Video ROI: The Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics You Need to Know

In this post, we break down which metrics to measure when it comes to video ROI.

April 19, 2021

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Meisha Bochicchio


Andrew Capland


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For many marketers, delivering video content that drives sales, leads, and brand awareness within your target audience is the end goal. And, as with any other successful marketing strategy, you need to pay close attention to the return on investment (ROI) of video marketing in order to underline its overall value to the business.

Getting measurable results for video marketing efforts can seem intimidating at first. It’s not as simple as scribbling down your overall view count or number of subscribers and calling it a day. The best marketers take both quantitative and qualitative factors into consideration when analyzing video ROI; looking at both provides a more holistic idea of performance.

So what do those quantitative and qualitative factors actually look like? We’re glad you asked. To help you gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the ROI of video marketing, we’ve put together a list of objective and subjective metrics to guide your way.

Quantitative video ROI metrics

Quantitative video ROI metrics refer to metrics backed up by empirical evidence or numerical data. For example, tracking the click-through rate (CTR) of your email newsletter is an example of a quantitative metric; CTRs can be found via your email marketing automation platform.

Below are a few key video ROI metrics you should be keeping a close eye on.

Impressions, play rate, and engagement

Metrics like impressions, play rate, and viewer engagement are table stakes in most video platforms these days. As such, they’re typically the first stop on your list when it comes to analyzing the success of your video marketing strategy.

Understanding your video’s analytics will help you make informed decisions about what to do with your video content. Let’s say your impressions seem low; this could spur you to boost your post on a social media platform to expand your reach and get in front of more people. Or perhaps your play rate is lower than you’d like. Could you tweak your video thumbnails and see if that changes anything? You also might experiment with different versions of a video to see if that boosts engagement.

Looking to level up your video performance? Learn more about A/B testing your marketing videos.

These types of baseline metrics are helpful for gaining a general understanding of how your content is performing and deciding what actions to take from there. If you haven’t been monitoring them, now’s a great time to start.

Leads generated

If your video marketing campaign is designed for lead generation, you’ll want to calculate the dollar value of the leads you generate through video. Since these leads are worth real dollars to your business, finding out how much revenue to expect based on leads your video generates is crucial. Plus, having solid numbers means you’ll be able to back up your case for future investment.

“Since these leads are worth real dollars to your business, finding out how much revenue to expect based on leads your video generates is crucial.”

Here are the two main ways you can generate leads and track results:

  1. Add video to your landing pages and track its influence on your conversion rate. Here at Wistia, we’ve found that using video on a landing page increases conversion rates for our paid ads and downloadable content. But don’t just take our word for it! Every business is different, so you should always experiment to find out what works best for your industry. Put your video to the test by making two different versions of the page to see which one drives more conversions — the one with or without the video.
  2. Add a form to your video and track the total number of leads generated, as well as the conversion rate of video views to leads. Our email collector, Turnstile, provides a simple solution for capturing leads right from your videos. You can place a form at the beginning of a video requiring an email address from the viewer if they want to watch. You can also give your viewers a taste of the content first and add a form mid-video. We’ve found that there are some significant conversion rate differences depending on where you place the email collector. As always, experimentation is the name of the game!

Wistia makes it easy to track video’s impact on lead generation with marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) integrations. Seamlessly feed your video data to partners like Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, and more!

Call to Action (CTA) clicks

Tying video views directly to clicks or conversions is another great way to assess the ROI of your video. Adding clickable links for viewers to take key CTA actions (making a purchase, signing up for an account, etc.) is one way you can bridge the gap between your content and other important marketing KPIs.

Use a Bitly short URL or Google Analytics UTM code to track the number of people who watched the video and clicked through to your sign-up page. From there, you can determine who is converting and who isn’t. Identify your most engaged audience members, and then start figuring out how to appeal to those segments.

Time (and money) saved

How much time do people at your company spend giving the same sales demo? How about explaining a common support issue or onboarding process? If you find yourself repeating the same things over and over again, there’s an opportunity here to save time and energy.

Address frequently asked questions using a more scalable system — like walkthrough videos, testimonials, or webinars — to give your teammates more time for high-value contributions. If you create a video that saves 30 salespeople 10 minutes a week, that’s five hours they can now spend bringing in customers. And just like that, you know the ROI of those video resources.

And don’t forget about the time your customers save. If your customers get their basic questions answered via video, they don’t have to wait for your help. They can get started using your system or product right away. Delivering value to your customers is just as important as measuring ROI for your own business and can create loyal, satisfied customers down the road.

Qualitative video ROI metrics

Hard and fast numbers are necessary for proving video ROI, but they don’t tell the full story on their own. There are also qualitative factors, which are centered on opinion-based data that contribute to long-term ROI. It’s important to consider both hard data and the following qualitative factors when deciding how successful a video is.

Brand sentiment

Brand sentiment speaks to your company’s impact on people. When people see or hear about your brand on blogs or social media, what do they actually think about it? How do they feel about your company?

You can keep track of this metric quantitatively to a certain degree with social media monitoring tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, or by browsing comments on your video. At the end of the day, however, brand sentiment isn’t something you can track through a CRM or content marketing platform.

While measuring sentiment is nebulous, it’s still an important thing to keep tabs on. When you start hearing things like, “Oh! I learned about this in that video on your blog the other day — pretty sweet,” you’ll know your videos are starting to gain traction and reach people. It’s that sort of word-of-mouth confirmation from people that really speaks to your overall brand sentiment.

To widen your brand sentiment, create videos that are representative of what makes your company or product unique. This is how you’ll be able to get a motivated audience to talk about your brand and build a solid following.

Product education

There are several ways to abstractly quantify how well customers understand your product. This might look like evaluating metrics like volume of new customers acquired through word of mouth, the number of support requests per new customer, and ratings like Net Promoter Score. Still, it can be really tough to nail down a single number that summarizes how well your videos educate people.

Make sure your videos clearly convey what your product does and how it will benefit the audience. Instead of using vague language to explain features, show how your products actually work in explainer videos.

The highly visual nature of video allows you to demonstrate or explain tricky concepts or complex products to an audience with a limited attention span. Companies like Trello and Squarespace do a great job of explaining specific features within their products while clearly showcasing the benefit those features could have for the users.

To assess your video’s level of product education, get your viewers involved. In the video, ask viewers to provide feedback in a dedicated comment section or ask if the video was helpful on social media. You can also track what users do on your site after they’ve watched videos designed for product education. If folks watch a video on a product page and then leave the site or continue to search for more information, it could mean your video wasn’t very helpful.

Business trust

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: featuring friendly human faces and voices on camera creates trust.

Product videos are helpful for explaining what your product does and how it helps solve your prospect’s problems, but many companies forget that focusing only on features is a misstep. Don’t lose out on the vital human connection you can build by putting your employees on screen.

People are more likely to understand and believe in your business when they can see the human behind the voice. Using people in your video content helps your audience relate to your company and can strengthen your relationships with them over time. That type of familiarity can lead to long-term brand affinity and success.

Create a dashboard to track all of your video ROI metrics

And there you have it! Qualitative and quantitative metrics: your left and right marketer’s brain working together in perfect harmony to understand your video’s performance.

Now that you know what to look for on both sides of the equation, you can start to assess your video content in a more comprehensive way.

If you’re serious about using video to improve your marketing, you’ll want to track your results to understand which videos are working and which ones aren’t. Over time, this learning will fuel iterations and new ideas — this is all part of the continuous evolution of successful video marketing.

What metrics do you focus on when measuring your videos’ performance? How do these metrics help you benchmark results and drive future video efforts? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

April 19, 2021

Topic tags

Meisha Bochicchio


Andrew Capland


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