Why Engagement is the Most Important Video Metric

By on July 16, 2015

A warm welcome to guest blogger Cameron Sampson. Cameron Sampson is a Senior Account Executive at Virool, where he helps brand marketers reach their targeted audience with their videos.

The question I always hear from my clients:

How are other people measuring the success of their video campaigns?

The easy answer would be: “Well, that all depends on your marketing KPIs.” Today, I want to share the actual answer. No matter what your marketing KPIs are, you should always be measuring engagement on your video. Sure, “engagement” can have a variety of meanings – from heatmap activity to audience retention to AVOC rates — but engagement is the most important metric to determining the success of a video campaign.

When it comes to branded videos, the most powerful engagement signal is social engagement. Social engagement is a clear indication that a person is moved by the content to the point of taking action. When prospects become proponents, you know that you have had a meaningful interaction with that person. Your audience grows from viewers to amplifiers.

While that makes sense at face value, the typical follow up question is, “But what does that actually mean to my bottom line?” Vision Critical, a UK based consumer insights company, found that 38% of people that liked or shared an item on Facebook went on to purchase that item, either in-store or online. This was also true for 29% of people that shared or “pinned” an item on Pinterest, and 22% of people that shared content via Twitter.

So how do you drive high levels of audience engagement?

First, you have to reach the right audience, at the right time, on the right device. While I am the perfect audience for Titleist to serve an ad for one of their new 915 series drivers (I am always looking for excuses to buy golf gear), if they serve me an ad on my phone during the work day, I’m highly unlikely to engage with the ad.

But if they serve me that same ad on my commute home from work — at a time that I can pay attention to new content that interests me — I am MUCH more likely to watch the full ad and, if the content is good, share it with my golf buddies, along with a self-deprecating message. You get the point.

Second, you have to make it easy for your prospects to become your proponents. Don’t make your audience click five times before they are able to share it….consider your social strategy – is your audience on Twitter or Pinterest? Make it easy for them to share your content with custom overlays and one-click social sharing buttons. You can monitor the social engagement your video is receiving using VideoSpy, a free Chrome extension that provides insight into the performance of any YouTube video.


Third, use a call to action. Digital video is often seen as a “lean-back” platform however using a CTA will give your viewers clear direction to “lean-in” and take an action. Whether it is “subscribe here,” “download now” or “share this,” your CTA will guide viewers to take the next step.

In today’s social age with a two way line of communication, your customers are ready, willing and able to interact with your content. If you target your audience with share-worthy substance and a clear call to action, you’ll be able to maximize the engagement on your video.

About Scott Nadzan

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