Measuring Your Video Content Success: What You Need to Know

The huge potential of online video content in digital marketing and e-commerce has been only recently discovered. Now it’s getting more and more popular to use videos as a part of your marketing and business strategy, as it positively affects virtually all important metrics. For instance, a video on a page will increase time spent on your website by a factor of 2.6 on average. Furthermore, a video demonstration of a product is likely to almost double your sales of that product. But video doesn’t have to be used only to achieve business goals.

Hence, the video metrics you should care about will depend on the purpose of your videos, whether you’re an entertainer, a non-profit organization, a marketer or you own an ecommerce business. Also, the choice of channels you use to distribute and share the content will have a large influence on what you’re going to consider as successful statistics. It’s not the same whether you’ll post your video on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or your website – every single one of these channels has its own characteristics and treats videos differently.

Nevertheless, there are parameters that are always to be considered significant and that are most commonly regarded as criteria for success. Here are some of the most important.

View count

The most obvious of metrics to start with is certainly your total view count. In a way, it’s the most important number you should have in mind, but also potentially deceptive. First of all, you need to differentiate between paid and organic views. If most of the views are paid, this could still be useful for a certain brand to increase its visibility, but for an entertainer, it usually means that the content is not good enough to generate organic views.

In relation to this, it’s also important to analyze the sources of your views and traffic. Check which social networks have brought you the most visitors and try boosting them in the future for even better results. This analysis will tell you a lot about where your audience comes from, where they “hang out” online and when they’re most likely to take a look at your video. The like/dislike ratio and the number of shares on each social network can also reveal much about which channels you should focus on

Furthermore, always bear in mind that different platforms use different algorithms to determine what exactly counts as a view. On Facebook, watching a video for 3 seconds will be enough to add to your view record, on YouTube you’ll supposedly need at least 30 seconds, whereas for Instagram stories a view will be calculated as soon as the story is opened. That’s why view count is of huge importance, but still somewhat unreliable. To have a true picture of your video’s success, you’ll need to count in a bunch of other metrics as well.

Play rate

A play rate is used for websites and platforms that don’t play the video automatically as soon as you visit the page. It’s a ratio between the total number of people who visited a webpage and a number of people who clicked on a video. If this rate is low, there are a few things to you could do about it. Think about the design of your web page and the positioning of the video. Moreover, your copy or any type of content that follows or describes the video has to be interesting and engaging. Finally, the thumbnail you choose is also crucial – make it tempting, inviting and relevant.

Watch time

As it was said, if you want to measure the quality of your video content, the view count is just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that someone opened your video still doesn’t say everything about its success. Also, your revenue on YouTube and other platforms that will pay you for running ads on your videos is usually calculated based on overall watch time, not the mere number of views. Watch time is simply a total amount of time your audience has spent on watching your videos.

Average watch time of your videos is also extremely important. For instance, if your videos are 4 minutes long on average but your average watch time per video is 40 seconds, that means that people don’t really find your content interesting. Or maybe they’re driven away by the low level of video quality. If you’re just vlogging about your day then video quality doesn’t amount to much, but for some formats, it’s very important, especially for brands trying to promote themselves through videos. In this case, 240p videos can make you look silly and hurt your brand. Thus getting some better gear or even hiring a video production agency is something you should seriously consider.

Finally, it could be that your audience finds your clips too long. Have in mind that two-thirds of users prefer videos not longer than 60 seconds. Analyze every video separately, find those with best average completion percentage and try giving your audience more of that.

Audience retention

This concept is very much related to average watch time, but it tells you even more about your content. Audience retention shows a number of people watching each second of your video and is represented by a graph. This way you can not just see which clips are the most popular among your audience, but also which parts of your videos they found the most interesting. It’s the most precise possible feedback about what works for your audience and what doesn’t.


You may have managed to make one or two of your videos viral, and that’s terrific. This is how most of those insanely popular YouTube channels started off. But what made them different from the one-hit wonders is that they continued to deliver good content on a regular basis and gained a loyal fan base. This is important not just for entertainers, but for brands as well.

Having a steady number of people following your channel tells something about your consistency and trustworthiness. Don’t forget that on YouTube there’s a way to track not just the overall number of subscribers, but also which particular video brought the most new subscribers to your channel. Try to use this to your advantage.

CTR and conversions

These two are vital for businesses, especially online ones. Your videos may be well-made and informative, but still, don’t have to bring anyone to the landing pages included in your clips. This, in turn, means no increase in sales and revenue. If this happens, you’ll have to think about the placing and timing of your CTA.

Also, it might be that your content is actually good, but not relevant enough or even completely unrelated to the product you’re trying to sell. When running a business, you need to make sure that your videos attract people who will click on your links and actually buy your stuff. Otherwise, you’re simply targeting the wrong audience.

In conclusion, the video format is getting more and more relevant and is going to be the best and most efficient way to promote your business, your organization, your band or your skills in thyears to come. It’s astonishing to know that as much as one third of all the time people spend online is dedicated to watching videos. And for whichever purpose you intend to create video content, careful analysis of important metrics and constant evaluation of the feedback you receive is crucial if you intend to reach the goals you have set for yourself.