I was recently at a networking event, talking to a marketing consultant about the rise of online video marketing. It was a light-hearted conversation until he asked a very important question, “How do we know that video actually works?”
It made me pause, because there are so many reports out there to quote, and yet which of those statistics are the really important ones? Are they vanity stats with little effect on a company’s bottom line, or actual evidence that online video marketing is an effective tool? How can you measure the effectiveness of the money you choose to invest in video? Are you making the right video choices?
The answer to that depends on your business and how you’re incorporating video into your marketing campaign. However, you can tell if your online video marketing efforts are successful using these 3 big metrics.
1. Visitor Time on Site Increases
Just as it sounds, this statistic measures the amount of time that a visitor spends on your website before leaving it. Current research reports the average user spends 88%more time on a website with video. That’s huge. The more time a visitor spends on your website, the less time they’re on a competitors website.
Let’s be honest, you’re competing with lots of other websites trying to sell similar products and services. Adding video to your homepage will help keep visitors on your site longer, increasing their engagement with your product, and their recognition of your brand. Even better, viewer’s retention of information shared in video is 68% versus just 10% for text based communication.
One caveat, pay attention to the drop point for viewers watching your video. If the time they invest in watching the video and the average time that people are spending on your website are closely aligned, then your video isn’t actually as effective as you want it to be. Your video should prompt viewers to take a next step on your website, so don’t forget to wrap it up with an interesting call-to-action that engages them further.
And, we’ve now created the perfect transition into our next metric!
2. Visitors View More Pages
Beyond the time on site metric for website visitors, another important number to keep track of is the number of pages within your site that an average visitor views. Why?
Because, it tracks how engaged that visitor became with your brand. A visitor who views more than one page on your website is looking for more information about your products/services and who your company is. They’re engaging with your brand further and more likely to remember your company when they decide to buy.
Videos help you convert visitors into more engaged prospects, by delivering easily digestible content. Your main explainer video should offer up a quick snapshot of your product or service. From there, if the video has done its job well, they should be enticed to learn more about your offerings (generally, viewing more pages). On the additional pages, incorporate different types of video to continue engaging your viewers.
For companies like Attivio, this pays off in big ways. Drew Smith, Director of Online Marketing, attributes the use of video on their website to an increase of 63% in page views.
3. Conversion Rate Increases
This video power fact has been proven by large and small brands for years. Videos help you sell products and services at a significantly higher rate than text and images alone.
Before we talk about the impact video can have on conversion rates, let’s talk about what a conversion rate actually is.
It’s simply the ratio of the number of visitors to a specific product page who took a measurable action. For online retailers, it’s generally used to define the ratio of visitors to a specific product’s page versus how many items of that product are sold. For example, if a company’s blue widgets product page receives 1,000 visitors in the month of November and the company sold 200 blue widgets online in November then the conversion rate is 20%. For other companies, conversion rates can be used to track how many service inquiries they receive, online webinars, or email leads are captured.
For instance, Zappos and Blendtec both started using online video marketing to increase sales in 2008 and immediately saw an increase in sales. For Zappos, a relatively well known retailer with established brand recognition and traffic, conversion rates increased by 6 – 30% per product. Their videos feature Zappos employees giving a product walkthrough, such as this example.
Now, Increase Your Website’s Performance
Ready to start using video to increase these 3 metrics? First, figure out how your website is performing currently. If you don’t have Google Analytics tracking your website visitors, set up an account and add the tracking code to your website. Follow these instructions to create your account and get your tracking code.
After a couple of months (around the same amount of time you’ll need to produce a high-quality video for your homepage), you’ll have a good initial benchmark of the time visitors are spending on your website and how many pages each visitor is viewing. That data is generated straight from Google’s regular reports on your website.
With a little extra effort, you can also start tracking your conversion rate. Remember that company we discussed earlier that sells blue widgets? With their Analytics account, they can see how many visitors the product page for the blue widget. Then they can find out from their sales team how many blue widgets were sold each month. Divide the number of items sold, by the total number of visitors and you have your conversion rate.
If you’re tracking email captures and have a thank you landing page that visitors automatically get sent to, you can set up goal tracking within your Google Analytics account. Then Google does the math for you! Find instructions on setting goals up here.
Now, remember your goals for your video when you’re producing it. Always make sure you have a call-to-action at the end of your video, that is related to your video’s goals. If you’re producing a homepage video, you want the viewer to find out more information about your product or services. Tell them where to go next on your website, and make that next step easy to find. If you’re creating a product demo video, you’re going to close that video with a reminder to add the item to their shopping cart.
Advanced Video Marketing Tips
As with any other marketing projects, video marketing should constantly be tested and improved. So, if your video has been live for a little while and you’ve benchmarked its current returns, start running some tests. Switch the call-to-action wording or what you ask people to do. Or, try out a new intro! Just remember to test one section of your video at a time and then look at the response.