While there’s no difficulty in determining whether social video is effective marketing – because with the average person watching around 14 hours of online video a month, it’s pretty clear it is. The challenge is aligning all that engagement data with real-world economic objectives.
The good news is that social video presents a bigger analytical opportunity than a traditional social campaign – delivering highly targeted data that, if used correctly, can quantify just how effective your social video efforts are proving to be.
So what’s the best way to measure the ROI of online video?
Lose the social lingo
While phrases like retweets, followers, likes and fans have become part of the marketing vocabulary, you should never use these terms as authoritative metrics, and instead start thinking in terms of marketing channels and what you want to measure.
For example, according to Social Media Examiner, if you focus on pay-per-click advertising, you should measure cost per impression, cost per click and sometimes cost per conversion. If you focus on public relations, however, you should measure cost per impression and sometimes cost per mention.
Compare to traditional ad campaigns
Online video often drives traffic back to your website – so one way to establish the financial benefits of a social video campaign is to look at what that traffic would have cost you if it had been acquired by a traditional “push” advertisement.
For example, according to Social Media Today, if running banner ads on a website with $3 per click results in 300 unique visitors to your website, this traffic of 300 people to your website is then worth $900.
With a plethora of analytic tools available today (Spreadfast, Sysomos and UberVU are just three that spring to mind) it is easier than ever before to evaluate how users are interacting with your video.
These tools enable you to assess which videos are being watched until the very end, at what point others may drop off, the demographic of your audience and how far the video is shared.
While highlighting the social interactions and engagement surrounding your video content in favour of a quantifiable dollar figure can work for a while, eventually you’ll need to show a measurable payoff.