define exactly how to re-cut these spots and edit future variations.

5) Re-Watches

Getting your viewers to watch the spot once is great. Getting them to watch it more than that? Now we’re talking. Your audience tends to re-watch only high-quality videos that stick in their minds. It might be to enjoy the moment again or to show someone else. Either way, you’ll want to keep a close eye on these re-watches.

Re-watches can get more specific than the video, as well. You might find that those who watch your spot a second time tend to tune in at a specific spot. That tells you more about the success areas of the video, as well as its staying power. If a great story tends to get retold, your re-watch rate helps you discern the types of stories that stick with your audience and leave a lasting impression.

6) Click-Through Rate

How compelled are your viewers to take action as they watch the video? That matters in more than just shares, likes, and comments. Even as you tell a story about your brand, chances are you want your audience to take action. From visiting your website to learning more, click-throughs tell you how successfully your videos build for that journey.

Don’t expect huge numbers here. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, average click-through rates for videos are under 1%. Of course, depending on the number of views, even 0.5% can mean 200 clicks to your website. As your video builds, keep a close eye on how many viewers take this action.

7) Conversion Rate

Finally, a classic marketing metric enters the fray for video, as well. Conversion rates measure the action beyond the click, and the ability of your videos to prompt that action. They can include:

  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • New leads in your database
  • Customer conversions
  • First-time purchases
  • Repeat purchases
  • and more.

You can’t always directly connect your video to these data points. Instead, look for upswings in each metric after you post a video. That allows you to make educated estimates on how much your videos are contributing to these core business goals.

Building a Better Story Through Metrics and Measurement

Metrics help you measure the success of your videos. At their best, though, they can do so much more. The right metrics give you tangible insights into the people who watch your videos, as well as their preferences. In addition to proving the ROI of these spots, you can also make significant changes and improvements that help you become more successful, fine-tuning and improving your end product over time.

That’s what makes the above seven metrics so crucial to success. They can help you drive new creativity, maximizing your storytelling opportunities over time. Of course, you have to know not just how to track them, but also how to leverage their insights. Contact us for more information on the strategic use of metrics in building better videos.