View Count – The Least Important Video Statistic Of Them All

If you’re fairly new to video marketing then it probably seems perfectly logical to think that the success of your video is best measured by the number of people who view it.  That makes sense doesn’t it?  The more people who have seen your video, the more popular it is and that means you must have done something right, surely?


You probably hear fairly regularly in the news and on websites how one video has gone viral and is the current crème-de-la-crème for online savvy video viewers.  A few million views here, a billion views there.  So when someone asks you how well your video performs you’ll most likely cite your latest view count.  The problem with this is that your view count is not actionable information.  Let’s say two thousand people viewed your latest animated video production.  That’s great, but how many of them clicked through to your website?  How many made an enquiry?  How many actual sales were generated from it?  Do you even know the types of people who watched it?  Were they male or female?  Where did they live?  How old were they?  Heck, did you even make your money back going through the whole video production process in the first place?  You could probably quite easily throw together a video of a cat dressed up in a Game of Thrones costume meowing along to Gangnam Style and rack up a few hundred thousand views, but it’s unlikely this will lead to any sales so even though it will be popular, it doesn’t make it a successful video campaign.


As you’ll discover as you venture further into the world of video marketing, to make the most out of your campaigns, and to really maximise the benefits you’ll receive from video marketing, you need to get to grips with video analytics.  Metrics matter.  When you start going into details looking at exactly who is watching your videos then you will be better equipped to successfully get returns on your investment.


Ok, bear with me when you read this, it might seem counter intuitive but there is method in the madness.  Before you start out making a video you should be thinking about making your audience as small as possible.  Strip down your audience until you’ve got it down to its bare bones and focus your message entirely on them.  We call this narrowcasting.  It’s important for a few reasons, but most importantly it means that the views you are likely to get are the people who are specific to your niche.  This means that any data you do manage to get won’t be tarnished by unqualified viewers, or people who have no interest in what you have to offer.  Contrary to popular belief, successful video marketing isn’t about making the next viral sensation, but rather targeting your audience successfully.  This means the people who watch your video will have an interest in what you do, and have the budget to afford what you sell.  In other words, they’re potential customers.


Once you’ve embraced the concept of narrowcasting then it starts to become clear why view count is really a pretty irrelevant statistic.  I mean, ten views from people who go on to buy your product is worth a lot more than a thousand views from people who don’t.  What’s more important than view count is exactly who is watching your video, for how long, and whether or not they engage with your company after watching the video?  Luckily there are a few fairly easy to use tools methods you can use to gather this data and better equip yourself to measure the success of your campaign.


Probably the best way to mine this data is to create a landing page dedicated to the video you have produced.  This is simply another page on your website that you will direct people to when they come to view your video, rather than your homepage.  This is important for a few reasons, for a start it’s likely your homepage has a lot going on and is pulling visitors attention in a few different directions so they might not click the play button in the first place, but also because if your landing page is solely about your video then you can be pretty sure visitors to it are there because the video has attracted their attention and they’re interested in watching it.


This is vitally important, because using your Google Analytics account you can then mine a whole host of data about those people.  For example you can find out where they are from, their age, gender, the device they are viewing the webpage on.  You can even find out what their interests are, as Google collects a range of data derived from their browsing history.  Probably most importantly of all you can also track their behavior on the web page, for example you can see how long they stayed on the page, and whether or not they clicked through to another page afterwards.


All this data can come together to form a wider picture of whether or not your video was a success.  If the people visiting your site are outside your target demographic then maybe something isn’t right.  If your video was 2 minutes long but people are only staying on the page for 1 minute then something is definitely wrong, they’re missing your all-important CTA at the end.  On the other hand if the people visiting your page are the types of people you were targeting, they watch your video all the way through to the end, and then they go on to click through to another page on your website such as your contact page, then congratulations!  Now you can say that your video was a definite success.