Over the past several years, there has been a significant shift in the way people become captivated and amused by media. Instead of entertaining themselves, people want to be entertained. They want to quickly gain the most information/amusement with the least amount of effort. The solution – online video.

Video Growing in Popularity

YouTube DataWith the transition of how people want to be entertained, marketers can use this media shift to their advantage while retaining their target audience’s attention. Video provides a different type of communication portal, giving audiences an experience that can bring “life” to any topic, case study, product or service. “Lights, camera, action!” gives watchers the unique opportunity to climb into the topic’s theme, giving a perspective that could not be portrayed simply by words or pictures.

The work from Jerome Bruner, PhD, of New York University, shows that people remember only 10% of what they hear, 30% of what they read and a staggering 80% of what they see and do. Interactive videos can significantly increase brand awareness, building loyalty and customer preference for your company’s product offerings as people actively engage and share your video content.

Jon Wuebben, author and content strategist, told the Examiner how he envisions the expansion of video marketing. “I actually see a lot of video marketing happening over the next year or two, a significant increase. That’s going to be a big boon for a lot of companies because Google owns YouTube and they do whatever they can to get videos front-and-center on that first page. So that’s a great way to publicly manifest your content, to really embrace video and get it out there. Make sure the video is distributed all over the place.”

KPIs for YouTube

Like any content marketing or social media initiative, investments in video production need to be tracked in relation to return on investment. Set goals need to have measurable KPIs so that CMOs/managers can monitor video engagement/ leads and present returns to C-level staff to justify a continued or increased budget for video.

There are numerous YouTube KPIs that can be tracked within the world’s second largest search engine, allowing companies to leverage data to find the relationship between videos being consumed (video theme that resonates), target audience/subscribers (types of people who are interested/want more) and audience retention (where/why/when lose audience attention). The YouTube KPIs that companies use to oversee their goals will vary for each organization. The important thing is that each company will need to identify whether videos are either meeting their goals, driving engagement or providing viable leads.

YouTube Analytics

Here are the helpful tools that YouTube provides for tracking KPIs:
  • Video likes/dislikes
  • Subscribers
  • Views
  • Demographics – audience location, gender, and age
  • Watch-time
  • Favorites
  • Comments
  • Sharing
  • Playback locations
  • Traffic sources
  • Audience retention – time spend on video before leaving
  • Devices (Beta)
  • Annotations (Beta) – text overlays that you can place on YouTube videos
The Value of Video

In a recent study by CopyPress, videos ranked second with 52% of respondents believing that videos received the best ROI as part of their content marketing strategy. Regardless of a high ROI, some marketers still thought that creating a sharp video was too expensive and time consuming, possibly even cost-prohibitive.

Scott Abel, of Content Wrangler, understands why some marketers refrain from creating video because of the amount of time and expenditures required for a video to be made correctly. In a recent interview with the Content Marketing Examiner, Scott explains the value and the challenges of video creation. “If we create an outstanding video, we want to get it out there so it might have a chance of going viral. The main challenge is time. We have all these tasks; we have to plan the content, create the content, revise it, get it out there, and promote it. It’s a lot of work, and so the CIO needs to be involved in guiding their team to select tools that will help them minimize performance of manual tasks, or tasks that could be better served with automation.”

As Scott mentions, there are a lot of elements that go into creating a YouTube video. However, if tasks can be automated and done by way-of-habit, video production can be simplified and implemented with specific procedures so that teams no longer have to “wing it.”

For a content marketing initiative to continue using video as a type of media format, it is key to find the correlation between investment, return and overall value. “Look at the delta report from when you started to see if that particular initiative and those video views and downloads and signups resulted in growth, in brand search. I think that’s the biggest indicator,” says Steve Wiideman, SEO expert and speaker. “Are more people searching for the brand because of the activity that we did, and did that convert to sales or leads? If so, what were the channels, what were the events that we tracked and how can we do it better next year?”

Seeing, saying and writing are considered to be the ultimate trifecta in being able to learn and retain information and since video holds all three components—you need video. YouTube viewers may not personally write or say the words they hear, but videos do allow viewers to see visuals and hear/see words, increasing engagement and retention. The emotional component to video also makes your message stronger, and coupled with the high ROI from video, no content marketing strategy is really complete without it.

This is the eight piece of the Measurable KPIs for Social Media series.

*Originally published on July 24, 2013 in the Content Marketing Examiner, sponsored by Cadence9®.