Brands are investing more in online video marketing to keep up with demand, and here are metrics you can measure to prove it's paying off.

Video has quickly become the most popular content type online. In fact, it’s expected that by 2017, video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic. This means that three out of four people will be sitting online watching a video. (You should think about what that means if video is not already a major player in your content marketing strategy.)

For us content marketers, the best part about video is that it is one of the most measurable formats. This makes it easier to determine strategy successes and failures, as well as overall ROI when reporting back to your executive team.

Video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2017

But does the CXO need to see that 15-page analytics report you put together? No. Cut the fat and focus on these three key things:

  • Increased sales/revenue generated

  • Customer retention

  • Audience growth

Tracking content ROI across the web with video

Because video content lives within a player or container, you still maintain access to engagement metrics even when it’s shared across the web. And the latest reports show videos are the most-shared content format on social networks like Facebook.

Video metrics, revealed through the use of software, tools, or code, allow us to see things like:

  • When a user hit play

  • When they paused and for how long

  • When/if they clicked a CTA

  • If they replayed

  • Location and demographics

  • Likes, shares, subscribes and so on

Not to mention, video results appeared in almost 70 percent of the top 100 search results on Google in 2012, meaning it’s greatly impactful (for lack of a better word) towards your overall SEO efforts. 

Text-based content works a bit differently, as it’s usually delivered in PDF format (think eBooks and whitepapers). While you can track how many times these assets were downloaded – and even who downloaded them through form fills –  there’s no sure way to know if a downloaded eBook was actually read.

But okay, enough about that. Bossman just asked to see how the (ever increasing) video budget is being put to good use.

Remember those three key things you should show him or her? Here are a few ideas to help you pull that type of data:

1. Increased sales

ROI stat to share with your boss: Pages with video content saw 60 percent more conversions than pages without, generating an additional $8,000 when compared side-by-side.

Here’s how you measure it: Goal Completions in Google Analytics

Set up an A/B test with two separate versions of the same sign-up page. Create unique URLs for each version (/thankyou_v1 and /thankyou_v2) – one page will have a video on it, one page will not.

landing page with and without video

Promote them equally by either rotating the two links in social media posts, or by sending one link to half of your newsletter distribution list and the other link to the second half. Create a “destination” Goal to begin tracking the number of conversions each page brings in. Then, compare.

I can almost guarantee you that the page with video content will have a much higher conversion rate. (Here’s an example of how we did this with one of our clients and the results we saw.)

2. Retention

ROI stat to share with your boss: There was a 75 percent reduction in subscriber opt-outs when emails included video content. What this means is that you have a steady subscriber list, and you can focus more on producing email newsletters and less on physical mail pieces (which are expensive).

Keep track of how many more readers you’re retaining with online outreach and report it back to your CXO.

Here’s how you measure it: Email activity reports

Monitor unsubscribes through email activity reports from your marketing automation platform. See how rates are impacted when you include a video in the email (versus messages without video and physical mail sends). Also look for differences in response rates, as people who respond directly are often more likely to purchase.

Use this information to determine your success rate compared to costs.

3. Audience Growth

ROI stat to share with your boss:  YouTube subscribers grew 40 percent compared to last quarter, and there were 30 percent more video shares overall. Your audience is not only present, but they are engaged and loyal, spreading the word for you.

Here’s how you measure it: Likes and Dislikes report in YouTube Analytics

This report will show you the net change in likes and dislikes of your video. Looking at the “total engagement” section, we’re able to see exactly which videos are attracting and engaging your audience through likes/dislikes, favorites added or removed, shares, comments, subscribes and unsubscribes.

Proving ROI is not always going to be easy (and there’s no silver bullet), but by narrowing in on the bottom line and simplifying metrics into true ROI, you can prove to Mr. CXO the value of content marketing and video content’s impact on the business.

Sara Berke is a Senior Content Marketing Strategist at Brafton. At work, she emphasizes that quality communication and measurable results are key. A girly-girl, she thoroughly enjoys shopping, playing with animals and drinking wine.